Tag Archives: the wizarding world of harry potter

Harry Potter Hang Out

Harry Potter Hang Out

Hello! Sunday is normally my and Johnny’s lazy day where we indulge in a movie or TV marathon. It could be anything from binge watching the same show all day, experimenting with something new, or revisiting old favorites. For example, this past Sunday, Johnny and I had a Harry Potter marathon and watched The Chamber Of Secrets, The Prisoner Of Azkaban, and The Goblet Of Fire.

Of course, Johnny fell asleep immediately when we started Chamber Of Secrets and that gave me the opportunity to reflect on how much I friggen LOVE Harry Potter. All I can think about whenever watching the movies for the millionth time is how cool it was to essentially grow up with the cast. I also always reminisce on all of the fun my family had when we vacationed to Orlando, Florida and got to experience The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. (Take me back, PLEASE!)

It’s so special to think back to all of the Harry Potter midnight showings I’ve attended, reading the books for the first time, and then reading them one hundred times more. There is nothing better than immersing yourself in something magical when there is so much craziness going on in our world and Sunday felt like such a treat for that reason.

All of Sunday, I got to peek into the fantastic and mysterious wizarding world and it was a relief to “be” somewhere different for the day. Granted, I won’t be making anything levitate or be able to unlock my apartment door just by uttering a simple charm. But, my mind was occupied and totally entertained all day and that is the next best thing when you’re in quarantine!

What is your favorite book series? How about your favorite movie series? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: The Travel Tag Edition

Monday Update: The Travel Tag Edition

Hi everyone and happy Sunday! I haven’t done any of the fun tags and awards that I have been nominated for for awhile but when my super cute friend K.M. tagged me for the Travel Tag, I had to give it a go! I am hopefully crossing the ocean in the spring of 2017 to the UK for a graduation gift to myself so travel has been on my mind constantly. Before you read my answers to K.M.’s travel themed questions, please be sure to check out her wonderful blog at Ankhor You! I love chatting with K.M. via comments and Facebook and I am sure all of you will adore her just as much as I do!

Q & A:

You are leaving tomorrow to start a life in a new country, where would you go?

FRANCE!! Mais, oui. I have been studying French since high school and I am nowhere near fully fluent but I am very dedicated to becoming so. I love everything about France – the people, culture, language, food, scenery – EVERYTHING. So, needless to say, if you don’t hear from me in a while, just know that I have packed up and gone away to France.

You can take someone for a weekend away to the place you had the best holidays ever, where would that be and who would you take to go with you?

Hmmm…Since a weekend isn’t a very long time, I would probably spend the weekend with my sister at Cedar Point. Cedar Point is about two hours away from yours truly and my sister and I both love amusement parks so I can totally picture us staying in one of their hotels and having a big adventure weekend at the theme park. I have never been there during the Halloween season, either, so I think that that would be so much fun!

You can get married wherever you want to, your budget is limitless, what is your choice?

I hate to be redundant here but can somebody say “Paris”?

During your travels you can bring back home one animal as a pet, which one would you pick?

A MONKEY, A MONKEY, A LITTLE BABY MONKEY!!! While exploring the jungles in some far away, exotic country, I will befriend a tiny little monkey and have it come home with me. Its name will be Frank. 🙂

You can go back in time and relive one family trip, which one?

Oh, that’s easy. Definitely Universal Studios! My entire family is a big lover of amusement parks and we had the literal best time at Universal. Being at Harry Potter World was a dream come true and I would give anything to go back.

What is the first thing you would pack for a one year travel around the world?

Red lipstick and a year supply of hair dye.

What would your fantasy 100th birthday destination be and why?

Uhhh… I don’t really plan on making it to my 100th birthday?

During your travel you can learn one sport to become a pro, what would that be?

I would continue my figure skating education! I skated throughout my childhood and early teens and miss it very much!

I Nominate:

My Questions For You:

  1. Where are your top three places that you would like to travel?
  2. What is your favorite type of ethnic cuisine to eat?
  3. You get offered a plane ticket to a country of your choosing but you can only bring three items with you.Where would you go and what would your items be?
  4. What location does not appeal to you to travel to?
  5. Your BFF is a total adrenaline junkie and she has you pick between building an igloo in Antarctica, scaling Mount Everest, or zip lining one thousand feet over the jungle. What do you choose?
  6. Are you an over packer or an under packer when it comes to prepping for a vaca?
  7. Have you ever forgotten something totally essential while on vacation?
  8. What is your perfect vaca outfit?

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: The Travel Tag Edition! Thank you to my fabulous friend, K.M., for the nomination! How would you answer some of the questions that K.M. asked me? How would you answer some of the questions that I asked my nominees? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Graphic Tees, Please Edition

Monday Update: Graphic Tees, Please Edition

Hello everyone and happy Monday!! This Saturday, Kohl’s treated me very well with some darling new graphic tees to ring in the new year. Usually I’m not one to go gaga over t-shirts but I just couldn’t help it…They’re so much more than that!! Take a look at my latest purchases:

^^^ I love them! ❤

If there’s one thing that I love, it’s shirts with fun sayings and images on them. I don’t have a ton of tees in my wardrobe so when I saw all of these fantastically cute tops, I just had to indulge. Normally I would never buy three t-shirts during a shopping trip – I try to mix it up with various pieces. However, all of these tops were different enough that I wasn’t even mad about a threepeat purchase.

As many of you know, I looove Harry Potter more than anything so I was sold when I saw the maroon top with all of the Potter symbols on it. I like how this shirt doesn’t go right out and say “HARRY POTTER” or feature a character printed on the shirt. This top was much more subtle, which is what drew me to it. My family has been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios twice and I never bought a shirt from there so this one definitely makes up for it! Now I can run around the neighborhood wearing this top and wielding my wand. EXPECTO PATRONUM!!!

As far as the grey shirt goes…How can you not buy that? Haha, like I said, I love tops with silly sayings on them so this one was perfect. One of my favorite tanks in my wardrobe says “LA DON’T ❤ YOU” and now I think I have found a contender for funny slogans! When I showed my mom this top, she replied with, “I don’t get it”, so lucky for her I’ll be posting the video to “Milkshake” at the end of this post so that she understands. Hi mom! 😉

And last but not least my black and white “NOPE” shirt. I was at Kohl’s prior to this shopping trip and I remember thinking how much I liked this top when I saw it but I didn’t try it on. When I returned to the store on Saturday I looked for the tee but could only find it in a large. I was a bit disappointed but continued my rounds around the store.

When I ended up back in the Juniors department (yes, I’m a 21 year old who still shops in the Kohl’s Juniors department), I looked around one more time and I saw the shirt flung on a shelf. I picked it up and was so happy to see that it was a size small, which is what I need! I rushed back to the fitting room to try it on and it was just perfect. It reminds me a lot of Brandy Melville tops, which were some of my favorites when I worked at PacSun. The way it fit was great, too, because it hugged my body nicely but was by no means tight, which is exactly how I like my clothes to fit.

I was so happy with my newest purchases from Kohl’s and I’m really excited to wear them during my spring semester at school! I can’t wait to create lots of cool and edgy outfits with my graphic tees. All three of them are going to be great for dressing up or down so it will be fun to see what I come up with!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Graphic Tees, Please Edition! I hope everyone is having a fantastic start to their week. Who has done some post holiday shopping recently? Where is the best place to score a great sale price? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

^^^ My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard and they’re like: Your friend is hot. -___-

Lil Red’s Orlando Vacation Conclusion

Lil Red’s Orlando Vacation Conclusion

Hi there everyone and happy Sunday! I hope all of you are having a great weekend! I thought we could take today to wrap up my posts about my vacation to Orlando, Florida with some more fun stories and cool pics! Take a look and let’s discuss:


Lil Red Vacation Pro Tips:

  • To go mugs of wine for the journey to your destination is always a must! To go further with that, it’s also a wise decision to eat a ton of Taco Bell in the car, take a sleeping pill, and snooze the drive away. Our excursion to Florida was made completely tolerable thanks to sleeping for thirteen of the eighteen hours! Best. Decision. EVER!
  • If you’re nice enough to the Hogwarts Express conductor, he’ll show you his pocket watch with “Hogsmeade” and “Diagon Alley” instead of numbers so he knows when the train is departing from each station.
  • Make sure you spend some extra time after the Minion Mayhem ride to get your picture taken with one of the silly little Despicable Me goofballs! I love them so much, so this was absolutely necessary.
  • Take a boat ride to the Portafino hotel resort and enjoy some pizza at Sal’s! My family and I did this one evening after a day at Universal Studios and it was so awesome. We ate our pizza and drank wine on their patio and we had a perfect view of the nightly fireworks show at the park.
  • When you get your nails done, know that it’s going to be extra money to get rhinestone decorations! WHOOPS. So worth it though! It was really nice to take an hour to get out of the heat and get some pampering done in a cute little salon in Orlando.
  • If you’re like me and don’t like getting your hair wet, it’s a good idea to wear a plastic poncho during the afternoon rain and water rides. My mom found a poncho from The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter crumpled up on the ground near the park lockers and stealthily snagged it. I’m so glad she did because this kept me and my beloved red locks totally dry! Score!
  • Always photograph your parents doing cute things. (See picture above!)
  • Park souvenirs are not always the way to go! My mom and I found minion socks, keychains, and magnets at Marc’s all for under a dollar and they looked exactly like the ones at Universal. Such a steal!
  • There’s nothing wrong with drinking a twenty-four ounce can of Redd’s Apple Ale on the car ride back to good ol’ Akron, Ohio.
  • There’s also nothing wrong with spooning with your mom during said car right. Uhhh…..
  • Most importantly, savor every moment of your vaca and relish in the things that you can’t normally do in your hometown. Last time I checked, Akron doesn’t have anything close to Universal Studios! 😉

So there you have it, some Lil Red Pro Tips to wrap up my Orlando vacation!! I seriously had the most amazing time during my Florida getaway but it sure feels great to be home! Did any of you guys go on vacation this summer? What was the best vaca you’ve ever been on? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

More Orlando Vacation Fun

More Orlando Vacation Fun

Whatuppp everyone! So I’ve already shared a lot of really cool stories and pics from my vacation to Orlando, Florida…But wait, there’s more!! Take a look at some more photos from The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, which is obviously the only thing I took pictures of and let’s discuss some more vacation fun!



Despite my lack of pics from any other part of Universal Studios and the Islands Of Adventure, I can assure you that there’s a lot more to both of the parks besides The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter (even though it’s hard to believe!)! One of my favorite Universal Studio memories occurred around closing time, when a show commemorating one hundred years of movie making was played on a curtain of water. Yes, a curtain of water!

Around nine forty-five every night at Universal Studios, you can watch a video filled with clips from horror, romance, comedy, and action films going all the way from black and white to vivid color. The video can be seen projected on a water curtain and on the surface of the surrounding water itself. The film is narrated by the soothing voice of Morgan Freeman and all the while there are amazing lights, fire, and fireworks showing off on land, water, and sky. All of these components put together made for an awesome show! I recommend that you find a spot to watch the movie magic at least twenty minutes prior so you get a good view because believe me, people start crowding around very quickly!!

Aside from the Harry Potter rides, one of my other favorite rides was the Spiderman 3D roller coaster located on the Islands Of Adventure. I’ll be honest with you guys, I’m not a big superhero fan…In fact, I’ve never even seen any of the Spiderman movies BUT that doesn’t take away from how freaking cool the ride is! The Spiderman 3D roller coaster is similar to the ones in Harry Potter-land, except now you’re in a city setting flinging webs and protecting the world from baddies! Your cart follows Spidey through traffic congested streets and a starry night sky to keep the civilians from harm but you never know what super villain you’ll encounter at every turn! Keep your eyes peeled and hold on tight because you are definitely in for a bumpy and high flying ride.

During our vaca, we stayed in an apartment style room at the Westgate Reserves. Our living quarters were gorgeous and the best part about it is that we had a kitchenette, so we were able to do a lot of eating at “home”. But let me tell you, on the days that we treated ourselves to some meals out we sure did some good eating! My favorite restaurant that we ate at was called Mythos, which is located on the Islands Of Adventure. I had the pesto gnocchi and it was seriously incredible. The pesto was really creamy and it was garnished with sun dried tomatoes which is one of my favorite things in the world!

My only complaint about the restaurant is their unclear marking on the menu in regards to what food is vegetarian or not. For example, I was originally going to order their pad thai because it said on the menu that it could be prepared vegetarian style. However, when I went to order it, our waitress informed me that the dish was made with fish oil. I was so thankful that she informed me because if she didn’t tell me and I somehow found out on my own, I don’t think that I could live with myself. My second choice was delicious, but it was definitely unsettling to know that I almost unknowingly ate a meal with a fish based product in it. If you are a vegetarian and you eat at Mythos, make sure you ask for clarifications on the ingredients of what you order to prevent an unfortunate incident of meat eating!

So there you have it, some More Orlando Vacation Fun! Did any of you go on vaca this summer? Where was your vacation destination location? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

Hey heyyy everyone and happy Tuesday! As you guys know this week on lifewithlilred will be featuring posts all about my Universal Studios adventure, which started with yesterday’s Monday Update: Orlando Vacation Edition. To continue with this theme, I thought that we could finish our conversation about my favorite part of my vaca – The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. Take a look at these cool pics and then let’s discuss:


As I mentioned before, Universal Studios added on to The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter park with Diagon Alley. The pictures that I’ve posted and will continue to post throughout the week does not do the HP replicas justice in the slightest. We’ve already talked about a lot of what the newest HP park has to offer yesterday but we have yet to talk about all of the different rides, so let’s get on that!!

Diagon Alley features two new rides, an interactive train ride on the Hogwarts Express and Escape From Gringotts. The nice thing about boarding the Hogwarts Express is that it takes you to Hogsmeade, which lies in the neighboring park, the Islands of Adventure. And of course you can hop the train and head back to Diagon Alley. To get to the Hogwarts Express you must walk through Kings Cross station, complete with the luggage of Hogwarts students and a hologram which makes you look like you’re walking through the wall to Platform 9 3/4 to onlookers.

Once you’ve boarded the train you enter into a spacious cabin boasting luggage racks, plush seats, and framed photos of London. As the train begins to move you can see scenes of London streets, HP characters like Hagrid, and the approaching Hogwarts castle through your window. Make sure you pay attention to your cabin door as well, where you will see silhouettes of Harry, Ron, Hermoine, and the soul sucking Dementors. Once Harry’s Patronus charm chases the Dementors away, you can exit the train and you will find yourself right in the heart of Hogsmeade.

The second new ride in Diagon Alley is the Escape From Gringotts, a high speed 3D roller coaster. The awesome thing about a lot of the rides at Universal, specifically the HP rides, is that they make the waits in line completely tolerable because you are able to interact with your surroundings. In the line for Escape From Gringotts, you get to experience walking through a perfect replica of the bank, complete with high vaulted ceilings, crystal chandeliers, and talking and moving goblins. And it wouldn’t be a HP ride without talking and moving pictures on the wall!

After your walk through the bank, you board an elevator that’s measured in miles instead of floors to take you deep into the bottommost layers of Gringotts. Before you begin your mine cart ride, you get to see a short hologram interaction between Bill Weasley and a goblin, to tell you a little bit about what you’re in for during your tour of the Gringotts vaults. From there, you enter your mine cart and get down to business. If you are expecting a nice leisurely ride, you will be in for quite a shock…Especially during your run ins with trolls, dragons, Bellatrix, and Voldemort!

There are three rides in Hogsmeade, but I am only going to discuss one of them, as the other two are your standard roller coasters. One of the best rides that Universal Studios has to offer is Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey. This is another 3D roller coaster which takes you on a grand tour of the Hogwarts castle and grounds. Similar to Escape From Gringotts, a lot of the fun is waiting in line! During your wait you get to walk through the corridors of Hogwarts, where you encounter holograms of Dumbledore, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. You get a look at the greenhouse, the Gryffindor common room, as well as multiple classrooms. You also get to see the pictures on the walls interacting with each other. The most interesting picture experience comes from watching the founders of each house discuss letting muggle born students practice at Hogwarts. (We all know how Salazar Slytherin feels about this!) And of course, a tour through Hogwarts wouldn’t be complete without hearing the fat lady sing! All of this excitement occurs before even coming close to going on the ride!

You know that you’re in for a wild ride just from getting into your cart because they are moving along a platform at a pretty quick speed, and once you’re on and buckled in the ride begins. Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey let’s you feel what it’s like to fly as you travel behind Harry and the gang, going everywhere from the Quidditch field to the Forbidden Forest. Be on the lookout though because your journey is filled with dangerous twists and turns, putting you face to face with giant spiders and Dementors. You get up close and personal with the HP trademark, the Whomping Willow, as well as a high speed adventure beneath the Quidditch field rafters a la Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets. The Forbidden Journey is a long ride and by the time you’re done you really feel as though you made the million mile trip throughout the Hogwarts grounds. Shake it off and cool down with a delicious frothy Butterbeer…you earned it!!

So there you have it, the Lil Red inside look at the rides of The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter! Make sure you tune in at the same time and same place tomorrow for more of my Orlando, Florida vacation fun! Until then, have any of you been to Universal Studios before? What was your favorite ride there? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Orlando Vacation Edition

Monday Update: Orlando Vacation Edition

Helloooo everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of the Monday Update – Vacation style! This past week my family and I made an eighteen hour trek from Akron, Ohio to Orlando, Florida for some fun at Universal Studios! I arrived home at three fifteen on Sunday morning and I’m still recovering from the drive home, but that’s just a small price to pay for a week of paradise. Because my family did so much on our vacation, this week on lifewithlilred is going to be a bit different…Every day I’ll be posting a new segment about my vaca complete with pictures and witty commentary. But for now, let me throw a few pics on here and we can talk about some of the amazing things that Universal Studios has to offer!


A year or so ago, a new edition was added onto The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter section of the amusement park – Diagon Alley. Previously, the Harry Potter park was limited to Hogsmeade and I must say, they really outdid themselves with both parks. The last time my family attended Universal, Diagon Alley was still in production so it was absolutely incredible to be able to experience the finished product, which can be seen in the first three pictures that I posted! You might notice in the pic of me in the telephone booth that I have a sign attached to the back of my shirt – this was an impromptu attempt at promoting lifewithlilred while exploring Universal Studios. Lol, anything for the sake of advertisement!

Anyways, back to Diagon Alley…It. Was. AWESOME. What was so cool about the newest addition to Universal Studios was how big it was! There were so many different twists and turns you could take throughout the park which lead to different shops, performances, and rides. Watch your step though, because you might end up in the dark and spooky Knockturn Alley, which was my favorite part of Diagon Alley. The execution of Knockturn Alley was exquisite…It captured the mood of the Dark Arts to perfection with pitch black corridors, singing shrunken heads, and wilted flowers adorning the windowsills. But the best part of Knockturn Alley was exploring Borgin & Burkes, a store for all of your Dark Arts needs.

Borgin & Burkes sold souvenirs, of course, but it also had tons of HP movie memorabilia, which included a Vanishing Cabinet made special for the park by the Potter prop masters. Stepping into Borgin & Burkes seriously felt like walking onto a Harry Potter movie set…that’s how authentic the creepy atmosphere was. The store was filled with “cursed” items that are easily recognizable from the books and movies, like the severed hand that closes itself onto you of you get too close! Borgin & Burkes was where I picked out a cool shirt for my sister donning the killing curse in ink and quill script…AVADA KEDAVRA!

If you’re looking to spend some moolah in Diagon Alley, then you can drop forty-eight bucks on a wand that let’s you interact with the park. In all of the windows of Diagon Alley, there are displays which will move with just a flick of your wrist. All you have to do is stand on the designated spot in front of the window, which is marked on the ground, and put your wand to use. I can imagine that there is some type of chip in the wand that activates the window displays which can be anything from making troll armor move to lighting up all of the candles in a window and blowing them out again. The interactive windows were a brilliant way of letting the park goers experience some magic and it was definitely cool to see what each display had to offer. I didn’t buy a wand because I got a lowtech one during my last trip, so I was a bit jealous of everyone who had one!

There’s a lot more to discuss about Diagon Alley, which will be saved for another article, so make sure you keep it posted on http://www.lifewithlilred.com to learn more about The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter! Until then, who has been to Universal Studios before? What was your favorite part of the park? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah