Tag Archives: sweet

Holiday Haul: BFF Edition

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Holiday Haul: BFF Edition

Hello! For as long as I can remember, my best friend of over twelve years, Lea, and I have had a Christmas gift exchange. Wine is poured, presents are unwrapped, and we spend the whole evening gabbing away about anything and everything. It is one of my favorite holiday traditions and I was so excited to see her during our hang out because, with the pandemic, we are lucky if we see each other once a month. Hanging out was a gift in itself but I am so in love with the thoughtful presents from my bestie. Check it out:

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For birthdays and Christmas, Lea and I always gift each other with a bottle of wine. We have a long standing joke of saying “I wonder what this could be” because there is no way to wrap up wine without it being totally obvious about what’s underneath the paper! Not only do I love a Pink Moscato but I absolutely adore the black and white striped safety seal on the bottle that Lea picked out. She told me right away that she knew that I would like that and, of course, she was right on the money!

Not only did I receive vino but I was also gifted with Bath & Body Works foaming hand soap – my favorite! Nothing beats the holiday scents from B&BW and presents from there are also a huge staple in mine and Lea’s gift giving arsenal because we both know that we will use their products happily. An adorable new glass to enjoy my wine with and some homemade hand soaps wrapped up my haul and I am so thankful for all of the sweet and incredibly useful gifts from my best friend.

Lea and I both revel in the gift giving process of the holidays and I love being able to share in the season with her. I felt so happy after seeing her because she is and always has been a breath of fresh air in my life. She brings me so much joy and I have absolutely NO idea what I would do without her. Here’s to a million more Christmas hang outs together! ❤

How do you and your BFF celebrate the holidays? Do you have any “staples” in your gift giving arsenal? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Surprise Gift Edition

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Holiday Haul: Surprise Gift Edition

Hello!! For those of you who don’t know, my “big girl” job is as an Independent Provider for people with special needs. I am proud to say that I have worked throughout the entirety of this pandemic and I am even prouder of my county’s board of Developmental Disabilities for taking such good care of all of their employees. From care packages filled with PPE as well as wonderful donations of games and crafting supplies to help keep our clients entertained, we have not been without during the pandemic and it is SO, so, so appreciated.

As if all of the supplies and encouraging emails weren’t enough, my county’s DD board provided us providers with a special gift for the holidays. I was so surprised by this generosity and I am in love with my prezzies picked out just for us. Check it out:

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For my surprise gift, I received a beautiful travel mug filled with caramel and chocolate covered popcorn. I also got the most comfortable pair of socks I have ever owned with “Making A Difference” on one foot and “It’s What I Do!” on the other. How awesome is that?! This gift absolutely touched me and not only did I feel appreciated for the work that I do but it put me in the best mood all day. I was so eager for Johnny to come home from work to show off my spoils and the discovery that my new socks are perfect for sliding around on our hard wood floors!

I love my job so much and would never expect anything in return and I think that’s why these presents mean so much to me. I can’t wait to fill up my travel mug with hot coffee in the morning because I already know it will put a smile on my face. How can the sweet messages printed on the front and back not?!

What makes you feel appreciated? How has your job changed throughout the pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Starbucks Drive Thru Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Starbucks Drive Thru Edition

Hellooooo! Once Starbucks busts out their seasonal drinks during the holidays, I have to stop by at least once or twice (or ten times) to get a Peppermint Mocha. It is my absolute favorite drink from there that isn’t iced coffee and I can feel myself getting more into the holiday spirit with each sip of essentially caffeinated hot chocolate.

About five years ago, a Starbucks opened up right down the street from me and it was pretty much the best thing that ever happened in my neck of the woods. The convenience is, obviously, amazing. But, what I love most of all are the delightful employees that work there. I have made many friends via the neighborhood Starbucks and I think it’s safe to say that I just made a new one during my last stop at the drive thru. Check it out:

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When I was younger and to this day, I love running errands with my mom. One of the big things that I can remember in my youth is how my mom made an effort to talk to the employees that were helping us. Whether it be chatting about their day or offering a compliment, I could always tell that the workers felt happy after talking to my mom and that inspired me to follow in her footsteps. Why not make someone’s day with a few encouraging words? When I worked retail, I was so appreciative of the customers who would go out of their way to talk to me so I know first hand how good it feels to have someone be kind while I was on the clock.

