Tag Archives: party

5 Tips For Preparing For Your Next Dinner Party (While Quarantined!)

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5 Tips For Preparing For Your Next Dinner Party (While Quarantined!)

As we move into warmer months ahead, you may be nostalgic for the days of sunshiny afternoons and barbecues with friends. While many of us are still in quarantine, we’re all hopeful that life can go back to resembling some form of normalcy in the coming months.

What are some of the things you could do now to prepare your home for friend get-togethers later when the world starts reopening? Let’s go over five easy tips to help you prepare for your next dinner party… all while you are quarantined:

Get your yard under control:

There’s no time like the present when it comes to doing yard work. Trim hedges and bushes. Power washing any exposed concrete, deck boards, or sidewalks is a great way to make your home really seem well taken care of. If weeds are starting to crowd out plants now, get on top of them since they will only get worse as the weather gets better.

Get those windows washed:

Better yet, consider hiring a monthly window cleaner to make sure your house windows shine like the top of the Chrysler building. Smudges from dirty fingers, dog and cat noses, and bugs make a home look messier than it is.

Speaking of bugs…

Call a local pest control to make sure you don’t have any potential critters coming. Yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps are best taken care of in late spring or early summer months, and nobody wants those bugging them at our friendly get-togethers. Mosquitoes, ticks, and other yard bugs can be controlled with a semi-annual pest control visit.

Do that deep cleaning you’ve been putting off:

You can check out an older blog that mentions the cleaning musts that many of us forget when doing deep or spring cleaning. If you’re not a fan of scrubbing floors and the weird crevices in your bathroom, do all the basic cleaning, then hire a company to do the deep cleaning for you. If the weather has turned beautiful in your neck of the woods, open up those doors after you’ve cleaned to get any of the cleaning product scents out of the home while bringing in some fresh air.

Planning makes perfect:

Plan the perfect dinner party ahead of time. When you throw a get-together, it always seems to take more time to organize than what you expect. Run down a list of things that you need to do before you would want people eating and chatting over a delicious dinner at your house. If you need extra utensils, cloth napkins, citronella candles, or tablescape items like tablecloths and vases, research affordable ones and order them online or place a curbside order for them.

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Lovely!

Quarantine life has been difficult, but making the most of it doesn’t have to be. As we transition into some form of new normal, many of us are craving social interaction that we took for granted before. Now is the time to get your home in a great place to host the get-together we’ve all been dreaming of for the past several months once it’s safe to do so!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Pampering Party: My Perfect Night Off

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Pampering Party: My Perfect Night Off

Hellooo! I lead a pretty busy life. Between running two businesses, my boyfriend, and going here, there, and everywhere for work it’s important to me to still make time to take care of myself. That’s why, without fail, I always look forward to my Tuesday nights. Of course, I don’t love not seeing my MAN but I never say no to an opportunity to soak in the tub!

Tuesday is my busiest day of my already busy week. I see three out of my four clients and am normally gone for anywhere between ten to twelve hours. So, trust and believe that as soon as I come tiredly stumbling into my apartment around eight in the evening that bath water is on within thirty seconds. And, the best part?! I got a new hot water tank in my apartment so no more lukewarm baths for me. 😀

This past week, I got to enjoy my first bath in a month of Sundays that didn’t turn into ice water five minutes later. It. Was. Magnificent. During my soak, I am able to shave, decompress, and get myself relaxed enough for sleep after a long day of going nonstop. And, then, I put on some lotion, dress in my comfiest pajamas, and tuck in with a good book or Netflix show before bed.

Although this is a pretty basic way to spend an evening, there is seriously nothing better to me. I love being able to do something nice for myself after doing for others all day and it just hits the spot every time. Working in an evening just for me is one of the best things that I can do for myself and I encourage all of you to try and do the same!

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

Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In

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Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In

Hi! The recent drop in temperatures in my neck of the woods has left me feeling like doing anything but heading outside and braving the cold. In fact, I’m perfectly content in my living room bubble! However, you can’t watch America’s Next Top Model alone all of the time… Even though you totally can. 😉 So, today, we’re going to talk about Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In for the next time it’s too frigid in your area to remove even one layer of fleece blankets! Let’s get to it:

Create A Theme:

If you are hosting a girls night in at your place, then activities must be agreed upon before the party shows up. The easiest way to plan activities for the night is to come up with a theme to base them around. Having a wine and paint night? The answer is in the question! How about a chick flick marathon? Mani/pedis, face masks, and chocolate for all!

Planned activities help keep the night moving at a fun pace and will also prevent any of those awkward pauses that come after everyone has caught up with each other. Of course, every waking minute doesn’t have to be accounted for in a Task Journal, so save some time for spontaneity, too. 😀

Food & Drinks:

To some of the girls attending your little shindig, the refreshments are the most important part! I often find ordering in to be the best way to go, especially because I’m sure not every gal will feel like cooking for a potluck style meal (I never do!). Everyone could pop for pizza or just DoorDash whatever sounds the best to them to their heart’s content.

If this will be a boozy event, encourage each girl to bring a bottle of their favorite wine. If your ladies aren’t the biggest drinkers, create some delicious mocktails or ice cream sodas for a sweet treat to enjoy.

Encourage A Rotation:

A girls night in could become a monthly or however frequently you want it event with your besties. Create a rotation of which house you will be posting up in for the night and that girl will become the master of ceremonies for the evening. This will allow for each girl to participate in the favorite activities of all of their friends. It will be a blast seeing what each friend comes up with and how creative they can get for the evening’s entertainment.

Still Pressed For Activity Ideas?

If your turn to host girls night in is fast approaching and you are pressed for activity ideas, feel free to use any of the following:

  • Game night
  • Cake/cookie decorating
  • Arts and crafts (Pinterest party, anyone?!)
  • Clothing swap
  • Pampering party
  • Dinner party

Get ready, get set, and girls night in with the tips above!

How would you spend a girls night in with your BFFs? What is your favorite snack to bring to a party? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

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The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

Hi! One of my favorite snack foods has to be spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips or Wheat Thins. I love the cheesy goodness along with the crunch of your dipping utensil and I enjoy it so much that I can eat it by the fork full! One of my client’s moms just so happens to make the best spinach artichoke dip that I have ever tasted and I am going to share it with all of you. The secret ingredient? Water chestnuts! Prepare to drool in five, four, three, two, one…

Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 bag of fresh spinach (Think the size of a salad mix)
  • 1 bar of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 can of water chestnuts
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 1 small bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

Chop up the veggies, mix everything together, and bake until light brown on top.

This recipe for spinach artichoke dip surpasses any kind that I’ve ordered at the restaurant or bought at the store by a landslide. The variety of cheeses combined with the crisp crunch of the water chestnuts makes my taste buds do a dance for joy every time. This is the perfect treat to make for a party or game night with your friends (I’ve already made it quite a few times for my “crew” and it has been a hit.) … But you might want to double the batch as it will go quick!

What is your favorite snack food? What do you like to cook for entertaining guests? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Londontown Pampering Party

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Londontown Pampering Party

Hi! This past week, I treated my mom to a pampering party with some amazing products by Londontown. My sweet mother, JANE, tested out the Nourishing Cuticle Oil and Restorative Nail Cream and fell in love with the Londontown brand as much as I have. Of course, I would have liked to use these products myself, but they wouldn’t have been much good over top of my talons! But, it was even more fun letting my mom get the royal treatment because we always revel in the chance to play beauty shop. 🙂 Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

Nourishing Cuticle Oil:

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Restorative Nail Cream:

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^^^ Peep my claws in Londontown’s Buckingham Blue and Electric Avenue!

My mom is the literal queen of surprising her loved ones with beautiful gifts that catch her eye when she’s out and about. So, whenever I have a chance to give back to her, I jump on it. On a day when I finished work early, I headed over to chez mom and dad, enjoyed a Chinese dinner, and prepped the station for an impromptu beauty salon.

First, I soaked my mom’s nails in warm water. Then, I applied the Nourishing Cuticle Oil, rubbed it in, and let it sit for a while before I pushed her cuticles back. The oil made the cuticles much more pliable and it was so easy to remove all of the overgrown parts once they were nice and soft. After using the Nourishing Cuticle Oil, my mom had actual nails again that looked long and healthy.

The pampering had only just begun, though, because it was now time to top if off with the Restorative Nail Cream, which is what we are both the most excited about. This product is absolutely INCREDIBLE! Let’s start with the fact that it smells so good – the light as air, fresh cotton scent was just right with the rich, super hydrating cream.

And, most importantly, the non greasy formula left my mom’s nails and the surrounding areas smooth as silk. It also made her nails so insanely shiny which was a vast improvement to the dull hue that they were before. There was a noticeable difference after just one use and we are both looking forward to seeing her nails look better over time with continued use of the Restorative Nail Cream.

The Londontown Pampering Party that I had with my mom was a huge success. It was such a blast being able to spend time with her and it felt so good to let her be the one to get treated for a change. We can both attest to Londontown’s fabulous products and highly recommend the Nourishing Cuticle Oil and Restorative Nail Cream for your pampering pleasure!

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

Pajama Party: Tommy Hilfiger Edition

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Pajama Party: Tommy Hilfiger Edition

Hello, hello darlings! With the turn of every season, I usually do one big TJMaxx haul to add some updates to the clothing appropriate for the change of weather. And, as far as I’m concerned, fall is basically here so a shopping trip was definitely necessary. I never really have anything particular in mind to purchase during my seasonal haul, I just go with whatever suits my fancy. This could be accessories like a new purse or jewelry or maybe some chunky sweaters and skinny jeans.

Regardless, after my haul, I feel like I have everything that I need for the season ahead and am content and excited to revamp old outfits with new pieces. The next few posts on lifewithlilred will feature everything bought during my TJ’s haul and we’re going to start that off with some new Tommy Hilfiger pajamas. Check it out:

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I have a big love for PJs, even though I haven’t bought any in a long while. So, I couldn’t pass this darling Tommy Hilfiger short and sweatshirt set up when I saw it. And, getting it for twenty dollars instead of the original seventy-eight didn’t hurt the cause, either! They just looked SO comfy and I had to wear them the day that they came home with me and they ARE so comfy.

There is nothing quite like snuggling up in a cute pair of PJs during a chilly fall evening and that’s exactly why I got these. Wrapping a fleece blanket around bare legs is the ultimate comfort while popping in a movie and the sweatshirt does the job too in a different way. It’s nice and warm while not feeling too heavy and I went with a bigger size than normal so I could just wrap myself completely in it. It really is the perfect PJ set…

And, oh yeah, did I mention it’s cute? I adore the soft and snugly heather grey and the varsity jacket style lettering gives it the classic All American feel that Tommy Hilfiger is so well known for. Even in the sleep and lounge-wear department, TH delivers and I am just as obsessed with my new set as I am with all of my oldie but goodie Calvin Klein PJs.

Although this purchase isn’t something that I can wear out and about during the day, my nights needed an updated look, too, and my new pajama set is just what the doctor ordered to do that with. ❤

What is your favorite brand for sleep and lounge-wear? How do you get comfy cozy during a chilly night? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Throw The Ultimate Wedding For Your Guests

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How To Throw The Ultimate Wedding For Your Guests

Weddings are a two-way street, and not just between the bride and groom. They are a balance of your own personal enjoyment and that of your guests. For that reason, many couples aim to make their special day one of the largest parties possible.

Ensuring that everyone has a good time is easier said than done, though, especially with the number of guests in attendance. What your best friend since college and your parents find entertaining are vastly different, right? So, how can you keep your roughly 50 to 250 guests happy over the course of several hours?

Believe it or not, there are a few simple ways to make your big day an event to remember in the minds of your guests. Check out these top wedding and reception tips that are sure to make your event a smash hit:

Comfort Is Key:

Nothing ruins a fun time like being uncomfortable. Summer weddings are notorious for sweat inducing heat and annoying bugs, while winter celebrations are often more about fighting off the cold. It’s impossible to enjoy a cocktail or dessert bar in either situation, let alone trying to deal with those uncomfortable conditions for hours on end.

Consider the conditions your guests will be subject to, then plan accordingly. If heat is the issue, you might want to serve ice cold glasses of lemonade. If the cold will be a concern, then hot chocolate might be in order. Picking the right bridesmaids dresses for either occasion is another essential factor. You can check here for summer and winter designs.

Other considerations could be a basket of flip flops near the dance floor for tired feet, mints in the restrooms, or a sewing kit handy for emergencies. Anything to make their time more comfortable goes a long way for your guests.

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Avoid Stagnation:

Sitting around waiting for the next part of the main event can quickly kill the mood, not to mention highlight those uncomfortable factors mentioned above. Work with your planner to make sure that things happen in a timely fashion, to keep the day moving along. That includes the ceremony, meals, dancing, and when the bar opens.

The Dance Floor:

Speaking of dancing, the idea is to get everyone on the dance floor ASAP. Take your time during your ceremony, but move things along quickly from there. Make sure everyone is fed and has a few drinks in them, then have your first dance and open up the floor.

The Food:

Quality food is great, but the key to happy guests outside of alcohol is having enough food for everyone. Outside of the main courses, you’ll want to have some sort of catering that allows guests to grab something to eat as they’re walking around.

Since neither food nor alcohol are cheap, many couples have turned to crowdfunding to help foot the bill. While most sites market themselves with a slogan like, “We will help your ideal honeymoon happen,” they’re also a great place to help pay for some of your wedding expenses.

Having guests chip in on the costs of both weddings and honeymoons in lieu of a gift is an excellent way to make them events to remember. While the idea might sound strange from a traditional standpoint, it happens to be trending in the wedding world.

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Everyone wants their big day to be something guests will remember for years to come. By following the advice above, you can do just that. These few key factors are all it takes to wow your guests and throw the wedding of your dreams.