Summer In Fall OOTD

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Summer In Fall OOTD

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new OOTD here on lifewithlilred!! In early fall, you never know what kind of weather you are going to get. Is it going to be summer hot or hoodie weather? Who knows?! On this particular day that I took pictures, it was hot AF so I decided to do one final hurrah for summertime. Now, bring on the brisk days of fall, baby! Check it out:

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Who? What? Wear?

This past summer, I learned to love warm weather fashion a little more. Although it will never be my favorite season to dress for, I admit that it does have its merits lol. I just love more elaborate fall outfits so the simplicity of clothing to keep you cool in the summertime bores me. That is why fun additional pieces like kimonos, earthy wedges, and quirky jewelry are a must for my summer apparel, as you can see in this OOTD.

I already had the Rebellion Again kimono in mind and I thought that its gauzy fabric in my favorite hue of mustard yellow was an ideal summer piece to welcome the fall. It is such a versatile option and would make a fabulous cover up over a bathing suit or look charming over top of a dress at a summer wedding… Which I definitely wore last year when mine and Johnny’s friends tied the knot!

Pairing my kimono with the Banana Republic cami top was a no brainer as you can see from the colors in its pattern. While the yellow flowers weren’t a perfect match, it was close enough. The blue flowers, however, popped just right against the distressed jean shorts, which you can really see when the kimono is off. I found this top when I was going through my “I have no tops” phase and love its sweet pattern and silky fabric. It was also a total steal at just twelve bucks for a Banana Republic top. Freaking SCORE! 😀

The styling of this outfit really did speak for itself as I prepped in my wardrobe office and it’s always great when a cute fit requires minimal think work. My lace up wedges of unknown origin was just right to tie the outfit together. I’m actually just noticing this now but the earthy tones of the canvas also work in tandem with the olive green flowers in the top. NICE.

Guys, I love these damn shoes so much it’s not even funny. They were one of my first pairs of wedges and my massive shoe collection went haywire after that! Unfortunately, I pushed them too hard in this OOTD. After getting back in the car, I saw a huge tear from the canvas to the woven heel and I was SO sad. Despite their unwearable condition, I refuse to part with them for sentimental purposes. But, what a way to glorify them for forever with one last killer OOTD! But, I digress…

After the shoes (RIP) were selected, it was time to accessorize. I went with my go to bangle bracelets that I adore. They are even more special because all of them were gifted to me from my mom and sister. For earrings, I chose my dangle feather pair that was a hand me down from my sis. Do you remember when feather earrings were all the rage and then they just weren’t? Lol, they, obviously, still are for me and looked so pretty against the creamy base of the cami top.

Let’s be real, it has been fall in my head since late August but I just had to send summer off with a bang with my Summer In Fall OOTD. Keep it posted here on lifewithlilred for lots more fall fun, fits, and fabulousness! ❤

What is a trend that you can think of that was wildly popular then wasn’t? What is fall weather like where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Lil Red’s Book Club: Fire-Starter By Stephen King Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Fire-Starter By Stephen King Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! I have been visiting my own personal library and after rereading Stephen King’s Carrie for the first time since freshman year of high school, I thought that I would give Fire-Starter a try. I have never read it before and it was AMAZING and such a fun reminder of King’s greatness. From start to finish, I was hooked and I can’t wait to watch the movie of it soon. Before we begin our discussion, I will be placing a trigger warning on Fire-Starter for gruesome violence and disturbing content. Now, let’s get to it – without giving any spoilers away, of course!

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Young Andy McGee is strapped for cash in college and decides to take part in an experiment for a quick two hundred bucks. In this experiment, some students would be injected with a hallucinogenic drug and others would get a placebo. It sounded easy enough and eleven other students thought so too, including Vicky, whom Andy would eventually marry and have a little girl with.

During the experiment, strange and violent things happened but the facilitators claimed that it was just the effects of the drugs causing these visions. Still, Andy can remember vividly when a drugged student clawed his own eyes out and others were being encouraged to move items with their minds. Apparently, this drug was thought to awaken certain mental abilities like telekinesis, levitation, pyrokinesis, and mental domination.

Because of the deaths of two students during the experiment, it was immediately shut down and covered up. Fast forward to present day and Andy and Vicky are the only two remaining from the original group. The happy couple is perfectly ordinary aside from a few quirks. Vicky can occasionally open the refrigerator door from across the room. Meanwhile, Andy can use his mental domination to “push” people into anything from losing weight to having more self confidence. Their daughter, however, is a different story.

Little Charlie McGee has the power of pyrokinesis – the ability to make and control fires with her mind. You can imagine the scares she gave her parents when she was a baby! Despite their powers that they inherited for a measly two hundred in college, the McGees live a fulfilling and normal life. They also have no idea that they have been watched and followed since the experiment ended and that an allusive group called “The Shop” is very much interested in Andy and Charlie.

After Andy has a hunch of something bad happening at his work as a college professor, he rushes home to find his wife dead and Charlie missing. He learns that his daughter was taken from a friend’s home and time is of the essence before The Shop has her for forever. He uses his power of the push to locate her and they have been on the run from Charlie’s captors ever since.

The Shop believes that Andy and Charlie are incredibly dangerous and could also be very useful for their own personal gain. They will not stop hunting father and daughter until they have them locked up at their compound. And, once they have Andy and Charlie, there is no telling what will happen to them next. How long can the McGees evade The Shop’s clutches? What’s going to happen when they’re caught? Read Fire-Starter to find out!

I am so freaking obsessed with Fire-Starter and cannot believe that I haven’t read it before. From beginning to end, the tension in this book was so high because Andy and Charlie are so easy to root for. Andy is such a doting father and Charlie is just sweet as can be. However, it wouldn’t be a Stephen King book if they were on the run for forever. They had to get caught eventually but you didn’t know when and it made the book simply unputdownable.

Fire-Starter went back and forth from past and present and shifted narrators every couple of chapters. You all know how much I love that in a book so that was a huge plus. It was also interesting to know what Charlie and Andy were doing and what The Shop was planning to do about it in tandem. There were so many times when this read lulled me into a false sense of security and I would hope that The Shop would slip up. Then, something major would happen and it was heartbreaking. Trust and believe, my jaw dropped like five hundred times throughout the book!

Fire-Starter was such an easy, enjoyable read and it was a fresh take on what horror is because it’s not always things that go bump in the night. Sometimes, it’s people who are horrifying. Stephen King really embraced that in Fire-Starter and further solidifies him as King Of Horror in my mind. Like Carrie, I will be awarding Fire-Starter with the coveted ten out of ten stars and I cannot recommend it enough. It’s a perfect spooky season read!

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

 

Halloween Treats (No Tricks!)

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Halloween Treats (No Tricks!)

Hello!! Last weekend, Johnny and I went to TJMaxx AND got Mexican food after an OOTD shoot (Keep it posted for that!). It was literally all of my favorite activities in one morning and it was a HOOT! Of course, whenever I go to TJs, it is physically impossible for me to leave without a little treat for myself or someone else. My purchases included an amazing houndstooth vest by Sincerely Jules as well as these fun Halloween goodies:

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When it comes to my own personal philosophy on fashion, I place style over comfort every single time. If I like something enough, I will make it work even if it is slightly uncomfortable. In fact, other than pajamas, two pairs of leggings, and a couple of hoodies everything I own is runway ready. This is just me but I would rather spend my money on a great pair of jeans over a pair of sweats any day of the week – sue me for it!

The Better/Together cropped Halloween sweater broke this mindset clean in two because it is quite possibly the most comfortable thing that I have ever owned. It is the softest, coziest little number and, oh yeah, it’s cute too! As soon as I saw it, I thought that it would be just perfect for snuggling up in and watching scary movies. It will also be great for a brisk day at the pumpkin patch with Johnny, my nieces, or clients for some Halloween fun.

Once I completed a super quick once over of the clothing department (I knew Johnny wouldn’t approve of my standard two round process), we headed to the home decor section. I couldn’t believe my luck that another Royal Stafford plate pattern was available because I am obsessed with them. I have quite the collection of their spooky themed plates and always have to buy one if they’re there. This new addition might just be my favorite yet and it’s basically me and Johnny! Although they are way too pretty to eat off of, I like having them just to have them lol. I’ll find out some cool way to incorporate my plates into my apartment decor… eventually. 😉

There were no tricks to this mini TJMaxx Haul, just lots of treats! Stay tuned on lifewithlilred for a brand new OOTD and more Halloween happiness! 😀

Do you have any scary movie recommendations? What do you value more, style or comfort? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Boosted Up!

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Boosted Up!

Hello! This past Tuesday, I got my updated Moderna booster and flu shot in tandem. While I am SO happy to have received both to continue to do my part in keeping others safe, I will say that it was about a bitch lol. I reacted pretty poorly to both the second vaccine and the first booster so I’m not sure why I expected this one to be any different. I’m also not sure why I scheduled it smack dab in the middle of the work week SMH!

For about three days, I experienced a lot of fatigue, aching joints, and soreness at the injection site. It honestly felt like someone took a hammer to all of my joints, especially around my pelvic area. Not only did I deal with the aches and pains but, come evening time, I had the chills. Then, it would transform into a fever and I would sweat all night in my sleep. I have hair dye all over my pillows and sheets to prove it. Double SMH!!!!

When Johnny and I got our second vaccine, he had to keep reminding me that this was better than having Covid and I had to keep reminding myself of that this time around. While that’s easier said than done, it would do everyone well to think of it this way. After having a rough go of it post vaccine, I could not even comprehend having unvaccinated Covid. In fact, when Johnny and I did finally get it this past Christmas, we experienced no symptoms whatsoever because of our vaccines and boosters.

I have read several articles where the side effects from the boosters and vaccines are a huge deterrent from getting them. And coming from someone who has had such bad reactions, I truly get it. However, I’ll continue on with every additional installment because it’s important to do so. Johnny and I have so many high risk people that we love and we are terrified of getting them or complete strangers sick. This alone makes every two or three days of feeling downright awful worth it every time.

As the weather gets colder and gatherings move indoors, it is so important to get yourself vaccinated and boosted as well as following Covid protocols. If you are worried about it, you can take some comfort in the fact that you more than likely won’t experience as horrible side effects as yours truly. Let’s all continue to do our part to keep ourselves and others safe!

How did you react to your Covid vaccines and boosters? Are you team Moderna or Pfizer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

First Attempt At Homemade Alfredo Sauce

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First Attempt At Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Hello!! I love to cook and try out new recipes and during my last curbside order, Johnny requested fettuccine Alfredo for dinner. I have never made it before but I figured that it couldn’t be that hard! As per ushe, I consulted Pinterest for a recipe and settled on one by Self Proclaimed Foodie. Although I wasn’t blown away with the end result, it was still pretty good. Check it out:

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^^^ Obsessed with my tomato butter! YUM!

The Alfredo sauce recipe by Self Proclaimed Foodie only had four ingredients to it – butter, garlic, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. I went with this recipe for its simplicity but I think it was a little too simple for my liking. Even after adding parsley, salt, pepper, and way more garlic than necessary, it tasted really bland overall. I definitely plan on making Alfredo sauce again but I think that I will find another recipe for it.

During my next attempt at Alfredo sauce, I will also be steering clear of the Kraft Parmesan cheese! I didn’t even think about buying the thinly shredded kind, which probably would have made a big difference. The Kraft cheese didn’t fully melt down and that gave the sauce a slightly gritty texture. It didn’t make as much of a difference once it was poured over pasta but taste testing from the pot left a lot to be desired!

On the bright side, Johnny ended up really enjoying his requested dinner so that made me happy. I just hate when something I make doesn’t turn out exactly how I want it so here’s to a more flavorful and creamy sauce next time around!

What recipe do you recommend for homemade Alfredo sauce? Have you tried cooking anything new recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Aegean Blue & Fire Orange Nails

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New Aegean Blue & Fire Orange Nails

Hello!!! This past Monday, my pampering session at Elysian Nails was the best because my favorite nail tech is back after an almost half year hiatus. I missed her terribly and, although all of the nail techs at Elysian are superb, there is nothing better than seeing your go to girl. This time around, I got a brand new set and was in desperate need of it – almost all of my acrylics were lifting! It turned out great and I am loving this color combo:

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I spent a lot of time praying over what colors I wanted my nails to be on Monday and had some general ideas. I knew that I wanted shades that welcomed fall without being really obvious about it and decided to let the nail polish wall speak to me. As soon as I began looking over the different options, the super dark blue didn’t speak but SCREAMED at me and I knew that I had found a winner. I also had orange at the forefront of my mind and went with a fiery hue to compliment the blue – which it did perfectly, I might add. 😀

I have never been one for holiday or seasonal themed nails and just go with what I feel like at the time. However, fall is my favorite season and I wanted to pay my homage to it. This color combination reminds me of when the sun goes down on an autumn night and changing leaves and I think it is just so pretty. It subtly whispers “fall” without going overboard and I am so happy with it!

And, of course, my nail tech did a bang up job as per ushe. I didn’t realize how badly I needed a new set until I got a new set lol. My nails feel nice and strong again and are sharpened and shaped just the way I like. Now, here’s to my tech not going anywhere anytime soon after finally being reunited lol. Thanks, Elysian Nails! ❤

What color of nail polish are you currently rocking? What colors make you think of fall? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Sincerely Jules Vest

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New Sincerely Jules Vest

Hello!! This past Saturday was absolutely FABULOUS. It was seriously the best day that I have had in over a month and it was just wonderful. To start, Johnny took some new OOTD pictures for me (Check it out soon!). Afterwards we went on a crawl of all of my favorite places. We went to my happy place of TJMaxx and then to my other happy place of El Meson for Mexican food. Once lunch was over, we spent a lovely afternoon at my parents’ house and then back to our apartment for an evening of video games. Like I said, it was the best.

Johnny and I went to TJMaxx with the purpose of checking out their Halloween decorations. As always, I couldn’t go to my own personal Disney Land without buying a little something for myself too lol. The store was overflowing with gorgeous fall clothes and they were all speaking to me. Out of hunger and knowing that Johnny wasn’t going to last long during a morning shopping session, I walked away with a darling houndstooth vest by Sincerely Jules. It’s SO cute and was convenient because I didn’t have to try it on in the fitting room lol check it out:

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Dressing for fall is such fun for me because I get to layer up with all of my favorite things – sweaters, cardigans, flannels, and jackets. Why stop at just one piece when you can layer?! I was ecstatic when I saw this Sincerely Jules number because I don’t have anything like it in my wardrobe and, yes, it is a perfect layering piece! Of course, it will be great over top of my plethora of black sweaters but can you imagine it over a jewel tone like cobalt blue? Beautiful!

What I like about this vest the most is its shape. Normally, vests for women taper sharply inwards underneath the breasts and that is not flattering for my body type at all. My new Sincerely Jules vest, however, has a more straight fit to it and invokes all of the menswear vibes, which I am so there for. It has some extra wiggle room to it that provides a bit of movement and will be able to be worn comfortably over a thicker top.

I cannot wait to style this vest for a future OOTD post and I already have so many ideas. To keep with a menswear theme, I plan on raiding Johnny’s wardrobe because he has the best button downs. A more masculine fit on top begs for some sexy heels on the bottom so I might just have to break out my wedding heels one time for the one time. Stay tuned on lifewithlilred to see the completed look!

What is your favorite layering piece? What is your favorite season to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

5 Tips To Up Your Selfie Game

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5 Tips To Up Your Selfie Game

Posting selfies on your social media is a great way to show your personality and give your followers a closer look at your life. Never fear if you feel like your selfie game isn’t up to snuff because we are going to discuss five simple tips to take your selfies like a pro:

Find the Right Angle:

When taking a selfie, it’s important to find the right angle. If you hold the camera too high, you may end up with a double chin. Too low, and your nose will look bigger than it actually is. The best angle is usually somewhere in between. For a slimming effect, try holding the camera slightly above eye level and tilting your head down. This will also create the illusion of longer lashes. Another tip is to experiment with different poses until you find one that flatters your features. So go ahead and snap away – with a little practice, you’ll take amazing selfies in no time.

Get the Lighting Right:

One of the most important factors in getting a great selfie is lighting. The proper lighting can make all of the difference in accentuating your best features and creating a stunning image. First, try to find a location with natural light. Soft, diffused light is always ideal, so outdoor areas like parks or gardens will work well. Try to position yourself so that the sun is behind you. That way, you won’t end up squinting or with harsh shadows on your face. If you’re indoors, try to find a spot near a window where the light isn’t too harsh. And avoid using flash, as this can often create unflattering shadows. However, you can always experiment with how lighting impacts your photos. Take the time to play around with different lighting setups until you find one that works for your style.

Use Facial Expressions to Convey Emotion:

A good selfie should capture more than just your physical appearance, it should also show off your personality. Use facial expressions and body language to convey emotion in your selfies. Are you feeling happy? Sad? Sarcastic? Playful? Let your followers know what’s happening with you by using facial expressions that match your mood. Moreover, when you smile, make sure it reaches your eyes. That way, you will appear genuinely happy and aren’t taking a selfie for the sake of having a photo.

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Edit Your Photos:

Many people think that they need an expensive camera to take high quality photos. However, the truth is that anyone can take great photos, regardless of their equipment. The key is to know how to edit your photos to improve their quality. With today’s technology, there are many ways to edit photos. For example, photo-editing software can crop out unwanted background elements, adjust the exposure and color balance, or even remove blemishes from your selfies. Filters can also give your photos a particular look or feel.

If you’ll be endorsing a brand, you must take your post-production efforts to a higher level. For example, you agreed to endorse a piece of jewelry in one of your blog posts. Then you will be expected to show it in the best light possible. This might include retouching the image to make it look more polished and professional. But suppose you aren’t sure how to edit specific items. In that case, it may impact the quality of your photos, so it’s always best to leave this task to professionals. You can hire a reputable jewelry retouching service to help you achieve your photos’ desired look. Doing so will not only improve the quality of your photos but also make your blog posts more visually appealing.

Take Lots of Pics and Choose the Best One:

Don’t be afraid to take a ton of selfies until you find one you’re happy with. It’s better to have too many options than too little! You should also try varying angles and poses, so you have more options to work with. And if you’re struggling to get a good photo, ask a friend to take a picture of you. Having someone else take your photo will often lead to better results. They can help you relax and capture a more natural expression.

As with everything, practice makes perfect and the same goes for selfies. After a bit of playing around, you should see a noticeable and more natural improvement in all of your pics!

Thankful For Bloopers

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Thankful For Bloopers

Hello!! I don’t know about all of you, but when it comes to pictures on my phone, I am basically a hoarder. I never delete anything and never really thought about it until taking pictures for my New Hair, Who Dis? OOTD. While Johnny was snapping away at one last location, he said “Oh no” and I thought that someone might have been in the shot. Rather, every influencer’s nightmare came true when he told me my phone was out of memory. It had me feeling pretty much like this:

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Thankfully, this breach in storage happened at the end of the photo shoot and I knew that I would have to have a major deleting session. At first, the delete-athon was fairly easy because duplicates and screen shots of things that I would never buy was a good place to start. However, it just wasn’t good enough. So, I began to delete apps that I never used and that helped moderately but not enough too.

I realized that I would have to start deleting pictures with a less discerning eye and began the process of deleting blooper OOTD shots. And, in that moment, I was SO. Freaking. Glad. that I began the blooper reel segment from my OOTDs this past January. Without posting these shots that definitely didn’t make the cut, they would have been gone forever!

I truly do think that it is important to show what goes on behind every fabulous photo that I share in each OOTD post. I am far from perfect and unless you’re a professional super model, a lot of your shots are probably going to end up like this:

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^^^ Lol.

Not only do I think that these outtakes are encouraging for other bloggers, I also think that they are just hilarious. Johnny and I love to look back at the blooper shots and have a laugh and I hope that the same goes for all of you. It seemed like such a shame for no one to see this pure comedy gold and I think that it is refreshing when people poke some good old fashioned fun at themselves. It makes me feel like this:

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Although a majority of my bloopers are no more on my phone, they are here forever on lifewithlilred and that’s good enough for me. Long live the blooper reel!

What is your favorite segment on lifewithlilred? What are the first things you delete when your phone runs out of space? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How Do Social Media Influencers Make Money?

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How Do Social Media Influencers Make Money?

As we look at the current and future job market, we can identify a few career paths that will seemingly become more and more popular. Certainly, the rise of social media influencers has carved out a brand new path that didn’t exist before. These days, thousands of young kids and teenagers are desperate to have a job as full-time influencers. While this initially seems like a poor career choice, it quickly becomes an idea that can provide a lot of success.

Influencers can earn a lot of money without even being one of the biggest and most well-known creators on the planet. Sure, you have Charli D’amelio, Addison Rae, and Khaby Lame who amass millions of dollars per year. But, they have millions of followers across multiple accounts. An influencer with just a few thousand followers can still earn a lot of money. How? Here are the main ways most influencers make their cash:

Sponsorships:

The majority of money comes in the form of sponsorships. Brands pay the influencer to promote their products, services, or just the brand itself. This is usually in the form of sponsored posts, with payments made per post. Alternatively, influencers can have sponsorship contracts where they represent a brand. This means that they regularly post about them, wear their clothing, and so on. It’s more of a long-term thing with money paid regularly as part of the contract.

Ad Revenue:

Most influencers will also make money from advertising revenue. It’s rare that you will see an influencer only work on one platform. In most cases, they’ll have a YouTube account or another platform that allows them to monetize their content. The more views they get, the more advertising revenue they earn. As they become more popular, advertising companies pay more money to get their ads shown on their videos. Why? Because these companies know that thousands of impressionable eyes will be watching, which is a huge opportunity for them.

Merchandise:

Finally, you have money earned through merchandise sales. Once an influencer gains a following, they’re in a very unique position. They will have thousands of people who pay attention to them and want to support them. So, the influencer can create merchandise or other products to sell to their followers.

The followers want to show support or represent the influencer, so they’ll be more than happy to make purchases. In a lot of cases, influencers use their platform to create products that extend beyond brand merchandise. Many will develop their own clothing lines that attract attention from people outside their following, helping them make even more money.

You see, the money making opportunities are very diverse here. This is why smaller influencers are still able to earn decent wages. Of course, one benefit of this career choice is that you get back what you put in. The more effort you make to grow your brand and the bigger you get, the more money you could end up making. Just remember to work hard because influencing doesn’t become an instant career over night!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Fun Ways To Personalize Your Home

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Fun Ways To Personalize Your Home

If you do not want your home to be like every other one on the block, then there are lots of things you can do to make it more interesting than the average home in your neighborhood. Have some fun with these ideas that people will be sure to take notice of:

Paint the exterior doors:

Painting the exterior doors in a unique color is a good way to really put your stamp on your property and show the world that you are unique. A fuchsia door or an orange porch might not be the norm, but if it’s what you love, then why not go for it?! It will be worth it if it makes you smile and is something that your neighbors will take joy in too.

Create a mosaic:

One of the more unusual things you can do to personalize your home is to create a mosaic either on a wall or floor indoors or to the exterior of your property. You can buy ready made mosaic wall art or make your own and it is a great way to tell your own personal story in an artistic way that is likely to add value to your property too. Decorative and unique, it will look great, add meaning, and impress potential future buyers all in one fell swoop.

Make your own soft furnishings:

A fun way to personalize your property is by making your own soft furnishings such as cushions, quilts, and blankets. Having things that you have made yourself in your home is a really good way of making it feel more like yours. If you are looking for something really special, then why not use transfers to put your own photographs onto cushions and throws? It’s a unique way to display them, and will ensure that no one else has the same decor as you.

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^^^ Pexels Image

Use washi tape:

Washi tape is basically decorative tape that comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. It can be used to decorate your home in a cute, non-permanent way, and because there are so many designs available, it is an easy way of making your home more personal to you. For example, if you love floral designs, you can line your shelves with poppy print washi tape or if you love gold, you can create gild frames around light switches and other fixtures. It will also only cost you a few dollars to do so!

Buy your favorite flowers:

Buying your favorite flowers, whether they be roses, geraniums, or lilies, and displaying them in every room of your home is an easy and uplifting way to make your property more personal to you. Nothing is better than the scent of fresh cut flowers in your home!

Personalizing your property is a fun way to make it more your own, stand out more, and adds value to potential buyers, so why not try out some of the ideas above today?

Featured Image By: Pexels

Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

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Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

Hello! My dad’s garden was so bountiful this past summer and it is still currently producing a TON of tomatoes. The red fruit has basically taken over my parents’ kitchen so I was called in for cooking reinforcement. We were all sick of spaghetti sauces and salsas so I turned to Pinterest for new recipes to lighten the tomato burden. I made a tomato pie found on Biscuits & Burlap as well as a tomato butter compliments of Kitchn. Both of them turned out really good! Check it out:

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I had two full bowls of tomatoes to work with and these two recipes used them all up, which was awesome. They were also SO incredibly easy to make. The tomato pie by Biscuits & Burlap took me about twenty minutes to make and my dad and I liked it a lot. We both agreed, however, that it definitely needed more to it.

When I cook a new recipe, I tend to follow the directions exactly. Then, if I like it enough, I add my own twists the next time around. When I make the tomato pie again, I plan on using a Pillsbury crust and will be adding an extra tomato and cheese layer. I also will be using a lot more fresh basil, garlic, and onions. The tomato pie would taste even better with spinach so I’ll add that into the mix too.

The tomato butter by Kitchn was a recipe that I was somewhat ambivalent about making but I am glad I did. It is so unique and will be a perfect addition to grilled cheese sandwiches, spaghetti, and French bread. I was worried after I used the food processor to blend the broiled tomatoes, herbs, and butter because the consistency was like tomato soup! After a day in the refrigerator, it formed into a whipped spread and that was more like it lol.

Like the tomato pie, the butter was good but it needed something extra. The butter was a bit on the bland side so if I make it again, I will be adding a lot of garlic (Which the recipe didn’t call for) and fresh basil. Despite not being as flavorful as I would have liked, I love the idea of this recipe and it is such a fresh and different way to use up a tomato harvest.

If you have Too Many Tomatoes, then do be sure to give these recipes a try and let me know what you think! 😀

What have you been making with your garden veggies? What do you like to make with tomatoes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Happy Eight Year Blogiversary, lifewithlilred!

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Happy Eight Year Blogiversary, lifewithlilred!

Hello everyone!! On September 13th, lifewithlilred celebrated its Eight Year Blogiversary!! As I mentioned before, I had totally forgot about it so you could imagine my surprise when I got that notification lol. For almost an entire decade now, I have carved out a little niche of the internet for lifestyle, fashion, and fun and I am so proud of that. For the past several years, I have also been posting daily content and that is such a huge personal accomplishment too.

For eight years, my wonderful readers have been with me for so many milestones. Graduating college, new jobs, nieces and nephews being born, and getting married just to name a few. All of these moments were special but they were even better because I got to celebrate them with each and every one of you. Even the not so great stuff seems easier to bear when I can go to my page and vent about it!

Every single morning, I am excited to sit down and write before going to work and I couldn’t imagine a day without checking in. I have made so many dear friends through the blogosphere, which was a main goal of starting my page in the first place. Everything else just seems like an amazing cherry on top and I feel very lucky.

I am so thankful to all of you who have been tuning in with me for years or who have just discovered lifewithlilred today. This blog is just as much for you as it is for me. So, keep sticking around and I can’t wait to see what kind of fun we can get into – especially with my decade Blogiversary just two years away! I love you all so much and thank you for being a part of what makes lifewithlilred so special. ❤

Happy Eight Year Blogiversary, lifewithlilred!! ❤

New Hair, Who Dis? OOTD Bloopers

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New Hair, Who Dis? OOTD Bloopers

Hello everyone and welcome to the blooper reel from my New Hair, Who Dis? OOTD! I have had such a blast creating the bloopers for several of my past OOTDs and it is a relatively new segment on lifewithlilred. I have turned into a firm believer of sharing the entire photo taking process of an influencer because for every awesome shot there are probably twenty bad ones! The blooper reel is a true testament to that:

Johnny was cracking me up with an incredibly bad Alex Jones impression

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I swear to drunk, I’m not god lol

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My face when I see a dog walking by!! It was amazing!

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I LOOK GREAT!!!!!!

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Not sure what this stank face is for lol

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Showing off some Dancing With The Stars worthy moves

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Not sure what this stank face is for, either…

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I have no idea what is happening…

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If you’re new to the OOTD picture world and a majority of your shots look like the above, that is okay! I remember some of my first OOTD shoots and I was like “yikes” when looking through them afterwards. Practice really does make perfect, though, and you will get more comfortable the more you get in front of the camera.

I used to think that practicing my posing and facial expressions in the mirror was something only contestants on America’s Next Top Model did – but it really does work! Before every shoot, I spend some time in front of my full length mirror practicing different angles, movements, and expressions. With my little study session beforehand, I can take everything that is still fresh in my mind and apply it to my pictures. That’s how I end up with something like these and not any of the above lol:

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That does it for my New Hair, Who Dis? OOTD and I hope that all of you enjoyed it as much as I did. Tune in tomorrow for my eight year Blogiversary stroll down memory lane. We will also be discussing new recipes and more OOTDs later this week. Year nine of lifewithlilred is starting off with a bang!

How do you practice before getting in front of the camera? What are some of your modeling pro tips? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Hair, Who Dis? OOTD Pt. 2

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New Hair, Who Dis? OOTD Pt. 2

Hello everyone and welcome to some bonus pics from my New Hair, Who Dis? OOTD! This shoot was just too much fun and turned out exactly how I wanted so, of course, I have to share some extras. You can also keep it posted tomorrow for the blooper reel and then it is on to celebrating lifewithlilred’s eight year Blogiversary. There’s nothing better than ringing in a brand new year of blogging with a brand new me OOTD! Check it out:

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Johnny always tells me that I have perfect timing in the most sarcastic way possible. For example, I’ll ask him for something to drink as soon as he sits down or try to change my DoorDash order right before he’s about to send it in. I never mean to but apparently I have a knack for it! In the case of this OOTD coinciding with my blogiversary, I agree with my husband. My timing is perfect lol.

I had, honestly, forgotten about my blogiversary completely with all of the craziness going on in my life. So you can imagine my surprise when I got the WordPress notification before I began yesterday’s post! A reminder of all of my years of dedication to lifewithlilred paired with pictures that I am obsessed with was just the pick me up I needed. It’s so easy to lose sight of accomplishments – especially when it feels like your life is in shambles *face palm*. But another year of posting daily content under my belt is something that I am so proud of and it felt good to remember that.

Starting my new blogging calendar off with a new OOTD is also serendipitous because lots of OOTD posts are my goal for going into year nine of lifewithlilred. Creating new outfits in a variety of styles is such a blast for me and fall outfits are my jam. So, yes, to my husband – sometimes I really do have perfect timing. Keep it locked for more unique and affordable looks coming soon!

What is something that you are proud of? What is your favorite type of post to write on your blog? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Hair, Who Dis? OOTD

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New Hair, Who Dis? OOTD

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new OOTD compliments of my brand new hair! I am loving my new look so much and couldn’t wait to take pictures this past weekend to show it off. Johnny and I visited a covered bridge in the Cuyahoga Valley to take these pics and, it’s safe to say that we got a ton of weird looks when walking the short trail to the bridge lol. I don’t know why, considering I was in my walking shoes! Check it out:

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Who? What? Wear?

After my most recent haul from TJMaxx, I knew that I wanted my DKNY sweater featured in my next OOTD. I love it so very much and sheer sleeve sweaters are, easily, my favorite new trend. It is the perfect compromise to not seeing my tattoos pretty much all fall and winter long and it’s unique too. I have never seen anything like it before until late July and I wish I had five hundred more sweaters with the sheer sleeve style!

With the top already pre-selected, putting together the rest of the outfit was a no brainer. For this OOTD, I wanted to play with different textures to add some spice to an almost All Black Everything look. The Seven Jeans were an obvious choice because they are coated and provided some extra shine. It played off so nicely with the knit base of the sweater and the billowy pinstriped sleeves.

Can we also just talk about how amazing Seven Jeans are in general? There is a reason why Fergie mentions them in the timeless classic, “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas. These jeans fit just right and hug my curves without being too tight. You also know how much I love anything snakeskin patterned so this was a fabulous TJMaxx find!

Moving on lol, it was time for shoes and accessories. To continue on with the almost all black palette and keeping texture in mind, I went with my Forever 21 platforms. These are one of my favorite pairs of shoes that I have ever owned! After several years of wearing them, they are not as shiny as they were originally. This is fine, though, and the matte base added another texture twist against the coated jeans.

Finally, it was time for some bling, baby! I have a huge collection of chunky gold jewelry and wanted to stay in that realm because it was going to look awesome against my new hair. To play it up even more, I wanted a chain that was shorter in length to make it really pop. After a few no-gos, I tried the cheetah Natasha necklace and knew that it was the one. It also tied together the flames in the shoes to the rest of the outfit.

This OOTD is a great example of a monochrome look done right. When you are working with just one color, it is so important to use texture to your advantage to add visual interest. You are not going to get it, otherwise, with say a green jacket and dress set. You should also try to incorporate some additional detail to the outfit through cleverly placed accessories with a pop of color. This way, the eyes of whomever you see will still be dancing despite a look with a minimal color palette.

Be sure to tune in this week for bonus pics and bloopers from my New Hair, Who Dis? OOTD! We will also be celebrating my eight year blogiversary a few days late so keep it posted for that! ❤

How do you rock a monochrome look? What is your new favorite trend? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

 

5 Ways To Improve Your Self-Discipline

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5 Ways To Improve Your Self-Discipline

If you feel like your life hasn’t been going as well as it could, hen you might need to find some stability and discipline in your life. Here are some of the best ways to start making these improvements for a more fulfilling life:

Dedicate Yourself to a Team-Based Hobby:

Hobbies are an excellent way to get away from the stress of life. Although they won’t get rid of them, you can at least find some enjoyment and forget about your worries for a while. Anything that brings you joy is the best thing to do. Perhaps you love to paint, play video games, or play an instrument. But for more social balance and discipline, a team-based hobby helps you find stability. Working in a team, such as taking ballet classes or volleyball, you feel more responsibility because all members are required to perform well.

Find a Job You Enjoy:

Feeling fulfilled in one’s job and taking pride in accomplishments affects productivity and efficiency. You are more creative and resourceful when you love what you do. As a result, you will improve your overall well-being by increasing hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. Additionally, you will feel that you have worth at your job and are appreciated. This makes you work harder and more likely to go for promotions. Promotions and work enjoyment open more doors to more money and a balanced life.

Join a Gym:

Incorporating a work out or two during your weekly routine can do wonders for your physical and mental health. It’s great to fill your schedule with meaningful things and joining a gym is the perfect place to start. You can take classes, swim, work out on your own, or hire a trainer. All of this can help you achieve a high level of fitness and it’s exciting to see and feel your improvements. You also might meet some new friends!

Improve Your Work/Life Balance:

Finding a happy medium between work and personal life is crucial to your general well-being. Keeping a healthy work-life balance is essential for avoiding burnout and reducing stress at work. One of the most common health problems in the workplace is chronic stress. This causes severe illnesses like heart attacks and depression. Yet over 80% of people feel like they overwork and don’t spend enough time with their families. So, use your vacation days, don’t take work home with you, and always try to make some time for yourself.

Cut Out Toxic People from Your Life:

Sometimes we can be surrounded by people who are wrong for us at a specific point in time. Genuinely toxic people can deplete you emotionally and make you feel small. You may have noticed someone who does you no good. It can be a partner, family member, or so-called friend. Spending time with them drains your vitality rather than replenishes it. As a result, they have a major impact on your identity. They frequently result in feelings of depression and guilt so you must put yourself first by distancing yourself and setting rigid boundaries.

Stability and discipline are vital factors for a productive and happy life. Fill your schedule with activities you enjoy and set achievable goals. Then, watch yourself flourish!

Featured Image By: Pexels

New Hair, Who Dis?

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New Hair, Who Dis?

Hello everyone!! I have been hinting at a change to my hair for a while now and it is time for the grand reveal! This past Wednesday, I enjoyed some fabulous pampering at the Shear Shop and my stylist, Anna, truly outdid herself. Lil Red is back, baby, with fireball hair to welcome the fall with! Check it out:

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^^^ Lol, give me my phoooone!

Colors Used:

  • Pulp Riot’s Pyro on the roots
  • Pulp Riot’s Lava and Satire in the middle
  • Pulp Riot’s Fireball on the ends

After several attempts at white and red hair, I decided that I was ready for a change as soon as Anna perfected the combination. Haha, that’s always how it goes but I was just ready for something fun and different that brings me back to my Lil Red roots. I am IN LOVE with my new cut and color and I have, honestly, never felt better about my appearance before. It’s amazing what some time spent in Anna’s chair can do for your girl’s self esteem! 😀

To start this process, Anna bleached my hair for about a half an hour. We didn’t need it on too long this time around because we were using darker colors, which was nice. After the bleach lifted the color to a shade that Anna was happy with, my hair was washed, dried, and ready for all of the amazing Pulp Riot colors.

I have to mention this every time I get my hair done but the Pulp Riot hair dyes smell SO. Good. They smell exactly like SweetTarts and literally everyone in the salon has to take a whiff whenever we use it lol. Anna masterfully applied and blended the color and each chunk of hair used the four colors mentioned above. Although we didn’t see as much of the yellow “Satire” as we would have liked, it was a great first go and gives me all of the David Bowie vibes.

With fiery new hair, I needed a cool new cut to match because I was straight up bored with my old standby. I found inspiration for the “Dewdrop” haircut online and decided that it was the one – bangs included. I have toyed with the idea of bangs for forever but never did it and I am really glad that I took the plunge. I think that it looks so edgy and chic and is exactly what I had pictured in my head.

When I arrived home from the salon, Johnny and I had a Middle Class Fancy moment when he said “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?” Lol, he loves my hair just as much as I do! Tune in tomorrow for a brand new OOTD to showcase my brand new look!

How often do you change your hair’s style or color? Where do you find inspiration for new hairdos? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Marc’s Halloween Haul

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Marc’s Halloween Haul

Hello! In my neck of the woods, there is a discount store called Marc’s that offers everything from food and clothing to toys and home goods. This past week, they also had a ton of Halloween goodies that I just had to snag for the apartment. Everything was SO cute and also way cheaper than anything you would find at TJMaxx and Walmart. Take a look:

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It is Halloween year round in mine and Johnny’s home and our decor includes skeletons, pumpkins, ghosts, ghouls, and a Jason Voorhees cardboard cutout lol. Our neighbor gave us this life size likeness and it still freaks me out sometimes! I have taken it upon myself to freshen up our Halloween stock pile this year and just couldn’t say no to the above purchases – especially considering I got all of them for under twenty-five dollars. 😀

I am particularly partial to the glittery hanging skeleton with the bow tie and Johnny loves the skeleton and scepter statue. Our niece, Valerie, always wants to play with our ghost figurines when she comes over so I think she will be a huge fan of the “BOO” ghost statue! As soon as I brought this haul home, it was like a kid in a candy store and Johnny added them to our spooky shelves throughout the apartment. SO. Precious!

While chain stores might have a bigger selection of Halloween goodies, don’t write off the discount stores. I have never seen anything like my purchases at Marc’s elsewhere so you are sure to find some very unique pieces if you know where to look. Now, is it Halloween yet?!

Where is your favorite place to shop for seasonal decor? How do you decorate for Halloween? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Lil Red’s Book Club: Carrie By Stephen King Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Carrie By Stephen King Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! With minimal time to go to the library, I have been pulling from mine and Johnny’s book nook for something to read. After finishing In Cold Blood, I decided on Carrie by Stephen King. I haven’t read Carrie since freshman year of high school and it is MESSED. UP. Before our discussion (with no spoilers, of course), I will be placing a trigger warning on it for disturbing content, abuse, and bullying. Now, let’s get to it:

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Carrie White is a sad and lonely girl and has been since the day she was born to her religious fanatic mother. Her days consist of being beaten, locked in a closet to pray, and being the butt of everyone’s jokes at school. However, Carrie is special and has a power deep within her that didn’t get unlocked until a particularly nasty incident.

Poor Carrie got her first period in the shower after gym class and thought that she was bleeding to death. Rather than help her, all of the girls in her class began throwing tampons and pads and yelled at her to “plug it up”. In her despair, Carrie made the lights in the bathroom burn out – just by using her mind.

Carrie is, indeed, special and has the power of telekinesis or being able to move objects just by thinking of it. While Carrie spends her time perfecting her craft, other plans are set into motion. Popular Sue Snell feels remorse for the bathroom incident and wants to make things right. So, she asks her boyfriend, Tommy, to take Carrie to the senior prom.

Meanwhile, mean girl Chris is enraged that she has to miss the prom because she skipped out on the detentions given for tormenting Carrie in the bathroom. Chris and Sue have a very different idea of making prom an unforgettable night for Carrie. As Carrie prepares for the prom by making her own dress and watching what she eats, Chris and her boyfriend begin planning the ultimate revenge.

Fast forward to prom night and Carrie shows up on the arm of Tommy Ross. She feels beautiful and is entranced by the magic of the event. People are complimenting her, talking to her, and for once in her life Carrie feels seen. Her and Tommy are even voted prom king and queen. Then, everything goes downhill rapidly.

While standing on stage and accepting their new title of high school royalty, two buckets of pig’s blood are spilled all over Carrie. The metaphorical straw broke the camel’s back and a murderous rampage ensues compliments of Carrie’s special gift. Prom night was unforgettable. Will anyone make it out alive? Read Carrie to find out!

My husband and I are huge fans of Stephen King and rereading Carrie after so long is a perfect reminder why. This book is terrifying and, honestly, heartbreaking. It was SO hard to read about the torment that Carrie is subjected to on a daily basis. She is not safe at home or school and is utterly alone in her misery. I couldn’t even imagine.

I often see memes on Facebook of “reading or watching Carrie” with the picture of the mom from Arrested Development saying “good for her”. And to be real, I was rooting for Carrie the entire time, even during the grand finale. It is such a prime example of the hunted becoming the huntress and essentially making the bullies eat their words. So, yes, GOOD FOR HER – especially because it was impossible to root for any of the people who were so awful to her!

I am going to rate Carrie with the coveted ten out of ten stars. If you haven’t read it and are into the horror genre, then I cannot recommend it enough. It is such a great introduction to Stephen King books and is, easily, one of his most powerful novels.

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

Perfect Gifts For The Writer In Your Life

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Perfect Gifts For The Writer In Your Life

If you are trying to think of a gift to buy a writer, there are a few options that might spring to mind. But you probably want to buy them something a little different, especially if they already ‘have it all’ in terms of writing gifts. In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the best gift options you might want to consider when you are looking for something for the writer in your life:

Special Pen:

This is the kind of gift that is always going to go down well with any writer in the world. Most people will appreciate a special pen that they can call their own, but nobody quite as much as a writer. If they haven’t already got a special pen, then this is definitely something you should consider buying them. Make sure that it is a proper fountain pen, one which is going to last a long time and which they can refill with ink as necessary. This will help encourage them to actually use it.

Unique Notebook:

Chances are, your writer already has a lot of notebooks and you are going to need to make sure that you are keeping things a little different. They probably don’t want another Moleskine, and you would be surprised to discover how many they already have that you don’t know about! However, going down a slightly different route might prove useful – such as getting them a notebook which has been personalized just for them, perhaps with a monogram or something similar.

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^^^ Pexels Image

Tickets To A Reading Or Book Launch:

If your writer has a preferred author, then you might want to look out for some event or reading that they have coming up, especially if that author has a book coming out. This is the kind of event that writers tend to love! If nothing else, it can be a kind of date, so that is definitely something to think about if your writer is also your partner. Either way, it’s a gift they will be sure to remember.

Online Writing Course:

Finally, writers are always looking to improve their skills, so they might appreciate being given the chance to do so. It’s a good idea to get them booked into a writing course, but you will need to make sure that you choose one that they are likely to enjoy and get a lot out of. If you can do that right, you will find that they really appreciate it, so it’s definitely something that you can think about. It’s a gift they’ll use every time they write!

The writer on your shopping list will love any of the above – take it from me!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Early Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

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Early Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

Hello! While Halloween is always at the forefront of my mind, it is never too early to think about Christmas! In fact, I have already began crossing a few people off of my shopping list and it is a necessary feat – I have a lot of giftees. Beginning the process of holiday shopping early prevents you from having a huge bill come December. These money saving tips and other clever hints will also help the cause:

Make the most of seasonal sales:

If you are looking for seasonal deals, then right now is the perfect time to do some shopping – especially if your giftee is a fan of summer. To ring in the changing season, summer clothing, outdoor activities, pool floats, and gardening/grilling gear will all be discounted. Why pay more later when you can just pay less right now? Similarly, if you have a lover of fall in the family, November is a great time to shop for them as fall items will be discounted to welcome the winter.

Stockpile points:

I buy everything exclusively with my Amazon credit card and each purchase gives me money to spend online. Rather than use my points for every random Amazon order, I have began stockpiling points and I can’t believe I haven’t done this sooner. I got a gift for my husband and best friend completely free of charge. There is nothing better than checking an item off of your list and getting it for free to boot!

Sales are your friend:

This should go without saying but it needs repeating. If you see something on sale that a giftee would love, then go for it. If you hold off, then chances are that the item will be sold out or you will have to buy it at full price later. I saved over one hundred dollars by shopping a sale at Old Navy to get some Halloween themed pajamas for Johnny. If you are concerned that the sale price will drop lower, talk to a store employee. Many stores offer a grace period after your purchase to do an adjustment if the price drops again.

Shop local:

If you have grown bored of shopping at local chain stores, then try your hand at shopping locally or through Etsy. You will walk away with a one of a kind piece and you will be sure that your giftee doesn’t have it already. For example, my best friend and I have been celebrating fourteen years of birthdays and Christmases. We have gone through every common gift option possible and I decided to break that cycle by buying her some art from Falcon Grove Studios for her birthday. The paintings were beautiful, supported a local artist, and she absolutely loved them.

Become a rewards member:

While the constant emails from stores that you have a rewards membership through are annoying, they can be very helpful. Lots of stores offer perks for their rewards customers including additional discounts, free shipping, double point days, and free product. As already stated, sales are your friend and if you can get even more of a discount, then why not? I have a stockpile of free Bath & Body Works products that I use as add on gifts simply because I’m a rewards member!

Store your gifts safely:

Getting a head start on holiday shopping means that you are going to have to hang on to your purchases for a while. To avoid clutter, clear out a designated space at home to store your gifts. The place you choose should be safe from prying eyes, pets, and areas that could be prone to water damage or pests. It would be a shame for your gift to get ruined before you even have a chance to give it!

It might be September, but I have already been bit by the Christmas bug and that is fine by me. Come December, I will be sipping hot chocolate and watching Elf with zero pressure of last minute gifts!

Are you an early or last minute gift buyer? When do you usually start your holiday shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Autumn Awesome OOTD Bloopers

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Autumn Awesome OOTD Bloopers

Hello everyone and welcome to the blooper reel from my Autumn Awesome OOTD! This photo shoot provided me with an abundance of pictures to choose from because Johnny took what felt like a million pics. There were enough winners to turn this OOTD into a three part series and there were also bloopers for days. Here are a few that I think you will all enjoy:

Lol, this was the first picture Johnny took and I look mean as hell!

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Ahhh, I’m a monster

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I LOOK GREAT!!

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Trying to figure out what to do next… ?

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Making some adjustments while apparently rolling, patting, and marking my cake with an LR

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Lol, wtf?

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Definitely stumbled here but…

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I STUCK THE LANDING!!

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Call the authorized personal because there’s a wild Lil Red on the loose!

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Speaking of bloopers in picture form, my apartment is serving me a huge blooper too. I woke up this morning to find my entire kitchen leaking from the ceiling and am typing this as I wait for maintenance to grace me with their presence. Like, what even guys? Lol, I originally thought Johnny didn’t turn the sink off all of the way in the morning so you can imagine my surprise when the whole ceiling was raining!

As you can see, my morning is filled with blooper reel moments. One is hilarious and one just sucks! Here’s to everyone’s bloopers today being the fun kind and not the kind where you need an umbrella in your own home. Have a fabulous day, darlings! ❤

Have you had any blooper reel worthy incidents recently? What happened? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: In Cold Blood By Truman Capote Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: In Cold Blood By Truman Capote Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! After finishing the Obama Biden Mystery series by Andrew Shaffer, I was completely out of things to read. So, I decided to finally take Johnny’s advice and read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. He has been telling me for three years to give it a try and after caving, I don’t know why I didn’t listen to him from the start. It. Was. AMAZING!

Without giving any spoilers away, we will be discussing what is thought to be one of the best True Crime books after written. Before we begin, however, I will be placing a big fat trigger warning on In Cold Blood for disturbing content and gruesome violence. Now, let’s get to it:

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Holcomb, Kansas is a small rural town where everyone knows everyone. People are generous to their neighbors, attend church, and never lock their doors. The Clutter family is at the center of this community and each member is well liked and respected by all. Mr. and Mrs. Clutter and their children, Kenyon and Nancy, live on a beautiful ranching property and spent their final day without even an inkling of what was going to happen next.

On November 15th, 1959, each member of the Clutter family was murdered in their own home. The slaying was brutal and no one could make sense of it. The assailants left behind almost no clues and the inhabitants of Holcomb couldn’t imagine a crime like this unfolding before them. Especially a crime against the Clutters. After the discovery of the murders, everyone began locking their doors at night.

As the crime scene was examined with a fine toothed comb, fresh from prison Perry Smith and Dick Hickock are patting themselves on the back for a job well done. They executed their plan to perfection and left no witnesses or clues. There was nothing tying them to the Clutter killings so there’s no way they will get caught. Now, they were on their way to Mexico to search for work and live the lives that they always dreamed about behind bars.

With seemingly no information for the detectives to work with and the assailants on the move, it is believed that the Clutter’s murderers will never be brought to justice. However, when a huge break in the case happens, Perry and Dick are officially on the radar. Will they get caught before they can hurt anyone else? Read In Cold Blood to find out!

Let me start off by saying that I found the first seventy or so pages of In Cold Blood to be boring as HELL. There were two things that kept me reading, though, and I am glad for it. 1) Johnny’s promise of “things are about to get crazy” and 2) His copy of the book was purchased at Goodwill and there were notes, highlighted, and underlined sections from the previous owner on every page. I thought that this was really cool and liked seeing what someone else was thinking as they read!

When the pace of In Cold Blood picked up, I was completely absorbed in it and always felt disappointed when I had to put it down. This book was INSANE. It went back and forth between Perry, Dick, and the detectives and I never had any idea what was going to happen next. It was a nail biter because of the cat and mouse chase between the parties. I knew that eventually Perry and Dick would be caught but I never knew when or how.

In Cold Blood made me experience a whirlwind of different emotions. I was enraged by the Clutter family tragedy and rooting for justice to be served. I also felt sympathetic to Perry in a sense but not so much for Dick. Truman Capote’s masterful writing was able to invoke so many diverse feelings and it felt like I was a resident of Holcomb too and waiting on pins and needles for the end result. It was a rollarcoaster ride!

Despite a slow start, I am still going to rate In Cold Blood with the highly coveted ten out of ten stars. The story needed to be set up and I see that. Once all of the Dominoes were in place and tumbling down, it kept me invested for days after finishing the book. I can now understand why people call it “the best”!

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

Important Steps When Updating An Old Property

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Important Steps When Updating An Old Property

When you’re faced with an older property to renovate, the challenges presented can put a lot of homeowners off from purchasing it in the first place. However, there are some of us out there that love a challenge, and an old property certainly gives you it in abundance.

An older property should be approached carefully and will often be more costly than the average renovation. Whether you’re updating one room or multiple, there’s a right way to go about it in order to get the most out of your investment. Let’s look at the important steps you need to take in order to update an old property successfully:

How much is typically spent on renovating a property?

According to Rocket Mortgage, the average house renovation can cost anywhere between $15,000 to a whopping $200,000. Of course, not everyone has this type of cash just sitting in their bank account, which means you often need to be realistic about what you can afford.

Depending on the skills you possess, there are some jobs that you can likely do yourself, whilst others will require a professional hand. Before you start hammering down walls or stripping fixtures away from ceilings, it’s important to have planned and prepared the project properly. How much are you thinking of spending on the project and what’s required from the renovation?

Let’s look at some of the most crucial steps for updating an older property:

Install new windows:

To brighten up the appearance when it comes to your home’s exterior, new windows are a great way to update its look. There are plenty of companies out there who will be more than willing to help knock out the old windows and replace them with eco-efficient, high-performance alternatives including this one here.

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^^^ Unsplash Image

Typically, you’d expect to pay around $600 for a window but this can vary from $200-$1,200.

Assess any other structural work that needs doing:

Structural work is something that should be undertaken before you make any cosmetic changes to your property. There may be certain issues within the walls, floors, and ceilings of the property that need fixing. Wouldn’t it be frustrating to spend all that money and do all that work only to find that there’s a serious structural issue that means you need to rip everything out and start again? By doing the assessments and getting the professionals in to take a closer look at the integrity of the property, the more problems you can avoid further down the line.

Focus your attention room by room:

When it comes to your focus, make sure it’s spent on tackling each room individually, rather than all at once. Unless you can afford to move out of the property and spend the money to do everything at once, it’s both a more pleasurable experience and a less stressful one to do it in separate chunks. Not only that but it means your attention isn’t spread too thinly, which ultimately helps avoid mistakes.

Replace outdated fixtures and fittings:

With your fixtures and fittings, it’s important to replace these in order to provide your home with a blank canvas. For example, the lighting found in most old homes is likely very outdated and unless you want to refurbish some of them due to their vintage appearance, it’s good to replace them.

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^^^ Unsplash Image

Upgrade your heating system:

Upgrading your heating system is a must, especially as a lot of the old properties back in the day would run on the most basic of heating systems. There has been a considerable amount of development in central heating systems. This can be a costly expense, but it’s something you should definitely consider, along with air conditioning units.

Do a check of the roof and guttering:

Your roofing and guttering protect your home from water damage so any compromises in these structures can cause a lot of costly damage. With that said, get the professionals in to do a check of the roof and guttering when possible.

Upgrading old properties can be extremely gratifying, so with this in mind, enjoy the process of creating your dream home!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Autumn Awesome OOTD Pt. 3

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Autumn Awesome OOTD Pt. 3

Hello everyone and welcome to the last set of photos from my Autumn Awesome OOTD before we move on to the blooper reel! I had a ball styling this look and exploring a new to me metro park with Johnny. I definitely want to go back in proper hiking attire to enjoy the trails because this outfit had me sweating bullets in the fifteen minutes it took to take all of my pictures! My OOTD was, admittedly, not the best for hiking but it was the best for a fabulous fall look:

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^^^ The mural was painted by Matt Miller @mtmilo .

I have many favorite things about blogging but high in the ranks is doing OOTD posts. The process is just so satisfying to me and I love seeing something that I had in my head come to life. Planning the outfit, finding the perfect location, taking pictures with my husband, and seeing the results is all such a blast. It also makes it difficult to select only a handful of pictures, which is why several of my recent OOTDs have been a series!

I very much enjoy taking pictures of others and, obviously, having my picture taken too. I consider it to be an excellent practice in self confidence and I can tell how much mine has improved in terms of my OOTD shoots over the years. I’d be a liar if I said that I didn’t use to feel silly having pictures taken of me. Now, I feel like a model when I’m being photographed and try to do photo shoots for the blog with Johnny as often as I can. 😀

Blogging can be hard work but nine times out of ten it feels like play. I appreciate everyone who tunes in to share in the fun with me ❤ . Keep it posted for bloopers from my Autumn Awesome OOTD after a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club!

Do you prefer to be behind or in front of the camera? What helps you improve your self confidence? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Ways To Improve Your Garden Right Now

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4 Ways To Improve Your Garden Right Now

A lot of people have the idea that gardens are only for the summer, but your home should be beautiful throughout all times of the year. If you are looking for ways to make improvements to your garden or yard, then look no further. We’ll discuss some ideas to get you started in this post:

Put up a fence:

If you’re going to enjoy your garden more, a little privacy can go a long way. Many gardens have short fences or old fences that make them look worn down. While there’s nothing wrong with a little wear and tear, it’s good to make sure you’re happy with what you’ve got. If you would like to install a new fence, you can start by looking into this Flawless Post Hole website. Having some privacy makes it much easier to feel at home in your own garden, and it’s a great way to start things off.

Take better care of your plants:

If gardening isn’t your thing, then the chances are that it looks pretty baron. Flowers are generally going to have a hard time growing healthily if you don’t water them enough or take proper care of them. A flourishing garden needs an attentive gardener to take care of it, which is where the effort comes in. Learning to take better care of what you have, as well as looking into more plants for your garden is important if you want a beautiful environment to spend time in.

Consider a greenhouse:

If gardening is something you’ve always wanted to give a try, and are looking for more things to fill your garden with – a greenhouse is perfect. Greenhouses take up quite a bit of space, but if you invest in the right one, it can really add to the scene. Your greenhouse will provide you with a safe and weatherproof atmosphere to tend to your plants. No matter what you want to grow, you’ll know that they’re safe inside the greenhouse. They’re a gardener’s best friend and are great for growing plants that would usually have a hard time in your climate.

Install a pond:

Inviting nature into your garden can be quite difficult, but a pond can be a good place to start. So long as you’re willing to maintain it, your pond can be home to fish, frogs, and other wildlife that enjoys being near water. You might find that installing a pond attracts all kinds of wildlife to your garden. You’ll have to make sure to clean it and keep your fish fed if you don’t want it to stagnate, though.

Turn your backyard into a paradise with the tips above and you will enjoy spending time in your garden all year round!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

4 Solutions To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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4 Solutions To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Everyone should be trying to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum as much as they can. This means that you are going to be affecting the planet a lot less as an individual. It also means that you are using less energy in general too, which has many other benefits such as helping you save money. How can you make sure you are doing this properly? In this post, we’ll take a look at a few of the long-term solutions for reducing your carbon footprint that you might want to be aware of:

Change How You Heat Your Home:

One of the first things you might want to do is change how you heat your home. Doing this is going to mean that you are much less likely to waste carbon, and it’s the kind of thing that can provide you with a genuine long-term solution. For instance, one of the best heating methods in terms of low carbon output is to use All Seasons Energy and their air source heat pumps, so they are definitely worth thinking about here.

Take A Look At Your Commute:

There are all sorts of ways to commute to work, and you need to make sure that you are choosing one that is going to be as eco-friendly as possible. That would include taking a bicycle, walking, or using public transport – really anything other than traveling privately in your own car. Maybe start an office carpool crew?

Be Careful With What You Eat:

Your diet is another thing that you can look into if you want to make sure that you are keeping your carbon footprint as low as possible. There are a few important changes in particular that are worth thinking about. For one thing, you should aim to eat as few animal products as possible, because the processes involved in rearing livestock is often very carbon heavy. You might also want to think about eating as local as possible for similar reasons, to avoid the carbon produced through transportation.

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^^^ Pexels Image

Avoid Fast Fashion:

When it comes to environmental awareness, the fashion industry has a lot to answer for, being an industry that is predicated on the idea of always buying something new. If you want to keep your carbon footprint small, you should make sure that you are avoiding fashion of this kind, in favor of hanging on to clothes as long as you can or shopping at secondhand stores.

Keeping your carbon footprint to a minimum will help you do good for the planet and your bank account. Talk about a win/win update to your lifestyle!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Autumn Awesome OOTD Pt. 2

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Autumn Awesome OOTD Pt. 2

Howdy and welcome to some bonus pics from my Autumn Awesome OOTD! There is something about the arrival of fall that just feels exciting. One primary reason for me is that I despise summer weather lol. I love when the shift of hot AF to comfortable AF happens and I can wrap myself up in all of my cozy fall clothes! I think I will be living in my new Rachel Zoe sweater all autumn long:

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^^^ Note the Peter Grimm hat worn on my back instead of my head and don’t note my roots too much!!

As I mentioned yesterday, the weather still fell under the category of “hot AF” during this photo shoot despite my fall ready outfit. I was sweating by the time Johnny and I were ready to leave and put on a pair of shorts and T-shirt as soon as we got home lol. The long awaited temperature change, clearly, hadn’t happened yet but I was very much mentally in fall mode!

During the summertime, I could truly care less about what I’m wearing and if my hair and makeup is done. I already know that I’ll be sweating profusely so what’s the point?! Johnny and I are cold weather creatures and would much rather spend our time in the AC than out and about! When fall arrives, however, it’s like a flip switches and all we want is to be outside doing all of the things. It’s when we thrive. 😀

There is nothing better than taking a hike, visiting a craft fair, or the pumpkin patch and being comfortable while doing so. My summer long hibernation ends and that means that I have to show out no matter the activity or occasion. My wardrobe skews heavily towards fall clothing and I need to seize every opportunity I can to break out all of my favorite pieces. Yet another reason why I freaking LOVE fall.

I don’t know about all of you, but this is the time of year for me when I begin thinking about all of the cold weather holidays. I am daydreaming of Halloween, Thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas. In fact, I have already began my shopping! Fall brings about all kinds of amazing changes and I am ready to live my best life all autumn long. And also my best dressed life too!

What is your favorite type of weather? Have you started any holiday shopping already? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Start Better Home Maintenance With These Ideas

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Start Better Home Maintenance With These Ideas

We all love our homes. At the end of the day, this is the space where you’re going to find yourself spending most of your time. Outside of the average eight hour work day, most people will spend hours in their home. It’s not surprising that you’re going to want the space to be nice! Of course, this is going to take some hard work and effort. This is where home maintenance comes into play. Home maintenance can ensure that your property is always in full working order and the best condition possible. Here are some areas of focus you might want to get started with:

Deep Cleaning:

Sure, you probably have a chores schedule that you stick to. Vacuuming. Sweeping and mopping. Wiping down work surfaces. Cleaning the toilet. But you do need to remember to carry out some deep cleaning every once in a while too. Deep cleaning tackles the areas that don’t get too much TLC on a regular basis. Over time, they can develop dirt and other issues that need to be addressed. There are all sorts of deep cleaning tasks that you can take into consideration, ranging from carpet cleaning to cleaning the oven or sinks.

Repair Jobs:

Are there any repair jobs that need to be carried out around your house? The majority of us have one or two that we keep putting off and avoiding. This is illogical, though. You may not want to spend the money on necessary repairs right now but they’ll need to be done at some point and sooner is always better than later. Issues left unattended simply tend to worsen. They can become more expensive to fix as time goes on or they can begin to negatively impact other areas of your home, which will need to be repaired in turn too. The most convenient and cost effective approach is to always tackle repair jobs as quickly as possible.

Animal Control:

Having mice, rats, or other animals in your personal space can be very problematic. They could bite, they would cause a mess, and they can be particularly dangerous for children and pets. This is where you need to practice some animal control. Make sure that you don’t leave uncovered and unpackaged food lying around. Limit access to your home, making sure to shut unattended windows or to have shutters fitted. This can all help. In cases where creatures can’t be easily dealt with, such as termites, you may need to call pest control.

Exteriors:

When was the last time you paid any attention to the exterior of your home? This is often one of the most neglected parts of any living space, despite being subject to the elements on a constant basis. Take some time to survey your home and decide what needs to be done. This could be clearing your gutters, repainting a gate or fence, or power washing your patios. Take a full look around and decide what needs to be done to bring everything up to scratch.

Storage:

It’s a good idea to go through a decluttering process every few months. All of us are guilty of picking up items that we don’t actually have much use for or like that much. Every so often, you should remove these from your life. You can sell, donate, or recycle them to reduce your environmental impact. Once you only have the belongings you plan to keep, it’s time to look into some storage solutions. Browse options that not only function well but also fit your home’s aesthetic too.

Home maintenance takes a lot of time, thought, and effort. But once you’ve spent some time focusing on and implementing it, you should begin to reap the benefits pretty quickly!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Autumn Awesome OOTD

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Autumn Awesome OOTD

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new OOTD here on lifewithlilred! As far as I’m concerned, it becomes fall as soon as it turns September and it is my favorite time of the year. Crisp weather, all of the autumn activities, Halloween, and, of course, the clothes! Nothing pleases me more than the arrival of cozy sweaters, cardigans, and coats in stores and I have a recent haul from TJMaxx to show for it. This Autumn Awesome OOTD features one of my new purchases:

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^^^ The mural was painted by Lizzi Aronhalt.

Who? What? Wear?

When trying on my new Rachel Zoe sweater at TJMaxx, my mind was swarming with OOTD possibilities and this look is the first one that flashed before my eyes. It just feels like the perfect fall outfit and I love it oh so much. I can definitely picture myself at the pumpkin patch, apple picking, or on a hay ride while wearing this OOTD and that means I accomplished my goal of an ideal fall fit!

It’s easy when we think of fall to associate it with deep burgundy and jewel tone colors and that’s fine. However, I think people often forget about the softer tones that look stunning come autumn too. The dove grey, camel, and periwinkle palette of my sweater is a unique take on fall colors and I like that it’s not your typical oxblood or plum.

When I first purchased my sweater, I thought that the diamond patterned stitching throughout it was black. It’s actually a chocolate brown, which would make it so cute with some brown velvet skinny jeans. But, I didn’t have any so I just went with my favorite AEO black skinnies. You would really have to look closely to notice the small color difference so it was good enough for me.

With the base of the outfit settled, it was time for accessories and I knew exactly what I needed thanks to my fitting room vision. There is nothing better than a cool pair of boots in the fall and I chose my Olivia Millers with the chunky chain embellishment. I love clothes and accessories with a little extra something to it and these boots added some flare to a relatively simple outfit. They were also a steal at only twenty dollars and you can’t beat that!

Of course, no fall outfit is complete without a cute hat and my camel one by Peter Grimm was the winner. It matched perfectly with the sweater and I am obsessed with the toggle strap, allowing you to wear the hat on your head or on your back when you tighten it (You can see pics featuring the latter option tomorrow!). Hats are, easily, one of my favorite accessories and are also the easiest fix when you need your hair done – which I do desperately lol.

I wrapped up my accessorizing with some rings from Target to add some extra bling. They are, honestly, old as dirt but I still love them! I didn’t want to add a necklace as the hat strap acted as a pseudo one. I also didn’t want anything to take away from the pattern on the sweater. Always remember that less is more when it comes to finishing touches on an outfit!

With an Autumn Awesome OOTD ready to go, Johnny and I headed to a nearby metro park to snap some shots. It was a beautiful location and you can see more of it all of this week in some bonus pics and bloopers. I also just want to say that I changed into a shorts and T-shirt immediately after taking these pictures because it was hot AF out lol. Mentally, I was feeling very fall, though! 😀

What is your favorite cold weather accessory? What is fall weather like in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sports For Beginners: Tips For Success

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Sports For Beginners: Tips For Success

When you’re just starting out in a new sport, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There is so much to learn and so many ways to improve! How can you make sure that you get the most out of your time and avoid common beginner mistakes? Here are tips for success in any new sport:

Find a coach or mentor:

One of the best ways to improve your skills in any sport is to find a coach or mentor. A good coach will be able to teach you the proper techniques and help you develop a practice routine that works for you. Having someone who can offer feedback and support will make learning any new sport much easier.

Set realistic goals:

When you’re just starting out in a new sport, it’s important to set realistic goals. Don’t expect to be the best player on the team right away – focus on gradually improving your skills and having fun. As you become more experienced, you can start setting higher goals for yourself.

Get in shape:

Many sports require a certain level of fitness, so it’s important to get in shape before you start. Taking some time to build up your stamina and strength will pay off in the long run. Not only will you be able to play better, but you’ll also reduce your risk of injuries. Make use of fitness trainers to help you when starting to exercise.

Recovery is important:

Rest and recovery are essential for any athlete, but they’re especially important for beginners. Make sure to give your body the time it needs to recover after a workout or practice session. Over-training can lead to injuries and burnout, so be sure to listen to your body and take breaks when you need them. Make use of stretching, chiropractic care, and ice baths to speed up your recovery.

Stay hydrated:

Staying hydrated is crucial for all athletes, but it’s especially important in hot weather or when you’re participating in strenuous activity. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts. Carry a water bottle with you so that you can stay hydrated when you’re on the go.

Warm up and cool down:

Warming up and cooling down are important for all athletes, but they’re especially important for beginners. Warming up helps to prepare your body for exercise while cooling down helps to reduce the risk of injuries. Make sure to take the time to warm up and cool down properly before and after your workouts.

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^^^ Unsplash Image

Eat healthy:

Eating healthy foods will help you have more energy, recover from workouts more quickly, and avoid injuries. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. And don’t forget to stay hydrated!

With a little bit of effort, you’ll be playing like a pro in no time!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

The Best Grilled Cheese EVER

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The Best Grilled Cheese EVER

Hello! I pride myself on my cooking and I LOVE making dinner for my husband and family whenever I can. It feels so good to make something that everyone enjoys and it is a true labor of love. This past week, however, the tables turned and my sweet Johnny ended up making dinner for me. I was craving a grilled cheese something fierce all day and he definitely delivered:

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^^^ He was so pleased with himself for “plating it up” for me!

Last week was a whirlwind between work and helping out at my mom and dad’s house. Every day when I got home, I pretty much just sank into the couch and prepared to do it all again the next day. By Friday, I had averaged a solid 11,000 or so steps per day and walking up the stairs to my apartment was a monumental feat on my aching legs. I was also freaking STARVING.

Rather than become one with my couch, I had to make my way to my office to finish some billing and online work. I am one of those people that can’t do anything else until all of my work is completely done but the rumbling in my belly was proving troublesome. So, I decided to ask Johnny to make me a grilled cheese to which he replied “of course” even though he was worried it wouldn’t turn out as good as mine!

By the time I finished my final tasks for the day, my dinner was ready and I couldn’t wait to chow down. It looked AMAZING and it tasted even better. Food always tastes better when someone else makes it for you and this sandwich was a true testament to that! I was so thankful to Johnny for lending me a hand but he was even happier that he could cook for me for a change. He was so proud of himself and, damnit, I was proud of him too. ❤

With so much going on in my life, Johnny told me that he will cook anything that he is capable of for me. AKA eggs and, now, grilled cheese. It was the sweetest thing and I really do have the best husband/grilled cheese chef ever!

What is your favorite simple thing to cook? What is your go to comfort food? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Getting Motivated To Move House

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Getting Motivated To Move House

Don’t like your home? Keep talking about moving, but never do it? Many of us put off moving for years. Now could be the time to finally take the plunge and consider moving to a home where you feel happier. Below are a few tips to help motivate you to move:

Prioritize your mental/physical health:

If a home is bad for your mental or physical health, this is a sure sign that you need to move. For example, if you feel unsafe, if you are being kept awake by noise, or if you are struggling to get up and down stairs to your home, these could all be good reasons to move.

Sometimes problems can be solved without moving. For example, you may be able to secure your property to make you feel safer, reduce neighbor noise levels by stopping by and having a conversation, or install a stair lift to a staircase. However, these may not always be viable options, in which case you need to move to prevent further damage to your mental or physical health.

Realize there may never be a right time:

Some people put off moving because there never seems to be a right time to make the move. However, sometimes you have to accept that there may never be a right time. While it’s true that you need to be able to dedicate a lot of time and energy to the moving process, you need to realize that there may always be other events to work around. While it can be stressful preparing for a move and also preparing for a new child, starting a new job, or handling a family loss, many people manage it – and you’ll feel much better once it’s done.

Get the right professional help:

Because moving can be such a monumental task, it can often be worth hiring professional help. If you’re planning on selling your home, you could enlist the help of agents or selling directly to a home buying company. If you need help with decluttering, there are skip hire companies and professional declutterers you can use. There are also companies that can help tidy and stage your home. It does mean spending extra money, but it could take away the stress, which can be a big turn off when it comes to moving.

Know when to accept financial loss:

Many homeowners will put off moving because they haven’t built up enough equity and are worried that the money made from selling their home won’t cover the expense of moving costs. Others even find that their home has lost value over time and stay put. Meanwhile, many renters will stay to the end of a contract to avoid having to pay penalties.

While in many cases it’s worth avoiding these financial losses, there may be times when it’s better to accept them. A good example is when your health or safety is at stake – it’s not worth sticking it out in a home that is potentially dangerous to live in. Similarly, if you’re spending huge amounts of money on repairs or on bills, you could find that you actually save money in the long run by moving.

It’s hard to find motivation for such a huge task like moving but, once you do, there will be no stopping you from moving into your dream home!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Relaxing Gifts For Your Special Guy

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Relaxing Gifts For Your Special Guy

Trying to find the perfect gift for the man in your life can be tricky. If he seems to have everything, what do you give him? How about something that will help him relax and destress? In this guide to relaxation for men, exploring various techniques that he can use to melt away the stress of everyday life will be discussed. Let’s get to it:

Massage Therapy:

Massage therapy is one of the most popular methods of relaxation for men. It is a great way to relieve stress and tension from the body and improve circulation. Many different types of massage therapies are available, so be sure to research to find the perfect one for him.

Swedish massage is a very common type of massage that uses long, flowing strokes to help relax the body. Deep tissue massage is another popular option that focuses on working out knots and other areas of muscle tension. Sports massages can help reduce soreness and inflammation from exercise if your man enjoys being active.

Aromatherapy:

Aromatherapy is another great way to help your man relax. Many different essential oils can be used for relaxation, each with its unique benefits. Lavender oil is a popular choice for its calming and soothing properties. Peppermint oil is also a good option as it can help to improve circulation and relieve muscle tension. You can also add a few drops of oil to his bathtub or massage him with an aromatherapy infused lotion.

That memorable getaway:

Sometimes, the best way to help your man relax is to get away from it all. Plan a weekend trip or more extended vacation at a spa or resort. This will allow him to unwind and forget all of his stressors. If you are on a budget, there are many ways to recreate the spa experience at home. First, run him a bath with some soothing music. You can also make your own sugar scrub using ingredients like coconut oil and essential oils. Then, give him a nice massage with this scrub to help exfoliate his skin and relieve muscle tension.

Special gifts:

If you want to go above and beyond, consider giving him a small gift that he can use while relaxing. This could be anything from a new robe to a nice pair of slippers. Maybe even a box of cigars? First, however, it’s important to understand the cigar shapes and sizes to fit with that remarkable man in your life and make it a gift he will never forget.

When it comes to relaxation, it’s important to remember that every man is different. What works for one guy might not work for another. The key is to find what works best for the man in your life and make sure he takes the time to relax regularly.

Time out with the family:

Last but not least, one of the best ways to help your man relax is to spend time with the people he loves. Whether this means family dinners, game nights, or simply hanging out at home, quality time with loved ones is sure to reduce stress and promote relaxation. In addition, perhaps your man is a camper; take the family out for a weekend away and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life to truly relax.

If your SO is feeling stressed, treat him to any of the above and watch as the tension melts away!

Featured Image By: Pexels

It Works If You Work Out

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It Works If You Work Out

Hello! I wouldn’t call myself the most physically active person on the entire planet. However, I feel like I’ve been getting in much better shape this summer and, I’ve gotta say, I feel GREAT! It also makes sitting on the couch after a long day that much more rewarding lol. We all need that sedentary time to recharge!

To start my day every morning but Sunday, I do one hundred and thirty push ups. This is something that I am very proud of because I could barely do twenty-five last April. I began incorporating this into my routine to help ease some of the pain in my upper body that I acquired when Johnny and I were in a car accident. I can’t say it helped in that regard but it did make me feel good to try something new.

What started with twenty-five would increase whenever I felt ready. It was a slow process and by August of last year, I could only do fifty. It was exciting to add even a few extra when I could, though. Within a year and a half, I added one hundred and five push ups to my morning routine. I do eighty in a row and rest, then I do fifty more. Although it’s tiring, my day just doesn’t feel right without it.

This summer, I also began working with a young man who loves to play outside. For two and a half hours per week we hike and play soccer and pickleball. When we first started working together, I literally thought I was going to keel over after our sessions. Fast forward to a few months later and I wish we had more time to enjoy the outdoors together!

One final thing that I’ve incorporated into my increasingly active lifestyle is several walks per day with the family dog, Archie. My parents currently have a lot going on and I wanted to make sure they didn’t have to worry about one extra thing. Almost every day of the week, I take Archie on two long walks/runs.

This all began last month and we start out at a run and then slow down to a walk when I need. Every day, I notice that I can keep running a little bit longer than I could before and it feels like a big achievement. I know that Archie loves it and I do too! It has brought our bond closer together and it keeps us both in tip top shape!

None of these improvements in my lifestyle happened over night. Some took over a year and others took several months and weeks. But, as I sat back and thought as I wrote this, it feels like a huge accomplishment. I can do so much more than I ever thought possible and it’s nice to look and feel my best!

What is your favorite form of exercise? Do you have a pet that helps keep you active? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Rachel Zoe Sweater

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New Rachel Zoe Sweater

Hello and welcome to the last new purchase from my TJMaxx Haul! When I go shopping, I usually know instantly if a piece of clothing is going to work for me just by looking at it. I am a seasoned pro, after all, and I am well versed in the styles, shapes, and colors that work best for my body type, hair color, and complexion. This little number by Rachel Zoe is a prime example of that and I fell in love as soon as I saw it:

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Similarly to my new DKNY sweater that you saw yesterday, I gasped when I saw this Rachel Zoe sweater. The shape is almost identical to my favorite chartreuse sweater by Cynthia Rowley and I haven’t found anything like it since buying it three years ago. I am living for the mock turtle neck, form fitting but not too tight fit, and diamond block pattern. The ultra soft material and all of the fun styling potentials are the cherry on top!

Thanks to my sixth sense when it comes to clothing, all I had to do was slip this sweater on and off for a second or two to know that it was a must have. And, within that time, visions of fabulous fall OOTDs began to swirl inside my head. I can’t wait to sport my new sweater with skinny jeans, brown ankle boots, and my Peter Grimm hat. It will be the perfect look for a leisurely autumn hike. I also love the idea of pairing it over top of a maxi dress or skirt for something more dressed up. This sweater screams “fall” and I am so there for it. 😀

Autumn is amazing for many reasons – cooler weather, leaves changing colors, Halloween and, oh yeah – the clothes. Keep it posted here on lifewithlilred for all of the fall OOTDs coming soon!

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

New DKNY Sweater

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New DKNY Sweater

Howdy! What was supposed to be some light shopping at TJMaxx turned into a full blown haul because fall clothes are back in stores, baby! While I had fun styling all kinds of summer looks, I am beyond ready for the crisp days of autumn. Oh yeah, and literally all of the sweaters, cardigans, coats, and cold weather accessories too. With the greatest season of all at the forefront of my mind, I just couldn’t say no to this darling DKNY sweater:

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^^^ Originally seventy dollars and I got it for thirty. NICE!

When I first saw this sweater, I literally clutched my pearls because it features what is, apparently, my new favorite trend: Sheer sleeves. This little DKNY number reminded me of my new Zara top that I got last haul and I knew that it would be a winner. As a heavily tattooed lady, it is always sad for all of them to get covered up come cold weather. Sheer sleeves allow for the tattoos on my arms to still be seen and I am so there for it. It’s seriously the perfect fix for the seasonal problem of forgetting what tattoos I even have until it gets warm out again lol.

Of course, my new sweater will look amazing with black super skinny jeans and ankle boots. Throwing on a huge floppy hat with it is also a definite must. I also have visions of pairing this sweater with a sweet skater skirt, cableknit tights, and a fun pair of heels. I think that it will be an awesome look for date night or family holiday gatherings.

I love refreshing my wardrobe with a few new pieces as the seasons change to keep things interesting. I consider this DKNY sweater and the Rachel Zoe one that you will see tomorrow as ideal additions to my fall clothes. I can’t wait to wear them!

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

TJMaxx Skin Care Haul

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TJMaxx Skin Care Haul

Hello!! Last week, I visited TJMaxx strictly to get some more skin care. I was successful in that regard and also wound up leaving with way more than just skin care lol. Funny how that works out! I ended up walking away with some Halloween goodies, Christmas presents for my niece, two adorable sweaters, and all of the following:

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^^^ All of these products are Leaping Bunny certified!

It has been a while since I restocked my cleansers and eye cream so that was the mission I had in mind during my TJs trip. Every morning, I like to wash my face with both a scrub and a cleanser for a deep clean. I was almost completely out of both things and chose a Vitamin C cleanser by Clinical Works and a hyaluronic acid and sugar scrub by SpaScriptions. Each of these products feature two of my favorite ingredients for my skin care as a late twenty something and I can’t wait to try them out!

For my eye cream, I went with a manuka honey cream by Lanoline. And, of course, I had to grab another bottle of the Evoluderm micellar water, which I love. I have only used products with manuka honey in it a handful of times. However, it was a must have ingredient for skin care a year or so ago so I’m more than happy to give it a try in eye cream form. Fingers crossed that it smells as amazing as the Freeman face mask that introduced me to manuka honey. 😀

This Skin Care Haul turned into a major haul in general and it was just what I needed. There’s nothing like a little retail therapy to help soothe the soul!

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

 

Falcon Grove Studio Art Haul

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Falcon Grove Studio Art Haul

Hello!! I took an awesome watercolor painting class with my mom and sister in July. It was taught by the amazing Ana of Falcon Grove Studio and we still talk about how much fun we had all together. This past week my best friend, LEA, turned twenty-eight and I decided to treat her to some beautiful artwork made by Ana on her Etsy shop. They will be perfect for her office at work and don’t worry, they are already in her possession so this post won’t come as a surprise! Check it out:

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It is so important to support local artists and I try to do so as often as I can. When Lea’s birthday began drawing near, I had Ana’s Etsy shop in mind because her work is just the type that she likes. Ana’s art is so elegant and bold without being “too much” and I am in love with both pieces that I chose. I am especially partial to the framed painting with the 3D butterfly. I wish that I bought one for me too!

Shopping on Ana’s Etsy shop was a great experience. My order arrived quickly, shipping was free, and it was packaged with so much care. I also received a coupon for fifteen percent off of my next purchase, which will definitely come in handy this holiday season. I have a feeling that I will make great use of it. 😀

Lea and I have been best friends for fourteen years and it has been a joy to celebrate almost a decade and a half of birthdays together. It was also a joy to shop for all of them too lol. Do be sure to check out Ana’s Etsy shop for a handcrafted gift that yourself or your giftee will adore!

Who is your favorite local artist? What is the link to any of your online stores? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Deal With A Loss Of Appetite

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How To Deal With A Loss Of Appetite

If you’ve been experiencing a loss of appetite recently and you want to get back to normal sooner rather than later, you’re in the right place. There are many reasons why we might not feel like eating as much as usual, and it’s a good idea to get to the bottom of the problem and try out some potential solutions. We’re going to talk about what that might look like and how you can make a positive change:

Talk to Your Doctor:

First of all, you should talk to your doctor about the situation that you’re facing. You want to make sure that there aren’t other health issues that are making you feel less interested in food. They’ll be able to check you over and carry out tests to see if everything is in order. If it is, they can offer more advice on what you can do to improve your appetite going forward.

Improve Your Sleeping Habits:

Your sleeping habits are linked to your diet and just about every other aspect of your health. If you’re not getting the amount of sleep you need at night, you’re eventually going to pay the price for that. So think about what you can do to improve your sleeping habits and try to get to bed a little earlier each night.

Change Your Diet to Make it More Nutritious:

If you’re not eating as much, it’s important to make sure that the food you are eating is full of the nutrients that your body really needs in order to stay healthy and functioning. If that’s not the case, you might start to experience more problems that arise as a result of your lack of appetite.

Fix Dental Issues:

Fixing your dental issues at the root is one of the best things you can do if you want to make sure that you enjoy the process of eating. Lots of people who have aches and pains in their teeth and jaw find that it stops them from wanting to eat as much. That’s why options such as full-mouth dentures or implants are popular and provide a solution to that problem.

Increase Your Physical Activity:

It’s often the case that you’ll feel like eating more when you’re being more active. If you’re not currently doing much exercise and you lead quite a sedentary life, that could be one of the reasons why you don’t feel like eating as much as you once did. Try fitting some kind of physical activity into your day and see if that makes a difference for you.

A loss of appetite might signal something else going on in your body that you need to address or it could be a mental health issue. It’s important to speak to someone if you’re not sure!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Considering A Used Sewing Machine? Follow These Tips

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Considering A Used Sewing Machine? Follow These Tips

The cost of a sewing machine is significant. You need a reliable, sturdy machine with all of the capabilities you want right away and a few that you will probably desire in the future. A fantastic way to save some cash is to purchase a secondhand machine. But beware the buyer! The purchase of used equipment has its drawbacks as well. The following factors are important to think about:

What can it do and does it work?:

Any sewing machine, new or secondhand, must pass the most fundamental test – it must operate! Test out any equipment you want to purchase as soon as you can. Some stores will provide test models on the floor for new equipment. However, if you’re buying a secondhand sewing machine, you should test the actual machine, not simply the same model. Try the features out. Does the sewing machine produce uniform, skip-free stitches? Does it run without making any strange noises?

Bring along both delicate and more durable fabrics in different weights to test the machine’s capabilities. Remember, your results won’t be adequate if you don’t take the time to correctly change all of the parameters between these two, including switching to a heavy duty needle and thread.

Is it in excellent shape overall or has it undergone any repairs?

A sewing machine’s condition may not always be apparent at first sight. When buying from a store that sells old equipment, find out if the unit has been restored and what that entails. Find out the prior owner’s maintenance schedule and the most recent service date if you’re purchasing from them.

Who is the machine’s seller?

The safest option is usually to purchase a used or refurbished machine from a store because these items are frequently cleaned and fixed before being put back on the market. They could even have a modernized repair warranty. Unfortunately, the price difference between one of these machines and a new one won’t be as great because of the additional maintenance required. Directly purchasing from a prior owner may give you more wiggle room, but there will also be greater quality variety.

What does it include?

This is a crucial question to ask in relation to accessories. What comes with the purchase? Make sure you understand what you’re buying and what the final price includes. This is also a good time to double check that the machine is compatible with gear that you might already have.

Is it user-friendly?

It’s likely that a secondhand machine won’t have a user manual. It’s a relief that many of these can now be downloaded, but if you’re a novice sewer, it might be difficult to even know what questions to ask when getting started with a new machine. This is just another incentive to test a machine out before purchasing it!

Will it satisfy your needs?

It’s great to get a good deal on a used machine but is it going to be able to do everything that you want it to? What might be a smart purchase now could end up costing you more later if you realize you do want all of the bells and whistles.

What is the price being asked?

Last but not least, how much money can you afford to spend on a sewing machine? You’ll need to do some research to figure out what a fair price is for the item you want. Older machines are frequently pricey due to their enduring appeal, while more recent versions can be surprisingly affordable.

With all of these tips in mind, you will be better prepared to make a good decision if you’re on the market for a new to you sewing machine.

Resources:

Featured Image By: Alex Andrews from Pexels

August 2022 Finishes

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August 2022 Finishes

Hi everyone!! We’re going to wrap up August here on lifewithlilred by talking about the beauty products that I used up this month. I don’t know about all of you, but August sucked majorly for me so here’s to September being friggen awesome. God knows I need it! One thing that I always find awesome is using up products, though, so let’s get to it:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Provence Beauty Serum: I love me a Vitamin C serum and this one by Provence Beauty, unfortunately, missed the mark. I didn’t experience any noticeable differences in the way my skin looked or felt after a month of morning and night use. This serum was also quite thin in consistency, which was a pain because it was constantly falling out of my hand. This is a product that you can definitely skip on.

Evoluderm Micellar Water: You guys already know that this is my A1 favorite micellar water so there is no need to discuss in too much detail. I will say that this product blows me away every time I use it. It removes makeup so well and acts as a nourishing toner for me every morning. It takes me about five weeks to finish one bottle.

St. Ives Scrub: I have finally used up the last St. Ives scrub in my stockpile and I am SO happy about it. These scrubs are not good for your skin and the walnut shells they use as an exfoliant can subject your skin to micro tears. Waste not want not, though, and I finished it anyways lol *face palm*. It took me over a month of once daily use to finish one bottle.

B&BW Shower Gel: First and foremost, I LOVE GINGHAM! It is, easily, one of my favorite Bath & Body Works scents and is nothing short of a delight in shower gel form. It is so crisp and refreshing and lathers into the most luxurious bubbles. It is the perfect way to start every morning! It took me about three weeks to finish the travel size bottle and I really wish I had a full size one because I am now all out of Gingham! 😦

August was pretty bad for me personally but the product finishes were pretty good. Keep it posted for more fun on lifewithlilred come September!

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

Inject Positivity In Your Life With These Steps

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Inject Positivity In Your Life With These Steps

Life can be extremely difficult at times. Even when you’re absolutely flying, things can just fall out of your favor. You have to make sure that your mindset is one of positivity for as long as you can. This is because you’ll get the best out of pretty much any situation. Having a good attitude won’t necessarily solve your problems but it will sure make you feel more in control about them. Give your mindset a boost with these tips:

Get Up And Move More:

It’s amazing what your basic actions can do. Sitting around all day will make you feel insanely low. You might enjoy the relaxation for a little while, but then you’ll begin to feel useless. Your mind will start overthinking and you’ll regret the time wasted. If you’re exercising and moving around more, you’re going to feel so much more productive and healthier too.

Actively Look To Solve Issues In Your Life:

While it’s much easier to avoid problems and focus on other areas of your life, it’s actually a lot more beneficial to you to make sure you attack certain issues in your life. If you have an issue with your health, then perhaps it’s time to address that. Head to the dentist and get braces or head to the doctor to receive specific treatment. If you have a problem with someone, get in touch and face it. This will stop issues from hanging over you.

Do The Things You Love:

You have to make sure that you’re doing things in life that you care about and enjoy. Doing the same things over and over again or living life for someone else will only leave you miserable. You only get a certain amount of time in this life, so make sure you’re spending it wisely.

Surround Yourself With People Who Want The Best For You:

Your mind can be shaped by those around you so spend your time with positive people who will actively look to make your life better. Your life can be completely turned upside down by the wrong people.

Stop Consuming Negative Content:

It’s so easy to see negative news and comments – all you need to do is go on social media. Because it’s such a big part of our society now, it is very difficult to escape negative news, gossip, and behavior. Do your best to stop scrolling through social media because it will truly help your mindset. The more you see things you don’t wish to view, the worse you’re going to feel about yourself and life in general.

A positive outlook on life can help turn difficult situations into something manageable. Start every day with a smile and see where it takes you!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

TJMaxx Mini Halloween Haul

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TJMaxx Mini Halloween Haul

Hello! In terms of shopping, I think that right now is the most wonderful time of the year. I love when fall clothing starts making a comeback and, of course, all of the Halloween goodies! This past week, I couldn’t help indulging in the former and the latter during some much needed retail therapy. I went to TJMaxx at just the right time when they started putting out their Halloween decor and walked away with the following:

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Johnny and I keep our spooky decorations up all year round so I was excited to get some new additions for our little slice of Halloween heaven. I freaking LOVE the snow globe featuring a skull and striking snake. The best thing about it, of course, is the little bats floating around in lieu of glitter. It is just so cute and looks great on one of the shelves in our book nook. It was also the only one in the store. 😀

I also just had to get two new plates by Royal Stafford with his and hers skulls on it. When I saw these on display, I literally clutched my pearls because I have several plates from this brand already. I purchased them almost three years ago and have never seen anything like it at TJMaxx since so I felt lucky to find more to add to my collection. They are way too pretty to use for its intended purpose of eating off of but I like having them just to have them lol.

Halloween is in my home all of the time but is officially in the air in stores and I am so there for it. Johnny and I plan on having a Halloween shopping crawl soon for more decor and I can’t wait!

What is your favorite holiday to shop for? Which stores have the best holiday decor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How Might The Job Market Change In The Future?

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How Might The Job Market Change In The Future?

It seems as though right now, the job market the world over is still reeling from many difficult issues. As the cost-of-living rises and energy prices soar, it seems that many smaller businesses are destined to stop trading due to unsustainable cost. However, in many areas, job vacancies for many roles seem to be more numerous than ever, and that in itself can be a big ask.

Learning how the job market might change in the future is important so that we can plan around it, consider retraining, and what our own skill set may offer five or ten years from now. On top of that, two years of an international and difficult pandemic caused many jobs to be lost, forcing people to focus on retraining and moving into renewed areas as capably as they could.

Without further ado, let’s consider the topic on the minds of many, and what a future employee or contractor may wish to know about the future of work:

Future of Work Training Is More Commonplace:

We’re starting to see that more and more industries are training their employees in the future of work requirements they may be planning for. Services like LearningBank https://www.learningbank.io/future-of-work-universe have allowed companies to implement this training structure conveniently and effectively. This can educate you on legislation affecting your industry, new software and technological requirements, and more. Over time, this future of work training is sure to keep your brand at the cutting edge of awareness; and we’re sure to see it become more commonplace.

Independent Contracting & Outsourced Resources Are More Popular Than Ever:

As the work-from-home revolution took place during the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more independent contractors and freelancers have become available. Storied professionals are not looking to see the worth they might offer or how they might differ from a standard employment category. You can bet that as digital nomadism rises, and as independent contracting becomes easier and more beneficial, co-working spaces will begin to thrive in areas left behind by the high street, and remote conferencing, co-operative learning, and outsourcing is sure to become the norm through and through.

Technological Development Is Threatening Some Job Categories:

It’s also true to say that machine learning and AI is becoming more relevant and competent at all times, meaning that our daily lives may be more affected than we realize. It’s important to consider how these realities will shift our daily purpose. For instance, it may be that differentiating your skill set or ensuring it reaches a wider audience is key. So instead of simply copywriting for a living, you might look into becoming an SEO researcher or perhaps add some marketing refinement to the package you can offer your independent clients.

With this advice, you’re certain to not only consider the job market of the future, but understand how it may affect you and try to anticipate those changes as much as anyone can. One thing is for sure – ten years from now, things will seem vastly different.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Bath & Body Works Mini Haul

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Bath & Body Works Mini Haul

Hello!! This past week, I had a bunch of errands to run and decided to partake in a little retail therapy. You can peep a new TJMaxx Haul soon but, today, we are going to chat about my finds at Bath & Body Works. I had two freebie coupons to cash in for a travel sized product and a hand sanitizer. I also decided that I should probably buy some more of their wallflower fragrances while I was there! Check it out:

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Prior to my last haul at B&BW, I had never used their wallflowers before. However, I had a coupon for a free one and their Halloween plugins were too cute to pass up! Now that I have two in my apartment, one upstairs and one down, I can’t believe it took me this long to join the bandwagon. They are DELIGHTFUL! The wallflowers provide the perfect amount of fragrance without being overpowering. They are also super long lasting and after over twenty days of use I still have half a vial left.

Aside from freebie coupons, I also had a twenty-five percent off one so I bought two wallflowers with it. I went with Honeycrisp Apple and Wildberry Tea Spritzer. As you all know, I live for apple fragrances and the one I selected is so fabulous for fall. It smells like a just bitten apple and I can’t wait to use it. The Tea Spritzer fragrance is nice but it is not my favorite – I just happened to like it the most out of the available options. It actually smells exactly like the summery beverage I imagined but it is just a little too sweet for my liking. We will see what it’s like when I try it!

I am a huge fan of the B&BW hand sanitizers and was excited to be able to pick out a free one. Their PocketBacs leave my hands feeling so clean without drying them out and have become a must have when I’m on the go. I decided to keep with the squeaky clean vibes and chose Sunshine & Lemons. It’s zingy, tart, and will be a nice reminder of summer come fall.

For my free travel sized item, I got the old standby scent of Japanese Cherry Blossom. Not because I wanted to but because I was running low on lotion in my stockpile and it was the literal only option there lol (I was shopping at a pop up store because they are adding a White Barn to a nearby location). We all know the scent, we loved it in high school, and that’s all I have to say about that. But, hey, a free lotion is a free lotion!

For twelve bucks, I got four products and you just can’t beat that. I also contained myself and didn’t buy anymore Halloween goodies so it was a GREAT SUCCESS of a Mini Haul!

What is your favorite Bath & Body Works scent? What was your favorite fragrance in high school? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Exercise Safely With These Tips

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Exercise Safely With These Tips

Exercise is, of course, really good for you and something that you should do regularly if you want to be as healthy as possible. However, if you are not careful it can also prove to be harmful to you, especially if you are not taking the appropriate steps to mitigate those potential harms. Exercising safely is one of those things that you need to know about if you are going to look after your body properly while getting fit. Let’s take a look at what you should do while working out:

Warm Up & Cool Down:

Warm ups and cool downs help you to avoid suffering any injuries as a result of using your muscles too quickly or too much. This will help your muscles to be more limber and more likely to actually work as they are meant to. If you are able to do this right, then it’s going to make working out more comfortable and less likely to harm you, and that is what we are aiming for here.

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^^^ Pexels Image

Care For Your Muscles:

You need to make sure that you are caring for your muscles, especially if you are going to be doing a lot of exercise and if some of it is quite rigorous. If you are planning on doing a lot of muscle-building, in particular, you need to ensure that you are properly looking after your muscles in your daily life. One thing that can help is to make sure that you are getting a regular massage therapy session booked in, as that will help to remove the knots in your muscle and all of that tension.

Take It Slow:

Although you might be keen to progress as fast as possible, it is important for your body that you are taking things fairly slow and easy. If you push yourself too hard, you are only going to find that you end up causing yourself harm, so that is something that you will obviously want to avoid doing. Taking it slow is one of those things that you can easily do if you want to, and you will find that you really make a huge difference this way.

Understand Your Limits:

Again, you might be keen to try and break through your limits, but you still need to respect them in their own way too. Understand where your limits are and push forward at a steady pace. You should find that this helps to keep your body safe as you exercise and will limit the chances of suffering any injuries.

Working out works when you are doing it right. Respect what your body needs and you will achieve a work out routine perfect for you!

Featured Image By: Pexels