Tag Archives: mom

Mother’s Day Date/Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird Review

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Mother’s Day Date/Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird Review

Hello! This past Saturday, I took my darling mom, JANE, out for a night on the town to celebrate Mother’s Day. We enjoyed a delicious meal at my favorite restaurant, Pepper’s, and then we saw Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird at Playhouse Square. Our dinner was divine, the play was spectacular, but the company was even better!

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^^^ How cute is she?!

Pepper’s is an amazing Italian restaurant that’s about fifteen minutes away from Playhouse Square. We wined and dined with a glass of Reisling for mom and Prosecco for me and ate like the queens we are. I opted for my favorite of gnocchi but instead of my usual of Alfredo sauce, I decided to live a little and try the pesto. JANE went for the Penne with the house sauce and we savored every single bite. The salad, bread, pasta, and drinks were made to perfection and we pretty much talked about it until we got to the theater!!

After our dinner, which we are still daydreaming about, we made the short drive to Playhouse Square to park, grab a drink, and take our seats. And, of course, lots of pictures were called for:

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Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is, easily, one of the most important pieces of literature, film, and theater that there is. If you are unfamiliar with the plot, it is set in 1934 Maycomb, Alabama and tells the tale of Atticus Finch defending an innocent black man named Tom Robinson for the rape of a white teenager. It is just as relevant today as it was when the book was first published and it is truly a masterpiece.

My mom and I treasure this work of art so deeply and have been looking forward to seeing this play for months with our Playhouse Square season tickets. Atticus was played by the incomparable Richard Thomas and he was sublime. Mary Badham who played Scout in the film also was featured in a small role as Mrs. Henry Dubose. To be able to see this play performed with such seasoned actors was a gift.

We were so incredibly impressed by Richard Thomas and his portrayal of Atticus Finch was masterful. My mom and I also enjoyed the actors who played Jem Finch and Dill Harris. While Thomas was, obviously, the star of the show, I daresay that the supporting cast shined even brighter.

Jacqueline Williams as Calpurnia was simply gorgeous and Yaegel T. Welch’s heart wrenching portrayal of Tom Robinson, a man automatically guilty because of the color of his skin was STUNNING. And, we can’t forget Anthony Natale who played Link Deas. Natale is hearing impaired and he signed a majority of his lines while Scout or Jem translated, which was very cool to see.

Now, you might be surprised that I didn’t give a shout out to Melanie Moore, the actress who played Scout. She was, however, our only qualm with the show. In the book and film, Scout is a young girl. Melanie is a grown woman and, to be honest, she was quite annoying. I am not saying this to be mean, but the voice she used to sound childlike sounded exactly like Forrest Gump and it was kind of distracting. I understand that it had to be an adult actress who played Scout but there had to have been a better way to portray her and this was not it.

Seeing the play of To Kill A Mockingbird moved my mom and I so very much. There were parts that were physically painful to watch and our hearts ached as we left the theater. I wouldn’t have traded this experience for the world, though. The pain that we felt both physical and emotional is nothing in comparison to those who deal with injustice on a daily basis and I believe that Harper Lee’s work is a necessity in this world.

The play lasted roughly three hours and there were times when it felt slow moving but each scene was so crucial and there for a reason. By the time the show was over and we had time to digest it and decompress as we got onto the highway, we were ready to begin singing its praises. Just like the book and film, there were moments in that play that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I was moved to tears during several parts in the play. One of the most powerful scenes that I keep coming back to is when Tom Robinson was on the stand and being questioned by the prosecutor. He kept referring to Tom as “boy” while Atticus is screaming to call him by his name. It was chilling and I kid you not that my eyes have tears in them right now just writing about it. It was haunting and I can’t tell you how much Yaegel T. Welch’s performance as Tom meant to me.

I could go on for hours telling all of you about the experience of seeing Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird in play form. Rather, I will end it on: SPRINT, don’t run to see this show if you have the opportunity. I am so thankful to have been able to see it on a wonderful Mother’s Day date with my mom and it is something that I will never forget.

