Pro Tips To Boost Your New Blog

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Pro Tips To Boost Your New Blog

In today’s world, blogging is becoming a popular way for people to express their opinion – and why wouldn’t it be? Blogging is fun, it allows you to share your thoughts, and there is the potential to make a side income from your page. A blog can be based on pretty much anything, you can write about business, sports, marketing, food & drink, travel – the list goes on. Then, when you find your niche, you can connect with other people with similar interests across the blogosphere. It’s awesome!

If you are interested in boosting your new blog to unlock its full potential, check out these tips to help you get started:

Use the correct editing software:

In order to run a successful blog, you will almost definitely be publishing pictures and videos to assist your article writing. Pictures are a must, however, video is becoming a lot more popular. When working with images and videos you may want to look into things like home video editing services to ensure the quality is there. You never want to just upload an image without making adaptations to it. Take your time to learn the software so whatever media content you use best suits your page.

Create a content schedule:

Another tip that should be followed when running a successful blog is to stick to a content schedule. Try to decide how many posts you would like to publish each week and set a dedicated time for them to go out. This way your readers will know when to return to your blog to access new information and it shows your website is regularly updated. When putting a schedule together, it gives you the opportunity to think about different topics and categories to write about. The schedule itself is easily done, you can do it with a notes app on your phone, a content schedule website, Word, Excel – whatever your preference may be.

Look after your website:

How your website looks and feels is extremely important. You will have a lot of competitors out there, so having a good-looking website may bring their readers to you. Websites aren’t as expensive as you may think and with many different website builders out there and a creative mind, you may find you can do it yourself using a template or two. If not, reach out to your friends or family members or employ a freelancer to do it for you.

Any blog has the potential to turn into the next big thing. Use the tips above, stick to them, and watch as your page grows!

Featured Image By: Andrea Piacquadio

Galentine’s Day OOTD

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Galentine’s Day OOTD

Hello!! This past Saturday was a fairly busy one because I was pet sitting and going back and forth to take care of a sweet pup named Luna. Afterwards, I had plans to take Johnny out for dinner because he did such a good job cleaning the apartment this past week! Since we had a date night, I decided to put together a little look more appropriate for Galentine’s Day to take some pics and go out in. Granted, we ended up just DoorDashing because tired but we did go to a different bathroom brick wall at another local park so it was still a successful day! Lol, check it out:

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Who? What? Wear?

Although we should be celebrating our lady friends every day, there is something about Galentine’s Day that just hits different! Whether you’re brunching with your besties or hitting up happy hour on G-Day, I wanted to put together some outfit inspiration so you can look your best with your best girls. For this look, I wanted to use pieces in my wardrobe that were both cute, cozy, and would open up the conversation of “where did you get that?” to initiate shopping talk – a very important Galentine’s Day component!

When I first started styling my Galentine’s Day OOTD, I had my plaid skinnies by Sound & Style in mind. Afterwards, everything came into place easily because it just took a little common sense. While I love a patterned pant, they are not the most versatile and all I did was draw from the plaid to build the rest of the outfit. The base of this look pretty much had to be navy because of the base color on the pants. Then, I turned to the pinky mauve hue of the plaid to accessorize.

For the top, I chose my unicorn sweater from Loft. This was a gift from my mom a few Christmases ago and it is one of my favorites. You might notice that the navy on the sweater, pants, and peacoat is not a perfect match and that is okay! When you are styling a more monochromatic look, do not let yourself get bogged down by something like that or you will end up scrapping everything. The variants in the color you are working with will add some interest to a minimal outfit palette. As long as it is close enough, you are all good!

Because there was a pattern on my pants and top, I wanted to keep the accessories to a minimum. I went with my glittery pink hoops from Target, which I love. No Galentine’s Day look is complete without a little sparkle! These earrings added brightness around my face and note how I simply used the colors in the plaid pants to make my selection. The same process was used for the shoes. These heels are god knows how old from Plato’s Closet and were actually one of the first pairs that helped stoke the fires of my shoe addiction! The color of the heels is essentially the shade of the detailing in the pants in its brightest form and it added a poppy touch of fun to the look.

Finally, all that was left was a coat or jacket and I knew just what I wanted to put on – my peacoat from ModCloth. This was one of my first ModCloth purchases and I have had it since I was a teenager. Despite its age, it’s one of my favorite coats because it is just so adorable! The cobalt blue heart patches and piping are the girly sweet details that are a Galentine’s Day essential. While super cute, the cobalt also helped break up the sea of navy and was the perfect way to complete my outfit!

Celebrate your Galentine’s Day in style with the outfit inspo above and have the best time celebrating with your best friends! ❤

Do you celebrate Galentine’s Day? What are you going to wear and do? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Chocolate Making Fun

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Chocolate Making Fun

Hello!! Last Thursday, I spent what felt like my first free-ish afternoon in forever making homemade chocolate with my mother-in-law. It was SO much fun! Johnny’s mom is amazing at making chocolate and used to have her own small candy business with a friend. We made Christmas chocolates together a few years ago and had plans to do the same this past holiday season. Unfortunately, both of Johnny’s parents came down with a nasty bout of the flu so we opted for Valentine’s Day candy, instead. Take a look at some of my chocolate creations:

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When I got to my in-laws after a short shift, Johnny’s mom had all of our supplies ready to go. The chocolate wafers were melting, paintbrushes of every size were procured, and a crazy amount of V-Day molds were in place to make confectionery magic. It had been a while since I tried my hand at making chocolate and, I admit, I was a bit nervous that I had lost my touch. However, I forgot just how easy making chocolate actually is and quickly picked up where we left off the last time.

To start, I decided to make some lollipops while my MIL made salted caramel hearts filled with caramel that I can’t freaking wait to try!! I began with the smaller molds that had the “Love” and heart details. I painted in the small parts of the mold with a tiny brush and colored chocolate, then let it harden in the fridge for a minute or two. Afterwards, all that was left was to add the stick, fill the remainder of the mold with melted chocolate, and stick it back in the fridge. And voila! Once it hardens, you have a handmade chocolate sucker. 😀

I had so much fun with the lollies that I wanted to make more and did the big hearts with roses next. Then, Johnny’s mom suggested that I make the chocolate boxes so we could fill them with little chocolate hearts. While I painted the lids, my MIL made tons of itty bitty hearts to make what I think of as a chocolate treasure chest. I am so excited to give my niece one for a Valentine’s Day surprise!

Although I had free time that afternoon, I was still on a bit of a time crunch and we concluded our time together by making pretzel rods. This was pretty tedious because the molds were quite intricate and required a lot of painting. I just know they are going to turn out adorable, though, with painted on white, light pink, hot pink, and red hearts. I love everything about making chocolate but I can live without waiting until seeing the end result lol.

I had such a blast with my mother-in-law and we already have our sights set on an Easter candy making session. I am even bringing my niece, Val Gal, to join in and I am so looking forward to it! ❤

Have you ever made chocolate before? What is your favorite kind of candy? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

TJMaxx Mini Haul

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TJMaxx Mini Haul

Hello!! Thanks to lots of Christmas gift cards to TJMaxx, I have been able to enjoy completely guilt free shopping trips for goodies and necessities. But let’s be honest, gift card or no – I never feel guilty when I’m getting my shop on lol! What is buyer’s remorse, anyways? This past week, I stopped into TJs because I needed a few trash cans and I was on the hunt for a new chapstick for my constantly chapped lips. I ended up walking away with all of the following for only thirty dollars:

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The trash can situation for the bathrooms in my apartment was a unique one. We only had one bathroom at our old place and this might be TMI but I ended up ralphing in the trash can we had and threw it out. Rather than invest in a new one, I decided to repurpose the brown paper bags that Giant Eagle used to use to pack up curbside orders. We seriously had a ton and we brought our supply to our new apartment with two bathrooms. The brown paper bag trash can was working well when, suddenly, Giant Eagle quit using them and our collection quickly began to dwindle down. Buying new trash cans was finally in order and I got the two seen above for under twenty dollars. Johnny and I are officially living the high life. 😀

For skin care, I was mainly looking for a new chapstick and ended up walking away with a few extras. For my lip chap, I got the Pacifica Rainbow Watermelon balm and it is really nice! It definitely has a lot more oomph to it than the drugstore brand I’ve been using and it smells exactly like the watermelon Lip Smackers from back in the day as an added bonus. I also decided to give the lip mask by Dr. PawPaw a try partially because the brand name is hilarious and I also never say no to a product that has the potential to soften, smooth, and plump my pout!

Finally, I got an extra serum by Pearlessence to get my skin care hoard back to fully stocked status. I have used a few Pearlessence products before and like the brand well enough and went with their Vitamin C and Ferulic Acid serum. I have no idea what Ferulic Acid is but the sunset coloring of the serum was so pretty that I decided to go for it. Clearly, it doesn’t take much for me to give something my stamp of approval lol.

While this wasn’t the most exciting TJs Haul, I still got everything I needed and then some. I can’t wait to go back when their spring clothes finally hits the racks!

What is your favorite chapstick? What are essential ingredients in your skin care? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Light Pink & Bright Pink Glitter Nails

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New Light Pink & Bright Pink Glitter Nails

Hello!! Last week, I fell down several of the hardwood stairs at my mom and dad’s house and it was AWFUL. I was battered and bruised everywhere and I hate to brag but the bruise on my hindquarters looked like a galaxy lol. As I was falling and realized what was happening, I assumed the protective position to avoid breaking a nail because you all know where my priorities lie! I was so proud of this accomplishment, so you could imagine how pissed I was the following day when I broke a nail from simply carrying my groceries in!! I was in desperate need of a fill and repairs, and my girl Mary at Elysian Nails delivered with these adorable Valentine’s Day talons:

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Normally, I am not one for holiday themed nails. However, I LOVE creating Valentine’s Day OOTDs and I wanted my nails to reflect that. I originally was playing around with a combination incorporating white but I wasn’t feeling red and white and pink and white reminded me of Pepto Bismol haha. So, I decided to go for pretty in pink, instead, and chose a soft light pink and a sassy, glittery bright pink for some sweet/tart fun. I think they turned out great!

Mary expertly replaced my badly broken nail that I had to repair with super glue as well as one that was lifting. She also applied the acrylic thicker than normal to help support the stiletto shape. My nails have seriously never felt better or stronger and I appreciated the time she took to fortify the claws. The last fill I had was done by my friend in my apartment and her acrylic wasn’t the best. I didn’t even notice how flimsy my nails were until I got back into the salon and high quality acrylic was used. While it was so nice to get my nails done from the comfort of my own home, I will definitely be sticking to the salon from now on.

This trip to Elysian Nails was much needed and I am in love with my girly V-Day nails. I can’t wait to show them off in new OOTDs coming soon so keep it posted!!

What color of nail polish are you rocking? What are your thoughts on holiday themed nails? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bath & Body Works January Freebies

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Bath & Body Works January Freebies

Hello! I got two freebie coupons from Bath & Body Works last week for a full and travel size item and I couldn’t believe my good luck. Free full size product coupons are a rarity from B&BW and I couldn’t wait to cash them in. Tuesday afternoons are usually when I run errands so I stopped in to pick out some goodies and ended up walking away with twenty-three dollars worth of completely free product. It was awesome! Check it out:

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I decided to go for a shower gel for my full size product because I recently bought a few lotions from B&BW on the cheap. I was in the mood to try a new scent out and was instantly drawn to the dreamy packaging for one of their new fragrances called Among The Clouds. I loved the sparkle and sunset colors – it just looked so sweet and girly and I knew that it had to smell good. And it did! Among The Clouds features fragrance notes of wild berry and whipped vanilla and it is divine. It kind of reminds me of the Mixed Berry Lip Smackers from back in the day and I think that it will be a perfect scent for the spring and summer. I highly recommend giving it a shot!

For my travel size item, I chose a hand cream in Gingham, which is one of my favorite B&BW fragrance lines. I have used the Bath & Body Works hand cream before and I can’t say that I was overly impressed by it. Their hand creams are fairly greasy and don’t absorb well. However, you can’t beat free and I suppose it doesn’t matter all that much when I only use it before bed!

As I was driving home with my free mini haul, I was blown away by the coupons from B&BW. In total, Johnny and I probably spend less than one hundred dollars per year at Bath & Body Works for our hand soaps and wallflowers. The rest of the products that I get are free nine times out of ten and I receive a coupon for more at least once per month. A monthly free travel size product coupon results in over one hundred dollars of free per year. Essentially, B&BW matches what I spend with freebies and I am so there for it. 😀

This coupon cash in session was one of my best yet at Bath & Body Works and I was riding the high of twenty plus dollars of free my whole way home. I can’t wait to go back next month because I think that I will definitely be getting more Among The Clouds products!

Which stores offer the best coupons? How do you save money on your must have products? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Brand New Pizza Experience

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Brand New Pizza Experience

Hello!! After a whirlwind experience this past week of both good and bad oven pizza, Johnny and I wrapped things up with a brand new to me pie: Little Caesars. All of last week, we had been planning on watching the wrestling Royal Rumble on Saturday purely for shits and gigs. It was actually a hoot and we might just become wrestling people because it was so funny! Anyways, we decided to order some pizza because a friend was coming by for the big show and Johnny suggested Little Caesars. I had never tried it before and was, honestly, very ambivalent – so, you can imagine my surprise when it was the friggen bomb!

