Tag Archives: retail therapy

Black Friday Shopping Pro Tips

Black Friday Shopping Pro Tips

Hello!! I can hardly believe that it is Thanksgiving this week and, of course, with Thanksgiving comes Black Friday. I have actually never shopped during Black Friday before. However, I worked retail for about five years and have five insane Black Fridays under my belt to show for it. During this time, I acquired a lot of pro tips for a successful Black Friday so keep these in mind when you set out for your day of shopping:

Check The Store Hours:

This might seem like a no brainer but it needs to be said since so many stores have updated their Thanksgiving/Black Friday hours in the past few years. A lot of places are no longer open during Thanksgiving evening and that is a wonderful thing. But, you will need to know the store opening and closing times to go about planning your day. This way, you can stagger your shopping and pencil in driving/waiting time if, for example, Target opens at midnight on Friday and Best Buy opens at two AM.

Have A Plan A, B, & C:

A ton of people are very serious Black Friday shoppers and the chances are high that you won’t walk away with everything on your shopping list. This is why it is a MUST to have a plan B and C in place for the items you want that are no longer available. It will also save you the time and frustration of scrambling on the spot to find something else.

Maximize Efficiency:

If you have never shopped or worked Black Friday, you can only imagine how crazy it really is. Jam packed stores, frazzled employees, and picked over inventory are all things that can slow your shopping down. If you know that you are going to need help from an employee, you can help them too! Have pictures of what you want pulled up on your phone or printed out so you can get an immediate yes or no on if it’s still available and where it would be in the store.

Fuel Up/Hydrate:

Crowded stores will get incredibly stuffy really quickly all over top of the fast paced atmosphere of the day. I don’t think I have to spell it out for you why a fall or other medical emergency is dangerous on Black Friday! For that reason, it is so important to make sure you have ate and are properly hydrated. Keep water bottles on hand and snacks in the car and do make sure you make a reservation at a restaurant if you plan on eating out so you know you will have a table.

Just So You Know:

So many people think that once Saturday rolls around, the Black Friday deals are simply over and that is not the case. SO many stores continue to offer Black Friday prices and promotions for several days after the fact. While Black Saturday doesn’t have the same ring as Black Friday, you are more than likely still going to receive a deal. Speaking of deals, remember that you might not be able to use coupons or rewards perks on top of a Black Friday deal so do your research to see which option will save you the most money.


This is the time of the year when stores are hiring seasonal workers and a lot of them might not have much retail experience. In fact, Black Friday was one of my first shifts at fifteen and a half. Please keep this in mind and keep your cool because the day is already stressful enough for an employee without getting yelled at by angry customers too. If you think you could do a better job, then put on a name tag and get to work! 🙂

Shop smart on Black Friday with the tips above so you can walk away with something for everyone on your list… And maybe something for yourself too! 😀

Have you ever shopped or worked on Black Friday before? What was your experience like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

TJMaxx Haul: Rebellion Again Crochet Crop Top Edition

TJMaxx Haul: Rebellion Again Crochet Crop Top Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to the next item up for discussion from my most recent TJMaxx Haul! It is amazing what a little retail therapy can do to lift my spirits so who needs regular therapy anyways? …. Me and probably everyone, actually, but I digress! Today, we are going to be talking about a darling crochet crop top by Rebellion Again that I found during my second round throughout the store. Let’s get to it:


In my TJMaxx Shopping Pro Tips post, I talked about the importance of making two rounds in the store. This is essential if you feel like you missed something or you need another piece to build an outfit with something you plan on purchasing. The second example was the case for this top because I found a gorgeous pair of Nicole Miller floral print pants and had nothing to wear with it.

I decided that I wanted a cream colored top to pair with the earthy grey base of the pants and found it in this Rebellion Again crop. It was exactly what I had in mind and knew that it would work perfectly before even trying it on. I loved the floral crochet pattern, the scalloped edging on the bottom, and the tank style straps to hide away bra straps. It looks fabulous with the pants that you will see tomorrow!