Have you seen any plays recently? What does To Kill A Mockingbird mean to you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pretty Woman: The Musical Review

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Pretty Woman: The Musical Review

Hi! This past Saturday, I enjoyed a lovely girls night out with my mom to see Pretty Woman: The Musical at Playhouse Square. Every year for Christmas, my dad purchases season tickets at Playhouse Square and we divide up the shows between the family members. Originally, my mom and dad were supposed to go to Pretty Woman but he just had surgery so the tickets were fair game.

I was shot down by both my sister and Johnny to see the show with me and my mom finally agreed to come with, which I was so happy about! I can’t say that either of us were chomping at the bit to see the musical, but we were more looking forward to spending time together and it was a perfect night:

My mom and I got all dolled up and headed to the theater in downtown Cleveland around six o’clock to make it in time for the seven thirty curtain call. After taking some pictures, using the facilities, sharing a mimosa, and finding our seats, we made it just in time. It was almost a full house at the beautiful Connor Palace but no one happened to be sitting by us, which made it even better lol.

The set of Pretty Woman was amazing and featured the famous Hollywood sign, palm trees that lit up, and gorgeous ornate designs for the hotel as well as lots of set pieces that moved effortlessly across the stage. I have never seen Pretty Woman the movie before so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but I did know that it was about a working girl who had her big break with a rich client.

My mom and I both weren’t overly impressed by the leading lady who played Vivian and the man who played Edward. While Vivian was cute, quirky, and obviously talented she was kind of difficult to understand sometimes while singing, which took away from her big moments. The man who played Edward was fine and, of course, he could sing well but he also could have been anyone and it made for a somewhat lackluster performance.

I could have taken or left both the male and female lead and it was the supporting characters that really stole the show, in my opinion. Vivian’s best friend, Kit, was fabulous and I loved her rock n’ roll voice and she had a lot of funny lines. “The Happy Man” who played the hotel manager/narrator was also excellent and most of our favorite parts in the musical came from scenes with him in it.

The first half of the show was pretty good, despite some songs that I could have definitely done without. However, it picked up the pace a lot in the second half and we both enjoyed that much more. Both my mom and I had similar sentiments on our favorite parts and absolutely loved “On a Night Like Tonight” when the hotel manager taught Vivian how to dance. We also really liked the opening and closing numbers as well as “Never Give Up on a Dream”.

One of the biggest stand out moments was “Entr’acte/Opening Act II” when Vivian and Edward went to the opera. The woman who sang as the main performer in the opera was divine and I could seriously listen to her all day. She had the most beautiful voice and it begged the question of “how does she do that?” as soon as she began to sing. It was wonderful!

Overall, Pretty Woman: The Musical was alright. It was a great show for a girls night but my mom and I agreed that it was one we would have skipped on if we didn’t have season tickets. The best part, of course, was spending the evening with my mom and that made me love every minute of it. Make sure you keep it posted for an OOTD from my night out soon! ❤

What is your favorite musical? What is your perfect night out like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

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Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

Hello everyone! Today is a special, wonderful day because it is my mom’s birthday! JANE is my best friend and is the best mom in the whole world. I love her so much. My dog loving mom is a hilarious little ball of energy and is such a gift to both mankind and four legged friends alike. She is also the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on:

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Any time spent with my mom is the best time and, even though I only live two minutes away from my family home, it just doesn’t feel close enough! I always tell my parents that I want to move into their basement with Johnny and nine times out of ten I usually mean it lol. JANE was promoted to grandma three years ago and it is such a joy to see her with her grandbabies, although, let’s be real: I will forever be her baby no matter how old I get. ❤

Her and my dad’s relationship sets an amazing example for all of us kids and I always look forward to hearing about the shenanigans that they get into together. They are truly #relationshipgoals! I could go on for forever about all of the things that I love about my mom and she deserves to be celebrated every day. She is kind, intelligent beyond belief, adorable, and the literal definition of beauty and brains.

