New Hot Pink & Charcoal Grey Nails

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New Hot Pink & Charcoal Grey Nails

Hello! After over a month of not wearing acrylics due to the quarantine, I finally made my way back to the salon under guidelines that I was comfortable with. At Elysian Nails, I was able to come in for their very first appointment of the day. To be let inside the building, you had to text upon your arrival, get your temperature taken, and be wearing a mask. Check, check, and double check.

Once I was in the salon, there was only about six people there in total with well over six feet of distance between all of the customers. Plexiglass barriers were placed between the nail tech and client as well as between each station. Although these guidelines may feel over the top to some, I felt very safe with them. In turn, this made me feel like it was okay to treat myself to these beauties:

Despite being in a face mask and Elysian being nowhere near its full capacity, I felt right at home as soon as I walked in. Seeing all of my favorite nail techs, hearing the trendy music, and melting into one of their comfy chairs was just what I needed after working the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. It was amazing to be back and I was proud of all of the measures being taken by the owners to keep their customers and employees safe.

While acrylic-less, I already had the colors I wanted to use planned out – flirty and sassy pink in Summer Fling paired with the edgy and cool charcoal grey in Put The Kettle On. Both of these polishes are by Londontown and I highly recommend checking their page out for more beautiful colors and nourishing products.

My nails turned out exactly how I wanted them and, MAN, did it feel good to type with them! Going acrylic-less for the first time in years wasn’t the fondest time of my life but I got through it. I think I’ll stick to my monthly fills from now on, though. 😉

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

Making Your Home A More Comfortable Space

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Making Your Home A More Comfortable Space

Our homes serve so many functions. They provide us with shelter from the elements and warmth. They provide us with somewhere to bathe and eat and with a space to keep our belongings. They are our safe havens and keep us secure. But it’s important to make sure that your home is as comfortable of a space as possible. If you’re going to spend a whole lot of time here, you’re going to want to be able to kick back and relax. The good news is that with a little time, effort, and smart financial investment, you can make almost any home a comfortable and enjoyable space to spend time in. Here are a few ideas that you might like to consider:

Invest In a Good Quality Mattress:

Sleep is essential to your health and well being. There’s a good reason that it’s recommended the average adult gets between seven and eight hours’ worth a night. Sleep gives your body a chance to relax and recuperate and can help with memory retention. Sleep deprivation can make you uncomfortable and can make day to day life extremely difficult and drawn out. There are many factors that play into sleep quality, but mattress quality can be one of them. It’s recommended that you change your mattress once every eight years – used mattresses collect dirt and dust and can provide less support after a few years.

Get Air Conditioning:

Air conditioning can make your house a lot more comfortable during the summer months when the temperature rises and becomes stifling. Sure, it’s an investment that not every home has. But it’s a luxury that can really make a difference and will be worth it! Research different units and determine which will be best for your home setting. You may want to consider air conditioning repair if you have an old unit that has been out of use for a while.

Have Plenty of Seating:

If you’re going to accommodate guests from time to time, it’s important to have enough seating for everyone. A sofa is an essential, but you can buy complementary seating too. A chaise lounge or an armchair can make all of the difference rather than having to sit on the floor or stand when others are over. It’s a good idea to try different styles out in store before buying them so that they are up to your comfort level standards.

Improve Air Quality:

If your home is particularly humid, it can quickly get uncomfortable. A good quality dehumidifier can help with this. Air quality can also be improved by having plenty of houseplants around. Just make sure to opt for types that don’t have too much pollen, as this can worsen any existing allergies. And, always check that the plants you choose are safe for any children or pets you may have.

These are just a few steps you can take to make your home more comfortable, since we’re all spending a lot more time in our dwellings amid COVID-19!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Cut Your Energy Bills With These Tips

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Cut Your Energy Bills With These Tips

One of the many things that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on society is a rise in energy bills. After all, we are all spending a lot more time at home, so it is only natural that we will consume a lot more energy.

A study carried out in 2009 found that as a nation, the United States was wasting over $130 billion a year on energy. Energy and money that escapes through our roof, through the inefficient seals around our windows, through cracks and holes in the walls, and appliances and lights left switched on or in standby mode. More than ten years later and a massive increase in the technology that we use on a day to day basis and you can imagine how much that amount has probably jumped up by since then.

The one good thing, however, is that our energy consumption is something we have power over, so we can take measures to reduce it. Here, we will look at some ways you can cut back on your bills:

Tackle your temperature:

Depending on the season, the cooling down or heating up of your home does not only bring you comfort during the day but may be the only thing that gives you a pleasant and restful night of sleep.

In the colder months, endeavor to keep the temperature between 18-20 ° C. Any degree higher than this will add up to 10% to your bill. Test the auto timers on your heater, too. By raising your heating time by one hour a day, you can save up to ninety hours of heating costs over the winter.

Once the warmer months have come back, strive to keep your air conditioner above 24 ° C. Any degree lower will add 10% to your electricity bill. Make sure your house is sealed well so that they work efficiently and keep all of the heat or the cool air in.

Increase your insulation:

Think about why you wear a hat in the winter. It is because your head is where you lose most of your heat. The same goes for your home – your roof is the head of your home. By making sure your attic space has the very best insulation possible from somewhere like https://www.insulatekansascity.com/attic-insulation/, you can reduce the amount of heat lost from your house and save you plenty of cash, particularly over the winter months.

Audit your appliances:

Old, outdated appliances can be power-hungry and can really add to your energy bill. If you have older air conditioning units, a flue gas heating system, or hot water system, you might want to think about an upgrade. Sure, it costs an outlay of money initially but, in the long term, it will really end up saving you.

Cutting your energy bills does not need to involve anything dramatic or necessarily expensive. A few minor tweaks to your lifestyle here and there and making sure everything is working efficiently is enough to save you hundreds of dollars every year – global pandemic or not.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Caring For Your Senior Loved Ones During Lock Down

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Caring For Your Senior Loved Ones During Lock Down

Lock down has been tough for many of us. As the days and weeks roll on, life has become rather mundane, and in some ways, quite stressful too. Not only do we need to find new things to do with our time (after binge-watching the entirety of Netflix), but we have had to cope with the mental effects of lock down too.

Times are hard indeed, but if they are hard for us, they will be especially difficult for our senior loved ones. If they are living independently, they might well be suffering from the effects of loneliness and stress themselves. So, consider what you might do to care for your aging parents or your grandparents. Here are a few suggestions:

Ensure they have health support:

If they need support with any health-related issues, now is the time to make sure your senior loved ones have everything they need. It might be that you need to collect any prescriptions for them or you might need to contact their doctor to refill them. Specialist home care services, such as those provided by Serenity Home Health, can offer support to the elderly, so get in touch if your loved one hasn’t yet accessed such support. And speak to your loved one’s neighbors, and ask those that can be trusted to keep a socially distanced eye on your family member.

Stay in touch:

If your senior loved one is living alone, you should make an extra effort to get in touch with them. A daily phone call might make their day, although you could also use Skype, Zoom, or social media to stay in touch with them too. And when you talk to them, be reassuring. The last thing they might need is your stressed-out tones if you’re worrying about lock down, as they might have similar worries themselves. Instead, be encouraging and reassuring, and do nothing to exacerbate their fears. Let them talk to your kids, share stories that will make them smile, and answer any questions they might have if they do share any concerns with you.

Offer practical support:

We have already suggested picking up their medications, but there are other ways to offer practical support too. You might arrange food deliveries for them, for example, or you could take food parcels to them. Maybe you can help them stay on top of their garden and you could drop off books, DVDs, knitting supplies, and anything else that will give them something to do while they’re restricted at home.

Share ideas with them:

If your senior loved ones are unable to exercise outside, share these 10-minute chair exercise ideas with them. If they are experiencing anxiety, research breathing exercises, and go through them with your loved ones on the phone. And if they have any other needs that could be met through your research, do what you can, and provide them with the solutions to the problems they are facing.

Your extra care to your elder family members is just what they need right now. Use our suggestions and research other ideas online to meet their particular needs during this crazy time.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Enjoying Improving

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Enjoying Improving

Hi! During quarantine, I have been enjoying getting to practice all of the different languages that I have been learning. I have much more time to do so and have noticed how much I’ve improved thanks to the almost daily practice sessions. On Duolingo, I am taking French, Spanish, Czech, German, and Italian. I also have been LOVING practicing American Sign Language through YouTube videos.

Recently, I began taking an online ASL Zoom class taught by the fabulous Doctor Jen. Unfortunately, she stopped doing her weekly teaches and I was left high, dry, and disappointed because I have been wanting to learn ASL for forever. Especially since teaching myself a little from books was nothing in comparison to watching someone teach you.

It was important to me to find another source to continue learning ASL with because I was doing way better than I expected. And, luckily, I landed on ten twenty minute lessons of basic sign language from a guy who looks like Steve Martin AND the one guy from Whose Line Is It Anyway? You’ll see what I mean, I promise:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to this video!

Although I loved learning ASL under Doctor Jen, it’s nice to continue learning even if it is with someone different. And, thankfully, Doctor Byron Bridges is a close second! Born deaf to deaf parents, Doctor Bridges has degrees from numerous different schools and is dedicated to teaching his craft.

Not only is he brilliant, but it’s impossible to not grin from ear to ear when you see how animated and in he gets to each lesson. If you’re looking for something to help pass the time, why not give a few of these ASL classes a try? You’ll be glad you did!

Where else offers ASL classes online? Which languages do you know? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

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Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

Hello! For the past few months Lil Red has spent a majority of her time indoors due to the coronavirus. When you have no access to the outside world, it is way harder than you can imagine to create daily content! Ever since lifewithlilred began over five years ago, I have always encouraged guest bloggers on my page – especially now!

This is why I am so grateful to my sweet friend, Alice, from Alice Rambles for reaching out to me with a tasty recipe for butternut squash risotto. This recipe combines a bunch of my favorite things and I am looking forward to trying it myself. After checking this post out, do be sure to give Alice’s page some love and if you are interested in guest posting on lifewithlilred, please email me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com .

Now, let’s get to it:

Butternut Squash Risotto

Hi everyone, my name is Alice (from Alice Rambles). Sarah has very kindly offered to let me write a guest post for her blog, and I thought today I’d share one of my favourite easy recipes – butternut squash risotto!

In the UK, butternut squash are harvested throughout summer and autumn, so this dish not only uses fresh, seasonal vegetables, but it also reduces our food air miles which is always a great thing to consider. This recipe is also easy to adapt for vegetarian and vegan diets and serves four people.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 50g butter (or vegan alternative)
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 300g arborio risotto rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 50g Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian/vegan alternative), finely grated
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful of sage (fresh or dried)

 

Equipment:

  • Large baking tray
  • Medium saucepan
  • Large wide saucepan or deep frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle

Method:

  • Heat your oven to 200°C/gas mark 7. Mix your chopped squash with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage. Spread it over the baking tray and roast it for 30 mins, until it’s soft on the inside but slightly coloured on the outside. Mash half of the squash into a rough puree, and leave the other half whole.

  • Next, heat up your stock in the medium saucepan – bring it to the boil first, and then lower to a simmer. In the wide saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat, then add the onion and cook it slowly until it is soft, but not coloured.

  • Stir the rice into the buttery onions, and keep stirring until the rice is shiny and the grains are starting to become transparent.

  • Pour in the wine, stir it through and simmer until it has all evaporated. Turn the heat down to low, then start adding the stock (one ladle at a time) and stir continuously.

  • Keep going until you’ve used up all of the stock – at this point the risotto should be thick and creamy, with the rice still retaining a bit of bite to it.

  • Stir the squash puree through the risotto, then add the grated Parmesan.

  • Serve, and garnish with the remaining chunks of roasted squash.

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And there you have it, so simple! This recipe is great for when you fancy a nice warming meal and, of course, you can mix it up by adding your own herbs, spices, and flavours if you wish. If you’d like to see more of my posts then do check out my blog (Alice Rambles), and let me know if you give this recipe a try!

Thank you so much again to Alice for sharing her delicious recipe with all of us! What is your favorite kind of risotto? What is one of your favorite seasonal dishes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday, Boyfriend!

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Happy Birthday, Boyfriend!

Hello! Today is a very special, happy, wonderful day because it is my boyfriend, Johnny’s, 31st birthday. And, in exactly one week it will be my 26th… Ahhh! Johnny and I have been together for almost a year and it has easily been the best almost year of my life. Before the quarantine began, we were constantly going on adventures and enjoying nights out when his band, The Outside Voices, would play.

Now, we are hunkered down in the apartment with binge watching marathons and video games for our entertainment. But, I wouldn’t want to be stuck at home with any other person. Johnny knows how to turn anything into a good time, even if it is the most boring day on the planet. And, that is because Johnny is a person who is just full of light and a little bit of mischief when he lovingly pokes fun at me!

I have been waiting for a relationship just like this for forever and I wish that we could celebrate Johnny’s big day in the manner that he deserves. Instead, I’ll be picking up a steak dinner for him at Outback and FINALLY give him the presents that I have been begging for him to open since they arrived in the mail.

Is it the most exciting birthday event ever? No. However, Johnny knows how to make anything he does for me special and exciting and if I can take a few notes from his book, I think his birthday celebration will be a hit.

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I love you, babe!

Happy Birthday! ❤

Fine Dining At Home: Soup & Sandwich Combo

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Fine Dining At Home: Soup & Sandwich Combo

Helloooo! One of my most favorite foods in the whole world is SOUP. I friggen LOVE it and find myself craving a huge bowl of French Onion even during the hot summer months. Weird? Maybe. Delicious? Always. While in quarantine, I have become increasingly fond of the soup and sandwich combo for lunches at home on the weekend.

Although, nothing beats my mom’s homemade soups, I have had pretty good luck finding vegetarian friendly canned soup at the grocery store. Normally, I’ll heat up whichever soup I feel like on the stove top (I’m partial to Progresso’s Butternut Squash) and make a grilled cheese or bagel sandwich to go with it.

I am a huge fan of Everything bagels and recently went with the following for an easy and filling lunch:

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The Amy’s Southwestern Vegetable was definitely not as good as their Black Bean soup but it was alright. Although, I can’t say I would want to get it again. Meanwhile, on my sandwiches, I love to have a leafy green on it like spinach, lettuce, or sprouts. Then, to break up the dryness of the bagel, I apply hummus and a spicy mustard for that extra special little kick. 😉

We are in a very weird time right now and, purchasing food that you can stretch out will really help you limit your visits to the grocery store. The beauty of the bagel sandwich? You could get yourself the ingredients for about ten bucks and it would provide you with lunches for an entire week!

I have grown very fond of packing myself a bagel sandwich for my longer days at work and it always nips the hunger pains right in the bud. It has been a solid month since I have gone grocery shopping for myself and my boyfriend so, hopefully, this fondness will continue as I eat my way through this bag of bagels. 😅

What is your favorite kind of soup? What is a food that you can eat any time no matter the weather? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Hidden Dangers Of The Daily Commute

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The Hidden Dangers Of The Daily Commute

Before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy, many of us used to travel to work. (Do you remember those days?) But even back then, the subject of the commute was a thorny one. Employers expected you to spend large parts of your day sitting on buses and trains to get to the office. And they didn’t usually pay for it (even if it was a necessary cost of the job).

The commute, though, could be more dangerous to you than you think. It’s not just a matter of getting to and from work and the time you lose. It could also be taking its toll on your health.

It Is Hazardous:

Getting on the train to go to work seems like a perfectly normal and safe thing to do. After all, workers have been alighting at railway stations ever since the Victoria era. Trains, though, are hazardous. Accidents are waiting to happen around every corner.

Research suggests, for instance, that the average worker faces risks around 32 times every week when they use trains to get to work. Being packed into a tin can with dozens of other people and having to navigate the step down to the platform is dangerous. The chances of a slip or fall are high, especially when workers are in a rush and their minds on other things. Data from the UK suggest that 1.7 million people have to take time off work every year because of injuries they sustain while commuting.

The risks are even higher than that, though, in some cases. One of the worst New York city derailments of all time, with more than 200 people sustaining injuries, occurred in Union Square in 1991, proving that accidents can still happen on the railway.

It Could Damage Your Body Clock:

Evolution designed humans to wake up with the rising sun and go to bed soon after it sets. Modern working lives, however, disrupt this natural process. We’re no longer in a routine. Instead, we organize our lives around our shift patterns – and they’re not always healthy.

The commute may actually make things worse. When you get on a brightly-lit train or bus in the morning or evening, you send signals to your body that it is day time, and you should wake up. Suddenly, your body releases a flood of hormones designed to perk you up and give you a buzz. When this happens in the morning, it is healthy. But when it occurs at night, it is anything but. You wind up fizzing all evening, and when you hit the sack, you can’t sleep.

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Pixabay Image

It Could Affect Your Cardiovascular System:

Finally, commuting to work could harm your cardiovascular system. The combination of sitting still for a long time with the added stress of being around so many people can lead to increases in blood pressure. When your body goes through this daily, it can lead to conditions like hypertension, which are risk factors in more severe diseases. Standing up more on transport may help.

Stay aware during your commutes to work and keep yourself and those around you safe.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Fine Dining At Home: So Much Spaghetti Edition

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Fine Dining At Home: So Much Spaghetti Edition

Hello! My method of grocery shopping has always been to just do one big monthly haul and be set for the next four to five weeks. This technique has proved especially beneficial while in quarantine because it minimized the amount of times that Johnny and I have been in a grocery store exponentially. But, once we get to the point of needing another trip to the store, it is super slim pickings in our kitchen. And, in those trying times of feeling like I have “nothing” to eat at home, I say a special little thank you to the spaghetti and noodle family.

Johnny and I will make a pot of spaghetti with garlic bread once or twice a month. It is never not delicious and it also gives us a lot of leftovers, which is always nice. And, it’s also nice to share a bottle of wine with your Italian dinner! My pantry has a ton of spaghetti staples to help complete the meal and I love trying out different sauces when I go to the store. We currently are working with the following in our pantry:

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Spaghetti has been a Mushenheim family go to meal for as long as I can remember and it has forever been one of my favorites. I never say no to Alfredo, pesto, or tomato sauces and tend to have at least one of each kind at the ready in my cabinets. There is nothing better than plain old spaghetti with sauce but the best part of the noodle family is all of the delicious pasta salads that you can make!

When I have fresh veggies at home, I love to chop up a selection of colored bell peppers, zucchini, onions, and garlic to saute over the pasta. Then, I add fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinegar for a tasty summer salad that I enjoy throughout the year. 😉 Don’t forget the garlic bread, bread sticks, focaccia bread, or baguettes. And only the finest Barefoot Peach Fruitscato wine (which is my obsession right now) for a delicious, easy meal.

What are some of your favorite simple dinners to make? Which meals can you make stretch for infinite leftovers? (Mine is baked ziti!) I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Ways Of Keeping Your Home Consistently Pristine

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5 Ways Of Keeping Your Home Consistently Pristine

Having the most beautiful home is what we’d all like, right? We know that perfection doesn’t exist, but we’d like to be able to say we hang our hats in a very pretty little abode. While we can’t just snap our fingers and magic up a clean and pristine home, we can put in the work and make things as close as possible. If you’re a homeowner or if you’ve rented a place before, then you’ll know all about how it’s a job that requires constant effort with a watchful eye. These kinds of domestic chores can be very tedious and frustrating if you don’t have the right mindset or ideas going into them. Here are a few ways that can help make (and keep) your home in pristine condition:

Create A Plan Of Action:

Everything flows smoother when there’s a plan of working around the house involved. If you can figure out a little timetable of events, then you’ll be able to keep things in order a lot smoother. When your ideas are just kind of stored in your head, it’s easier to put them to the back of your mind and procrastinate. It’s also easier to confuse yourself when the thoughts are tucked firmly in your brain. If you write them out, then they become real, easier, and more motivating.

Have The Appropriate Services Completed:

You won’t be able to handle everything, of course. There will be certain tasks that you just can’t do as you aren’t trained in them. That’s where handy people come to the rescue. The likes of window fitters/cleaners, renovators, carpet fitters, and all others you can think of should be considered from time to time. The interior and exterior of your home need to have that touch of expertise every now and again!

Create Rules Around The House:

Whether you have a family, housemates, or you’re by yourself; it’s good to set rules to follow. They don’t need to be completely strict and rigid, but they should be adhered to. Not taking drinks to certain rooms and leaving your shoes in the porch area could be a good couple of ideas here. If you stick to what you set, then you’ll probably have a lot more joy in terms of what we’re trying to get at here. That systematic approach could save you a lot of hassle.

Be Proactive And Take Preventive Measures:

Stop issues happening at the source. For instance, stop bugs and other pests by using things like bug spray and a moth catcher trap that eliminates them quickly. Think about buying low-maintenance furniture and items so that you’re not constantly working away trying to fix/clean them. Prevention is a lot better than the cure.

Be Careful!

Last but by no means least, simply be careful with what you’re doing around the house. This obviously goes without saying, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said from time to time! Again, it’s another case of preventing something and stopping it from happening entirely!

Finish up your spring cleaning with the tips above and keep your home sparkling by maintaining it!

Bath & Body Works Online Haul

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Bath & Body Works Online Haul

Hi! During the coronavirus pandemic, the foaming hand soap from Bath & Body Works has been a godsend. They leave my hands feeling so clean without being stripped of moisture in any way. And, when you’re washing your hands way more frequently than usual, you have no idea how nice it is to have a soap that won’t turn your hands into bright red lobster claws!

I began purchasing B&BW soaps when I moved into my apartment last year and have not looked back since. My boyfriend, Johnny, loves them too and I love being in charge of which scents we pick out! Like all of these ones, when we had to restock online:

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Which Scents?

  • Sunwashed Citrus
  • Peach Bellini
  • Shell Yeah (Peach Passionfruit)
  • Stay Pawsitive (Iced Vanilla Cookie)
  • Pineapple Mango
  • Pomegranate Lemonade

Bath & Body Works was running a six for twenty-four dollar promotion on their hand soaps and you just can’t beat that. Of course, shopping online for scents is hard so I just went with what sounded good to me. I had to grab another Peach Bellini because it’s my favorite but I decided to get all new scents for the other five choices.

I absolutely love the adorable marketing on the Shell Yeah and Stay Pawsitive bottles and they both smell awesome. The Iced Vanilla Cookie one smells so much like the real thing that you just want to eat it, lol. I also am a huge fan of tropical/citrus scents, as is my boyfriend, so the Pineapple Mango and Sunwashed Citrus were easy choices to make.

The only scent that I am not thrilled with is the Pomegranate Lemonade. The lemonade part isn’t noticeable and the pomegranate portion is so overpowering and it just smells… Not great. Very old lady-ish, actually, so I definitely won’t be getting it again. But, five out of six ain’t bad and having clean, smooth hands makes one disappointment one hundred and fifty percent worth it!

What is your favorite Bath & Body Works scent? How do you keep your hands from drying out after a lot of washes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Ways To Keep Busy During Lock Down

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3 Ways To Keep Busy During Lock Down

As the days in lock down turn into weeks and the weeks roll into months, it can become increasingly difficult to know what else to do with all of this extra time on your hands. Well, most people always wished they had more time and now that it has come, we should put it to good use. Whether it’s spending more time with the children or learning something new, it’s safe to say that this opportunity will probably never become available again. Without a firm quarantine end date in sight, check out this list of three ways to keep busy during the lock down:

Learn a New Language:

The benefits of learning a new language go beyond being able to order food while on holiday. It also comes with both personal and professional advantages. On the personal side, it strengthens your IQ, and it is also a great workout for your brain. These cognitive benefits help to ward off dementia and enable you to be more decisive and focused on the task at hand. Did you know that learning a new language also sharpens your sensory perceptions in terms of touch, hearing, sight, speech, and movement? Not many other hobbies can attest to this claim.

On the professional side of things, having bilingual skills greatly opens up your job prospects and makes you more attractive to employers. For companies, it allows for a greater ability to reach new customers in new markets worldwide. Learning a foreign language also sharpens your communication skills making you a more rounded employee.

Take Up a New Hobby:

With most people working around the clock in today’s modern societies, not much time is left for extra-curricular activities and hobbies. Yet the advantages of having hobbies are priceless. For one thing, it keeps you present in that moment. A lot of time is spent regretting the past or planning for the future that most people never truly live in the ‘now’. Hobbies can be used for stress relief as it diverts your attention to something that creates pleasure. Hobbies help you connect with people or groups with similar interests. This encourages feelings of inclusion, support, and community, which is great for your mental health.

There are many hobbies that you can consider taking up, including writing, photography, cooking, and gardening. If you think that you have green fingers, why not get out of the house and into your backyard and try to grow something a bit different than the standard household vegetables. As summer is on the way, try growing some pineberries (white strawberries) or some achocha pods. If you’re really adventurous, you could look up how to grow a luffa gourd, then have the added benefits of organic sponges for your bath or kitchen. No matter what hobby you choose to take on, it will certainly help you while away the extra time on your hands.

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Give gardening a go!

Catch Up on Family Time:

Spending more time with your family can be done in multiple ways thanks to the technological advances in video calling. If you don’t have immediate family around you, then you could link up with them via Zoom, WhatsApp, and many more similar programs. Family time is probably the most important use of our time, yet hardly any time is committed to it. Why not jump in and play some fun games online with your kids or video call your aunt or grandparents – you’ll certainly be glad you did!

Dedicating your time to worthwhile hobbies will make your quarantine much more enjoyable. Choose something you’re interested in and watch a day go by as you immerse yourself in something new!

Featured Image By: Pexels

May 2020 Finishes

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May 2020 Finishes

Hello! May is just about over, which means that it’s time for my monthly beauty finishes. Despite being stuck at home pretty much all of May, it went by surprisingly quick and before I know it, my birthday of June 7th will be here in which I am turning the big 2-6. YIKES! I am not particularly thrilled about this increase in age so I’d like to stay in May for a bit longer please and thank you.

Unfortunately, we all know that this isn’t possible so I guess I will just have to really savor these last few posts in May! *Deep breath* The savoring has officially commenced so let’s get to discussing these empties:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Wonder Therapy Scrub: I got acquainted with the Wonder Therapy brand through TJMaxx and I am obsessed with their coffee scrubs! The Vanilla Coconut scent is delicious and the creamy texture is so rich that I don’t even have to put lotion on after shaving. And, speaking of shaving, I get the closest shave when I use this scrub first to prep my skin… We’re talking crazy smooth and it doesn’t get better than that. Plus, I got at least fifteen uses from one bottle, which is a great value too.

B&BW Shower Gel: Love the Bath & Body Works shower gels, love the apple scent, and love that I got it for about three bucks during their semi-annual sale. One bottle takes me over one month to finish and my skin definitely feels a lot softer and healthier from their moisturizing formula. And, did we mention the apple scent? Yum!

Evoluderm Micellar Water: I also got acquainted with the Evoluderm brand from TJMaxx and their micellar water is literally the best. It beats the Garnier micellar water by a long shot and I always have to snag a few bottles if I find it in the TJ’s beauty aisle. Not only does this micellar water take off my makeup perfectly but it also feels so good to use as a toner before I put my creams on. It took me over one month to finish the travel sized bottle.

ValJean Serum: This day serum by ValJean was a massive disappointment and one of the few times that the TJMaxx beauty aisle did me dirty. It was so strange because the consistency of the serum was thicker, which I like, but it felt like it did nothing every time I applied it. It was just kind of there and I noticed no difference in the feeling or appearance of my skin one way or the other. It took me one month to finish one bottle.

Clinique Face Spray: I received the Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray as a freebie gift from one of my Sephora online orders. For a while, it just sat there unused in my bathroom cabinet. But, then, I used a super powerful cream that my mom gave me which was definitely intended for more mature skin. It dried my face out completely and, throughout the day, I could feel it becoming more and more parched.

Then, I decided to start taking the Clinique spray with me while I was out and about and couldn’t get cream on immediately. It was such a refreshing… Moisture surge, lol. Seriously, it was like getting a drink of water for my skin every time I used it and I can see myself buying it again this winter when my sensitive skin suffers. It took me two weeks of use to finish the travel sized bottle.

Overall, May was a great month for empties. I finished a lot of the products that I was working on for a while and that is always exciting because it means I can start something new. So, who knows what I’ll have used up next month… Keep it posted! 🙂

Which products did you finish up in May? What are some of your favorite beauty brands? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tips On How People Can Protect Their Health During COVID-19

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Tips On How People Can Protect Their Health During COVID-19

The coronavirus has changed life as we know it with a number of people terrified to go back to work or school. Protecting your individual health is essential in keeping your family and those you come into contact with virus-free. There is a myriad of guidelines that have been set out by the CDC along with other medical experts. Below are tips to protect your health during this global pandemic:

Avoid Those Throwing Social Distancing to the Wind:

There are those that are practicing social distancing but still seeing members of their family. Avoiding these people is not essential, for the most part, although it might still be wise. The people that are constantly on social media at some sort of large gathering weekend after weekend should be cut out of your social life for the time being. Footage has been taken around the country of celebrations of the end of lock down with huge gatherings. The last thing anyone wants is a few more months of lock down so be smart in your decisions.

Understand How Your School or Workplace is Preventing the Spread:

The tough choice of going back to school on campus is a reality for many students at this current juncture. Looking into the preventative measures taken to reduce the chances for the virus spreading is crucial. Coronavirus cleaning for schools is available, which is something a school will publicize if they have invested in it. Lack of restrictions or dedication to distancing might make the decision for you with you opting for online classes.

The workplace is far more complicated, as you might not have a roof over your head if you do not go into work. The chance to work remotely is available for some people but it is not an option for all. Wearing a mask can be done if you have to deal with people face to face or work in a tight office environment. The decision to go into work is one that will have to be made at one point or another. Make the decision when you are comfortable doing so, as many employers are being flexible in this uncertain time.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home:

Doing a deep cleaning and disinfecting of your home weekly during this time is important. You have extra time to clean so use it to make sure the virus cannot spread. You do not want to get sick so a dedication to making sure hands are washed and areas like railings are disinfected is important. Most of the time a person’s home could use a little extra cleaning especially in tough to reach areas, anyways!

The importance of being proactive when it comes to washing your hands and practicing social distancing cannot be stressed enough. Wearing a mask is not required in many areas but it should be done just in case. The last thing you want is to contract the virus only to pass it to a family member that is elderly or has health complications. Once you get into the right routine this will become second-nature until things go back to normal.

How To Live A Calmer Existence At Home

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How To Live A Calmer Existence At Home

Our homes should be much more than just places to lay our heads at night and store our belongings. It should be the place where we recover the energy that we’ve lost during the day; it should be our retreat from the mania of the outside world. But, of course, this is only in theory: sometimes we find that our homes are just as stressful as public spaces. If you find yourself in this position, then it’s recommended that you take steps to make your home calmer. Take a look at our tips below and turn your home into the ultimate place for relaxation:

Set the Tone:

You should always try to start as you mean to go on. If you’re walking into a chaotic home, then it’ll be little surprise if your state of mind is chaotic while you’re there. Instead, look at making a few small changes to your entrance way. For example, you could look at adding plants, making the space brighter, and having a space for your coat and keys. Setting the tone is about more than getting the space organized, however: it’s about adding those touches that enhance the mood. For example, candles and incense can both make your entrance space much more enjoyable!

Clean and Spacious:

It’s much harder to live a calmer existence when it feels as if our material possessions are piling up all around us, or we’re living in an unclean and all-around disorganized space. As such, one of the best ways to create a better environment at home is to look at taking the minimalist route, and creating a clear and calm space. If you’ve been in your home for a few years, then you’ve probably got more material goods than you really need. So take a look at having a clear out. You can sell the items or, if you know that you’ll need them in the future, you can put them in climate controlled storage. You’ll find that it’s much easier to enter a calm state of mind when you’re not doing battle with all your possessions.

Tech-Free Spaces:

There’s much to love about technology, especially in the home. Who doesn’t enjoy playing video games, watching videos, or browsing the web? However, it’s important to remember that there is such a thing as too much tech in the home. Technology generally isn’t very calming, so if there’s too much of it in your home, then you might find it difficult to really relax. It’s recommended to put together a tech-free room in your house. There, you’ll do nothing but read, meditate, talk, and other activities that help to calm your mind.

Deep Comfort:

Finally, look at upping your home’s comfort levels. Things like new blankets, towels, and bed sheets can really take your home’s comfort credentials to the next level. It’ll allow you to fully sink into all of the cozy goodness that your property can provide, especially during the chilly winter months, when there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch.

Get ready, get set, and relax at home with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Searching For The Sun In Quarantine

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Searching For The Sun In Quarantine

Hello! As the crazy times dealing with coronavirus continue, I have encouraged all of my readers to have a go at creating guest content for lifewithlilred. It gives you an afternoon of entertainment, publicity for your page, and it helps me keep daily content coming. Believe you me, it’s very hard under these stay at home circumstances!

Luckily, some very kind and talented guest bloggers have answered my call to action, including the lovely Sheryl Rose of Sheryl’s Light. She is literally the sweetest ever and her blog is filled with great content to get lost in for the evening. So, do be sure to check it out and give it some love. Now, find out how Sheryl keeps things on the sunny side during these trying times:

Searching For The Sun In Quarantine:

The last few days here in Vermont have been quite warm being in the ’60s. Growing up in California as a young girl and later on a young woman I loved to sunbath. Having a nationality of Black Irish and Cherokee Indian all the hours spent in the sun would result in a deep brown tan which I loved. As I grew older, I spent less and less time in the sun becoming more aware of skin cancer and harmful UVB rays. Plus, since moving and living on the East Coast, there is way less sun.

Since this COVID-19 started I had started counseling. I was feeling depressed because of how badly I missed my family and old friends. This was before the outbreak. I went to one session instantly bonding with my new counselor. He has a very kind face. I trusted him immediately. Shortly after, this nasty little virus came to light prompting stay at home orders. I was bummed that we couldn’t continue our meetings so he suggested video chat, instead. I was so happy. Trust me I’m getting to the point of this post.

Sure enough on Thursday at noon, I get the awaited phone call from John to let me know he sent me the link for our video chat. I click on it, put my name in the on-screen box, and presto, we were at my session. As we are chatting away I notice my little screen of myself in the corner and my face is what I think a deadly white skin tone. Yesterday, I went over to where the apartment complex storage area is and retrieved my lounge chair, bringing it upstairs. Then the clouds came suffocating that idea.

I spent some time on Amazon researching sun tanning equipment and aside from the cost, they weren’t quite what I was looking for. I looked at the spray tan kits that came with a six foot tall tent. Where would I put that?! I even looked at the tanning creams which, from experience, don’t work all that well with the streaking and darkened elbows and knees.

I decided that tanning for free with only the cost of baby oil (which I already have) was the way to go. Today looks pretty good so I’m going to give it another try outside. I took a big plastic bin out to the trash this morning so I know it’s already really warm and it’s only nine AM. I need color. REAL color and, if nothing else, getting outside will definitely be a big plus!

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This is not me, but reminds me of how I looked when I used to sunbath complete with painted toenails and anklet. Plus I dreadfully miss the beach.

About The Author:

Hello, my name is Sheryl Rose. I have three grown children, a husband of fifteen years all together who I met online, two grandsons ages three and four, and a baby hamster named Zoey. My husband and I live in Vermont. We have lived here for six years moving from Maine. I miss Maine, the seafood, and ocean. My children live out of state. One daughter in California, middle daughter lives in Florida with her life partner, and my son who is married to his wife and two sons live in Texas. My deal is, despite the trials and tribulations you can still come up smelling like a rose. Get it!? My vision is to share my journey helping others like me. Life is love. Life can smack you around but you still can rise above it all and be kind. Life is a lark, as I’m fond of saying. Let’s have some fun.

Thank you so much again to Sheryl for her charming guest post! How do you keep a positive attitude amidst uncertainty? Who always helps to cheer you up? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Is It Time To Get Your Confidence Back?

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Is It Time To Get Your Confidence Back?

One of the most frustrating things about living in the modern world is the fact that, for many of us, it seems dedicated to making us feel as bad about ourselves as possible. The world sets such incredibly high standards for many of us that it’s unlikely any of us could live up to them. Because of that, developing any kind of self-confidence can be a real challenge. Of course, just because something is a challenge doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do to bring up your confidence levels, even just a little:

Take care of yourself:

If you want to start feeling better about yourself, then one of the first things that you’re going to want to do is to start taking better care of yourself. After all, if you don’t feel good physically, then your perception of yourself is going to end up pretty skewed. This could involve anything from eating better and sleeping more to treating yourself to some pampering with a spa day or a treatment to remove body hair with lasers. Whatever you do to look after yourself, not only are you going to feel better physically, but it’s a good reminder that you deserve a treat from time to time.

Get off social media for a while:

Social media can be a really amazing thing. After all, it gives us the chance to connect with one another no matter where we are and keeps us up to date on the current goings-on of the world. However, it can also be a pretty negative influence on many of our lives. Seeing the carefully curated images that people put of themselves on social media, it’s easy to start feeling somewhat inferior. But the truth is that these images simply aren’t a reflection of the real world. Getting away from social media from time to time is one of the best things that you can do to start feeling better about yourself.

Get used to your body:

One of the things that far too few of us actually take the time to do is to look at ourselves in the mirror. Many of us have some kind of perception about our bodies that so heavily colors what we think that we don’t pay attention to the reality of how we look. Taking the time to actually look at yourself and get used to your body can help to remind you that you likely look totally normal and that there’s nothing wrong with how you look.

The reality is, that a lot of aspects of the modern world are built around making you think that there’s something wrong with feeling confident about yourself. This is often because it’s a whole lot easier to sell you stuff when you feel miserable about yourself. Remember that you’re not doing anyone any harm by feeling good about yourself and, in a world that is designed to profit from making you feel as bad about yourself as possible, there’s something pretty radical about loving yourself.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Avoid Moving Day Chaos With These Practical Tips

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Avoid Moving Day Chaos With These Practical Tips

Are you going to be moving soon? If so, you’re probably already dreading the big moving day. For some people, moving day can be incredibly stressful since it takes a lot of physical work and they might be concerned about some of their fragile possessions breaking while in transit. Depending on the distance between your old and new home, it can also take quite a lot of time, so it’s normal to be a little anxious. However, moving day shouldn’t feel like a chore. Instead, it should feel more like a celebration, a time to be happy because there are lots of new opportunities waiting for you on the other side.

So to help make things easier, we’ve put together some tips to help you avoid moving day chaos and enjoy the day for what it is: A new beginning.

Label every box:

Labeling boxes will ensure that you don’t lose anything in transit. You could either label them by number and then have a huge list of what those numbers mean or you could just label them with full proper descriptions if there’s enough space on the face of the box itself. There are lots of different ways to organize boxes, so just make sure you do something that can help you keep your items accounted for.

Keep in touch with movers:

Communication is the key to a successful move. Look for an affordable reliable moving company and then keep in touch with them throughout the entire moving process. This will ensure that they’re in the loop when you need to make changes and it will help you organize what things you should be moving first based on their size and weight. You should also communicate any access problems such as stairs, lifts, and other obstacles that might make it difficult for them to move something from your home to their truck or vice versa.

Be realistic about how much space you need:

Movers are going to have different vehicle options for different situations, so make sure you make a realistic estimate about how much space you need. If you’re unsure, you might be able to work this out with the mover before the big day arrives.

Consider this the perfect opportunity to declutter:

Moving day is usually a good time to declutter and get rid of unneeded items. Since you’ll be packing everything into boxes for the move, this can be a great opportunity to throw out anything that you no longer need. Be more mindful about how you pack your stuff and you’ll find that you can clear out a lot of unnecessary or old things.

Remember to have a little moving bag or suitcase:

Since all of your stuff is going to be in boxes, it’s going to be difficult to get any essential items you need. The first thing you should pack is a bag or suitcase that has all of your essential stuff in it, such as a change of clothes, toiletries, and work-related items. Think of it as packing a bag for a holiday or paying a visit to a distant relative. You’ll likely be using this bag for at least two days, especially considering that you need to unpack in your new home as well.

Make the most of your move with the tips above. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 2

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What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 2

Hello!!! Although the stay at home order in Ohio is gradually being lifted, Johnny and I are still not comfortable yet diving into normal society. So, until we feel safe to enjoy the community again, we are okay with continuing our constant state of vegging out at home. On a previous post, I broke down all of the television and movies that are keeping my boyfriend and I sane…

Can you believe that a few weeks after posting that article, we’re already done with all of the shows that I mentioned?! Now, we’re onto the following:

SuperStore:

Johnny began watching this comedy based in a Walmart style store a couple of weeks ago and, originally, I didn’t care for it. Season one was weak and it took me a while for all of the different characters to rub off on me. When I finally started enjoying the show about halfway through season two, I did a complete 180 and now I am obsessed.

Superstore is the first thing I recommend when Johnny asks me what I want to watch. There are a few bigger names in the cast but I have not heard of a majority of the actors in it, which is kind of fun. From coworker relationships to goofy antics throughout the store, this show has kept me in stitches ever since I realized I liked it!

LEGO Masters:

I have definitely posted about LEGO Masters before but I wanted to mention it again, because it is that fun. Hosted by Will Arnett and judged by two master builders from LEGO, this is a fast paced competition show where teams of two create masterpieces out of the beloved children’s toy.

LEGO Masters follows your standard competition style protocol with eliminations and different challenges, each episode more exciting and difficult than the next. The artistic ability of every single contestant on the show was just amazing and I am crossing my fingers for a season two.

The Pacific:

My boyfriend is a huge history buff and you can often catch him at home watching different documentaries and TV shows about the subject. Earlier in quarantine, we watched Band Of Brothers, which depicted the soldiers fighting in the Easy Company division in WWII.

Now, we are watching The Pacific. Still WWII, but the soldiers being depicted are now fighting the Japanese soldiers in famous battles like Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. Believe me, the show is intense. But, omg is it interesting. I can’t say that I am as big of a war genre lover as my boyfriend. However, an episode or two of a series per day is something that I can handle and I have been enjoying dipping my toes in the water with that.

America’s Next Top Model:

Lol, this is certainly not one of Johnny’s shows but it is one of mine! I have been dedicated to rewatching ANTM since all of the seasons got put on Hulu and revel in when Johnny ends up taking a nap so I can put on a few episodes without him complaining! Cheesy, corny, guilty pleasure TV? Absolutely. But I couldn’t stop watching Tyra Banks and that big beautiful forehead if I tried! ❤

These are just a few of the shows that have been keeping my boyfriend and I entertained in quarantine. How about yours? What are you currently or have recently been binging on? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Having A Great Day, The Safe Way

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Having A Great Day, The Safe Way

Hi! While in quarantine, there have been many special occasions that have came and passed, including several birthdays in my family and Mother’s Day. Although it would have been nice to have big birthday blow outs and celebrations, that just isn’t possible right now. However, my family always seemed to manage to have a good time, despite the obvious set backs.

For example, for my sister and dad’s back to back birthdays, Johnny and I ordered pizza and we made an evening of it at my parents’ house. And, for my brother’s birthday, we hit up a local ice cream stand and brought that deliciousness home to enjoy. We also took the dogs (and ourselves) for a walk around the neighborhood, too!

While these are, admittedly, tame ways to celebrate someone’s big day, it worked perfectly for the current circumstances. Good food and company was shared between all of the people I love and it doesn’t get much better than that. Also, Pizza Hut… Need I say more?

Although your get togethers might not be picture perfect right now, you can still make a great day with the options that are safely available. My boyfriend’s birthday is a week before mine and, while I have gifts at the ready compliments of Amazon, I am also making him something special for dinner. AKA I’m getting him Outback Steakhouse so he can have that for his birthday dinner and watch WWII documentaries a la Parks & Rec. Like I said, work with what you’ve got given the circumstances!

Enjoy your low key celebrations for now and plan for an even bigger and better bash next year. Stay safe and have fun. ❤

How are you celebrating special occasions social distance style? What is your favorite takeout treat? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Just Something Nice :)

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Just Something Nice :)

HELLO! So, this quarantine has been lots of fun… I mean not the quarantine itself, everything kind of sucks. But, hanging out with my boyfriend at home when I’m done at work has been a hoot. Johnny and I have binge watched series after series and played countless hours of Animal Crossing to help us pass the time and, although it’s boring, I wouldn’t want to be quarantined with anyone else. :*)

One of my favorite nice Johnny stories that I never shared was from after I attended a wine and paint night with my best friend and some of the bridal party for her upcoming wedding. I came home with my tail between my legs because I thought my painting turned out like BOO BOO:

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But, the first thing Johnny said when he saw my painting was that he liked it and it looked like a Christmas card. Now, I have the painting proudly displayed in the living room. He always knows how to turn something I see negatively into a positive which I suck at doing and I always feel happy when I look at my masterpiece now.

Another thing that never fails to put a smile on my face is when I notice that Johnny has put my little artist’s wooden body model into a different position:

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^^^ It’s the little things, right?! 😅

Although things are far from awesome right now, I get to spend my excess free time safely tucked away in our goofy apartment world and I am so thankful for that. Especially when such fun surprises are scattered about if you know where to look! 🙂

Who has helped make this time in quarantine more tolerable for you? What is a silly tradition between you and someone your close with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Home Renovation: 4 Tips For A Successful Project

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Home Renovation: 4 Tips For A Successful Project

Starting your home renovation project can be challenging, especially if it is your first time. When planning a house remodeling, you can be drawn to skip the exciting stages of renovation, like choosing fittings, fixtures, and new colors. However, for the house renovation to be successful, there are things that you will need to consider. Careful planning and making the right choices are the best ways to guarantee the success of your home renovation project:

Plan Ahead:

Come up with a plan that clearly defines the goal for your renovation. You should include your needs and wants in an outline of the work that needs to be finished. Proper planning will also help you stay on your budget. The vital point to consider is the use of the interior design rather than the aesthetics.

Before you start your renovation, you should research a wide variety of information, keeping in mind that renovation is entirely different from construction. With a renovation, you will need to focus on structural requirements and legal limitations. You can start by looking for designs in magazines and ask your architect or contractor if he can get the same outcomes. Make just one plan and stick to it; changing your mind in the middle of a renovation will cost you more money, and you will need an additional permit.

Budget:

When it comes to house renovations, the sky is the limit. The amount of money you will need for the improvement will depend on the size and the design, the amount of demolition and renovation that will be done, and the customization as well as the amenities you want to add. Therefore, before you plan to renovate a house, ask yourself how much will you be spending? Once you have planned for the precise budget, make sure that you add extra money for surprise renovations.

Store your Stuff:

Some renovation projects will need your furniture and your belongings to be moved out. You will be required to move everything out of the construction area because;

  • It safeguards your belongings
  • The renovation project will be easier
  • You will have peace of mind knowing that all of your belongings are not in the construction site

You can stuff your belongings in the garage or pick another room and store them. Additionally, you can rent portable containers. Pick any storage choice and give yourself peace of mind.

Find a Skilled, Trustworthy Contractor:

When planning for a renovation, the best thing to do is hire a contractor. Remodeling contractors can help make the whole process stress-free and straightforward. Avoid choosing a contractor in cost estimates alone. There are other things to consider when selecting a contractor for your renovation project, for instance:

  • Years of experience
  • References
  • Payment schedules
  • Contracting license
  • Certificate of insurance

Contractors will tell you what will work and what won’t work in your renovation project. They will offer professional insight into the design, style, and current technologies in home improvement. Contractors are also priceless when it comes to hiring subcontractors like electricians, plumbers, and carpenters who focus in various areas of your home.

There is a lot of planning involved when it comes to renovating your house. Regardless of whether you are doing a whole-house renovation or some simple updates, you need to leave the bigger jobs to the professionals. A successful home improvement project can increase the value of your house while making it a much more stylish place to be in!

Featured Image By: Adobe Stock, by Andy Dean

Just Saying Hi!

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Just Saying Hi!

Hello!! We’ve made it through another week and I, for one, am stoked on it because I am taking a few days off next week! Oh yes, I most certainly am. These are the first few days off I’ve had since all of the coronavirus craziness came into play and I am going to savor every minute of it. Needless to say, I’m just a bit excited! 😀

This post is nothing special, it’s just me dropping by to say hello and to remind all of you to take care of yourselves. And, if that means taking a few days off to improve your mental or physical health, then go for it. Or, you can always kill some time by guest posting on lifewithlilred, which you can email me about at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com.

What is everyone up to this weekend? Anything exciting? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Positive Changes In Quarantine

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Positive Changes In Quarantine

Hello! Although different businesses are beginning to open in Ohio, my boyfriend and I plan on staying in until we are comfortable going back out. At least once per day, whether I’m at home or at work, being bored is acknowledged. And, yes, it’s a boring time. But, I’ve made some positive changes that I’m proud of during this time indoors so it can’t be all bad, right?

… It’s still pretty bad. But I am happy about the following:

Preparing Food At Home:

My boyfriend, Johnny, and I have been eating at home like nobody’s business. Which is a vast improvement health wise and financially to when we were eating out once or twice a week. Of course, we still treat ourselves to Taco Bell every now and then but we have been doing much better about going grocery shopping, preparing meals, and eating leftovers. I could get used to this!

Worthwhile Hobbies:

At the beginning of the quarantine, you couldn’t visit any webpage without being encouraged to take up a new hobby. And, as redundant as that was, it’s true. During my time at home, I have been practicing all of my languages (French, Czech, German, Spanish, and Italian) and I have also began learning American Sign Language. Not only that, but I have read a few books and wrote a ton.

I have enjoyed being able to practice all of my favorite hobbies as well as picking up a new one and it has made my time in quarantine much more pleasant. Although I am normally pretty good at practicing at least a few times a week, I would like to continue moving with the huge amount of momentum I have gained within the past month.

More Regular Sleep:

During the quarantine, I have gotten myself on a pretty solid sleeping schedule that I am very happy with. My new “bed time” of about ten thirty and then waking up for work at seven has made my body feel so much more… regular. Lol, seriously. I feel well rested, I can wake up for work without hitting the snooze, and I have been falling asleep more quickly. I definitely think that I can keep up with that!

More Financially Responsible:

Although I have succumbed to a few online shopping purchases, I have to say, I have been so much more financially responsible since this quarantine. Of course, there’s nowhere to go to spend money BUT I think all of this time off from impulse buys and drinks at the bar is going to make me think twice about how easily I spend money sometimes. Is it the most fun change? No. But, learning how to say no to things isn’t such a bad thing, either!

Yes, the quarantine is boring. However, there are silver linings to the situation everywhere if you know how to look!

Have you made any positive changes in quarantine? How do you feel about stay at home orders being lifted? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Live A Healthier And Happier Life

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How To Live A Healthier And Happier Life

If you have been trying to change your life around and live a healthier and happier one, then it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. It can be tricky to take the first step, so read on to find out what you can do to begin improving your life today:

Visiting a recovery center:

If you have been struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, taking a step towards a Renaissance Recovery Center Outpatient Treatment can be very scary. But, seeking treatment is a significant first step to transforming your life. They can find you a program and a routine that works for you and your needs taking note of any commitments you have, such as work, school, and other priorities that you need to work around. If you are worried about doing it alone, then they can provide a service that can be adapted for couples or groups. It can take one call to change your life, with twenty-four/seven support as well as a free consultation to discuss pricing, treatments, etc. so you can go away and think about it before committing, as it can be a big decision.

Taking up a hobby:

With hundreds of various hobbies and activities around, there is something for everyone. Whether it’s something such as cycling and running to pot throwing and tennis, these are all hobbies that can be done in your spare time. This is a great time to clear your mind while releasing any stress and worries. If you are looking for a small hobby that can be done within the home, then try an adult coloring, writing, and meditation – which can all help calm your body.

Looking after your body:

Taking exercise classes can be nerve-racking and cause anxiety with many people, but it can relieve a lot of stress while making you overall happier and healthier. While there are many exercise classes for you to take, you can also complete courses at home, whether it is on a video call or guidance through a YouTube video. There are many options you can choose from, such as yoga, HIIT, spin classes, and cardio to boost your fitness levels and have a healthy heart.

Gratitude and journaling:

A popular way to release any negative energy is to replace these thoughts with things that you love and cherish. Starting every morning, write three things that you are grateful for, something that would make today better, three things you love, and a quote to boost your confidence and to encourage each day to start in the best way.

Hopefully, with this guide, you will be able to take those first steps to living a healthier and happier life. Will it be easy? Nothing good ever is! But, it’s up to you to give it your best shot. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Prepare For Summer With These Awesome Style Choices

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Prepare For Summer With These Awesome Style Choices

While lock down may not have fully ended just yet, that doesn’t mean that it’s not time to start getting ready for the summer season. Specifically, we’re thinking about your new style options and there are definitely some trends here that are worth considering. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can look incredible when the sun begins to emerge:

The Right Shades:

Yes, you can start by thinking about which sunglasses you are going to wear to the beach this year. This is an easy place to begin and it’s worth noting that not every pair of sunglasses is going to suit every person. The style of sunglasses that are right for you is always going to depend on both of your eyes and the shape of your face. Some people are more suited for aviator-style shades while others will be better off with cats-eye glasses. It’s entirely up to you, of course, but a big trend this year is the wooden arms of the shades. Typically made from bamboo, these will stand out beautifully and make quite the impression.

New Jewelry And Piercings:

You can be a little bolder with your style this season and, instead, opt for some new piercings. A popular choice this year is going to be the constellation ear piercing. These look incredible and you can find out more from Urban Body Jewelry. Alternatively, nose piercings are another popular choice worth checking out this year. Studs are definitely on-trend and you’re going to see these a lot this summer with new season looks.

A Fresh Hairstyle:

A lot of people are currently wondering what their style should be when they emerge from lock down. Remember, a lot of offices are not reopening which means that employees have a chance to think big with their style. That means that many people are being a little bolder with their hair dye choices. If you’ve always dreamed about trying out a radical new color for your hair, then now could be a perfect time. Be aware that some color choices are going to make your eyes pop beautifully. Particularly when you get the makeup just right to go with the option that you choose.

From neon pink to a gorgeous silver, there are an abundant array of possibilities for you to consider. You could also match this with a brand new cut too. Is now the time to try a pixie cut? It definitely could be!

Metallic Leather:

Finally, if you’re looking to reinvent your wardrobe this summer season, then you might want to visit a retro clothing store. If you look at fashion blogs, you’ll see that metallic leather is back on-trend. You’re going to see a lot of people this season looking as though they are heading to an 80’s themed rave and we think you’ll agree, it’s about time.

We hope you have fun trying some of these trends and ideas yourself to look fresh and fun all summer long!

Featured Image By: Pexels

What To Ask Yourself Before You Emigrate

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What To Ask Yourself Before You Emigrate

Ah, to move abroad. Some people have the nerve to do it, while others prefer to stay in their hometown. Both decisions are absolutely fine, but if emigrating elsewhere is your biggest itch to scratch, then you have a lot of decisions to make. It’s not just about where you go, but why. There are also plenty of questions you should ask yourself, which are detailed below.

Emigrating to a new country is not a small thing to do; it’s huge. There is so much that you should be getting on with and it’s important that you get these decisions right the first time. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at those questions you should be asking before you jump into emigrating:

Where?

The big one. Where do you want to go? Where is your heart calling you to? The location you want to live in really does matter, as you will find that the further you go, the more it costs. Location counts when you want quotes from local moving services, for your travel time and tickets and when it comes to finding work. You could want to go to the remotest place in the world but there wouldn’t be any way for you to work and you’d struggle. So, get your destination right and the rest should fall into place.

Why?

What is pushing this move for you? There’s always a reason, whether it’s simply that you want to, or you have better job prospects. This is a big move, so you want to seek out things that make sense for you. Some people want to move purely for sunshine more than they want rain – and that’s okay! The key is to know your “why”.

Can You Speak The Language?

Most people tend to emigrate to places that speak the same way that they do, but not everyone thinks the same. Choose to start learning the language for the country you want to move to if you don’t know it and you’ll be set once you arrive. This is a big deal; learning the language will help!

Who?

Who is going with you? A big thing is to work out who will be traveling with you as you will need to financially plan for their visas and plane tickets, too. Make sure that you have support around you: emigrating is a huge deal and the more people that you have backing your corner, the more help you’ll have with packing once the time comes!

When?

So, when do you want this whole thing to happen? Are you planning for the long term or are you wanting to make an immediate change? Your future’s in your hands and you should give yourself time to make this happen. You may need to gain extra qualifications or spend some time saving your money. Either way, you need to make sure you have a plan mapped out in your mind for a big move.

Moving to a different country is an exciting adventure. Use the tips above to plan for the best new location for you!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Lil Red’s Book Club: Mike Omer’s In The Darkness Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Mike Omer’s In The Darkness Edition

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Before the libraries closed in Ohio, I was lucky enough to have visited one a week or so prior and was able to get two books. One, was Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and the other was called In The Darkness by Mike Omer. Before we begin discussing In The Darkness, I must warn those who might be triggered that this book revolves around the FBI catching sexually deviant serial killers.

Whew! Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to it without discussing any spoilers:

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In The Darkness follows FBI profiler, Doctor Zoe Bentley, and her partner, Special Agent Tatum Gray, who are sent to San Angelo, Texas on a case that could escalate. The situation? A video stream of a young woman being buried alive, posted from an account only known as Schrodinger and titled “Experiment Number One”.

Doctor Bentley specializes in serial killers and spent her childhood living next door to one. Now, she makes it her livelihood to help the FBI track them down. But, how can you track someone down based on video footage shot in a seemingly random location? And, is finding the potential future victims in the small amount of time before they die even possible?

In The Darkness covers a whirlwind case which begs all of the typical questions of who can be trusted, is sketchy, a red herring, and the serial killer, of course! This detective mystery kept me guessing until the very last page and I can’t wait to read more of Zoe Bentley’s adventures in Mike Omer’s collection.

What I loved about this book, is that it literally read like Law & Order SVU, a show that my boyfriend and I are obsessed with. It was fast paced, the main characters were all flawed but extremely likeable, and the story felt so crazy that it just might happen. Indeed, this book is not for the faint of heart but is one I recommend for those who enjoy a high pressure cat and mouse game between the good of the police force and the evil of the killer on the run.

I am going to rate Mike Omer’s “In The Darkness” with a seven out of ten stars. The story line was interesting and intricate and I was rooting for Zoe and Tatum the entire time. The writing, at times, left a little to be desired. But, other than that, no complaints!

Which book are you currently reading? What is your favorite genre to read? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Cotton Candy Grapes: YUM

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Cotton Candy Grapes: YUM

Hello! Everyone has a different taste when it comes to their preferred snacks. Some have a sweet tooth and others enjoy the salty and savory. I, myself, love my salty snacks and don’t eat sweets very often. However, a certain time comes around every month that leaves me craving ALL of the sugary goodness. The worst part? I never have anything to satisfy the cravings in my apartment! Until now. Allow me to introduce the cotton candy grape:

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I don’t know if any of you have heard of cotton candy grapes or if they are an Ohio thing. But, every summer when the farmers markets begin opening, my Facebook newsfeed is flooded with customers raving about this cotton candy flavored fruit. I have always been interested in trying these because, despite lacking a sweet tooth, I love cotton candy… Go figure, lol. Unfortunately, I have never seen them at the grocery store before…

Until my last grocery shopping trip, that is! For Mother’s Day, I went to Giant Eagle to get flowers and decided that I might as well restock my cabinets while I’m there too. Giant Eagle has a much wider selection than my normal stomping grounds of Marc’s but they are definitely more expensive, which is why I don’t shop there often.

Although I felt like I was splurging on all of my Giant Eagle purchases, it was hard to say no to things that I’ve never even seen before. Like my grapes, for example. I couldn’t believe it when the cotton candy grapes were just casually sitting in their fruit department and put the bag into my cart with cat like reflexes, eager to go home and try them.

And, let me tell you, these grapes did not disappoint. Popping one into your mouth is the equivalent of taking a tiny bite of cotton candy and it’s delicious. And it is a WAY better option than eating an entire box of chocolate while Aunt Flo visits for the week! 😀

Do you have a favorite food that not many people have heard of? What are some foods that are unique to your area? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Renewing Your Style This Spring

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Renewing Your Style This Spring

Whether it’s through new makeup or an overhaul of your wardrobe, everyone needs to renew and revitalize their style from time to time. If you think the time is right for you to make some changes and shake up how you style yourself, we’ve got some tips and ideas that might help you achieve the outcomes you’re looking for. Of course, your style should be unique to you, but here are some of the options you might want to consider:

Find Suitable Sources of Inspiration:

If you think the time is right to make a change, the first step is to find some sources of inspiration for your new look and where you want to take your style. Browse some blogs and look to influencers or celebrities who rock the kind of style you’re interested in. There’s a plethora of images out there for you to scour and take inspiration from, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Try a Minimal Color Palette:

When one of your aims is to revamp your wardrobe, you can achieve this by doing something different with the color palette. You should try to keep it simple and reduced to begin with because this will limit you and provide your approach to fashion and the process of developing a new style to become a little more focused. So try it out for yourself.

Find a New Go-To Lipstick:

One of the most important items you’ll own as a woman with regards to style and fashion is that one lipstick that you can always call upon when you need to add something new to your look. You should shop matte lipstick and find a new one that fits with the new style that you’re looking to create for yourself. It could be just what you need right now.

Aim for Quality Over Quantity:

When it comes to improving your approach to style, you should always aim for the ethos of quality over quantity. Anyone who’s hoarded fashion items and ended up with an incredibly bloated wardrobe knows that having lots of clothes doesn’t make dressing yourself each day any easier. It makes it more difficult and you become overwhelmed by lots of underwhelming options.

Invest in Some New Shoes:

One of the most important things to buy for yourself when you’re looking to renew your style is a pair of shoes that can be used in all kinds of different scenarios. They should be flexible and versatile and make you feel at ease and confident when you’re wearing them. It’s always a good place to start. *Just make sure you can walk in them easily! 😀

Every now and then, you need to take a step back and see if the time is right to do something new with your style. A fresh look can transform your entire being and put a new spring in your step. There are lots of ways of making this happen, and the ideas above should help you get started.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Have Some More Writing Prompts!

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Have Some More Writing Prompts!

Hey! Has the coronavirus quarantine put a cramp in your blog’s style? Ugh, I get it because SAME. The coronavirus has put a cramp in my literal style because my life revolves around comfort clothes right now and I thought I would never live to see the day for that to happen. Lol, it also makes creating daily content for my page exceedingly difficult.

More so than I imagined, actually, and I felt like I was really in a slump. It was a hard adjustment to find inspiration in the walls of my apartment but I think that I am just about there and I want all of you to be too. I recently offered some writing prompts on lifewithlilred and I’m here today to help the writer’s block even further with the following:

  • Have you taken any interesting online classes while quarantined?
  • Do you ever feel like you were born in the wrong decade? Which era do you most relate to?
  • Do you know anyone local making face masks? It’s always nice to drop their info!
  • Speaking of, supporting all of your favorite local businesses and artists with online nods is a great way to help your community!
  • Are there any foods that you absolutely refuse to try?
  • Have you been managing to have any fun while quarantined? How?
  • Did you have any blog posts that got put on hold until it’s safe to achieve? What were they like?
  • How about any other exciting events or trips that got cancelled? It’s okay to be upset about it. (I still have yet to meet my six month old nephew, which sucks!)
  • How have you been staying in touch with your friends? Scheduled happy hours or trivia nights, perhaps?

I am looking forward to going out and doing the things that I enjoy safely. Unfortunately, I don’t know when that will be. But, in the meantime, it’s so nice to have lifewithlilred to keep me occupied and I love being able to interact with all of you so keep those comments coming. Happy writing! Much love. -Sarah

5 Top Tips To Help You Stay Safe On The Road

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5 Top Tips To Help You Stay Safe On The Road

Whether you’ve just passed your driving test or you’ve been driving for several years, it’s vital that you stay as safe as possible when on the road. Driving is something that you should take very seriously. Therefore, you should make sure that you’re not doing anything that will risk either your safety or the safety of those around you.

So to ensure that you’re on the right path (or road!), here are the five top tips that you can use while driving:

Avoid Any Distractions:

When in control of your vehicle, you need to make sure that your full attention is on the road. It’s good to turn the radio down (or off), try not to get distracted when you have passengers with you, and to avoid texting while driving, etc.

You don’t want to find yourself in an accident because you were distracted while driving. There are so many implications that could come from this, from physical injuries that prevent you from secure employment to life-threatening conditions. So make sure that you avoid these from the get-go.

Check the Weather:

Before you head out on the road, it’s a good idea to check the local weather report. Rain and snow can cause dangerous driving conditions. So being prepared is vital in these situations. If you have to go out, you need to do it carefully – but if it’s not essential, it might be worth staying at home.

Keep Your Vehicle Maintained:

Another top tip is to make sure that your vehicle is maintained throughout the year. This isn’t just meant in the sense that you should check your oil and fuel regularly (an essential thing to do if you use it every day – for example, if you’re a delivery driver), but that you take it to a local repair shop if you notice anything wrong with it. Driving when there is a problem with it will only be hazardous and end in disaster.

Don’t Rush Yourself:

You should never feel pressured while driving – you must feel calm and collected. If you feel rushed, you might be tempted to speed or your mind won’t be fully focused – two things that can be very dangerous. Give yourself plenty of time when you’re driving anywhere so you don’t get last minute road rage.

Be in the Right Frame of Mind:

Following on from the above, it’s vital that you’re in the right frame of mind when you’re heading out on a drive. For example, if you’re upset or angry for any reason, it might not be the best idea to go on a long drive. Similarly, if you’re under the influence or hungover, you’ll be putting yourself in danger by getting in the vehicle. The latter is also illegal – so avoid doing this.

So, there you go! These are five top tips that will help you to stay safe while on the road, as well as those around you or riding in your car. Buckle up and hit the road!

Featured Image By: Cleyton Ewerton from Pexels

Get To Know Me In Quarantine

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Get To Know Me In Quarantine

Hello! It has been a good long while since lifewithlilred began. Therefore, it has been a good long while since I laid down some fun facts on you about yours truly. I figured, there’s no better time than the present… Especially when coming up with daily content amidst a stay at home order is way harder than I thought it would be! Read on to find out more about your favorite lil red haired, pierced, tattooed blogger:

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^^^ Normal me VS stay at home order me, lol!

All about me:

  1. My name is Sarah Mushenheim and, come September, lifewithlilred will be six years old!
  2. I love to figure skate, shop, read, go to concerts, and hang out with my boyfriend, friends, and family.
  3. I am an aunt to an adorable little girl named Valerie and a handsome little boy named Patrick.
  4. I am self employed as an independent provider for people with special needs. August will be my three year anniversary and I love my job!
  5. I have lost count of how many tattoos I have but I can’t wait to get more!
  6. My first post quarantine treats will definitely be getting my hair, nails, and some tattoos done. Oh you fancy, huh?!
  7. Learning new languages is one of my favorite hobbies. I speak English and French and am currently practicing American Sign Language, Czech, German, Spanish, and Italian. I plan on giving Portuguese a shot next.
  8. I write every morning. Literally every morning. And, on a random day where I can’t squeeze a post in before work makes me feel very off!
  9. My boyfriend, Johnny, and I have been playing hella Animal Crossing so if you play, come check out our island. 😀
  10. My family has two dogs, both of which are extremely precious and rescued. We have a little Terrier mix named Ollie and a goofy Golden Retriever puppy named Archie. ❤

Now you know a little more about me and I would love to hear from you! What are some fun facts about yourself? Or some of your favorite things? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Low Budget Choices To Boost The Price Of Your Property

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Low Budget Choices To Boost The Price Of Your Property

If you’re looking for ways to boost the price of your property, but you’re currently working on a tight budget, then you might be finding the task particularly difficult. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, and you can actually find some low budget choices that will help you boost the price quite nicely. If you want to know more about what these options are, keep reading down below:

A Fresh Coat Of Paint:

Imagine if you walk into a home and see that the paint is peeling all over the place or that there are marks across the walls that are easily visible. If you’re trying to increase the price of your property, then this just isn’t going to help, which means that a new coat of paint is in order. Head to your local home depot store, and you will find a whole range of colors for you to choose from. You can go with the same kind that you had last time or you can change it up seeing as now is your chance. But, if you’re going to make a change, then you’ve got to be conscious of the other furniture in the room so that you don’t end up clashing.

Fun With Flooring:

Or, how about altering the flooring of your property? Rather than upgrading the flooring completely, you can think about adding something to it. This is always going to depend on the type of flooring that you have because you’ll need to make choices like Modular Vs. Epoxy Flooring. Epoxy flooring is ideal for concrete floors and will provide a glass of water aesthetic sure to dazzle. If you DIY this job, you’ll spend no more than $100. Sounds like a steal!

Let There Be Light:

Alternatively, you might want to think about changing the lighting in your home. There are lots of possibilities here. For instance, you can think about adding some new light fixtures to your property. Light fixtures can be surprisingly cheap and will easily fit into a standard home renovation budget. You can also find a lot of different styles so you should be able to achieve a wide range of different possibilities with your home redesign.

Lighting also has practical benefits if you are selling the home. With the right lighting fixtures, you will be able to avoid shadow in the room. Shadows will always make the room look significantly smaller and this will make a buyer think twice about investing in your property. Or, you could go tech-heavy with this choice. Get color changing bulbs controlled by a smart system integrated into your property. The tech is more than affordable now and will definitely impress a potential buyer.

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Ballin on a budget

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the low budget choices to boost the price of your property. Have fun and try to work some of these changes into your spring cleaning!

Featured Image By: Pexels

If The Shoe Fits: Forever 21 Wedge Loafers Edition

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If The Shoe Fits: Forever 21 Wedge Loafers Edition

Hello! One of the last treats I purchased for myself during my recent online shopping extravaganza is a fabulous pair of embellished wedge loafers from Forever 21. The brand: Chase + Chloe. The price: Below thirty bucks. The style: Can’t be beat! Check out my new funky pair of footwear and let’s discuss:

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When I don’t feel like spending a fortune on crazy shoes from Dolls Kill, I usually turn to Forever 21 to satisfy my urge for shoes that have a little more oomph to them. While browsing through F21’s selection this time around, I wasn’t too impressed. But, when my eyes locked on these Chase + Chloe loafers, my heart skipped a beat. It was literally one of those “That’s what I’m talking about!” moments and into the cart it went.

I was really looking forward to my new kicks arriving in the mail and, even though I love them, I was riddled with disappointment as soon as I opened the box. Yes, the shoes are fabulous. However, as soon as I took one of them out of the box, one of the studs fell off immediately. You can actually see where it is in the picture of the back of the shoe.

Of course, things like this are to be expected with embellished shoes no matter how much it sucks and once I got over my initial “whomp whomp” I was able to appreciate how cool these shoes are. Everything about these shoes is a statement from the bold black and white palette to the rock n’ roll studs and stars. I can’t wait to bust these bad boys out and I am sure that they will be a crowd pleaser… Minus a stud or two. 😉

Where do you get your most fun shoes at? How would you style these loafers? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Top 5 Dogs For Small Spaces

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Top 5 Dogs For Small Spaces

Getting a dog is a big step that requires commitment and dedication you have to be ready for. Some of the factors on the dog’s side you should consider include age, size, nutrition, and training requirements while sorting out financial status and space on your end. The fantastic news is that even if you have a small space, some specific breeds will fit you perfectly. But size is not what only matters here; how loud, friendly, and energetic is the dog? Take a look at these five breeds that can thrive in small spaces. Also, note that they are all super cute, so choosing one might be hard:

1. Bichon Frise:

This dog breed does not usually grow taller than a foot even and weigh about fifteen pounds. This means that they won’t take up much space on the couch and in the apartment. Even though they require daily exercise, they also love to play, and so are very energetic. These hypoallergenic cuties learn very fast and are very friendly, making them well behaved with company.

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Angel!

2. Boston Terrier:

This is one of the short-haired breeds which go well in apartments. They usually do not grow taller than a foot and a half and are also very lively and energetic. They are called the ‘American Gentlemen’ for a good reason; they are gentle and generally wonderful to be around. Once they’re well-fed and exercised, they’re content.

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Another angel!

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:

If you love the silky dog breeds, then you’ll enjoy this one. They love going on walks and lounging on your lap when you’re ready to relax. They weigh thirteen to eighteen pounds so space is not a problem at all. In fact, their preference to stay attached to their owners even makes small spaces good for them. The only issue is that they are quite hard to train, but a lot of outdoor time and positive reinforcement can solve that problem fast.

4. French Bulldog:

These dogs are compact and engage in very minimal activity, two reasons why they’re perfect for small spaces. They also very rarely bark, which is a good thing if you have neighbors. This is also beneficial because they will only bark when there is a reason to which is a characteristic good watchdogs have. Daily brisk walks are enough to keep them in shape, and so it’s not a problem if you spend most of the time inside.

5. Havanese:

This 10-pound dog is another favorite among apartment dwellers because not only is it cute, but it also loves to stay indoors. They are clingy and love to play with their owners, and so it is easy to keep an eye on them.

Knowing the type of dog you can have for your space will save you a great deal of trouble. You will have to take care of them like any other pet, paying attention to their inner and outward health. You can protect them from parasites with https://it.nexgardspectra.com/ and visit your vet for regular check ups.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Mother’s Day Bouquets

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Mother’s Day Bouquets

Hello and a very happy belated Mother’s Day to all of my lovelies who celebrated! Although I normally love getting creative with gift giving, I always find Mother’s Day to be a bouquet occasion. So, I went to our local grocery story and picked out some beautiful flowers and floral decorated mason jars for them all to go in for my giftees.

Over Mother’s Day weekend, my boyfriend and I made our flower delivery rounds and, although these pictures are admittedly not the best (I was half asleep!), take a look at my handy work:

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Once I bought my Mother’s Day flowers, I took them home so that I could begin arranging them into their jars. My dad is an amazing bouquet arranger so I thought back to all of the million times I’ve seen him prepare a bouquet for my mom and gave it my best shot. And, I think they ended up looking great – the recipients definitely thought so!

I am partial to receiving flowers, myself, but there’s nothing like giving them on a special occasion to all of the strong, beautiful women that you love. Again, a very happy belated Mother’s Day to all and I wish I could have given flowers to all of you. ❤

How did you celebrate Mother’s Day? What is your favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

If The Shoe Fits: Forever 21 Heeled Combat Boots Edition

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If The Shoe Fits: Forever 21 Heeled Combat Boots Edition

Hello! After what felt like going forever without shopping, I finally caved and treated myself to some goodies online from Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters. There is nothing like packages arriving at my front door to help perk myself up and I now think I can hold off until the fateful day when I feel safe to shop at TJMaxx. Maybe.

So, while I mull over that decision, check out these new white heeled combat boots from Forever 21:

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If there’s one thing Lil Red loves, it’s a good combat boot. I have flat combat boots and heeled ones and ninety-nine percent of them are… Yep, you guessed it: All black everything. So, as you can imagine, it made it impossible to say no to a new crisp white pair to add some variety to my combat boot collection.

I love the fresh take on the grunge style that these shoes give me with the unique color palette but they are still such a classic shape and I think they are really cool. Of course, crunching through the snow in these bad boys next winter will be a treat. But, can we please talk about how cute these will be paired with short shorts and cute tights or socks come summer? Living for it!

I paid around thirty dollars for these new boots and I considered it a steal, especially because I’m sure I would pay around the same amount at TJs. Now, if only I could break free from my comfy cozy quarantine wardrobe long enough to actually wear them!

What is your favorite style of shoes? How do you give a nod to grunge style? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Choosing The Best Flooring For Different Rooms In Your House

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Choosing The Best Flooring For Different Rooms In Your House

We all want the best for our homes. We carry a lot of work out on them and focus a lot on interior design. But flooring tends to be an aspect of our properties that we neglect a little. Many of us take it for granted and completely forget that we can easily change it. Different types of flooring suit different people and different rooms. So, to help you get started on your flooring journey, here are a few of the most common and popular types of flooring out there:

Wooden Flooring:

Wooden flooring is a hugely popular choice. It looks great. It’s easy to clean. It lasts pretty well. Some people will like this flooring throughout their entire house. Others will only want it in some rooms, where the colder and harder aspects of it are fine. When looking at real wood flooring, Solid wood flooring has relatively minimal work carried out on it. Hardwood flooring is generally a layer of hardwood placed on top of high-quality plywood. Solid wood flooring, on the other hand, is literally slats of complete wood. Hardwood tends to be much cheaper and gives the same appearance. However, if you’re focused on authenticity, solid wood could be the way to go.

Epoxy Flooring:

You might not have heard of Epoxy flooring before, but it’s extremely popular. Generally speaking, Epoxy flooring is designed for outdoor use or industrial use. But nowadays, many people are starting to incorporate it into their homes. It’s made of polymers and has a plastic-like feel and appearance. The main perk of this flooring? It’s heavy duty and will take some serious wear and tear, meaning you won’t find yourself having to replace it for years. But people generally have questions. Does it look good? Is Epoxy Flooring Slippery When Wet? Is it right for my home? Now, the first and last questions are largely subjective. Have a look at some images and you’ll be able to determine whether it has the right aesthetic for your home. In terms of slipperiness, most Epoxy floors tend to be slip resistant. Just make sure to clean up spills on it as you would any other floor.

Carpets:

Those looking for comfort while they’re home tend to go for carpet. This is common in lounges and bedrooms, where people seek soft and warm environments. There are many types of carpet out there, so you may need to do a bit of research and request some test samples to determine exactly what you’d like. Long pile tends to be softer but harbors more dirt. Short, looped pile is good for high traffic areas, but won’t be as soft for other rooms. Make sure to shop around and eventually you’ll find the perfect carpet to suit your needs and preferences.

These are just three types of flooring. There are a number of alternatives on the market that you might like to look into. But hopefully, the insight into those listed above may have helped you settle on what best suits you and your home!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Amazon Skin Care Haul

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Amazon Skin Care Haul

Hello! If I knew the last time that I went to TJMaxx was the last time, I would have bought out their entire skin care selection. But, hindsight is 20/20 as the saying goes. A few weeks ago, I ran completely out of my selection of moisturizers and serums and was running dangerously low on everything else. As the other saying goes… There’s a first time for everything.

Normally, I would go to TJMaxx’s website to order some more skin care but they are not shipping out currently. So, I turned to Amazon and bought all of my necessities in bulk so that running out never happens again. Check out my haul:

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The Haul:

  • 2 Garnier micellar waters with a free travel size bottle
  • 3 SkinLab Lift & Firm moisturizers
  • 2 Azure Lux Rose Gold serums
  • 1 Azure Lux 24K Gold serum
  • 2 SkinLab Lift & Firm eye gels
  • 1 SkinLab Hydrate & Replenish hydra eye cream

I know, I know… It’s a lot. But, now I won’t have to worry about replenishing my hoard for a good long while and I feel great about that. What I don’t feel so great about? How much more expensive these products were on Amazon than they normally are at TJs! For example, I paid about eleven dollars for each moisturizer on Amazon when I normally pay six at TJMaxx. That hurt.

You know what else hurts, though? Your skin literally aching to be moisturized after a few days of going without! That was really rough, especially since I’ve been following a strict skin care regimen since I was at least fifteen. I am so thankful that Amazon had brands that I was familiar with so that I didn’t have to spend money on products I potentially might not like. It might have cost a bit more but it was worth every penny.

I would never be a toilet paper hoarder but I have been a proud beauty care hoarder for years now and it is nice to finally have my stockpile sitting pretty again. 😀

What are some beauty products that you stockpile? Which products have you been having a hard time finding in stores? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Watch Out! The Four Causes Behind Many Accidents

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Watch Out! The Four Causes Behind Many Accidents

Accidents are part of life and you can’t always prevent them. Luck has a strange way of playing a role, and it might just be something you skipped, or someone else did. There are, however, certain aspects of an accident that we can help mitigate. To help you look out for some of the accidents that can do you a mischief, here are some of the most common causes:

Not tidying up:

Are you the kind of person that cleans up after yourself? Or maybe you leave the odd bowl, mug, or cardboard box out of something you got in the mail office. If items end up lying around, they start piling up until you have a messy and cluttered home or workplace. And, while they may not seem particularly threatening, they can be when you are hurrying about and rushing, or you are not paying full attention to where you are going. Seemingly simple things can end up being lethal if you just leave them around for you or anyone else to take a trip, slip and fall over. Pick up after yourself, and immediately, you reduce the risk of injury.

Not paying attention:

Following on from the previous point, not paying attention to where you are going or what you are doing is a massive factor in many avoidable accidents. Wherever you are, you need to be aware of your surroundings. This is of particular importance in busy areas or on or near a road. Put down your cell phone, take out the earphones, and concentrate on where you are going.

Rushing about:

We all lead incredibly busy lives, rushing about from work to home to grocery shopping, making sure the kids are at school, play dates, extra-curricular classes and everything else in between. Because of this, we may take shortcuts and not take as much care over what we are doing, which is a common factor in accidents. For example, if you are cooking, you might be trying to speed things up so you can get the kids into the bath or help with homework, but this is much more likely to end up in a burn or scald injury – and this will cost you a lot of time in the long term. Slow down and focus on the job that you are doing.

Using unfamiliar equipment or machinery:

We all have done it – used a new piece of DIY equipment or a tool at home or work and not been familiar with it or how it works. Before you use something new, take the time to read the instructions and, if necessary, watch some online tutorials. If it is in the workplace, insist on thorough training before using anything that you are not sure about.

Not all accidents can be avoided, and they can happen to anyone, at any time, anywhere. However, by knowing the common factors involved in accidents, you are able to take steps to avoid them.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Why Rats Are In Your House – And What To Do About It!

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Why Rats Are In Your House – And What To Do About It!

No one wants to have rats in their home. Unless you’ve chosen to have them in a cage, they’re not a desirable creature to have in the walls of your house. The problem is that when there’s a rat infestation, it’s hard to be able to work out why you have one in the first place. Security is a must – but how do you secure your home against a rat?

Rats are one of many different pests that can cause an issue in your home, but let’s take a look at why they’re in the home in the first place, and what you can do about them once and for all:

Your Home Is Warm:

Why does an animal go inside the house? Well, for comfort, warmth and food, of course. Your home is warm, and animals in the cold will make their way into warmer places, especially in the cooler months. Rats come into the house to nest and breed, and that’s not what you want to happen! They can, and will, gnaw their way through your wires and your insulation, which is why calling 000 Pest Control if you notice any bitten wires is a smart decision. You need the experts to help when wiring is involved!

Food:

It doesn’t matter what it is, rats will eat it. They will eat through bread and meat as much as they will leather and fur, which means that you need to make sure that you are not leaving tempting tidbits around the house. The bins on the exterior of your property need to be secure to prevent them from coming into the house, and bags of food in the home need to be secure, too. They’ll sniff it out if not!

Compost:

Compost is another thing that attracts rats to your home. It’s like a buffet to rats and they will make a beeline to your home just to come in and eat anything that they can find. So, it’s up to you to ensure that your compost pile is one that is safely tucked away and out of sight.

Broken Pipes:

If your attic or basement has leaky pipes, you can expect rats to be near. It’s not that they’ve broken the pipes, but that they are attracted by the drip, drip, dripping of the pipes. Rats get thirsty and if you have an open source of water, they’re going to drink from it. You should get the pipes fixed because you need to, but remember that rats are an unfortunate side effect of broken pipes, too.

Ease Of Access:

Your house is a playground for rats. They can climb the trees and get into the attic as much as they can head down the drainpipe and into the basement. Secure your home against the onslaught of pests, and you can ensure that your home remains a rat-free zone.

Rats are not the only pests that should concern you, but now that you know all of the ways that they can come into your house, you can do something about it. It’s important that you protect your home: No one wants unwanted house guests!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Sunshine Blogger Award #8

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Sunshine Blogger Award #8

Hi! During this lock down, I have seen all of the fun little blogging awards that were so popular when I began writing make a major comeback. These awards are a great way to get to know your fellow bloggers better and I am so proud for lifewithlilred to have been nominated for its eighth Sunshine Blogger Award by my friend, Alexandra, at You and Me and Cup of Coffee.

Miss Alex runs a fantastic blog filled with the best content and it is always such a delight when we can chit chat a little. So, do be sure to check out her page and give it some love! Now, let’s get on to the rules for this award:

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in the post and link to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions asked of you
  • List the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post
  • Write a new list of 11 questions for your nominees
  • Nominate 11 bloggers for the Sunshine Blogger Award

Q & A:

What is your most favorite character in movies/TV shows/video games? My Animal Crossing villager. Lol, no… But, yes. I don’t know, I always loved the more eccentric characters Johnny Depp played in his older movies. I also adore the character, V, from V For Vendetta and the Faun from Pan’s Labyrinth.
What are the 3 things you like about blogging the most? All of the friends I’ve made for answers one, two, and three. ❤
Did your blog grow more or less as you’ve planned when you started blogging, or did it take a different route? I wasn’t really expecting anything out of lifewithlilred when I first started it. But, now my page is read in over one hundred and eighty countries and I can’t quite come up with a word to describe how that makes me feel. Very proud.
What historical period do you find the most fascinating and why? My boyfriend and I watch a lot of WWI and WWII documentaries together. WWII was always my favorite thing to learn about in school and watching all of these programs as an adult is so eye opening.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? That there’s nothing wrong with living your life at your own pace.
Imagine you’re about to launch a small business and have no limitations in funding, location, etc. What kind of business would you start? Oooh! An animal shelter in the community. And a super fashion forward boutique, of course.
Would you rather go to a music concert or stand up comedy show and which performer would you choose? That’s a hard one and I would like to go to both so that’s how I’m answering it. Haha, for a comedian I’d love to see Jason Mulaney and I am still dying to see Arcade Fire in concert.
Do you have unpopular opinions? If so, what are they? I think everyone’s opinion can be unpopular depending on who they tell it to. But, I tend not to post in depth about my religious or political views on my blog or social media.
What’s your opinion about the luxury industry? Are luxury brands worth the price? So, I have no problem paying a bit more for a quality product. However, I could never justify spending thousands of dollars on one piece of clothing when I have a difficult time spending over fifty! I don’t think any piece of fashion is worth more than your first starter car. That’s why I live in TJMaxx, lol.
Where do you get inspiration when writing for your blog? When I’m with my boyfriend, in TJMaxx, or when I’m literally just about to fall asleep in bed.
If you could instantly remove one thing from the world to make it a better place, what would it be? It can be anything – something tangible, process, idea, emotion, a character trait. CORONAVIRUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Nominees (I’m only doing three):

My Questions For You:

  1. What is your lock down uniform? Mine is no makeup and all of the hoodies!
  2. What are you most looking forward to doing post coronavirus?
  3. Favorite restaurant local to your area?
  4. Do you prefer in store or online shopping?
  5. What was the last book you read?
  6. What are a few of your favorite hobbies besides writing?
  7. Do you plan on blogging throughout your life?
  8. What would be your perfect date night?
  9. Last series you binge watched?
  10. Do you have any strange talents?
  11. Biggest guilty pleasure?

Thank you so much again to Alex for the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination – your questions were amazing!

How would you answer some of Alex’s questions for her nominees? What about some of my questions for mine? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Tips For Preparing For Your Next Dinner Party (While Quarantined!)

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5 Tips For Preparing For Your Next Dinner Party (While Quarantined!)

As we move into warmer months ahead, you may be nostalgic for the days of sunshiny afternoons and barbecues with friends. While many of us are still in quarantine, we’re all hopeful that life can go back to resembling some form of normalcy in the coming months.

What are some of the things you could do now to prepare your home for friend get-togethers later when the world starts reopening? Let’s go over five easy tips to help you prepare for your next dinner party… all while you are quarantined:

Get your yard under control:

There’s no time like the present when it comes to doing yard work. Trim hedges and bushes. Power washing any exposed concrete, deck boards, or sidewalks is a great way to make your home really seem well taken care of. If weeds are starting to crowd out plants now, get on top of them since they will only get worse as the weather gets better.

Get those windows washed:

Better yet, consider hiring a monthly window cleaner to make sure your house windows shine like the top of the Chrysler building. Smudges from dirty fingers, dog and cat noses, and bugs make a home look messier than it is.

Speaking of bugs…

Call a local pest control to make sure you don’t have any potential critters coming. Yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps are best taken care of in late spring or early summer months, and nobody wants those bugging them at our friendly get-togethers. Mosquitoes, ticks, and other yard bugs can be controlled with a semi-annual pest control visit.

Do that deep cleaning you’ve been putting off:

You can check out an older blog that mentions the cleaning musts that many of us forget when doing deep or spring cleaning. If you’re not a fan of scrubbing floors and the weird crevices in your bathroom, do all the basic cleaning, then hire a company to do the deep cleaning for you. If the weather has turned beautiful in your neck of the woods, open up those doors after you’ve cleaned to get any of the cleaning product scents out of the home while bringing in some fresh air.

Planning makes perfect:

Plan the perfect dinner party ahead of time. When you throw a get-together, it always seems to take more time to organize than what you expect. Run down a list of things that you need to do before you would want people eating and chatting over a delicious dinner at your house. If you need extra utensils, cloth napkins, citronella candles, or tablescape items like tablecloths and vases, research affordable ones and order them online or place a curbside order for them.

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Lovely!

Quarantine life has been difficult, but making the most of it doesn’t have to be. As we transition into some form of new normal, many of us are craving social interaction that we took for granted before. Now is the time to get your home in a great place to host the get-together we’ve all been dreaming of for the past several months once it’s safe to do so!

Featured Image By: Pexels