Tag Archives: memories

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Hi! Guess what?! We are officially THREE DAYS AWAY from my 1,000 post streak and I am so beyond excited! Make sure you keep it posted for a giveaway to celebrate this monumental accomplishment. 🙂 We all know that Lil Red loves to write, but what about my other favorite things? Read on to find out more:

Favorite Drink?

Every day I try to drink a lot of water and bring my travel mug from the Department Of Developmental Disabilities with me everywhere to stay hydrated. This makes me feel less bad about drinking two cans of Diet Coke every morning for a caffeine jolt before work lol! Diet Coke is, hands down, my favorite drink and I could drink it all day. When it comes to adult beverages, I love champagne and my life changed for the better when I learned that you don’t need a special occasion to drink it. 😀

Favorite Non-Writing Hobby:

I have always loved to read and I try to finish at least two books per month. Getting lost in a good book is one of my favorite forms of self care and it’s even better if it is raining outside! I also really enjoy learning different languages and am on a three hundred twenty-five day streak on Duolingo. French is my best language, by far, but it is such fun to try and improve my Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech too!

Favorite Season?

Fall, of course! Every year I look forward to fall time… Mainly for the fashion! I love layering, boots, and breaking out all of my favorite jackets. Fall time activities like apple picking, hiking, and corn mazes are also a blast and I live for haunted houses. I haven’t been in two years due to the pandemic and, sadly, probably won’t get to go this year due to the rises in COVID cases. But I cannot wait to get reacquainted with my favorite haunts when it’s safer.

My first job was actually as an actor at the Carnival Of Horrors and, even though I know a ton of haunted house tricks, I am still terrified at every one I visit!

Favorite Thing About Myself?

Well, I like to think that I’m frickin hilarious. But, my favorite thing about myself is probably my determination. Once I have a goal in mind, I try to stick with it and I wouldn’t be reaching a 1,000 post writing streak without that. Nothing pleases me more than crossing things off of my mental daily “to do” list and that’s what keeps me motivated to continue writing, practicing my languages, and working out every day.

Favorite Sport:

Ice skating! I skated competitively for about ten years and stopped when I was sixteen or so. Prior to the pandemic, I got back into it and lived for my weekly skate sessions. I actually just had my first lesson since the winter of 2020 a few weekends ago and it was amazing… Even though my legs felt like Jello all day afterwards!

When it comes to my favorite sport that I like to watch other than skating, I would definitely say gymnastics. My mind is blown every time I see it so, trust and believe that my brain was exploding during these past Olympic Games.

Favorite Memory:

My wedding!! Getting married this June was so amazing and I love being a wifey. Any time spent with my Johnny is my favorite. I also loved becoming an aunt when my niece was born, graduating from Cuyahoga Community College, and vacationing in Orlando, Florida with my family.

Favorite Game:

My husband and I are avid gamers and I love our weekend game nights together. Word games are my favorite so my preferred game is Scrabble, for sure. Johnny and I also love the game Horrified where you have to save a village from classic movie monsters. In terms of video games, I am still addicted to Animal Crossing and Pokemon Snap – I actually just played both last night! 😀

And, of course, another one of my favorite things is creating content every day for my dear friends and readers. I love you all so much! ❤

What are some of your favorite things? What are your goals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

My Favorite Summer 2021 Memories

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My Favorite Summer 2021 Memories

Hi! Summer is quickly drawing to a close and that is fine by Lil Red because I live for fall weather, fashion, and holidays. Both Johnny and I are eager to step out in our favorite jackets, sweaters, and long sleeve shirts for hikes, bonfires, and corn mazes in cool temperatures that don’t physically pain us lol.