The past few times I went to the Starbucks drive thru, the same guy took my order and he was so nice – not just to me but to all of the customers. When he asked about my day, I could tell he was genuinely interested and it was like a breath of fresh air. I couldn’t not say anything and I let him know that he has made my day every time I stop by and that I really appreciate it. When I received my drink at the window, I was informed that there was a little note on my cup:

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How sweet is that?!

Whenever you want to say something nice to someone, just say it. You have no idea what that person could be going through and it might help turn their entire day around. I was in a great mood all day from just one kind gesture and I think my new friend had a better day for it, too. The world needs more positivity right now so spread it in any way you can. As you can see, even the smallest things are super effective! ❤

What was the last Random Act Of Kindness you made? How do you like to make someone’s day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Ballin’ On A Budget Christmas Gifts

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Ballin’ On A Budget Christmas Gifts

Hi! Christmas is coming in hot and it is no secret that this year’s holiday celebrations will be much different than in 2019. COVID-19 has put a damper on literally everything and many are still out of work and struggling to make ends meet. It is understandable that the holiday season might be stressing out those in a pinch even more so I put together a list of totally sweet and cheap gift ideas that will make anyone’s day. It’s always, always the thought that counts and your giftees will love the following:

Picture this:

Do you have a ton of favorite selfies and pics with one of your giftees? Print a couple out and frame them or print out a bunch and tuck them away in a photo album. I love this gift idea and have used it often, myself. Photos bring you back to happier times like vacations, girls night out, and family get togethers. Everyone can certainly smile more during these times and a pic with you and your giftee will do the trick just fine.

DIY:

Another simple and fun gift idea is all things DIY. How about crafting some holiday ornaments for everyone on your list? Holiday themed decor always goes over well and your options are limitless. Perhaps painted winter scenes to hang up? Homemade bath and body care items or candles? Or you could assemble all of the ingredients to make holiday cookies into a cute Mason jar. DIY gifts are special because no one else in the world will have something like it!

Future fun:

Talk to your giftees about what they are most excited to do when it’s safe. Are they dying to see a movie in theaters? Browse the mall care free for the afternoon? What about dining at their favorite restaurant? Get the deets and present a plan for a day together with those on your list in 2021. This is insanely thoughtful and it shows that you’re listening when your loved ones talk to you. Also, who doesn’t like having something to look forward to?!

Family Day:

Instead of a gift, why not opt to plan a winter wonderland day for your family post or pre Christmas? Host a snowball fight or a trek through the woods. What about ice skating on a lake? Or driving around to look at Christmas lights? It will be such fun to have everyone all together again! Have hot chocolate ready for once you head inside and pop on a Christmas movie or comedy to keep the good vibes going. I would love to do this with my family. 🙂

Books & movies:

I don’t know anyone who isn’t constantly asking for recommendations of books or movies to help ease their pandemic boredom. Choose a new book or movie that you think your giftee would love. It could be one of your favorites, it could be something new from their fave author or actor – heck, it could be something totally random! Either way, you are providing some entertainment for everyone on your list and they will be most appreciative when they feel like there is “nothing” to do.

The holidays shouldn’t be a stressful time so try and enjoy yourself! Easier said than done, I know. But, as I said before, the thought you put into your gifts is the most important thing so use the ideas above to help get you started. ❤

How is your holiday shopping going? Do you have a gift you are really excited to give? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: A Thanksgiving Stowaway Edition

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Sweet Surprises: A Thanksgiving Stowaway Edition

Hello!! Sadly, Johnny and I were not able to attend Thanksgiving with my family and it really, really sucked. It was so hard to visit my loved ones outside and not be able to hug them and enjoy the day together. It was especially difficult to not be able to hold my niece, Valerie, because she is my lil BFF and I have never not held her whenever I see her since she has been born.

My parents were nice enough to drop Thanksgiving dinner off on mine and Johnny’s doorstep and it wasn’t until the following day that I noticed a little stowaway on the bag they sent over:

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Valerie loves playing with stickers and her and my sister stuck this little guy from Trolls onto our to go bag. I didn’t notice it right away because it was on the backside of it and it made me so happy when I finally saw this “hi auntie” message from my niece.

The little things really do make the best sweet surprises. I wish I could have been there to hear Val say “uh oh” when one of her stickers ripped and I am so ready for Christmas so I can be there when her and her parents open all of her prezzies.

This Thanksgiving was straight up not a good time for me or Johnny and I am sharing these stories to help remind and encourage people to continue wearing their masks and social distance. The food, my sticker stowaway, and being with Johnny made the day not the worst but our Thanksgiving would have been so much better had we been able to celebrate traditionally.

Regardless, my sweet surprise from my niece and sister definitely helped perk me up. It is also a nice reminder that even the smallest gestures can have such a great impact. Be kind to everyone because you have no idea what they’re going through. Who knows, you might be helping make their bad day just that little bit better. 🙂

How did you safely celebrate Thanksgiving? What are you looking forward to as the year comes to a close? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

If The Shoe Fits: Nine West Kitten Heels Edition

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If The Shoe Fits: Nine West Kitten Heels Edition

Howdy and welcome to another new edition of If The Shoe Fits! Today, we are going to be talking about the most darling pair of kitten heels by Nine West. I have had my eye on these adorable mini pumps for at least a year on TJMaxx’s online store. However, every time I want to order them they never have my size. After what seemed like an eternity of sold out size sixes, I finally snagged a pair and I couldn’t be happier so take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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As you all know, I live for a chunky platform or wedge heel. I actually don’t care for stilettos on me so a kitten heel is the closest I will get to it! I think kitten heels are the perfect combination of sweet and sassy and these Nine Wests are a total testament to that. The sleek jet black adds the oomph while the rhinestone wrap around the ankle adds that little bit of sugar. Is that sweet and sassy or what?

I feel like these kitten heels would look amazing on anyone and they also come in a charming shade of blush pink. Easy to dress up or down, the mini pumps would look stunning with a shimmering New Year’s Eve party dress. They would also be just as flattering with a pair of skinny jeans and a sharp blazer for an evening drink with the girls… Post-COVID, of course.

I am ecstatic to finally add my Nine Wests into my always growing shoe collection because I have waited so long to order them! And, I actually only own one other pair of kitten heels so now my lonely solo pair has a companion. For forty dollars, these babies are a steal and I wouldn’t wait too long if you want to grab a pair for yourself!

What is your favorite shape for a heel? How do you take a look from day to night? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

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There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

You know… I think the best ships are Auntships and yes I definitely made that up on the spot, lol. This past weekend, I had the absolute joy of watching my sweet niece Miss Valerie Jane. Val Gal is almost twenty months old and she is my sister, Kristen, and brother in law, Ramon’s, little girl. Valerie is honest to god my best friend and my life has been so much happier since she was born.

Despite having Blue’s Clues on in the background for the entire evening, Val and I had the best time playing, snacking, and enjoying a pajama party while her mom and dad were at work. Between her French lessons from her auntie, reading books, putting puzzles together, working on her flash cards, and cooking in her pretend kitchen we had a jam packed Saturday night!

I love being able to see Val’s happy and silly personality continue to develop every time I see her. I swear, she is always giggling, belly laughing, and on the move and I don’t know how her parents keep up with her. Especially considering that Kristen and Ramon have five pets, as well. Three dogs named Tydus, Winston, and Platinum and two cats called Mary and Gloria (All rescued). 🙂

I know I’m biased because Val is my niece but I am just so proud of her, Kristen, and Ramon because she’s legit the best kid on the planet. In fact, I tend to not like children that much to begin with but I wish I could see Valerie every day.

Being able to go to chez Kristen and Ramon’s for an evening and do nothing but make Val laugh hysterically from the “Where’s Val? I can’t find her anywhere” game was a high point of this entire year, lol. I was so tired after caring for a constantly on the move kiddo but all I have to do is think about our “auntie and me” time together and it never ceases to put a smile on my face.

Being an auntie to lil Valerie Jane is one of the best gifts I’ve ever had and I really do think the best ships are Auntships. ❤

Are you a proud aunt or uncle? Which TV shows are the kiddos in your life obsessed with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Best Boyfriend Ever Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Best Boyfriend Ever Edition

Hello! So, last Thursday, I had quite possibly one of the worst work days of my life. I can’t go into more detail than that but it was emotionally charged and very sad for me. Despite being so upset, I knew Johnny had kind of a bum week too so I decided to pick him up some fast food from one of his favorite places in the area I was in. I texted him that I had his dinner and not to make anything for himself and he replied back that he actually had a surprise for me, as well.

Naturally, the word “surprise” put a tiny pep back in my step and I was eager to get home to see what Johnny was talking about. When I walked into our apartment, I laughed out loud because I saw this hanging from our rafter:

Originally, I thought the ghostie was the surprise but Johnny told me that it was for him to take to work to decorate his space with. Then, he handed me this adorable sugar skull coffee mug:

I absolutely love being gifted with coffee mugs because it makes me think of whoever gave it to me whenever I use it. I have so many cute mugs from my best friend and the ones that aren’t in my kitchen cabinet house little knick knacks and baubles throughout my apartment. Johnny hit the nail on the head with this pick me up and, somehow, we both knew that each of us would need one that day.

My new coffee mug is deliciously Day Of The Dead and I plan on keeping it out all of the time because it always makes me smile when I see it. My Johnny really is the best boyfriend ever and my day got a whole lot brighter as soon as I got home.

For the rest of the night, we watched The Haunting Of Bly Manor and Seinfeld and laughed every time the ghost decoration spooked me when I saw it in my peripheral. I am so thankful to have him because he turned my awful day into a wonderful evening and all I had to do was open the door to our place. ❤

Has anyone given you a Sweet Surprise recently? How do you unwind after a bad day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

An Apple A Day

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An Apple A Day

Hello!! For those of you who don’t know, my big girl job is as an Independent Provider for people with special needs. I love my job always but in the summer and fall, I feel particularly thankful because I am constantly being spoiled with produce from gardens and apple orchards. Each family I work with does a garden every summer and, I swear, I never went a week without delicious, homegrown veggies in my apartment these past few months.

This past week, a client and his family visited an apple orchard and I had such fun hearing about his outing. Fast forward to when I was about to pull out of their yard to go home and his mom comes running out to stop me with a huge bag of apples. SO sweet!

All of the families I work with consider me an “honorary” member of their household and it is an honor for me. So, to come home with a bag of apples or veggies is special to me because it’s a reminder of how much we all care for each other. I would be so lonely without all of the wonderful families I get to help out and, god forbid one of us gets sick or goes on vacation, because we all end up missing each other like crazy!

Like I said, my client’s mom ran to my car with this beautiful bounty and it was like getting the most fantastic hug. Small and simple acts of kindness are often the best so be sure to offer an apple (pumpkin or gourd!) a day to someone you love if you visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch this fall. You have the Lil Red Guarantee that it will be oh so appreciated. ❤

What was the last random act of kindness you made? What do you like to grow in your garden? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Sister Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Sister Edition

Hello all and welcome to the first post of September 2020 here on lifewithlilred! Today, we are going to discuss a sweet surprise from my big sister, Kristen. My sis is my ultimate BFF and I am proud to be the permanent fourth wheel to her, her boyfriend, and daughter. If I could I would be with them all of the time!

This past week, Kristen told me she had a gift waiting for me at my mom and dad’s and I could hardly wait to get over there for work to see what it was. I had no idea what it could have been and no hints were given to me so I went into the surprise blind… And discovered the following:

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As a “just because” prezzie, Kristen surprised me with this super cool skull and butterfly art by Marmont Hill that she found at TJMaxx. Kristen told me she thought it looked “very me” when she saw it and couldn’t pass it up… She was right! It is very me and if I weren’t almost out of blank space on my body I’d get it tattooed, lol.

Unfortunately, I see Kristen and her family nowhere near as much as I would like and we both want to make an effort to change that. However, we text each other pretty much every day. I am so excited to hang my new art up in my apartment and I am going to get the warm fuzzies every time I see it.

After returning home with my treasured new decor, I was in such a giving spirit that I decided to start my Christmas shopping way early. I have a ton of people to shop for, sue me for it! I just had to spoil my sister’s daughter rotten this year and I can’t wait to do the same for Kristen and her partner. Both are such hard working, loving, dedicated parents and friends and if anyone deserves gifts galore, it is most definitely them. ❤

How do you surprise your loved ones? When do you like to start your holiday shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah