Home Flooring Renovations: 5 Tips To Keep In Mind

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Home Flooring Renovations: 5 Tips To Keep In Mind

Flooring is an important part of any home renovation project. However, choosing the right type of flooring for your needs can be tricky and there are a few things you should keep in mind before starting your renovation. This blog post will discuss five tips for renovating your home’s flooring:

Choose the type of flooring you want:

There are many different types of flooring on the market and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. First, you need to decide what type of flooring will best suit your needs. There are four main types of flooring: hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and carpet.

  • Hardwood floors are a classic choice that can add beauty and value to your home. However, they require regular maintenance and can be scratched or damaged easily.
  • Laminate floors are a more affordable option that looks like wood but is less durable.
  • Vinyl floors are a great option for high traffic areas and are very durable. But, they can be damaged by water and are not as comfortable to walk on as other types of flooring.
  • Carpet is a cozy and comfortable option but it can be stained easily and is difficult to clean.

Consider the cost:

Flooring can be a significant investment so you must choose a material that fits your budget. Hardwood floors are typically the most expensive option, while carpet is usually the least expensive. You should also remember that installation costs can vary depending on the flooring you choose. Installation costs for hardwood floors are tend to be higher than other types of flooring because they require special tools and skills. Laminate and vinyl floors are often less expensive to install but they may not last as long as hardwood floors. Carpet is usually the most affordable option to install but it may need to be replaced more often than other types of flooring.

Think about durability:

You need to choose a material that can withstand heavy traffic and wear and tear. Hardwood floors are durable but can be scratched or damaged easily. Laminate and vinyl floors are also durable but they may not last as long as hardwood floors. Carpet is not as durable as other types of flooring and can be stained easily.

Cleaning & maintenance:

Hardwood floors require regular cleaning and maintenance but they can be damaged easily if not properly cared for. Laminate and vinyl floors are easy to clean and require little maintenance. However, carpet is difficult to clean and requires regular vacuuming and shampooing. Or you can try this robot vacuum for high pile carpet. You should also remember that some flooring types require more care than others. For example, hardwood floors need to be refinished every few years, while laminate and vinyl floors do not need to be refinished.

The warranty:

When investing in new flooring, you want to ensure a warranty covers it. Most hardwood floors come with a 25 year warranty, while laminate and vinyl floors typically have shorter warranties. Carpet usually has a one year warranty. Make sure you understand the terms of the warranty before purchasing the flooring. Some warranties require that you use a certain type of cleaner or follow specific cleaning instructions.

Keep these five factors in mind when choosing new flooring for your home and you will be able to find the perfect option for your needs!

Featured Image By: Pexels

3 Sports To Try Out This Summer

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3 Sports To Try Out This Summer

While the weather is nice, what better reason do you need to get active and try out a new sport. Not only will getting active help your mental health, but you’ll also get fitter and feel better. Depending on your goals, you could lose weight, build strength, or meet new people and make new friends.

When it comes to choosing a sport to try out, there are a plethora of options out there. If you enjoy being in the water, you could take up kayaking? Cycling is great if you want to work out on your own or American Football if you would like a team sport. Let’s discuss these further:

American Football – Team Sport:

Have you ever tried American Football? Instead of watching the pros play and coach like Joe Tumpkin, why not give it a go yourself? Football will get you outside, allow you to meet new people, and it’s great for your fitness. Your stamina will increase as well as your physical strength. There are many clubs out there that you can join, no matter your experience or ability. Most will offer trial sessions so that you can get a feel for the sport before committing to it more permanently.

Kayaking:

If you like being in the water, Kayaking could be for you. Kayaking will help build muscle strength and improve your stamina – Your back muscles will definitely get a workout. There are a whole variety of kayaks that you can choose from and different terrains that you can try out. Some kayaking clubs are based on the sea, while others are in rivers and lakes. You can also get single person kayaks or double kayaks if you want to bring a friend and take part together.

Cycling – Solo:

Not only is cycling good for your fitness but it is also very practical. Once you start to get the hang of cycling, you could cycle to work instead of getting the bus or driving – saving you money at the same time! You can cycle on your own if you prefer working out solo or there are cycling clubs that you can join. It is recommended that you do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week and by cycling, you can easily achieve this.

The above are three examples of different types of sports you can take part in this summer, based on a team, solo, or being on the water. With a bit of research, you’ll find that there are so many more sports to take part in if you don’t want to try these options!

Featured Image By: Ray Piedra

Super Fun Sidewalk Chalk Paint

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Super Fun Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Hello!! Johnny and I have a little niece and nephew and my mom is always looking for fun activities for them. We are both huge fans of Pinterest and JANE truly outdid herself by making some colorful sidewalk chalk paint from this McCormick recipe. Like any kid, the littles love making masterpieces with chalk and the paint was just as fun for the adults as it was for them:

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The recipe that my mom followed to make the chalk paint was a simple one that only required corn starch, water, and food dye. It also included the formulas to make all kinds of different colors from classic shades to neon hues. My niece, Valerie, requested the colors of the rainbow and my mom delivered, which made their driveway the most vibrant one in the neighborhood!

Sidewalk chalk paint is a unique spin on a tried and true favorite childhood activity. And, in my opinion, it’s even better because you don’t get that weird feeling from chalky hands – lol you guys know how I am about certain textures! This fun activity is sure to keep your kids entertained all summer long and I think that the adults will end up enjoying it just as much if not more. 😀

What was your favorite childhood activity? What do your kids like to do in the summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Hair, Who Dis?

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New Hair, Who Dis?

Hello!!! It had been a very long time since I was able to get my hair done because my brilliant stylist, Anna, unfortunately got COVID. Needless to say, I was counting down the days until my rescheduled appointment this past week and the results were worth the wait… My hair is finally red and white after two trial attempts! This is exactly what I’ve been wanting for so long and I am beyond obsessed. Check out how it started VS how it’s going:

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^^^ The red is Pulp Riot’s Fireball and the white is Pulp Riot’s Ghostblood.

I have been wanting red and white anime style hair for forever and the past two appointments with Anna got us close but not quite. My natural hair color is a medium to dark brunette and the bleach just wasn’t lifting enough to achieve it. We had to bleach my hair once and then a little bit more and the results ended up being more beige with hints of white peaking through.

This time around, however, was a totally different story and the bleach lifted the color to something Anna was happy with on the first go. This was a success in and of itself and we were both eager to see how the color turned out after the Fireball and Ghostblood sat. We were expecting to have to bleach it again so we were both surprised when Anna told me that she didn’t think we would have to as she washed my hair.

I couldn’t get back to her styling chair soon enough to see what she was talking about and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I sat down… Even with wet hair, the Ghostblood did its job and my hair was a pure white. It also had some awesome touches of purple and pink in it for an opalescence pop of color. It. Looked. Gorgeous.

The color was, of course, fabulous but I was also desperate for a haircut too. I always say that I can deal if the cut is good but the color is “meh” but I didn’t have one or the other going for me. After so long without Anna working her magic (Through no fault of her own!), my roots and haircut were so grown out and it was an overall hot mess. Because of this, I told Anna to go crazy with the cut and she delivered with a short, choppy, scene kid style. The cut took me back to high school with a voluminous top and a straight bottom layer and I am so there for it!

I am very curious to see how the perfected red and white fades out because it was not flattering on the first two attempts. Although Anna and I are already plotting for red, yellow, and orange hair next time around for fiery fun, it seems like such a shame to change it when my hair is finally what I have been daydreaming about. No matter what we go with, I know that I will be in the best hands and, as always, Anna is a genius! ❤

What colors should my hair be next? What is your favorite way to pamper yourself? 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: Behind Closed Doors By B.A. Paris Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Behind Closed Doors By B.A. Paris Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller by B.A. Paris called Behind Closed Doors – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, let me start off by saying that this book was JACKED UP and, easily, one of the most disturbing things that I have read in a while. So, it should go without saying that a big fat trigger warning will be placed on it for physical and mental abuse, intended abuse, animal abuse, and a plot that had me fucked up (For lack of a better word!). You’ve been warned, now let’s get to it:

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Could Jack and Grace Angel be any more perfect? Jack has the perfect job of defending battered women and has never lost a case. Grace is a perfect, beautiful stay at home wife and cooks lavish meals to entertain their friends in a perfect mansion. To all concerned, they are the epitome of the perfect couple and surprise those they know by never arguing and constantly looking lovingly into each other’s eyes. Although, they have no idea what is going on Behind Closed Doors.

Within the walls of the Angel home, Grace is under the strict control of her psychopathic husband and is confined to one room with nothing but a bed and a bathroom. Jack has created the persona of perfection for them both and has painted Grace as mentally unstable to divert attention from her attempts to escape and claims of being held prisoner. That is, truly, the pot calling the kettle black because Jack is about as mentally unstable as it gets.

Ever since spotting Grace and her younger sister, Millie, who has Down Syndrome at the park, Jack knew that he had to have them both. He thrives on fear and has since he was a child and considered Grace and Millie the perfect candidates for his sick torture games. For now, Millie is safe because she is away at boarding school. As soon as she turns eighteen and lives with Jack and Grace, however, is a totally different story.

The birthday countdown for Millie is fast approaching and Grace knows that her chances of saving them both become less likely with each passing day. With her determination and the ingenious help from Millie, Grace begins to plot their escape. But can it even be done when Grace can’t leave the cell in her own home and Jack is always ten steps ahead? Read Behind Closed Doors to find out!

Behind Closed Doors left me purely and utterly shook and I am still digesting it days after finishing it. The plot was somewhat of your classic “secret room” thriller but it had so many unique and, honestly, disgusting twists that it was in a category all of its own. Behind Closed Doors allowed you to tap into Grace’s mind in her past and present as a severely abused woman and there were times when it felt like you were suffering right along with her.

After finishing Behind Closed Doors, I was very curious to find out what other people had thought about it and read some reviews. There were many who said that it was one of the best thrillers that they have read in years. However, I was surprised to see so many reviews in which people called it “boring”. I knew that it was not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I have a hard time understanding how it bored the reader.

As someone who was in a mentally abusive relationship, the psychological torture that Grace faced hit close to home. Her paranoia, constant fear, and huge sense of betrayal were all such real feelings that I felt personally and was invoked in this book. I do agree with the reviewers saying that the situation in Behind Closed Doors was not plausible BUT the emotions Grace felt and her own diminishing mental state was all too real.

As far as characters go, Jack was the worst of the worst villains that I have read about in a long while. This, in itself, was enough to keep you rooting for Grace and Millie even after finishing the book. I simply adored Millie who was brilliant, sweet, and hilarious. Grace was a formidable heroine who continued to fight no matter how many times she was foiled if not for her sake than for Millie’s. I loved the bond that Millie and Grace had with each other and it provided a glimmer of sunshine during such a dark read.

Overall, I am going to rate Behind Closed Doors with a ten out of ten stars. I keep trying to find reasons to rate it lower and I can’t. Despite its brutal subject matter, it was a hell of a read that kept me emotionally invested several days after reading the last page. This is not a read for everyone and I recommend not reading it if you fall under that category. However, if you can stomach it, then you will not be disappointed.

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Memphis Kiddie Park Day Trip

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Memphis Kiddie Park Day Trip

Hello! I have been having so much summer fun last month and especially over this past weekend. My brother and his wife and son came to visit from Atlanta and we all had a blast hanging out. It was SO awesome for my niece and nephew to play together and they both solemnly announced that they would miss each other when it was time to go home. How sweet is that?!

Last Monday, we took the kiddos on a little day trip to Memphis Kiddie Park close to Cleveland and a delicious Mexican dinner afterwards. This was a very special outing, indeed, because my siblings and I used to go there all of the time when we were little. Whether we went with my parents or my grandma, it was always a huge treat to go to Kiddie Park and get ice cream after and I have so many fond memories of afternoons spent there.

When I was little, I remember thinking that Kiddie Park was a Cedar Point level amusement park. So, all of my siblings and I had a huge laugh when we saw through the eyes of an adult that it was the size of a large parking lot. It surely didn’t feel that way to my niece and nephew, though!

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^^^ The white Love On A Hanger top is one of my faves!

When we got to Kiddie Park my nephew, Patrick, was ready to ride all of the rides. My niece, Valerie, on the other hand… Not so much. Lol, it definitely took her a minute to get warmed up and, surprisingly, the only thing she wanted to ride at first was the Little Dipper rollarcoaster with me. Of course, I obliged and it made me think of all of the times that I would ride it with my grandma and we would go on it again, and again, and again. ❤

Val’s reaction to the Little Dipper was either going to be really good or really bad because she had never been on something like that before. Even more surprisingly, she loved it and after a juice box and a pretzel she was good to go. I guess she was just hangry and it was, honestly, such a mood!

After Val rallied, her and Patrick rode so many rides together and it was SO. Freaking. Cute. They loved the boats, spinning turtles, airplanes, and mini cars and it warmed my heart to see them waving to all of us and having a ball. Naturally, neither of them wanted to go home afterwards and, despite having no more ride tickets left, they were asking for “just one more ride”. ❤

Something tells me that we will be taking Val to Kiddie Park again this summer and I’m sure we will go all together with Patrick next summer too. It was just as fun for the kids as it was for the adults and it was the best day!

Do you have something similar to Kiddie Park in your neck of the woods? What is one of your fondest childhood memories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Be Greener In Your Kitchen

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How To Be Greener In Your Kitchen

Most of your resources are used in the kitchen so cooking and food preparation is a great place to start when thinking about sustainability. You can begin your eco-friendly journey with some simple adjustments and using things in different ways throughout the home. Let’s get started:

Use Organic Ingredients:

Foods grown organically contain higher levels of healthy nutrients like antioxidants than foods grown conventionally. Additionally, when you only eat organic foods, your symptoms may lessen or even disappear if you have allergies to certain foods, substances, or preservatives. Organics also contain no pesticides and are sustainable. One of the more sustainable ingredients you can use is hemp oil and rosin extract. These contain CBD but not THC and are, therefore, legally used as ingredients in cannabis food like gummies and flavored chocolate.

Ditch Plastic:

You are probably already aware of how harmful single use plastics are. Dangerous items like food containers, drink can rings, and clothing containing micro plastics are destroying the oceans and wildlife. Over one million seabirds and about 100,000 marine animals are killed yearly by plastic products. Thankfully, switching to more environmentally friendly products is simpler than ever. You could, for instance, use glass jars for storage, paper bags, or boxes for food containers. And only purchase brands that you know use sustainable manufacturing practices.

Replace Older Appliances:

Your energy use and carbon emissions will significantly reduce when you replace older appliances. White goods are an excellent example, like your refrigerator, washer, and dishwasher. This is due to how energy hungry these devices have historically been. Newer models from reliable manufacturers are significantly more effective and adhere to current energy and carbon standards. Switching to more recent models will help reduce carbon emissions significantly. Additionally, you will save a lot of money on your energy bills.

Switch to Natural Cleaners:

Many cleaners for the kitchen and bathroom are made with hazardous materials. In addition, some of the most well known brands have zero sustainability. Fortunately, major producers like Unilever now offer environmentally friendly variations of their popular products and are making strides in changing their manufacturing processes.

Use Renewable Fuels for Cooking:

The oven is the most crucial piece of kitchen equipment. Cooking enhances flavor but, more importantly, it also eliminates moisture that contains bacteria. In order to produce the necessary heat, cookware needs a heating source. Here are some of the greenest cooking fuels:

  • Propane gas is much cleaner and more economical than mains gas.
  • Methane is clean, efficient, and abundant as an energy source.
  • LPG is a mixture of fuels, so it has reduced reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Biofuels are made from food waste and are reused and burned cleanly.
  • Electric can help reduce your emissions if you source renewable energy suppliers.

There are numerous options for clean burning, renewable home cooking. Making the switch will significantly improve your household’s sustainability.

Learn About Portion Control:

Food waste is one of the biggest sources of landfill waste and carbon emissions. Every year, nearly seven million tons of food are wasted in the UK alone, costing the country over £10 billion. If you waste food, buy in portion controlled increments and divide ingredients equally. This is easier to achieve if you plan your weekly or monthly menu and buy the necessary ingredients. Additionally, cooking for your family results in cost savings because you won’t need to purchase unnecessary extras. Or you can subscribe to a meal service like Hello Fresh or Gousto.

Recycle Everything You Can:

All non-recyclable materials are disposed of in landfills. Some waste, like food, can be used to make biofuels. However, most of the rubbish you discard cannot be processed unless processing plants know what it is. Sorting your trash beforehand can significantly assist processing plants. For instance, throwing away a glass bottle in your regular trash can will end up in a landfill and worsen the situation. But if you put it in the right bin, it will be processed for recycling after it is collected. Some countries also fine you for not sorting your waste.

Take Note of What You Can Reuse:

You might not realize it, but most items in your kitchen can be reused. Using reusable carrier bags when grocery shopping alone can help reduce plastic use. In addition, plastic takeout containers work well for storing items in the refrigerator, like cheese. And when you go jogging or hiking, you might think about using recycled plastic bottles as water containers. It’s also important to note that purchasing high quality pots and pans lowers costs. Copper pans from reputable brands will last forever if you look after them.

Not only is living a greener lifestyle better for the environment but it is, often times, better for your wallet too. Use the tips above to help you get started today!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Bath & Body Works Hand Soap Haul

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Bath & Body Works Hand Soap Haul

Hello!! Ever since moving into my first apartment, the Bath & Body Works Foaming Hand Soaps have been a must have for me. Both Johnny and I love the fun scents and how they leave your hands feeling squeaky clean and hydrated. In our bigger apartment, we have two bathrooms and the kitchen that need hand soap and have just replenished our supply. I look forward to my hand soap hauls every time and here is what I think of the new scents I ordered online:

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Would I Buy Again?

  • Rainbow Cereal: NO
  • Pineapple Mango: YES
  • Sea Salt & Lime: MAYBE
  • Love You Cherry Much: NO!!!!!!!!
  • Boardwalk Vanilla Cone: YES
  • Cucumber Melon: YES

Note: These hand soaps were purchased on the cheap thanks to B&BW’s Semi-Annual Sale so some of them might not be available all of the time.

Why/Why Not?

Rainbow Cereal: When I order my hand soaps online, I don’t think so much about what the scent will actually smell like and look at the names I like, instead. Lol, I have now learned the error of my ways after this haul and don’t know why I didn’t put two and two together that Rainbow Cereal would smell just like Fruity Pebbles… This would be fine if it was just that BUT it smells like Fruity Pebbles that has been sitting in a bowl of milk for a half hour. Bleh!

Pineapple Mango: Johnny loves tropical scents and that made Pineapple Mango an obvious choice and a good one at that. It smells exactly like you think it would with no surprises and makes a safe bet for an online order. It is also a perfect summertime scent!

Sea Salt & Lime: This hand soap smells just like a Margarita without the tequila, if that makes sense? Lol, I have had issues before with some of B&BW’s wine scented products because they smell more like straight up booze than bath and body care. The Sea Salt & Lime is an exception to this and I like it well enough but probably wouldn’t buy it again.

Love You Cherry Much: Once again, I definitely should have thought more about what this hand soap would actually smell like before I added it to my cart… It smells one hundred million percent like Robitussin and is, easily, the worst hand soap purchase that I have ever made. Nine times out of ten, I find cherry scented anything to smell like cough syrup but its description of “red cherry, fresh citrus, and frosted berries” made me think otherwise. Don’t let this fool you because I promise that it will not smell as good as you think it will!

Boardwalk Vanilla Cone: This is a scent that I have purchased before so I knew that it would be a winner. It smells like fresh vanilla ice cream drizzled in caramel on a waffle cone and I am so there for it! 😀

Cucumber Melon: Cucumber Melon is such a classic scent and it will be perfect in my kitchen. This isn’t a scent that I could picture myself using as a shower gel or fragrance spray but I think that it will be great to help neutralize things after I add seven hundred more cloves of garlic than necessary when I’m cooking!

Despite some major duds, Johnny and I will be well set for hand soap for a while and I am happy about that. Use these epic failures as a cautionary warning for your next online order!

What is your favorite scent? What is a scent that you can’t stand? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Tips To Reduce Stress In Your Pets

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5 Tips To Reduce Stress In Your Pets

Just like humans, it’s necessary to reduce stress in your pets. Animals can get overwhelmed by sounds and other events. With fireworks season fast approaching, you can try the following to help calm them down:

Provide Human and Animal Social Interaction:

Humans require social interaction to survive. However, many species of animals, including cats and dogs, need social interaction even though they might appear independent. For instance, your Persian cat doesn’t purr for nothing and the Aussie Cobberdog will play with you for hours on end and stay close to you all night. This is because your pet feels affection towards you and trusts you. They find solace in you, just as you find comfort in them. Conversations, walks outside, and introductions to other animals can all help to lessen animal stress.

Pet Your Animals as Much as You Can:

Petting an animal reduces stress for both of you. Both your body and your pet’s body release oxytocin when you stroke their fur or hair. The hormone oxytocin is also released when you fall in love with someone or something. Playing with a pet also raises serotonin and dopamine levels, which are both known to lower stress and anxiety. For animals with restricted senses, touch is also crucial. For example, they will use their keen sense of smell to determine that you are not a threat if you pet them gently. Most have this ability.

Stay Inside:

Animals and people share the same chemicals, but they are concentrated differently in animals. For instance, they experience the effects of cortisol and serotonin. These cause both humans and animals to experience the fight or flight response. However, external factors have the potential to seriously distress animals. Cats and dogs, for instance, are easily distracted by loud noises, bright lights, and potent odors. Although training can lessen the reactions, it is best to simply stay away from triggering areas.

Recognize that Your Pets Have Phobias:

Fears are common among animals, particularly cats and dogs. To help them adjust, you must allay their fears. When puppies leave the house, separation anxiety is a common occurrence. When they perceive a threat, animals also experience intense fear. And an animal that is scared may lash out and attack you. You can reassure a scared pet, but they might mistake it for affection and start misbehaving. However, just like humans, exposing animals to their fears helps them cope with the stress that comes with it.

Try Natural Drugs and Herbal Remedies:

Both cats and dogs experience pain and fall ill. Antibiotics and painkillers essentially have the same effect on animals as they do on people. You’ve probably administered pain medication to your dog or cat when they broke a leg or had a bad tooth. Of course, suffering from pain makes an animal distressed and it may start to get restless and distracted. Products made from cannabis can benefit animals. Treats containing CBD for dogs can aid in lowering sources of medical stress in your animals. They are also excellent for dogs with medical conditions like epilepsy, as well as for younger dogs with injuries and older dogs with joint problems.

Animals are sensitive creatures and you can reduce stress in your pets in specific ways. Utilize these tips to help your furry friends and yourself in some cases too!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

I’m So Excited!!

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I’m So Excited!!

Hello!! As you all know, I have never been a fan of summertime and I still wouldn’t call myself that now despite appreciating it much more. It’s probably because the pandemic made having summer fun impossible these past two years. While it still is a concern in my area of Ohio, we are currently in the green and it makes me feel way more comfortable with doing all of the ACTIVITIES!

There is so much that I’m looking forward to this summer, including the following:

Concerts:

Pre-pandemic, Johnny and I were always at different venues for his former band to play and it was a blast. However, we have never been to a big concert together and that is about to change this summer. Johnny and I are in a HUGE Willie Nelson phase and will be seeing him play at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls this July.

We are also going to Riot Fest in Chicago this September to see My Chemical Romance’s reunion. I scored these tickets prior to COVID and it got rescheduled and I was so thankful to be able to transfer our tickets to this year’s show. The lineup is absolutely amazing and I cannot wait!!

Pool Days:

My apartment community has a wonderful outdoor swimming pool and I count down the days until it opens for summer every year. The pool features a deep area, a section for the kids with a waterfall, and a mini pool on an upper deck. Whether I am lounging in the water with a good book or enjoying the pool with my niece it is always nice to escape at our own personal oasis. I also love that I can now take a float with my new Taco Bell inner tube that my sister got me! 😀

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Apartment Hang Outs:

Johnny and I still can’t get over our new digs in our bigger apartment and other than more space, the biggest upgrade is definitely a functional air conditioning unit and windows that open. Our last apartment would get unbearably hot in the summer and it was painful for us to be there let alone anyone else. This made it literally impossible to host friends and family and that always made me feel sad.

Now that we have somewhere that we can truly beat the heat in, we have guests over all of the time and that novelty will never wear off. We absolutely love having people over for dinner, game nights, and movies and it gives us something to look forward to almost every weekend. Our new apartment also features a lovely front patio that is so nice to sit on in the evening and have a chat!

Garden Veggies:

At the old apartment, my kitchen was a small galley one and it made cooking possible but unpleasant. The new place, however, has an open kitchen and it has turned cooking back into my favorite thing thanks to an abundance of counter space. Every summer, I look forward to my dad’s vegetable garden because there is nothing better than making a meal with fresh veggies. It just hits different and I am so ready to enjoy the harvest – both cooking and eating it! 😀

I am finally starting to understand why people like summertime and I guess it’s not so bad after all. Here’s to summer fun for everyone!