Although the fall will forever be my preferred time of the year, I have to say that this summer was a great success – especially in comparison to last year. Let’s discuss some of my fave memories from these past few months:

Getting Married:

The best memory of all from this summer is Johnny and I getting married in June, of course! Our wedding day was a beautiful, albeit very hot one, so obviously it was the perfect time for us to tie the knot wearing all black haha! It was so special for us to have a small, intimate wedding in one of our best friend’s back yards surrounded by our immediate family and closest friends. It was one of the best days of my life and I just love being married! ❤

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Conneaut, Ohio Road Trip:

This month, Johnny and I made an hour and a half drive to Conneaut, Ohio for a D-Day reenactment and it was awesome! My husband, the history buff, has never been to a war reenactment before and has always wanted to so when I found out about the event, I surprised him with tickets. The reenactments, demonstrations, and fair food were all great. The best part, however, was seeing a big smile on Johnny’s face all day. Something tells me that this is not the last reenactment that we’ll be attending together and I can’t wait! 🙂

Birthday Celebrations:

Me, Johnny, and my two besties all have summertime birthdays and I love being able to celebrate with them every year. I consider myself to be an excellent gift giver so birthdays and holidays are my favorite. Picking out the perfect presents for my loved ones is so much fun to me and it’s even better to see their reactions once they have opened their gifts. In true Lil Red fashion, I have already began my Christmas shopping planning – I just can’t help myself. 😀

Swimming:

Last year, the pool at my apartment community was closed for obvious reasons. This summer, however, it is open for business and I have been making the most of it. I have spent many an evening lounging in the pool with my bestie or with my sister and niece and it has been so nice. While I can’t wait for cooler weather, I will definitely miss the option to go swimming once my day at work is over. An evening at the pool and then dinner with my BFF or sister and niece is the best thing to look forward to after a work day!

Date Day:

The best date day that Johnny and I had this summer was, easily, our time spent in downtown Cuyahoga Falls a few Saturdays ago. We had an amazing time browsing through the ultra cool Jenks Building while listening to our ultra cool friends play in the Buffalo Ryders. After their set, our band boyz joined Johnny and I for a cocktail hour at our favorite local bar, The Cashmere Cricket. Saturday is the best day to go because the Cricket makes all of their cocktails with dry ice, which makes your drinks bubble and smoke like a potion.

Once our outing was done, Johnny and I went back to our apartment for our usual weekend festivities of playing video games, dancing, and listening to music. It was a perfect day and one of my favorite summer memories.

So there you have it, my favorite summer memories! Summer is my least favorite season by far but, after these past few months, I definitely think I like it a little bit more! ❤

What are your favorite memories of this summer? What are you looking forward to in the fall? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Wedding Dress Delight

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Wedding Dress Delight

Hello! My nontraditional wedding dress was ordered online and I am in love! The best part about my wedding dress, however, was the time I got to spend with my mom in the process of getting it just right. Because Johnny and I are having such a small ceremony, there really wasn’t much planning involved that our loved ones could participate in. So, it was really important to me to have my mom and sister there for the things that didn’t require Johnny and I just sitting in our apartment talking lol.

My sister came with me for my makeup test run and it was wonderful to have her company and expertise. For my wedding dress, my mom came with me to every appointment at a local dry cleaner who also specializes in alterations. From getting my initial measurements taken to the actual alteration session and a final try on when picking it up, JANE was there for it all. This was incredibly special to me and it was really exciting for us both to see the end results of what we had been imagining for my dress all along.

The alteration aspect of my wedding dress is absolutely perfect in every way and I can’t wait to show all of you what it started from to how it turned out after Johnny and I are married, of course! However, there is still a fair amount of work to do because my dress is covered in completely heinous disk sequins that need removed. Had I realized that the sequins were a thing, I would have requested to not have them in my customization notes but they blended into the dress in the picture and were not visible. -_-

Lucky for me, the sequins can be removed easily but it is a very time consuming task! Over the weekends and on my days where I arrive home early from work, I plan on setting aside at least twenty minutes each evening until my dress is sequin free. In my first go at it, I was able to take off at least fifty sequins and the front bodice is already almost halfway done.

My mom will not see my dress in its sequin free glory until the actual wedding and I cannot wait to see her reaction to it because I know it’s going to be even better than she remembers! And I am always going to remember our time spent together to get my wedding dress prepared for my big day. ❤

What are some special memories from your wedding? What alterations did your wedding apparel need? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Summertime Q & A

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Summertime Q & A

Hi! In Akron, Ohio it has been nonstop rain day after day and I am so over it! The grey, chilly days have left me yearning for summertime weather and fun – especially after my family enjoyed a beautiful preview of what could be when we all went to the zoo together two weekends ago. To put myself into a sunny state of mind as the rain pours down on my apartment skylight, I decided to do a little summertime Q & A so let’s get to it:

What is your ideal weather in the summer? Although I am really looking forward to summertime, I absolutely hate super hot weather. In Lil Red’s perfect world, it would be seventy or so degrees and sunny all season long with a couple of eighty degree days peppered in for swimming.

What are you most looking forward to this summer? My wedding, of course! And Johnny and I share June birthdays exactly one week apart from each other so it’s fun to have combined celebrations for our big days. While there are, obviously, major events that I am looking forward to, I also can’t wait to be more active in the community again now that Johnny and I are both fully vaccinated. His band will begin playing their first outdoor shows in well over a year, which is so exciting!

Where is your dream summer vacation destination? As mentioned before, really hot weather is not my bag at all so a location where it’s a bit cooler would be ideal for me. I would skip the sandy beaches and head for New England. I loved the mild temperatures and the scenic terrain when my family visited Vermont and New Hampshire in my youth.

You won a contest to select three headliners for a music festival. Who are you picking? Well, my whole family was supposed to see the Rolling Stones last year so they would definitely be on the list so Johnny could finally see them live. Then, I would pick Cardi B to keep the party going followed by AFI so we could all have a good cry afterwards.

Do you have a summertime wardrobe staple? Can we all just agree that shaving our legs constantly is such a hassle? Lol, that’s why I love maxi skirts and dresses during the warm weather! They are cute, cool, and cover up my legs when I am too lazy to shave. 😀

Favorite warm weather outdoor activities? Let’s see, I enjoy going for hikes. I like farmers markets and outdoor shopping centers. Zoos and swimming are also always fun. One of the things I love the best during the warm weather is playing outside with my niece with bubbles and sidewalk chalk. There are also a lot of wonderful parks in my area for her to explore too!

Favorite summer memory? One of the best family vacations that we ever took was, easily, Universal Studios in Florida and I often think back to that trip and how much fun we had. I would love to go back!!

How would you answer any of the above questions? Do you have any exciting plans this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Best Day!

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The Best Day!

Hi! Although Johnny and I had a rough bout with side effects from the Moderna vaccine this past weekend, it was still a great one because my brother, sister in law, and their son traveled from Georgia for a visit. My family is fully vaccinated and it was such an amazing gift for all of us to be together for the first time since our family trip to Kentucky last summer. When my nausea subsided enough on Saturday, Johnny and I enjoyed a quick trip to the park with our nephew and it was so fun watching him run around and play. However, Sunday was the best day I have had in forever.

On Sunday, my entire family: Mom, dad, sister, brother, brother, brother in law, sister in law, niece, nephew, and fiance went to the Akron Zoo together. To visit the zoo according to their COVID standards, you purchase tickets for a time slot and a limited amount of people are allowed in the park. We got to view the Akron Zoo on a beautiful day and it wasn’t as crowded, which was really nice.

Of course, I love going to the zoo any time any day but it was the absolute best to be there with my whole family and see my little niece and nephew have fun. They both loved riding the carousal, seeing the Grizzly bears swim around in their exhibit, and each getting a stuffed bear from their TT at the gift shop. My only regret is how quickly our two hour time slot went by because I could have stayed there for hours with everyone if we could!

After our outing at the zoo, we had dinner on the patio of one of my family’s favorite Mexican restaurants, El Campesino. This was such a treat for me because Johnny and I haven’t been to a restaurant since the pandemic began. It was so special to share a big meal with every single one of us at the table and it was also so special to me to have my first Margarita in over a year lol! The food was delicious and just like our trip to the zoo, I was sad when it was over because I wish we could do family days like that all of the time.

Being surrounded by all of my loved ones on Sunday is a memory that I am going to cherish for forever. It was just awesome to see my brother, his wife, and my adorable nephew for the first time in so long and also a small miracle that we found a day that worked with everyone’s hectic schedule. I cannot wait for our next family event which can now happen more frequently since we are vaccinated and, until then, I’ll be replaying our joyous day on repeat in my head! ❤

What is your family’s favorite restaurant? What is your favorite family memory? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

If The Slipper Fits: Minnetonka Edition

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If The Slipper Fits: Minnetonka Edition

Hello! My adorable mom was a sneaky Santa, as she presented me with a “decoy” (As she called it) shoe box this Christmas before gifting me with the L’Artiste sandals that I had been drooling over. What was in my decoy box, you might ask? An oh so comfy pair of moccasin style slippers by Minnetonka! I’m not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed when I opened my slippers and they weren’t the sandals. But, after testing them out once I got home, I have practically lived in them and I can’t help but smile at my mom’s little prank every time I put them on. Lol, check it out:

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When I was a teenager, I got a pair of Minnetonka moccasins that I still own to this day. I can’t seem to throw them out, even though they are riddled with holes now because I would wear them literally all the time. But, with these new slippers, I definitely might be more inclined to pitch my waterlogged old faithfuls since I now have an upgrade. Despite them being house shoes, they still have a thick rubber sole so I know I can have them on when walking to take the trash out or going to the gas station drive thru.

I was a bit worried that the faux fur lining in the moccasins might be too warm for me but they are just right – especially in my cold apartment! I love my slippers because I have never owned a pair in my life and they are something that I wouldn’t have bought for myself. My mom is basically the cutest person ever and I just adore the fact that she knew exactly what my reaction would be when I opened my Minnetonkas but gifted them to me anyways because she also knew that I was going to warm up to them immediately. The Sneaky Santa award most definitely goes to her! ❤

Have you ever received a decoy gift? What was the decoy prezzie covering up? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super Happy Fun Times

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Super Happy Fun Times

Hello!!! Last weekend was a wonderful one for me and, boy, did I need it. I had been feeling nothing short of blah for the past several weeks and now I know that the remedy for the blues is some snuggles, creating new holiday traditions, and Zoom dates to put a spring back in my step. Rinse and repeat for best results!

Last weekend, I was so happy because I got to babysit my sweet niece, Valerie, on Saturday night. I had been counting down the days because the last time I saw Val Gal was on Thanksgiving. Johnny and I were not able to participate in the holiday with my family and it was very hard seeing Val on the driveway and not being able to hold her. So, trust and believe, I was ready for all of the snugs.

Val and I had so much fun reading books, petting all of her animal friends (she loves their family pets!), playing Peek-A-Boo, and watching Trolls. Even though whenever I would sing along with the songs Val would go “NOOOOO” haha I didn’t realize I was that tone deaf! Being an aunt is the best thing ever and I am eagerly counting down the days until Christmas so I can spoil my niece and nephew rotten!

The weekend fun did not end there because on Sunday, I was able to Zoom with one of my dear friends, Scott. I have been a friend to him and his family for over six years now and I really miss being able to see them regularly and go out for coffee and lunch. Scott and I chatted for over an hour about anything and everything and it was so refreshing to gab, laugh, reminisce, and, of course, look forward to when it’s safe so we can all see each other again. ❤

Afterwards, Johnny and I ordered Pizza Hut pizza and settled in to watch his favorite holiday movie, The Muppets Christmas Carol. Believe it or not, I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen the full movie because when I was younger the part with Marley and Marley used to scare me SO bad (This humors Johnny to no end!). I am proud to say, I was able to get through that part without incident as an adult and we both enjoyed our afternoon viewing/pizza party so much. We decided that we should watch it every year along with Elf – even though Johnny fell asleep when we watched it!

It is so easy to be bummed out about the state of the world right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, sometimes, all it takes is a little holiday magic to get yourself back to baseline. I can attest to that firsthand. 🙂

What is your favorite holiday movie? How do you like to spoil your loved ones during the holiday season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: My Friend Edition

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Holiday Haul: My Friend Edition

Hello! It is a very rare thing for me to take time off from work. Mainly because I love my job but also having no paid time off, lol. However, I have taken two weeks off so I can safely celebrate Christmas with my family. I have had such fun enjoying the holiday season with my clients. From online shopping for the perfect presents for each of them to decking out their homes with Christmas decor – it really doesn’t get much better than that!

On my last week of work before my holiday vacation, one of my dear friends who I have the joy of working with bestowed these beautiful gifts onto me. Check it out:

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My pal and I love to color together and I am tickled that he selected a coloring book and colored pencils just for me. I am so excited to bring the Buggie Buddies book with me the next time I watch my niece because she loves stickers and creating masterpieces with crayons. The Malley’s Chocolates are delicious and tastes like a fancy Heath Bar, which is perfect because that’s one of my favorite candies. I also love the Christmas card that came with my gifts – it is absolutely adorable!

