Tag Archives: tradition

Holiday Haul: Boyfriend’s Family Edition

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Holiday Haul: Boyfriend’s Family Edition

Hello! The day after Christmas, Johnny and I visited his parents and it was so nice. Due to COVID, I have not seen them in forever and I was really happy to safely spend time with them. We opened gifts, caught up, and watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as per their family tradition. I feel lucky that this was my second viewing with them and I can’t wait for many more. Johnny and I were gifted with such beautiful presents and I am so tickled that they even got me a stocking for their mantel! Check it out:

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^^^ The adorable “Our First Pandemic” ornament is from Johnny! 🙂

I love all of the gifts from Johnny’s parents so much and I love that many of them are from local businesses in our area even more. The unique earrings came from a local boutique as well as the bar soap and delicious smelling Gingerbread Caramel lotion, which was from Hope Soap. They have a store in downtown Cuyahoga Falls and I have always wanted to check it out so I’m really eager to try their products. And, don’t even get me started on the popcorn from Amaize because it is the BEST. Johnny and I were gifted with a huge sampler of their different flavors last year on our birthdays and we made very quick work of it!

Johnny’s parents also gave us several different ornaments, which was so thoughtful because despite not having a Christmas tree in our apartment this year, we will definitely want one for next Christmas when we are in a bigger place. It will be so much fun to collect ornaments for our own tree and we already have a nice start! I particularly love the middle ornament in the picture above – it is so pretty. 🙂

Being able to spend time with Johnny’s family was the best gift of all. I miss them so and I can’t wait until things are significantly less crazy so we can see them more often. ❤

Do you have an ornament collection? What is your favorite ornament or holiday decoration? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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

Super Happy Fun Times

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Super Happy Fun Times

Hello!!! Last weekend was a wonderful one for me and, boy, did I need it. I had been feeling nothing short of blah for the past several weeks and now I know that the remedy for the blues is some snuggles, creating new holiday traditions, and Zoom dates to put a spring back in my step. Rinse and repeat for best results!

Last weekend, I was so happy because I got to babysit my sweet niece, Valerie, on Saturday night. I had been counting down the days because the last time I saw Val Gal was on Thanksgiving. Johnny and I were not able to participate in the holiday with my family and it was very hard seeing Val on the driveway and not being able to hold her. So, trust and believe, I was ready for all of the snugs.

Val and I had so much fun reading books, petting all of her animal friends (she loves their family pets!), playing Peek-A-Boo, and watching Trolls. Even though whenever I would sing along with the songs Val would go “NOOOOO” haha I didn’t realize I was that tone deaf! Being an aunt is the best thing ever and I am eagerly counting down the days until Christmas so I can spoil my niece and nephew rotten!

The weekend fun did not end there because on Sunday, I was able to Zoom with one of my dear friends, Scott. I have been a friend to him and his family for over six years now and I really miss being able to see them regularly and go out for coffee and lunch. Scott and I chatted for over an hour about anything and everything and it was so refreshing to gab, laugh, reminisce, and, of course, look forward to when it’s safe so we can all see each other again. ❤

Afterwards, Johnny and I ordered Pizza Hut pizza and settled in to watch his favorite holiday movie, The Muppets Christmas Carol. Believe it or not, I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen the full movie because when I was younger the part with Marley and Marley used to scare me SO bad (This humors Johnny to no end!). I am proud to say, I was able to get through that part without incident as an adult and we both enjoyed our afternoon viewing/pizza party so much. We decided that we should watch it every year along with Elf – even though Johnny fell asleep when we watched it!

It is so easy to be bummed out about the state of the world right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, sometimes, all it takes is a little holiday magic to get yourself back to baseline. I can attest to that firsthand. 🙂

What is your favorite holiday movie? How do you like to spoil your loved ones during the holiday season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Traditions It’s Okay To Break During Christmas

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Traditions It’s Okay To Break During Christmas

Hi everyone! Today’s post is guest written by my sweet friend, Ester. Her blog is excellent and chock full of gorgeous photos, travel, and well written passages. So, do be sure to check out her page and give it some love! Please enjoy this lovely guest post and if you are interested in sharing your work on lifewithlilred, shoot me an email at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com !

Dear World,

A week or so ago, I was talking to my boss about sales at Christmas time and how that’s having an impact on how we exchange presents now compared to previous years. This conversation then made me think about all of the little traditions I’ve been changing and adapting every year and how I now live the Christmas period today. It is very interesting how we all try to follow the traditions because that’s what makes us human (that is, culture) but we also want to adapt them to our modern world.

I’m personally very okay with breaking the rules, I’ve been doing that my whole life. I like traditions with a twist. On the one hand, I love how comfortable and homey it feels following a ritual, but I also want to change my lifestyle for the best. Moreover, spending the Christmas holidays in other countries and being exposed to other cultures had an impact on how I now spend my time in December. So without further ado, here are the traditions that I am okay breaking this Christmas:

Ordering your Christmas dinner online:

Last year I spent hours cooking what I really wanted to be an absolute wonder of a meal. I slow-cooked the lamb and I tried my best to make a chestnut puree. It took me a whole afternoon of grocery shopping and a whole morning spent in the kitchen to go through all of that. The result, though, was a disaster. I think I put so much pressure on myself because I really wanted to somehow cook this Masterchef dinner that I screwed it all up. The meat was not tender and the puree was just uneatable. Somehow, I managed to finish it out of compassion and pity.

This year. I’m not going to repeat that experience or decide that I’ll magically become a chef in no time. That’s why my Christmas dinner will be kindly and lovingly prepared by Waitrose and Partners. I’m sure it will be much better than what I could ever cook myself. We will eat it at our place, next to the Christmas tree while drinking a good bottle of Prosecco. I’ll have the morning to relax and call all of my family and friends in Italy and I won’t be panicking in the kitchen. I, too, deserve to enjoy my Christmas morning.

ester

Exchanging gifts after Christmas:

This is actually the topic that led me to write this post in the first place. Here in London families are now embracing a new tradition: instead of exchanging presents on Christmas day, they organise a shopping trip to the mall on Boxing Day (or the week after Christmas) to buy each other what they really want at a cheaper price. If you think about it, that’s a win-win situation: everyone will receive what they want and the cost will be heavily reduced by the sales.

I know, I agree that is very nice and special to open your presents on Christmas day but, hey, you could have one gift under the tree and the rest at the Boxing Day sales. I, myself, have decided to wait a bit longer to buy my own Christmas present this year (I always treat myself to something special) because, by waiting a week or two I can buy my gift at half price. So, why not?

ester6If you’re in London for Christmas, try and find Harry Potter’s magic wand!

Eating way too much:

My relationship with food used to be quite complicated. I’m now fine but, if I eat too much, my stomach hurts badly. To be fair, I suppose it’s quite normal. If we eat too much, we don’t feel great at all. That’s why I always need to make sure I don’t cross that line at Christmas. I really hate feeling nauseated with stomach pain and a heavy head during the holidays. Also, I don’t want to ruin all of the hard work that I’ve been doing for the past few weeks.

This means, that I’ll do my best to go running once a week. But, I will also make sure that I won’t have three slices of Panettone in one day. I’m sure you know your limits, as well.

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Wrapping paper:

I’m not very good at leading an environmentally-friendly lifestyle but, after living in London for almost two years, I understand the importance and urgency to do so. Here in the city, everything is wrapped in plastic or paper. Every single lunch has some plastic in it and we all abuse the use of plastic bottles. It was a friend of mine who made me notice it and it’s very true, so I’m now trying to be more sensitive to that matter.

For this reason, I’m also considering what to do with wrapping paper. Not all wrapping paper can be recycled. Foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot be recycled and the same goes if there’s sticky tape or decorations on it. My suggestion here would be to make sure you buy wrapping paper that can be recycled easily – even better if that’s made with recycled paper.

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Of course, I understand the huge importance of traditions in our life and I, myself, love gathering together with my family to spend a wonderful Christmas together. However, traditions can be adapted to lifestyle and personal preferences. At the end of the day, what really counts is that we all spend a memorable day surrounded by the people we love the most because that’s what will make us happy.

What do you think? Are there any traditions that you are going to break or bend this Christmas? Let me know what your plans are for the holidays!

Best,

Ester Piubeni

My website: esterpiubeni.com

My Instagram account: ester_piubeni

Thank you again to Ester for her guest post on lifewithlilred! Happy holidays! Much love. -Sarah

Sarah & Lea’s Eggcelent Adventure

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Sarah & Lea’s Eggcelent Adventure

Hey everyone and TGIF! Last week my best friend, Lea, and I had the best time coloring Easter eggs. Lea and I have been BFFs for over seven years and dyeing Easter eggs is one of our many bestie traditions. Every year we always have so much fun, even though our eggs never really turn out all that great! This year, Lea’s mom de-yoked the eggs so we were working with empty shells for the first time. It was all very well until I walked away from the first egg that I sat down on the table for one second and it rolled off! Lucky for me, it only left a crack and we had no further incidents! Take a look at our eggs and us being cute and then let’s discuss further:

^^^ I love us! :*)

As you can see, our eggs clearly aren’t worthy of gracing the Good Housekeeping pages BUT we have a really good excuse for it! The colors in the egg coloring kit that we got sucked! It was seriously the most random compilation of colors ever, with two blues, one green, a yellow, one pale orange, and a pink. I wouldn’t be so upset about the color selection that we were working with had they been bright and vibrant but these colors were dull as dish water! Part of it may have been that we mixed the dye wrong but I’m just going to go ahead and blame it on the coloring kit. 😉

So our eggs didn’t turn out picture perfect – big deal, because we still had such a good time! I can remember dyeing eggs in high school with my bestie so the fact that we have kept this tradition alive after all of these years makes my heart feel very warm. There’s nothing better than sitting at the kitchen table, dyeing sub par Easter eggs, and having girl talk with your best friend! We dyed our eggs pretty early in the month, so who knows? Maybe another Eggcelent Adventure is in our future soon. With much better colors, hopefully!

❤ Love you, best friend! ❤

So there you have it, Sarah & Lea’s Eggcelent Adventure! What concoction do you use to make Easter egg dye? What is one of your favorite traditions with your BFF? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: Quick shout out to myself because I think that the title of this post is a hoot! I’M SO FUNNAYYYYY! #ihatemyself