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When Johnny and I order out, pizza is usually our way to go because then he can take the leftovers for his lunch at work. While we are partial to Domino’s and Papa John’s, I was totally fine with switching things up for our Royal Rumble meal purely from a cost perspective. A large cheese pizza, a large pepperoni, a meat deep dish, and crazy bread was only THIRTY DOLLARS from Little Ceasars and you just can’t beat that. For price alone, Little Caesars was already winning but I still held my reservations because how can something so cheap be good? However, one bite in made me eat my words.

Johnny recommended the cheese Extra Most Bestest (and yes, I felt just as dumb typing it as I did saying it!) and it did not disappoint. The crust was fairly thin and crisp, there was a perfect amount of sauce, and it was smothered in cheesy delight. I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t that! I told Johnny that this was like a fifty percent improvement from oven pizza and he agreed. This wasn’t a putdown, though, but a compliment. Your girl loves oven pizza so if anything tastes better than that, I consider it a victory. 😀

Watching the Royal Rumble paired with Little Ceasars was the night in that I didn’t know I needed. If you haven’t tried LC and are feeling wishy washy about it, then I highly recommend going for it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised and that’s going to make it even better!

What is your go to take out order? What is your favorite pizza franchise? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Unlock Your Home’s Full Potential With These Tips

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Unlock Your Home’s Full Potential With These Tips

Whether you’ve just moved into a new property or you’re eager to upgrade your home in 2023, you must look to do it in style. All properties are unique and homeowners have different visions of what their dream home should look like. However, most people are united by several key desires. You can use the following checklist to unlock the full potential of your home as you renovate:

Add Home Security:

First and foremost, your property should make you feel safe and comfortable. It will be impossible to truly relax and sleep as you should if the home is open to danger. Burglaries are on the rise, but you can deter intruders with surveillance cameras and alarms. Ensuring that you have a good line of vision covering the front garden and backyard can have a very positive impact on your mindset too. If nothing else, it can prevent the emotional and financial fallout of responding to home theft.

Keep Living Spaces Uncluttered:

Tricking the eyes so that they perceive living spaces to be bigger than they are can make a world of difference to the home. Removing clutter by selling unwanted goods or selecting compact furniture can make the home look and feel bigger. When supported by professional house cleaning services, the home will retain its charm. Better still, it can aid the air quality and reduce the risk of health issues. Introducing more natural light and using lighter color schemes may help too.

Give Every Room A Purpose:

There’s nothing worse than keeping a room saved for when friends and family stay over. After all, that guest room or garage could be used as a gym, office, playroom, and so much more. It feels like completing an extension without the stress or expense. This upgrade will help the property feel more aligned with your personal taste. This is a key step towards making the house a home. The fact that it prevents the need to use living spaces for multiple functions is another bonus.

Utilize Outside Spaces:

A little curb appeal goes a long way to setting the right atmosphere for your home. Whether it’s fixing the roof tiles or painting the outside walls, the benefits are clear. Meanwhile, enhancing your backyard spaces will add a whole new dimension to your home life. Aside from the visual benefits, it enables a host of activities. For the best result, you may wish to add sliding doors to connect internal and external areas.

Personalize Your Living Spaces:

It’s great to take inspiration from the latest trends, but you must not forget that the goal is to design a home that you love. If the surroundings are going to deliver the desired levels of emotional comfort, you must add a little personality. This could mean using music memorabilia or family canvases to decorate the walls. Incorporating the personality of your family into your decor will definitely help to make your house feel like a home.

Keep all of these tips in mind as you work on your new year renovations to fully unlock the potential of your home!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Build Your Skills: Learn How To Cook

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Build Your Skills: Learn How To Cook

If there is one thing you should get to adulthood knowing how to do, it’s learning to cook. There are many things that people have in common and we all need food. It’s not just food, though, we need nutritious and nourishing food to make sure that our bodies are healthy and have enough energy to get moving.

Who doesn’t enjoy a delicious dinner? And who doesn’t enjoy the pride that comes with being able to prepare it yourself? You can learn to make pizza if you want to, or you could learn to make a truffle risotto, the point is you’ll be learning to cook for yourself. If what you are eating right now is not satisfying you and is draining your pockets because it’s mostly convenience food, then you need to go back to basics and learn how to cook properly. Why? Let’s discuss:

Build Connections:

Cooking and going out to eat helps you to connect with the people that you love. If you think about special occasions, it’s likely that your mind first turns to food before anything else. It has that extraordinary power to link people together and there’s nothing better than either having someone cook for you or cooking somebody something all by yourself. What did you feel the last time somebody cooked something delicious for you? If it made you feel special, then you know that learning how to cook is going to make other people feel that way too.

There’s So Much to Learn:

If you learn how to cook, you could make any cuisine from any country in the world. If you know how to read, you can learn how to cook; and if recipe books aren’t your thing, there are countless video resources to help you too. Whether you are cooking Mexican food or French, or you go with something very simple from scratch, you’re going to feel accomplished as a result.

Save Money:

Eating out can be extremely expensive, and if you learn to cook you’re not going to have to worry about constant takeout for dinner. Cooking your own meals will save you some money so when times are tight, you can recreate your favorite dishes in your own kitchen.

Be a Well Rounded Adult:

Knowing how to cook is an important life skill. Just being able to cook the simplest dishes is a good start. Being a well rounded adult means knowing how to wash your clothes, clean your home, and the basics of hygiene, but it also means knowing how to cook for yourself too.

Unleash your inner Top Chef and begin learning how to cook today. PS – A cooking class would make for a fun and unique Valentine’s Day date!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Be My Valentine OOTD Bloopers

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Be My Valentine OOTD Bloopers

Hello everyone and welcome to the blooper reel for my Be My Valentine OOTD! Today, we are going to take a look at the shots that didn’t make the first cut but are worthy of being shared anyways for humor’s sake. Also, did anyone notice that my usual brick wall that doubles as a bathroom at a park wasn’t featured in this look? That’s right, because we used a brick wall at another park instead lol. It wasn’t a bathroom, unfortunately, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches! Now, let’s get to it:

Hey, gang! Who’s ready to look at some bloopers?!

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Johnny is always making me laugh! I actually kind of like these pictures. ❤

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I LOOK GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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My “oh shit” face haha

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Epic failure of a hair shaking photo, which always turns out like this no matter how hard I try!

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The beginning steps of what promises to be a thrilling dance routine…

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Spoiler Alert: YIKES!

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Just lumbering over to get my phone, which Johnny manages to capture so perfectly every time

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That face you make when you find out the memory on your phone is full

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As you can see, a new brick wall just brings out the best for your girl lol. When it’s warm out, you can always catch me at more fun locations taking pics. During the wintertime, however, is a totally different story because I share Johnny’s sentiments of “are we done yet?”. Therefore, the brick wall method is employed for maximum picture taking efficiency in three easy steps:

  1. Acquire brick wall
  2. Take pictures for five minutes
  3. Leave

Lol – no muss, no fuss, just wall! Granted, it was a scorching forty degrees when these pictures were taken so it wasn’t all that bad but you get my point. The wall method is also great when you are working with a time crunch, which Johnny and I kind of were. This photo shoot was a win/win because the gorgeous shots you see above now exist AND I found a new brick wall to post up by. GREAT SUCCESS!

What is your favorite background for taking pictures? How does the weather affect your OOTD shoots? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Planning The Perfect Date Night

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Planning The Perfect Date Night

No matter how long you’ve been together, date night is always important. It’s a time to reconnect and remind yourselves why you fell in love in the first place. Whether you are planning a Friday night on the town or are thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day, here are a few tips to achieve ultimate date night success:

Decide on a Date:

Choosing the right date for a romantic night out is an important step in planning the perfect evening. It’s essential to pick a day and time that works best for both partners. Consider your work schedules and personal commitments when deciding on a date, as well as any special occasions or anniversaries that you might want to celebrate on this night.

It’s also important to think about the season when choosing a date. Spring and summer are ideal times for outdoor activities like picnics or walks in the park, while winter weather makes cozy dinners at home or at restaurants with outdoor heaters more appealing. Plus, certain holidays may offer unique opportunities for fun activities like sledding in December or celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Irish cuisine and drinks.

Another factor to keep in mind when deciding on a date is budgeting. Going out for expensive meals every week might not be feasible for everyone, so look into different cost-effective options too. You could order takeout and have it delivered right to your doorstep, visit free museums or parks, or even host a game night at home with your own board game collection!

Pick a Place:

Once you’ve decided on the date and time for your night out, it’s time to think about where you’d like to go. If you’re going out to eat, pick a restaurant such as the Cathedral Bistro that both partners can enjoy – it might be helpful to look into local restaurants with reviews or recommendations from friends. For activities away from home, consider what you two would be interested in doing together – from bowling alleys and movie theaters, to museums and art galleries, there are plenty of unique options available.

If you decide on staying home instead, there are lots of ways to create a romantic atmosphere at home. Make an effort to decorate the living space with candles or fresh flowers, put on some relaxing music as a backdrop, cook a special meal together, or watch a classic romantic movie and eat lots of chocolate. 😀

Have Fun:

No matter what you decide to do on your date night, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Share stories and jokes, talk about old memories, plan for future events…the possibilities are endless! Date night is all about making time for one another and showing that you care; and that doesn’t require spending lots of money or going out to fancy restaurants. The best part of planning the perfect date night is that it can be whatever you want to make it perfect for you. Get creative and have some fun with it!

The key to having a successful date night is to make a plan and have a blast for a #relationshipgoals worthy time!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Be My Valentine OOTD

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Be My Valentine OOTD

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new OOTD here on lifewithlilred! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so I thought that I would put together a little date night inspiration for your viewing pleasure. This year for V-Day, Johnny and I are attending Hadestown at Playhouse Square which will be delightfully reminiscent of last year’s date to Jesus Christ Superstar. I’m very excited and can’t wait to spend a night on the town with my main squeeze! While I plan on heavily showing out for Playhouse Square, here is a sweet and simple V-Day look to help get your outfit planning wheels turning:

From Day:

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To Night:

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Who? What? Wear?

I try to create a new OOTD post every weekend and as I began thinking about what I might like to wear, I remembered that Valentine’s Day is approaching. This was both a shock and great news for me because a V-Day fit drastically narrowed down my wardrobe options, making this outfit a piece of cake (or chocolate!) to style. When I think about Valentine’s Day outfits, the first word that comes to mind is always “sweet”. I’m talking delicate details, silky materials, and frilly touches that make for a perfectly girly OOTD and I tried to incorporate all of that into this look.

For my Be My Valentine OOTD, I already had my Jun & Ivy skirt from Francesca’s on deck. It is one of the few pieces of holiday themed clothing that I have in my wardrobe making it both the obvious and one of the only choices lol. This skirt touches on everything that I want for Valentine’s Day clothing. I love the just above the knee length to show some leg without being too revealing. The way it flutters out on the edges is also one of those “frilly touches” that I was talking about to enhance adorableness. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with the hearts and kisses pattern which truly speaks to my Lil Red heart.

I wanted to give the illusion of wearing a dress with a tucked in top and chose one of my favorite silky camis in a gorgeous oyster shell hue. This mittoshop number is one of my favorites and the lace detailing is to die for. What is a V-Day OOTD without some lace to it, amiright? I also really like the sheen of the material to add some flare and brighten things up on top. I would classify the color of this cami as a neutral, which is why it paired with the skirt without a hitch. Remember, two neutrals together always makes a right – or however that saying goes!

With the base of my outfit sorted, it was time to accessorize. Sometimes, things just click when I’m building an outfit and the remainder came to me quickly. The red Kenneth Cole heels were a must and note the cute detailing around the buckle. So fun! Normally, I wouldn’t pair these heels with socks for fear of breaking up the leg line. But, I was showing a fair amount of skin on top as well so I gave it the go ahead and still felt like I was walking tall. You’re also not going to not wear ruffly socks on Valentine’s Day – it’s all about the frilly touches, after all. 😀

For jewelry, I first tried out a dangly pair of pearl earrings because I think pearls are a classic V-Day staple. The earrings weren’t doing anything for me, though, so I switched them out for a smaller pair. This worked much better as I felt the super dangly ones made things look crowded around my face. Then, I turned my attention to a necklace and chose my grandma’s pearls, instead. This is one of my favorite necklaces and its length was just right. It hit perfectly between the tattoos by my collarbones!

One final note on this look is that you might have noticed my red bra straps were slightly showing and this was intentional! This is me, personally, but I don’t like it when my bra straps are visible. However, I thought the peek a boo of the red worked well and was really cute. With that, my outfit was complete for taking pictures in, at least, because I changed into comfy clothes ASAP afterwards!

What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Do you own any holiday themed clothing? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Lush’s Bubba Lugosi Bubble Bar Review

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Lush’s Bubba Lugosi Bubble Bar Review

Hello! After an insanely long week, I couldn’t wait to sink into a nice, hot bath on Friday evening. It was my motivation since waking up on Monday because I was very eager to use the last of my Christmas Lush haul from my bestie! The final remainder of my gifts was a bubble bar from their Halloween collection called…wait for it… the BUBBA LUGOSI. I had never used a bubble bar from Lush before so I was excited to try it! Although I much prefer a bath bomb, the bubble bar was still a fun-ish product to further enhance bath time bliss. Check it out:

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First of all, let’s address how freaking adorable the Bubba Lugosi bubble bar is lol. My heart literally melted when I saw it for the first time and I think that’s why I held onto it for so long – it was too cute to use! After mentally preparing for over a month to part with this precious bubble bar, I was finally ready to let go. Was I disappointed with this product? No. But, I think I hyped it up in my head for so long that it wasn’t what I expected.

I placed the Bubba Lugosi under the running water once my tub was about halfway full. I was hoping for huge, fluffy bubbles as soon as it hit the water and was greeted by a steady stream of not so big bubbles, instead. As the water continued to run, the bubbles spread out evenly across the tub but it wasn’t mind blowing in any way. In fact, I’ve had better bubbles from just using my shower gel.

Another thing that didn’t wow me was how the color of the water changed as the bubble bar broke down. Normally, this would please me immensely. However, the water went from crystal clear to a murky purplish red and it ended up looking swampy rather than soothing. I don’t know about all of you, but the last thing that I want to feel like is the Creature From The Black Lagoon when I am trying to get my bath time mermaid on!

While the presentation was lacking severely for the Bubba Lugosi, I will say that it left my skin feeling very soft and nourished. For this reason, I was satisfied because I love being able to shave and not have to slather myself in lotion afterwards! I am going to rate this bubble bar with a three out of ten stars. I am glad that I used it and will be sticking with the bath bombs from Lush from now on!

What are your thoughts on the Lush bubble bars? What is your favorite Lush product? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Keep Your Aging Loved One Happy & Healthy

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How To Keep Your Aging Loved One Happy & Healthy

When it comes to aging loved ones, they tend to be the ones that face the most loneliness. It’s quite sad, but there is something that you can do about it. More specifically, there are ways that you can keep your aging loved one happy and healthy throughout the rest of their life. It’s not nearly as challenging as you may think so here is everything you need to know:

Encourage physical activities:

If your aging loved one is not getting adequate exercise, you should encourage them to be more active. Exercise helps strengthen muscles, improves balance, and helps reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It also promotes healthy aging. Many seniors are afraid of exercising, but they need to stay active to protect their health. Encourage your senior loved one to keep up with their physical activity by showing them the benefits of doing so.

Set boundaries around your caregiving relationship:

It can be challenging having to take care of your aging loved ones and it is important to set boundaries. This can sometimes be easier said than done! Some people find it difficult to say no to their parents. They may feel guilty and want to say yes to everything. The most important thing to remember when setting boundaries is to be clear. You do not want to be perceived as being a doormat or rude. Instead, be thoughtful and respectful. If you want to ensure your aging loved ones are happy and doing well, then you need to know it starts with you and how you feel. Boundaries will help keep both parties happy.

Encourage meaningful conversations:

Having those heart-to-heart conversations means a lot. Seniors’ minds are often a source of wisdom and experience. Sharing memories can be a fun and uplifting way to connect with them. You can ask them how they’re feeling or even try to take a trip down memory lane with them. Overall, it’s just so important to engage in these sorts of conversations; they’re very powerful and can help combat loneliness.

Make them feel safe:

Using the latest technologies, such as wireless alarm systems and sensors to detect falls, can give seniors the peace of mind they deserve. Other less obvious solutions include installing an intelligent alarm system, putting a lock on the front door, and removing items in the home that could be considered hazardous. If they’re living in a nursing home, you’re going to want to ensure that they’re staying safe there too. In cases like this, inform them of a nearby  Nursing Home Abuse Center for additional help.

Find a hobby or activity that they may enjoy:

Some common hobbies for seniors include bird watching, art, music, or even genealogy. These activities can provide a relaxing way for your senior to connect with the outdoors and enjoy nature. You can also consider joining a book club. The books in a book club can range from serious to light-hearted, but the club’s goal is to bring people together to discuss a topic. Another idea for a new hobby for your senior is to look online. Many online gaming communities and websites exist to offer people a wide variety of games and activities. There are also a number of apps available to help you get started.

Form a care team:

A family member like yourself may need extra help taking care of an aging parent or loved one. You shouldn’t do it all alone, which is why you need to have a care team. The best way to find a good fit is to talk to your family. You want to know what your aging parent’s wants and needs are. Your own goals are also important. This includes keeping your loved one safe and comfortable and providing emotional support. If you have the means, you can even hire a financial planner to protect your loved one’s assets, as this tends to be needed too. Overall, a care team and a large support system will definitely help out your aging loved one.

Help keep your loved one safe and happy with the tips above and continue to nurture your relationship every day!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Oven Pizza Success!!!!

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Oven Pizza Success!!!!

Hello!! At chez moi, my refrigerator and cupboards were almost completely bare and a curbside order was most definitely in order. When picking up groceries, I always schedule it for when Johnny is getting home from work. Then, he brings the groceries in and I put them away. Our process runs like a fine tuned machine! This past time, however, my day finished earlier than expected so I got my order ahead of time and carried the entire haul up to our second floor apartment and put it away all by my lonesome. After all of that hard work, the last thing I felt like was cooking! But, hey – that’s what oven pizzas are for amiright? And, after the massive failure of the last Red Baron pizza we tried, things really turned around with this pie:

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Lol, I know that I said yesterday that lifewithlilred is not going to become a pizza review blog and I still stand by that… After this post! I just had to share this GREAT SUCCESS with all of you. 🙂 Have you ever noticed how even the simplest meals can taste amazing if you are hungry or tired enough? Because that was definitely where I was at when digging into the Red Baron Brick Oven cheese pizza and it was so satisfying both on an emotional level and in the taste department.

The crust of this pizza was way thinner than the previous Red Baron catastrophe and it was a welcome change of pace. The sauce was sweet, the cheese was poured with a heavy hand, and it was the friggen bomb. Johnny and I have had this pizza several times before but I never appreciated its majesty so fully and completely until now. Was I dog tired and hadn’t ate since breakfast? Yes. Did this affect the way the pizza tasted? Probably. Am I going to buy it again to experience it through fresh eyes? Abso-freaking-lutely!

In my youth, my dad was the king of oven pizzas and fostered my love of mine and Johnny’s go to lazy day meal as an adult. With friends like the Red Baron and Digiorno, who needs enemies? Or however that saying goes!

How often do you grocery shop? What do you make when you don’t feel like cooking? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Worst Oven Pizza Ever!

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Worst Oven Pizza Ever!

Hello! Johnny and I consider ourselves to be oven pizza connoisseurs. It is my go to when I don’t feel like cooking and it is Johnny’s favorite thing to make so that he feels like he’s cooking lol! I recently saw a commercial for a Digiorno pizza that had the entire crust (not just the edges) stuffed with cheese and it really blew my mind. I told Johnny about it and he decided to investigate when he ran some errands. Unfortunately, the pizza was only available in pepperoni and that wouldn’t do for my vegetarian self. So, Johnny purchased the Digiorno for him and this for me:

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I don’t know if you guys are familiar with the show Community but there was a character named Leonard who was a senior citizen and attending the community college. He had a vlog in which he reviewed different oven pizzas and would declare it to be “a buy” if he liked it. Lol, while lifewithlilred is not turning into a pizza blog any time soon, I just had to get my Leonard on one time for the one time because the Red Baron pizza Johnny got for me sucked on ice!

When my sweet husband returned from his shopping, he was so proud of himself for the substitution of the Red Baron Fully Loaded Five Cheese Pizza. And, I have to admit, it looked awesome and I couldn’t wait to pop it into the oven. After it was cooked, it was still looking good with all of that glorious cheese. Then, I had to cut it and it ended up being a very difficult feat. I kid you not, this pizza was literally all crust. *Face palm*

Once I freed some slices and plated it up, I lost most of my original zest for testing this pizza out. And, I don’t blame myself one bit because it was the worst. The crust was so thick that it tasted like eating a brick with a thin layer of sauce and cheese on top. I had to douse it in Ranch dressing to soften it up – it was that bad. The Red Baron truly missed the mark with this one and I couldn’t even bring myself to eat the leftovers, which is something I pride myself on. If only the crust were stuffed with cheese like Johnny’s pizza because he was living his best life with his!

lifewithlilred is all about giving honest reviews on products and I guess that goes for pizza too! Haha, I just felt obligated to warn all of my oven pizza fans out there about this epic failure before buying it. You’ll thank me later when you are enjoying an oven pie with a normal sized crust!

What is your favorite brand of oven pizza? What do you make (Or order!) when you don’t feel like cooking? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Effects Of Humidity On Your Hair

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The Effects Of Humidity On Your Hair

Everyone has heard the hair horror stories of someone stepping outside, and the humidity immediately makes their hair frizzy, limp, and unmanageable. But why do some people seem to shrug off the effects of humidity while others are left with a wild mane? Whether you have straight, wavy, curly, or kinky-coils hair, humidity can affect everyone differently:

Causes of Humidity Hair Damage:

The science behind humidity and hair is actually simple. Humidity occurs when moisture in the air combines with heat, resulting in a damp environment. When this happens, the hydrogen bonds that hold your hair together are weakened by the water molecules in the air – thus changing or damaging your hairstyle.

Effects of Humidity on Different Hair Types:

Humidity affects different hair types in different ways. This is because of differences in structure and texture. Here’s how humidity affects each type of hair:

Straight Hair:

Straight-haired folks tend to be the luckiest when it comes to humidity. Since your strands are already fairly smooth and don’t curl easily, you usually don’t have too much trouble when the weather gets humid. Your strands may puff up more than usual on particularly muggy days, though.

Wavy Hair:

If you have wavy hair, chances are you’re not too keen on humid weather, either. Wavy tresses tend to get weighed down by moisture in the air. When this happens, they become flat and limp instead of having their usual body and volume.

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Curly Hair:

It’s no surprise that curly-haired folks have the most issues when it comes to humidity. Curls are naturally more prone to frizziness, and when you add moisture into the mix, they can become a giant, unmanageable fluff ball.

Kinky-Coily Hair:

Kinky-coily tresses are made up of tightly coiled curls and struggle even more with moisture in the air than other curls! When kinky-coily strands get wet (from rain or sweat), they become extremely heavy and hard to manage due to their tightly wound structure; this added weight can cause the curls to unravel if not dealt with properly.

Ways to Protect Your Hair from Humidity:

Humidity can be a real challenge when it comes to styling your hair, but there are some things that you can do to help protect your locks from the effects of moisture in the air. Here are a few tips:

Condition your hair: Conditioner helps add weight and density to your strands, which can help protect them from humidity. Use an anti-frizz conditioner that contains natural oils to keep your hair hydrated and moisturized, such as argon, jojoba, or coconut oil.

Use a leave-in conditioner: A leave-in conditioner helps seal the hair cuticle and lock in moisture to keep your locks hydrated and protected from humidity. Look for one that contains glycerin, which acts as a humectant to draw moisture into the hair shaft.

Style with products: Use styling products to help weigh down your hair and keep it from puffing up in humid weather. Look for products that contain beeswax or fatty alcohols to add weight to your tresses and protect them from humidity.

Avoid heat styling tools: Heat styling tools can cause damage to your hair, and they can also make it more susceptible to humidity. Avoid using heated tools such as curling irons, flat irons, and blow dryers in humid weather.

Tame your tresses with the tips above and enjoy great hair in any type of weather!

January 2023 Finishes

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January 2023 Finishes

Hello everyone and welcome to the first beauty finishes post of the new year! I used up a lot of new to me products this past month and also got a lot more to try out from TJMaxx thanks to my Christmas gift cards. 😀 My beauty hoard runneth over! We have much to discuss from our empties roundup for January so let’s get to it:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

SpaScriptions Scrub: I started using the SpaScriptions Hyaluronic Acid + Sugar Scrub at the beginning of November and it took me until the end of January to finish it. At five dollars for the bottle, it was a great value and you only needed a small amount for full coverage on the face and neck. I liked this scrub because it was gentle enough to use every day. It was really creamy in texture with only the slightest touch of exfoliant and it smelled as sweet as candy. My skin felt well hydrated and looked radiant after every use and it is a perfect scrub for the cold winter months.

SpaLife Serum: It took me about six weeks to finish the SpaLife Hyaluronic Pearl Serum and I was unimpressed by it. The pink hyaluronic pearls were pretty and that was pretty much all that this serum had going for it. The SpaLife serum was quite runny in texture and I never noticed a difference one way or the other in how my skin looked or felt. While I love a longer lasting product, this serum missed the mark completely and I definitely wouldn’t use it again.

Elf Sleep Mask: I was so excited about the Elf Dope Dreams Sleeping Mask when I got it because sleeping masks are my fave. Using them is literally the easiest way to achieve great skin because all you have to do is go to bed! It took me about three weeks of every other day use to finish the Elf mask and I thought that it was a massive dud. I was expecting ultra soft and hydrated skin every morning when I woke up and that was never the case. In fact, my skin felt better after returning to my normal nightly skin care routine.

Clinique Eye Cream: My aunt gave me a makeup bag full of Clinique skin care samples and I couldn’t wait to test them out because I have never used Clinique products before. The moisturizer and serum that I tried didn’t blow me away but I actually really liked the Smart Clinical Repair Eye Cream. It took me two weeks of twice daily use to complete the tester jar and a little of the product went a long way. After each use, I noticed that the skin around my eyes looked so much better and brighter. This eye cream helped diminish my designer bags and I definitely didn’t look as tired as I felt! If I got this eye cream for a good deal, I would probably buy it. However, I still wouldn’t pay a full price tag for it so it is a “maybe” for me.

SkinLab Moisturizer: I like the SkinLab brand and purchased the Hydra Moisturizer during a past TJs haul. I was expecting a good experience with this moisturizer because I am familiar with the brand and that, unfortunately, wasn’t the case. It took me three weeks of twice daily use to finish the jar because a lot of moisturizer was required to fully cover the face and neck. For value’s sake alone, I wouldn’t buy this moisturizer again. It also did nothing for my skin to improve its appearance or feel so this is a big fat no from me!

Although there were a fair amount of duds in this month of empties, there were several winners too. Whether I would buy the product again or not, it’s always fun to pamper myself and my skin felt surprisingly well taken care of regardless of the chill and snow!

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

Help Your Aging Parents Stay Healthy With These Tips

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Help Your Aging Parents Stay Healthy With These Tips

As parents age, they may need more assistance with their daily activities and health care. To ensure good health for aging parents, several options must be considered. From diet and exercise to mental health, here are five tips to help you support your aging parents as they transition into this new stage of their lives:

Pay Attention To Diet & Nutrition:

Eating a balanced diet is essential at any age, especially during the senior years. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help maintain energy levels and improve overall health. Reducing sugar intake and limiting red meat consumption are also essential, as these can increase cholesterol levels. Additionally, make sure your parents are taking any necessary vitamins or supplements that would benefit their health. If cost is an issue, many stores offer discounted vitamins specifically tailored to seniors’ needs.

Encourage Them To Exercise:

Regular exercise plays an essential role in maintaining physical health for older adults. Exercise helps strengthen muscles and bones, improves endurance, boosts immunity, and increases the production of endorphins, which can positively affect mood. Be sure to consult with a doctor before beginning any new exercises or activities as there are some that may not be appropriate depending on your parent’s current state of health or mobility level.

Nurture Good Mental Health & Socialization:

Seniors often experience feelings of isolation due to reduced mobility or social outlets. It’s essential that they still feel connected to family members and friends and stay engaged in activities that bring them joy, such as reading books or watching movies online with family members who live far away! Check in regularly with your parents about how they’re feeling – not just physically but mentally and look out for signs of depression, such as changes in sleep patterns or lack of motivation which may require professional assistance from a counselor or therapist, if needed.

Consider A Nursing Home:

It’s important to talk openly with your parents about their long-term care preferences and discuss if a nursing home would be beneficial for them. Nursing homes can provide professional medical care, companionship, and help with activities of daily living that they may not be able to do on their own. Make sure you thoroughly research the facility before making any decisions, as some may not have the best reputation or offer adequate medical care to seniors. You don’t want to have to contact a Nursing Home Justice Center after discovering your parents are victims of nursing home abuse.

Safety Management:

As people age, their risk for falls increases due to weakened muscles and/or reduced vision. Safety measures should be put into place in order to prevent falls from occurring inside the home, such as adding grab bars in the bathroom or installing motion sensor lights throughout hallways/stairs if possible. Establishing a contact list of family members or close friends who can be called in case of an emergency is also recommended. Alternatively, you can consider investing in a medical alert system that will allow your parents access to 24-hour medical assistance if needed.

Aging is not easy, and your parents may need support to maintain their physical and mental health. Keep these five tips in mind as you help them navigate this new life stage!

Featured Image By: Yan Krukau

Take The Compliment

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Take The Compliment

Hello! One thing that I have always struggled with is receiving compliments and I’m sure that I am not the only one who has similar sentiments. When I was at my lowest, I genuinely couldn’t understand why anyone would want to compliment me and all it did was make me paranoid and even more miserable. It’s hard accepting compliments when you don’t feel worthy of getting them in the first place! It’s also so easy to deflect a compliment and just turn it around to the other person, instead. IE: “You look great”. “No, you look great”.

For several years, I was never able to simply say “thank you” for a compliment and it took a lot of mental health work on my part to get to that point. After coming to terms with my own problems and gaining some self esteem, I realized that I have improved tenfold in my compliment accepting abilities. It actually didn’t really click until I saw these two pictures taken at Playhouse Square this past weekend:

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^^^ When snapping some pics before seeing Beetlejuice, someone told me they liked my outfit mid-pose and the second picture is of me being ecstatic about it!

As I was scrolling through photos of my night on the town, these two pictures really stuck out to me. As I sat and mused, I wondered what the second picture would have looked like if I was back to my depression days. Chances are, I wouldn’t have had a huge smile – rather, a look of confusion as if someone was trying to play a joke. Recognizing that and being able to see it so plainly in front of me made me feel proud of my own personal growths.

lifewithlilred played a big role in helping me muster up some confidence about myself in general and my appearance. Through OOTDs, I was able to develop my sense of style and writing about my issues in early posts assisted in sorting out my emotions and learning from them. And, while saying “thank you” for a compliment online isn’t the same as in real life, it was a great first start. Having people comment specifically on my page was a turning point and I was able to see the compliments for what they really were – something nice.

As I began testing my new skills in public, it began getting easier and easier to say “thank you” to the point where I didn’t even have to think about it anymore. I also loved how much more genuine it felt to give a person an actual compliment back instead of just replying with an Uno Reverse card lol.  It wasn’t until seeing the pictures above that I put some thought into it and saw what a major improvement has been made. 🙂

If you can relate to this post, my best advice is to Take The Compliment when you receive one. It might be really hard at first but just saying “thank you” is a small step in making some big changes!

What is something that you struggle with? Is it hard for you to accept compliments? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Night At The Theater Pt. 5 OOTD

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A Night At The Theater Pt. 5 OOTD

Hello!! My sister, Kristen, and I saw Beetlejuice at Playhouse Square this past Saturday and you know your girl had to show out for it! Unfortunately, there are not too many pictures from this look because this was Kristen’s first go at taking OOTD shots and she did alright for a first timer haha it’s just me being picky. 🙂 For this outfit, I wanted to create a modern night on the town look inspired by Beetlejuice’s iconic black and white striped duds. I think I succeeded:

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Who? What? Wear?

For the very first time in my life, I was happy that Johnny didn’t attend an event with me because I could borrow his black and white striped skinny jeans! And, let me just say, it is so great to have a husband whose clothes I can wear. 😀 I absolutely needed Johnny’s emo kid essential from Hot Topic for my Beetlejuice 2.0 look and I am thrilled with what I came up with. In fact, when I returned home from the theater, our friend who was over called me “Bougiejuice” and it was exactly what I was going for. ❤

Since the pants for this OOTD were already set in stone, all I had to do was build the remainder of the outfit and it was actually really easy. A few days before the show, I spent some time before bed piecing together my look and I knew that I wanted to incorporate a blazer and faux fur. To keep things simple beneath the blazer, I wore my tie back Japna top. The silky material added some texture and, although you can’t see it well, it has a snakeskin pattern which felt perfect to wear when attending a horror/comedy show.

For the blazer, I went with my Goodwill’s best that costed me four dollars and is from Express. Yes, I have worn this on a recent OOTD but all of my other black blazers are somewhat faded and that wouldn’t do! I love the inky black color of this blazer and it is just what I needed for my retelling of Beetlejuice’s suit. It made me feel chic as opposed to being in a costume and it was the cherry on top when I added the green faux fur collar. The collar tipped the cap to Beetlejuice’s green mop and it made the look go from standard to special instantly.

Once the base of my outfit was settled, it was time to accessorize. I wore my dangle dagger earrings to give some length back to my neck since it was mostly covered. I also chose one of my favorite rosary necklaces that was a gift from my mom to fill in the blank space of the blazer’s V-neck. The delicate chain and small beads were dainty enough to enhance rather than take away from the rest of the look and it was an ideal add-on.

Finally, it was time for heels and I knew exactly what I wanted to wear – the pumps from my wedding! These heels were a pain in the ass to acquire but they are the coolest. The vertebrae backing on the heel brought a touch of the macabre to the OOTD, which was a must for seeing Beetlejuice in. Trust and believe that I wore my slippers while driving, though, which was a genius move on my part. 😀

I felt like a celebrity in my Night At The Theater OOTD and it made me proud to receive so many compliments on it. It always feels good when an outfit comes together as planned and I think I gave Beetlejuice a run for his money!

Do you have a celebrity style icon? Do you plan outfits in advance or make them up on the fly? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Beetlejuice At Playhouse Square Review

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Beetlejuice At Playhouse Square Review

Hello! My sister, Kristen, and I enjoyed an evening on the town this past Saturday to see Beetlejuice at Playhouse Square. As a busy mother of two, it has been so long since Kristen and I have been able to hang out alone and it was awesome to spend that quality time with her. We were both really excited to see Beetlejuice and the musical was pretty good but the sisters night out was even better. Take a look at some pics and let’s get into the review:

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If you go to Beetlejuice expecting a musical directly from the plot of the beloved film, then don’t. Lol this show definitely took some liberties to the story line and turned it into something way more convoluted than it had to be. Long story short: The show opens with Lydia’s mom dying, Adam and Barbara Maitland die via electric shock, Lydia’s broken family moves into the Maitland home, and cue Beetlejuice.

As the play continues, we learn that Lydia is desperate to see her mom again and uses her new friends, the Maitlands, to “haunt” the house so she can move back into her family home. We also find out that Beetlejuice is sick of being dead and is using Lydia and the Maitlands to return to the land of the living. The plot moves forward as one character outsmarts the other until the end of the show, ending with happily ever after.

To be honest, the plot left a lot to be desired and what could have been a fairly straightforward show felt bogged down with all of the extra. It was also difficult to keep tabs on everything that was happening because the songs weren’t particularly memorable. There were some numbers like “Say My Name” and “That Beautiful Sound” that were fun enough but they were mainly poppy songs and ballads that were entertaining to watch but just didn’t stick.

Where Beetlejuice shined and kept my attention was the production value, which, as to be expected with any Playhouse Square show, was amazing. Although the lights were at times blinding, the rock n’ roll show motif of green, purple, and white lighting looked very cool. The set for the Maitland home was great and the sandworms weren’t bad, either! Dancing skeletons, horror gags, fire, and smoke throughout the show also assisted in keeping me on my toes.

In terms of acting, there were some stand out performances and others that have already been forgotten. Adam and Barbara (Will Burton, Britney Coleman), for example, didn’t get as much time on stage as I had hoped for as they are such a special part of the movie. The running joke in the musical is that they are “boring” and they seriously were lol. Their two or so songs were cute enough but that was about it.

A thorn in my side throughout the show was Delia (Kate Marilley) who sang well but was just so annoying! In the musical, she is Lydia’s life coach and is, unbeknownst to Lydia, sleeping with her dad as opposed to being her new step mom in the movie. Kate Marilley could sing really well but participated in all of the pet peeves I have for a newer musical. She was definitely the character who was there specifically to use lingo like “woke” and dab for laughs and that is something I truly can’t stand. I would have much preferred to see Delia as the snooty step mom rather than Lydia’s wannabe bestie.

Recent high school graduate, Isabella Esler, did fantastic as Lydia on her Broadway debut. She had a great voice and was able to hold her own on stage well enough. I thought she was a bit stronger when performing with others as opposed to her solo numbers. Justin Collette as Beetlejuice was certainly the glue that held the show together and his songs with Lydia were adorable. Collette was brash, crass, and hilarious as the title character. Thankfully, he was on stage almost the entire time because the scenes where he lacked were lackluster, at best.

This seems like a bad review and in some ways it is and it isn’t. I still had fun watching the show and I thought it was worth seeing. It just wasn’t what I was expecting and I think diehard fans of the movie might feel disappointed by it. Was Beetlejuice the best show I have seen at Playhouse Square? No. However, it made for a perfect sisters night out and that is what’s most important at the end of the day!

Have you seen the Beetlejuice musical? 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

Friday Date Night

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Friday Date Night

Hello! A weekend in mine and Johnny’s world follows a fairly regular format of a date night one day and then Johnny will hang out with friends and I get the apartment to myself on the other. It’s great! These past few weeks have been exhausting for me because I started a new online job on top of my regular schedule. While we did have plans for a friend to come over on Friday, I had absolutely no follow through and we ended up having an awesome date night in, instead. Check it out:

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Literally all of last week, I developed an intense craving for Mary Coyle’s, which is a mom and pop Italian restaurant and ice cream parlor in Highland Square. I have absolutely no idea where this came from because I haven’t had Mary Coyle’s since I was a teenager. All I knew is that I had to have it lol! Being the angel that Johnny is, he DoorDashed it for dinner on Friday and I couldn’t wait to dig in while we watched our free trial of Peacock. Unfortunately, It was nowhere near as good as I remembered it being. 😦

At Mary Coyle’s I went with my teenage order of Fettuccine Alfredo and a blueberry sundae and, if we’re all being honest with each other – it sucked! The Alfredo was dry and the serving size was so small. Not that I want a heaping dish when I order out but this was legit a half handful of noodles at best and I was still hungry after the meal. I figured that I would fill up the empty spots with ice cream but that didn’t go accordingly to plan, either. The sundae consisted primarily of marshmallow fluff rather than ice cream and it was so disappointing!

Although the meal left a lot to be desired and required supplemental Doritos, we still had a great evening in. After dinner, we spent several hours playing Mario Kart 8 online and it was a hoot. It’s fun to race against Johnny and the computers but it was even better to play against actual people around the world. The races online were actually challenging and every time we thought we were going to finish up, “just one more” would turn into two or three. And, of course, we can’t get enough of the new racetracks that have been added too. 😀

A DoorDash and video game date night was just what I needed after yet another busy week. Whether we are out on the town or in for the evening, it is always the best time with my main squeeze! ❤

What is a perfect night in for you like? Are there any restaurants that didn’t live up to your memories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Grow Your Business With These Strategies

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Grow Your Business With These Strategies

One of the most important things for your business is to plan ahead. Planning for tomorrow, a month, or a year from now is one of the best ways to help your business grow and you will be prepared for any curveballs along the way. Keep moving things forward for your business with the tips below:

Get The Help You Need:

First, you need to make sure you have the right kind of help. This could mean from the people you’ve hired to work for you or from the services you’ve hired for each part of your business. Keep up to date with all of the departments like customer service, maintenance, accounting, etc. You also want to make sure that your IT is effective in every way, such as by using Medifit for your practice services. Once you have a better idea of how each department is functioning, you will be able to make improvements for a better customer experience.

Try Something New:

You can’t keep doing the same things you were doing before if you want to move forward, can you? You have to make some changes and try new things, even if it’s not easy. This means that you should offer something new, like a product or service. The idea is that you want people to notice you in a good way, not just as a business lurking in the background. You will get the attention you need if you are bold, brave, and stand out from the crowd. If you can keep a positive attitude, this should give you something the others don’t have and help your business grow.

Marketing Is Key:

Marketing is the key to the success of your business. If you don’t market your business, no one will know who you are or what you can do for them. They don’t know what makes you the best or how well you do what you do. It’s up to you to tell them, and marketing is there to help you do that. Make sure you’re using various methods of marketing across a wide variety of platforms so you can achieve a greater audience reach.

Make this new year the best ever for your business with the simple strategies above!

Featured Image By: The Coach Space

Halloween Pop Up Tree

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Halloween Pop Up Tree

Hello! This past holiday season, my client’s mom offered my family her pop up Christmas tree to use since we didn’t put one up. She also learned that Johnny and I didn’t have a tree, either, but if we ever got one then, of course, it had to be black. As a bonus Christmas gift, I was surprised once again by her generosity because Johnny and I got the Christmas or should I say Halloween tree of our dreams! Check it out:

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^^^ Lol, please don’t mind our corral of bunny supplies in the background!

When I originally brought the borrowed pop up tree to my family home, I had no idea what it entailed because I had never heard of it before! It is, however, exactly what you would think it would be and is so very cool. A pop up tree is basically a base, poles, and a “tree” to place over them. The Christmas pop up tree that we used was five feet tall and came pre-decorated with ornaments, ribbons, and lights. Similarly, our Halloween tree came pre-lit and adorned with glittery pumpkins. 😀

It took me less than two minutes to assemble the tree and I couldn’t believe its perfection. Everything about it is just right for me and Johnny. The narrow size is also ideal for our apartment setting and we will be able to put it anywhere without taking up too much space. Every year for Christmas, Johnny’s mom gifts us with a couple of ornaments apiece and they have all been sitting on our knick knack shelves. Now, we finally have a tree of our own to decorate and I can’t wait to dress it up with our fairly extensive ornament collection!

I am obsessed with my Halloween Pop Up Tree and am so appreciative to my client’s mom for the amazing gift. And, yes, just like all of our other Halloween gear, the tree will be staying up all year round!

Do you use real or artificial Christmas trees? What is your favorite Christmas ornament? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

TJMaxx Skin Care Haul

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TJMaxx Skin Care Haul

Hello!! I received SO many TJMaxx gift cards from my holiday haul and they have been burning a hole in my pocket! This past Tuesday, I had a fairly free afternoon so I decided to stop in TJs to look around. Due to the awkward time of the year, their clothing selection was abysmal. It was essentially all clearance items to clear the racks before the arrival of spring clothing and it left a whole lot to be desired. While the clearance clothes sucked, the Christmas clearance toys were awesome and I was able to buy all of my niece’s presents for her birthday in March. I also had some luck in the skin care department:

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^^^ All of these products are cruelty free!

The Haul:

  • Clinical Works Soothing Body Lotion
  • New Balance socks
  • Evoluderm Micellar Water
  • Bellyssima Vitamin C moisturizer
  • Clear Beauty moisturizer
  • Tree Of Life Vitamin C serum
  • Provence Beauty eye cream

Whenever I have gift cards from TJMaxx, my first order of business is always to restock skin care because they are products that I will need to buy anyways. I actually just had a fairly recent skin care haul from TJs but that’s okay as I like to have a lot of items on back stock! I decided to buy the products that would set me up for another few months of my skin care routine and I am excited to try some new brands. While I have used Provence Beauty before, I have never used Clear Beauty or Bellyssima. I have only used products with collagen in it a handful of times so I’m a bit nervous that the Clear Beauty moisturizer might dry me out. However, at nearly thirty years old, the risk will be worth the reward to turn back the clock on my skin!

Of course, I had to buy my Evoluderm micellar water because it is a staple for my beauty routine. I was also surprised to see the Vitamin C serum by Tree Of Life on the shelves. There was a point when I was using Tree Of Life serums exclusively and I added it to my cart for some familiarity with so many new to me products. My final beauty purchase was a big bottle of lavender and chamomile scented lotion by Clinical Works. Although I love my Bath & Body Works lotions, it will be nice to have an option that will last longer and the calming scent will be perfect before bed.

Finally, I really needed new socks lol. I swear, every single pair I have has acquired a hole within the past few months and it is so annoying to walk around with that issue all day! To wrap up my haul, I got a New Balance multi-pack and I felt like such an adult. If you catch me out here feeling myself from now on, it’s because I’m strutting my stuff in hole free socks! 😀

What is your favorite skin care brand? What are must have ingredients in your skin care products? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bath & Body Works Mini Haul

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Bath & Body Works Mini Haul

Hey! I have been running low on lotion in my beauty stockpile and have been looking forward to getting my next freebie coupon from Bath & Body Works in the mail. Unfortunately, the coupon I received this past week was for a free wallflower and not a travel size lotion! It was all good, though, because I use the wallflowers too so I stopped in B&BW after work to cash in my coupon. In store, I was so happy to see products marked down seventy-five percent and couldn’t pass up on such a great deal. I ended up getting all of the following for just ten dollars after an additional twenty percent off. GREAT SUCCESS!!

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I have a love/hate relationship with the wallflowers from Bath & Body Works. I started getting them this past fall because I adored the Halloween plugins. At first, I was amazed by how good the wallflowers made my apartment smell. However, the scents seem to dissipate really quickly and within a few days, I turn completely noseblind to the fragrance. I, honestly, knew that the wallflowers were going to be a money trap as soon as I got them. Even though I receive free coupons fairly frequently for wallflowers, I have two plugins so I always end up having to buy another one!

I decided to go with the Aloha Kiwi Passionfruit and Raspberries & Whipped Vanilla for my wallflowers. With the dreary January weather, I thought something tropical would be a nice change of pace and the Aloha Kiwi Passionfruit is just right! While Johnny is a huge fan of tropical scents and flavors, I am not. I know we will both be able to agree on my wallflower choice, though! The Aloha Kiwi Passionfruit is bright and sunny without being overpowering. Softer notes of kiwi and passionfruit paired with zingy pineapple made for a pleasing scent that will have me feeling summery despite the crap weather.

My other wallflower selection was Raspberries & Whipped Vanilla, which I really liked. As you can tell from the lotion I purchased, I love the raspberry scents from B&BW. The Raspberries & Whipped Vanilla is such a classic sweet/tart fragrance combining bold raspberries and lemon with decadent strawberries and vanilla. I am actually pretty excited to use this one and it will be perfect for Valentine’s Day!

To conclude my mini haul, I bought two Sun-Ripened Raspberry body creams at just four dollars apiece. This is one of my favorite old school B&BW scents and I was bummed out that they didn’t have the fragrance spray and shower gel! Even though I already got a dose of raspberry with my wallflower, I needed more and I love that the Sun-Ripened Raspberry features a purely tart scent. The body creams from B&BW are so rich in texture and fragrance and I am really looking forward to using mine. 😀

You just can’t beat four Bath & Body Works products for ten bucks and I am very pleased with my mini haul. The seventy-five percent off items and throwback scents also have me daydreaming about the semi-annual sale already!

What is your favorite Bath & Body Works scent? Where is your favorite place to shop for bath and body care? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone With These Tips

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Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone With These Tips

If you want to live your best life, then getting out of your comfort zone from time to time is a must. Not only does it expose you to new experiences, but it helps you to see that you are capable of much more than you think. Here are five ways to get out of your comfort zone right now:

Travel to a new place:

One of the best ways to get out of your comfort zone in life is to travel to a new place. It could be a different city, state, or even country. Being in a new environment with different cultures, customs, and languages will force you to adapt and step out of your comfort zone. It will also give you a fresh perspective and help you appreciate the things you take for granted in your normal setting.

Try a new hobby:

Another way to get out of your comfort zone is to try a new hobby. It could be something as simple as taking a dance class or as adventurous as skydiving. Trying new things will help you learn new skills, meet new people, and push yourself to do things you never thought you would.

Volunteer:

Volunteering will allow you to get out of your comfort zone and help others at the same time. It can be anything from helping out at a local soup kitchen to working on a community service project. Volunteering will expose you to new people and new environments, and it will give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Take a public speaking class:

Public speaking is a common fear for many people, but taking a class can help you overcome it. Public speaking classes will teach you how to present yourself confidently and communicate effectively. It will also give you the opportunity to practice speaking in front of a group, which will help you build confidence. It could also be useful in helping you to get a new job whether you want to be a PR manager, apply for diesel technician jobs, or become a teacher, so it is one form of getting out of your comfort zone that could really change your life if you let it.

Start a conversation with a stranger:

Starting a conversation with a stranger can be daunting, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. It will help you practice social skills and make new connections. By initiating conversations with strangers, you will also gain a new perspective and learn about different people and cultures.

Getting out of your comfort zone can be challenging but it is also necessary for growth and self-improvement. Remember to always be open to new experiences and opportunities, and don’t be afraid to take risks!

Featured Image By: Pexels

So Much Fun At So So Artsy

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So Much Fun At So So Artsy

Hello! In December, I went to a paint class at the Solon Community Center with my brother that was hosted by the delightful Melinda, owner of So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio. We had an absolute blast painting snowpeople and after learning that Melinda’s studio is very close to where I work in Twinsburg, I just had to interview her! This past week, I was able to spend a morning getting to know Melinda and her business better and I am so excited to share her amazing work with all of you. Let’s get to it:

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So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio has been in business for close to six years and is currently in its second location in Northfield. Through Melinda’s dedication, So So Artsy has become the place to be for birthdays, bachelorette parties, graduations, and corporate events. Melinda also enjoys her time utilizing her background as a social worker and counselor when she brings her art to schools and hosts classes for people with special needs. Born and raised in Northfield, Melinda’s effervescent personality and skill is now a staple in her hometown.

Business has never been better at So So Artsy and, shockingly, Melinda credits the success to the COVID-19 pandemic. For three years, the studio was struggling to profit and Melinda began to enhance her marketing strategies. Then, the world shut down and she kicked it into high gear! Through offering virtual classes as well as her ingenious art kits, So So Artsy became fully booked within thirty days. The art kits, which include paintbrushes, paints, a disposable apron, canvas, glass, and more were also a huge driving force and were shipped in the thousands.

Melinda strives to turn every class at So So Artsy into a special event where peoples’ creativity can flourish. It is a highly interactive experience and guests are encouraged to share their ideas of what they would like to paint beforehand. The painters also have full control of the music system so they can create an atmosphere tailored to them. Although Melinda draws inspiration from the beautiful Metro Parks nearby, she loves hearing the public’s ideas for canvas art and will then paint something to be replicated.

At six years old, Melinda was introduced to art through her best friend’s mom. Every weekend, they would all get together to work on crafts and it is a memory that is looked back on fondly. In fact, one of Melinda’s favorite paintings was made when she was in twelfth grade after painting ceramic statues during her art weekends. She tried to replicate the statue on the canvas and it was then that she realized her own talent.

Instead of acquiring an art degree, Melinda became a social worker and counselor and spent twenty years working for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. As you can imagine, such a long time in a stressful field burnt her out and Melinda knew that she needed a change. To boost her spirits, her friends invited her out to a paint and sip night and she went, albeit begrudgingly. That evening, something clicked and the realization dawned that she could do something like that too.

After her paint night revelation, Melinda began working diligently for two years to formulate a business plan for her studio. So So Artsy’s doors did not open until she was satisfied with her plans of A through Z and says that this is essential to creating a successful business. Melinda’s focus on her business plan was longevity because she knew that the money and popularity would come after being established. This plan has served her well and she is currently looking for a bigger space for her studio in the Northfield area.

If you are looking for a fun and unique outing with your friends or family, look no further than So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio. Even if you are “eh – so so artsy”, Melinda’s welcoming spirit and expert guidance will have you feeling “so so artsy” before your class is over!

After spending time with Melinda, all I want to do is paint! You can visit So So Artsy’s website and from there, you will be able to book your party or purchase an art kit in the shop. Do be sure to follow So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio on Instagram @sosoartsypaints or on Facebook at So So Artsy Paint Studios Northfield Ohio. Thanks again, Melinda!

Have you ever been to a paint and sip event before? What was your experience like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Advantages Of Employee Uniforms

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5 Advantages Of Employee Uniforms

Employee uniforms are sometimes looked at with disdain. People don’t like the thought of them as it reminds them of going to school. However, there are some genuine advantages of employee uniforms that you don’t see if everyone wears their own clothes to work. If you run a business and are interested in doing whatever you can to improve it, perhaps you should consider investing in uniforms. If you do, you might see the following benefits:

Maintain a strong brand image:

It is much easier to maintain a solid brand image when your employees are in uniform. Everyone’s wearing the same clothes and they look professional. When everyone comes to work in plain clothes, it’s harder to maintain your image since we’re all individuals with our own sense of style. Even if you set a dress code, people can turn up in different outfits to reflect their unique fashion choices. It can create a workplace that looks a bit jumbled and doesn’t produce a consistent image. Work uniforms prevent this by making everyone wear something that accurately puts across the brand image you wish to showcase.

Advertise your company for free:

Employees can choose to get changed at work – or, they can wear their uniform on the commute. It’s a really clever idea to get things like hoodies or jackets for them to wear when it’s cold or wet. The benefit of this is that they broadcast your brand to everyone for free. Effectively, they’re walking advertisements for your business. Places like Mato & Hash let you create customized T-shirts and clothing that can be emblazoned with your brand logo. You could even print things on the back, such as contact details or your website. As you and your employees go on lunch breaks or commute to/from work, people will see your logo and contact details, and you just might gain some new leads.

Create a better workplace culture:

Uniforms make people feel like they’re part of a team. As a result, you can foster a better workplace culture where everyone feels a sense of togetherness. Think about it, where else will you see uniforms outside of the workplace? Primarily, it will be sports teams that wear them. So, if your employees are all wearing the same things, they genuinely feel like more of a unit. It’s a psychological thing; everyone feels part of a pack. It can also help people stay more connected to your company and buy into the company culture. When everyone turns up in their own clothes, there’s definitely more of a disassociation from the company and its culture.

Avoid confusion:

In certain workplace settings, you’ll encounter customers every day. They can walk through a store or come to your office for a meeting. Either way, employee uniforms help to avoid any confusion as to who works at your company. Customers and potential customers can quickly identify who your workers are. Consequently, it’s easier for someone to ask for help or identify where they need to go. Even in an office setting, seeing a room full of people in the same branded uniform removes any confusion from someone’s mind. They won’t have to awkwardly check that they’re in the right place; it’s clear that they are as they see your brand on everyone’s tops!

Prevent social anxiety:

This seems like a strange point, but there’s a lot of social anxiety surrounding what to wear to work. Employees can spend ages every morning figuring out what to wear. Do they wear the same thing twice and risk someone noticing and saying something? What if people make fun of their clothes? It sounds unlikely, but this can happen. Even if nobody actually says anything about someone’s attire, there’s always the element of anxiety in figuring out what to wear. By giving your employees uniforms, you make them all equals. They won’t have this sense of worry every morning as they know they can wear what everyone else is wearing.

Overall, you can see how employee uniforms are beneficial for businesses. As a bonus, you could save money for your workers too. Instead of spending cash on work clothes, they get uniforms for free. If people enjoy wearing the uniforms, you will see all of the benefits and no drawbacks.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Feeling Flowery OOTD Bloopers

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Feeling Flowery OOTD Bloopers

Hello everyone and welcome to the blooper reel from my Feeling Flowery OOTD! Today, we will be taking a look at the shots where I am looking… Less than my best lol. You’ve seen the limited amount of good from this shoot yesterday so let’s get onto the bad and the yikes so we can all share a laugh. It will be a HOOT, I promise:

Squinting because I can’t see the haters

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Practicing my queen wave like the queen I am

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Hey… You talkin’ to me?

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Just out here looking like Donkey from Shrek

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Lol, the heel on these boots was a pain in the booty to balance on!

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Tripping on my own feet…

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Just shaking it off like nothing happened and…

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SHE STICKS THE LANDING!!!!!

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I LOOK GREAT!!!!!!!!!

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Lol, I don’t know if it was the heels or how cold it was when we took pictures but I couldn’t get my balance during this photo shoot to save my own life. Let’s just say it was a combination of both because every time that foot popped up, I was shaking like a leaf! There are so many pictures that Johnny took in this collection that are literally just me tripping up, shaking it off, and trying to recover with another terrible photo haha. They can’t all be winners!

Despite the cold and taking pictures in front of a bathroom (Which was fully intentional – you know I love a brick wall!), we still managed to get some salvageable shots in this five minute rapid fire session. Granted, the majority may have been bloopers – I only had six winners in yesterday’s post. But all is fair in love and OOTDs and and I’ll take what I can get. The good, the bad, and the “why would you post that?” alike!

Would you rather be really hot or really cold? Do you delete photos from your phone often? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Homeschool More Effectively With These Tips

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Homeschool More Effectively With These Tips

If you are a homeschool parent, you want to make sure that you are teaching your children effectively. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this because each child is different. However, there are some general tips that can help you get started. This blog post will discuss four of the most important things to keep in mind when teaching your children at home:

Get organized:

It’s easy for materials to pile up and become overwhelming so it’s important to keep organized. Start by designating specific areas for studying and doing work, like a desk or table. Have all of your materials easily accessible and labeled properly so both you and your children can find what they need quickly. Take the time to plan out your lessons and activities beforehand to save yourself stress later on. Having a set routine can help keep everyone on track and make things run more smoothly.

It’s also important to have an organized system in place for keeping track of grades, tests, and other educational milestones. Create a folder or binder specifically for each child which should include assignment instructions, worksheets, quizzes, graded papers, etc., as well as notes about topics covered in class or any additional resources that you may need throughout the year. Set aside time each week to review the progress of each student – this will help you to identify any areas where improvement is needed and adjust accordingly.

Allow flexibility:

Flexibility is key when it comes to homeschooling. You should give your children the freedom to explore their own interests and learn in different ways. Try incorporating activities that appeal to each child’s unique learning style like hands-on projects or field trips for more tactile learners. Consider allowing independent study time where your kids can pursue topics of interest on their own – this will help them stay engaged and motivated in their studies.

Make lessons engaging:

When teaching at home, make sure to keep things interesting! Use a variety of teaching methods such as videos, games, books, and even music to liven up traditional lectures and make learning more enjoyable. You can also incorporate real-world experiences and visits to museums or other educational sites as this will help your children make connections between what they are learning and the world around them.

Utilize technology:

Technology has made homeschooling much easier! There are so many great educational apps like ABCmouse as well as websites and online tools that you can use to supplement lessons and make teaching more efficient. Take advantage of these resources because they can provide a wealth of information while making learning fun.

Homeschooling is a unique and rewarding experience. With the right strategies and resources, you can teach your children effectively while also creating an enjoyable learning environment!

Featured Image By: Pexels

How To Make Mealtimes More Exciting

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How To Make Mealtimes More Exciting

Eating delicious food is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Mealtimes are about so much more than simply providing your body with the fuel it needs to function. Preparing and eating food should provide a feast for your senses and social activity to enjoy with friends and family. However, every once in a while, you may fall out of love with food. When mealtimes become tiresome, it can be hard to feel enthusiastic about what is on your plate. If mealtimes were once the highlight of your day but now leave you feeling blah, you should make some changes. Take a look at these ideas to help make mealtimes more exciting;

Try Food From Around the World:

When food becomes boring and you no longer look forward to what’s on your plate, it’a time to shake things up. Trying different cuisine from around the world is an excellent way to regain your enthusiasm for food. Sampling flavors that are entirely new to you is guaranteed to reawaken your taste buds. If you don’t feel like cooking from scratch, you could try the best frozen Chinese food for some new flavors without needing to get creative in the kitchen yourself. Once you find a new cuisine you like, why not continue to sample dishes from that region to continue your food journey.

Put Your Cooking Skills to the Test:

Sometimes, getting back into the kitchen and cooking up a storm is the best way to rekindle your love of food. Experimenting with different flavors and ingredients will liven up your meals and make everyday food far more interesting. Adding an exciting twist to recipes you make all of the time is another way to add interest. You can do this by upping the amount of seasoning that you add to the dish or trying it with a different combination of herbs and spices. Changing the accompaniment you usually serve with the recipe is helpful too. A meal that you usually serve with rice could be even better if you try it with pasta, instead.

Get Inspired:

When you feel unenthusiastic about food, it is often helpful to seek extra inspiration. There are lots of ways that you can be inspired by your food choices to make every meal more exciting. Planning a dinner with friends where you each bring a course of the meal to share will help you to enjoy both an evening of great company and delicious food. This will give you the opportunity to sample each other’s cooking and swap recipes.

Take your taste buds on an adventure by shaking up your meals. Your full belly and invigorated palette will thank you!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Feeling Flowery OOTD

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Feeling Flowery OOTD

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new OOTD here on lifewithlilred! I wanted to get one more outfit in before my hair changes again so Johnny and I took pictures this past weekend. And, if the location looks familiar: It should! We went to the same brick wall (That is also a bathroom at a local park lol) featured in my It’s Not Just A Phase OOTD. Hey, you’ve got to work with what you’ve got sometimes! Check it out:

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Who? What? Wear?

I don’t know about all of you but I am So. Freaking. Sick. of dressing for winter. Don’t get me wrong, I love cold weather clothing and accessories. However, I am bored with wearing skinny jeans constantly! I miss skirts and dresses so very much and while I have a passion for fashion, I am just not passionate enough to brave the cold with bare legs lol. It was less than thirty degrees out when we took these pictures and I was freezing my nads off in what I had on!

Winter essentially eliminates your options other than pants and that bores me. Therefore, bold patterns and colors are a must during the cold months to incorporate some excitement back into your fits. Because my pants were already chosen for me thanks to the weather, I decided to go with my Jaase zip up top on top. This little number is an oldie but goodie from TJMaxx and I think it is so cool. The unique shape and puff sleeves paired with the white flowers against a cornflower blue base creates a top that I have never seen anything like before. Granted, it’s definitely not warm enough to be worn on its own but it makes for an amazing option during the spring.

I view patterns as an accessory in themselves and didn’t want to bog down a top as loud as the Jaase one with too many extras. The day of taking these pictures, my hair didn’t want to cooperate at all so a headband was in order. Luckily, I had just the one in mind from Claire’s. The blue of the headband is almost an identical match to the top and I liked the pop of red in the embroidery. The headband also bumped up the back of my hair to add some volume and more visual interest to the look.

For earrings, I chose a pair that Johnny’s mom got me that you can’t see too well. They are a small dangly pair of steel blue rectangles with copper flowers and were right on target with the floral theme that I was working with. Since I already had the headband on, I didn’t want earrings that were too big or blingy and these added a little touch of movement without looking cluttered around my face.

Finally, it was time for shoes and I went with my thigh high boots by Candie’s. These are, quite possibly, one of my favorite boots in my entire collection. They are so sleek and sexy and guarantee mile long legs. They blend in perfectly with my black skinnies to give a boost in height without breaking up the silhouette of the outfit. Since the focal point of this look was the Jaase top, I didn’t want to take away from it with bolder heels so the Candie’s pair was just what I needed to complete the look!

Although this isn’t one of my most exciting looks, I still really like this Feeling Flowery OOTD. Keep it posted for bloopers from this fit as well as new outfits coming soon with brand new hair!

What is your favorite season to dress for? How do you spice up cold weather outfits? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions With These Solutions

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Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions With These Solutions

Are you making a New Year’s resolution for a more healthy lifestyle? If so, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, many of these resolutions often fail due to a lack of planning and support. Even when you make the conscious choice to live healthier by implementing simple steps, such as switching your food choices or being more active, these decisions can be tricky to maintain in the long term. In reality, most of us end up unknowingly self-sabotaging because we lack support. Here’s what to do about that and where to find the support you need this year:

Creating a support system:

Creating a support system is key to successfully turning your healthy resolutions into reality. No matter how much we plan and prepare, there will be times when we simply lack the motivation to make healthy choices. This is why having a support system is so important: It helps provide encouragement and accountability to keep us on track. Having a supportive group of friends, family members, or colleagues will give you a group to share in your success and push you to keep improving.

Picking the right insurance:

Having the right insurance coverage is an important part of any health plan. Whether you are trying to make healthy lifestyle changes or just need financial protection, having the right insurance can make a huge difference:

Medical Insurance: Medical insurance is a great way to get access to preventative care like physicals, screenings, and vaccinations. It can also provide financial protection for medical emergencies, helping to ensure that you receive the care you need without breaking the bank. As not all policies are made equal, you want to research the best option for you.

Life Insurance: Life insurance is a way to provide financial security for your loved ones in the event of your death. It can provide funds to pay off debts and provide financial support to those who depend on you. More importantly, it’s part of a long-term health plan involving your family. Unsure about the right policy for you? It’s worth reading about it, starting with these National Life Group reviews for guidance.

Seeking specialist support:

Why do everything alone when you can find guidance from experts?

Hiring a personal trainer will help you reach your health and fitness goals this year. Personal trainers offer personalized support and guidance to help keep you motivated and on track with your fitness journey. They provide custom advice and support and can also help you create a fitness program tailored to your individual needs and abilities.

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A nutritionist can also be a big help in achieving a healthier lifestyle. Even if you think you already know what a healthy diet looks like, seeing a nutritionist can provide insights on how to add variety and make sure you’re getting the proper nutrients for your specific needs.

Don’t let your New Year’s resolutions die out this January. Seize the opportunity to go further and give yourself a chance for success!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Better Protect Your Home With These Tips

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Better Protect Your Home With These Tips

Every house needs certain safety items to better protect the well-being of its inhabitants and visitors. You can keep your family and house safe with all of the following – make sure you have them readily available should you ever need:

Fire Alarms:

It is crucial for homeowners to have several functional fire alarms throughout their home. Positioned in common areas where people spend a lot of time, such as bedrooms and living rooms, these will help alert residents more quickly. Also, the batteries in the smoke detectors should be changed on a regular basis to keep them operational at all times.

Fire Extinguishers:

For the simple reason that fires can spread rapidly through timber frames, it’s wise to keep an extinguisher available at all times. These are reasonably priced and can put out fires before they do significant damage. A fire extinguisher should be kept on every floor of your house and everyone in your family should know how to use one.

Carbon Monoxide Detector:

Although carbon monoxide poisoning is more common than most people realize, this safety practice is not discussed nearly enough. Install multiple carbon monoxide detectors around your home, especially in bedrooms. A monthly check of the detectors and battery replacements at the appropriate times is also necessary. In addition, CO detectors should be hardwired into the wall rather than sitting on a shelf.

House Alarms:

It’s not enough for some people to have sturdy locks; they need constant reassurance that their home is secure. A burglar alarm can assist with this sense of safety and security. If something does happen, you’ll want to be able to rapidly reset the security measures even if you’re not at home by downloading an app that provides you access to those settings from anywhere. Having your alarm system monitored can provide you peace of mind and shield your house from danger when you need it most. You should also think about looking for a Mul T Lock dealer and finding secure locks for your home.

You should always be considering the security of your home, especially before leaving for an extended period of time. Sensors on all of the exterior doors is a common and effective means of protection. Having motion-activated lights installed is also a good idea. However, it is preferable if those lights can be turned off by their own motion detectors once you have entered the building.

You and your family will be much safer when you implement these precautions around the house. Remember to do regular checks on all of these items to make sure they are working as they should!

Featured Image By: Jayson Tacoycoy

Double Date Night

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Double Date Night

Hello!! Johnny and I have a select few people that we regularly hang out with and my best friend and her husband are two of them. Lea and Brandon are our favorites and ever since Johnny and I got married, him and Brandon have become straight up besties. It’s so cute! Once a month, we get together for a double date night at either of our apartments or out on the town. This past week, we were supposed to hit up our go to haunt of Bucca De Beppo but didn’t feel like making the forty-five minute drive to the restaurant. So, we substituted for Mexican food at El Meson and it was just what the doctor ordered!

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El Meson is an absolute staple in Cuyahoga Falls and it is SO good every single time. It is the perfect place to go for a quick dinner and drinks and was the obvious next choice when we weren’t in the mood for our trek to the Bucca. The restaurant has the most fun, lively atmosphere and it’s safe to say that we go there a lot when the staff members recognize us! Their to go Margaritas were also a life saver when we were craving Mexican during the pandemic but didn’t want to go into the restaurant. 😀

After a few past hang outs at our places, it was so nice to have a night out with our main baddies. It also couldn’t have come at a better time because I just got an amazing job offer shortly before meeting up. We turned this dinner into an impromptu celebration for my good news and to hype Brandon and Lea up as they begin house hunting. Our meals were delicious and, as always, their drinks were out of this world. Our server must have been able to tell how much we were enjoying them because he offered us two large additional Margs for us to share that was a mistake from the bar. He knows us so well. ❤

Lea and Brandon are our only married friends and Lea and I are over the moon at how well our guys get along with each other. Our double dates have become a monthly must and it gives us something to look forward to as soon as date night draws to a close. I am already daydreaming about Bucca De Beppo for next time!

Do you like double dates? What is a staple restaurant in your area? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Live Healthier With These Steps

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Live Healthier With These Steps

When life gets busy, we don’t always take care of ourselves as well as we should. If this sounds like you, it’s time to start taking care of your body and health fully and completely. In this post, we’ll talk about some things that you can do to start taking better care of your health today:

Eat Healthy Foods:

You shouldn’t eat well and avoid certain foods just to look good in new clothes. Instead, you should eat well to stay healthy. You could start by eating more fruit and vegetables. Eat more things that give you energy and make you feel better. Bananas, fatty fish, sweet potatoes, nuts, and yogurt are all foods that can give you energy and make you more alert and productive during the day. Food can also make you feel more or less stressed. When you’re hungry, you’re more likely to get angry and annoyed easily.

Take Care Of Your Teeth:

It’s important to take care of your teeth. To make sure they stay healthy, you need to take the right steps every day. At least twice a day, use fluoride toothpaste to clean your teeth and get rid of germs and plaque. Plaque can also build up between your teeth, so be sure to floss daily. Try using mouthwash because it can cut down on the amount of acid in your mouth and clean places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. You should go to the dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and to catch any dental problems early.

Get More Active:

If you have a lot going on, it can be hard to find the time to work out. You don’t have to find time to go to the gym; you just need to find an exercise that works for you and fits into your schedule. You could go for a walk during lunch break to get more steps. If the only time you can exercise is in the morning, then you should get up a little bit earlier. Then it’s out of the way, and you don’t have to worry about it late at night after work when you might not want to go for a run. If you are going out in cold weather you should think about taking some women’s thermal socks to keep your feet warm and dry.

Be More Mindful:

We’re so busy with our lives that we often forget to live in the moment. Stopping for a few seconds throughout the day will give you time to breathe and help you think more clearly. Mindfulness practice makes you feel free and is good for your health. It can help you feel better and less stressed. When you wake up, when you eat, and even when you work out, you can be more aware.

By making a few changes to your daily habits, you will start to see improvements in all parts of your life when you are feeling better and healthier!

Featured Image By: Jill Wellington

Make School Mornings Easier With These Tips

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Make School Mornings Easier With These Tips

Are you struggling to get out of the door on time in the mornings? If you’re like most parents, you’re probably trying to juggle getting yourself ready for the day while also getting your kids ready for school. It can be a challenge, to say the least! But there are some things that you can do to make your mornings go more smoothly. Here are a few tips that may help:

Get Up Earlier Than Your Kids:

Getting up earlier than your children is an excellent way to set yourself up for success during the day. It allows you time to get ready for the day, plan meals and activities, and finish any last-minute errands. Waking up a few minutes before your kids also leaves you feeling more refreshed, allowing you to focus and be productive throughout the day. Not only are there obvious benefits for you, but setting this example for your children can influence their behavior as well – showing them that getting a good start each morning sets their day off on the right foot.

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Have a Set Morning Routine:

Starting your day with a set morning routine can do wonders for your productivity and focus. Ease into the day with something that engages your senses. Here are some activities to add to your morning routine:

Take a few minutes for meditation:

Meditation is a great way to ease into your morning routine, as it can help you relax and recenter before the day begins. Taking just a few minutes each morning to meditate can have lasting effects throughout the day. It can reduce stress, improve concentration and focus, and even increase creativity.

Make a cup of your favorite tea or coffee:

A cup of coffee can instantly invigorate you as the aroma of freshly-brewed beans wafts through the air. If you’re a coffee lover, consider investing in an electric kettle for pour-over coffee. The kettle gets the water heated to a precise temperature, allowing those precious coffee beans to awaken their delicious flavors. Those aromas, in turn, energize and help drive concentration, setting your mind up for whatever task may lay ahead.

Write in a journal:

Journaling is another great way to kick-start your day. Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and plans for the day can help you stay focused on what’s important. It can also be a helpful tool if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed – just take five minutes to write down anything that comes to mind.

Listen to music:

Putting on some upbeat music can instantly lift your mood and get you in the right frame of mind for the day. Music is a great tool to help motivate you when it feels like no amount of coffee can do the trick. It’s also a great way to kick-start your creativity and add fuel to any task that requires focus.

Make Breakfast the Night Before:

Making your breakfast the night before can be an effective way to start your day on the right foot. Not only does this save you time in the morning, but it can also help you stick to a healthier diet. Eating a nutritious breakfast is essential for providing enough energy and preventing overeating during the rest of the day. Take a few minutes before bed to assemble an easy breakfast, such as overnight oats or yogurt parfait, so that your body gets what it needs to stay energized and focused throughout the morning.

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Set Out Clothes the Night Before:

Setting out your clothes the night before – shoes, socks, shirt, and trousers – can help you to move with speed and confidence when it comes to fashioning a look. To save yourself time and stress in the mornings, pre-select your clothing items ahead of time while you still have mental reserves and are better able to pick out the ideal apparel for whatever task beckons from the day ahead.

Pack Snacks and Drinks for the Car Ride:

Going on a long car trip? Don’t forget to pack snacks and drinks for the ride! Non-perishable snacks like crackers, energy bars, or nuts can easily fit in your bag without taking up too much space. Beverages are essential; water is always a must-have when traveling. Make sure to include an appropriate drink container, such as a reusable bottle or cup with a lid, to prevent spills during your journey.

Make Sure The Kids’ Homework Is Done:

It is important to stay on top of the kids’ homework and make sure it’s getting done on time. Without proper intervention, kids are unlikely to follow their own timelines for getting assignments completed. To help keep them on track, establish a routine by establishing a set amount of time each day for studying and work and stick to it! Put down distractions (such as video games or TV) while they are working, support them with resources they need, like books or tutors, and recognize if there’s an issue that needs extra help.

By following the tips we outlined above, you can make mornings less chaotic for everyone in the family. You’ll be able to get out of the house on time and start your day feeling calmer and more collected. Plus, by taking care of everything the night before, you won’t have to worry about forgotten homework or lost lunch boxes come morning. Give it a try – it’s worth it!

Chewy Haul

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Chewy Haul

Hello! For Christmas, Johnny’s aunt gifted Mel and Penelope with a Chewy gift card for all of their supplies. It was so thoughtful! With the gift card, I was able to stock up on all of their necessities as well as some new toys and old favorites. As per usual, though, the bunnies are much more interested in playing with the Chewy boxes than anything else lol. Check out what these spoiled pets got as a late Christmas gift:

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The Chewy gift card was, honestly, one of the best gifts of my holiday haul because all of the products seen above were things that were going to need to be bought anyways. While I did spend a little of my own money, the gift card covered almost everything and most of these purchases will last us until March, at least. If that seems quick to you, remember that two bunnies means double everything! Also their favorite activity is to dump their food dish out which is equal parts adorable and annoying lol.

The most important purchases from this haul were definitely their pellet food and bedding. The past four times I have placed an order with Chewy, their food has been unavailable. Then, once my order has been placed, I get an email saying their pellet food is back in stock *eye roll*. Since their food was available during this order, I decided to go big and get three bags to avoid this in the future. I also decided to get two bags of their bedding since I also use it to fill their litter boxes. The bunny litter that I was using was pricey AF and even if I have to change their litter bedding more often, it is still less expensive in the long run.

One final essential from this order was their Timothy hay and then it was onto the toys! The Kaytee Play n’ Chew hideout is one of their favorites and they love to destroy it. Thankfully, it takes them a while to do so and since they are still working on the one they have, this will serve as a backup. The Rosewood play and chew balls are also a Mel and Penelope fave and they can chew through the rope and thin wood ones in a matter of minutes. I also wanted to give them some new options like the Timothy hay lollipops and the hourglass and piece of cake chew toys. The hourglass has been hit or miss so far but they made quick work of one of the lollipops. 😀

Mel and Pen were cool with their mom spending their gift card for them and as far as I know, they are happy with what I picked out! And I am too. 😀

Where do you get your pet supplies from? What is your pet’s favorite toy? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Light Blue & Tangerine Nails

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New Light Blue & Tangerine Nails

Hello!!! This past week, my talons were in desperate need of a fill. They were grown out and one was lifting badly, which was perfectly awful. Unfortunately, my normal salon was closed for their holiday break when the lifting incident occurred so I enlisted the help of my tech for a salon she recommends. Then, she said exactly what I hoped she would: She would come to my apartment and do them for me! What. An. ANGEL. There was nothing better than getting my nails done in my own home and I seriously felt like a celebrity – it was amazing!! Check out my new and improved claws:

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My tech, admittedly, didn’t have as expansive as a nail polish selection as the salon but when she sent me my choices the light blue and tangerine orange instantly stuck out to me. I love bright blue and orange together and it makes me think of a day at the beach. However, the softer hues of these polishes make it feel appropriate to start thinking spring with and it’s a nice change of pace from the typical darker shades for winter.

I have never had any type of salon service done at my home that wasn’t something I was capable of doing by myself. It was seriously one of the best experiences to be able to relax, girl talk, and hang out without being surrounded by other salon goers. If you have the opportunity for your nails, hair, etc. to be done at your place, then I can’t recommend it enough. I always feel pampered after a trip to the salon but this took it to a whole new level. Plus, it made my apartment smell like a nail salon and it was, honestly, freaking awesome lol.

An afternoon at my apartment salon was just what I needed and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The constant applying of nail glue to my lifted nail was getting so annoying. My nails look amazing and I am so thankful to my tech for working her magic!

Do you have a good relationship with your nail tech or hair stylist? Have you ever had a salon treatment at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

TT & Val Day

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TT & Val Day

Hello!! At three and a half years old, I thought this winter would be the perfect time to teach my niece, Val, how to ice skate. For a long time, Val used to say that skating would be “too scary” and didn’t want to try it – and that was totally fine! This winter, however, she said that she would like to learn and I had grand plans of taking her to an outdoor rink in Cuyahoga Falls this past Tuesday afternoon. To both of our disappointment, the rink was closed (Naturally) on our treat day but that didn’t stop us from having lots of fun together anyways!

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^^^ That last picture. 🙂 The taste of sweet success!

After informing my sister that skating wasn’t going to happen, I told her that I would just watch Val at my parents’ house for the afternoon. Kristen let me know that Val had little wooden bird boxes to paint and has also been wanting to bake brownies and I thought that sounded like a great time! As soon as Val arrived, we got to work on painting and she did so awesome. She finished most of an entire bird house by herself but then got distracted by our dog, Archie, so TT and Momo had to finish things up lol. We decided that the bird houses are probably too small for birds but will be perfect for fairies and butterflies. ❤

Once our group effort masterpieces were done, it was time to make some brownies and Val was very excited. She loves to help her mom bake and they are constantly bringing cupcakes and cookies to my parents and me and Johnny. For our baking process, literally all I did was measure out the liquid ingredients and Val did everything else. She poured the ingredients, cracked the egg, mixed the batter, and filled up the pan by the spoonful all by herself. I was so impressed!!

While our brownies baked and cooled, Val wanted to lay down so we watched a few episodes of Paw Patrol to recharge. That really did the trick because after resting we had brownies to frost and sprinkle. For this, all I did was dollop the frosting on the brownies and showed her how to spread it with a spatula and she was a quick study in this too. After Val perfectly applied rainbow sprinkles to our bakery, I asked her what she wanted to do next and she said “Eat the brownies!”. Lol, that was very easily arranged and I could tell that she was so proud of her hard work. 🙂

Even though our TT and Val day didn’t go accordingly to our original plan, we still had the best day together. I love my lil BFF so much! ❤

How old were you when you started playing a sport? What is your favorite sweet treat? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Give Your Home A Face Lift With These Ideas

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Give Your Home A Face Lift With These Ideas

Just like everything in life, houses get old over time and it can really start to show from the exterior. It’s easy to understand why – years and years of hot, cold, snowy, and rainy days can definitely take its toll! If you are looking to sell your home soon or are ready to sink your teeth into a new project, giving a face lift to your home’s exterior is one of the best ways to boost your property value. Let’s explore a few ways to get your home looking as good as new again:

Painting:

Addressing peeling and chipping paint should be the first and most important order of business to refresh the exterior. This is also an opportunity to change things up! You can give your home the ultimate makeover by changing its color. This will instantly refresh your home once the dull paint has been removed with something shiny and new.

If repainting your home isn’t necessary or wanted and you’re still craving change, you can always paint your front door! Vibrant shades are so fun, eye-catching, and welcoming. For the full effect, adorn with a gorgeous wreath.

New Windows:

The windows are the eyes into the soul or something right?! Over time, windows can warp and become less functional at holding heat in the home. This can also be a culprit as to why your heating bills are higher than usual. Whether your new windows are for cosmetic purposes or necessity, it will give a huge boost to both your property value and the way your home looks. You can enlist the help of experienced window contractors in Ontario or local professionals in your area for a consultation. Just please be sure you paint the shutters after your new windows are installed!!

Landscaping:

You could have the most beautiful looking home on planet earth but no one will ever notice it if you have a dilapidated front yard. Dead grass, cracked soil, and overgrown trees are an eyesore and improving your green thumb is a cheap way to refresh your home’s exterior. Research which types of plants, grass, and flowers thrive in your climate. Just take into consideration what your limits are in maintaining it. Then, you can invite your friends to a literal garden party to help get everything planted. 😀

Beautify the exterior of your home with the ideas above and enjoy when your curb appeal goes through the roof!

Renovations That Make A Huge Difference

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Renovations That Make A Huge Difference

Many people choose home renovation for their New Year’s resolution and for good reason. Renovations are beneficial to you and your family both now and later. It enhances your comfort and enjoyment now while increasing your property value when it comes time to sell. Let’s take a look at a few examples of these projects that your family will be happy that you finally stuck with:

Deck Out Your Backyard:

Installing a deck in your backyard is the perfect way to welcome spring. There is so much potential that comes with a deck – patio furniture, raised garden planters, grills, oversized checkers and chess. It will be the perfect place to sip lemonade in the summer and enjoy a hot chocolate on a warm winter’s day. It will turn your backyard into the place to be for garden parties and family get togethers!

Paint It All:

There is truly something to be said for transforming your interior or exterior space through paint alone. Boost your curb appeal with a brightly colored front door and shutters for an instant face lift. Explore color combinations indoors with accent walls, stripes, and filigree. This is your opportunity to show your creative side inside so have fun with it. 😀

New Flooring:

Outdated flooring with newer appliances or furniture in the kitchen and living areas can be an eyesore. Investing in new flooring can make a world of difference and will transform your home from the ground up. Think sleek tiles in the bathroom and kitchen and warm hardwoods in the living and dining rooms. Don’t forget to add throw rugs and runners where appropriate. This will catch your floor up with the rest of the modern furnishings in your home for an amazing update.

Add-Ons:

Add-on rooms through renovation will be a huge boost in your property value and will provide extra space for your family right now. Popular add-on rooms are finishing a basement or attic. Finished basements could include home gyms, game rooms, and storage space. Attic updates could be a book nook, home office, or craft studio. Sun rooms also make a fantastic addition to a home for the perfect space for house plants and morning coffee. These additions could become major selling points when you put your house on the market.

Home renovations are an exciting undertaking that provides long-term benefits. Send your home into 2023 and enjoy your new year in a newly updated space!

Spoil Yourself With These Home Enhancing Projects

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Spoil Yourself With These Home Enhancing Projects

What would your dream home feature? A movie or game room? A swimming pool or sauna? A home office? Spoiling yourself doesn’t always mean spending time at the salon or on a shopping spree – sometimes it means turning the dream features for your house into a reality! Turn 2023 into the year of renovations to make chez vous the ultimate place to be. Let’s explore some dream worthy options to get started on:

Home Office:

Since the pandemic, working from home is no longer just an option for the lucky few. Almost any job can be completed from a distance! If you have been working from home for the past few years and are still doing your job from the kitchen table, then you most definitely deserve your own office. If you don’t have the space for an entire room dedicated to your work, there are still ways to incorporate an office vibe. Set up a spacious desk and computer chair by a window and deck it out in adorable office supplies or pictures of your kids. It’s not so much as having an entire room for an office as much as it is having a dedicated place to work every day.

Gazebo Goals:

A gazebo will make a big difference for your backyard and a gorgeous enhancement. Gazebos are the perfect addition to your backyard for family photos, coffee and drinks with friends, and weather and bird watching. From fresh out of a fairy tale with curves and greenery to sleek lines and a strong presence, there is a gazebo for every taste and style. Spring and summer will never be the same!

Entertainment Center:

Turning a finished basement into an entertainment center is an extremely popular project and will provide endless hours of family fun. Whether you’re splurging on plush furnishings for the comfiest movie watching experience or are installing a pool table, it will be so nice to have a space in your home solely dedicated to chilling. Complete your entertainment room with accessories like a mini fridge with drinks, snacks, movie posters, or a record player to keep the good times rolling.

Book Nook:

A book nook is an amazing way to build a space in your home for quiet time for yourself or children. Choose an area of your home that gets a lot of natural lighting, install some shelves, and add a squishy armchair to curl up in. Don’t forget a small table and coasters for your tea and coffee! Stuff your shelves with all of your favorite literature and if you don’t have enough books to fill them – spoil yourself with a trip to the bookstore. 😀

Creating designated spaces in your home for specific purposes is a great project to take on in the new year. By 2024 you will be spoiled in what feels like a brand new home!

How To Prep For Your Move In Advance

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How To Prep For Your Move In Advance

Moving houses or apartments is a huge task and involves lots of steps that should never be left until the last minute. In a perfect world, your preparations should be done well in advance of the move itself. A mad dash the day of is a liability for people to get hurt, property to get damaged, and belongings to be left behind. Of course, there are things that need to be left until moving day like packing toiletries and your food. All of the following, however, can be done in advance to save you some stress on your big day:

Hiring Movers:

The main thing that can’t wait when it comes to moving is hiring the movers! Remember, you are not the only person in your area planning a move and trusted companies get their schedules filled quickly. Research reliable long-distance movers in Ottawa or in your city and find the best team for what you need. As soon as you have a set moving date is when you should make the call so you have time to explore other options if you can’t get in the schedule.

Additional Help:

If you are hoping for help from friends, it is best to give them the date ahead of time too. Especially if they have a truck! Getting help from your friends and family is a great way to lower the cost of the bill from the movers so give them ample time in advance so they can save the date.

Pack What You Can:

You never really realize how much stuff you have until it’s time to start packing it all up. Set a goal for how many boxes you would like to fill per day and work hard to keep up with it. Start with the items and rooms that are the least used so you still have access to the things that you need daily. Books, knick knacks, art, and out of season clothes are all great categories to begin the process. Once the less used items are complete, you can start with the next batch of things. And, if you think there is a chance of it being used before the move, then hold off on packing it! Designate a room (Ideally on the first floor) to keep your packed up items so all you need to do is carry them out the front door the day of your move.

Clean As You Pack:

As each room gets packed and emptied out, take the time to give it a deep clean right now. This is especially important if you are living in an apartment! Vacuum, dust, patch any holes from hanging art, and clean the windows. These are all things that will need done anyways so it’s better to do it now rather than waiting until the day of.

The more you can get done before your move, the smoother your day will go. You’ll be thanking yourself later when you think back on your moving day and say “that wasn’t so bad”!

Change Your Career Smoothly With These Steps

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Change Your Career Smoothly With These Steps

If you want to change careers, you need to invest time and money in yourself. Before you make a decision about an investment, you should learn as much as you can about it. Let’s look at some things you need to think about before making a career change:

Have A Look At Yourself Closely:

If you’ve decided to change careers, you should first take an honest look at yourself. Think about your skills, values, personality, and what you like to do. It’s smart to check out some online tools, like a career test. These will help you look at a list of jobs that you might be good at based on your answers. You could also talk to a career counselor or someone who works on personal development.

Create A List Of Potential Jobs And Research:

Now is the time to look over the list of jobs that have been created. The list may be long, so try to cut it down as much as you can. Make a list of jobs you’d like to learn more about. If you like what you see you can take the next steps like learning how to become a life insurance agent.

Explore Your Options:

For each job on your list, you should look at the job description, required education, career outlook, the chances of getting promoted, and the pay. Most of that information can be found online on sites like Indeed.

Set Goals:

You should already know what you want to do for a living. Before you take steps to find a job in the field you’ve chosen, you should think about what you want to achieve. There should be both short-term and long-term goals. If training is going to take you two years, you need to give yourself that much time to reach your goals. After doing this, you can put finding a job the field you want at the top of your list.

Training:

Most of the time, you need the training to change careers. You may have some skills that can be used in different situations, but if you want to work in a specialized and competitive field, it’s a good idea to look into courses that will help you reach your goals.

These steps should make it easier and smoother to start a new job. Make achievable goals and work hard to achieve them for your dream job!

Featured Image By: Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

How To Prevent Dust In Your Home

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How To Prevent Dust In Your Home

Dust can find its way into any space, explaining why even with closed doors and windows, you may still find a thin layer on your surfaces. Dust generation in your home can negatively affect your family’s health and well-being. That is because dust contains harmful pollutants and allergens which can trigger allergic respiratory responses. According to research, the average home collects 40 pounds of dust annually, indicating how essential it is to know how your home generates dust and how to prevent it. Here are a few tips to help guide you:

Tiny openings and cracks:

Gaps around your windows, doors, vents, and your home’s foundation, can provide small openings for dust. Although these tiny openings may not be noticeable initially, they become conduits for significant amounts of dust to enter your home. That explains why people who travel away from home for long periods cover their essential items to protect them from dust. You can help reduce the dust that comes through these openings by weatherstripping and sealing gaps. After taking care of the cracks and tiny openings, consider alternatives like screen installation to limit indoor dust accumulation.

Air vents and HVAC systems:

Another way your home can become dusty is through the air vents and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. These ventilation appliances interact with outdoor air to function, which sometimes leads to dust accumulating in the ducts of your HVAC system. This dust can remain afloat for longer hours and breathing it in increases the risk of respiratory problems, especially in children, aging adults, or persons with weakened immune systems. When your HVAC system is on, its air circulation function forces dust from the vents into your living space. Experts recommend cleaning your home’s air vents and HVAC system often. Doing this will enhance appliance performance and also improve indoor air quality.

Human and pet activities:

Daily activities in the home, like cooking, cleaning, and even walking around, can generate dust. Food particles released into the air while cooking may land on surfaces and accumulate into dust over time if not cleaned. If your windows have nets, these particles could also get trapped in them and, due to their oily nature, may eventually trap dust. Meanwhile, sweeping and vacuuming can stir up a significant amount of dust which can stay on surfaces for a long time. It is best to thoroughly clean exposed surfaces immediately after cooking to reduce the dust generated by these home activities. Sometimes, a multipurpose surface cleaner is best, especially because it can cut through grime.

If you have indoor pets that shed, they may also contribute to dust in your home. That is because their fur traps dust and dust mites when they’re outdoors and they inadvertently transfer it indoors. Dogs and cats, especially, shed wherever they go. It will help to brush their fur regularly to capture loose hair and dander straight from their bodies to prevent dust from getting trapped in their fur.

It’s important to take a multi-faceted approach to reduce dust in your home. Making a conscious effort to keep your home clean at all times will help create a home with better indoor air quality for all!

Featured Image By: Pexels