Jeans & A T OOTD

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Jeans & A T OOTD

Hello and welcome to a brand new OOTD here on lifewithlilred! After getting my hair done and having a wildly successful Fall Haul, I just had to take pictures this past weekend. I wanted to check out this new hiking trail nearby with my husband/photographer but we couldn’t find it to save our own lives. So, Johnny and I settled for taking pictures at Taco Bell instead lol. As we all know, T-Bell is my absolute favorite so this was just fine by me! Check it out:

Who? What? Wear?

When it comes to my OOTDs, the more extravagant the better. However, there’s some days where you just have to throw on jeans and a T and go. This outfit is one of the most minimal looks I have featured on my page but it packs a punch thanks to the accessories, super distressed jeans, and pops of color. It was a perfect look for running errands with Johnny because we always try and show out even if we are just making a Target run!

To add some interest to a simple jeans and T look, it is all about the accessories. I didn’t want to overpower the black and white palette that I had going so I relied on the extras in my OOTD to give small but effective pops of color. I started by putting on my platform heels which added a fun surprise with the flames on the heels. It also helped create the illusion of length as it blended seamlessly with my jeans.

I went with my Union Jack shades and purse to give a pattern to my OOTD without being overwhelming to the muted palette. These accessories provided visual interest that enhanced the look because the colors weren’t too bright and minimal enough that it didn’t put all of the focus on one piece of the outfit. To complete the look, I put on my favorite bracelet from Claire’s that has a chain which connects to a ring and walked out the door feeling my damn self.

By the end of my styling session, I felt like a million bucks and had an outfit that I was in love with even though it is a far cry from my norm. For some people, stepping out of their comfort zone means wearing a more bold piece. For me, it means toning things down and my Jeans & A T OOTD definitely did that! The accessories tied this look together but, let’s be honest, the outfit was already made with Britney Spears on my T-shirt. ❤

Tune in tomorrow for bonus pictures from this look as well as the funny story behind winding up at Taco Bell for a photo shoot! 😀

Who is your favorite pop star? How do you step out of your comfort zone in your outfits? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Clothing Staples For Your Wardrobe

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Clothing Staples For Your Wardrobe

Creating the perfect wardrobe for you is something that takes time. Unless you’re a celebrity, literally no one is buying an entire closet full of clothes in one shopping trip! Today, we are going to explore three different components of day to day life and the clothing you need to make it work:

Work:

Clothing that is appropriate for work is completely dependent on where you work, of course!

  • If you work at an animal shelter, clothing that moves well and is comfortable is the way to go like stretch jeans, leggings, and light long sleeved tops.
  • If you work at a restaurant or a grocery store and are in and out of the freezer constantly, a cozy cardigan should help the cause just fine. (And, if your freezer system at work is on the fritz, consider walk-in fridge repair for businesses to assist!)
  • In an office setting, you might want to opt for smart, professional clothing like blazers, slacks, blouses, or pencil skirts. Don’t forget a sharp pair of oxfords or kitten heels to complete the look!

Think about where you work and plan accordingly. Is the temperature comfortable or can it get a little warm or chilly? What are your coworkers wearing? Is there a dress code? This will all help you make the right decision on work appropriate attire.

Play:

You might not have much of a choice in what you can wear for work but play attire is a totally different story! Clothing for running errands, hanging out with friends, or a date should be all about what makes you feel confident. These are going to be key pieces in your play wardrobe’s arsenal:

  • A great pair of jeans is a definite must. Skinny, boot cut, flare, or high waisted – a pair of jeans can be dressed up or down for whatever the occasion. Knowing your measurements can be a huge help when it comes to shopping for bottoms and can save you many a back and forth trip from the fitting rooms.
  • Statement jackets can turn an ordinary outfit into something special. Moto jackets with patches are always fun and edgy while a classic trench coat is a timeless piece. From sophisticated in a peacoat or sassy in a faux fur number, throwing on a jacket is an ideal option when you don’t feel like styling a look!
  • No matter if your style is simple or total fashionista, everyone should have at least one bold “look at me” top in their wardrobe. This is the perfect opportunity to play with patterns, bright colors, and unique shapes. If you are uncomfortable with something so loud on top, a patterned skirt is a great way to dip your toes in the water.

Leisure:

We can be so focused on work or play clothing that we tend to forget about pieces that are made purely for comfort. I am definitely guilty of this and my life changed for the better when I allowed myself to purchase pajamas and sweatpants! 😀

  • Leggings and sweats are the best for lounging at home, working out, or even going out and about in a sporty chic look. Leggings will also come in handy when it’s cold because they can easily be worn under your jeans.
  • Wrapping yourself up in a snuggly, chunky cardigan is so comforting on a brisk day or when you’re curled up on the couch. Accessorize with a cup of tea to complete the look!
  • Cute pajama sets feel so luxurious, especially if it is something that you normally wouldn’t buy. Treat yourself to some new PJs and a matching robe and hit the hay like royalty.

Complete every aspect of your day in style with the tips above!

Eco Friendly Options To Consider

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Eco Friendly Options To Consider

Being eco friendly is one of the best ways to show that you care about the planet and those who inhabit it. While we hear the words “eco friendly” often, it can be hard to know where to get started. The best way to begin a more eco friendly lifestyle is by making small, immediate changes to your day to day life. Nothing is too small as long as you are committed to sticking with them! Let’s look at a few ways to incorporate some eco friendliness into your life:

Your Commute To Work:

Driving to work might be the only option for some people due to a range of different reasons like the distance, lack of a metro system, or poor weather. However, if you can bike, walk, ride share, or take the bus even one day out of the week, it can make a big difference! Alternate modes of transportation also help save you money. What’s not to like?!

Give An Item A New Purpose:

Reusing items in a different way is always an eco friendly option. For example, did you know that some companies will remove old appliances for you, repair them, and sell it at a discounted rate so people can buy used appliances for sale? Not only is this environmentally friendly as it will prevent the appliance from ending up in a landfill but it provides safe and cheaper options for people who might not be able to afford a brand new model.

Secondhand Shopping:

When moving into my apartment, I furnished it almost entirely with thrifted or handed down items. When it comes to clothing, furniture, or little odds and ends that you didn’t know you needed, you can’t go wrong with secondhand shopping. There is nothing better than finding a treasure that no one else will have and it will provide you with a space and style that is totally unique for you.

Donate What You Can:

When doing a home haul away, there are plenty of different routes that you can take instead of just throwing things away. Clothing can be donated to homeless or battered women’s shelters. Old bath or beach towels can make an animal in a shelter much more comfortable. Furniture can be given to a family in need or could be sold on virtual marketplaces. You could even have a yard sale! Repurposing items is always the way to go and can make a big difference for the people who will receive it.

Living an eco friendly life helps this great big wide world and is an amazing way to assist people who might not be as fortunate as you. ❤

Small Renovations That Make A Big Difference

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Small Renovations That Make A Big Difference

When people think about home renovation projects, they often think big with HGTV worthy remodeling. While this will definitely make a huge impact on your property it is not feasible for everyone as it is a huge expense. Today, we are going to discuss some renovation projects that you might not have ever considered. These ideas might not be as big as a full fledged room makeover but they still pack a punch, all the same. Let’s get to it:

Exterior Projects:

Boosting your property’s curb appeal begins from the outside in because the exterior of your home offers the first impression to friends, neighbors, and strangers. Make their first impression a great one with these projects:

Driveway Repairs:

You might not think much about your driveway but it is subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Cracks and potholes are inconvenient as well as unsightly. Repairing these issues is a definite must for boosting your curb appeal. You might also want to get driveway sealing before winter to better protect the road to your castle.

Porch Perfect:

Your porch, patio, deck, or any other outdoor seating area can be a huge selling point for your house. The front porch is one of the first things people notice about your house so you want to make sure it is putting its best face forward. Replace rotting or splintered wood and don’t forget that a fresh coat of paint can work wonders.

While you are working on your front porch, consider your front door too. A brightly colored door is sure to catch attention. Shades of blue, red, and yellow all look especially charming.

Outdoor Accessories:

Every great outfit is not complete without the right accessories and the same goes for your house! Outdoor accessories are not so much of a renovation as it is placing objects but it sure is a fun way to showcase your personality. Bird baths, fountains, swings, solar lights, and even garden gnomes can offer a playful touch to any home’s exterior.

Interior:

Tile Backsplash:

Creating a tile backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom is an amazing way to add color and patterns into the room. It is relatively cheap and can also be done on your own. It will feel great to see something so pretty in your place and knowing that you did it all by yourself.

Something Extra:

Do you ever feel like a room is missing just that little extra something to make it pop? We’ve got you covered. Although this is a somewhat tedious and minor project, have you ever considered changing out your door knobs and cupboard handles? There are countless different options for you to look into. For a touch of glam, how about diamond handles for your dresser? Or even colorful square knobs for something different? A little change, yes, but swapping out hardware accessories can be a fun way to add something new.

Floating Shelves:

If an area is feeling cramped with a bulky shelving unit or dresser, you could consider having floating shelves installed. These are an awesome way to display all of your favorite treasures while taking up a fraction of the space. Floating shelves will turn your wall into an instant work of art – no painting required!

Mini renovations can still make a huge impact and will help keep the exterior and interior of your home fresh as well as visually appealing!

Making Your Products More Appealing To Your Audience

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Making Your Products More Appealing To Your Audience

When your company is about to unleash a new product on the market, it’s important to consider how you’re going to present it to your audience. You’ll want to make it as appealing as possible, but wanting to do that and actually making it happen are two very different things. In this post, we’re going to talk about some of the things that you can do to make your products more appealing to your audience:

Focus on Addressing Needs:

First, you should consider what makes your product different and why people should care about it. If you’re addressing real needs that people have, your product is going to have a greater use and people are going to be more likely to be interested in it. It really is as simple as that. So think about how you can show your product and advertise as the solution to a problem.

Make Exciting Promises and Commitments:

If you want to sell to people, you need to give them a reason to be excited about what you’re offering. That’s one of the most important aspects of any business proposition. If people are excited by what they’re seeing from you, they’re going to be compelled to buy. So make exciting promises and commitments, and ensure your product follows through on them.

Go a Step Further Than Your Competitors:

It’s always a good idea to keep one eye on your competitors when you’re thinking about how to appeal to your audience. Go a step further than them and offer something that your main competitors can’t or aren’t. Differentiating your products and showing people why they’re better than the alternatives that exist out there will be key.

Offer Complementary Products for Free or at a Discount:

By giving something extra away for free, you can make sure that the products you offer carries more appeal and offers more in terms of value to the customer. That’s what matters more than anything else here. Cannabis companies might offer items such as preroll packaging as extras. And the same can apply to whatever niche your business exists in.

Tell a Story About the Product:

Telling a story about your product that’s compelling and captivating will make your task of selling it a lot easier than it might otherwise be. Telling a story is something that can be done in so many different ways, as well. It’s up to you to find the method of delivery and focus that you feel will appeal most to your audience. You should keep them in mind at all times.

It’s up to you to make sure that your audience takes an interest in what you have to offer. Use the tips above for maximum effect!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

How To Cope With An Exercise Injury   

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How To Cope With An Exercise Injury   

The recovery process for sports injuries usually concentrates on physical rehab. But for athletes, it’s also important to incorporate sports psychology techniques to help them recover mentally. When you’re otherwise healthy and physically active, an injury can be frustrating. Resilience is needed both physically and psychologically to cope with injury stress.

Despite these feelings, it’s important to move forward and find more positive ways to overcome this setback. Athletes who can handle injuries gracefully will become more focused, flexible, and resilient. The following strategies can help:

Educate Yourself:

Ask your doctor, trainer, coach, or therapist the following questions to learn what you need to do to heal quickly and fully:

  • Do I have an injury (what type is it)?
  • How can I get treated?
  • Why am I receiving these treatments?
  • Can this be recovered in a reasonable amount of time?
  • During rehabilitation, what should I expect?
  • Are there any safe alternatives to traditional exercise?
  • If I get worse, what are the warning signs?

A second opinion may be necessary if you feel uncomfortable with the response from your care team.

Recovery Is Your Responsibility:

Your recovery can be impacted if you take responsibility for it. A greater sense of confidence can be found when you take control of your recovery process. The process also helps you recover faster than trying to return to the level of performance that you had before your injury. Making sure you have a first aid kit with medical ice packs is a start to taking responsibility and good care of yourself.

Stay Committed To Your Recovery Process:

Others may lose motivation and slack off on their therapy, while others may become discouraged and quit. To heal quickly, be committed to your treatment and listen to your doctor and/or athletic trainer. You can stay balanced as you achieve your healing goal by setting small daily or weekly goals that build momentum. You should also speak to yourself positively.

Stay focused on what you need to do and not what you will miss during your daily rehab. Work hard and maintain a positive attitude throughout it.

Get Support From Others:

Following an injury, it is common to isolate from teammates, coaches, and friends. You should keep in touch with others as you recover. They can offer advice or encouragement when you need to vent. Make sure that you are surrounded by strong, positive people who can encourage you during your recovery and boost your spirits when you are feeling discouraged. It can be very comforting to know that you are not alone when you suffer an injury.

These four tips should help you to look after yourself during recovery from an injury. Be good to you and get well soon!

Featured Image By: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

New Hair, Don’t Care

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New Hair, Don’t Care

Hi! I haven’t had my hair done or a day off, for that matter, since the day before my wedding. So, needless to say, your girl was in desperate need of both! This past week, I took a day off to have my dear friend and stylist, Anna, work her magic at the Shear Shop. This time around, we incorporated Pulp Riot’s Lilac into the red and pink for something totally different and totally fun. I am totally obsessed! Take a look and be sure to tune in tomorrow for more OOTD pics:

To achieve my multi-colored hair, Anna used Pulp Riot’s Fireball, Blush, and Lilac after bleaching the roots. The Lilac dye was applied to all of my insanely grown out roots for a new twist on the convertible hair that I have been rocking. I love the full effect when my hair is down but it is also so cute when it is pulled up and you can see the lilac roots underneath the top layer.

My new hair legit makes me feel like a fairy princess and I have basically been living in front of the mirror since I got it done because I can’t stop looking at myself! The three different colors are just so pretty together and it is exciting to have such a big change from what I was doing before. While some might find it nerve wracking to have something so major done to their hair, I am never worried because I know that I am in the best hands with Anna and she delivers every time.

Nothing makes me feel more confident than freshly dyed and cut hair as well as my time spent with my stylist. I wouldn’t want to spend a day off anywhere else than in her salon chair and I am already itching to go back. As mentioned before, be sure to check in tomorrow so you can see my hair in all of its glory from every angle! ❤

How do you like to pamper yourself? What is your favorite Pulp Riot color? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Safety Tips For Exercising Outdoors   

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Safety Tips For Exercising Outdoors   

Whether it’s a gentle breeze caressing your face while you run or the sun kissing your skin while you cycle, taking your workouts outdoors is always a refreshing experience. However, it is necessary to exercise without putting your health and safety at risk. Are you thinking about taking your fitness regimen outside? Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe while you exercise:

Map your route ahead of time:

It would be pretty frustrating losing your way when going for a run, walk, or cycle outside, especially if you’re new to the area. Thankfully, almost all smartphones come with a Map application and GPS functions, so you can plan your route before setting off. It is also advisable to share your route with someone you trust before you leave. If you take your phone along, be sure to keep your location on to make locating you easier if you should get lost or injured. If you already know your area, ensure that you avoid inconvenient places like construction sites, busy streets, etc. You might also want to avoid areas with stray animals to prevent incidents such as dog bites.

Dress for safety:

From workout clothes to the shoes you wear, you should aim for comfort and safety. Regarding footwear, having on the right shoes for the right activity will help to avoid blisters, twisted ankles, or any other injury. Also, your clothes should not inhibit blood flow or airflow in any way. If you plan on doing your outdoor workout at night or under poor visibility, you should wear workout clothes with features that make you more visible, especially when working out near busy roads. For example, you can wear bright colored clothes or opt for ones with reflectors to make you more visible to motorists.

Take your cell phone along:

Carrying a phone along when going for a run can be an inconvenience as you want to run or cycle ‘freely,’ but you also need to be safe. And if you get lost in an area without any internet connection, you will need something to use to call for help. Many workout garments come with spaces to store cell phones and keep them out of the way until you need them.

Protect yourself from the sun:

Sunscreen is an absolute must if you plan to work out in the sun, especially for your face. It is best to look for sunscreen products designed specifically for athletes, as they wouldn’t come off when you sweat. Moreover, the heat can wear you out pretty fast, so don’t forget to carry a bottle of water along. If possible, try to exercise during or after sunset because the sun can be scorching in the afternoon.

Protect yourself from the cold:

Cold temperatures can also drain your energy. It is possible to burn about 6,000 calories in one day when exercising in the cold. So, make sure you wear protective clothing. You might also want to take a bottle of water along to sip, as cold temperatures can suppress thirst, and you don’t want to be dehydrated.

Working out outdoors is great but doing it safely is the best with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Making Your Small Business Dreams Come True

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Making Your Small Business Dreams Come True

For some people, working for themselves is the ultimate dream and starting your own small business is the perfect way to make it happen. From your own Etsy shop to an actual storefront, businesses come in many shapes and sizes and can make for a wonderfully rewarding career. Starting your own business is a lot of hard work and today, we are going to discuss some ideas to help you in your future endeavors. Let’s get started:

Planning Makes Perfect:

A huge portion of starting your business comes from planning ahead and carrying out that plan to make it happen. You can start by asking yourself a few basic questions and going from there:

  • What type of product or service do I want to provide?
  • Do I need any additional certifications, schooling, or training for my business?
  • Will this business be online or in a storefront?
  • How much money am I willing to spend to make this happen?

It is important to have solid and achievable answers to these questions or your business might never get off the ground. For example, if you would like to own a coffee shop or restaurant do you have enough funds to purchase the property or begin restaurant construction? If the answer is no, then it might not be time to quit your day job.

Do You Have Help?

While ultimately rewarding, starting your business can be incredibly stressful and time consuming. Are you going to have a business partner or will you be flying solo? Will you be employing other people to help you? If nothing else, do you have the support of your family and friends on this endeavor? You don’t want to burn yourself out before your business even opens so evaluating the help you will need and having a support system in place is crucial.

What Are Your Goals?

Of course, the end goal of owning a business is being your own boss and making enough money to support yourself. But this is a HUGE goal that will not be accomplished quickly. Rather than focusing so much on the end result, break it up into smaller goals, instead. This will allow you to feel the pleasure of small victories and keep you motivated to continue on the path you’re on. For example:

  • I need to make a budget before I get started
  • I would like to have a functional and appealing website within three months
  • I want to prepare a home office space by the end of the week

By the time you finish your goal list, your business should be well on its way for a grand opening!

Like all good things, starting your own successful business will take time. You can save time, however, by starting things off on the right foot with the tips above!

Repairs That Can’t Wait

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Repairs That Can’t Wait

While some repairs around your home can be done with a bit of DIY, there are some things that you just have to call in the professionals for. No one likes an unexpected bill for something breaking down. However, leaving it to get worse will end up costing you more money in the long run with more extensive repairs or having to buy a new appliance altogether. Today, we are going to look at a few key elements of your home that shouldn’t wait until the last minute if they are on the fritz:

Kitchen Appliances:

The purpose of appliances are to make tasks and chores easier for you. Handwashing dishes is a drag and going to the laundromat can be downright miserable! To keep yourself on easy street, it is crucial to fix problematic appliances as soon as issues arise. An improperly working stove can be dangerous to yourself and your family.

Meanwhile, a refrigerator that is going kaput will force you to throw away its contents as the food will not be safe to eat if its not kept cold. When appliances malfunction, it is best to find a repair person to do it all to save you the hassle from multiple different people coming in and out. For example, you can find quality fridge repair in Barrie that also specializes in washers, dryers, and ovens.

Car Troubles:

Bad breaks and bald tires are incredibly dangerous and even more so when there is inclement weather. Getting your car troubles fixed now will better protect you and your passengers, especially with winter fast approaching. Driving is one of the most risky things that people do every day so you want to make sure that your vehicle is always in prime working order. Getting new tires for the winter is a must and don’t forget your routine maintenance checks and oil changes!

Home Security:

When it comes to home security, it doesn’t just mean your security system. It also includes your windows, doors, and garage door. Any point of entrance for someone uninvited to come into your home should be checked on frequently. Schedule regular maintenance for your home security system and automatic lighting if you have them and call in a repair person immediately for windows and doors. Cracks, weak locks, and warping create a “welcome” sign for burglars as well as pests.

Keep you and your loved ones safe by tending to problems as soon as they arise. Although repairs can be expensive, peace of mind is priceless.

Fall Haul: Stella Luce Snake Print Trench Coat Edition

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Fall Haul: Stella Luce Snake Print Trench Coat Edition

Howdy and welcome to the final edition of my Fall Haul from TJMaxx! Today, we are going to be discussing an amazing snake print trench style coat by Stella Luce and I am obsessed. Johnny and I are both extremely partial to animal print clothing and he loves anything cheetah print while I am fond of all things snakeskin. I fell in love with this trench coat as soon as I saw it hanging on an end cap and I cannot wait for the weather to cool down so I can wear it all of the time! Check it out:

Between my husband and I, we have snake patterned clothing and shoes in a variety of colors including blue, grey, red, white, and brown. The majority of my snake print pieces in my wardrobe are shoes and purses so I was very excited to find a coat in my most beloved pattern. While cheetah print is fun, snakeskin is oh so sophisticated and sexy and I always find myself drawn to it time and time again.

Johnny and I have been looking forward to fall since it ended last year because it is our favorite season to dress for. We love sweaters, boots, and coats and if we could we would be dressing for fall all year round. This Stella Luce number is going to be a staple for my fall wardrobe and it will be perfect for work or play. I can picture myself throwing this on and heading to work in the morning or dressing it up for a date day with Johnny.

I live for styling unique outfits and because this coat is such a bold piece, it really doesn’t need much. Skinny jeans, a light long sleeved shirt, heeled boots, and a floppy hat paired with this coat will elevate simple pieces into an OOTD worth blogging about. And, as soon as the cold weather hits: Don’t mind if I do! 😀

What is your favorite animal print? What are you looking forward to this fall? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Must Haves For Your Bedroom

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Must Haves For Your Bedroom

After another long year in the pandemic lifestyle, it’s safe to say that everyone is going to want to hibernate this winter. And, where better to retreat than to your bedroom? Your bedroom should be your ultimate safe haven where you are cocooned in comfort and free to relax and be your best self. For the best in comfy cozy, consider the following in your bedroom:

Plush Bedding:

The best place to start in the bedroom is, of course, with the bed! After shopping for quality bedroom furniture for sale like your mattress and bed frame, it is time to dress the bed with comfortable and soft bedding. You can’t go wrong with light cotton sheets in the summer but during the winter, its best to adorn your bed with warm and toasty flannel or fleece.

Don’t forget comfy pillows both for sleeping and decoration. You might even want to consider a statement piece like a velvet headboard for an over the top luxury feel. That will make your queen sized bed truly fit for royalty!

Items That Sooth:

One of the first things that I bought for my bedroom in my apartment was a Himalayan Salt Lamp and I just love it! It provides the perfect glow to help you relax or set the mood for a scary movie night. Fairy lights or even sphere lights that look like the moon are also great options.

Your bedroom should have items that comfort rather than stimulate you and this can come in all shapes and forms. Think sound machines, your favorite plushie, or a photo album with pictures of your family. The bedroom is where people tend to go when they want to spend some peaceful time with themselves so save your bold pieces like loud artwork or unique patterns for the living room, instead.

Book Nook:

I don’t know about all of you, but reading before bed is one of my favorite parts of my nighttime routine. If you feel similarly, why not create a book nook in your bedroom? Stock a small bookshelf with your favorites or must reads from the library so you always have some reading material handy. A chaise lounge by a window would also be a nice touch. Cue the rain (outdoors or on a sound machine) for the ultimate reading space.

Create Calmness:

Testing out lavender or chamomile products before going to bed is always a good idea! You can sip on chamomile tea while taking a nice hot bath and crawl into bed with a cozy robe and a magazine. Or, how about some lavender scented lotion and pillow spray to help you drift off into the land of nod? Pampering yourself can be so soothing and will help put you in the right state of mind for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Think calm, soft, and soothing and you will have a bedroom fit for the royalty that you are for the most relaxing winter ever!

Must Have Products For Ultimate Relaxation

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Must Have Products For Ultimate Relaxation

With the pandemic still going strong and cold weather on the horizon, there is no better time to turn your home into a relaxation station to keep yourself safe and warm. Today, we are going to look at a few key elements to provide for the ultimate R&R experience from the comfort of your house or apartment. Let’s get to it:

Sound Machines:

Sound machines are an ideal option if you have trouble sleeping or concentrating when working from home. These handy little machines can give you a range of different sounds from white noise to crashing waves and rain falling. Not to mention that they are great for soothing infants! Sound machines can be a perfect replacement for keeping the TV on before bed if you need some noise to fall asleep as it will eliminate the harsh lighting, which is doing you no favors as you try to nod off.

Speaking Of Sleep:

Speaking of sleep, when was the last time that you got a new mattress? Your mattress should be replaced, roughly, every seven years and a brand new one will do wonders for relaxation. Do your research and find a quality mattress for sale so you can sleep peacefully every night. A new mattress combined with a sound machine will surely help you feel more well rested when the alarm goes off in the morning.

Soothing Hobbies:

There are plenty of hobbies that are, easily, more relaxing than others and include everything from knitting and reading to adult coloring books. Engaging in a hobby that promotes mindfulness is a great way to step away from the stress of your day to day life. Spending some quiet time with yourself lost in a good book or creating something beautiful is one of the best ways to spend a snowy day in.

Soft Lighting:

Harsh, bright lighting is never conducive to helping you relax. Of course, brighter lighting in appropriate areas like your kitchen and office are a necessity. However, you can opt for softer, dim lighting in the living room and bedroom to increase your relaxation even more. Dim lights enhanced by twinkling fairy lights or a Himalayan salt lamp will create a lovely ambiance and can allow your body to get in a more zen state come evening time.

Ready, set, relax with the products above to turn your snow days in into much needed R&R time for you!

Fall Haul: T-Shirt Time Edition

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Fall Haul: T-Shirt Time Edition

Hi! I wouldn’t say that I wear T-shirts super often but ever since Johnny and I purchased matching Impractical Jokers Ts, I have been much more willing to incorporate them into my wardrobe. During our shopping trip to TJMaxx, I found two T-shirts that I absolutely could not pass up and I’m sure you can all see why:

Step Brothers is, hands down, my favorite comedy movie EVER and I can’t go a day without quoting it at some point. When Johnny and I were browsing through the men’s section at TJs, this Catalina Wine Mixer T went into my hands as soon as I saw it. This T-shirt speaks to me on nothing short of a spiritual level and I am proud to represent Dale and Brennan! I also cannot wait to snuggle up in my Step Brothers blanket while wearing it:

When I am not sporting my Catalina Wine Mixer T, it will be all about Queen B! Britney Spears has been both mine and my sister’s favorite pop star since we were little. Like many, our hearts broke over the abuse that she suffered under her conservatorship and we want nothing but the best for her. Britney has inspired my sis and I our entire lives and the oversized T I purchased is a tip of my cap to her excellence, talent, and character. We love you, Britney, and have been rooting for you then, now, and always! ❤

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the last of my Fall Haul and keep it posted for an OOTD to introduce some of my purchases as well as my brand new hairdo!

Who is your favorite pop star? What is your favorite comedy movie? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Home Maintenance Chores To Tackle In The Fall 

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Home Maintenance Chores To Tackle In The Fall 

Taking great care of your home involves many different maintenance chores, some of them might be a little boring, but they are important! As the summer comes to a close, there are several essential tasks to complete around the house. To get your home ready for the fall, try tackling these chores:

Bleed your radiators:

If there is trapped air in your radiator, then you’ll find that you get random cold spots across the radiator. Before the weather turns cold, it’s a good idea to bleed your radiators. Look at the top of the radiator to locate the radiator valve. Next, you can use a radiator key, (turning the key counter-clockwise). Keep turning the key until water drips out, this process will release any trapped air.

Inspect your furnace:

The end of the summer is a great time to inspect your furnace. The first step is to look at the filter, if it’s dirty you should replace it. If the filter is dirty, this means that the airflow may be restricted. If the airflow is restricted, less heat can pass through the heat exchanger. The result is that your furnace may get hotter than normal. Over time, this can cause the furnace to fail and shut down.

If you suspect that there is a problem with your furnace you’ll need to call in the professionals. It’s especially important to do this if you notice a burning smell from furnace.

Protect your pipes:

During cold weather, it’s not uncommon for our water pipes to freeze and burst. To prevent this from happening, there are several things you can do to protect your pipes:

  • Use Insulation: To protect your pipes you can purchase pipe insulation, which is usually made from fiberglass, foam, or polyethylene. Some of the best eco-friendly insulation materials include aerogel, denim, or sheep’s wool.
  • Run the faucets: If you leave one tap trickling a small amount, this can ensure that your pipes don’t freeze.

Clean out your gutters:

Now is the perfect time to clean out your gutters. If there’s a build-up of debris, this could cause problems with drainage and cause your roof to leak. If you can’t get on the roof yourself, you can call gutter cleaning services to do this for you. Ensure that there are no cracks in your roof or any shingles that need replacing.

Fertilize your lawn:

If you want a beautiful lawn, then you should definitely fertilize it in the fall. Applying a fertilizer will give your lawn the nutrients it needs and the grassroots will multiply before going dormant. During the winter the roots will store food and you’ll find that you’ll have a lush lawn by the springtime.

Preparing your home for the fall will help you to stay safe, warm, and relaxed. Once you’ve got those chores out of the way you might like to work on your interior design. Fall time is the perfect season to paint in warm colors and add bright accessories. From home maintenance to DIY projects, there are so many ways to create a beautiful home.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

DIY Projects For Your Home

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DIY Projects For Your Home

If you are handy, completing DIY projects in your home is a great way to get creative and save some money. This is especially nice as the holiday season is fast approaching and there are gifts that need purchasing! Today, we are going to discuss some DIY projects that range from a beginner skill set to advanced to spruce up your home and fatten your wallet. Let’s get to it:

Painting:

Of course, you can hire a professional house painter but you can also do it yourself! From painting your house to freshening up a couple of rooms, completing a painting project on your own can be lots of fun. You can get creative with the colors and patterns that you choose and you can even turn it into an event. Gather some friends and have a painting party. Music, pizza, and a movie night afterwards will turn a chore into an absolute blast.

Painting doesn’t just have to be limited to rooms and the exterior of your house. If your walls are looking bare, try your hand at painting your own unique artwork to hang up. You can watch tutorials on YouTube or attend a Paint Night with friends to help you get inspired.

Refurbishing:

Refurbishing old and used furniture is an awesome way to save money and even make money if you’d like to sell your completed pieces on the side. It is also eco-friendly as you can purchase used pieces from a secondhand store and give them a whole new life. From sanding and painting to upholstering and adding on to the existing piece, there are lots of possibilities based on your skill level. You will end up with a one of a kind table or chairs that no one else in the world will have.

Landscaping:

If you have a green thumb, landscaping projects could be the DIY for you. Hiring a landscaping company to do it for you is easy but doing it yourself will be so much more rewarding! You could build your own raised planters, make a fountain out of terracotta pots, or simply lay down that mulch that you have been meaning to do for forever. Spending time outdoors is so good for your mental health and is even better when you are with friends. Garden party, anyone?

While your DIY skills may not be HGTV worthy, it never hurts to try something new. Who knows, you might just end up finding your new favorite hobby!

Prepping Your Home For Winter

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Prepping Your Home For Winter

When the cold weather comes around, there is nothing better than cozying up on the couch with a good book or your favorite show while the snow falls. However, there is much to be done to prepare your home for winter before you can sit back and enjoy. Let’s discuss a few key things that must be done so you can stay warm, comfortable, and safe all winter long:

Check Your Heating System:

Right now is the best time to have a routine maintenance check on your heating system. The longer you wait, the more booked up your local professionals are going to be and you want to make sure your heating is in check well before the super cold weather hits. Schedule a check up ASAP so that any potential problems can be solved quickly and you and your family can stay nice and toasty this winter.

Make Roof Repairs:

One of the most critical things that you can do is get roof rejuvenation before winter. If you are handy, you can examine your roof yourself and check for leaks, cracks, and weak spots. If not, that’s okay too and you can hire a professional team to get everything back in order. You could have the best heating system in the world but that means nothing when all of that glorious warm air is escaping through your rooftop!

Pest Control:

Just as we want to retreat into the warmth when the cold weather strikes, animals do too. There are countless DIY projects that you can undertake to keep your home pest free this winter. Start by looking for entry points in and around your house that little critters can get in through and patch them up accordingly. Mice can squeeze through even the smallest spaces so you must look things over with a fine toothed comb. And, as always, if you are unsure of anything, it is best to call in the local professionals so you can rest easily and safely this winter.

All Of The Extras:

The bitter cold and snow is enough to keep anyone inside during the wintertime so make sure you have plenty to do in your home to keep you occupied! Games, books, streaming services, and literally all of the soup recipes can go a long way on a snow day!

Prepare your home for the winter now so you can hibernate with the best of them until spring!

Fall Haul: For The Lols Hoodie Edition

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Fall Haul: For The Lols Hoodie Edition

Hi!! Johnny and I had to laugh at my Fall Haul from TJMaxx because it was a combination of purchases a teenage boy and a fashionista would make. My haul included lots of amazing business casual and cool weather clothing as well as a few oversized T-shirts (Which you will see tomorrow) and this hilarious hoodie from the men’s section a la The Office. Check it out:

FIRST THINGS FIRST: I will never forgive Netflix for no longer having The Office and Parks & Recreation on their lineup. Johnny and I would watch The Office literally every night before going to bed and we miss it terribly! We also refuse to get the NBC streaming service because we already have way too many. SMH.

SECOND THINGS SECOND: I freaking love this hoodie, lol. As soon as Johnny pointed it out to me, I just had to have it because it is so funny to me. While this is definitely not a hoodie that I can sport at work, it is one that I will be wearing at every opportunity I get. I am usually not one for “silly” purchases as I would rather spend my money on other things but how could I say no to Michael Scott? And, yes, that is what she said!

I bought this hoodie in a men’s small and it fits great as it is slightly longer than being cropped. It will be perfect with my new high waisted jeans from American Eagle and it is So. Freaking. Comfy. Whether wearing it while running errands or lounging about at home, I plan on living in it this fall. I also have a feeling that my Johnny will be borrowing it too! ❤

What is your preferred streaming service? What is your favorite episode of The Office? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fall Haul: Banana Republic Top Edition

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Fall Haul: Banana Republic Top Edition

Hi! The change of the seasons is prime time to go shopping to give your wardrobe an update. Upgrading your wardrobe for the different weather ahead doesn’t have to mean buying a closet full of clothing, rather, just a handful of pieces to make your old things feel new again. For my Fall Haul from TJMaxx, I had two upgrades in mind: Both my fall and business casual clothes.

Today, we will be discussing a Banana Republic spaghetti strap top. While it isn’t ideal for cold weather in any way shape or form, it will be perfect underneath a cardigan when I’m at work! Check it out:

This past trip to TJMaxx was my first time shopping there with Johnny and it was nothing short of an absolute delight. He is an angel for sitting patiently while I tried clothes on and gave a fashion show…. again, and again, and again lol! After a few trips to the fitting room, I wasn’t completely satisfied with what I had picked out in terms of work appropriate clothing. Luckily, I found this floral patterned Banana Republic top while making my final rounds throughout the store. 😀

Although this cami style top will be the best for play during spring and summer, it will serve me well underneath one of my emerald green or mustard yellow cardigans at work. I have never owned anything by Banana Republic before and I considered this top a steal for just ten dollars! I love the shape because it is fun and flirty without being too revealing. My favorite part, though, is the colors. The primary colors of red, yellow, and blue with sweet pops of pink and green against the white background make for the prettiest palette!

Tops like this are great for creating a unique outfit because there are so many different colors to play with. You could match your cardigan to one of the flower colors as mentioned before. OR you could sport a bold pair of shoes to make the colors pop. Red or yellow heeled booties, anyone? Love it!

Have you had a Fall Haul recently? What did you get? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Fall Haul: Ruby Moon Cardigan Edition

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Fall Haul: Ruby Moon Cardigan Edition

Hi! This past weekend I had a trip to my favorite place in the world (TJMaxx) with my favorite guy in the world (Johnny) and it was the best!! This was my first TJMaxx trip with my husband and it was a great success for me and him too. I walked away with lots of new fall and business casual clothes and Johnny got three new Halloween themed button downs. They are awesome! Let’s get started with my Fall Haul by checking out this cheetah print cardigan by Ruby Moon:

For my new job, I work at an actual center and wanted to branch out with more business casual clothes that are still a lot of fun. Both Johnny and I love animal print and when I saw this cardi, I knew right away that it was going to be a keeper. Printed cardigans are a great way to spice up your work wardrobe and I think that I will be living in this one because I am always freezing at the center!

Despite its length, this Ruby Moon cardigan still has a really flattering fit as it is tighter in the arms and torso. As someone who is barely over five foot one, this is important because it is not chunky enough to be overwhelming and offers some shape to it. I can picture myself wearing it for work or play and I like that because I want my clothing to be worn everywhere and not just on the job.

Dressing for fall is all about layering and cardigans or flannels are the best way to accomplish that. Fall outfits are my absolute favorite and I can’t wait to wear this cardi with my new skinny jeans, a basic cami top, and heeled ankle booties! 😀

How do you upgrade your wardrobe during the season change? How do you dress for work? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

New Wine & Lilac Nails

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New Wine & Lilac Nails

Hello!! This past Monday, I had a pretty difficult day at work and was so happy to have been able to spend some time at Elysian Nails getting pampered afterwards. To me, there is nothing better than sitting back and relaxing at the hair or nail salon and my fill couldn’t have come at a better time. As always, I left Elysian feeling like a million bucks with these pretty in purple nails:

When it comes to clothing and colors in general, I am not a huge fan of purple. Not that I don’t appreciate its beauty – it just doesn’t look good on me lol! However, I was feeling inspired by the oxblood nail polish that my friend, Danielle, gave me and was in the mood to try something different. The first polish that caught my eye was the deep wine color and I said “why not?”. For the accent color, choosing the lilac hue was an easy decision because I knew that it would look good and didn’t feel like thinking any more than I had to!

My favorite nail tech no longer works at Elysian, which makes me so sad but, luckily, I think I found a new go to gal with this past fill. My new tech completed my fill in roughly forty minutes and no sooner than I sat down, it felt like I was already done… It was great! 😀

Even though this was a super fast fill, my nails looked absolutely perfect and I loved the color combination that I selected. In fact, I already plan on going a similar route at my next appointment with a dark and light shade of the same color. I’m thinking a dark and light grey next. ❤

What color of nail polish are you rocking? How do you relax after a difficult day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

1,000 Day Streak: Complete!

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1,000 Day Streak: Complete!

Hello everyone and welcome to my 1,000th day of writing in a row here on lifewithlilred!! I am so proud to have accomplished this monumental achievement and here’s to 1,000 more days of daily content on my blog. To celebrate, I will be hosting a giveaway for a twenty dollar amazon gift card and the whole world is included! The rules are simple and there will be one week to complete the following:

  • Follow my blog
  • Share this post
  • Like this post
  • Leave me a comment letting me know that you have done all three
  • Bonus point if your comment links to one of your favorite posts on your blog

It’s that easy, folks!

For 1,000 days straight, Lil Red has been dedicated and oh so motivated to deliver fun and fresh content to my dear friends and readers every day. I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support, which makes all of this more worthwhile than words can say. It means the world to me and I love you all!

What motivates you? What are your writing goals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

LEGO Sailboat Adventure Set

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LEGO Sailboat Adventure Set

Hi! A few weeks ago, Johnny and I had a huge LEGO haul which included our Seinfeld set, a Harry Potter one, and a Sailboat Adventure set that we got FO FREE. After spending a certain amount, we got free shipping and the free set and it was a great deal. We definitely have enough LEGO to keep us occupied for a while but, of course, we are always thinking about the sets that we want next!

This past weekend, we built the Sailboat Adventure set together and it was a blast! It also turned out really good if I do say so myself:

Building LEGO sets with my husband is one of my favorite things in the world and we are so happy to add the little sailboat to our collection. There is nothing better than completing a set together and admiring our handiwork and on top of being tons of fun, it is so nice to work as a team to make something cool to have on display. If only we had a bigger place so we could make our completed sets the crown jewel that they deserve to be!

On deck, we have two Harry Potter LEGO sets to build: The Attack On The Burrow which Johnny got me for our two year anniversary and the Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets. Once those are done, I have my eye on the Hogwarts Astronomy Tower and Johnny would like a pirate ship set. While we are always looking to expand our Hogwarts castle, our Sailboat Adventure set inspired us to begin adding adventure themed sets to our collection. We are thinking pirate ships, islands, and castles. 😀

Although the Sailboat Adventure is the smallest set we own, we have big things in store for it with our plans for an adventure island. I can’t wait!

What do you like to build with LEGO? Who watched LEGO Masters this season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Hi! Guess what?! We are officially THREE DAYS AWAY from my 1,000 post streak and I am so beyond excited! Make sure you keep it posted for a giveaway to celebrate this monumental accomplishment. 🙂 We all know that Lil Red loves to write, but what about my other favorite things? Read on to find out more:

Favorite Drink?

Every day I try to drink a lot of water and bring my travel mug from the Department Of Developmental Disabilities with me everywhere to stay hydrated. This makes me feel less bad about drinking two cans of Diet Coke every morning for a caffeine jolt before work lol! Diet Coke is, hands down, my favorite drink and I could drink it all day. When it comes to adult beverages, I love champagne and my life changed for the better when I learned that you don’t need a special occasion to drink it. 😀

Favorite Non-Writing Hobby:

I have always loved to read and I try to finish at least two books per month. Getting lost in a good book is one of my favorite forms of self care and it’s even better if it is raining outside! I also really enjoy learning different languages and am on a three hundred twenty-five day streak on Duolingo. French is my best language, by far, but it is such fun to try and improve my Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech too!

Favorite Season?

Fall, of course! Every year I look forward to fall time… Mainly for the fashion! I love layering, boots, and breaking out all of my favorite jackets. Fall time activities like apple picking, hiking, and corn mazes are also a blast and I live for haunted houses. I haven’t been in two years due to the pandemic and, sadly, probably won’t get to go this year due to the rises in COVID cases. But I cannot wait to get reacquainted with my favorite haunts when it’s safer.

My first job was actually as an actor at the Carnival Of Horrors and, even though I know a ton of haunted house tricks, I am still terrified at every one I visit!

Favorite Thing About Myself?

Well, I like to think that I’m frickin hilarious. But, my favorite thing about myself is probably my determination. Once I have a goal in mind, I try to stick with it and I wouldn’t be reaching a 1,000 post writing streak without that. Nothing pleases me more than crossing things off of my mental daily “to do” list and that’s what keeps me motivated to continue writing, practicing my languages, and working out every day.

Favorite Sport:

Ice skating! I skated competitively for about ten years and stopped when I was sixteen or so. Prior to the pandemic, I got back into it and lived for my weekly skate sessions. I actually just had my first lesson since the winter of 2020 a few weekends ago and it was amazing… Even though my legs felt like Jello all day afterwards!

When it comes to my favorite sport that I like to watch other than skating, I would definitely say gymnastics. My mind is blown every time I see it so, trust and believe that my brain was exploding during these past Olympic Games.

Favorite Memory:

My wedding!! Getting married this June was so amazing and I love being a wifey. Any time spent with my Johnny is my favorite. I also loved becoming an aunt when my niece was born, graduating from Cuyahoga Community College, and vacationing in Orlando, Florida with my family.

Favorite Game:

My husband and I are avid gamers and I love our weekend game nights together. Word games are my favorite so my preferred game is Scrabble, for sure. Johnny and I also love the game Horrified where you have to save a village from classic movie monsters. In terms of video games, I am still addicted to Animal Crossing and Pokemon Snap – I actually just played both last night! 😀

And, of course, another one of my favorite things is creating content every day for my dear friends and readers. I love you all so much! ❤

What are some of your favorite things? What are your goals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Toy Tips For Your Dog   

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Toy Tips For Your Dog   

A new toy for your dog can be exciting because of all the fun ways they interact with it. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for getting your dog what he needs out of life, but there are some general guidelines you can follow if you’re unsure where to start with choosing the right toys for him. Some examples might include rubber balls or rope tug-of-war games like Runball, which are heavy-duty enough to withstand serious chewing without tearing. Here are some tips on what types of toys you should get for your furry friend:

Don’t Buy Cheap:

Don’t buy any cheap non-breathable rubber toys when buying something for your canine pal. These products often contain chemicals such as lead which could cause serious harm if ingested by our pets. It isn’t worth risking everything, so save yourself some money and buy a nice toy that will last.

Measure Up:

If you are buying a new toy for your dog to play with, then consider their size. A small breed of dogs should not be given large toys because they could potentially choke on them. While the larger breeds may need medium-sized toys that will still provide fun but won’t swallow entirely, so it is important to take this into consideration before making any purchases.

Compatibility:

Dogs are naturally inclined to want to chew. They love it, so toys that encourage this behavior can be a great way of giving your dog an appropriate outlet for his chewing instincts. But not all dogs have the same interests when it comes to playtime. Some will tear through another toy in seconds, while others prefer more interactive activities with their owners or other pets.

Plush Toys:

Another option would be a durable plush toy. Ones that can stand up to your dog’s chewing for a few weeks, at least.

Balls:

For any game involving fetching or throwing, balls provide lots of entertainment value. Dogs love chasing after them too! There are many different kinds available. Like tennis balls, squeaky balls, and even glow-in-the-dark balls if you want something extra special for nighttime playtime.

Give A Variety:

Give at least three different specific toy choices for the dog to play with. This helps them get used to new things and it also makes the experience more fun because they won’t know what’s coming up next. Ensure you know which size toys are appropriate and how much supervision is needed when your dog is playing with them.

^^^ Image by Mat Coulton from Pixabay

Dogs will love any treat you give them, even if it isn’t edible. They just want something they can enjoy playing around with. But, of course, every pup is unique, so don’t expect them all to go crazy over the same toys. As long as you provide them with a good, durable toy that fits their personality or play style, then they’ll have hours of fun playing around and being rewarded for it.

Featured Image By: Katrin B. from Pixabay

What Have We Been Watching?

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What Have We Been Watching?

Hi!! After a long day at work, there is nothing better than sitting down in front of the TV with Johnny and watching all of our favorite shows. We haven’t been watching a huge variety of programs lately because we have been completely addicted to the following:

Criminal Minds:

There was a point in time when Johnny and I couldn’t get enough of Law & Order: SVU. However, we got burnt out from it very quickly and haven’t watched any type of crime related drama since. Fast forward to this past month and change and we are all about Criminal Minds! This show follows the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI and their profiling of the worst of the worst. Each member of the team has their own unique skill set and when put together, they are an unstoppable force.

While this might not be the most uplifting show in the world, there is enough comedic relief to help lighten things up. Not to mention that all of the characters are just so darn likeable! Johnny is partial to David Rossi while I am all about Doctor Spencer Reid. We are about to be four seasons into the show with a whole lot more to go and we have yet to grow tired of it. Every episode is completely different than the last and it keeps us tuning in every evening. There is also nothing more satisfying than figuring out the grand reveal while the BAU solves crimes! 😀

LEGO Masters:

Season two of LEGO Masters has been a hoot and Johnny and I love watching it on Hulu every week. This week’s episode is the series finale and to say we are excited is a severe understatement. The final three consists of all insanely talented teams of brothers and I can’t wait to see who comes out on top. I am really rooting for Caleb and Jacob – they are the absolute sweetest!

My favorite challenge of this season has to be when the teams had to create wearable LEGO fashion in the form of hats. It combined two of my favorite things so what could be better?! The challenges this season have been even bigger and better than the last with suspended builds, withstanding wind, withstanding earthquakes, and a LEGO puppet show. Everyone on the show from competitors to hosts are so likeable and totally hilarious. Will Arnet keeps Johnny and I in stitches! We also love to see such friendly competition among all of the newfound friends. ❤

Impractical Jokers:

To have a laugh before going to bed, Johnny and I always watch Impractical Jokers. Although we have seen every episode multiple times, it seriously never gets old! We are constantly quoting the show and love sporting our Impractical Jokers T-shirts whenever we get the chance. Although each of the four Jokers are really funny, Johnny and I like Joe the best – that man is fearless! My favorite challenge is when they are receptionists at a focus group and have to call out ridiculous names to the waiting room. Is there a Crangis McBasketball here?!

Black Clover:

My current anime of choice, as per my brother’s recommendation, is Black Clover. I am almost done with season one and every time I finish an episode, I am itching to see what happens next. Black Clover reminds both me and my bro of an anime version of Harry Potter. The different squads use magic to help defend the Clover Kingdom from enemies and each character has their own special form of magic. This anime is intense, hilarious, and oh so cool… In fact, I am going to watch an episode as soon as I finish this post. 😀

All of the above shows have kept Johnny and I highly entertained and we can’t wait for more of all of them. We are also very much looking forward to new seasons of What We Do In The Shadows, The Last Kingdom, and You. Okay – I am looking forward to You and best believe I am going to make Johnny watch it! 🙂

What are you currently binge watching? What is one of your favorite shows? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Revival Of The Billiard & Leisure Room   

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The Revival Of The Billiard & Leisure Room   

From the Great Gatsby to Agatha Christie’s crime novels, the most famous novels that defined the 1920s painted a world of entertainment. The U.S. experienced a long period of prohibition between 1920 and 1933. However, the Volstead Act was tricky to enforce, so it’s fair to say that the prohibition didn’t put an end to social hobbies and leisure activities. Homes from the 1920s often contain a stylish hobby space, where party-goers met to play cards, have a pool game, read books, or talk about everyday life around a glass of booze and some tobacco. The original gaming cave existed already one hundred years ago!

Why is it so appealing?

The 1920s were a period dedicated to free-spirited individuals. After the first trauma of the First World War, the 1920s marked a turning point in the world’s mindset. Worldviews changed and, as a result, new lifestyles appeared. For a start, the war enabled women to play a more active role in society. When women started to earn an income, they also discovered the joy of spending their money freely. The inimitable Flappers were born. They loved amusement. They loved games. They celebrated their freedom with songs, dances, and cultural exchanges, along with young men. It’s hard to think of the 1920s without thinking of the independent women of the time, who were not afraid to participate in every aspect of society, including games. Billiard and leisure rooms welcomed both genders in a great get-together party.

Stage the room:

What would a modern, 1920s-inspired leisure room look like? It would be a lovely idea to refer back to the original leisure room by adding subtle Art Deco touches. Art Deco brings back to life all of the glamour of the Roaring 20s, combining bold geometric shapes and luxurious colors. Exuberance with a deep sense of streamlined symmetry rules this unique style that can elevate any room.

You don’t need to build a historic decor from scratch. But you can inject a soft Art Deco feel through simple decorative accents and focal points, from huge geometric frames to glam lighting. You can bring the room together through modern features that can seamlessly blend with the freedom-loving 1920s, such as statement window frames using the Renewal by Andersen custom windows services or gold and animal patterns for your rugs and textiles.

^^^ Unsplash Image

Make it your hobby room:

Now it’s time to give your leisure room a purpose. Granted, a beautiful wooden pool table would be the ideal addition to the space. But not everyone has got a room big enough to host a billiard table comfortably. The good news, though, is that 1920s parties included a lot of self-exploring hobbies that could be done freely from home. Artistic hobbies, such as canvas painting and sculpting, grew in popularity during the Roaring 1920s. The truth is, that these hobbies are just as relevant today. Most of us rediscovered the soothing benefits of painting during the pandemic. When it comes to sculpting, you might prefer a modern and stackable approach, such as using LEGO bricks which let you build anything you can think of without causing a huge mess!

Make it convivial:

If you are not familiar with 1920s party food, you are in for a treat. Appetizers were highly popular during this period, so you can find plenty of inspiration to create a style platter of snacks. Deviled eggs, olive platters, cheese platters, and mixed nuts are also a winning combo. They’re ideal for sharing with friends, and at the same time, they don’t interrupt your hobbies. You can enjoy a cubed cheese skewer with one hand and still carry on with your LEGO construction with the other. Finger food is instantly friendlier and more enjoyable.

Embrace modern gadgets and textures:

Can a 1920s inspired room introduce modern tech without missing the point? The answer is yes. The 1920s were all about embracing modern shapes and technology. The epitome of the period is skyscraper architecture, which was so popular that interior designers also used to refer to the stylized shape of skyscrapers. Therefore, it makes sense to bring some of the most popular technology and trends of the 2020s into your leisure room. From a smart hub to energy-efficient solutions, modern gadgets belong in your stylish get-together room.

The free-spirited 20s are back, and they are here to stay! After a traumatic pandemic experience, it’s time to tap into the mental strength and free-thinking joy of the 1920s. We deserve to have fun again, and nobody managed it better than the Flappers. So get your imaginary Charleston outfit on and create a room that marries style, modernism, freedom, and feel-good hobbies. May the best Flapper win!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

 

 

 

Delivering A Sincere Message To Someone In Your Life   

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Delivering A Sincere Message To Someone In Your Life   

From time to time, we need to talk from the heart. This is because life can be tough, emotional, and the standard pleasantries won’t cut it. For whatever reason, sometimes we may not be so forthcoming with the people we really trust or we might feel that accepting and discussing a truth we have to be out of the question due to our own insecurity.

Perhaps we might have wronged another person without realizing it, only to mature and realize the issue with what took place. Every now and then, we should take stock and see how important certain people are in our lives, avoiding the tendency to take them for granted. Maybe you feel that taking the next step in a relationship is the best way forward, and you want to communicate that as carefully as possible.

Or, most likely, you have your own reasons that we need not guess at, because that’s your private inner purpose that you wish to express in a confidential sense. How do you deliver a message like this with care? In this post, we’ll discuss that and more:

Write A Letter By Hand:

There’s something intimate about writing every word yourself, which is an art that many of us have lost over the last twenty years. Digital communication is immediate and oh so convenient, but we also lose something in that exchange. When someone sees that you’ve written a letter in your handwriting, they know it was important to you and that you took your time to properly format and think of exactly what you were hoping to communicate. Automatically, you add gravitas and sincerity without even considering the context of your message.

Small, Direct, Careful Gifts:

A gift that has been thought about but isn’t too assumptive in its messaging can be very helpful, giving your message that added impact while also showcasing just how much thought you put into it. For instance, Today Flowers provides you access to amazing creations gathered by award-winning florists. A beautiful bouquet of selected flowers can show the amount of thought you’ve put in, while also allowing your recipient to enjoy the beauty and fairly digestible implication. It’s hard not to receive flowers and to feel anything other than goodwill.

Give A Little:

The way that people often connect with one another, especially if relationships might have been strained in the past, is to give a little. Admit fault if you feel you’ve been faulty. Be humble. Don’t try to win or seem like you’re trying to achieve victory over someone else. That’s no way to connect to them. If you give a little, someone else is likely to give a little. There are so many relationships out there right now that are fractured and could be soothed if only one person decided to approach the other with care. It might be that you could be this person.

With this advice, we know you’ll deliver that sincere message with care and clarity.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Better Early Than Never!

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Better Early Than Never!

Hello!!! Question: How early is too early to be thinking about Christmas?! If the answer is the first week of September, then WHOOPS because I have already started my Christmas shopping lol. With over fifteen people that I need to buy prezzies for, I always like to get a jump on my shopping so I am not stuck with one huge bill come December. It is also so nice to be done with holiday shopping early because then I can just sit back and enjoy the season. 🙂

Are you looking to get a head start on your holiday shopping too? Then follow these tips:

Make A List:

I always suggest this but it is so true! I would be nowhere without my “to buy” list and have a Word document that I consult while I online shop. On my list, I name off everyone to shop for with multiple gift ideas per person. Once I have bought the presents for someone on my list, I simply delete their space and there is nothing more satisfying than that! Not only does my list keep me organized but it also assists me with budgeting to help me stay in my comfort zone.

Better Early Than Never:

This is probably the earliest I have ever began my shopping and I’m glad for it. Due to the pandemic, there is no telling how long certain items will take to ship and I like knowing that I will have everything ready to go come Christmas day. There is nothing worse than the anxiety of if something will show up before the holiday and early shopping helps nip that fear in the bud.

If you are planning a customized or commissioned present for someone, I can’t recommend consulting with the business now enough. Local artists and Etsy shops are going to be slammed during the holiday season and they might not have the time to create your gift if you wait too long.

Get Inspired:

When I lack inspiration for gift ideas, I like to think back to what hobbies the person has and what they might need to enjoy it even more. For example, one of my giftees is a grill master so I purchased a wood smoking kit for him to experiment with. Do you know someone with a green thumb? A raised planter box is a great idea so they have even more space to garden with. Is there a coffee enthusiast in your life? How about a customized mug?

I love giving hobby specific gifts because I know that my giftee is going to be able to use it. Once you start thinking in terms of what they like to do in their free time, the present possibilities are endless!

Plan Accordingly:

Getting your holiday shopping done early is great. However, it is smart to look into the return and exchange policies of where you are buying from. If your giftee happens to not like their present, you might not be able to do anything about it once the holiday is over. If the website you’re purchasing from has a return policy that won’t work a couple of months away, try finding the item in store instead. Create a back up plan too in case you can’t find it in store and it gets sold out online.

Also, don’t forget to keep your receipts and gift receipts in a safe space and especially don’t forget where you put them! 😀

It’s not even close to Halloween yet but that doesn’t mean that you can’t think a couple of holidays ahead! Follow the tips above to get an awesome head start on your holiday shopping. 🙂

Are you an early or last minute holiday shopper? What is your favorite holiday? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pikin’ & Grinnin’

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Pikin’ & Grinnin’

Hello! First of all, major props to whomever got the Hee Haw reference of this post title! Second of all, I have been absolutely loving the waterpik that I purchased after my visit to the periodontist last week. During my appointment, I was so pleased to learn that my dental problems had remained stable during my long stint of no check ups thanks to the pandemic. To continue improving the issues, I bought a waterpik as soon as I got home as per the recommendations of the professionals:

I am still getting used to using my new waterpik and literally every review I have read on them was right – it is very messy at first! I have had to resort to laying a bath towel around the sink because the water just gets everywhere. I know that these mini flash floods in my bathroom will come to a halt once I get better at using the waterpik, though, so that is not a deterrent in the slightest.

I also read on the reviews for the waterpik that I bought that it was incredibly noisy but I haven’t found that to be true at all. It has the noise you would expect from a product like this – nothing more, nothing less. Even if it were obnoxiously loud, you can’t beat the price of this waterpik (about seventy dollars) for how well it works and all of the different accessories that comes with it.

This waterpik included five different tips which will help in different ways:

  • Plaque seeker tip: This one needs no further explanation
  • Toothbrush tip: Neither does this one
  • Tongue cleaner tip: Or this one
  • Orthodontic tip: This one is good for people with braces
  • Pik pocket tip: This is the one that I use as it gets deep into the periodontal pockets for an intense clean

I have been using my waterpik with the pik pocket tip every morning and night and my gums have already started to feel better. They are not as tender and I feel them getting healthier with every use. Dare I say it, I am almost looking forward to my next appointments with my dentist and periodontist because this is going to improve my oral hygiene tenfold and I think that they are going to be proud! 😀

Do you use a waterpik? How do you feel about going to the dentist? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & Games: Legend Of Zelda Monopoly Edition

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Fun & Games: Legend Of Zelda Monopoly Edition

Hi! My husband and I celebrated two years of being together on the first of the month and it was definitely the “fun and games” anniversary. I was gifted with a new Harry Potter LEGO set and I gave Johnny the Legend Of Zelda Monopoly and two new Link Amiibos. Johnny and I are avid gamers and we love to play board, video, and card games together. While we have a massive board game collection, Monopoly was one we didn’t have and it made for the perfect gift:

At least one night per weekend, Johnny and I turn it into our gaming time and will stay up late playing, talking, and listening to music. This past weekend, we broke out the Legend Of Zelda Monopoly and it was an absolute hoot. If you couldn’t tell by now, that is my Johnny’s favorite series of games so he was over the moon over this gift. I was so happy that he loved it and I loved beating his butt at it! 😀

During our game night, we also played the Seinfeld Party Game About Nothing and it was such a fun take on classic trivia. The first player to get to seventy-five points by answering a variety of different questions wins… And, yes, I beat Johnny at that too!! Whether we are having an at home game night or one with friends, both of these games are sure to be a hit and I can’t wait to play them again. 🙂

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

Jean Queen

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Jean Queen

Hi! This past weekend, Johnny and I had a super cute day date to the mall because I needed new jeans in a bad way. While I am partial to clothes shopping at TJMaxx, the jeans and shorts from American Eagle are simply the best so heading to Summit Mall was the move.

I love AEO for their pants selection because they tend to always have a regular rise option, which is ideal for me because I am not a fan of high waisted anything. Naturally, this time they didn’t have one regular rise pair of jeans so I had to step out of my comfort zone with a “super high rise” skinny:

Now, you might find yourselves asking why I went with a super high rise pair if I hate high waisted so much and, honestly, I didn’t even plan on trying these on. I’m glad I gave them a shot, though, because they weren’t that bad. The rise on AEO’s super high rise hit about an inch below my belly button and I can live with that. Anything higher would have been a definite no go because it is not the most flattering style on me.

Mine and Johnny’s motto is that you can never have enough black skinny jeans and that is literally all we wear! I went with a nondistressed pair, which will be great for work. But, I am most excited for the distressed pair I purchased with rips all the way up to the mid thigh. Shockingly enough, I can’t say that I have ever owned a distressed pair of jeans before because I have never found an option that I liked enough. I have a feeling that I will be wearing them all of the time… In fact, I have them on right now! 😀

Super high or regular rise, American Eagle is the most when it comes to jeans. They also had some fabulous fall clothes for all of you back to school shoppers out there!

What is your preferred jean rise? Which store has the best jean selection? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Buying A Fixer-Upper? Fix These Essentials First!   

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Buying A Fixer-Upper? Fix These Essentials First!   

For some people, one of the low-cost ways into becoming a home owner is by purchasing a property that needs some remodeling: a “fixer-upper”. As you can appreciate, such houses are cheap because they often need extensive repairs and updates to become habitable again. You’re probably thinking of buying a fixer-upper as your first property project. If that’s the case, make sure you fix these essential items first:

Roof:

The first thing you need to do is have the roof inspected. If there are broken or missing roof tiles, for example, rainwater can cause a lot of damage to internal ceilings and walls. You may need some minor repairs or it might transpire that you need a new roof. The only way you will know whether the roof is okay or not and the extent of any required repairs is by having a professional go up and inspect everything.

Plumbing:

The roof isn’t the only part of your fixer-upper that you need to check and repair. You’ll also need to find out whether there are any issues with the plumbing in your property. Do any water pipes leak, especially near faucets or underneath wooden flooring? Are the waste pipes intact and clear of obstructions from the bathroom and kitchen? What about the pipes going to heating radiators and the radiators themselves?

You’ll also need to check that the main water can enter without any problem and, similarly, that wastewater goes to sewage pipes without any blockages, leaks, or other issues.

Heating System:

Whether you plan to live in the house or want to fix it and sell it for profit, you need to make sure that the heating system in the property is working. For example, you’ll need a heating engineer or plumber to check that your furnace is operating as expected. If the house has a combined HVAC system, you’ll need an expert to check that it’s fully operational. In an old, dilapidated home, it’s probably cheaper to have a new HVAC system installed instead of trying to fix the existing one.

Electrical Wiring:

The trouble with electrical wiring, irrespective of whether it gets fitted to a domestic or commercial property, is that it degrades over time. The plastic insulation on wires can break down or even melt in some cases. Old switches and sockets can be challenging to operate and might easily break due to their age. If you doubt that the electrical wiring in your fixer-upper isn’t safe and reliable, you need to have an electrician inspect all of the wiring, switches, and sockets.

Again, it can sometimes be more cost-effective to have an upgrade instead of trying to repair what’s already in place. Note that you may need to plaster walls and ceilings if you have a full rewire at your property.

Windows and Doors:

Lastly, you want to ensure that the house you are buying keeps warm air inside and cold air outdoors. Plus, you want it to be safe and secure when there is no one at home. With that in mind, you should check if the windows and doors need repairing or replacing.

Once you’ve completed the above essential checks and repairs, you can then concentrate on other areas like decorating. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Back On The Ice!

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Back On The Ice!

Hi! About a year and a half prior to the start of the pandemic, I got back into ice skating regularly and having lessons with my childhood coach. I looked forward to my weekly lessons so much and I had a blast working on all of my old jumps, spins, and footwork as well as learning how to ice dance. It felt so good to be back on the ice and it did wonders for both my mental and physical health.

Needless to say, I was simply devastated when the pandemic hit and I could no longer skate. Not only did I miss my weekend me time but I was making such good progress which I knew would be lost without hitting the ice. I would do off ice workouts to keep myself sharp but there is nothing better than actually skating!

Now that I am fully vaccinated and settled with my new job, I am so happy to report that I had my first skating lesson this past weekend. It was my first time back on the ice since January of 2020 and it was the absolute best.

Stepping back on the ice after so long was a wonderful feeling and, although I completely forgot all of my ice dances, I was able to pick up right where I left off with everything else. Chalk it up to muscle memory but my coach and I were both incredibly surprised that I was nailing my different jumps and spins on the first go! This made me feel so proud of myself and even more motivated to continue to improve.

By the end of my hour session, I was completely exhausted. Off ice workouts are great but it pales in comparison to the real thing! If I could, I would go skating every single day and even though I was worn out from my session, I wanted to go back on the ice again after a much deserved break!

I cannot wait for my next practice and am so eager to learn new things, improve the old, and relearn all of my ice dances! ❤

Do you play any sports? What is your favorite way to workout? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pearly Whites

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Pearly Whites

Hi! Ever since I had an oral surgery gone wrong close to three years ago, I have had a HUGE fear of the dentist. But, let’s be real, I’ve always been kind of afraid of it and instead of facing my fears, I just wouldn’t go. In the beginning of February 2020, I finally worked up the courage to see a periodontist and had a handful of appointments with him. Then, the worst of the pandemic hit and I hadn’t been back since.

Although I hadn’t been to see the periodontist, I worked hard to keep up my oral hygiene with an electric toothbrush and tried my best to at least keep my problems stable. However, going so long without having any type of check up brought me back to my ambivalence of ever returning. Which is why I am proud to say that I actually had my first appointment with my periodontist since the pandemic this past week! 😀

You guys have no idea how nervous I was for this appointment because of my phobia in general and I was extremely worried that my issues had worsened. Which is why I am even prouder to say that thanks to my improved oral hygiene, the problems that I went in for had remained stable!! My worst nightmare would have been hearing the professionals say “What happened?!” so to hear that I had been doing as good as I could have been was such a big relief.

While the issues with my gums are by no means great, I am so motivated to continue making it better after this appointment. I have cleanings scheduled with my regular dentist and my periodontist. I also purchased a waterpik as per their recommendation as soon as I returned home. I like to think that even if the appointment didn’t go well, I still would have done all of that but it would definitely have made it much scarier.

I was all but traumatized after my surgery gone wrong and I think anyone would have been if they couldn’t eat for a month. I still can’t look at a bottle of Ensure without having flashbacks! But I am so happy that I am on the right track to keep improving and I plan to stay on it, no matter what my fears are.

I think I will always be somewhat afraid to go to a dentist or periodontist but this is a great first step in, at least, lessening my phobia a little bit. In fact, I might even be a little excited to keep going back and I feel hopeful that I will continue to make improvements. GOOD FOR ME! 🙂

What are you afraid of? How do you face your fears? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Last Thing He Told Me By Laura Dave Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Last Thing He Told Me By Laura Dave Edition

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller by Laura Dave called The Last Thing He Told Me – without giving any spoilers away, of course. This book kept me on the edge of my seat with twists and turns on every page and an ending that almost made my cry. I simply could not put it down and devoured it in less than a week! Now, let’s get to it:

Hannah and Owen have been married for about a year and everything is going picture perfect. They live in a charming houseboat with Owen’s teenage daughter, Bailey, in Sausalito, California and Hannah constantly wonders how she got so lucky. Even though Bailey is not particularly thrilled over the relationship!

Hannah thinks that she knows everything there is to know about Owen until he doesn’t return home from work. Instead of calling, he has a note delivered to their front door with the simple message of “Protect her.” on it. Shortly after Hannah receives the note, we learn that the CEO of the tech company that her husband works for has been indited for major fraud and embezzlement. Fast forward a few days later and Owen has seemingly disappeared without a trace… That is, except for the huge bag of cash he left in Bailey’s locker at school.

As if Hannah didn’t have enough to stress about, the FBI and U.S. Marshals are hot on her trail and she knows that she needs to act fast to save herself, her step daughter, and husband. With the unlikely help of Bailey, they begin to uncover dark secrets of Owen’s past that could put all of them in unspeakable danger. This begs the question of if Hannah and Bailey really even knew him at all.

The Last Thing He Told Me was a fast paced, urgent read because every twist that occurred put everyone closer to being in harm’s way. This is why I couldn’t stop reading if I tried and it was definitely a nice change of pace from the lackluster Such A Quiet Place, which I finished recently. The Last Thing He Told Me also offered a story line that was incredibly unique which made trying to figure out the grand reveal pretty difficult. There were some things I got right and others that I missed and that made it even better.

What I liked the most about The Last Thing He Told Me were all of the different emotions that I felt while reading. Hannah and Bailey’s anxiety was palpable and they were both so easy to root for as they were thrown into such a life altering situation. I felt bad that Hannah’s fairy tale was cut short and awful that the only parent Bailey has left had disappeared off the face of the Earth. This made all of their discoveries and final heart wrenching sentence even more triumphant to the point that I was almost moved to tears.

I really can’t go into detail about Owen’s past because it would ruin the point of reading this book. I can tell you, however, that if you like a good thriller, then The Last Thing He Told Me is definitely worth the read. I am going to award it with an eight out of ten star rating. Laura Dave delivered with flawed but insanely likeable characters and a book that will keep you guessing until the very end. I highly recommend it!

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

 

 

Bath & Body Works September Freebie

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Bath & Body Works September Freebie

Hi! Treating myself to my favorite bath and body care is one of my favorite things to do, which is why I love shopping with Bath & Body Works. When you shop their sales or their amazing semi annual sale, you can score the best deals and I always look forward to replenishing my beauty care hoard with them. What’s more, they are constantly sending coupons in the mail for freebies and percentages off your purchase. This past week, I picked up this super handy September freebie:

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no better freebie than a pocket sized hand sanitizer! When it came to picking out which scent I wanted for my hand sani, it was important to me to find one with a fairly neutral scent. The last hand sanitizer by B&BW that I picked out years ago was a fall fragrance but it was so overly pungent that I never wanted to use it. While there were more exciting scents to choose from, I ended up with Be A Good Human, which is a simple citrus fragrance.

This pocket sized hand sanitizer is ideal for being on the go since it fits so comfortably on your person or in your purse. Although it was an inexpensive freebie, I was so happy with it and thought that it was a great idea on B&BW’s part. I will definitely be using my Be A Good Human sanitizer often and plan on purchasing it again once I run out!

What is your favorite Bath & Body Works scent? Which store offers the best freebies and promotions? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fall Is In The Air

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Fall Is In The Air

Hi! I am not the biggest coffee drinker any more and prefer my morning Diet Coke to give me a caffeine jolt before my work day. However, when Starbucks introduces their fall flavors back on the menu, I always just have to treat myself to at least one of them per year! I can take or leave their Pumpkin Spice Latte because apple is my all time favorite fall flavor. So, when I learned that there was an Apple Crisp Iced Macchiato available I couldn’t wait to give it a shot:

Nothing feels more fall than a seasonal drink from Starbucks and I decided to have my yearly fall beverage during my break at work. I was ready for all things caramel apple but, unfortunately, I wasn’t too blown away by the Apple Crisp Macchiato. It was tasty, yes. Sadly, it just wasn’t apple-y enough! I think I talked it up so much in my head and with my sister that anything less than a super apple coffee drink just wouldn’t cut it. -_-

I will say, though, that the last few sips of the drink were magnificent because it tasted exactly like my favorite fall candy – the caramel apple suckers. It was just getting to that point that was the problem, lol! I am also going to be the first one to admit that I definitely could have done with getting a Grande sized drink rather than the Venti. All of that caffeine made me so jittery and HOT at work and I am normally freezing all of the time. Such a rookie mistake!

Was this my favorite drink ever? No. But it was pretty good. Now, I will just be eagerly awaiting my yearly Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks during the Christmas season. 😀

What is your favorite drink from Starbucks? What is your favorite seasonal flavor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Avoid Blogging Burn Out

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How To Avoid Blogging Burn Out

Hi! In thirteen short days, I will complete my 1,000 day writing streak on lifewithlilred and I am SO beyond excited! One of the questions that I often get asked, especially as my blog has been going strong for almost seven years now, is how I avoid burn out when it comes to writing. So, today, I thought that I would go over my tips and tricks that help to keep myself fresh and inspired so I can sit down and write every day. Let’s get to it:

It’s All Good:

Are my blog posts always the most insightful? No. Are my pictures on my page the best? Thanks to my old school phone, still no. But do I let those factors stress me out? Definitely not! I write purely for the joy of writing, which is why all of the extra things are not even on my radar. Of course, it’s important for your blog to look nice and presentable but the bells and whistles can get you distracted from the main goal of content creating if you stress about them. Take a breath, relax, and let the words on your posts do the talking.

Keep Your Motivation Up:

I write every day strictly because I want to and that’s what keeps me waking up extra early to blog before work. I want to check in with my readers and friends and I want them all to have daily content to look forward to. This gives me tremendous drive and I wouldn’t be nearing a 1,000 day writing streak without it.

Setting goals for yourself or simply crossing “blogging” off of your to do list every day could be motivating enough. But, if it isn’t that’s okay too! Writing should be a fun activity and not something that you feel like you have to do. If you are feeling burnt out or that you are running out of content, it is always a good idea to take a few days off and then try again. Have a breather, find content inspo, and blog later with a clearer head. There is never any shame in that. ❤

Newsflash:

One of the main pressures that writers put on themselves is having absolutely groundbreaking content and I am here to tell you that you don’t need it! While ultra profound posts are great, that isn’t why your readers keep coming back to you. They visit your page again and again because they like you and feel a connection through your writing. This is extremely comforting to me and, therefore, it makes me feel comfortable with posts where I just have something silly or random to say. Remember, writing becomes more of a chore than a joy when you are too hard on yourself.

It’s The Little Things:

I struggle with writer’s block just as much as anyone and a surefire cure for it is to think outside of the box. You don’t need a major event or a bunch of vacation pics to have a good post. Rather, always keep your eyes open for the little things that happen throughout your day because the content is there if you pay attention. When your blog is a healthy mix of this, that, and the other, it keeps your readers excited to tune in every day because they can’t guess what will be posted on your page next.

For me, blogging on lifewithlilred is all about keeping it footloose and fancy free. This helps eliminate the pressure, keeps my motivation high, and makes me love writing even more every day! ❤

What are some of your tips and tricks when it comes to blogging? What motivates you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Prepare For A New Puppy

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How To Prepare For A New Puppy

Adding a new addition to the family is an exciting time. A new puppy is bound to please the children as well as bring joy to the adult’s life. However, it can also be a lot more time and energy-consuming for adults. Although young children can care for and play with the new pup, it will likely not be their responsibility to take them for long walks, train them not to chew the sofa, and feed them at the right hours. If you are new to having a puppy and want some guidance, here are some tips.

Make sure their breeder is reputable:

If you are not rescuing your pup, then making sure that he or she comes from a reputable breeder is key. You will want to make sure that the puppy has had a caring and secure upbringing until they come into your home. Also, having a pup from a reputable breeder will ensure that they are free of illnesses and are as happy as can be. No matter if you are looking for a reputable Havanese breeder or Dachshund, you can find out more online as well as discover the story behind their owners while you do your research.

Prepare your home:

Before your new pup enters the home, you will want to set up a dedicated sleep and eat area so that they can settle in as soon as possible. Your dog might have had a long journey and need some food when they arrive. Thus, if you have somewhere ready for them, then they can eat and feel at home quickly. An area that is secure and warm is the best. You will want them to feel safe when they first arrive at your home and it will help them settle in.

Get their vaccines:

When a pup is young, they will need vaccines before they head out into the world. No matter if you plan to explore with your dog or go hiking with your dog, they will need to be protected from germs and disease. You will be able to attain these vaccines at any vet to help best protect your pup.

Consider puppy gates:

Puppies have a tendency to roam around a new home and explore. It is within their nature to be playful and this may result in them chewing through your favorite shoes and clothes. Putting up puppy gates will help limit them to certain areas. Gates are a great way of training the pup about where they should and should not go in the house. It will also keep them safe and away from any dangerous rooms or objects.

Likewise, you should make sure that your gates and fences are secure in the garden. Your pup will love to play in the yard and if you leave them alone for five minutes and the fence isn’t secure, you could put your puppy’s safety at risk.

Follow the tips above to keep the new addition to your family protected and happy!

Featured Image By: Karen Warfel from Pixabay

Top Tips For Getting Started With Exercise

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Top Tips For Getting Started With Exercise

Physical activity will not only help you to lose weight, but it can also improve your mental health, sleep, and energy levels while decreasing the risk of developing chronic health conditions. Getting started with exercise is the hardest part. Once you are in the game, however, it is a life-changer. Here are five top tips to help you get over the hardest hurdle and get started with your new exercise routine today:

1 – Set a goal:

Setting goals can be a useful tool when you are getting started with your fitness journey. Goals enable you to stay on track and keep focused and motivated. Start by identifying what your overall aim is. This should be unique to you and not relevant to anyone else. Do you want to run 5k? Do you want to lose weight? Build muscle? Achieve a chin-up? There are countless goals to choose from. Take some time to find out what you want to do and write it down. Next, you need to identify what it will take to get there. While mapping this out, make sure that you are realistic, define a time frame and attach smaller steps to get there. This will make it much more manageable.

2 – Find a program:

Once you have identified your goals, then the next best way to get started and reach them is to find a program that will help you get there. If you are new to fitness, going in blind will only leave you feeling lost and stuck. There are many programs to choose from, and this article explains a popular push/pull/legs (PPL) routine used by many bodybuilders.

3 – Equipment:

You shouldn’t just buy any equipment. Your equipment should match your goals and your program. Some of the most commonly used exercise equipment are adjustable dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, TRX cables, punching bags, jump rope, and a mirror. There are many body weight exercises, but to achieve bigger goals, you may need to invest in equipment to help get you there. When investing in new equipment, make sure you learn how to use it properly and safely.

4 – Schedule:

Consistency is key when it comes to working out. Creating a realistic workout schedule will help you to stick to your exercises and reach your goals much quicker. Use a calendar, diary, or even an app on your phone and take your workout schedule as seriously as you would a doctor’s appointment. The more you stick to your schedule, the easier it is to stick to your new routine.

5 – Monitor your progress:

Monitoring your progress (on a weekly, not daily basis) allows you to stay motivated as you see yourself improve in certain areas. By checking in regularly, you can see what is working and what is not, and adjust your schedule accordingly.

Getting started with exercise is the hardest part. Incorporate these tips to help you get over the biggest hurdle and create a sustainable new routine!

Featured Image By: Pexels

LEGO Seinfeld Set

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LEGO Seinfeld Set

Hello! Johnny and I recently had a huge LEGO Haul that included some new Harry Potter sets and, most importantly, a set of Jerry’s apartment from Seinfeld. We are both huge fans of the show and we just had to buy it as a crowning jewel of our apartment!

When I returned home from work and an outing last week, I was so surprised to see that Johnny had completed the set while I was away as a surprise. Why didn’t we build it together, you might ask? Check out these pics and allow me to explain:

For my birthday last year, Johnny gifted me with the Clock Tower Harry Potter LEGO set. This was my first experience of building with LEGO in my entire life and, let’s just say it didn’t go very well at first. The entire beginning of this set involved incredibly small bricks and I just couldn’t put two and two together with my acrylics. I got so frustrated because I assumed that this was all LEGO was and what was the fun in that if I couldn’t do it?

I left Johnny to complete all of the small accessories and when bigger bricks finally came into play, I was elated to find that I could build with them with no problem. Now, whenever Johnny and I build with LEGO, I take care of all of the big parts of the build and he handles all of the small bricks and details. Our system works beautifully and it makes what was originally impossible for me to do a hobby that I can’t get enough of.

As you can see from the Seinfeld set, it is basically all small bricks and Johnny and I knew that it would be one that he would have to build on his own. Once I returned home from my day to see it in all of its glory on the coffee table, I was blown away because the set it absolutely perfect.

One of the things that Johnny and I love the most when it comes to LEGO are the small surprises that are included in each set. We were in hysterics over the LEGO pictures of The Kramer portrait and George’s boudoir shot and can’t get over the fact that Kramer has his own “Coffee Table Book”. The Festivus Pole in the left corner is also a nice touch and there is even a picture of a LEGO Larry David on the fridge! 😀

While there is nothing better than building a LEGO set with Johnny, I so appreciate that he spared me the frustration of attempting to help with the Seinfeld set, lol. Unfortunately, we have had no such luck in finding a house to rent. But, when we eventually do, we can’t wait to have more room to display our completed sets and, of course, build more! ❤

What is your favorite thing that you have built with LEGO? Does anyone watch LEGO Masters? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Thinking About Baby Names? Think About These Tips!

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Thinking About Baby Names? Think About These Tips!

Names are important, but what do they mean? Choosing a name for your child may seem like one of the most challenging parts of being pregnant (aside from labor, of course). Choosing a name for your baby should be based on what is important to you. Are you looking for something unique, traditional, or somewhere in between? Although we can’t choose a baby’s name for you, you could choose to use a name generator, pull your favorites from a hat, or choose a family name. You may also want to follow some of these tips:

What Potential Does The Name Have For Growth?

Even though you’re naming a baby, it’s important that the name you choose can grow with him or her beyond infancy. You may think your baby name is really cute…but can you imagine it on an adult? Practice saying it aloud and if it feels any way other than perfect, you might want to reconsider.

What Is The Popularity Of The Name?

If you hear someone call out your name in a crowd, have you ever realized they aren’t actually speaking to you? Choose a name that is popular for your little one and you may experience this problem. There are numerous ways to find out what names are popular, so do not worry! One last thought, popular names are usually loved by their owners!

Would You Like A Unique Name?

Some parents may choose a completely unique name for their baby in order to avoid popularity altogether! When it comes to this approach, it might be best to try it out first. If you go to a coffee shop, tell the barista the name you want. Do they sound like they are calling it out when they do so? Were they wrong about the pronunciation? The spelling was correct? Finding out if your child might experience difficulties with a name that sounds “too different” in later life is easy to discover. You shouldn’t feel ashamed of being original, though!

Are You Interested In Honoring A Family Member?

Pass on the name of an influential family member as a wonderful way to honor them! As a child, did you have a favorite grandparent? Your baby could be named after her in honor of her legacy. You can also use a family name as inspiration.

Do You And Your Partner Agree?

Finding a name that you both like isn’t easy – much less one that your partner also loves! When it comes to naming, it’s important to be on the same page. You might consider this compromise if you are having trouble making up your mind: One parent names the first baby, then the other names the second. Or one names the first, and the other names the middle.

Think creatively and a bit logically too and you will figure out the perfect name for your little one!

Featured Image By: Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

Off Ice Work Out OOTD

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Off Ice Work Out OOTD

Hi! In my youth, I figure skated competitively for about ten years and after calling it quits, I still loved going skating just for fun. Prior to the pandemic, I got back into having regular lessons again with my childhood coach and lived for my weekly skate sessions. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to skate for the past year and a half because of my job as I work with such high risk people.

I am so happy to say that this weekend, I will have my first skating lesson since the start of the pandemic and I can’t wait! To keep myself in skating mode, I have been doing off ice work outs so I don’t lose my edge. This past weekend during my exercise routine, I was able to sport the most amazing pair of shorts I have ever owned by Elite Sports and Born Tough. Take a look at some pics from my Off Ice Work Out OOTD and let’s discuss:

Who? What? Wear?

Working out in my small apartment can be pretty difficult because my husband and I don’t have a lot of free space. To remedy this, I cleared out a corner in my home office so I can continue on with my push up regimen and off ice training. Without the luxury of a home gym, it’s all about working with what I have and, let me tell you, moving my chaise lounge and all of my odds and ends in the office was a work out in itself!

When it comes to figure skating, it isn’t just about training on ice but off ice too. Every week, I try to set aside some time to work on my jumps, spins, and foot work on solid ground. I also really enjoy practicing in my friend’s pool or the one in my apartment community for some added resistance. While this is nowhere near as fun as being on the ice, I am proud of myself for keeping up with this routine and I know it will only help to make me an even better skater.

No work out is complete without the right clothes, of course, and that is why I am so in love with my new shorts by Born Tough. Not only do they look super cool with the visible compression layer but they feel it too as they are so lightweight. Breathable clothing for working out is an absolute must and it is especially important in my apartment because my air conditioning unit in the upstairs loft works minimally, at best. I am definitely looking forward to the cooler weather so I am not working out in my own personal sauna!  

Whether you’re working out at home, in the gym, or on the ice give it your all and put your best face forward. And, as always, put your best outfit forward too with the awesome athletic clothing from Born Tough!

Do you play any sports? What is your work out routine like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Our Two Year Anniversary!

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Our Two Year Anniversary!

Hello!!! Today is a special, happy day because it is mine and Johnny’s two year anniversary of couplehood! We are also fast approaching three months of being married. 🙂 Two years ago today, Johnny and I made our relationship “Facebook official” and we have been together almost every day since. It has been the best adventure of my life and every day I am excited for what is in store for us next. In these next few weeks, I predict it will be lots of LEGO building thanks to our anniversary gifts! 😀

Now, let’s go down memory lane with some of my favorite pictures of us:

^^^ I could go on forever!

Although Johnny and I agree that being married doesn’t feel any different than our relationship felt before, we both freaking love being married! We truly have never left the “honeymoon phase” from when we first started dating and it makes each moment spent with him special. In fact, I still get butterflies whenever I see him and it is the best thing to come home to him every day after work.

While I love our date days more than I can say, my favorite times are spent in our apartment enjoying each other’s company. There is nothing better than sitting down with him after cooking dinner, tuning into our “programs”, and spending the evening talking and laughing. And, believe you me, we never are hurting for things to laugh about because we could bring up a quote from a show that we watched when we first started dating and are instantly in stitches… Much to everyone else’s annoyance! 😀

Being married to Johnny makes every day a good one and I never take that for granted. It always feels like a sunshiney day with him no matter what weather Ohio serves to us in the given hour lol! Here’s to our permanent honeymoon phase and a lifetime of happiness. ❤

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

Self Care Hobbies That Can Be Done From Home

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Self Care Hobbies That Can Be Done From Home

Hobbies that can be done from home are so much more likely to be practiced often. And if they are much more likely to happen, then it can be such a good thing for your self care and mental health. Looking after yourself and finding something that you love to do, outside of work or school is important. So with that in mind, here are some hobbies that you can try from home to help you relax. Which are you going to try first?

Knitting:

Knitting is a wonderful hobby to try. The reason being, is that it is not only a mindful and relaxing activity, but it also gives you an end result. Want to create a scarf or make something for your friend’s new baby? Then get knitting. Seeing that you have created something by yourself can be a real confidence boost.

Painting:

Painting is something that can be really relaxing and mindful, and you don’t need very much equipment to get you started. You can go wherever your imagination takes you or take inspiration from your favorite artist or pieces of artwork. You could look here for some inspiration: https://davidhartgalleries.com.au/pro-hart/. You could choose paint, acrylics, watercolors, chalks, or other mediums, it is all about being creative and making it up as you go.

Baking Bread:

Another hobby that is practical, as you get something good to eat at the end of it, but that is calming and relaxing at the same time. Baking bread in a traditional way, such as by kneading the dough by hand and waiting for it to rise can be therapeutic and so, so rewarding. You can get creative with the types of bread and the flavors like sourdough, which will need a starter, as stated here: https://feastingathome.com/sourdough-starter/. So there are a lot of options for you to play around with.

Reading:

If you don’t think that you have much time for reading, then you might not have been putting as much emphasis on it as you have in the past. Reading can be pure escapism, as well as a way to learn new things. If you want to read more, then block out the time in your schedule and it will make sure that it happens.

LEGO:

Building with LEGO is not just for kids! You can get proper sets and kits to create something as it is meant to be or you can use what you have to create anything else that you can imagine. Some kits can take a while to build, so it can be a real labor of love. The perfect solution when you’re looking for something to do to relax at the end of the day.

Everyone needs a hobby to enjoy so why not try some of these ideas? Have fun!

Featured Image By: Pixabay