I love you so much, mom, and I hope you have the best birthday ever! See you later! ❤

Happy Birthday!!! ❤

6 DIY Gift Ideas Your Mom Will Love

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6 DIY Gift Ideas Your Mom Will Love

When it comes to our moms, sometimes the DIY route is the best way to go for gift giving occassions. It’s unique, personalized, and allows your gift to stand out from the rest. There’s nothing like a homemade present to show how much you care. From making her favorite dessert (or breakfast) to painting an old frame with some new family photos, these DIY gift ideas will have any mother feeling loved:

Make a personalized gift with her favorite things:

The best gift you can give your mom is a personalized present tailored just for her. Make sure to include all of her favorite things. This could be anything from accessories, food, or clothes and it will make the perfect way of showing how much she means to you.

Cozy Accessories:

DIY clothing is an excellent gift this winter season. Whether it’s something as simple as a blanket scarf or going all out with some matching gloves for extra warmth, she will appreciate the effort that went into making these handcrafted gifts. You can also gift her with patterned wrap dresses since they’re practical and stylish enough that she can wear them for casual events or vacation trips.

DIY a flower arrangement:

Motherhood has always been synonymous with springtime and flowers as they both represent life and fertility. Flowers also represent beauty and grace, things we associate with our own mothers. Here are some simple tips on how you can easily arrange flowers for your mom:

The flowers should be fresh and fragrant with colors that represent your mom and coordinate well with her house. Choose what type of container size works best: vases, bowls, or pots and fill them accordingly so they don’t overflow when watering them. Use either potting soil/manure mix which is rich in nutrients because these types can hold more moisture than just sand. And, don’t forget to pair them with her favorite chocolates!

Create a photo collage:

Moms have a special place in their hearts for memories they’ve made with the family over the years. Creating a photo collage is an excellent way to make sure that she knows how much she means to you. She will surely love this gift. Buy a photo album or make one yourself and choose photos that would make her recall all of the happy times you’ve spent together.

Make a scrapbook:

Scrapbooking is a great hobby and makes a thoughtful gift, too. Write down some of your favorite memories together and create something that will last forever, turning it into a keepsake for both you and even for future generations of your family.

Homemade cookies, brownies, or other sweets:

If you’re looking for the perfect gift, look no further than these delicious treats. Cookies and other sweet treats are excellent gifts for your mom if she has a sweet tooth. For starters, try this vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe:

Servings: 10

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil (refined, melted)
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 4 oz vegan chocolate chunks or chips
  • 4 oz vegan dark chocolate

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together the sugars, salt, and coconut oil in a large bowl
  2. Pour in the non-dairy milk and vanilla, and whisk until the batter is smooth and all sugar has dissolved
  3. Sift in the baking soda and the flour
  4. Mix with a spatula
  5. Pour in the chocolate chunks
  6. Put the dough in the freezer for at least 30 minutes
  7. Preheat oven to 180C or 350F
  8. Scoop the dough into cookie bits using a spoon or ice cream scoop and put it onto a baking sheet until golden brown.

There are so many ways to DIY a present for mom that she’ll love, but the best ones will be personal and from the heart like the ideas above!

How To Help & Support Your Parents As They Age

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How To Help & Support Your Parents As They Age

Watching your parents age can be a challenging situation and transition. The roles are reversing and you may now find yourself taking care of them instead of the other way around. It’s best to accept the inevitable and to figure out ways to ensure it’s a smooth and positive experience for everyone involved. Learn more about how you can best help and support your parents as they age and sleep well at night knowing you’re doing all that’s in your power to make sure they’re happy and well.

Figure Out the Right Living Situation:

You can help and support your parents as they age by stepping in and figuring out the right living situation for them. For instance, it may be that you want to have caregivers come into their home each day or you believe they’d be better off and more comfortable in a retirement and senior living community such as the Catholic Care Center. Think about how much constant care they need and where they may be the happiest and then help get them settled.

Be Available:

Another way to help your parents as they age is to be available. Check-in often with phone calls, emails, or texts and see how they’re doing. If you live close by, then you may want to pick a few days out of the week to stop in and visit with them in person. It’ll help you identify any potential problems and their needs. You should also think about being available to go to their doctor and medical appointments with them to advocate on their behalf and ensure they’re getting the best treatment possible.

Encourage Them to Stay Active & Engaged:

As your parents age, encourage them to be active so they can live their best life. It’s important for their mental health and well-being that they get out of the house to socialize, follow a daily schedule, and challenge themselves physically. Maybe you could go for a walk when you visit or let them know what activities and events are happening within the community so they can attend.

A senior living community like Starhaven Villas offers resort style amenities to help keep your loved ones active too. Golfing, pickle ball, bocce ball, and a clubhouse are just naming a few that Starhaven Villas has on their property. If you are going the community living route, one with a plentiful schedule of activities will help to keep your parents or grandparents happy and engaged.

Empathize & Be Compassionate:

What’s most important is that you remain level-headed through all of these changes and don’t let your stress or emotions get the best of you. Instead, empathize with your parents and show compassion toward their situation and life. Sit down and have conversations with them to let them know you love and care for them and want to help them with what they need as they age. Consider how you’d feel under their circumstances and be patient as you all adjust to this new way of living and being.

You now have a better idea of some of the ways you can be of help to your parents as they get older. Also, be sure to maintain a daily self-care routine for yourself so you don’t let your health slide as you offer assistance and support to your aging parents.

Featured Image By: Pexels

TJMaxx Home Goods Haul

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TJMaxx Home Goods Haul

Hi! After a long year and change without in store TJMaxx shopping, my mom and I finally had our first outing to TJs last week. It was everything I ever could have imagined AND MORE! While it was great fun to spend my birthday gift cards, it was even better to spend time with my mom browsing the aisles and modeling the clothes we tried on together. We both walked away with lots of goodies that we are so happy with and I have been mentally reliving our shopping trip since we left the store.

Today, we are going to look at a few of the home goods items that I got for mine and Johnny’s apartment. My TJMaxx clothing haul will begin on July first after we discuss my June 2021 Finishes so keep it posted for that! Now, let’s get to it:

Since moving into my apartment over two years ago, I haven’t bought too much in terms of home goods. Between my initial Moving On Up Hauls and all of the things Johnny brought when he moved in, we really didn’t need anything. However, the laundry hamper that I purchased at TJMaxx when I moved was falling apart at the bottom and it definitely needed replacing. I was hoping to find a new one during my outing with my mom and the TJMaxx gods must have felt it! I love the woven wood hamper that I picked out because of how sturdy it is, the fact that it has a lid, and it is way prettier than my old one. 😀

For my kitchen, I picked up a few odds and ends like ice cube trays in an adorable honeycomb pattern, plates, and a few dish towels. Johnny and I have been saying for forever that we need some ice cube trays and the ones I found are ideal because they won’t take up a lot of room in our tiny freezer. The plates were also a must because we are constantly running out of them, which means we are constantly doing dishes! I thought that four plates for eight dollars was a steal, too.

TJMaxx didn’t have a whole lot of choices in terms of dish towels, but the Love Birds ones that I selected (On clearance!) will do just fine. In fact, they are perfect for us as a newly married couple! My mom was even kind enough to get some of the home supplies for us as an extra wedding prezzie. So sweet! ❤

Shopping at TJMaxx with my mom was absolutely amazing and this outing in particular will forever hold a special place in my heart. We picked up at TJs right where we left off so long ago and I am already looking forward to our next shopping trip. ❤

Where is your favorite place to shop? Who do you like to go shopping with? 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

A Super Happy Day

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A Super Happy Day

Hi! This is a very exciting time for Lil Red because of my upcoming wedding. Johnny and I are going to be having a very small ceremony with only immediate family but that doesn’t mean that we still don’t have a lot to do. While there are a bunch of odds and ends to tend to, our primary concern was what we were going to wear! Lol, as soon as we announced our engagement, the resounding theme of so many of our friends was how excited they were to see our weddingwear and, judging by what Johnny and I selected, I think we are going to deliver!

This past Monday, my mom went with me to a local tailor to get my measurements for the dress that I planned on ordering. Despite it being a literal less than five minute visit at the shop, I was still very excited to have that time with my mom because there will be no huge wedding to plan. I never really dreamed of a big wedding, rather, I was more looking forward to the time I would spend with my mom during the preparations.

To get my measurements, I was actually wearing one of my mom’s tops because I only had a hoodie on that day and wanted the numbers to be precise. While waiting for her to arrive in the parking lot, I just had to snap a few selfies, even with no makeup, because I was feeling so happy! I can definitely tell in these pictures:

Once I returned home from my outing with my mom and Johnny got home from work, we both ordered our weddingwear and I can’t wait for both of our outfits to arrive. I can’t tell you guys anything about it because the looks are a surprise but, just know, it will be far from traditional! I wouldn’t want it any other way. ❤

What did you wear for your wedding? What was your ceremony/reception like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!!

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Happy Birthday, Mom!!!!

Hi everyone! Today is a happy, wonderful day because it is my amazing mom’s birthday! My mom is my best friend in the whole world and I love spending time with her. She is my partner in crime for everything and we are both really looking forward to her “mother of the bride” status when Johnny and I get married. I am already having so much fun planning out the preparations in my head that her and I can do together.

I treasure every minute I have with my mom and always think back on our pre-pandemic TJMaxx shopping trips fondly as well as the countless hours spent in the kitchen talking, cooking, or playing Scrabble. When something exciting happens, my mom is the first person I want to call and she is always there to comfort me on the not so good days too. Some days when I see her, it just doesn’t feel long enough and we both love to laugh when we end up on the phone with each other an hour later. 🙂

My mom is my hero and I admire her to no end. She is the most caring, strong, resilient, beautiful person I have ever known and I am so lucky to be her daughter. I love you so much, mom!

Happy Birthday!!!! ❤

momm1

Celebrating My Inner Goddess

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Celebrating My Inner Goddess

Hi!! I love making new friendships through lifewithlilred and I am so thankful to have “met” Libby from The Goddess Attainable who so graciously guest posted on my page a few weeks ago. I was so honored when she contacted me shortly after her post published asking if I would guest blog for her and am excited to explore her prompts of what being a goddess means to me.

Libby encourages and inspires people to not only be the best version of themselves but to love who they are, too. In my post, I wanted to touch on two of her topics, one of which is how I access my inner goddess and the other is how my mom helps determine my definition of a goddess. Let’s get to it!

Celebrating My Inner Goddess

The word “goddess” is often affiliated with a beautiful woman and, while I do feel like a goddess when I am all dressed up, I feel even more so when I am working hard to achieve my goals. Goddesses aren’t just a pretty face but they are also ladies who are determined, strong, and motivated to keep going forward even when things are difficult. A goddess strives for greatness for herself and loved ones while letting her inner beauty shine brightly every step of the way.

My life has been dedicated to working with people with special needs and I have still been seeing all of my clients throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other than when I’m just hanging out with my boyfriend on the couch, I feel most like a goddess when I am at work. I love the families who I help and seeing my clients smile or hearing them laugh makes all of my hard work one hundred and fifty percent worth it. I know that I am doing something meaningful for my clients and myself and the passion I feel for the field I work in and improving people’s lives feels like goddesshood to me.

From sitting down at my laptop to write to the good old days pre-pandemic when I could hit the skating rink for practice, exploring my passions makes me feel immensely proud of myself. I have struggled with mental health issues for a majority of my life and being able to acknowledge that I am doing a good job is something that has never come easy to me. Goddesses not only love the world around them but they love themselves and continuing on with my passions has given me a newfound appreciation for myself that I have never had before. Who knew that that feels like goddesshood, too?!

As I continue on in my own life journey, I turn to a seasoned goddess when I need encouragement: My mom! I am so lucky to say that my mom is my best friend and there is really nothing that a quick phone call or text to her can’t fix. My mom is strong, smart, and simply beautiful inside and out. As a doctor, she has been dedicated to seeing her patients online throughout the pandemic and she was still working even as she underwent cancer treatment. Goddess much?

My mom is so beloved by everyone she meets because she takes the time out of her day to chat with, compliment, and get to know whomever she encounters. She shares her inner light generously and it is absolutely infectious. Whenever I am feeling down, I think about my mom (and dad!) and my favorite memories with them that I treasure so much. My mom sees the best in everyone and not only does that make her a goddess but it makes me feel like one, too, whenever I am around her. ❤

I want to thank Libby so much again for giving me this opportunity of reflection and I highly encourage all of you to get in touch with your inner goddess on her page. You will be glad you did!

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What makes you feel like a goddess? What is something that you’re proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah