Tag Archives: ohio

Super Fun Cold Weather Activities

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Super Fun Cold Weather Activities

Hi everyone! Despite the chilly temperatures outside, I always enjoy outdoor winter activities… and then warming up inside with hot chocolate! Depending on your area, there could be a ton of exciting options for you and, lucky for me, there are a lot to pick from in my neck of the woods. Some of my favorites include:

Winter Lights At The Zoo:

On Thanksgiving weekend, my parents, boyfriend, sister, niece, and I went to the Akron Zoo during the after hours to check out their amazing holiday lights display. The whole property was lit up with gorgeous color. Some of the lights blinked, others flashed, and the bigger ones were timed to light up to the beat of Christmas carols.

Of course, it’s always fun to see the animals at the zoo but the light displays were just spectacular. I loved all of the lights shaped like different animals, especially the elephant whose trunk moved! Definitely check out if any of the zoos in your area do any special winter displays because it’s a wonderful option for all ages.

Outdoor Skating Rinks:

During the winter, I try to hit up an outdoor rink at least once. As a skater girl, it is such a good time to hit the great outdoors and show off a bit for the general public! 😀 I love the rink at Lock 3 that we have in downtown Akron, which now includes bumper tubes and ice bikes, if skating isn’t your thing.

A lot of the outdoor rinks will feature other fun activities like sledding, Christmas crafts, and holiday markets. And, did I mention the always delicious hot chocolate stands? Skating at an outdoor rink makes for a great date or hang out with your friends but try and go during a less popular time (morning or early afternoon), if you aren’t the most confident skater.

Toboggan/Sled Rides:

There is a toboggan chute in my area that I have been dying to try out and I would love to give it a go this year. It can reach speeds of up to 50 MPH, which is awesome if you are a thrill seeker, like myself. If this sounds a bit too intense for you, sled riding is another fun option and is a good one to take your children or nieces and nephews to. I am definitely hoping we can take my little niece, Valerie, down a baby hill or two this year!

Hikes Are Nice:

I always enjoy taking at least one hike during the winter time at one of the many amazing Metro Parks in my area. I think that it is so much fun to bundle up, pull on my boots, and trudge around in the snow. Not only is it an excellent work out, but I especially love to see all of the gorgeous snow coating the trees and feeling myself warm up just a little bit more with every step.

Playing In The Snow:

Playing in the snow is not just for children anymore, especially because boozy hot chocolate is definitely a thing! Gather up your friends during a fresh snowfall and relive your childhood with snowmen, snowball fights, and snow angels. Finish out your snow session with a bonfire to warm you up!

When there’s so many fun options for outdoor winter activities, you can create a memorable and inexpensive afternoon with your favorite people. Keep the spirit of the day going with Christmas movies and warm drinks after!

What is your favorite winter activity? What is your favorite way to warm up after a cold day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fall Is In The Air OOTD

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Fall Is In The Air OOTD

Hi! Today, I would like to present a very special OOTD article with pictures compliments of my dear friend, Markus, who has graced lifewithlilred in two previous posts. With autumn in full swing in good ol’ Ohio, we decided that it was high time to hit up Hinkley Park and have some fall fun by exploring the beautiful grounds and having a photo shoot adventure. Working with Markus is always a blast and he gives me exactly what I’m looking for every time.

With this look, I wanted to create a classic fall outfit that is perfect for wandering around the last few farmer’s markets of the season or taking a stroll downtown with the fallen leaves and branches crunching beneath your feet. This look seen below is quite simple but the bold chartreuse sweater with the stark white contrast creates a statement and an outfit that will be easy for all of you to replicate. Take a look:

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Who? What? Wear?

What I love the most about styling outfits for fall is all of the possibilities that come with it. From creating visual interest through layering as well as all of the cute cold weather accessories, my closet literally runneth over with options to keep myself warm and chic all fall long. To some, layering is a scary feat but practice makes perfect and when done right, it takes a fairly simple look into a head turning ensemble. Now, let Lil Red get you right.

The key to good layering comes with a close evaluation of two things. 1) The heaviness of the piece. And 2) The material that it is made out of. You never want to layer two items of equal thickness with each other, because it makes for a very bulky silhouette. Rather, you take something with contrasting levels of warmth to keep yourself from looking like a marshmallow.

For example, the Cynthia Rowley sweater that I chose is of medium heaviness. It is definitely thicker but I wouldn’t call it a chunky sweater because it still provides some degree of a shape. Knowing this, I opted for a thinner jacket to tie the look together. The tan Lucky Brand topper jacket paired marvelously with the bold hue of my sweater and it was fitted enough that any slouchiness on the bottom layer was camouflaged. It was also an optimal coat to use because, while it was quite chilly the morning of the shoot, it warmed up as the sun came out and it was easy to slip off once it became unnecessary.

Another important thing to remember when layering is the material of the pieces you are going to use. You don’t want to wear the same material for each layering piece because that will also lead to a heavy look that isn’t the most flattering. It is better to create texture with your look so, instead of pairing a coat with a sweatshirt style fabric over my sweater, I opted for the sleek faux fur topper jacket. The slinky material over the sturdier fabric of the sweater gave me a lovely shape, provided visual interest, and kept me warm just through effective layering.

One final word about layering is to not forget about your bottom half to prevent looking too top heavy. I always prefer a skinny jean, anyways, but it is definitely the way to go when layering. You also want to sport a killer pair of shoes (Flaming platforms, perhaps?!) so that your look doesn’t just stop at your top half. You want your entire OOTD to be cohesive and that’s sometimes easy to forget when you’re focused on layering!

I love my Fall Is In The Air OOTD and styling your own Lil Red inspired look will be a snap. Choose your favorite bold sweater, a thinner jacket on top, your skinniest pair of jeans, and an awesome pair of chunky boots and you’re all set!

What are some of your tips and tricks when it comes to layering? How do you rock a statement sweater? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Cold Weather Ready Tips

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Lil Red’s Cold Weather Ready Tips

Hi! With fall in full swing and winter arriving before we know it, there are definitely some tasks that must be accomplished when the cooler weather begins. From creating a cozy atmosphere in your home to prepping your wardrobe and making adjustments to your car, it’s best to be prepared to keep yourself warm and safe all season long. Let’s discuss:

Fill Up Your Tires:

Literally the first thing that the Little Red Love Machine does after the first cold night in Ohio is turn on the check tire light on the dashboard. The cooler temps cause the air in the tires to become denser which, in turn, lowers your tire pressure. So, be sure to air up your tires as soon as your light turns on to keep your gas mileage in check.

Abundance Of Blankets:

There is absolutely nothing better than snuggling up in bed or on the couch with a good movie or book once the temperature drops. Getting nice and comfy cozy after a long day of work always makes me feel better and settling in with something entertaining helps you to forget about all of the frustrations that made your day stressful. Take this one step further by investing in some soft fleece blankets and plush pillows to curl up with and let the movie night commence. 😀

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^^^ A Step Brothers inspired blanket is a great place to start!

Wardrobe Prep:

As much as I would like to invest in a whole new wardrobe every time the season changes, it is just not feasible or necessary. Instead, I try to buy a few new pieces that will help me to refresh my closet without breaking the bank. Purchase a handful of key staples like some chunky sweaters, fashionable but practical boots, and a new jacket to make all of your old favorites feel brand new again. Don’t forget to grab some cold weather accessories like scarves and gloves if yours have become too well worn.

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Staying comfortable once cold weather strikes is the name of the game so bundle up, enjoy your favorite hot beverage, and keep fashion forward and warm all fall and winter long!

How do you prepare for cold weather? What are fall and winter 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

City Escape OOTD

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City Escape OOTD

Hello hello and welcome to a new OOTD post here on lifewithlilred! A week or so ago, I enjoyed exploring downtown Akron’s Lock 3 park with my friend Markus, who helps me take pictures for the ol’ blog. Lock 3 is a cool place where summertime concerts happen and an ice skating rink that I love going to is put up in the winter. The bar scene surrounding it isn’t bad, either!

Markus and I hit the pavement to take some pics and just have fun so check it out, enjoy, and read on to find out how I styled this OOTD:

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Who? What? Wear?

Styling summer outfits can be difficult, especially if you’re like me and you always want to go all out with your OOTDs. But, sometimes that’s just not feasible with the extreme heat. Although Markus and I took the pictures seen above in the evening, it was still hot as hell so this is definitely one of my more “basic” looks. I was still really feeling myself, however, because I made sure to follow a few simple rules:

1. Let it flow:

To me, there is nothing more boring than jeans and a t-shirt so if you want to add some visual interest to an outfit, then let it flow. Wear a top or bottom with movement to it and it will instantly add that little something something to any outfit. The billowy sleeves on my Japna top are not only fun, but it certainly gave a nice breeze to my upper half because the fabric wasn’t vacuum sealed to my body.

2. Legs for dayz:

Shorts are necessary in the summer and you can keep it simple or, you can pull a Sarah and go all out with some heels. But, you can’t wear just any heels with shorts. If you want to create some body magic for an illusion of legs for dayz, you must be mindful of what kind of straps are on your shoe.

If the heel must be strapped, make sure that it is a slingback so that there are no lines cutting off the flow from your feet to your hips. This will create the perfect leggy length, even if you’re a vertically challenged chick, like myself. Mules are an excellent way to go to avoid any kinks in your length, which is why I went with my Betsey Johnson pair. Embroidered flowers, a black and white striped heel, and super model style legs? Bye bye, boring!

3. Beat the heat:

I am both pale and extra enough that I have absolutely no problem carrying around my goth Princess Peach style parasol. I hate getting tan, I hate getting burnt, and I hate being hotter than I have to be when it comes to being outdoors. Not only does the parasol add length to my look because it’s not stopping at the tip of my head but it also makes the OOTD a lot more interesting. When it doubt, accessorize, and the outfit will become much more exciting to look at.

We all know that Lil Red thrives when it comes to fall fashion. But, summer has always been a challenge for me. So, I follow the steps above for looks that don’t thrill me as much as my fall OOTDs but certainly help keep me cool in the heat while still being fashion forward. Creating outfits that make someone’s eyes dance when they look at you is the name of the game and I think that my City Escape OOTD definitely achieved that!

How do you style OOTDs to keep yourself cool in? How do you add visual interest to your looks? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dear Evan Hansen Review

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Dear Evan Hansen Review

Howdy! This past weekend, I enjoyed an outing with an old theater friend, Sabrina, to see Dear Evan Hansen at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. Despite both of us not loving the musical, it was still a fun day filled with good food, drinks, and wonderful company. I was so happy when Sabrina invited me to see the show because our schedules never work well with each other so it was really nice to make up for lost time. As we are both theater nerds, we were able to have a great discussion about the show afterwards so here is what we thought as well as a brief synopsis (Without giving too much away!)

So, what you need to know about Dear Evan Hansen is the following: A troubled teen who is an outsider at school has homework from his therapist where he has to write letters to himself explaining why it’s going to be a great day. As Evan is printing his “homework” out in the library, an even more troubled teen named Conner snatches the letter and confiscates it after seeing his sister’s name in it. She just so happens to be the object of Evan’s affection but doesn’t know he exists.

A few days later, Conner commits suicide and the letter that Evan wrote is found in his pocket. A web of lies then begins because Conner’s parents obviously want to know who Evan is and he begins to spin a tale of how him and Conner were best friends. This quickly raises his popularity at school with the offset of The Conner Project and, suddenly, Evan exists because of his fake friendship with the kid who just died.

Okay, so the story line isn’t bad, but the writing and staging left a lot to be desired as well as lackluster performances from the cast as a whole. It was interesting to see the phenomenon of everyone instantly becoming “best friends” with someone who just passed. However, the main culprit of this was a girl named Alana and she was SO. FUCKING. ANNOYING. Omg, the scenes with her were just unbearable and I couldn’t stand it.

Another character who really didn’t do it for me was Evan’s mom. It was very tough to invoke sympathy for the mother of a struggling teen when she was so unlikable and all of her slow ballad songs felt lame and drawn out. Honestly, I didn’t feel any type of way about any of the characters because it just felt like they were there saying their lines and singing their songs and then the applause happened and it was on to the next scene. The play felt very disjointed and the flow was off.

A lot of this disconnect felt due to a poor choice in staging. It went from social media news feeds plastered all over moving walls and banners to a tiny room on a rotating circle in a matter of minutes. This felt very high school theater for a Broadway level show and didn’t create any visual interest on stage.

The quality of the script and songs just weren’t that good, either. A powerful message of looking out for the mental health of our teens was overshadowed by plot points that weren’t fully realized and writing that was subpar, at best. I understand that this show got a lot of hype but, frankly, I don’t understand why because I left the theater feeling very unsatisfied with the finale and the plot holes that never got filled.

I never say no to a night at the theater but, I think I could have passed on this one. I would rate Dear Evan Hansen with a five out of ten stars and I can’t say that I would recommend going to see it. If you’re into sappy teen musicals, though, I say go for it!

What were your thoughts on Dear Evan Hansen? What is your favorite musical? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: TrustArts

Spectacular Sunset

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Spectacular Sunset

Hello! There is nothing more beautiful than an amazing sunrise or sunset and during the summer time, both are absolutely spectacular in my neck of the woods. While driving home from work last week, I got to bear witness to this beauty below and it was too lovely to not snap a pic! Take a look:

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The sky seriously looked like ice cream sherbet and I just wanted to dive in and eat it up! The deep purple mixed with the light orange was such a stunning combination and it really helped end a great day at work. This also happened to be the day before my birthday and all of my clients helped to make sure I had a very special one. And, it seemed like planet Earth was doing the same thing by giving me a gorgeous sunset to cap off the day and kick off twenty-five!

What is your favorite color? Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

June 2019 Funky Time Jams

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June 2019 Funky Time Jams

Hellooo everyone and welcome to a new month here on lifewithlilred. Summer weather is officially here in Ohio and it has been hot as hell. Now, I don’t know if this is just a Midwestern thing, but we are all about driving with our air conditioning on and the windows down. Which means that you obvi have to be bumping the best tunes for everyone else to hear! Like some of the following:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to the songs or videos above!

I have a very short drive to get to one of my clients three times a week, so I play the radio on the way there because there’s no point in plugging in my iPod for a five minute excursion. Normally, I never have anything nice to say about whatever is on the radio but the stations in my neck of the woods, specifically Akron U’s Z88 is playing the JAMS. They always have Throwback Thursday which is a lot of fun and 98.1 WKDD has 90’s weekends which is the best.

There is nothing better than having the oldies but goodies that we all know the words to even if you don’t particularly like the song playing. And, I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t get down with some of the newer stuff, too. Don’t hate, but I’m obsessed with “Old Town Road”, “Sweet But Psycho”, and “Hey Julie”. So much so, that every time I get in my car with the intention of playing the radio I am always saying a silent prayer to hear one of those three songs. It’s whatever! 😀

What are your summer time jams? What is your favorite radio station? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah