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

Lil Red’s Book Club: Such A Quiet Place By Megan Miranda Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Such A Quiet Place By Megan Miranda Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Without giving any spoilers away, of course, we are going to be discussing a thriller called Such A Quiet Place by Megan Miranda. Was it the best book I have ever read? No. Was it the worst? Still no. Now, let’s get to it:

Hollow’s Edge is a beautiful neighborhood where everyone knows everyone. The home owners consider themselves a family and you can often find them at each other’s places having coffee and barbecues or lounging together at the community pool. Not only is their free time spent with each other but their work lives also mingle as many of the neighbors are employed at the local college. It is a picture perfect place for thirty somethings to truly begin their adult lives with family or blossoming careers. However, if we know anything about thrillers, we know that Hollow’s Edge is anything but picture perfect.

A year and a half ago, the community was turned upside down by the murders of Brandon and Fiona Truett via carbon monoxide poisoning. With the utmost cooperation from the Hollow’s Edge residents, twenty-five year old Ruby Fletcher was convicted of murder and sent to prison. The neighborhood was completely shaken and everyone tried to move back to some sense of normality. That is, until Ruby’s charges were dropped after she served fourteen months thanks to an excellent lawyer and new evidence.

After being released from prison, Ruby waltzes back into Hollow’s Edge as if nothing happened. She invites herself back into the home she shared with her old roommate, Harper, and begins plotting her revenge for the wrongful conviction. Her erratic behavior frightens the community and they are sure that a murderer is walking freely around their tight knit neighborhood.

The people of Hollow’s Edge try their best to ignore Ruby but it is with much difficulty with every twist and turn she presents. And, when she is reported dead after a Fourth of July party, it becomes impossible. Are there two murderers in the neighborhood? Or was Ruby’s death just collateral for desperate community members trying to save face? Read Such A Quiet Place to find out!

Given the description, you would think that Such A Quiet Place would be right up Lil Red’s alley because I love a good thriller. And I did like this book. The story line was different than anything I had read before and that, in itself, is a huge plus. The grand reveal wasn’t the grandest ever, though, and I had figured it out well before the book was over despite all of the red herrings. While I do enjoy solving the major twist in thrillers, I like being completely blindsided better.

Megan Miranda’s writing style didn’t help the cause, either. This is not to say the book was poorly written because it wasn’t. However, I never got a deeper understanding of any of the characters because it was always skirted around with their outward cattiness. The book wasn’t boring, per se, but it’s not much fun to read about an entire neighborhood of people who are exactly the same.

I can’t say that I particularly cared for any of the characters in Such A Quiet Place. Although they were all pretty shitty people, it is nice to have someone to root for in a book and I just didn’t feel that connection to any of them. So, even when the plot twist finally revealed itself, I still felt underwhelmed.

Such A Quiet Place is a read that you could take or leave and I am going to award it with a five out of ten star rating. This thriller really didn’t do much for me but I did like the unique story line. Whomp whomp.

Which book 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

Making Your Blog The Best It Can Be

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Making Your Blog The Best It Can Be

Hi! My 1,000th day of writing on lifewithlilred is fast approaching so there is no better time than the present to talk about some more of my favorite blogging tips and tricks that have helped get me to this point. Obviously, I love to write or this crazy long streak wouldn’t be possible. If you are not passionate, then it is going to be difficult to sit down at the computer every day to create a blog post.

Just as importantly, I love the blogging community and my amazing friends and readers and this encourages me to keep coming up with daily content for them. Today, we are going to discuss some of my favorite ways to help strengthen your blogosphere to make your blog the best it can be. Let’s get to it:

Communication Is Key:

This may seem like an obvious one but you would be amazed by how many people leave comments or emails unanswered and this is a huge no no! The foundation of your blogosphere will be very flimsy, indeed, if you ignore these communications because it is what keeps readers coming back.

Once you start a dialogue with your commenters, the real blogging fun begins because it is a great way to make new friends! In fact, one of my best friends is from the blogging world and it all started with commenting back and forth on each other’s pages. ❤

Don’t Be Vague:

I have always considered my blog to be my online journal, which is why a lot of my posts feel so personal as it is coming straight from me and my experiences. Of course, you should only post what you are comfortable with. As far as what you are writing about, don’t spare any details! While some vague posts are okay, like if you are announcing something exciting in the future, a lot of grey area doesn’t give your readers much to go off of so your page could become boring fairly quickly.

Remember, your readers want to relate to you. This is why they continue to visit your page! Encourage this by writing as the “real you” with genuine posts. Not only will it enhance your stats but it will improve your writing skills too!

Share The Love:

While it feels nice to have people liking, commenting, and following your blog, it is so important to give the love right back. Interact with the members of the blogosphere on their own page to show that you are just as interested in what they have to say as they are about you. Don’t forget to link to their blogs when appropriate on your posts too as a friendly tip of the cap.

Reading other blogs can help inspire you and you might just form unique collaborations from it. Trust me, it’s really fun to do collab posts with other writers and it helps set the groundwork for lasting friendships.

You could have the best written posts on planet Earth on your page but it means nothing if you don’t have the support from our wonderful blogosphere. This is what will help make your blog the best that it can possibly be. 🙂

Do you have a favorite blogger? Have you formed any close friendships in the blogging world? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

August 2021 Finishes

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August 2021 Finishes

Howdy! August is almost over and that means it’s time to discuss my beauty finishes for the month. Because of the pandemic, I have been online shopping a lot rather than going in store so I haven’t been trying as many new products as I would like. So, this month has a lot of tried and true favorites which you all already know a lot about and a couple of newbies thrown in for good measure. Let’s get to it:

Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Beyond Belief Lotion: When it comes to lotion, I am really not picky at all because I only use it at night before bed. I can’t say that I have ever used a body lotion that I simply can’t live without so I could take or leave the Beyond Belief Enchanted Berries lotion. I will say that it was nice and moisturizing and it smelled exactly how I could imagine sugar plums do! However, I wouldn’t go out of my way to use it again. It took me a month of daily use on my hands and arms to finish this product.

LANEIGE Mask: Sephora’s birthday gift selection for their Beauty Insiders was fabulous this year and I went with their LANEIGE skin care set. I received a moisturizer, a lip mask, and the Water Sleeping Mask and enjoyed using them all very much. I love me a nighttime face mask so I was incredibly partial to the gel Water Sleeping Mask. It was so light yet insanely moisturizing and my skin was glowing when I would wake up in the morning. A little also went a long way and I got at least seven uses on my face and neck from the tiny test sized pot. I would happily use this mask again!

Pampering myself with skin care and bath and body care is so important to me and I can’t wait for next month because I will be trying out a new eye cream. It’s the little things, right? 😀

Which products did you use up this month? What is your favorite product to pamper yourself with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

My Favorite Summer 2021 Memories

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My Favorite Summer 2021 Memories

Hi! Summer is quickly drawing to a close and that is fine by Lil Red because I live for fall weather, fashion, and holidays. Both Johnny and I are eager to step out in our favorite jackets, sweaters, and long sleeve shirts for hikes, bonfires, and corn mazes in cool temperatures that don’t physically pain us lol.

Although the fall will forever be my preferred time of the year, I have to say that this summer was a great success – especially in comparison to last year. Let’s discuss some of my fave memories from these past few months:

Getting Married:

The best memory of all from this summer is Johnny and I getting married in June, of course! Our wedding day was a beautiful, albeit very hot one, so obviously it was the perfect time for us to tie the knot wearing all black haha! It was so special for us to have a small, intimate wedding in one of our best friend’s back yards surrounded by our immediate family and closest friends. It was one of the best days of my life and I just love being married! ❤

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Conneaut, Ohio Road Trip:

This month, Johnny and I made an hour and a half drive to Conneaut, Ohio for a D-Day reenactment and it was awesome! My husband, the history buff, has never been to a war reenactment before and has always wanted to so when I found out about the event, I surprised him with tickets. The reenactments, demonstrations, and fair food were all great. The best part, however, was seeing a big smile on Johnny’s face all day. Something tells me that this is not the last reenactment that we’ll be attending together and I can’t wait! 🙂

Birthday Celebrations:

Me, Johnny, and my two besties all have summertime birthdays and I love being able to celebrate with them every year. I consider myself to be an excellent gift giver so birthdays and holidays are my favorite. Picking out the perfect presents for my loved ones is so much fun to me and it’s even better to see their reactions once they have opened their gifts. In true Lil Red fashion, I have already began my Christmas shopping planning – I just can’t help myself. 😀

Swimming:

Last year, the pool at my apartment community was closed for obvious reasons. This summer, however, it is open for business and I have been making the most of it. I have spent many an evening lounging in the pool with my bestie or with my sister and niece and it has been so nice. While I can’t wait for cooler weather, I will definitely miss the option to go swimming once my day at work is over. An evening at the pool and then dinner with my BFF or sister and niece is the best thing to look forward to after a work day!

Date Day:

The best date day that Johnny and I had this summer was, easily, our time spent in downtown Cuyahoga Falls a few Saturdays ago. We had an amazing time browsing through the ultra cool Jenks Building while listening to our ultra cool friends play in the Buffalo Ryders. After their set, our band boyz joined Johnny and I for a cocktail hour at our favorite local bar, The Cashmere Cricket. Saturday is the best day to go because the Cricket makes all of their cocktails with dry ice, which makes your drinks bubble and smoke like a potion.

Once our outing was done, Johnny and I went back to our apartment for our usual weekend festivities of playing video games, dancing, and listening to music. It was a perfect day and one of my favorite summer memories.

So there you have it, my favorite summer memories! Summer is my least favorite season by far but, after these past few months, I definitely think I like it a little bit more! ❤

What are your favorite memories of this summer? What are you looking forward to in the fall? 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

Surprise LEGO Set!

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Surprise LEGO Set!

Hi! Johnny and I will be celebrating our two year anniversary of being in a “Facebook official” relationship on September first, which is super exciting! When it comes to buying presents for any occasion, I am notorious for purchasing way in advance and constantly asking if I can give the gifts early. I just can’t help myself!

For mine and Johnny’s two year, I came to terms with waiting until the day of so you could imagine my surprise when he wanted to do presents early. Take a look at what Johnny got for me:

As you all know from yesterday’s post, Johnny and I had a huge LEGO haul with a Harry Potter Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets set, a Seinfeld set, and a little boat set too. Once I returned home with all of the LEGO in tow, Johnny decided to gift me with one more so I guess the two year anniversary is the LEGO anniversary! 😀

For our two year, Johnny got me the Harry Potter Attack on the Burrow set, which I have wanted since it was released about a year ago. We are constantly talking about expanding our Hogwarts castle and grounds and while the Weasley house technically doesn’t belong on the Hogwarts grounds, it is still a welcome addition.

Our two year anniversary definitely qualifies under the “fun and games” category as I gifted him with a Legend of Zelda Monopoly and more Link Amiibos to add to his collection. We are so excited to play a rousing game of Monopoly together and build our four different LEGO sets. I think our LEGO additions will keep us occupied for about a week because once we start building we just can’t stop! ❤

What is your favorite board game? Have you gotten any new LEGO sets recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Support Musical Children

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How To Support Musical Children

Music can be beneficial to children in many different ways. Playing or listening to music can be an enjoyable thing to do together, a way for children to learn new skills, develop their creativity, and explore their emotions. If your child has shown an interest in becoming a musician, how can you best support them?

Encourage Listening Skills:

Getting children to begin to enjoy exploring music can be a fun thing for the two of you to do together. As you listen to music, ask your child to describe to you what they can hear so they can start to work on their listening skills. Choose a piece of music you think they will like and ask them questions as you listen. Ask them questions like:

  • What sounds can you hear?
  • How would you describe this piece of music?
  • How does this piece of music make you feel?

Having these conversations can also help your child to begin to build their communication skills as they find the right words to describe things to you.

Play Along To Music:

Children love making noise, and a musical instrument along with something like Moon River sheet music can be a good way to channel that interest in noise into something more creative. Encourage them to play along with a song they enjoy so they can think about the different parts of the music. Suggest they try to play as loudly and then as quietly as they can with different ways of making sound such as clapping or tapping a pan with a spoon.

Another fun game to help them to build an understanding of beat and volume is to ‘wake’ a sleeping toy. Using one of their stuffed animals, ask the child to wake it up by playing loudly and make the toy go to sleep by playing softly. You could also move the toy around in time with the beat.

Move To Music:

Children often really love to dance, and you can support this with an enjoyment of music. Tempo is the speed in music, and children can get a good grasp of what this means by exploring it with their movements. Put on music and encourage your child to move as they listen. Watch to see what they do, then join in with them by copying their ideas. By mimicking their ideas, they will see that you value and are interested in what they think.

For some children, physically responding to the music might feel more natural than playing instruments or talking about music. Offer them lots of different genres of music to listen to and see how they respond and move to different kinds of music. You might be surprised by what they actually enjoy the most. Music that has a range of tempos in it can be great fun.

Try listening to music from around the world too, from a range of cultures. This is a good way to explore music and encourage them to have a conversation with you about different cultures too.

Whether your child wants to be a rock star, a dancer, or just loves to listen to music, supporting this will be amazing fun for the both of you!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

LEGO Haul

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LEGO Haul

Hi! It has been a while since Johnny and I have purchased a LEGO set to build together but that has been resolved with this huge haul! One of our favorite weekly shows is LEGO Masters and after each episode we always name off which sets we want next. Recently, LEGO came out with a Seinfeld set of Jerry’s apartment and since we are such huge fans of the show, I couldn’t not get it! I also got a few more goodies too, thanks to a great promotion running on the LEGO website. Check it out:

When the massive box of LEGO finally arrived, I felt like a kid on Christmas day and couldn’t wait to bring the new sets home to Johnny. There was a promo running on the site for free shipping on fifty dollar plus purchases as well as receiving the boat set for free after spending a certain amount. I thought that this was a really good deal and knew that it never hurts to have more LEGO so I decided to go for it and purchased the Harry Potter Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets set too.

Although we haven’t bought new LEGO sets in months, Johnny and I already have quite an extensive collection of Harry Potter and Star Wars sets. The Seinfeld one was an absolute necessity and I can’t wait to build it with Johnny and am really eager to add onto our Hogwarts castle and grounds. Although the boat set is small, it is effective and inspired us to begin a nautical collection with pirate ships, islands, and adventure.

When it comes to building LEGO together, Johnny and I have it down to a science. Because of my acrylics, Johnny handles all of the small pieces and details while I build with the bigger bricks. We have spent countless hours building in our apartment while listening to music, laughing, and beaming with pride once our set is complete. ❤

I am dying to get started on these new sets and, like any LEGO enthusiast, we already know which ones we want to buy next. While we will never be at LEGO Master level, I do like to think that we are the best Brick Masters in our apartment! 😀

Do you like to build with LEGO? What is your favorite LEGO set? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Giving Your Customers A Great Experience

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Giving Your Customers A Great Experience

A successful business relies on several key features. Ultimately, though, it is the customers who will determine whether it has a future or not. Consequently, it’s imperative that you learn how to keep them happy by delivering what they want. From the first interaction to long-term experiences, it’s vital that you keep the customer’s needs at the front of your mind. Focus on the following factors and you won’t go wrong:

A Connection:

All customers want to feel a connection to the brand. Therefore, creating marketing strategies and product packaging that resonates with them is vital. Many companies fall into the trap of being too generic rather than targeting their chief audience. The sooner that you learn it’s better to succeed in a small pond than fail in a big one, the better. There will still be opportunities to reach secondary markets without harming your hopes of success.

Value For Money:

Regardless of whether targeting the working classes or upper classes, people want a sense of value. Producing better quality products should always be the aim, but you should also aim to do it cheaply. Embracing 3D printing is one particularly useful option. Visit https://www.zdnet.com/article to learn about its potential influence. Whatever you do, try to create products that exceed expectations. Clients will then tell friends and family about them too.

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Fast Turnarounds:

There is no escaping the fact that we live in an era where people want things right away. So, you need to use the right equipment and partner with the best companies to make this happen. The benefits of a quick dye change system in manufacturing are plentiful. Visit https://universalengraving.com/lockup to find out for yourself. Production speeds can soar. Using automated tech for other aspects of manufacturing as well as order fulfillment will serve you well.

Clarity:

Customers want to know exactly what they are getting from a brand. They also need to know that any issues they encounter can be handled quickly so promoting better client care should be high on the agenda. Chatbots are a great feature. You can learn about them at https://medium.com/swlh. They’ll take communication to new heights.

Having fair returns policies will aid the cause further. Everything you do should be aimed at giving clients peace of mind. Not least because it can remove disputes.

Safety:

Finally, consumers are increasingly aware of the threats to their data. As such, they need to feel that they can trust your company. Protecting the business can be as crucial for client interactions as it is for the firm itself. The fact that it’ll also promote increased happiness from the workers should not be ignored, either. Prevention is the key to success. When digital precautions are combined with safer workplaces and stores, clients will be more satisfied.

Providing a comprehensive client experience means that you will be creating loyal customers to keep your business booming!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

 

D-Day Reenactment Adventure

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D-Day Reenactment Adventure

Hi! This past weekend, Johnny and I had a road trip to Conneaut, Ohio where we saw a reenactment of D-Day. My husband is a history buff and is constantly teaching me new things from the many books he has read, documentaries he has watched, and podcasts he has listened to. World War II is his favorite thing to learn about so when I found out about this reenactment so close to home, I knew we had to go because he has never been to anything like it but has always wanted to. Check out some pics from our adventure:

Our day spent in Conneaut was an absolute thrill and it was so much fun to see Johnny in his element! It was amazing to see him chatting it up with all of the volunteers, actors, and veterans and every time I looked at him he was grinning from ear to ear. While the “big show” of the D-Day reenactment was spectacular, seeing how much Johnny was enjoying himself was my favorite part of the whole thing. ❤

The morning of our outing started out with a bang when we saw a reenactment of The Battle for La Fiere and that was insanely cool! We definitely both jumped out of our skin when the first shots were fired lol. From there, it was a whirlwind of tank and mortar firings, weapon demonstrations, SAS trainings, and camp shows. I was most partial to The Battle for La Fiere reenactment and we both loved the mortar demonstration!

While there was plenty in the schedule that we did to fill up time until the D-Day reenactment at three, we both enjoyed walking around the different areas representing Germany, France, and England and taking in all of the sights. It was also a lot of fun to browse through all of the different vendors and eat fair food and drink hella fresh squeezed lemonade. Johnny walked away with lots of souvenirs that are now proudly displayed on our knick knack shelf.

The actual D-Day reenactment was so well done and, although our view wasn’t the best, it was still really special to see. The coolest part had to have been seeing the P51 Mustangs and the C47 Transport planes flying around the beach as well as watching the boats come up onto the sand with more and more soldiers. From the sounds and the smoke to the tanks and guns firing, it was an astounding display and we can’t wait to go back next year.

Thanks to some tips from other viewers, we learned about more reenactments in our area and I just know it will become a regular thing for us to do. We thank all of our veterans and those who lost their lives from the bottoms of our hearts for their amazing service and bravery.

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

Road Trip!

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Road Trip!

Hi! Because I’m self employed and Johnny has limited days off, weekend getaways are the way to go for us to break up the monotony of the work week. This past weekend, we made a trip to Conneaut, Ohio which is about an hour and a half away to see the reenactments of D-Day. My Johnny is a huge history buff so when I found out this was happening, I knew we had to go and surprised him with tickets. Tomorrow, I will fill you in on the actual day spent on the beach and today I will talk about our trip so far. Let’s get to it:

We left for Conneaut pretty much as soon as I returned home from work on Thursday and arrived at our hotel right at six o’clock. We stayed at the OYO Hotel and let’s just say it left a lot to be desired. The carpets of our room were so badly stained it honestly looked like a murder scene. There were mystery hairs all over the room and bathroom too, which is insanely nasty. It is apparent that the rooms at the OYO don’t get cleaned thoroughly once a guest leaves and that is unacceptable – especially considering the price that we paid.

Despite being super turned off by the hotel, we were starving and headed to Sparky’s Place for dinner once we dropped our bags off. I wish I took pictures of the delicious burgers and cheese curds that we ordered but our meal was gone as soon as I thought to do so! I didn’t have anything to drink at Sparky’s but Johnny went with their house specialty of “Monkey Punch” which is basically an alcoholic fruit punch. I had one sip to try it and it was really good and I wasn’t expecting that at all because the different liquors listed in it sounded disgusting mixed together!

The cool part about our arrival on Thursday evening, other than our yummy dinner, was driving around Anytown, USA in Conneaut. There were military jeeps and guys in their uniforms driving all over town, having dinner, and mingling with the locals. That was cool, yes. But, the best part was seeing how excited Johnny was anytime any of these vehicles or gentlemen passed by. I can’t wait to see his reaction to the actual reenactments today. 🙂

Tune in tomorrow for more on our adventure in Conneaut. And, if ever you are in the area, do yourselves a huge favor and don’t stay at the OYO because it will have you saying “oh no” in a heartbeat! Whomp whompppppp.

Where is your favorite place to go for a weekend getaway? What was the best road trip you have ever been on? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

T-Shirt Time Pt. 2

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T-Shirt Time Pt. 2

Hi! Johnny and I are a very fashion forward couple and it is a rarity to see us step out in jeans and a T-shirt. However, when we are chilling out at home T-shirts are all we wear and we have quite a collection that we share with each other. Other than T-shirts of our fave local bands, my favorite Ts are, easily, our Impractical Jokers ones! I am also incredibly partial to these new ones that I added into the mix when shopping with my mom and brother:

As you all know, I am a huge fan of literally anything that Jack White does and I never see band Ts that feature any of his work on them. It was an obvious must have as soon as I saw this White Blood Cells album cover T-shirt at Hot Topic and I am tickled pink to finally have a band T of his. Not to mention that White Blood Cells is one of my favorite White Stripes albums other than all of them lolol.

Johnny and I played hella Animal Crossing throughout the pandemic and, despite not playing it nearly as much anymore, I still try to check in on our island once per week. We both live for the K.K. Slider concerts which are so hilarious to us so this K.K. band T from Box Lunch was another one that I just needed to have. Also, Box Lunch is basically the coolest store ever so do check it out if you have one in your area! 😀

My Mall Haul was a huge success and I am so happy to have some band Ts of two of my favorite artists! Haha! 🙂

What is your favorite band? What is your favorite K.K. Slider groove? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & Games: Seinfeld Edition

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Fun & Games: Seinfeld Edition

Hi! During a shopping outing with my mom and brother, I returned home with many a treat for Johnny and myself including a new game for us and a puzzle for me. FYE was running a buy one get one fifty percent off deal on their board games and puzzles and when I saw their options for Seinfeld related entertainment, I couldn’t pass it up! We already have two Seinfeld board games that include Clue and Festivus and I thought that one more couldn’t hurt. 😀 Check it out:

I love working on puzzles with my mom and brother and when I saw The Kramer portrait in puzzle form, I was sold instantly. I never work on puzzles at our apartment because we really don’t have a lot of free tabletop space. However, I can definitely make room for this one! Johnny doesn’t like doing puzzles too much so this will be nice for me to do to keep my hands busy while we’re watching our favorite programs. We plan on gluing and framing it once it’s complete. 🙂

The Seinfeld party game looked like a hoot and I laughed out loud about having to fish for the Marble Rye to win! Our favorite thing is having game nights with our friends and family and I knew that it would be a hit the next time the occasion calls for some board games. While we already have Seinfeld Scene It Trivia, this tabletop game is nice because you don’t need to bother with the TV to play it. I think that all of the Seinfeld fans in our circle will get a huge kick out of this!

It has been a while since Johnny and I purchased some new board games and activities so I was really happy with these purchases and I can’t wait to get started on my puzzle! 😀

What is your favorite board game? What is the biggest puzzle you have ever completed? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Cleaning Check List

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Cleaning Check List

When people think of cleaning their homes, they often think about the usuals of dusting, vacuuming, and clearing clutter. However, there are surely some things that most people forget when it comes to cleaning up their property so let’s discuss a few key areas to tend to during your next cleaning day:

Your Car:

Cleaning up your car isn’t an obvious choice when you are tidying up your home. But, if you’re like me and are constantly throwing Diet Coke cans into the backseat, then it might be time to give your car some love! Purchase some car cleaning products and get to work so your vehicle looks just as nice as the day you took it home. After having a massive clear away in my car, I realized that the incessant rattling of pop cans was something that I could do without!

The Lawn:

Paying extra attention to your back and front yards is another thing that people might breeze past on cleaning day but I promise it is worth the effort. The exterior of your home gives people an instant first impression so why not let it be a great one? Pull weeds, mow and fertilize, and try cleaning the windows you can reach while you are out. A well maintained lawn is some people’s pride and joy. If nothing else, it will be nice to spend some time outdoors. 🙂

Nooks & Crannies:

If all you do when you clean is tend to things on the surface level, then it might be time to engage in a deep clean because there could be a lot of yuck that you are missing. Crumbs and fallen food under appliances or furniture is a welcome smorgasbord for pests. Even forgotten remnants of dinner on the inside of your garbage bin can attract bugs, which would be a horrible surprise when you open the trash can. Pay attention to nooks and crannies as well as hard to reach places. Hard to clean? Somewhat. However, it is imperative to keeping a safe and sparkling clean home.

Frequently Touched Surfaces:

If you have been somewhat lax about cleaning frequently touched surfaces, then there is no better time than the present to start that up again – especially with the rise of the Delta variant. Wipe down doorknobs, telephones, and light switches and don’t forget the TV remotes, computer keyboards, and buttons on appliances. This is a chore that can be completed quickly and is paramount for keeping yourself and family safe.

Of course, cleaning can be a hassle but you will feel so good once all of the tasks are complete, especially the ideas above!

Looking To Move? Here’s Some Advice

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Looking To Move? Here’s Some Advice

Moving house is an exciting, albeit stressful, event in your life. There are so many odds and ends to take care of and it is easy to get overwhelmed. Today, we are going to explore a few areas to help get your moving process started and, hopefully, make it a lot easier on you! Let’s get to it:

Work On Your Credit:

If you are thinking of moving house in the future, then it is important to start working on your credit now. Poor credit can make or break you when applying for a house or a loan. This doesn’t mean you have to go hog wild on making purchases on a credit card. However, it will help if you begin using one for specific things like groceries or filling up your car. And, this should go without saying, but never spend more than you can afford to pay back when your bill arrives.

If you have poor credit, Loan Ridge provides quick loans for Missouri residents even with bad credit and can be an invaluable tool if you use it wisely. Do some research and see if there are similar programs in your area.

Buff Up Your Application:

It is important that your application for a home makes you stand out so what can you truthfully add to yours that will achieve that? Perhaps you just got married and are looking for a starter home. Or, maybe, you have small children and want them to go to school in an excellent district. You could even be running a business and need the additional space. Whatever it is, it should make you seem like you are going to add value to the neighborhood and that is crucial.

Research Moving Companies:

Spending time researching moving companies prior to your move will save you time and a whole lot of hassle. Make sure you select a company with excellent reviews so that you don’t have to deal with damaged property when you are settling in. The movers should be well equipped to handle everything from large pieces of furniture to delicate and breakable items. Be sure to schedule well in advance so you are completely covered on your moving day.

Tour The Property:

Virtual tours of a property really don’t do it justice so do be sure that you are scheduling in person property tours. This gives you a chance to get a good look at your potential home and any repairs or work that might need done on it. A poorly maintained home could end up costing you a lot of money in the long run and you don’t want any unexpected surprises once you are already settled. Talk about a nightmare!

Ease some of the stress of moving with the tips above and best of luck!

Planning The Most Amazing Road Trip

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Planning The Most Amazing Road Trip

Gaining the chance to plan an amazing road trip is an opportunity that should not be missed. Road trips offer an experience like no other kind of travel or vacation. Figuring out how to organize a memorable road trip doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might expect, as there are several simple tips and tricks that you can make the most of to ensure you and your passengers can enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. So, if you’re interested in finding out more, then read on to uncover some of the most important planning recommendations that you can utilize today to plan the best road trip ever:

Choose The Right Vehicle:

Choosing the right vehicle should be your first priority when heading out on a road trip. If you want to experience ultimate comfort throughout your trip, then you’ll likely prefer a camper of some kind, since these are well equipped with living quarters, hygiene facilities, and more. For those who are aiming to camp outdoors and need space for equipment, a 4×4 SUV truck is going to be the best bet – you’ll have enough storage space to pack up everything you need, whilst having the off road capabilities to travel to hard-to-reach spots.

If you want to live life on the wild side and experience your road trip in a totally different manner, finding a local KTM dealers garage will give you the chance to ride in style on the back of a top quality motorcycle. Obviously you’ll be exposed to the elements on a motorbike and this could be a blessing or a curse depending on the weather!

Pack Your Bags Properly:

Throwing in a couple of pairs of underwear and some trail mix to see you through until the end of your road trip is one of the worst mistakes that you can make. Start off by packing your clothing, considering all situations such as exploration, swimming, sleeping, and even dramatic weather changes – you don’t want to find yourself stuck in a surprise heatwave with nothing but jumpers and sweatpants to wear.

Next, think about what food you can pack inside your vehicle because you need to have enough food to last your entire trip with a couple of days backed up for safety. Find foods with a long shelf life that don’t need to be stored in a fridge or freezer and be sure to bring some cooking equipment with you even if it’s just a saucepan to hold over an open fire! Don’t forget to bring some form of first aid kit to tend to any wounds or illnesses that you might encounter during your road trip. Something as simple as a migraine could halt your journey if you don’t have immediate access to pain relief.

Summer is not over yet and now is the perfect time to head out on an adventure with your family or friends!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Keep It Posted!

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Keep It Posted!

Hello!!! Things have been super exciting here on lifewithlilred as we quickly approach my 1,000 day writing streak and the fun doesn’t stop there. I am so excited to begin a collaboration with Elite Sports and Born Tough to try out and review their products! Once the testing phase is complete, be on the lookout for an off ice photo shoot in the coolest work out shorts imaginable. In the meantime, be sure to check out their website here: https://www.borntough.com/collections/mens-workout-shirts and here: https://www.elitesports.com/collections/boxing-gloves for more from Elite Sports and Born Tough!

And, as always, keep it locked on lifewithlilred for all of the latest and greatest! ❤

Keep Yourself Busy With These Ideas

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Keep Yourself Busy With These Ideas

Hi there! Idle hands are the devil’s play thing or however that saying goes and, if you’re like me, then you might like to keep your hands busy too. There are so many amazing things that can be created with our own two hands from building with LEGO to constructing a house! Today, we are going to look at a few ideas that will definitely keep your hands busy when you are feeling fidgety or need to destress. Let’s get to it:

Build Something New:

People who are gifted in the art of construction, wood working, and welding simply blow me away and it is an awesome skill to continue to practice if you are so inclined. Being able to make something out of nothing must be so satisfying and is a great way to get creative as well as decompress. Before starting your next project, make sure you have all of the proper building supplies and tools and see what magic you can work to make it happen!

LEGO:

So maybe actual construction isn’t your thing and that’s okay! But have you ever tried building with LEGO bricks, instead? My husband and I absolutely love to build with LEGO and are very much looking forward to receiving our Seinfeld set in the mail any day now. Building with LEGO takes time, focus, and a lot of imagination if you are not building an actual set. It is a great way to break up the monotony of your regularly scheduled programming as you spend some time building something brick by brick. Be sure to check out the competition show, LEGO Masters, too because it is a hoot. 😀

Puzzles:

I really enjoy putting puzzles together and there is nothing better than when you get into a good flow and the pieces just seem to come together themselves. While I couldn’t imagine doing anything beyond a five hundred piece puzzle, some people are gifted enough to put together one thousand plus puzzle pieces! Put on your favorite tunes and see how much puzzle progress you can make in one sitting.

Arts & Crafts:

Knitting, crochet, needlepoint, and sewing are all fabulous skills to have and it can be done anywhere! You can dream up something knew while you’re killing time on a long car, train, or plane ride or just hanging out at home and watching a movie. I live for the scarf that my mom knitted for me and can’t wait for the weather to cool down so I can wear it once again!

Creating something new is exciting, fulfilling, and can be done with your own two hands! What will you make today?

Taking Care Of You, Too

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Taking Care Of You, Too

Between work, cooking, maintaining your household, and social engagements, making time for you can feel impossible. This can lead to burnout, break downs, and even more stress! When you are starting to feel the side effects of a constantly on the go lifestyle, it’s important to take a step back rather than push yourself harder. Today, we are going to look at a few simple things that can be done to make sure you are taking care of you, too. Let’s get to it:

Beauty Sleep:

A restful night of sleep is so crucial in so many ways. Not only does getting your full eight hours give your body time to rest and heal, but you will feel so much more active and alert every morning. It’s nice to start your day with some pep in your step rather than dragging your feet just to get out of bed. What is preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep and what can you do to improve it? Perhaps, your bedroom needs to be a more soothing place to lay your head after a long day, which can be achieved with these ideas.

Schedule Appointments:

While scheduling appointments for various things like the eye doctor, dentist, and general practitioners isn’t the most fun thing, it will help keep you feeling your best and that’s what is important. A professional dental lab in your area is a great place to start and don’t forget to tend to your mental health, too. An appointment with a counselor or therapist can be especially beneficial if you have been feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and over stressed as of late.

What Does Self Care Mean To You?

Self care won’t look the same for everyone and that’s okay! I, personally, love doing a face mask after a long day at work to unwind but that might not work for you. So what does self care mean to you? Is it going to the gym? Going on a long hike? Buying yourself some beautiful flowers for your kitchen table? Once you narrow down what makes you destress, you will know what options are best to turn to when you are feeling some type of way.

Positivity, Please:

Thinking positive thoughts is so important even if you aren’t feeling very positive. Do you have a mantra that you like to repeat to yourself? What about some positive affirmations on sticky notes to look at throughout the day? What’s that old saying – fake it till you make it? Sometimes you just have to give yourself the mental push for good vibes and, eventually, your positive outlook will become second nature.

Doing for others is an amazing thing but don’t forget to do for yourself, too! ❤

Budget Friendly Shopping For Your Home

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Budget Friendly Shopping For Your Home

Shopping for furniture, accessories, and appliances for your home or apartment can be so costly that it almost seems easier to leave things as is rather than updating or upgrading. Believe you me, I get it! However, I also know how effective budget shopping can be because I furnished my entire apartment on secondhand items. Today, we are going to explore a few different budget friendly options for your next home makeover:

Secondhand Stores:

The most effective eco and budget friendly option for making upgrades in your home is, hands down, second hand shopping. Buying secondhand is amazing because you are repurposing old things and preventing them from being dumped into a landfill. Your local Goodwill could be a treasure trove of unique furniture and accessories that you didn’t know you needed. This is also an ideal option for people who don’t want their homes to look like everyone else’s because of all of the cool accessories and knick knacks you can find. My art wall in my apartment is completely made from old pieces of art that I bought at the Goodwill.

Facebook Marketplace:

Another great option, similar to secondhand stores, is the Buy, Sell, Trade marketplaces on Facebook. This could be perfect if you are looking for used appliances for sale, furniture, or other odds and ends. The beauty of the Facebook Marketplace is that once you find the replacement for something in your house, you can list the no longer needed item and make some extra cash too. 😀

Always remember if you are purchasing from someone selling on a marketplace type website that your safety is paramount. It is best practice to meet up in a public location like the parking lot of a busy grocery store or coffee shop. You can never be too careful.

Apps:

The OfferUp app is a virtual garage sale where you can both post items for sale and make purchases. I haven’t used this app in a while but I have had a lot of luck in the past selling things on it. I have seen everything on OfferUp from cars, appliances, outdoor equipment, and clothing. The nice part about this app is that it categorizes all of the items on there which will really help narrow down your searches for something specific. You definitely don’t get this luxury at a local thrift store.

Yard Sales:

Summer is the best season for people to host yard sales due to the promise of good weather so now is a great time to do some browsing in your local neighborhoods. It might be a mixed bag but it is another option to save some money while making purchases for your home. You all know the old saying of one man’s trash!

Making updates to your home doesn’t have to break your bank. Get started with the ideas above and see how much you can save today!