What are you looking forward to this summer? Are you going to any concerts? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tips For Boosting Your Creative Confidence

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Tips For Boosting Your Creative Confidence

Do you often feel like you’re not good enough? Do you feel like your work is never good enough? If so, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with feelings of self doubt and insecurity when it comes to their creative work. However, there are things that you can do to boost your confidence and improve your creative output. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for boosting your creative confidence:

Believe In Yourself:

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that you are the only one who can control your self belief. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. Remember that you can do great things and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Think about how you’ve come this far and all of the things you’ve achieved.

Believing in yourself is the first and most important step to taking control of your creative confidence. You are the only one who can make yourself believe that you are good enough and that your work is worth putting out there. So, start by convincing yourself that you can do it!

Be prepared:

One of the best ways to boost your confidence is to be prepared. It will show in your work if you know what you’re doing and you’re confident in your abilities. Make sure that you take the time to research and plan before you start working on a project. This way, you’ll have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and you’ll be less likely to second guess yourself.

Take Risks:

To grow and improve, you need to be willing to take risks. You’ll never progress if you’re too afraid to try new things or step outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes, the best way to learn is by trial and error. The risks that work will create a significant confidence boost that you can carry into future projects. Experimentation will help you learn and expand your creative intuition. A good example of this is Michael Treco, who does various art exhibits following his intuition.

Maintain A High Level Of Output:

You can’t be confident in your work if you’re not producing any! One of the best ways to boost your creative confidence is to maintain a high output level. Make sure that you’re regularly creating new work and don’t be afraid to share it with the world. The more you create, the more confident you’ll become in your abilities.

Confidence in your own creative ability takes time to nurture and that’s okay. Use the tips above to help jump start the process so you can be your best creative self.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Summer Fun!

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Summer Fun!

Hello! After a long and dreary winter, it is so nice to finally be enjoying the sunny days of summer. I have certainly been making the most of it with lots of fun in the sun… And the sunburns to prove it. -_- Despite looking like a lobster, I am already fantasizing about more days spent by the pool at my apartment community with a good book!

This past weekend was one filled with ACTIVITIES and I think that I am still recovering from it:

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This past Saturday, my sister and darling niece came over to go swimming and it was such a blast. To make it even better, Kristen surprised me with a Taco Bell inner tube that I am still freaking out over. Her and Valerie went to Five Below to stock up on pool toys and couldn’t not get me this TBell themed masterpiece. Val had so much fun hitching a ride on it with me and it will definitely be joining me every time I hit the pool!

My brother and his wife and son also came to visit from Georgia over the weekend and Johnny and I loved accompanying them to the park. We swung on the swings to our heart’s content and I have to laugh at Johnny’s outfit choice on such a hot day! He is nothing if not committed to our preferred OOTD choice of All Black Everything. 😀

I have never been a huge lover of summer and will forever be fall’s number one fan. However, I have a brand new appreciation for the season now that I can share in the joy with my niece. Trips to the pool, zoo, and park have never been more fun and will be even better once I remember to wear sunscreen smh!

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

 

June 2022 Finishes

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June 2022 Finishes

Hello everyone!! My birth month is drawing to a close and it has been a whirlwind time indeed. Between birthday celebrations and working with new clients, I have been busy but in the best way! No matter how jam packed of a schedule I have, I always have time for my daily beauty routines and am so happy to have finished up products this past month that felt never ending. Let’s discuss:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Evoluderm Micellar Water: This micellar water is a TJMaxx find and I was thrilled to be able to buy more of it during a haul this past February. I loved it as soon as I tried it at least a year ago and *pun intended* it blows the Garnier micellar water out of the water! The Evoluderm micellar water removes makeup effortlessly and feels so nourishing to the skin. It leaves my face feeling refreshed, hydrated, and clean. It took me about a month and a half to finish one bottle.

B&BW Shower Gel: Pearberry is a retired scent from Bath & Body Works and I always have to snag more of it during their Semi-Annual Sale. I love fruity fragrances and Pearberry’s crisp scent of juicy pears mixed with tart berries was so invigorating every morning. I was very sad to finish this bottle because it was my last one and it took me close to two months to use it up.

St. Ives Scrub: I used to love me a St. Ives scrub until I learned that they are not the best for your skin lol. Unfortunately, you all know that I simply refuse to not use up a product so I finished the Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub out of spite. Although I wouldn’t use a St. Ives scrub again once I’m done with the one I’m currently using, I will say that they would be the bomb if it didn’t use crushed walnut shell as the exfoliant. It took me about a month and a half to finish this scrub.

Provence Beauty Serum: I have been having some fun testing out new serums after I felt like I reached the limit of effectiveness with my normal Tree Of Life serums. I found the Provence Beauty Vitamin C serum to be pretty good and I would probably buy it again if I didn’t have any other options at TJMaxx. My main qualm with this product is how liquidy it is. It had the tendency to fall right out of your hand after using the dropper and it didn’t feel as nourishing as I would like. However, I did notice a difference in the brightness of my skin. It took me five weeks of twice daily use to finish it.

Hope Soap Lotion: I received this lotion from a local shop in my neck of the woods as a Christmas gift. The Gingerbread Caramel scent was divine and it smelled good enough to eat. It also did make my hands feel nice and smooth, without a doubt. Although, similarly to the Provence Beauty serum, its texture was very runny. I prefer a thicker lotion at nighttime so this was definitely a negative factor for me. It also took for freaking ever to use up and took over four months (And accidentally dropping it!) of once a day use to finish it. If I were gifted with it again, of course I would use it but I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase it for myself.

There is nothing better than using up products that took a long time to finish and, despite some wishy washy reviews, I am still pleased with my empties this month. I can’t wait to try lots of new products out in their place this July! 😀

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

 

Renovating Your Fixer Upper

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Renovating Your Fixer Upper

If you just got an amazing deal on a new house, then it may be because you invested in a bit of a fixer upper. This is absolutely fine if you are going to spend time putting your own personal stamp on it. Renovating a fixer-upper can take time, a lot of funding, and effort so you will need to figure out your budget. Find out how much you have available for the renovation and then you can make a list of which rooms and tasks to do first. Take a look below for some inspiration:

Bedrooms:

First of all, you might want to do the bedrooms. This is essential, especially if you have children. They will need somewhere to sleep in their new home, preferably before you move in if this is a possibility. If not, then they may have fun getting involved in creating their new space. Talk to them about the type of design they want to go for and what they want on the walls. If you are sorting your own bedroom out, then you need to think about the same things. You want to create the ultimate safe haven where you can chill out at the end of a hard day.

Kitchen:

If you want to create a dream kitchen, then it may take a huge chunk out of your budget. If you have planned for this then that’s great. You could take a look around kitchen showrooms to find your perfect kitchen. You can also look online for some ideas on what you want it to look like. The kitchen is the heart of the home and somewhere you may be hosting lots of dinner parties and guests. If you want to amaze your guests, try adding in some smart tech such as a smart fridge or kettle.

Walls:

Think about how you want the walls in your home to look. Do you want to use paint, wallpaper, or a combination of both? If you take a visit to your local hardware store, then they will have all of the options available to you. You may even be able to get your hands on some samples to try before you buy. It is well worth trying samples, you may know what color you want but if it doesn’t look right on the walls then it will be a waste of money. Don’t forget that all of the walls will be different so create a plan for this.

Garden:

Finally, your new home’s garden might have seen better days. Never fear, the garden might be the easiest thing to renovate and fix up. If you want a proper family garden, then it may be worth adding in some beautiful, colorful flower beds. These look lovely around the perimeter of a garden. You could also add a wild section to encourage bees and other wildlife to explore and nest there. If you have children, you could add some play equipment as well, such as a swing set or outdoor game section.

Fixer uppers are a huge project but will be oh so worth it once your renovations are complete. Remember that your budget will be one of the most important factors in this and to always leave wiggle room for unexpected costs!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Look For The Rainbows

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Look For The Rainbows

Hello! This past week was a bit of a doozy with a busy work schedule and lots of bad news. I was so ready for the weekend on Monday lol. Thankfully, I had the perfect little pick me up on Thursday morning that made everything a smidge better. And, oddly enough, it was on the rug at my mom and dad’s house:

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^^^ Never mind the dog hair! 😀

When I walked into the living room at chez parents, I almost didn’t believe my eyes when I saw the oval rainbow prism on the rug. I thought that I was really losing it lol but, alas, it was there and it was glorious! I had never seen a prism with that shape before and it blew me away. It truly is the small things, isn’t it?

Rainbows, of course, always remind me of better things ahead but they also make me think of my lil niece who lives for a good rainbow. It was just what I needed to see during the final few days of the working week when everything felt so difficult. I had accepted before my day even began that it was probably going to be a bad one and this prism turned that whole outlook on its head – I ended up having a great day!

Even if you don’t have a literal rainbow in front of you, whether it be an actual one or a prism, this is your Lil Red Reminder to always look for them anyways. The rainbow could be a text from a friend, feeling sunshine on your face, or a smile from a stranger. No matter your situation, there are always going to be rainbows for you to find as long as you know where to look. ❤

What or who encourages you? What is something that makes you happy? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Helpful Ways To Accommodate Your Pet While Traveling

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4 Helpful Ways To Accommodate Your Pet While Traveling

Are you going on vacation and worried about what to do with your pet? Don’t worry; we have you covered! There are many innovative ways to accommodate your pet while you’re away. In this post, we will discuss four of the best options. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, there is a solution that will work for you and your furry friend:

Ship your pet:

If you’re traveling by plane, one option is to ship your pet ahead of time. This can be done by contacting a pet shipping company and arranging for them to transport your animal to your destination. Your pet will travel in a crate with all of the necessary food, water, and bedding. This option is best if you’re traveling internationally or if you’ll be gone for an extended period.

Shipping your pet ahead of time has some advantages. First, it’s less stressful for your animal and they won’t be allowed to travel with you in the airplane’s cabin anyway. Secondly, it’s more convenient since you won’t have to worry about bringing along a crate or finding space for your pet at your destination.

Find a pet-friendly hotel:

You should also find Savannah dog-friendly hotels at your destination. Many hotels now offer amenities for guests traveling with pets, such as special beds, bowls, and treats. Some even have staff members who are trained to care for animals. This option is great if you’re only going to be gone for a few days and don’t want to ship your pet ahead of time. When looking for a pet-friendly hotel, you should keep a few things in mind:

  • Make sure the hotel allows pets.
  • Check to see if there are any size or breed restrictions.
  • Inquire about any additional fees that may be charged for bringing along a pet.

Hire a pet sitter:

Another option is to hire a pet sitter. This person will come to your home and take care of your animal while you’re away. They will ensure your pet has food, water, and adequate exercise. This option is best if you’re only going to be gone for a short period of time and you want your pet to stay in their familiar surroundings.

When hiring a pet sitter, you should keep a few things in mind. Make sure the person is responsible and trustworthy. You should also do a trial run before leaving to see how they interact with your animal. Finally, leave clear instructions about your pet’s care and schedule.

Board your pet:

If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, another option is to board your pet. This can be done at a kennel, boarding facility, or veterinary hospital. Your pet will have space and be fed and exercised regularly. This option is best if you’re traveling for business or pleasure and you won’t have time to take care of your animal yourself.

When looking for a place to board your pet, make sure the facility is clean and comfortable. Second, check to see if the staff is experienced and qualified to care for animals. Third, inquire about any additional services that may be offered, such as grooming or exercise.

It’s hard to relax when you’re traveling if you are worrying about your pet so choose the option that you are most comfortable with. And don’t forget to ask for lots of pictures of your pet while you’re away! 😀

Featured Image By: Ruel Madelo

Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask Review

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Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask Review

Hey! I had a fantastic little three dollar haul from Sephora so that I could get my Beauty Insider birthday gift. I made the most of their free shipping at the time and ordered a pack of makeup wipes and lots of freebies. For my birthday gift, I chose the Ilia makeup set and have been so pleased with everything in it. I’m obsessed with the tinted lip oil, I gave my sister the mascara, and I just started using the Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask:

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I love the idea of a lip mask but they never seem to love me. I have never been blown away by any of the ones that I have tried and always find that the chapstick that I normally put on before bed is more effective. I was expecting similar results of “fine but not impressed” by the Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask and was so happy that I was wrong! 😀

The packaging on the lip mask promises “fuller and softer lips” and it definitely delivered. Upon waking up after one use, my lips felt ultra hydrated and even looked more supple. My bottom lip is fuller than my top one and I noticed a huge difference in my top lip’s size which I was shocked by. It looked much better portioned in comparison to my bottom lip and I have never had results like that after one or several uses of a lip mask.

Although I did really like the Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask, I don’t know if I can justify its twenty-six dollar price tag from Sephora. I was also surprised by a lot of negative reviews for it, one of which being that it had a gritty texture. I noticed that too but it was overall very creamy with a little grit that I just wiped off.

If you can snag this product as a freebie, then I say go for it. I know that I will be doing the same. However, twenty-six dollars is steep for a little jar of lip mask and no matter how impressed I was by it, I would never spend that much!

What is your favorite lip product? Which birthday gift did you choose if you are a Beauty Insider? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Date Day!

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Date Day!

Hello! At least every other week, Johnny and I like to have a date day over the weekend before our regularly scheduled game nights. Whether it be going out to lunch or dinner, having a drink at our favorite bar, or shopping around at some of our go to game stores, it’s just nice to be out and about. This past weekend, we decided to go middle class fancy and hit up the Red Lobster before a rousing game of Legend Of Zelda Monopoly:

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^^^ Lol, peep that Pablo Cruise shirt! 😀

Johnny and I have a very similar sense of humor and are constantly making each other laugh. When we first started dating, he told me a story about how he went to Red Lobster with a girlfriend and her dad and had a laugh attack about something that no one found funny. He was so tickled by the fake newspaper “The Daily Catch” that his fish and chips was wrapped in and he didn’t even receive a titter from anyone else. He got a huge belly laugh from me, though!

On Saturday, he must have been craving fish and chips something fierce and texted me when I was at my parents if I wanted to go to “The Lob” for lunch. I had no idea what he was talking about and thought it was a new restaurant that had opened so I said sure. When I was informed that it was Red Lobster, I couldn’t deny him his Daily Catch and he had also scoured the menu to make sure there was something that I could eat there as a vegetarian. Such an angel. ❤

We hit up The Lob and I was honestly so surprised by how much I enjoyed the food. The cheddar biscuits were out of this world and my pasta dish was delicious with a lemon and garlic sauce. The drinks weren’t bad, either, and I got a Margarita while Johnny went for a Bahama Mama. Unfortunately, his fish and chips didn’t feature The Daily Catch which was the whole point of going but we still had a blast.

In my area of Ohio, the majority of restaurants are chain ones like Red Lobster, Applebees, and TGIFridays. Our date day was such a typical Midwest middle class fancy outing and like everything, we could find the humor in it. Will we be dining at Red Lobster all of the time? Probably not. Will I be excited every time Johnny suggests The Lob now? Absolutely! 😀

What is your favorite chain restaurant? What is a middle class fancy outing for you like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Benefits Of Family Togetherness During The Holidays

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The Benefits Of Family Togetherness During The Holidays

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and loved ones to come together and celebrate. It’s a time for happiness, joy, and good cheer. But it’s also a time for reflection. A time to look back on the year that has passed and think about all that has happened. It’s a time to think about the future and what lies ahead. And what better way to reflect on the past year and plan for the future than by spending time with those you love most?

There are many benefits to spending time with family during the holidays. Although we’re nowhere near Christmastime yet, we are very close to Christmas In July so you can experience them early! This article will explore just a few of them and how you can make the most of this special time with your loved ones:

Strengthens relationships:

The holiday season is a special time when families come together to celebrate their traditions and strengthen their relationships. Spending time together fosters communication and bonding, two essential ingredients for any strong relationship. The holidays are also a time when families can relax and enjoy each other’s company, free from the demands of work and school.

In today’s busy world, finding quality time to spend with our loved ones can be difficult. But the holidays offer a perfect opportunity to slow down, relax, and focus on what truly matters – family. By making the most of our time together, we can create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Increases morale:

For some, the holidays can be a stressful time. There’s the pressure to buy the perfect gifts, cook the perfect meal, and create the perfect holiday experience. This stress can take a toll on our physical and mental health. But spending time with our families during the holidays can reduce stress and increase our morale.

Family togetherness helps us to relax and enjoy. We can laugh and have fun together. We can reminisce about past holidays and create new traditions. And we can show our loved ones how much we care about them. So if you’re feeling stressed this holiday season, take some time to spend with your family. It will do wonders for your morale.

Allows for reflection on the past year:

The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends. They offer a chance to reflect on the past year and set goals for the coming year. For many people, the holidays are also a time to express their gratitude for what they have.

One of the best ways to show your loved ones how much you care is to spend quality time together. This doesn’t mean that you have to be together every minute of the day; simply being in each other’s company can be a great way to show your love and appreciation.

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Many activities can help promote family togetherness during the holidays. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Watching Christmas movies together:

Christmas movies are a staple of the holiday season. They offer a chance to escape the world’s reality and enjoy some good old fashioned family fun. So why not gather the family around the television and enjoy a few of your favorites? You can even make it a tradition to watch the same movies yearly.

Baking holiday cookies:

One of the best things about the holidays is the delicious food. Baking holiday cookies is an awesome activity for the whole family. You teach your children how to bake and they get to eat the cookies when they’re done. It’s a chance to spend time together and create yummy treats that everyone will enjoy.

Get professional pictures together:

Getting photographs together is a fantastic method to preserve the Christmas holidays memories. Hiring professional photographers can be expensive but might be nice to do every few years. Hiring a professional photo editor to edit pictures of your kids and family members might also be a good idea. This will ensure that the pictures are high quality and capture the spirit of the holidays.

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. Make the most of your time together and enjoy all of the benefits of it!

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Family Across The Street By Nicole Trope Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Family Across The Street By Nicole Trope Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we will be discussing an intense psychological thriller by Nicole Trope called The Family Across The Street – without giving any spoilers away, of course. This book was absolutely insane and before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on it for graphic violence and disturbing content. Now, let’s get to it:

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Katherine West lives in a posh neighborhood in Sydney, Australia with her husband and their set of twins, Sophie and George. They live on a quiet street and the residents can’t even remember the last time they heard a police siren or seen a cop driving by. It is picture perfect and safe as can be for Katherine, Gladys across the street, and all their neighbors. But, we all know that this is never the case in a thriller.

Logan is a former convict and is covered in violent tattoos inspired from his lifetime of struggle. He is finally turning into the man that he wants to be for himself and his wife and has been working as a delivery driver for his brother in law’s company. On the hottest day of the year, his day begins at Katherine’s home to deliver her new laptop.

At Katherine’s door, she tells Logan that she cannot open it and to leave her purchase there. He can’t do that, however, because it needs signed for and throughout his day, he can’t shake the feeling that there was something wrong. The nosy Gladys across the street feels similarly and throughout her day, she stops by Katherine’s door too only to be told it can’t be opened.

The perfect stranger and neighbor were right, of course, but what is happening in Katherine’s home is something that they never could have guessed. A hostage situation is unfolding in the West’s living room and Katherine and her two twins sit huddled on the couch as they are held at gunpoint. Who is the person that could possibly do this to such a beautiful family? That’s something you will never guess too so read The Family Across The Street to find out!

The Family Across The Street was a rollarcoaster ride of a read with the craziest twists and turns happening every chapter. This is why I had to keep the synopsis short and sweet because every shocking twist is so important to the story. The grand reveal is one that I would have never seen coming in a million years and I am still mulling it over several days after finishing it. It left me totally and completely shook.

The past few books that I have read have been slow burn thrillers and although I enjoyed them, it was nice to read something more fast paced. The Family Across The Street started out with a bang and the punches kept rolling until the last page. The chapters alternated between Katherine, Gladys, Logan, and the person holding the Wests hostage and I just had to keep reading to find out what happens next.

Other than the guilty party in this book, all of the characters were so likeable and it made all of the blows that much more painful. I loved brave, determined Katherine and her children. I eventually came around to busybody Gladys and simply adored Logan who was so desperate to keep himself on the straight and narrow. Needless to say, these characters would have never crossed paths had tragedy not struck and their interactions were really cool to read.

Overall, I am going to rate The Family Across The Street with an eight out of ten stars. This book was gruesome and difficult to read at times so if that’s not your bag, then don’t bother. However, if you are looking for a mind blowing thriller that keeps you at the edge of your seat, then I can’t recommend it enough!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Paint By Numbers Misfortune

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Paint By Numbers Misfortune

Hello! My best friend, Lea, gifted me with everything that I needed for my own personal wine and paint night for my birthday. She got me a paint by numbers kit, which I have heard of before but never tried and was eager to give it a shot. This past weekend, I decided that I would get started on my project before a friend showed up for a game night. Unfortunately, it was way harder than I could have ever imagined:

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After unboxing the paint by numbers kit, I was surprised by how difficult it looked but was hopeful that I would be able to complete it. The kit included the canvas, three paint brushes of various sizes, numbered paints, and supplies for hanging it up. With everything that I needed provided, I was still under the impression that once I got the hang of it, it would be easy. That was, however, far from the case.

I had a few hours to kill and I thought that I would start with the biggest task on the canvas first, painting the background and small details white. I began working on one of the vases and even with the smallest paint brush available, I was getting paint in the wrong places and covering up numbers I would need later left and right. After the epic failure of attempting one color on a vase, I started painting the background because that should be easy, right?

WRONG!!!!

The biggest paint brush that the kit had was hardly making a dent in the vast spaces on the canvas that needed covered up. Not to mention that you had to perfectly outline the vases and flowers with the white paint too. I switched back and forth between the biggest and smallest brush to accomplish this and was constantly covering up other spaces that needed painted. You seriously almost needed a toothpick small brush to get into all of the tiny nooks and crannies and the smallest brush was way too big for the task.

Of course, I am so thankful to Lea for her super thoughtful gift but I can’t say that this project is one that I plan on finishing. After my first effort, I essentially shot myself in the foot since so many areas got painted over. I am sure that other easier paint by numbers kits are a lot of fun and would happily try one of them. I just don’t have the surgeon steady hands to successfully complete this canvas!

Have you tried a paint by numbers kit before? What did you think of it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Advice For A Fantastic Mid-Year “Tune Up”

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Advice For A Fantastic Mid-Year “Tune Up”

Any driver knows that from time to time, a full vehicle inspection is required. So, if we can do this with our vehicles, why can’t we do it with ourselves too? Sometimes, we might need the ‘tune-up’ that we give to our possessions. But surely you are the most valuable ‘possession’ you have in the first place! So, what plans can we make in order to optimize our approach here? In this post, we’ll discuss all of that and more:

See Your Dentist:

It’s quite amazing how fresh we feel after a visit to the dentist. A local dental clinic can help assess the entirety of your dental environment and make any recommendations that may be important. They can help clean your teeth, attend to any pain or problem areas you might have, and unlock your natural smile in the best possible way. For many this may seem like a pedestrian task, but regular visits can help you prevent long term dental issues that you may have otherwise had.

Take A Fitness ‘Inventory’:

It sounds quite sanctimonious to suggest you should sit down and consider how healthy you are. But the truth is, that it is a good thing to figure out where you are health wise and think about what you’ll do to better yourself. You also have to consider what you could actually do, not what you just think you should. This might involve losing that last couple of pounds, walking more in the mornings, or simply getting more vitamin D. It might mean trying to restore your flexibility after an injury you sustained. Your fitness inventory doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s to be right for you.

Update Your Style:

Updating your style is always a great thing! Otherwise, we can feel outdated and like we’re behind everyone else. This doesn’t mean you have to dress in the latest fashions, but it’s certainly health to consider the condition of your clothes and to improve them – to opt for a few fixtures like a nice winter coat or even having that watch repaired finally. A tuneup means being able to present yourself to the world with a renewed sense of confidence and appreciation. An approach like this can help you with that through and through.

With this advice, you’re certain to generate the best mid-year tuneup, ready for the best of summer and the onset of the colder seasons. 2022 is already halfway over, if you can believe it, so make the most of it!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Final Birthday Hurrah

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Final Birthday Hurrah

Hello! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to celebrate my birthday on the day of with my sister and her family due to a bout with COVID. Once they were ten days out, however, we had a wonderful late birthday outing together. I was treated by Kristen, Ramon, and my darling niece Valerie to a delicious dinner at my favorite restaurant, the Saffron Patch. It is the most divine Indian food that I have ever had and I savored every bite. I was also gifted with a TJMaxx gift card (Bless!), a sticker adorned card compliments of Val, and this gorgeous Betsey Johnson necklace:

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Betsey Johnson has always been one of my favorite brands and I love her quirky, bright designs. There is nothing like a Betsey accessory to add a fun pop to any OOTD and I have several of her purses, shoes, and jewelry. When I opened up the box containing my new necklace, I couldn’t believe my eyes… I had actually just been drooling over it during my last shopping trip at TJMaxx. Talk about sister telepathy, right? 😀

I am obsessed with this necklace and it is so different from all of my other Betsey accessories – most of them have skulls and snakes as the focal point lol! The sweet gem stoned hearts are SO. Freaking. Cute. and remind me of the plastic star and heart jewelry of my youth (In the best way possible!). Another amazing thing about this necklace is that you can put it on over your head without undoing the clasp. We all know that that is a difficult task for me with my claws!

My new necklace is perfect for adding candy dream colors to a neutral base and I can’t wait to see it shine against white, black, and grey. I had a great time celebrating my birthday with three of my favorite people in the whole world and my festivities ended on the best note possible. ❤

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

Sephora Birthday Gift Unboxing & Tinted Lip Oil Swatch

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Sephora Birthday Gift Unboxing & Tinted Lip Oil Swatch

Hello!! I had a great little mostly freebie haul from Sephora, which also included my birthday gift for being a Beauty Insider member. As a Beauty Insider, you get to pick one from three or four different gift options during your birth month and I look forward to it every year. The choices range from a set for skin care, hair care, makeup, or fragrance and I always opt for the makeup because I rarely try out new products in that regard.

For the makeup gift, I received a sample pack from Ilia that had a tinted lip oil, mascara, and a lip mask:

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^^^ Lol, I had to swatch on my wrist because my hands are now occupied with tattoos!

I am a tried and true user of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara so the travel sized one in this birthday gift will be going to my sister. What really sold me on the Ilia set was the lip mask and tinted lip oil. I love me a lip mask and am constantly on the hunt for a good one because the last several that I have tried have been duds. The tinted lip oil in Only You was also just too pretty to pass up!

I have so many lip colors from Sephora birthday gifts and they never disappoint. Only You by Ilia, however, might be my favorite one yet. It is the most lovely carnation pink hue and I love the texture. While it looks like a gloss, it feels like a balm and I think that everyone can get down with that… No one likes a sticky lip gloss! It makes my lips feel smooth, look supple, and provides the perfect touch of color. I know for a fact that I will be wearing it all summer long. 😀

Keep it posted on lifewithlilred for a review of the Ilia lip mask as well as one more birthday present surprise. Gotta love a birth month!!

What is your favorite makeup brand? What did you choose as your Beauty Insider birthday prezzie? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Teal & White Nails

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New Teal & White Nails

Hello! My last fill at Elysian Nails was a bittersweet one because my favorite nail tech had moved onto bigger and better things. When I went to Elysian this past week, it was the first time in over a year that someone different had done my nails and I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t a little bummed out! On the bright side, I got another one of my favorite techs who my old one recommended and my claws turned out beautifully:

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For this past fill, one of the owners ended up doing my nails and it doesn’t get much better than that because she is AMAZING! I was in and out in a little over an hour and you just can’t beat that – especially considering how expertly she sharpened and shaped my talons. She also put on a thicker coat of acrylic to better compliment the shape and they have never felt so strong and sturdy before.

Originally, I had wanted nude nails with a colored tip but it was something that I needed to request when I scheduled the appointment. That was okay, though, and I can’t wait to get extra pampered next month as a treat. I decided to go with a teal and white combo, instead, and I am loving it! I can’t recall the last time that I had white nail polish on and I’m not sure why it took me so long to give it a shot. The bright white paired with the beachy blue just screams fun in the sun and I think it looks fabulous as well as different from what I’d usually get.

It is always sad when a preferred hair stylist, nail tech, or artist moves on from the salon but this first fill without my fave couldn’t have gone better. But, I shouldn’t have expected anything otherwise because Elysian Nails is, easily, the best salon that I have ever been to! ❤

What color are your nails? How long have you been working with your hair stylist or nail tech? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sephora Haul

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Sephora Haul

Hello everyone!! Sephora always gives the best birthday gifts to their Beauty Insider members and, shockingly, it had all but slipped my mind until I got a reminder email. I didn’t feel like going to the mall just to pick up one thing, however, so I took care of it online. Although I have plenty of the couple of products that I purchase through Sephora, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to buy more to reach the fifty dollar free shipping mark.

Happily, I discovered that they were doing free shipping on all orders when I got on their website! Rather than get more stock pile products, I purchased one small item so that I could get all of my freebies. This haul costed me three dollars in total and it was money well spent! Check it out:

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The Haul:

  • Sephora brand cleansing wipes
  • Ilia birthday gift – FREE
  • Tatcha water cream – FREE
  • Maison Margiela Replica sample – FREE
  • Sulwhasoo renewing cream sample – FREE

Prior to shopping Sephora online, I never quite understood people’s obsession with it. When shopping in store, you miss out on so many amazing deals and while I would make in store purchases, I never felt like I was getting a lot of bang for my buck. And, at over twenty five dollars for a tube of Better Than Sex mascara (Still worth it!) I couldn’t help but feel like I was getting ripped off.

Fast forward to my first online order and I was like “Oh… I get it now”. Sephora offers some of the best online deals that I have ever seen and I always feel good about what I bought because I get so many freebies. This little haul is a shining example of that and it costed literal pocket change. You just can’t beat that!

I got a sample jar of Tatcha moisturizer with my Beauty Insider points which I am excited to use. And when you shop online with Sephora, you are allowed to pick out two free samples to complete your order. I went for the Sulwhasoo cream as well as a fragrance sample. My best friend, Lea, and I recently had a conversation about wanting to try a more long lasting perfume so I couldn’t not get a new fragrance to test out. Unfortunately, Replica wasn’t a winner but, hey, it was worth a shot.

We will unbox the Ilia birthday gift after checking out my new nails tomorrow so keep it posted for that. In the meantime, give Sephora’s website a look through and see which freebies you can snag for yourself! 😀

What is your favorite fragrance? Which store offers the best in store or online deals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Best Friend Birthday Gift

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Best Friend Birthday Gift

Hello! I had a blast celebrating my birthday last week and had plans to hang out with people almost every night. Needless to say, I am exhausted and am done socializing for the next couple of weeks lol! On Friday, my best friend and her husband came over for a game night and I was gifted with this super thoughtful prezzie from Lea:

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Lea and I have been best friends since freshman year of high school, which is fourteen years of celebrating birthdays and holidays together. We absolutely love to spoil each other for special occasions and it has been that way for as long as I can remember. For my birthday, Lea outdid herself with a paint by numbers kit and a delicious looking bottle of blueberry moscato. Yum!

I have heard of paint by numbers projects before but have never tried one and I can’t wait. It looks like such fun and is a delightful nod to the many craft nights that Lea and I have shared together. In fact, several of the canvases on my apartment’s art wall are from said best friend craft nights and I can’t wait to complete and hang up my new painting… If it turns out good lol. And, of course, the bottle of wine is the perfect compliment to make it a wine and paint night – which we have also participated in together! 😀

Lea is one of the most incredible people and we have been there for each other through thick and thin. Boyfriends, college, new jobs, and marriage are all things that we have tackled together and I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side. Fourteen birthdays are almost officially in the books after her special day in late August and I can’t wait for fourteen more. I love you!!!

How long have you and your best friend been friends for? Have you ever tried a paint by numbers kit before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Accessory Story: New SJ Pearl Obsidian Necklace

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Accessory Story: New SJ Pearl Obsidian Necklace

Hello! Last Monday, I had a very successful shopping trip at TJMaxx with a new friend. I got all kinds of cute stuff with my birthday gift cards, including a new SJ Pearl necklace that I love so much. Part of the novelty of shopping at TJMaxx that never gets old is being introduced to new brands that you haven’t heard of before. I purchased two SJ Pearl necklaces almost three years ago from TJs and still find myself looking for more every time I go.

On Monday, my prayers were finally answered and there were several new SJ Pearl necklaces on the jewelry counter. I knew the brand as soon as I saw it from aisles away and couldn’t reach the display fast enough. There were three different designs to choose from and, honestly, I wish that I bought them all lol. Here is what I went with:

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Despite having a huge jewelry collection, I always seem to gravitate towards my SJ Pearl necklaces to spice up an OOTD. They are, easily, some of my favorite pieces that I own and they add a unique touch to the most simple of outfits. I love the reassuring weight of them around my neck as they are fairly heavy because of being made with precious stones. Obsidian is used for protection and, maybe it’s just in my head, but I do feel more at peace just knowing that it’s on.

My other SJ Pearl necklaces are shorter in length, although they can be adjusted. So, I was very excited to find my new one that is longer. It is such a stunning design and I can’t wait to wear the jet black beads against cream colored blouses to add a major pop of visual interest. Also, if anyone knows more about the image on it, then please fill me in because I couldn’t find it when scouring Google.

My new necklace is the last thing from my TJMaxx haul and it was definitely one of the better trips that I have had recently. Once a maxxinista, always a maxxinista!!

What is your favorite jewelry brand? Where do you go to discover new brands? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Birthday Bouquet

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Birthday Bouquet

Hello! After a glorious month and a half or so with a lighter work schedule, I am back into the swing of things and have taken on two new families in the past month. The down time was much needed so I could pack up the old apartment and unpack in our new one because Johnny was working SO much overtime. Not to mention that a break was just what I needed for my own mental health.

For the first time in years last week, I worked on my birthday. Of course, I could have taken the day off but I was so eager to start with one of my new families that I couldn’t stand to wait one more day! This was a really cool change of pace for me and it felt good to be excited for work days. On Tuesday, I was surprised by receiving a gorgeous bouquet and birthday donuts from my new family. It was the nicest thing!!

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^^^ Lol, I didn’t have a vase so I had to resort to using a water bottle SMH!

I don’t know about you, but I love to get flowers. They are such a lovely way to let someone know that you were thinking of them. I can’t help but to smile every time that I look at my birthday bouquet and the flowers still look as beautiful as the day I brought them home. The “vase” might not do the bouquet justice but, hey, you work with what you’ve got!

I learned the merit of receiving flowers from an early age. My dad always makes my mom the prettiest wildflower bouquets from his garden and will expertly arrange store bought flowers during the cold months. Seeing his arrangements on the kitchen table never failed to make me happy and it added the perfect touch of sunshine to the day.

I was so touched by this kind gesture from my new family and will have that reminder every day now. Because you all know that I love me some dried flowers too! ❤

What is your favorite flower? How do you show a loved one that you care? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Starting Your Own Yoga Studio? Check Out These Tips!

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Starting Your Own Yoga Studio? Check Out These Tips!

Starting your own yoga studio can be amazing. You will be in charge of creating a space that is inviting, will help people on their wellness journey, and can become a sanctuary away from the ills of the world. It is not an easy feat to open your own studio, but with the proper plan, you can do it and you can do it well:

Become An Instructor:

If you are not already, become a yoga instructor so that you can lead some of the classes and work with your clients in-person one on one. By taking a 200 hour yoga teacher training course, you can become an instructor and fully understand the art of yoga and how it can transform lives. Once you have enough time under your belt creating your own flow and way of practicing yoga, you will then be ready to open up your own studio where you can share what you have learned with others.

What Kind of Yoga Are You Practicing?

With all that you have learned, what practice are you sharing with the world? Is it vinyasa, ashtanga, or bikram? This will determine what kind of client base you are going to attract. Younger, more serious yoga students may want to do ashtanga. Vinyasa is more gentle for older clients, while the heat of bikram requires your studio to have different technology.

The kind of practice you are going to advertise will enable you to know who is going to walk through that door and what you need to do to make them feel welcome and at home.

Build a Great Team:

Because you know what yoga you are practicing, that means you know what kind of instructor you need to hire. This will help you narrow down your search and you can start to build a team that is going to make your studio the best. You will know what skill set you are looking for and what kind of experience you want to bring into your studio.

Where Are You Going to Open?

When you have the team in place, the yoga practice in place, and your vision is clear, you can then determine what is the best place to open your studio. Do you want a smaller, more intimate setting? Or a large one with multiple classes happening at once? The clearer the vision the better because it can be a daunting task to research and visit every location if you haven’t narrowed it down.

Creating a space that helps people improve their lives is a formidable goal. A yoga studio often feels like a home away from home for those who practice and your decisions will make that into a reality!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Lil Red’s Book Club: Mrs. England By Stacey Halls Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Mrs. England By Stacey Halls Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing another book by Stacey Halls called Mrs. England – without giving any spoilers away, of course. This is the second book in a row that I have read by Halls and I enjoyed this one much better than The Familiars – it was really good! Before we begin our discussion of Mrs. England, I will be placing a trigger warning on it for disturbing content including psychological abuse and violence. Now, let’s get to it:

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Ruby May is a young woman in the early 1900s working as a children’s nurse (nanny) in London. She trained at a special academy just for this profession and works hard to support her family, which includes a younger sister with a spinal injury. Nurse May adores the family that she is currently caring for but, unfortunately, her time with them must come to an end. They need to move to America for the father’s profession and Ruby cannot be so far from her family.

Desperate for a new job, Ruby accepts anyone that she can get and becomes the nurse to four children in Yorkshire. The England family is obscenely wealthy and lives on a sprawling estate complete with a cotton mill, servants, and the best of everything that money can buy. Ruby makes the trip to Yorkshire to begin her new placement and is surprised to find Mr. Charles England waiting for her at the train station.

On the way back to the England estate, Ruby is charmed but a little surprised by Mr. England’s jovial nature. Even more so because picking her up would typically be a job for their chauffeur. It is nighttime when they make it back home and the children are already asleep. Ruby is ready to discuss her position with the mistress, Mrs. England. Strangely enough, the mistress didn’t realize Ruby’s arrival was that night and insists on her coming to Mr. England with any questions. This is all very unusual to Ruby because, typically, the mistress is in charge of all things relating to the care of the children.

The following day, Ruby meets her charges of Saul, Decca, Millie, and baby Charley and is pleased to be caring for such lovely children. She is also shocked to see Mr. England acting in the roles of both the father and mother around the house. It is not what she is used to but makes sense as Mrs. England is distant, withdrawn, and has a sickly disposition. She spends most of her time locked away in her bedroom and hardly seems to take pleasure in seeing her children.

Of course, as odd as the living situation at the England estate is, Ruby is in no position to judge as she is hiding dark secrets of her own. However, there is something strange happening there that she can’t quite put her finger on. It could be the uninviting servants, her disappearing mail, or maybe her own feelings of intimacy with Mr. England whom she must report to.

As her days drag into each other at the estate, Ruby quickly finds herself only caring for the two youngest children. Decca is going to school, which came as a shock because the girls were not to attend. And Saul is regaining his health at his great grandparent’s home after a severe asthma attack. The walls surrounding the England property begin to close in on itself and Ruby expects Mrs. England is to blame. But, is she really? Read Mrs. England to find out!

Much like The Familiars, Mrs. England was a slow burn of a read. I did like it a lot more, though, because something integral to the story happened in almost every chapter. This made for a much more pleasant reading experience and I found myself upset when I had to put it down. Although the reveals weren’t as jaw dropping as previous books that I’ve read, it was different than anything that I’ve read too.

I loved Ruby as a main character and it was a change of pace to know what she was thinking all of the time because I am so used to books with an unstable narrator. I liked her caring, curious nature and her interactions with the children always left me completely charmed. It was also interesting to read about her working through foreign feelings like longing for the man of the house.

I will be the first to say that this wasn’t exactly a nail biter of a read. It did have a haunting atmosphere, which added to the suspense. But, the major grand reveal was easy to figure out and I would have liked a bit more mystery to it. Stacey Halls’ books have such a unique, historical vibe to them. Mrs. England might not be a book that I’m going to simply rave about but I did like it – perhaps if only for the sake of switching things up.

Overall, I am going to rate Mrs. England with a six and a half out of ten stars. I would definitely read more by Stacey Halls. I will say, however, that if you are looking for fast paced reads with a lot of extra oomph, then she is not the author for you.

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Aggression: What Is It & How To Deal

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Aggression: What Is It & How To Deal

Aggression is a complex emotion to manage. Whether it is coming from yourself or another person, it can be overwhelming and destructive. In order to deal with aggression effectively, you need to understand what it is and how it manifests. You also need to have some tools in your toolbox to help you deal with the situation. Let’s discuss:

What is Aggression?

First, it is important to understand what aggression is. Aggression is an emotion that is characterized by feeling angry, frustrated, or violent. It can be directed at yourself or another person. When you are feeling aggressive, you may feel like you want to hurt someone or something. You may also feel like you are out of control.

Common Signs of Aggression:

If you can identify the signs that you are beginning to feel aggressive, then you can start to deal with the emotion before it gets out of hand. Some common signs of aggression include: clenched fists, gritting your teeth, feeling flushed or hot, sweating, fast heartbeat, and shortness of breath. If you notice any of these signs, take a step back and try to calm down.

Find Out What is the Reason Behind Your Aggression:

Sometimes the reason behind your aggression can be helpful in managing it. If you know what is making you angry, you can try and address the issue directly. For example, if you are mad at your boss, talk to them about it instead of bottling it up until you explode. If there is something that is beyond your control that is making you angry, try and find a way to let go of it.

Techniques to Deal with Aggression:

There are many different techniques that you can use to deal with aggression. Some people may find that one method works better for them than others. Experiment and find what works best for you:

Visualization:

One technique that can be helpful is visualization. When you start to feel yourself getting angry, close your eyes and imagine yourself in a calm place. This could be at the beach, in the mountains, or anywhere else that makes you feel peaceful. Try and picture every detail of this place in your mind – the more vivid, the better. Focus on the sounds, smells, and sights around you. Take some deep breaths and relax into the image.

Breathing Exercises:

Another common technique is breathing exercises. When you start to feel your heart rate increase and you get short of breath, stop and take some deep breaths. Inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold it for a count of four, and then exhale through your mouth for a count of four. Repeat this several times until you start to feel calmer.

Alternative Methods:

There are many other methods that you can use to deal with aggression. For example, some people find that physical activity, such as running or hitting a punching bag can help them release their aggression in a healthy way. Others may find that journaling or talking to friends can help them understand and process their emotions. Or they find that using products like CBS can help calm them down. If you are interested in trying CBS, click on this link here. Finding what works best for you is all about trial and error but when you find it, you will definitely know.

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^^^ Photo by Jonathan Tomas on Unsplash

Everyone deals with their emotions differently and some are more difficult to handle than others. Use the tips above to help you get started for a more mentally sound you!

Featured Image By: Monstera from Pexels

New Sienna Sky Skirt

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New Sienna Sky Skirt

Hello!! During my last shopping trip at TJMaxx with a new friend, I had a fantastic haul filled with lots of new goodies. No new tops (No surprises there!), but some other accessories and the fabulous new skirt that we will be discussing today to shake up my summer wardrobe. It was love at first sight with this Sienna Sky skirt and I cannot wait to wear it!

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Unlike many, I am not a huge fan of summertime. I despise really hot weather and I have always found dressing for summer to be a bore. In the fall, you have the option to truly build outfits through layering and that is so not the case for summer unless you want to burn up! I can only wear so many shorts and top combinations, which is why I was thrilled to find a new skirt to add some variety.

This little Sienna Sky number brought me back to high school when skirts that were similar were all the rage. Now, I much prefer a more structured skirt style so I am excited to add some flounce back into my OOTDs. The shape of this skirt with the front ruffle is darling but what sold me is the colors. The bright yellow, orange, and blue just screams fun in the sun and will allow me to have some more fun with summer dressing too. 😀

Because of the bold pattern on this skirt, all one needs for a perfect summer OOTD is a plain white tank, lots of bangle bracelets, and cork or wicker wedges. An outfit like that is ideal for a date day, a stroll through the farmers market, or drinks on the patio. And, it sure beats shorts and a T-shirt… Maybe dressing for summer isn’t so bad after all!

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

Educational Activities Your Kids Can Do This Summer

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Educational Activities Your Kids Can Do This Summer

Summer vacation is in full force, so your kids are home from school. You’re probably enjoying the extra time with them, but you may also be wondering how to keep their brains sharp during the break! Here are some educational activities to help your kids keep learning and have fun during the summer vacation:

Read books:

Reading is a great way to pass the time and learn new things, whether it be about other cultures, places, history, or even languages. There are many stories for kids and adults alike, so if you want an activity you can do together, this is one for you.

Reading with your kids can benefit them in several ways: it helps them improve their reading skills; it allows them to connect with others through literature; it improves their vocabulary and comprehension; it provides an outlet for creativity through writing and illustration; and much more. You can make reading fun by adding games to their reading experience. For example, you can use a word family activity sheet as reading prompts, helping them to choose books based on a word, colors, and other items.

Journal:

Summer is the time for your child to have fun and relax. But it’s also important for them to go into the next school year with new experiences and knowledge. One way to help accomplish this goal is by journaling. An activity that requires minimal supplies (if any), journaling can be done anywhere, anytime even if you’re on vacation or stuck inside during bad weather. It’s easy enough for kids as young as five, but older kids will find it just as beneficial.

Journaling encourages creativity while helping children develop other skills such as organization, reflection, and increased vocabulary through writing on topics they find interesting (and learning how to spell those words). Plus, it is excellent practice for essay assignments.

Take a field trip:

If your child is interested in a particular subject, try taking them on an educational field trip to explore it further. Field trips provide the opportunity for learning about history and culture and practical skills like cooking and art.

If you are going on vacation, you can turn this experience into not just a relaxing holiday but an educational one. You don’t have to dedicate all of your vacation to learning, but you can take your children on a trip while on vacation to learn more about the place you are visiting, whether that is going to a museum, taking a tour, or just enjoying the culture while you are there.

Learn a new skill:

Learning a new skill can be challenging, but it’s also fun! When kids learn something they enjoy, they are more likely to want to do it again and again. This makes it easier for them to get better at whatever they are doing, making learning more enjoyable. It is even better if it is a skill that they have an interest in from the beginning, like art, cooking, or music.

Go on a scavenger hunt:

There’s nothing like a scavenger hunt to engage kids around the world. If you’re doing this with younger kids, make a list of items they can find and bring them back to you. For example, a leaf from a tree or a dandelion.

It’s also important that your activity isn’t too challenging or overwhelming for their age group. If you want something more educational, consider including objects such as shapes or numbers to teach them something new along the way. It’ll also keep them interested throughout the process since it’s always lovely when an activity feels rewarding for everyone involved!

Create a learning fort:

One of the best ways to excite your kids about learning is to create a fun space to learn in. Forts are cool and can be used in different ways. You can read a book while sitting under it, play a game like hide-and-seek inside it, and let your imagination soar in its construction. Whether it’s a classic pillow fort, made of cardboard boxes, or built in nature a fort will provide lots of entertainment and opportunities to learn.

You don’t have to break the bank or travel far to keep your kids’ brains busy and sharp over summer break. There are plenty of ways to incorporate learning into everyday life, even if you’re just hanging out in your backyard!

Featured Image By: Sharon McCutcheon

The Importance Of Personal Development

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The Importance Of Personal Development

It is often said that the key to success is personal development. This may be a cliche, but it is true. To be successful, you need to work on improving yourself constantly. Personal development has many benefits, including increased productivity, improved relationships, and greater happiness. It is a lifelong process that involves growing and improving one’s skills, knowledge, and character. It can be considered an individual or collective journey of self discovery, in which we strive to become the best version of ourselves.

This blog post will explore the importance of self improvement and discuss some tips for getting started:

Why is personal development significant?

Personal development is essential for several reasons. It can help you improve your skills, manage your time, and make more effective decisions. It can also help you become more self aware, set and achieve goals, and boost your confidence. Careskills Academy offers a range of personal development courses that can help you improve your employability skills and progress in your career.

If you’re looking to change your life, whether it’s getting a new job, starting your own business, or improving your well being, personal development can help you achieve your goals. It is an integral part of our lives and can benefit us in many ways.

The benefits of personal development:

In its broadest sense, personal development can be described as activities that improve self knowledge and identity, develop talents and potential, enhance the quality of life, and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. At its core, personal development is about investing in yourself to live a happier, more fulfilling and successful life. When you invest in your personal development, you take charge of your life and decide to improve.

How Can You Improve Yourself?

Self improvement and personal development are important because they allow you to improve upon your weaknesses, learn new skills, and become a better person overall. There are many ways to improve yourself, but some of the most common include:

Educating yourself: One of the best ways to improve yourself is to educate yourself. Read books, take classes, and learn as much as possible about the things that interest you. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to handle whatever life throws your way.

Setting goals: Another great way to improve yourself is by setting goals and working towards them. Whether it’s a short term goal like quitting smoking or a long term goal like getting a college degree, having something to strive for can help you stay motivated and focused.

Getting organized: Getting your life in order can also do wonders for your personal development. Taking the time to declutter your home, manage your schedule, and get rid of anything holding you back can give you a fresh start and a new perspective.

Practicing positive thinking: One of the most important aspects of personal development is learning to think positive thoughts. If you want to be happier and more successful, focusing on the good rather than the bad is essential. When you think negative thoughts, try to replace them with positive ones.

Making time for yourself: In today’s busy world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget to make time for yourself. But if you want to improve your life, it’s essential to take some time each day to do something that makes you happy. Whether taking a yoga class, going for a walk, or reading a good book, making time for yourself is crucial.

Improving yourself is a lifelong journey and beginning to take small steps towards this will help you to become the best version of you!

Featured Image By: Alena Koval

Happy Birthday, Best Friend!!

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Happy Birthday, Best Friend!!

Hello everyone!! Today is a special, wonderful day because it is my best friend, Kate’s, birthday! Kate is the fabulous author behind Live In The Nautical and I am thankful every day for how we were connected through the magical blogosphere. Kate and I have been besties since lifewithlilred was created almost eight years ago and a friendship like this is why I started my page in the first place.

The crazy thing about mine and Kate’s best friend status is that we have only met each other in person once several years ago. However, when we are having our five hour long FaceTime dates and textathons, it is like she is right there hanging out in my new apartment. Blogging is so special because it gives you the opportunity to form friendships like this and that novelty has yet to wear off close to a decade later.

Kate is one of the most kind, thoughtful, hilarious, fashion savvy gals that I have ever met. While we both agree that birthdays should be celebrated all month long, she truly deserves to be celebrated every day. Her work ethic inspires me and, despite both of our crazy schedules, we are never too busy for each other and I know that I can go to her for anything. Although my Gemini twin spoiled me for my birthday, she is the best gift in the whole world.

I love you darling best friend and I just know that this will be the best year yet!!

Happy Birthday!!!!! ❤

TJMaxx Skin Care Haul

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TJMaxx Skin Care Haul

Hey! During my last TJMaxx outing, one of my main goals was to restock my skin care stock pile. I was currently on my last jar of moisturizer from my last skin care haul and the timing was perfect because I had lots of birthday gift cards to spend. Although they didn’t have any micellar water or eye creams that looked appealing, I did purchase the following:

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^^^ Clean Beauty and Pearlessence are both Leaping Bunny certified!

During my last skin care restock, I began using serums by Pearlessence and am a huge fan. They are effective, long lasting, and nice and light making it perfect for summer. I was happy to find the Dewy Glow serum, which I haven’t tried yet, and was also surprised to see so many moisturizers by Pearlessence too. I just had to give them a try and couldn’t believe the six dollar price for the huge jar of Big Sky Cloud Cream. The name, itself, sounds delightful and I can’t wait to try it out!

Now, take a look at each new product that I purchased and you will notice a theme: So. Much. Hyaluronic. Acid. About two years ago, I began researching the best skin care ingredients for late twenty somethings and the advice was almost unanimous – Products with Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid are the way to go. I haven’t strayed from these findings (Obviously!) and try to incorporate each of these ingredients in some way to my skin care routine.

It wasn’t until I was lining up these products to snap a pic that I realized it was a Hyaluronic Acid kind of day and I wasn’t mad about it! Pre pandemic, I loved visiting TJMaxx whenever I needed new skin care and it’s so nice to be able to do that again. It’s such fun for me to try out new products and I am eager to test out the moisturizers and serum from this haul!

What is your favorite skin care brand? Which ingredients work best for your skin? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Accessory Story: Larioseta Scarf Edition

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Accessory Story: Larioseta Scarf Edition

Hello!! I had many a birthday gift card for TJMaxx burning a hole in my pocket and I was so happy to go shopping with a new friend to spend them. We had the best time and each had a haul worth blogging about! As always, I wanted to be able to find some new tops. And, as always, that was a total bust lol. However, I did find lots of other goodies starting with this gorgeous silk scarf by Larioseta:

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From necklaces and purses to shoes and scarves, I love accessories. I am a huge fan of scarves and have several in my collection but none as good enough to eat looking as my new Larioseta one! I saw this darling donut patterned scarf from aisles away and just had to hurry over to snag it because it was the only one there. It reminded me so much of my favorite Popsicle print silk scarf by BCBG and I had to have it. Clearly, I have a fondness for dessert print accessories!

Silk scarves are a fabulous way to spruce up a summer outfit whether tied at the neck, worn as a headband, or even wrapped around the straps of a purse. I plan on letting my sweet tooth do the talking by tying it at the neck with a simple white tank top and my go to American Eagle shorts. While cozy scarves should be saved for the fall, silk scarves are a perfect summer option for a touch of retro cuteness that won’t leave you burning up. 😀

Keep it posted here on lifewithlilred for more on my TJMaxx birthday gift card haul and a huge thank you to everyone for the generous gifts!! ❤

What is your favorite place to receive a gift card for? What is your favorite kind of accessory? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What To Know Before Buying And Restoring An Old Home

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What To Know Before Buying And Restoring An Old Home

There is something special about an old home. Maybe it’s the character that comes with age or the feeling of history surrounding it. Whatever it is, there is a certain allure to restoring an old home. However, if you’re thinking of buying and restoring an old house, there are some things you need to know first. This blog post will discuss some vital things you need to know before making such a big purchase:

Mold And Mildew:

One of the first things you need to be aware of when buying an old home is the potential for mold and mildew. These can often be found in older homes, particularly in damp or humid areas. If not addressed, mold and mildew can cause serious health problems for you and your family. Be sure to have a professional inspect the home for mold and mildew before making a purchase.

Mold spores are everywhere – in the air, surfaces, and dust. When these spores land on a wet or moist surface, they start to grow. Mold needs four things to grow: A food source (like wood, paper, or carpet), warmth, oxygen, moisture, or water. Mold can cause a lot of problems for your health like respiratory problems, headaches, and skin irritation. So if you have mold in your home, it’s essential to get rid of it as soon as possible.

You can prevent mold by:

  • Controlling humidity levels
  • Fixing leaks ASAP
  • Cleaning up any spills immediately
  • Ventilating damp areas like the bathroom and laundry room
  • Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier (especially in humid climates)

Plumbing Issues:

Older homes often have outdated or inefficient plumbing that can cause various problems. These problems can range from minor leaks to complete system failures. Be sure to have a professional inspect the home’s plumbing before making a purchase. Common plumbing problems include leaky pipes, low water pressure, clogged drains, frequent clogs, and outdated fixtures.

If not adequately addressed, these problems can lead to more significant issues like flooding or sewage backup. They can also be expensive to fix, so it’s important to be aware of them and have an emergency plumbing service on speed dial before making a purchase.

You can prevent plumbing problems by:

  • Regularly inspecting pipes for leaks
  • Fixing leaks and drips as soon as they’re found
  • Cleaning out drains and gutters regularly
  • Installing a water filtration system
  • Use low-flow fixtures when possible.

Problems With Roofing:

Another common issue in older homes is roofing problems. This is because roofs are constantly exposed to the elements and they can start to deteriorate over time. Be sure to have a professional inspect the home’s roof before making a purchase. Common roofing problems include missing or damaged shingles, leaks, holes, and sagging. If not adequately addressed, these problems can seriously damage your home and be expensive to fix.

Poor Insulation and Drafty Windows:

One of the things you’ll notice almost immediately upon moving into an old home is how poorly insulated it is. This can be a serious problem, especially during winter when energy bills skyrocket. You’ll often find that the windows are single paned and provide very little protection against the cold. You might also notice cracks and gaps around doors and windows that let in drafts. Insulation and energy-efficient windows are two of the first things you should tackle when restoring an old home.

If your budget doesn’t allow for new windows right away, there are some things you can do to improve the situation. Caulking and weather-stripping are relatively inexpensive ways to seal cracks and gaps. You can also install storm windows over your existing windows to provide an extra layer of protection against the cold.

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^^^ Pexels Image

Outdated/Inefficient HVAC Systems:

Another common problem in old homes is an outdated or inefficient HVAC system. This can be a significant expense to replace, so you’ll want to consider it when budgeting for your restoration project. However, simply upgrading to a more efficient system will often suffice. This can save you money in the long run by reducing your energy bills.

If your HVAC system is beyond repair, there are some things you can do to make it more efficient. For example, adding insulation to your attic and crawl spaces can help keep heat from escaping through the roof and walls. You might also consider installing a programmable thermostat to better control the temperature in your home. Both measures can help reduce your energy consumption and save you money on your utility bills.

Foundation/Structure Issues:

If you find yourself with a home with foundation or structural problems, there are some things you can do to mitigate the damage. For example, installing supports and braces can help stabilize the structure and prevent further damage. You might also consider having a professional waterproof the basement to prevent moisture from causing further damage.

Dangerous Electrical Systems:

Old wiring is a common problem in old homes. It’s usually made of cloth or rubber, which degrades over time. This can cause shorts and fires. You should have an electrician inspect the wiring and update it to current standards. Even if you plan on doing some of the work yourself, having professionals check things out first is best.

Another electrical hazard is knob-and-tube wiring. This was common in homes built before 1950. It consists of ceramic knobs that support insulated tubes that run through your walls. The problem with this type of wiring is that it doesn’t have a ground wire. That means if there’s a short, nothing stops the electricity from flowing through your walls and starting a fire. Again, you’ll need an electrician to take care of this.

You should keep a few things in mind before buying and restoring an old home. First, although it may be a lot of work, it can be a very rewarding experience. With a bit of research and planning, you can end up with a beautiful and unique home that you will enjoy for many years to come!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Preparing Your Child For Getting A Pet

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Preparing Your Child For Getting A Pet

Getting a pet is a rite of passage for many children. If you grew up with pets, you might feel like it’s an essential part of childhood. And if you didn’t, perhaps you want to give your children an experience you didn’t get. But it’s important to consider what pet ownership entails before you get one. Making sure your child is ready for the responsibility of a pet is crucial, especially if you don’t want to end up being the only one to care for it. You can prepare your child for getting a pet using a few different techniques:

Start with Toys:

Before taking on the responsibility of caring for a living thing, it’s a good idea for your child to get some practice. One of the ways children often develop key skills such as empathy is through play. Getting your child some toys to care for is a good way to practice some of the things they’ll need to care for a pet. You can get them some Schleich animal figurines or some stuffed toys to role play caring for. Baby dolls can also be an option for taking care of something without the responsibility of actually having to keep something alive.

Give Them Some Other Responsibilities:

Caring for a pet is a big responsibility, so you need to know that your child is ready to take it on. They will need to show that they can manage some responsibilities of their own and keep it up long term too. When you get a pet, your child might help with things like feeding, cleaning, or exercising your pet. But before you go out and get one, they could have a few other chores to show that they’re capable. You can get them to do daily tasks such as making their bed to demonstrate that they can build consistent habits.

Borrow a Pet:

Borrowing a pet from a friend or family member can be a great way to have a practice run. You can have their pet for a day or a few days so you and your child understand the responsibility of caring for a pet. Obviously, some pets are easier to “borrow” than others. A dog will often be happier to spend time with another family than a cat will. You could offer to pet-sit while someone you know is away if you’re looking for a way to trial pet ownership.

Teach How to Behave Around a Pet:

Children need to be able to behave well around a pet to keep both them and the animal safe. Even when they have been taught how to handle an animal, they should still be supervised. It’s crucial to teach your child important things like how to recognize when a pet wants to be left alone, how to pet them gently, and how to avoid upsetting an animal with their behavior. You can do this by talking to them, demonstrating, reading books, or watching videos.

Getting a pet isn’t something you should do lightly. If your child is asking for a pet, make sure you don’t rush into it and get a lot of practice beforehand.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Blogging Bestie Birthday Gifts

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Blogging Bestie Birthday Gifts

Hello!! When I first began lifewithlilred almost eight (!!!) years ago, it put me in touch with the amazing Kate of Live In The Nautical. We became fast friends and bonded over our Gemini twinhood, figure skating, shopping, and a shared love of Harry Potter. Ever since, it has felt weird to have a day when we are not in touch and I live for our FaceTime dates.

Kate is, truly, the best friend a gal could ever ask for and we love spoiling each other for gift giving occasions. And, spoil me she did with these glorious gifts:

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My love for Taco Bell knows no bounds and if I wouldn’t blow up like a balloon, then I would eat there every day lol. Kate knows this all too well, which is why she went with that theme for my birthday gifts! Her and I both love collecting coffee mugs so I was thrilled to be able to add a new one to my always growing coffee mug shelf. And, yes, my princess name absolutely would be Taco Belle. 😀

I also received an amazingly comfy cute sweater that featured my favorite color and my favorite place on the graphic on the back of it. I can’t believe I’m saying this because it still feels so foreign but it actually gets chilly in my new apartment! This was far from the case in the old one where the heat was suffocating. It feels so good to cozy up in this sweater in the air conditioning. And, of course, I can’t wait to rock it while out and about this fall!

My almost decade long friendship with Kate will always be the best gift that I could ever ask for. She brings me so much joy and I am thankful for her every day – especially since we talk literally all day every day! Her birthday gifts to me are so thoughtful, hilarious, and perfectly showcases everything I hold dear lol. Make sure you check out her page at Live In The Nautical! ❤

Who is your best friend? What do you admire about them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Boost Your Property Value With These Ideas

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Boost Your Property Value With These Ideas

Summer is in full swing and the nice weather gives the opportunity for some fun in the sun. Swimming, hiking, picnics, and outdoor concerts are most definitely in order. And, of course, the warm weather provides the chance to get some home renovations done both indoors and out. Renovations are a huge win/win because it will boost both your property value and curb appeal. Try out some of these projects and you’ll see what we mean:

Upgrade Your Bathroom:

While it’s not the most exciting project in the world, a bathroom upgrade is still very much worth the time and money. Adding an additional bathroom to your home or making a current one into a full bath will be very appealing to potential buyers when it comes time to sell. There are all kinds of ideas for bathroom reno for various lifestyles to fit you and your family’s needs. You can go for luxurious or practical. Regardless of what you choose, it is a great investment to make!

Sunny Side Of Life:

Love the idea of spending time outdoors but are not fond of the bugs and heat? You are not alone! Which brings us to our next renovation idea of adding a sun room. Bring the outdoors inside with plenty of plants, comfortable wicker furniture, and lots of books to read in the glorious sunlight of glass or screened in windows. This will become the place to be to relax and enjoy the weather – no sun burns required.

Attic/Basement Renovations:

A finished attic or basement is a HUGE boost to your property value. Potential buyers will see an unfinished project like this as a hassle so it’s best to get it out of the way before it becomes time to sell. A home gym, game or cinema room, or office are all suitable replacements for an unfinished basement or attic. A plush attic space could also be an amazingly cool place for the kids to hang out!

General Renovations:

It is so easy to focus on big projects and forget about the less enticing options. But, this doesn’t mean that they are any less important. New doors and windows? Boom. Instant face lift to your property. Lush landscaping and a manicured lawn? Hello, curb appeal! Before deciding on what project you would like to tackle, it is helpful to take a stroll through your property both inside and out. Choose the option that fits comfortably in your budget, makes an effective difference, and will catch the eye of anyone who stops by.

Whether it’s an HGTV level renovation or something simple, upgrading your home is only going to help you when you sell. In this case, it is so true that you have to spend money to make money!

Protecting Your Home From The Elements

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Protecting Your Home From The Elements

Your home is the biggest investment you will ever make, in most cases, at least. So, it is really important that you do everything you can to keep it safe and ensure the safety of yourself and your family too. That includes protecting your home from the elements.

From heavy rains to high winds and hail, there are so many elements of the weather that can cause serious damage to your home if you are not careful. The tips below will help you to keep your home safe:

Install siding:

Siding is not just there to make your home look good and improve curb appeal. It also helps to insulate your home and more importantly, it is great at protecting your home from water damage, which can cause your home’s beams to rot and damp to take hold.

If you do not already have siding installed it may be worth getting in touch with James Hardie Siding Installation Experts. The sooner you have siding up on your home, the sooner you can stop worrying about adverse weather conditions and their effects on your home.

Keep drains and gutters clear:

Drains and gutters are there so that water does not get the chance to build up on your property where it can cause flooding and rot. That is why it is so important that you regularly clean and clear them. You can either do this yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.

Replace roof tiles:

If your roof tiles are cracked or especially if any of them are missing, you will need to call in a roofing expert to replace them as soon as possible. If your roof is in a bad state of repair and heavy winds or rains hit, it could spell disaster for your property, rendering it structurally unsafe and potentially allowing flooding to occur.

Deal with cracks:

If there are cracks in your home’s rendering, then you will want to deal with them and get them fixed quickly. If you do not, then they are an easy route for moisture and damp to get into your home, and if there is a serious frost where you live, this could result in water getting into the cracks, freezing, and then causing even bigger cracks as they do so. It really is not safe to leave cracks in your home as they are for any length of time.

Have sandbags available:

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding it is a good idea to always have sandbags available on the property. That way when the forecast is bad, you can bring out the bags and use them to create a barrier between your home and the flood water.

You can’t stop the weather from doing its thing, but you can do your best to protect your home from the consequences!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Housewarming/Birthaversary Party Success!

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Housewarming/Birthaversary Party Success!

Hello!! At the end of May, Johnny and I had a housewarming/birthaversary party to celebrate our big move. We also decided to clump it together with Johnny’s birthday on the first, our first wedding anniversary on the fourth, and my birthday on the seventh. It was such fun and we were so proud to show off all of our hard work on the new place to our friends and family.

In my humble opinion, the event was a GREAT SUCCESS and I thought that I would share some pro tips on get togethers now that it’s all said and done. I definitely learned a lot for next time:

Prepare & Prepare Some More:

I am the planner in mine and Johnny’s relationship and he is, easily, the more spontaneous one. Therefore, I insisted on hardcore party prep the entire week beforehand and I am so glad that I did. No one wants to be stuck with a monumental task the day before the big event. The week leading up to the party, we kicked our unpacking, cleaning, and rearranging into high gear. And, the night before, Johnny finally (!!!!) finished readying his domain of the game room and it turned out great.

Preparing the home is a given before a get together but don’t forget about food prep! I spent a good amount of time planning a menu and making a shopping list so that we had everything we needed. The night before the party, I spent a solid four hours cooking everything that could be made ahead of time. Any food prep that you can do in advance should be taken advantage of because it can be such a time consuming task. Also, no one wants to be frazzled in the kitchen before guests start to arrive. I couldn’t imagine doing all of the food preparations that I did the day of!

Have Plenty Of Seating:

Johnny and I have two small love seats, a chaise lounge, and four chairs for the kitchen table and that is it when it comes to seating. We knew that this wouldn’t be enough and were lucky to have been able to borrow folding chairs from Johnny’s parents. I highly recommend having additional seating as a backup if what you already have is limited. Folding chairs can be borrowed, rented, or bought on the cheap at a secondhand store. You want your guests to be comfortable at your party and that means having the seating arrangements to back it up.

Stay On Top Of Cleaning:

As the host of a party, you are in charge of everything. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the day but it will really help you to stay on top of cleaning throughout the party. When there were lulls between guests leaving and arriving, Johnny and I were cleaning up spills, taking the trash out, and making additional drinks. An overflowing garbage can is a disaster waiting to happen! Also, if you clean as you go during the day, then you won’t have a huge mess to take care of after everyone has went home.

Ice, Ice Baby:

Johnny and I don’t have the space in our freezer to account for bags of ice. If this is the case for you too, then buying a cooler for the event is the way to go. Johnny bought a cooler and ice the morning of the party and that worked out so well. The ice stayed frozen all day, we had somewhere to put canned drinks, and it took up a small amount of space. Plus, a cooler will come in handy afterwards for picnics and outdoor events!

Make Use Of Outdoor Areas:

If the weather is nice the day of your party, making use of outdoor areas will add additional space to the event. The new apartment has a great front balcony that was perfect for people to hang out on and get some air. Even if you don’t plan on using your outdoor space, opening windows and doors with a screen will help keep your indoor space from getting stuffy. As always, comfort for your guests is key.

At our old apartment, a party like the one we had simply would not have happened because we didn’t have the room for it. It was an absolute delight to be able to host our friends and family the way we have always wanted to. I already can’t wait to do it again on a smaller scale!

What are your party pro tips? Do you have any big events happening soon? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

House Plant Party

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House Plant Party

Hello!! Last month when Johnny and I had just moved into our new digs, my best friend, Lea, paid us a visit. She also came bearing gifts – a turtle vine! This was my very first house plant and, surprisingly to all of us, it hasn’t died yet. Rather, it is thriving and I can’t believe how big it has gotten in a month and some change. I have to say, I am very proud of it and take lots of pleasure in caring for it and watching its progress.

While I wouldn’t consider myself a full blown plant mom (Yet!), I did receive a few more at mine and Johnny’s housewarming/birthaversary party:

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At the party, my cousin gifted us with a Jade plant and my aunt and uncle brought us a great big spider plant. When Lea first gave us the turtle vine, I almost contemplated giving it to my dad for fear that I would accidentally kill it. I quickly found that this wasn’t the case and was thrilled to receive some more plants to keep it company. 😀

In the old apartment, there wasn’t much opportunity for house plants to thrive. We had very limited space and there was little access for direct sunlight. The new apartment is a totally different story, however, and I have a huge window in my sitting area perfect for plants. And, yes, I wouldn’t be opposed to a few more to add to the collection. In fact, I already have grand plans for some plant stands so that they don’t have to sit on a foot stool anymore lol.

As you all know, my dad has the most amazing green thumb and my parents’ house is filled with plants and their outdoor property is glorious. I could always appreciate how fulfilling it would feel to make things grow but I never got to experience it firsthand in my own place. While I won’t be at my dad’s level probably ever, I am loving this small house plant party that’s forming at chez moi! ❤

Which house plants would you recommend for me? Do you have a green thumb too? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What To Watch When You’re Bored Of Netflix

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What To Watch When You’re Bored Of Netflix

Finding it tough to find something to watch these days? We’ve all been there. You’ve binged your favorites in two days, and now you’ve got the big black hole of Netflix where you’ve either seen everything or nothing appeals. You can waste a lot of time flicking between menus and never really watching anything!

So what can you do instead? The good news is that there’s a whole wide world out there of film and TV to watch. Who knows, you might even discover some hidden gems! Ready to dive in? It’s time to step away from Netflix and try the following:

Go to the movies:

While not particularly innovative, going to the movies can feel like a rare treat in the post-pandemic world. With most new movies making their way on-demand either instantly or in a matter of weeks, a lot of people take to watching them at home. But while watching movies at home is convenient, there’s still something magical about watching them on the big screen.

Take a look at the most anticipated movies of 2022 and book your tickets to see something at the theater. Dinner and a show, anyone?

Discover TV and movies from overseas:

What’s great about platforms like Netflix is that they help you discover shows you never heard of before. Great TV shows and movies are produced all over the world, and there are a lot of platforms where you can find some incredible new content. If you’re into anime, you can get access to a range of content at https://clearvpn.com/blog/entertainment/best-anime-torrent-sites/, and perhaps fall in love with a whole new genre. It’s fun to check out what’s popular across different countries and find some new shows that appeal to you.

Rewatch childhood favorites:

If you can’t find something new to watch, then why not discover some old favorites instead? Revisiting some of your top shows and movies from when you were a kid is a great way to reminiscence and even share your nostalgia with others. From classic Disney to the shows you watched on Nickelodeon, it’s time to go back in time and give your old faves another watch.

Explore other on-demand platforms:

There’s a lot more to on-demand than simply watching Netflix. There are a lot of streaming services out there to choose from, including Amazon, Disney, and HBO – all with a lot of content to help you make some new discoveries. Most on-demand services come with free trials, giving you the perfect excuse to try something new!

While Netflix is home to some incredible shows and movies, it’s nice to branch out once in a while to keep your viewing fresh. When it is time to return to Netflix, there are some fantastic hacks to upgrade your evenings that will help you get the most from your chill time. Happy watching!

Featured Image By: Unsplash under Creative Commons

Unique Gift Ideas That Are Sure To Satisfy

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Unique Gift Ideas That Are Sure To Satisfy

Some people (Like me!) really enjoy buying gifts. On the other hand, there are quite a few who can see it as a chore, especially when you’re getting something for someone known to be difficult to buy for. In those cases, coming up with something can be a challenge. With a few alternative gift ideas, however, it doesn’t need to be so difficult.

Though you’ll still need to put a bit of effort into it, keeping a few ideas in mind could be more than enough to come up with the perfect gift idea, regardless of who you buy it for:

Musical Instrument:

Instruments are a tried and tested gift for anyone musically inclined. It’s more than worth looking into this and seeing if it’s an option. Taking this approach doesn’t need to be as daunting as it seems as there are more than affordable guitars to choose from. The same can be said for drums and other instruments. If you decide to test this method out, it could also be worth springing for some lessons so they can start playing relatively quickly.

Zen Garden Sculpture:

If your loved one has a garden and takes pride in its appearance, then you could help add onto it. A zen garden sculpture can be an appealing choice, as it shouldn’t take up much space and offers a sense of calm while being visually appealing. You’ll need to make sure that the sculpture fits in with the theme of their garden to make it the perfect addition. If you’re not a fan of a zen sculpture, it could be worth thinking about similar choices.

Personalized Picnic Table Wine Carrier:

If your friend or family member’s birthday happens in the summer, it could be worth choosing something based around that. With the weather being nicer, picnics will become more and more popular for a while. Why not help your loved one take their picnic game to the next level?

With a picnic table wine carrier, you can do precisely that. The good thing about this is that it can be versatile enough to use with various other drinks without any extra effort. Even if it’s not used for a picnic, it can be put to use around the home. It can be a simple and appealing wine rack, for example. If your giftee is a wine lover, it’s more than recommended.

While gift shopping, remember the following:

  • Focus on their interests
  • Practicality can sometimes be better-recommended
  • Listen to them and base your choice on topics they keep bringing up
  • Experiences can be a better option than belongings

Regardless of what you get them, they should be sure to love it because it was from you!

Featured Image By: QuinceCreative from Pixabay