Not only is this top ideal for what I needed but it also makes for an amazing summer top in general. As you all know, my wardrobe was severely lacking in that regard and my haul helped remedy this massive problem. This top will be adorable paired with shorts or high rise jeans. I also have visions of wearing it over the top of a dress or a tighter fitting long sleeved top come fall for some layering fun. 😀

Stay tuned into lifewithlilred for more from my TJMaxx Haul as well as a new Lil Red’s Book Club post coming very soon!

What is your favorite neutral color to wear? How would you style this top? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

TJMaxx Haul: Solitaire Top Edition

TJMaxx Haul: Solitaire Top Edition

Hello!! After a simply awful week and change, your girl needed some retail therapy so, naturally, I went to TJMaxx to ease the pain lol. It was just what I needed and I FINALLY found some new tops, which I am thrilled about because I was having no luck in that regard for a while. Today, we are going to start off my latest haul by checking out a gorgeous new top by Solitaire in a perfectly persimmon hue. Let’s get to it:


As I was making my rounds at TJs, I spotted this top on one of the display racks and knew instantly that it was going to be a winner. I was in love with the unique color and I have nothing even close to it in my wardrobe, which made it even better. The shape of this top is what really sold me, though. The exaggerated puff sleeves paired with the bold collar and tighter fitting middle is divine. And don’t even get me started on the sweet buttons and floral embroidery! This top is *chef’s kiss* perfection.

When I first saw this top, it instantly made me think of Halloween since I am an elder emo and I’m always thinking about it. I cannot wait to style it with the happiest season of all in mind and already have lots of ideas. In fact, it will be featured soon in a new OOTD so keep it posted for that. But *spoiler alert* I’m thinking my black Almost Famous skort, Adora hat, and Kenneth Cole heels for a super fun color blocked look. I’m swooning just thinking about it!

There is nothing like a good shopping trip to put some pep back in my step. Tune in all of this week for more from this amazing haul!

Has anyone else had some retail therapy recently? What did you find? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Red & Peach Nails

New Red & Peach Nails

Hey!! After a super lame streak of bad luck, I am finally getting back into the swing of things. Of course, some retail therapy (Peep a brand new TJMaxx haul soon!) and pampering at Elysian Nails definitely helped the cause! I had a short work day this past Wednesday so I treated myself to some shopping before and a fresh fill after, which was just what the doctor ordered. Check it out:


Unfortunately, my favorite nail tech no longer works at Elysian Nails and I’d be a liar if I said that I didn’t feel weird having someone else care for my claws. However, the staff at Elysian is simply the best and I knew that my hands would be in capable ones no matter who is doing them. This past fill was actually awesome because the tech who did my nails when I first started going to Elysian is back. It was SO nice to catch up on lost time and see how much she improved at her craft while working at different salons!

For my color combination this time around, I went with a fiery red and peach combo and I am loving it. Alone, the red is very vibrant but it popped even more against the subtle peach and I think that it is such a fun, summery palette. When the peach polish was wet, I was a bit worried because it looked darker than I anticipated but it dried into the perfect pale shade that I had in mind and was instantly sold. So cute. 😀

With new hair, nails, and gorgeous new additions to my wardrobe, I feel ready to take on the world again. Big ups to my stylists for keeping me looking my best and TJMaxx for helping me dress my best! ❤

What color of nail polish do you have on? Who else turns to the salon or retail therapy when you are feeling down? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

It’s In The Bag: Foley + Corinna Pt. 2 Edition

It’s In The Bag: Foley + Corinna Pt. 2 Edition

As I was saying yesterday, my beautiful off white Foley + Corinna purse was so perfect that… I had to get it in black, too. *Face palm*


As I admired myself with my white purse in the mirror at TJMaxx, I thought to myself “Boy, I sure hope that they don’t have this in another color”. I was so enamored with this bag, that if presented with it in a rainbow of colors, I would have bought every single one of them. But, luckily, TJs only had it in one other color, and it just so happened to be my favorite:


Yeah… I bought it in black, too.

Finding this purse in black was like a kick in the gut and a complete brain blast all in one. I loved both of the colors so much and now I had to pick between the two?! I must have spent a solid half an hour at TJMaxx weighing in the pros and cons of each purse and each time I thought that I was making progress, something about the color that I was about to eliminate made me fall in love with it all over again. I was torn.

So, I guess it’s a good thing that my twenty-fourth birthday is coming up in five days because my mom pulled through in the clutch and offered to get me one of them for my b-day! How could I pass that up?! Was it necessary to get both colors of this bag? Absolutely not. But did I really, really want both? You have no idea. So, thanks to some birthday magic and a cool mom, I got to bring the only two of these purses in the store back home with me. HURRAY! 😀


Have you ever bought anything in multiple colors? How has retail therapy helped you out during a tough time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

It’s In The Bag: Foley + Corinna Edition

It’s In The Bag: Foley + Corinna Edition

Hey! So as I mentioned earlier this week, your girl was in desperate need of some retail therapy. And retail therapy I did. Oh yes, retail therapy I did. Although I love all accessories equally, I can’t say that I am a huge purse girl. I’d much rather buy a new pair of shoes. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love purses and I definitely have a collection in my own right. I’m very particular when it comes to my bags, so when the right one (Or two!) come along at TJMaxx, it’s very hard to say no! Take a look:


When I saw this GORGEOUS Foley + Corinna bag, it was really love at first sight. I loved the chain straps, the contrast between the off white color and the black spikes, and I am a sucker for all things studs and spikes in general. This purse is just the right size to hold all of my necessities and will be nice to carry around during the summer thanks to its small size. It really is just perfect. So perfect that I…

Find out tomorrow!!

What do you think I did next? What is your favorite style of purse? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Accessory Story: Bella Jack Earrings Edition

Accessory Story: Bella Jack Earrings Edition

Hello everyone and happy Hump Day! Lil Red has been in desperate need of some retail therapy these past few weeks, so TJMaxx was the move both in store and online. And, as always, ol’ TJs was very very good to me. For example, if it wasn’t for TJMaxx, I wouldn’t have these insanely gorgeous, THIRTEEN DOLLAR Bella Jack earrings that I am SO in love with. Check it out:


Now, normally I’m not too keen on buying new earrings, because I usually just wear my signature black crosses. But, I’ve had my eye on these periwinkle flower bells for a long time. And, did I mention that I was in desperate need of retail therapy? I think that these Bella Jack beauties are so charming, and all I needed to do was briefly hold them up to my face in the mirror to know that they were coming home with me.

I love the glassy but matte shading over the pale blue coloring of these earrings, and I think that they look lovely with my hair, eyes, and complexion – if I do say so, myself. I also adore how if you make the earrings move, you can hear the tiny chime of bells ringing in your ears. This Bella Jack jewelry is pure fairy tale fun, and I can’t wait to wear them throughout the summer!

Where do you love to shop for jewelry at? What is your go to summer accessory? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Zara Shopping Trip

Zara Shopping Trip

Hey everyone and happy Thursday! So this Tuesday I made a trip to Beachwood mall which is about a thirty-five plus minute trek for me. Normally I wouldn’t venture this far to go to a mall but I needed to be in the area to get dinner with a friend who works close by. And, of course, I really really wanted to try my hand at shopping Zara for the first time! Beachwood is the only mall near me that has one and after browsing on their online store, I came to the realization that I would have to try their clothes on before making any purchases.

I’m not going to lie – I was nervous. Literally for every ten online reviews that I had read about shopping Zara in store and online, there were nine and a half negative ones. But, I swallowed my fear and entered the store anyways because there was a shirt that I wanted desperately that they had available. My first impression of the store was that it was HUGE! My second impression was that the clothes were all very cute. And my third impression was that the employees seemed kind of snotty.

When I had approached them about the shirt because when I called the store, I was told that it was in supply in their stock room, they acted like it was the biggest inconvenience in the world to get to the bottom of it for me. I then waited around for ten minutes or so and was basically instructed not to move until they figured things out but that didn’t stop me from awkwardly browsing my surroundings anyway. With every interaction that I had with an employee, I tried to be nothing but nice because who knows, maybe the whole store was having a bad day? Haha, whatever – it could happen!

Finally, I was approached with my shirt by a worker and after expressing my gratitude and making a little small talk the girl who I was primarily interacting with seemed to lighten up a little. Now, I’m sure you’re all wondering what this shirt looked like that I went through all the trouble to get and here it is:


Ahhhh! It’s so cute! I am so excited to wear this top with my velvet skinny jeans from Loft or tucked into my mustard yellow H&M skirt for work. And for play, I plan on wearing this top over shorts with my pair of army green BCBG heels or with a thick pair of tights and knee high boots as the top is long enough to be worn as a dress if paired with the right bottoms. I LOVE IT and it was definitely worth the trip out there to finally have the top that I was lusting over online in my wardrobe.

After trying the top on and having the young lady who had helped me ring me out, the snottiness was gone. I don’t know if she was just one of those people who took a minute to warm up to someone or what but, to be frank, every employee in the store seemed to be one of those people. Lol, it wasn’t the worst customer service that I had ever encountered but it just seemed a bit off in a retail environment. Absolutely not saying that I expect employees to be shoving rainbows down my throat but it’s nice to interact with people who are pleasant and don’t mind helping you considering that’s what they’re there for!

I would definitely shop Zara in store again but I don’t know if I trust their online shopping experience enough to make purchases off of the world wide web. Seriously, Google their reviews and you’ll see what I mean because it sounds like a straight up horror story if you order from them online and, god forbid, the clothes doesn’t work for you. I didn’t have very high expectations of customer service walking in the store to begin with but at least it’s nice to know about it now so it isn’t a big surprise the next time I can make a trip out there.

While I was at the mall, I was also able to put the last of my Forever 21 gift cards to good use so be on the lookout for a post about my purchases from there, too!

So there you have it, my Zara Shopping Trip. It wasn’t the best but certainly not the worst either. What is your impression of shopping with Zara? Has anyone had a fabulous or totally awful experience? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Give Your Home a Bit of Retail Therapy

Give Your Home a Bit of Retail Therapy

My family has been trying to remodel room by room for the past couple of years. We have been in my home for over twelve years (I think!) and it is always fun to change and rearrange as time goes by. These tips might prove helpful for you if you are in a home renovation process similar to mine!

Give Your Home a Bit of Retail Therapy:

A bit of retail therapy is always great so now it is time to treat your home. There is plenty that needs to be sorted out when it comes to buying for your home. Think about the areas that matter the most or that really need to be improved on. Making a list of what projects you want to prioritize is an excellent first step in the remodeling process.

We’ve Got You Covered: You should think about what you’re going to use to cover the home. The exterior of the property is really important and is going to be exposed to the elements constantly. You need to choose the right material to cover your home with and be aware of all of the different options that are offered. That’s why it’s important to look at alternatives to wood or brick. Vinyl exteriors are really great because it’s cost-effective and low-maintenance. And it leaves your property looking picture perfect as well. It’s also one of the more eco-friendly modern alternatives for the home these days.


 Vinyl Covering Renovation

Kitchen Makeover: The kitchen, they say, is the heart of the home. And that’s why it’s important to try to make your kitchen as awesome as possible. Sometimes this might involve going for a kitchen makeover. But, other times this might involve actually buying a brand new kitchen. So, you need to make sure you assess how you can improve it, and then set about making those alterations. You’ll probably find that by choosing an open plan kitchen design you maximize space and you improve the general aesthetic. If you’re looking to sell your home at some point, you’re going to need a revamp of the kitchen


The tiles in this pic are almost identical to the ones in my kitchen!

Double Glazing: If you don’t already have double glazing at home, this is something that you might want to focus on. It’s very difficult to imagine a home these days without double glazing. Although, if you live in a listed property, you won’t be able to do this. Double glazing presents many advantages to your home. The two main ones being added security and better energy efficiency. You will save money in the long run by going with double glazing. It is one of the best investments a homeowner can make. And you need to think about what sort of double glazing you want to go with. First decide where you’ll use it – you probably want to go for all the windows in the home, and maybe the back door as well. You should also make a decision between wood effect, and uPVC for your double glazing.


 Pic From: Flickr.com

Outdoor Additions: In your garden, you may decide that you want to create a garden path. In order to do this, you’re going to have to make sure that you choose the right materials for it. You don’t just want a dirt path going up to the house because this may be messy and won’t look as nice. A lot of people like to use gravel and stones, which is fine. But, wood chips would be even better. There are many advantages of using wood chips in the garden. For one thing, they are light and inexpensive alternatives to gravel. But, as a bonus, they are organic and benefit your soil immensely. You can enjoy bio-dynamic gardening by making full use of wood chips in your garden and pathways.


Outdoor Additions

Looking after your home is really important and a big part of this is treating it to some retail therapy. Therefore, it is crucial to make purchases that will help to improve the home and that are sensible, attractive, and long lasting.

Where are all of my home renovators at? How about my HGTV obsessed readers? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red Recommends – Part 5!!!!

Lil Red Recommends – Part 5!!!!

Not gonna lie, this week has been less than ideal. Work has been filled with not so nice coworkers and rude customers and school has been stressful. Luckily there’s been a few things that have made me feel better, which I’m going to share with you in this edition of Lil Red Recommends!

Getting drunk with your mother: Last night I came home from a particularly shitty day at work to find my family getting ready to have dinner. It was Italian night in my household so naturally that called for some wine! I’m a big wine drinker and with my moms help of barely drinking one glass, I finished the entire bottle. My mom is such a light weight that she claimed that her glass of wine got her drunk, it’s the most precious thing ever. So the evening was spent with gut busting laughter, stumbling around the kitchen, and singing a duet to the song “You Had a Bad Day” while using the empty wine bottle as a microphone. It was an absolute blast. I’ve never gotten drunk with my mom before and I sincerely hope that this happens again every now and then. The straight up ridiculousness of the mother daughter bonding time that happened last night was indescribable! All of the silliness that occurred was the perfect cure to a shitty day!


Drunken retail therapy: So after my mom and I sobered up, we headed to the mall for some retail therapy. I was in desperate need of some new jeans. But here’s the trick, I refuse to wear any denim that isn’t black and super skinny. My purchase will be discussed in the next recommendation! Let me tell you guys, while my mom may have been completely sober after her one wine glass 😉 I was still slightly tipsy from almost a full bottle of wine. And from this experience I learned that there is nothing more fun than wandering around the mall while you have a wine buzz! It took my love for shopping to a new extreme because I combined it with my second favorite thing….getting drunk. I highly recommend public intoxication at least once in your life time, its a real treat! (Only once though…then no more public intoxication, kay?)

Snake skin patterned denim: I found my beloved new jeans at Express, one of my favorite stores. These jeans are drop dead GORGEOUS. They’re jet black with a gunmetal snake skin pattern coating it and are extremely skinny. About two weeks ago while I was shopping there with my sister, I noticed these beauties and was drooling over them the entire time. Unfortunately at eighty eight dollars, they were out of my price range. But I could NOT stop thinking about them. Lucky for me, last night they were having a forty percent off sale at Express and they had one pair of the jeans left in my size. All of the other sizes they had were ginormous. I knew that the denim had to be mine. I slipped into the fitting room, and changed into my new favorite piece of clothing. When I looked into the fitting room mirror they were just as perfect as I hoped they would be. They fit like a glove and were a perfect punk piece to add to my wardrobe. I’ve been looking for a pair of snake skin print jeans for quite some time now. But all of the pairs that I have found have been a snake skin pattern on top of grey or white jeans, and that doesn’t follow my all black everything rule. I thank the fashion gods for this gift of the perfect pair of black snake skin print jeans! Hurray! (Please excuse my mismatched socks in the photo below!) 😉


Read the book Perfect: I started the book Perfect by Rachel Joyce a few days ago. (She also authored one of my favorite books, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry). I’m about one hundred pages in and I can’t recommend this book highly enough. The book revolves around a boy who has witnessed a terrible accident and is doing everything in his power to prevent his mother from finding out…as she’s the one who caused the crime. We are introduced to a unique cast of characters – young Byron who is very protective of his mother Diana who is a forward thinking woman in the 1970’s. She refuses to live the cookie cutter lifestyle of the female house wife which leads to animosity from her peers. There is also sweet OCD ridden Jim, who has been in and out of mental institutions his entire life. I have yet to find out how the paths of Byron and his mother will cross with Jim’s, but I’m excited to find out. Rachel Joyce does an amazing job of creating a feeling of empathy for each of her characters… I love them all so much already! Reading Perfect has been the perfect distraction from a below average week.


Listen to Tapes ‘n Tapes: I’ve been listening to A LOT of Tapes ‘n Tapes lately. I think that their music is just fantastic. I’ve enjoyed playing all of their albums on shuffle as I’ve been driving around to where ever I needed to be this past week. They really are the perfect Indie rock band. Each of their three albums The Loon, Outside, and Walk It Off give a solid combination of upbeat tunes, amazing instrumentals, and sentimental ballads. My favorite album between the three is definitely their debut album The Loon. Each song off of that one is a slam dunk. But there are also many crowd pleasers on their second and third efforts as well! Tapes ‘n Tapes is great driving music and just hanging around the house doing nothing music. The music video below is for their song “Freak Out” from their second album Outside. It’s super catchy!

Don’t be an asshole: Pardon my French, but I’ve come across a lot of not so nice people this week. From awful customers to the most incompatible  coworkers ever I’m almost at my breaking point. I genuinely don’t understand the people who are mean to others just for the sake of being mean. And let me tell you, I’ve encountered a lot of people like that this week. Being around stand offish people really is enough to ruin my day. For some people it’s easy to just shake things like that off, but not me. I wish I didn’t take so much offense to it, but I do. It’s just the way I am I suppose, but I don’t think it’s out of reason to be upset by people who act like assholes to you for no good reason. So here I am freaking pleading all of you guys (myself included) to be courteous and respectful to others. You never know what the person you give a dirty look to might be going through that day. #enoughsaid

Watch Step Brothers: If there’s one thing that always makes me feel better, it’s watching my favorite Will Ferrell movie: Step Brothers. I watched this with my sister and mom a few days ago and it’s still funny to me no matter how many times I watch it! I’ve seen Step Brothers enough that I can quote the entire movie along with the actors (much to my family’s annoyance!). Sometimes you really just need to pop in your favorite stupid movie and veg out for a few hours. I don’t know about you, but I always feel better after two hours straight of laughing! “SO MANY ACTIVITIES!!!”

Be thankful: With Thanksgiving coming up, this is a no brainer. But it felt right to mention it anyways. Tell your family members and friends that you love them, compliment a stranger, apologize to those you have done wrong to. You know the drill. It only takes one small act of kindness to transform yours and somebody else’s day completely!


So there you have it, my Lil Red recommends for the week! What are some things that you do to make yourself feel better after a rough week? What’s your favorite quote from Step Brothers? Leave me a comment and let’s chat! Happy Sunday! -Sarah