Tag Archives: niece

Accessory Story: Handmade Necklaces Edition

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Accessory Story: Handmade Necklaces Edition

Hello! A couple of weeks ago, my niece made my mom and dad the cutest necklaces with Blues Clues pendants on them. I’m not going to lie, Johnny and I were pretty jealous that we didn’t get one too. So, the next time we watched her we asked if she could make us some necklaces and she said yes! They are absolutely adorable and my mind is blown by how much necklace making technology has improved for children. Check it out:

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I loved making necklaces when I was little… Until it was time to tie the string together, that is. Without fail, my necklace would end up falling apart and always resulted in frustration. I had to share the necklaces my niece made because 1) How could I not? and 2) The rubbery necklace strand is literally fail proof.

When my niece gifted my parents with their new bling, my dad’s came off and it happened in slow motion when it fell to the floor. I was positive that the beads would be flying off and tears would start to fall. But that wasn’t the case! The end of the necklace strand has two thick posts with one being hollow to attach the sides together. This change in width catches the beads every time for hours of jewelry making fun without the possibility of a masterpiece being ruined.

The amount of options for toys, clothes, TV shows, and everything in between has grown exponentially since I was a kid. These necklace strands are definitely one thing that I wish had been invented in my youth! I can’t wait to rock my new Blues Clues necklace and this improvement to jewelry making will be a fun activity for your little ones come summer break. šŸ™‚

What was your favorite activity as a child? How about your favorite childhood TV show? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Here I Am!

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Here I Am!

Hello everyone! It has been a minute since a new OOTD post because your girl needs her hair done! Thankfully, that problem will be solved soon and I can’t wait to show you all some perfectly spring OOTDs ASAP. In the meantime, here are some pics of yours truly and some of my favorite people to tide you over until then:

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^^^ Can you spy one of my new tattoos?! šŸ™‚

This past Sunday, we celebrated our darling niece’s third birthday a bit late because the weather has been wet and cold here. What was originally a party at a park turned into a get together at my sister and her partner’s house and, of course, Johnny and I had to step out in our best. This also meant all of the car selfies as well as pictures of me and Johnny when he refuses to just smile for the camera! *Massive eye roll* lol.

Our Val Gal’s party was a great success and it was so nice to see old friends and meet new ones. Johnny also finally got to meet some of my extended family who I haven’t seen in forever, which was awesome. We were surrounded by good company, good food, and lots of love and it’s safe to say that three year old Val knows how to throw a rager! šŸ˜€

Be sure to keep it posted on lifewithlilred for brand new OOTDs, book club reviews, Johnny’s unsmiling face, and all of the usual shenanigans this month. ā¤

What do you like to do when your family gets together? Are you a smiling or silly face making selfie taker? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Day!

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Happy Day!

Hello! This past Sunday was a wonderful, happy day with my family because we celebrated my niece’s third birthday. It seems like just yesterday that my sister brought her home from the hospital and I was in all of the feels. I didn’t think I would be so emotional but then I found myself crying not once or twice but THREE times when we took Val to her first movie at the theaters to see Sing 2.

Prior to seeing the movie, Val enjoyed a huge present haul from her TT and Uncle “Ohnny”. She loved all of her new Mini Mouse gear, pop up books, and a ukulele from Johnny. He got her a purple one and a black one for himself so they can have lessons together. How sweet is that?!

After lunch and lots of playing, we headed to the movie theater for Sing 2. None of us have seen the first one but that didn’t matter much because what is there to know about animals singing? I must admit that Johnny and I weren’t chomping at the bit to see this movie. We were definitely more excited about Val’s first movie theater experience. However, by the end of the flick we were eating our words because it was pretty much the cutest movie ever.

Long story short, a musical theater group are putting on an intergalactic themed show for a not so nice entertainment bigwig. The songs in the movie are mostly current popular hits including songs by Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, and Shawn Mendes. Not to mention that Bono of U2 (our family favorite band) does a voice in the movie which we were all stoked about.

Sing 2 opened with “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince and we were all hooked from there. I was getting super invested in this movie and when Bono’s reclusive character had some struggles, I couldn’t help but shed a few tears. THEN, Johnny and I were surprised to hear one of the characters singing “Could Have Been Me” by The Struts. We absolutely love them and I started crying again not because it was sad but I was just so happy lol.

Finally, I cried three times a lady at the end when the space themed musical wrapped up with “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2. We were all singing along, including my little niece and it just melted my heart. My dad even shed a tear or two! Meanwhile, Johnny just laughed at me because I literally cry during ninety percent of the movies we watch. It truly doesn’t take much!

We all had the best day celebrating my best girl and I have been looking back on it fondly all week because it was such a Beautiful Day… See what I did there, U2 fans? By the way, if you are looking for a fun family movie, I can’t recommend Sing 2 enough. Just have some tissues at the ready because you may or may not cry too!

What is the first movie you saw in theaters? What is your favorite animated movie? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sticker Surprise

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Sticker Surprise

Hi! This past Friday at work, I was having some coffee and thought that I had spilled some on my hoodie. Yes, it’s finally hoodie weather in Ohio and I am LOVING it!! When I looked down, I noticed what I thought was coffee but, to my surprise, it ended up being a sticker that my lil niece had stuck on there back in the springtime:

I couldn’t believe that this tiny butterfly (Her favorite!) sticker had stayed on for that long because it was barely hanging on by the time I noticed it. The sticker withstood me putting it on and running out into the cold and windy morning to my car. I am so glad that it did because this Sticker Surprise was just what I needed after a super long week at work.

I have been insanely busy on the ol’ blog and I had been getting up at 5:45 every morning last week to get things done before going to my other job. By the time Friday rolled around, I was completely exhausted! Looking down and seeing a sticker from my niece on my hoodie turned a normal day into something special. Despite being drop dead tired and all, I had a great day because I had the best pick me up in the morning.

Feeling down or worn out? Always look for your own personal butterflies to help turn things around! It’s the little things, right? ā¤

What makes you smile? When do you normally get up for work? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Target Run

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Target Run

Hello! I have not been in a store just to browse since the beginning of the pandemic and you guys have no idea how much I have missed it. For a while, I was only going grocery shopping and I stopped doing that a few months ago, opting for curbside delivery instead. Now that I am fully vaccinated, I feel much more comfortable running errands so when my sister texted me last Saturday morning asking if I wanted to go on a Target Run, I couldn’t say no!

Kristen picked me up with my niece, Valerie, and I was so excited because Target is Val’s favorite store and I have never been there with her. Such good taste at just two years old! It seems so simple but that small outing that lasted a little over an hour was enough to make me insanely happy. It was, finally, a warm spring day in Ohio and driving in the car with Kristen and Val with the sun shining and music playing on the way to Target felt like the first semblance of normal I’ve had in a long time.

I am just as surprised as all of you that my first window shopping trip in over a year wasn’t to TJMaxx but Target is a close second and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We even ran into Jared’s really quickly after our Target trip so I could check on the progress of my wedding band and it is looking amazing. Kristen and I are planning on doing another shopping excursion soon because we are both in need of new summer clothes and I can’t wait. Here’s to many more safe outings all summer! ā¤

What have you missed the most during the pandemic? Which store is your happy place? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Tiniest T-Shirt

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The Tiniest T-Shirt

Hello! Johnny and I had SO much fun online shopping for our wedding outfits and we cannot wait for our big day! Of course, our shopping wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t find a rock n’ roll inspired outfit for our niece and little flower girl, Valerie, and her TT went all out for it. Thanks to the Etsy shop, Pinehart, I was able to order her the tiniest Rolling Stones T-shirt which I was having a lot of difficulty finding. The Rolling Stones is Johnny’s favorite band and we had to have Miss Val represent! Check it out:

^^^ Is that not the cutest thing you’ve seen in your life?!

Pinehart had an amazing selection of shirts and patterns to pick from in sizes ranging from infants all the way up to men’s and women’s. In fact, Johnny is so jealous of his niece’s new shirt that I’m going to have to order one for him too! I was highly impressed with the quality of this little T-shirt as the material is thick and sturdy and I have no fear of the logo peeling off, either. It is printed on there so well and that was a concern of mine because we all have had an experience where a logo on a shirt seems to be crackly or flimsy enough that you could just take it off yourself.

I paid under twenty dollars for this tiny top and I considered it such a steal. Pinehart even sent me a coupon for ten percent off all of my future purchases which is so generous and much appreciated because I plan on being a repeat customer so Johnny can get another Rolling Stones T-shirt to add to his massive collection. I swear, he could wear a different Rolling Stones T every day of the week!

Prior to being engaged, I have never really shopped on Etsy before and have now made several purchases through the site. I have been blown away by the quality, prices, and fast shipping of all of my orders and am looking forward to finding even more favorite Etsy shops in the future. šŸ˜€

What is your favorite Etsy shop? If you have an Etsy shop, feel free to leave your link in the comments too. 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! ā¤

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

Happy Birthday, Sister!!

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Happy Birthday, Sister!!

Hello!! The birthdays in my family just keep coming because today is my beautiful sister, Kristen’s, big day! My sister is my absolute best friend and I cannot even put into words how proud I am of her. She is a legit wonder woman and I am constantly amazed by her motherhood journey. Her and my brother in law’s daughter, Valerie, is a huge light for me and I have seriously never met a happier, more loved little girl in my life.

Not only is Kristen an incredible mom to her daughter but she is a pet parent and advocate, as well. She has two dogs and two cats and her newest passion is fostering senior dogs from One Of A Kind Pets, the shelter that she works at. Her empathy and love truly knows no bounds and she is so dedicated to giving the best life to the animals who haven’t had it easy. In fact, her most recent senior foster named Baby just got adopted into her Furever Home!

Kristen inspires everyone that she meets – myself especially. As my big sister, I have looked up to her my whole life and that is still the case to this day as twenty-somethings. A sister is a built in best friend and Kristen is always there for me whether I need a laugh, girl time, or to vent. Everything we do together is like an adventure to me – whether it be going to concerts, Taco Bell dates, or taking her daughter to the park to play. I am, honestly, the luckiest girl in the world to be able to not only call her my big sis but my BFF.Ā 

Happy Birthday, Kristen!!

I love you!!!!!!!!! ā¤

A Sunshiney Day

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A Sunshiney Day

Hi! I had a random day off this past week and it just so happened to be on the most glorious spring day with weather in the seventies. The only thing on my agenda other than writing was dropping off some laundry to my sister and, instead of going to her house, she suggested we meet at the park so my niece, Valerie, could play. This sounded like the perfect plan to me and I was counting down the hours until our meeting because I knew it would be fun!

In the greater Akron area in Ohio, there are countless places to enjoy the weather when it’s nice out like Metro Parks for hiking, lakes for swimming, and playgrounds for the little ones. My sister, Kristen, and I actually ended up taking Val Gal to one of the parks that we used to play at all the time when we were kids and it hit right in the nostalgia. With Valerie and Kristen’s senior foster dog, Baby, in tow we spent over an hour at the park running around, swinging, sliding, and teeter-tottering.

Being an aunt is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I treasure any time that I get to spend with my lil niece. I love watching my sister be the amazing mom that I knew she would be and we are both constantly in stitches together over Val and her “goofball” ways, as Kristen always says.

Just one hour in the park and sunshine with my sis, Val, and Baby put me in the best mood and it was such an awesome way to welcome the beautiful weather. Whenever I am feeling blue, I always remember that Val can say “Hi, TT” to me now and it instantly makes everything better. My sister and her daughter are my number one BFFs (And my mom, of course!) and I am so lucky to have them and am so thankful for the wonderful time we spent together at the park! ā¤

How do you enjoy the outdoors in your area? What was your favorite thing on the playground when you were little? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Seahorses, Butterflies, & Toucans – Oh My!

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Seahorses, Butterflies, & Toucans – Oh My!

Howdy! Having a little niece and nephew is so fun and I love spoiling them both for birthdays and Christmas. My niece, Valerie, just turned two this past week and I had a blast online shopping with TJMaxx to purchase her prezzies. Among a Paw Patrol gardening kit and a sand castle table, I couldn’t resist buying my lil future fashionista some new summer dresses. Not only were the prices for these frocks cheaper than Target or Carter’s but they are, quite possibly, the cutest things that I have ever seen and I couldn’t not share them! Check it out:

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All I have to say when I clothes shop for Val Gal is “where was all of this stuff when I was a baby?!” because you know I stayed rockin that Osh Kosh B’Gosh twenty something years ago lol. I thought all of these dresses were so summery and sweet and Val loves animals big and small so the patterns will go over perfectly with her! In fact, one of her favorite things in the summer time is butterfly watching with her grandpa. šŸ™‚

The denim blue butterfly dress by Nula Bug absolutely melted my heart when I saw it during my online shopping. The pink butterfly buttons?! Stop it! I also didn’t notice in the pictures of the dress online that it has pockets so my heart melted again as soon as it arrived in the mail.

I would never pay an extravagant price for clothes for my ever growing niece and nephew and felt comfortable with what I spent at TJs. Especially because I did all of this shopping during their winter clearance sale! Shopping during the transition of seasons is a sure fire way to save some money and TJMaxx updates their sale items frequently. This is always a good thing to keep in mind if you like to do birthday or holiday shopping early, like me.

Being an aunt is the best thing ever and the past two years have been so much brighter for me because of my niece and nephew. I sure wish time would slow down, though, it feels like just yesterday when they were both born! ā¤

Which stores have the best seasonal clearance? Who is your favorite person to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah