Tag Archives: ohio

DoorDash Deliciousness

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DoorDash Deliciousness

Hello! Sometimes, you just need a treat and, with the stress of my job, I know that better than most. Whether this be stopping at Starbucks on your way to work, ordering a little something online, or taking a luxurious bubble bath, it’s important to do what you can to help put the pep back in your step. In my case, I decided to order myself dinner from my favorite Indian restaurant, The Saffron Patch.

Johnny has absolutely no desire to try Indian food while I, on the other hand, LOVE it. And, as a strict vegetarian it is so nice to have tons of options on The Saffron Patch’s menu. Thanks to DoorDash, I was able to indulge my never ending craving for Indian food and I got a great deal for it, to boot! Check it out:

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DoorDash is awesome because you get free deliveries for your first month of using the service. Not only that, but I also got twenty percent off of my order and, in total, I saved close to eight dollars. For forty dollars, I was able to get my favorite dishes of Vegetable Biryani with cucumber Raita, Malai Kofta with saffron rice, and garlic Naan as well as provide a healthy tip. I thought this was a steal, especially since the servings are huge because it is family style.

I always say that if I had a visit from someone who has never been to good ol’ Akron, Ohio that we would go to TJMaxx and The Saffron Patch and I still stand by that statement. It has been ages since I ordered from my favorite restaurant and it was even better than I remember it being. The Biryani was completely loaded with huge pieces of carrots, potatoes, peppers, and cauliflower while the sauce in the Malai Kofta was rich and the balls of lentils and veggies were tender. The Naan was buttery and had SO. Much. Garlic. – Just how I like it!

Like I said, it had been a long while since I had Indian food and I normally order a level three for spiciness which would be considered Medium Hot. I decided to just order a level two of Medium to be safe since I was having the food delivered and I’m glad I did because it was hot! This was no matter, though, because the cucumber Raita helped dissipate the spiciness and it was so delicious when mixed with all of my dishes.

I couldn’t have asked for a better meal if I tried. Or, should I say meals? Lol, since Johnny doesn’t eat Indian food, I had all of the leftovers to myself and it lasted me a good five days. So not complaining!! πŸ˜€

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

Christmas Decor Sight Seeing Fun

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Christmas Decor Sight Seeing Fun

Hello!! Downtown Cuyahoga Falls is referred to as the Riverfront because it is directly along the Cuyahoga River. In the past several years, lots of upgrades have been made to bring small businesses back to this area and now it is booming with restaurants, specialty shops, and cute boutiques. This year, to help bring some holiday spirit into our neck of the woods, there will be free parking all along the Riverfront to help encourage people to shop locally. What’s more, local schools and organizations decorated each parking meter with a Christmas theme!

This past week, my brother and I went to check out the handiwork and creativity of our amazing community and it was a blast! I so enjoyed ogling at the masterpieces, discussing which ones we liked best, and seeing all of the masked up shoppers toting their parcels. These were some of my favorite decorated meters:

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As you can see, we have many talented holiday enthusiasts in the 330 and each parking meter was awesome in its own way. I am particularly fond of the Cousin Eddie meter from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, myself. However, I think the Mr. Grinch created by the owners of Harps & Thistles (A specialty shop for all of your knitting and crocheting needs) took the cake. I also love the tire snowman made by the Kiwanis Club Of Cuyahoga Falls. What a cute idea!

Despite this holiday season being so different than last year’s, I felt more in the Christmas spirit than ever after checking out the decor in downtown Cuyahoga Falls. Happy holidays to all!

How does your community celebrate the holidays? Do you have an area like downtown CFalls in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

FaceTime Fun

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FaceTime Fun

Hi! This seems like a resounding theme on all of my posts but in my neck of the woods, we are currently in threat level PURPLE for COVID-19. Not to be confused with Threat Level: Midnight from The Office. Those of us that get the severity of COVID and are taking it extremely seriously are hunkered down hardcore right now. Johnny and I have not seen any of our friends in at least a month at this point and it’s lonely and it sucks. I think I would honestly go crazy if I didn’t have my Johnny with me and, thankfully, I’ve had technology on my side too.

I have become a FaceTime/Skype/Zoom/phone call addict so that I can still keep in touch with my nearest and dearest. I love having scheduled chit chat “dates” and it gives me something to look forward to. Being able to “see” my friends even through the computer or phone screen helps put a renewed pep in my step and it’s the next best thing I have right now to actually hanging out. I have wholeheartedly embraced this form of contact and I highly recommend that my readers/social media friends follow suit… Especially if COVID is as bad in your area as it is in mine.

A very special bestie in my life has added an extra ray of sunshine to my blah quarantine existence by our weekly or biweekly FaceTime chats. For those of you who don’t know, Johnny and I chose to sit out on Thanksgiving with our family this year. So, believe me when I say, I was completely touched when my darling Kate of Live In The Nautical suggested that we FaceTime on Thanksgiving day.

Kate has been one of my best friends since lifewithlilred began. It’s crazy, because we’ve only met each other in real life once but I feel like I can tell her absolutely anything through our constant back and forth via our blogs, social media, texting, and FaceTime. I am so thankful to her because she knew how shitty I was feeling on Thanksgiving and she took time out of her celebrations to talk to me. It meant so much and I really do treasure the times that we have to see each other and catch up.

I wish that I could see my friends right now and I know that a lot of you do too. Is a video chat the most ideal way to see them? In normal times, no. But things are far from normal right now so I’d say video chatting is friggen perfect. It’s hard to feel so isolated but Johnny and I have been doing our damnedest to stay safe since March. FaceTiming has helped with the loneliness and if you are feeling down, then schedule a chat with one of your besties. It can only help and I think you will feel much better after. I know I did. πŸ™‚ ❀

How do you keep in touch with loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic? What do you miss the most about “normal” life? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Literally Falling For Fall Update

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Literally Falling For Fall Update

Hello! If you have been following lifewithlilred for a while, then you have been with me through all kinds of ouches like when Johnny and I got in a car accident and I was hospitalized and an oral surgery gone dreadfully wrong. My most recent “whoopsy daisy” of taking a tumble on the wet, leaf strewn wooden walkway to my apartment was nowhere near as severe but, gotDAMN did it hurt and I’ve got a hell of a bruise to prove it. Check it out:

Now, this is not a post to get sympathy for this deep purple monstrosity. Rather, it is a reminder to be careful!! Coincidentally, my Johnny took a spill mere hours before me when he was taking out the trash that day and we have since been taking our time making the walk to our apartment on the wet, rainy fall days that Ohio has been plagued with.

Johnny has actually been so sweet because, most days, he gets home from work before me and he’ll text me to remind me that it’s really slick so I don’t take another spill. Falls, tumbles, accidents, oopsies, boo boos, or whatever you call it can be so painful and even fatal for some so this is just your Lil Red reminder to take your time while walking (And driving!) during this slippery weather so you don’t end up with a major bruise on your side too!

What is the fall weather like in your neck of the woods? What are some of your safety tips for bad weather? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

It’s A Walk In The Park

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It’s A Walk In The Park

Hello! A super nice thing about October other than all Halloween everything is that Johnny has every Friday off. I, on the other hand, always have Fridays off so it has been really fun having an extra day to spend with him on our weekends. Although we are always okay with staying at home with our video games and streaming services, we decided to have a little field trip this past Friday.

Johnny and I loaded into his mini van and went for a drive through the Cuyahoga Valley. We admired the changing leaves while enjoying the pleasant temperatures of an autumn day, all set to the tunes of Dire Straits which Johnny deemed appropriate driving music. Sadly, he passed on my offer to play some Cardi B but that’s neither here nor there.

Regardless of what our soundtrack was, it was exciting to be doing something with my boyfriend other than sitting in the apartment. He had just gotten his hair done and looked SO fine and driving around and talking and laughing had me falling in love all over again. :*)

We stopped off at one of the hiking trails before heading home and took an excursion around Indigo Lake. We explored train tracks and Johnny proved to be an excellent stone skipper. I proved to be… Anyways, it was a hoot. To be out in the public of nature together was refreshing for both of us because we don’t venture out often now, as safety is our primary concern.

Johnny and I were both kitted out in our fall Sunday’s Best but, as always, it was back in our comfy clothes as soon as we returned home. We settled in for an evening of weird comedies like Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories and The Mighty Boosh and it was a great day. ❀

If you’re feeling cooped up from being at home a lot now, don’t discount the benefits of spending some time outdoors. I think you’ll be glad you did. πŸ™‚

How do you safely go out right now? Where is your favorite place to go hiking? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Quarantine Weekends

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Quarantine Weekends

Hello! Going from being out and about every weekend with Johnny at the beginning of this year is a far cry from what we do now. With COVID and the fact that my county is now in a threat level red, our weekends have went from full and busy to full of binge watching in the blink of an eye. The worst part? The weekend still ends quickly even though we’re not doing much of anything, lol!

Johnny and I have a pretty standard weekend format that goes a little something like this: Video games, movies, and TV. I am currently obsessed with the video games he gifted me for our anniversary so I have been playing a lot of Paper Mario and Diablo III. We also take turns picking movies to watch in between our viewings of The Last Kingdom and SuperStore – both of which I highly recommend.

Does it sound boring yet? I know it does but it actually isn’t all that bad. For the first time literally since I started working at sixteen, I have weekends that are completely agenda free. All I have to do is sit on the couch and stay safe and I’m confident that Johnny and I can keep doing that.

One of the best parts of our weekends is actually thanks to the change in weather. Because fall temperatures are upon us, it has cooled down our apartment significantly. Believe it or not, I find myself telling Johnny “I’m cold” more often than not now. This makes being stuck in the apartment much more tolerable and there is nothing better than bundling up in hoodies and blankets while it’s nice and crisp in and outdoors!

Speaking of cooling down outdoors, I can’t wait to start taking hikes and doing all of the Halloween themed activities soon. Have fun and keep on staying safe. ❀

How do you spend weekends in quarantine? What is the weather like in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Change Of Scenery

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A Change Of Scenery

Hello! As you all know from yesterday’s post, Johnny and I went on our first date this past weekend since the beginning of all of this COVID business. It was insanely refreshing, to say the least, and we are both eager to get out and about a bit more under circumstances that we are comfortable with. We really did have the best time and the only thing that was different was that we were sitting outside with our drinks instead of in the bar – and social distanced from our friends, of course.

Although our excursion was edited slightly to fit the current times, it just felt good to get out of the house! If you are itching for a change of scenery, why not try the following:

Picnics:

In Ohio, downtown Kent has a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) where you can enjoy food and drinks on spread apart picnic benches. This is how Johnny spent our date night out and we loved it! It was so nice to be in a downtown area and seeing so many people who we’ve been missing since March.

If your neck of the woods doesn’t have a DORA program, pick your favorite Metro Park or even set up a blanket in your own backyard. Purchase take out or make your own meal, sit back, and enjoy the sunshine.

Hiking:

How about a trek through the woods to get you in some different scenery? One of my friends has a goal of hiking one hundred miles by October and he is well on his way to achieving it. If you prefer having company, there are plenty of local animal shelters with lots of dogs to walk along with you. Who knows, you might even end up adopting your new best friend!

Dinner Party:

The next time Johnny and I visit another couple who we are friends with in Kent, I plan on preparing dinner for us. Their house is one you can social distance at. Our apartment? Not so much because it’s so small! I’m bringing the ingredients and “borrowing” their kitchen and we will light a bonfire and eat outdoors. Johnny and I used to go on double dates with this couple often pre-COVID and it will be so fun to continue this tradition in a slightly altered way.

Fun & Games:

There are plenty of games that you can play all while being spread out from people. Video games, charades, Dungeons & Dragons, Bingo, and even silly story telling can all be part of a social distanced game night with your close friends or family. You could even have a paint night right from your own backyard! All it takes is a little creativity and I’m sure you can come up with plenty of social distanced activities, too.

Of course, things are not close to being “back to normal” yet. However, the last date night Johnny and I had was the most normal thing we’ve done in a while. Set up your safety plan so everyone feels comfortable and try out a change of scenery for yourself!

How do you safely see your friends in the COVID era? Where do you go when you need a change of scenery? 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

Hi! This past weekend, Johnny and I went on a date for the first time since March. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A date? You and Johnny barely leave the house!” Believe me, I would be thinking the exact same thing. But, thanks to a little something called DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area), Johnny and I were able to enjoy some drinks from our favorite bar in Kent while sitting outside in the park!

We spent two hours eating takeout from Taco Tantos and drinking Moscow Mules from the Zephyr and we did it all completely social distanced. Granted, it was a lot different than back in 2019 when we all had no problem being on the Zephyr’s back patio playing games and hanging out. However, what we did was the next best thing! Some of our Kent friends even stopped by for a chat, which was great because we haven’t really seen anyone since March, either.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem sitting in my living room with Johnny day drinking and watching The Last Kingdom. But, there is absolutely nothing better than getting dressed up and going out with my boyfriend. Sitting on that park bench in Kent laughing and taking selfies was one of the most joyous moments I’ve had in weeks and I am going to treasure it for forever. It brought me back to our first date almost one year ago and it was kind of magical.

The best part? Now that we know that the open container areas in Kent are something that we feel comfortable with, we can go on dates again whenever we want! As soon as Johnny brought our drinks to our bench, the first thing we both said was “this is so nice” and we are already looking forward to our next date very soon! ❀

How do you do social distance hang outs? Does your downtown area have a DORA program? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Quarantine Life: It Can Still Be Fun

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Quarantine Life: It Can Still Be Fun

Hi! When I first moved into my apartment, I LOVED that shit. Seriously, it was awesome. A young business owner going here, there, and everywhere and then returning to my cool little place once the day was over. The annoyances of every apartment like loud neighbors and crappy air conditioning didn’t seem so bad because, in all reality, I wasn’t there that much.

Fast forward a year and some change later and, now, my boyfriend and I are confined to our apartment on the daily. Our on the go life style of a blogger (me) and working musician (he) got severely cramped by the coronavirus and the minor annoyances at chez nous have turned into major headaches.

Despite our quarantine living quarters not being ideal (It’s like living in your own personal sweat lodge.), Johnny and I still manage to have fun in our tiny little sauna. So, I am here to remind you that it is still possible to enjoy yourself from the safety of your home. In fact, the fact that I know I am safe at home makes my time that much more enjoyable.

It has been a big change to go from constantly being out to sometimes being fearful to leave the house. Unfortunately, that is the current state of things right now and once I accepted that boredom came with being safe, I felt a lot better about being home. It took Johnny and I while to come up with the perfect combination of at home entertainment but now that we have hit our sweet spot, this whole quarantine thing ain’t so bad. (Our most effective combo is playing The Office after Law & Order SVU.)

Yes, we have consumed more media content than is probably recommended for a lifetime but we still experienced new things. For example, Johnny bought me my first LEGO set and since then we have been hooked on building together. Or who can forget Hanks For The Memories when he introduced me to Forrest Gump and I taught him a thing or two about Cast Away.

Lame? Yes. Super fun? Obviously, or I wouldn’t be blogging about it! Now is the time to watch all the TV you can, so get hooked on a series with some friends and gab to your heart’s content. Watch something totally random. Order a book you would never read on your Kindle. Try cooking a difficult but delicious looking recipe. Your activities are, admittedly, limited at home so you might as well try to keep them interesting!

The most important thing I try to remember as Johnny and I continue to hunker down is a positive attitude. Of course, I’m not thrilled by any of this. But, it’s the best thing we can do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. I also keep in mind that I will never get the chance to sit through an entire season of America’s Next Top Model in one day totally guilt free again. That is a positive and it makes sinking into the couch and hearing Johnny’s disgruntled comments about my favorite show all the more sweeter. πŸ™‚

How do you keep a positive attitude during the coronavirus pandemic? What has been your favorite hobby to pass the time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Sane In Quarantine

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Keeping Sane In Quarantine

Hello! Yours truly and my boyfriend have essentially been in quarantine mode since March nineteenth when the restaurants and bars in Ohio first shut down. Johnny was on furlough and just recently went back to work while I have been holding down the fort with my clients the whole time as an “essential” employee.

Our interactions with others (outside of work) has been very limited to occasional social distance hang outs with a friend or two and a weekly errand if we need anything from the store. This has, by no means, been the most fun I’ve ever had but with numerous high risk clients and family members, safety always comes first.

There was a point when cabin fever was really setting in and “this sucks” was my signature catchphrase for most of the day (Just ask Johnny!). So, what have I been doing to keep myself sane during close to four months of lock down? All of the following:

Writing Daily:

It has been really important to me to try and keep my daily schedule in tact, which means writing every day for lifewithlilred. Is coming up with content difficult when there’s literally nothing to do? YES!! But, it keeps my brain active and it’s fun for me. I have been continuing on with my schedule of getting up early before work to write and it is just the push I need to get myself up and going each and every day.

Reading A Ton:

There is only so much TV you can watch and video games you can play until your brain feels so mushy it would be a pleasure to read a dictionary. I have definitely been at that point, myself, in quarantine so I try to read a little every day. As usual, I have been loving reading my thriller/mystery books. The best part? A good whodoneit keeps my mind working once I’ve put the book down as I try to figure out what happens next. Bonus!

Perfecting Skills:

It has REALLY sucked not being able to go for my weekly figure skating practices because I looked forward to them so much. So, now, I have been focused more than ever on perfecting things that I can do from home. Like learning languages, for example. About two to three times a week I practice French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech while once weekly I work on American Sign Language.

Is sitting on my couch practicing languages as fun as hitting the rink? Yes, actually, in its own way. And, it gives me something to do on a scheduled basis which is why I think I have been so dedicated to Duolingo for the past few months.

Not Going Social Media Crazy:

With everyone butting heads with different opinions right now as well as constantly being flooded with news of the mainly bad kind – social media can feel overwhelming, especially right now. If scrolling through your newsfeed is making you feel more upset than entertained, then maybe it’s time for you to take a brief hiatus. Plenty of my friends have and I find myself shying away from checking my Facebook 24/7 too.

There’s only so much bickering and bad news you can take and if you’re seeing it all of the time, it’s no wonder why you might not be feeling your best! Take a break from your social and replace that time with something that makes you laugh online like your favorite comedy YouTube videos or dog related memes. :*)

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How have you been keeping yourself sane in quarantine? How have you been keeping yourself safe? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah