Tag Archives: review

Soba Sushi And Noodles: YUM!

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Soba Sushi And Noodles: YUM!

Salutations! Some of you might recall that my family had a vacation to Hilton Head planned. However, with Hurricane Dorian wreaking havoc, my dad didn’t want to take the risk and we ended up in North Carolina again for our yearly family vaca. My family loves Asheville, NC and have vacationed there at least three or so times in the past handful of years. The art scene, the nature, and, of course, the delicious food are all reasons why we keep coming back and I, for one, am not mad about it!

Speaking of delicious food, we ended up at an amazing Japanese restaurant called Soba in Weaverville and it was literally to die for. Normally, I’m not the type of blogger who has to take a picture of every meal I eat. But, I had to be “that girl” because my noodle soup bowl was out of control crazy good. Check it out:

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^^^ Peep me using chopsticks correctly for a whopping one time!

Before our main course, my mom and I ordered avocado sushi rolls to share, which was a vegetarian delight. My mom has never tried sushi before and, although she used a nose running amount of wasabi, she enjoyed it as much as I did! For my meal, I went with the Thai Coconut Noodle Soup Bowl with tofu and absolutely no mushrooms, which are the bane of my existence. According to the menu, this entree was made up of: “Red peppers, mushrooms, cilantro, lemon, spicy sesame oil & vermicelli rice noodles in creamy coconut & lemongrass broth”.

I have never tried a noodle soup bowl and it was actually my second option because I really wanted Pad Thai but, unfortunately, their recipe was made with fish oil which made it a no can do for me. So, I ended up with the noodle soup bowl which was a total blessing because it was one of the best meals I’ve had in months. The broth was rich and flavorful, the veggies were crisp and fresh, and the soft tofu was bursting with the taste of the broth it was soaking in.

I love a good, Oriental cuisine and, sadly, my stomping grounds in Ohio are severely lacking in that department. Akron and the surrounding areas have a lot of chain restaurants without much diversity so, when I can have an ethnic meal, I revel in it. I absolutely adored the bold flavors featured at Soba and it was nice to have a lot of vegetarian options to choose from, instead of having to opt for the veggie burger which happens at basically every Ohio restaurant ever, lol. *massive eyeroll*

If you find yourself close to Weaverville in North Carolina, definitely do yourself a favor and have a meal at Soba. The restaurant was cute and clean, the service was outstanding, and the food will blow your mind. 🙂

What is your favorite kind of food to eat? What kind of restaurants do you live by? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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September 2019 Finishes

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September 2019 Finishes

Howdy! We’ve reached the end of another wonderful month here on lifewithlilred and that means it’s time to discuss my monthly empties. I used up some really good stuff this past month. Stuff that I’ve been using for forever, stuff that took me a short amount of time to finish, and just stuff in general! So take a look and let’s get to it:

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Would I Use Again:

  • Softsoap Citrus Splash & Berry Fusion body wash: YES
  • Yes To Cotton micellar water: NO
  • IGK Mistress leave in conditioner: YES
  • Clinicals Anti-Aging Vitamin C facial oil: YES

Why/Why Not:

Softsoap Body Wash: As you all know, I am a huge Softsoap fan. The brand is cheap as can be but all of their body washes smell amazing, they lather well, and are always so damn invigorating during my morning shower. The little moisture beads are a nice touch, too! It takes me one month to use one bottle which includes daily use and a weekly bubble bath and at three bucks and change, I can definitely swing that.

Yes To Micellar Water: My mom got this bottle of micellar water for me on sale and I was very unimpressed. I used up the bottle in a month because I wasn’t going to not finish it but I was happy to have been done! It just didn’t make my skin feel as fresh and clean as the Garnier micellar water and it was also not the best at removing all traces of makeup. I’m sure it’s significantly cheaper than the Garnier brand but I have a rule of thumb of not skimping on the good stuff when it comes to my skin care!

IGK Leave In Conditioner: I absolutely love this product by IGK! I have been using it for the past year or so and I honestly don’t think that I could live without it. The Mistress leave in conditioner smells so good, it smooths out all of my frizz, it makes my hair shiny, and it protects my locks from the heat. Does your leave in conditioner do that? Although the price is steep at twenty-nine bucks a tube, it takes me over six months to finish it up and, with all of that in mind, it is worth every penny.

Clinicals Serum: What I love about skin care products with Vitamin C in it is that I can always see noticeable results from it. My skin glows and is radiant without having to break the bank on an expensive treatment. I really enjoyed using the Vitamin C serum by Clinicals. It sat well under makeup and I loved how my skin looked and felt after each use. My only qualm with this product is that the serum was in a spray bottle, which I didn’t like because I felt like I had to use a ton of it to get full coverage on my face and neck. Despite that, it still took me one month to use up the bottle.

With a seventy-five percent success rate, I’d say I did pretty good with my empties for the month of September! I would recommend all of the products that I liked above but definitely stay clear of the Yes To Cotton micellar water!

Which products did you use up this month? What were your thoughts on any of the products above if you have used them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Groovy Movies: Aladdin Edition

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Groovy Movies: Aladdin Edition

Helloooo everyone! I can’t say that I am a HUGE Disney fan but it’s not like I don’t enjoy the movies, either. It has been an exciting time in the movie world because live action remakes of Disney classics are the new trend. Unfortunately, I wasn’t overly impressed with Beauty And The Beast or The Lion King’s remake. However, I absolutely LOVED the live action Aladdin, despite its poor reviews. So, take a look at the toe tapping trailer and let’s discuss:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to this video!

Normally, a Disney film isn’t my first choice to play after a day at work but, I’m not going to lie, I was looking forward to watching Aladdin. Last Christmas, I had the absolute pleasure of being able to see the Broadway rendition of Aladdin at Playhouse Square with my family and I felt like the 2019 film was a wonderful blend of the Broadway show and the original cartoon. Spending the evening watching the movie gave me a new appreciation for the music and artistry that went into the iconic original and it was such a beautiful, modern nod to its predecessor.

The costumes, scenery, and *most* of the characters were divine but Will Smith as the genie completely made the film for me. He was utterly brilliant and I think Robin Williams would be proud of the performance that was so inspired by his own but with a fresh, new spin on it.”You Ain’t Never Had A Friend Like Me” reminded me so much of the Broadway performance that I really enjoyed and Will Smith’s fabulous flamboyance kept me in stitches the whole time.

I thought Jafar and Jasmine were also exceptionally strong characters and were cast well. But, I wasn’t too crazy about the choice for Aladdin. Had he not been acting alongside such powerful cast mates he would have totally sizzled out and he was outshined the entire movie. He was just too meek and mild and, although he was the title character, he didn’t stand out in anyway shape or form. But, because the rest of the film was so spot on, a poor casting choice for the lead was just a blip on my radar.

What I loved the most about Aladdin was the big picture that was created in every scene. The glorious palaces, the bustling market of Agrahbah, and the vast deserts all seemed so real that I felt like I was right there, too. The magnificent choices in color, costumes, and oh yeah – the fantastic musical numbers just seemed like the cherry on top of what was already splendid. Saying that Aladdin was visually stimulating is a severe understatement and the beauty of the rapidly changing scenery in “A Whole New World” moved me to tears.

If you’re a die hard Disney fan, I think you’ll love this movie. And, if you’re like me, who isn’t the most avid Disney fan – you are still going to love this movie. Aladdin was a fast moving tale of being true to yourself, unexpected girl power, and that everything is a little bit better with your friends by your side… magic powers or no! I rate this movie with a nine out of ten and I highly recommend it!

What were your thoughts on the new Aladdin? What has been your favorite Disney movie remake? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: IMDb

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Lying Game Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Lying Game Edition

Howdy! I recently finished another Ruth Ware novel called The Lying Game and have read The Woman In Cabin 10 and In A Dark, Dark Wood by her this summer, too. I have to say, I wasn’t overly impressed with either of those books but The Lying Game was a great read and I am happy that I chose to give Ware one more try before calling it quits and finding another author to read. So, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

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The Lying Game revolves around new mother, Isa, and her three best girlfriends from high school, Kate, Thea (Whose name I’m still not sure how to pronounce!), and Fatima. At their boarding school, the girls reveled in what they called “The Lying Game” and would keep a scoreboard to record the points from the tall tales that they would spin based on the quality and if people actually believed them. The game was supposed to be all in good fun and the rules were simple, including “never lie to your friends” and “know when to stop the lie”.

The girls spent one year at the boarding school together, which came to an abrupt halt when they were asked to leave quietly in the wakes of a possible scandal that directly involved them. And, although it’s a rarity that they talk now as they are all in their thirties, when a friend texts the three words of “I need you” the now women drop their responsibilities immediately and flock to the one in distress.

So, when Kate sends Isa the call to action, she packs up her belongings with her six month old daughter in tow and makes the journey to her, near the old boarding school. The text was indeed an urgent one because once the ladies arrive to Kate’s, it is revealed that a human bone was found in the sea – a result of their “game” being taken too far. With a police investigation nipping at their heals, the once best friends have to come up with a plan and unravel the truth behind their lies before an arrest is made. Were they murderers? Covering something up? Or just plain stupid? Read the book and find out!

I absolutely adored The Lying Game and devoured it in a matter of days. It was so refreshing to read a book with a tangible plot and told from the perspective of someone with a sound mind. Because, let’s be honest, the unstable narrator shtick has been hopelessly drawn out. The Lying Game was filled with twists and turns that actually seemed plausible and I really had no idea what the end result was going to be.

It was interesting to see how a mistake that happened in their teenage years has haunted each woman in the almost two decades since it happened. Each one dealt with the trauma in a different way and it made for fascinating characters with realistic flaws and personalities. The Lying Game was a wild ride and I am now ready to tuck into another Ruth Ware novel ASAFP!

And, now for the star rating…. I award The Lying Game with an eight out of ten. The plot was riveting, the characters were all likeable in their own ways, and I genuinely enjoyed myself while reading it. Highly recommend.

Has anyone read The Lying Game? What were your thoughts on it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Woman In Cabin 10 Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Woman In Cabin 10 Edition

Salutations! In the newest edition of Lil Red’s Book Club, we are going to be discussing the mystery thriller, The Woman In Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware. This author might sound a bit familiar to you, as I just recently reviewed another one of her books, In A Dark, Dark Wood. And, similarly to it, The Woman In Cabin 10 is another one that revolves around an unreliable narrator. Let’s discuss, without giving any spoilers away!

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Lo Blacklock, a writer for a travel magazine is your classic “can we trust everything she sees” narrator. Following the usual formula of a heavy drinker while on medication, sleep deprived, as well as recently traumatized by a break in, Lo is… well, at a low point. Ba dum chhhhh. Anyways, very shortly after the break in happened, Lo sets sail aboard a luxury “cruise ship” that’s more like a yacht as a fill in for her boss on maternity leave.

The Aurora is welcoming a select few in the travel industry to board for a week, sailing around Norway, to get the hype built for their launch. The surroundings are swanky and the guests are even more posh – ranging from photographers to heiresses as well as journalists and models. This is a big break for Lo and, while she should be networking her little butt off, she ends up investigating a murder that she only heard, instead.

Enter The Woman In Cabin 10, a cabin that was supposed to be empty.  Lo spoke with the tenant one time after knocking on her door to borrow a tube of mascara and didn’t see her again that night at dinner. A dinner that she ended up getting WASTED at, by the way. So, who’s to say that what she saw was accurate when she claimed she saw a bloody smear on the glass divider on her balcony once she was back in her room? Or heard a huge splash that sounded like a body falling overboard?

The whodoneit begins, as Lo questions all of the staff with the help of the head of security and prying into just what the guests were up to after the dinner party. No one has seen the woman who she saw in the cabin and absolutely no one is ruled out as a suspect. Filled with red herrings and hidden intentions, will the murder get solved or remain a mystery at sea? Read The Woman In Cabin Ten to find out!

I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of In A Dark, Dark Wood and wasn’t expecting much better from The Woman In Cabin 10. But, I ended up enjoying it a fair amount. If I’m being honest, I am SO. Freaking. Sick. of the unreliable narrator angle. However, this murder mystery set at sea was too dishy and fun to not be a total page turner. The grand reveal at the end was also one that I wasn’t expecting at all and, normally, I am very quick to solve it on my own.

While I couldn’t stand any of the characters from In A Dark, Dark Wood, I quite liked the cast of players in this one. They all held my interest because all of their personalities were so different and it made for a fun reading experience to watch and study their interactions with each other. The finger pointing and guessing games between them kept me on my feet till the very end.

I didn’t love The Woman In Cabin 10 by any means but, I finished it in three days so that has to count for something, right? I’m going to give it a six out of ten rating and would recommend it for a quick summer read, if nothing else.

Who else has read The Woman In Cabin 10? What did you think about it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

August 2019 Finishes

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August 2019 Finishes

Yo, yo, yo! Can you believe that it’s the end of August already? Me either! I, for one, am ecstatic about it and have been waiting for summer to be over since it began. I absolutely despise hot weather and would rather experience the bitter cold than extreme heat. So, needless to say, bring on the fall baby! Although it definitely hasn’t been my favorite time of the year, August was good for using up a lot of products that I’ve been working on for a while and we all know how much I love when that happens. Check it out:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Jergens Lotion: I purchased this big bottle o’ Jergens when I first moved into my apartment in April and I finished it halfway through this month after once weekly full body uses. I like that this lotion wasn’t heavily scented and it felt rich and creamy on my skin without feeling greasy or leaving residue. I used my lotion after my weekly shaving extravaganza and I think it definitely helped my shave last longer and my skin felt really healthy and hydrated after each use.

Softsoap Body Wash: I have never been one to believe in purchasing expensive or fancy body washes. My three dollar bottles of Softsoap suits me just fine, thank you very much. The pomegranate and mango sent was delicious and invigorating in the morning, it lathered well, and it didn’t dry out my skin. One bottle lasted me for one month with daily use and a weekly bubble bath.

TBS Facial Oil: I absolutely love the Oils Of Life serum by The Body Shop. It is so rich and leaves my skin feeling well loved but it somehow manages to absorb quickly and sits perfectly beneath makeup. One bottle lasted me at least three months with daily use and I wish I could use it all of the time throughout the year. I noticed visible differences in the brightness and fine lines on my face and I highly recommend this product!

Garnier Micellar Water: I have been using the Garnier micellar water for well over a year now and have never felt the need to use anything different. I happily shelled out close to seven bucks a pop monthly for a new bottle without complaints. So, you can imagine how excited I was to find an industrial sized bottle of it at Target for ten dollars! The big mama bottle lasted me for THREE MONTHS and I can definitely get down with that! 😀

B&BW Hand Soap: When I moved into my apartment, I utilized the five for twenty three dollar deal that Bath & Body Works was having on their foaming hand soap and I am so happy with that purchase. I freaking love that stuff and the Peach Bellini soap that I just finished up smelled divine. The soap never dried my hands out and really made them feel clean with its foaming goodness.

And, the best part is, one bottle lasted me a long ass time! I have had the same bottle in my bathroom since moving in and finally finished it halfway through August. Even when I was at the final dregs of it, the remainders lasted me for several more days. Highly recommend for your kitchen and bathrooms.

Garnier Cleanser: I am usually a big fan of Garnier products and, although I didn’t hate this cleanser, I don’t plan on using it again. It really was just your standard facial cleanser with nothing special about it. It lasted me about two months and I appreciate that but, I like something really crisp and refreshing in the morning when I’m washing my face and this one didn’t do it for me.

Drunk Elephant Cleanser: The Jelly Cleanser by Drunk Elephant was part of my Sephora birthday gift this year and I wasn’t impressed. And, this just goes to show you that sometimes the more expensive brands aren’t worth the money that you’re dishing out for it. The sample bottle lasted me for a little under two weeks, which was enough time to tell that I wouldn’t be using it again. It had no scent, it didn’t lather well, and my skin felt really tight after using it. No thank you!

Despite two no go’s on my August empties, I used up a lot of products that I am really happy with and would definitely recommend. I would buy all of the finishes that I liked again and I think that all of you would enjoy them too!

Which beauty products did you use up this month? What are your thoughts on any of the products above if you have used them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Groovy Movies: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Edition

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Groovy Movies: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Edition

Hello hello! One movie that I was really looking forward to this summer was Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Now, before we get started: No, I have not read the books, so I was going into it with no preconceived notions of what it should be like. Honestly, I was just excited that Guillermo Del Toro was working on it, because he is my favorite ANYTHING when it comes to movies. So, take a look at the trailer and let’s discuss without giving the flick away:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to this video!

My understanding of the original books of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is that it’s just that – a collection of scary stories. And, I know there were a good amount of people who were disappointed that not as many of these ghost stories were included as they would have liked. But, be that as it may, the movie needed a story line and I thought a really innovative and interesting one was created.

On Halloween night, Stella and a group of friends sneak into a supposed “haunted house” in their town – the Bellows mansion. The story goes that the family owned a paper mill that put the town on the map but had a dark secret – a horribly disfigured daughter named Sarah that they would never let leave the house. According to the legend, children would visit Sarah by sitting outside of the walls of her room and she would tell them scary stories. Oh, and did I mention that children were disappearing constantly?

While Stella, Ramon, Augie, and Chuck are exploring the mansion, they stumble upon Sarah’s room, where Stella finds her book of stories and decides to borrow it. BIG MISTAKE, because the nightmare that was laying dormant starts all over again, as the book begins to write itself every night, featuring a story based around one of the characters. The story usually has something to do with a nightmare or something that has traumatized the character that it’s happening to. So, it is up to Stella to solve the mystery of how to stop the curse from continuing before there is no one left.

I absolutely LOVED Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. I enjoyed the characters whose back and forth high school quips were hilarious, the plot was great, and the creatures that come to life in the stories were so creepy and visually interesting. Normally, scary movies don’t freak me out but this one definitely did. To have a source of evil that taps into what frightens you is terrifying and having a book that “reads you” to create it was such a brilliant idea.

And, in true Del Toro fashion, the visuals were spectacular which is the driving force behind my rave review. The monsters coming to life from the stories were scary as hell and they made me genuinely uncomfortable to look at. Don’t even get me started on the Pale Woman – YIKES!

I highly recommend this movie and am giving it a perfect ten, which rarely happens. I enjoyed every minute of it, was scared senseless, and want to see it again and read the books so badly. Don’t let your preconceived notions of what the movie “should” be cloud your vision if you’ve read the books, because you’ll be ruining a wonderful film for yourself.

Who has seen or read Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark? What are your thoughts on it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: The Playlist