Nothing is more special to me than the gifts that my sweet friends have chosen. Honestly, the selection above is already my favorite gift and it isn’t even Christmas yet. I know how much thought and care went into picking these gifts out – from the carefully wrapped package to the contents inside that are filled with such happy memories. I know my friend is going to love the present I got for him and I cannot wait to call him on Christmas day when he opens it! ❤

What is one of your favorite gifts that you have received? Is there a gift that you’re really excited about giving this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Rita Rites

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Rita Rites

Hello!! I like to think that I got my knack for writing from my grandma. Not only was she a gifted musician but she loved to write too and had a monthly newsletter called “Rita Rites” that was distributed in her church and mailed to her friends. In fact, when I was younger, we would both sit by the computer and she would read her handwritten draft of Rita Rites out loud to me while I typed it. I would always look forward to receiving the end results of our handiwork in the mail! In a way, it was kind of like her own blog, filled with jokes, fun facts, stories, and charming insights.

I was proud to be able to help my grandma with her newsletter and even prouder when my mom accidentally called my blog my “Rita Rites” the other day. I considered it a high compliment! From a young age, I was exposed to all of the joys of writing and I definitely have my grandma to thank for that. Her creativity, dedication, and the fact that I can never recall her using the same blurb twice continues to inspire me to this day.

I loved being able to help my grandma with Rita Rites and I miss her terribly. But, thanks to my mom misnaming my blog, I have felt so close to my grandma every time I’ve sat down to write since. Fond memories of an afternoon with my grandma working on the newsletter and then sitting down to a delicious dinner with my whole family have flooded my thoughts and it makes me happy. I think my grandma would be extremely proud of my blog and that makes me happy too. 🙂

Even though everything pretty much sucks right now, writing has helped keep me sane. And, whenever I struggle to come up with a post for the day, I think of my grandma’s dedication to her craft and everything just kind of flows. Whether you just started writing or have been doing it for years, keep going! Great friends and some of the best memories will be around to greet you at every corner. I am so thankful to the support of the blogosphere and my loved ones when it comes to my blog and Lil Red will always be here to help support all of you too!

What inspired you to start blogging? How long have you been writing for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Blogging Through 2020

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Blogging Through 2020

Hello! For over six years, lifewithlilred has been going strong on the blogosphere and, unless there are some crazy circumstances, I write each and every day. You all have been with me through a lot from graduating college, break ups, car accidents and everything in between. With that in mind, there has never been a lack of anything for me to write about because it always felt like something new was happening.

Then, COVID-19 came around in 2020 and said “hold my beer”. As someone who works with extremely high risk families every day, all of my previous favorite activities fell by the wayside to not only protect me but all of my clients and loved ones. This meant no more shopping in store, no movies, no restaurants, no bars – no nothing, really.

This change from a constant on the go career as well as bopping around here, there, and everywhere with Johnny as his band played shows to a mostly sedentary lifestyle in my apartment was a huge shock. I have never had a lack of things to talk about on my blog but now, some days, I just don’t feel like I have anything to say!

But, we all know that Lil Red having nothing to say is impossible and I still have managed to write every day of 2020 despite the constant ups and downs. This is something that I am really proud of myself for because I have had to get so creative with my content to keep new posts coming, which can be uber difficult when you barely leave the house, lol.

Blogging through 2020 has taught me about finding inspiration in unlikely places and being more forthright in my own opinions and beliefs. I am so thankful that all of my beloved readers have stuck with me through such crazy times and it makes me that much more motivated to get up early every morning and write before I have to head to work.

Honestly, I have always been my toughest critic and it’s sometimes hard for me to come up with nice things to say about myself. It feels so good to see the fruits of my labor every day with a new post on lifewithlilred and having such a sense of pride in my work has increased my self esteem tenfold.

Times are hard right now and everyone’s situation is different. But, in Lil Red’s world, we’re all in this together so thank you for continuing to share in this crazy journey with me! ❤

Has it been difficult for you to blog during 2020? What do you do when you have writer’s block? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah