Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween!

Hello everyone! Just swinging by on this spooky Saturday to wish all of you a very Happy Halloween! Although this year is much different than Halloween’s of past, there is still plenty of fun to be had. From scary movie marathons and crafts to a social distanced bonfire or a scavenger hunt at home, this could potentially be your best Halloween yet because you will have to do something totally different if you wish to be in COVID safety standards. But, something totally different doesn’t mean anything less enjoyable!

Visit previous Halloween posts here on lifewithlilred to help get you inspired and bring some scary fun and completely safe Halloween spirit to you and yours. ❤

Happy Halloween!!

^^^ Never forget my sweet doggie’s Minion costume!

How are you celebrating Halloween this year? What is your favorite Halloween costume ever? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Taking Your Career To The Next Stage With Legal Management

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Taking Your Career To The Next Stage With Legal Management

It is no secret that working within the legal sector can be highly tiring, you are often working unsociable hours, working through complicated paperwork, or presiding over complex cases. As a result, it is easy to feel tired or burned out at work. You may even feel as though you are ready for a career change.

Often, when we are overly busy, we feel as though we get caught in a cycle that we cannot escape, where work consumes most of our day, and we have little time for anything else. It is often hard to find new ways in which you can continue to develop your skills and take the next step in your career. However, that is where companies such as Elite lawyer management come in.

Elite Lawyer Management is a unique PR and talent marketing agency, who works closely with elite lawyers across America, helping them advance their careers through close collaboration. Their services cover a broad range of topics, each of which will help you advance. Here’s how:

Personal Branding:

When developing your personal branding, you can demonstrate your unique skills and capabilities, whilst also building a reputation of excellence within your field. Your personal brand will also allow you the opportunity to express yourself, meaning you can voice opinions about causes that are close to your heart. As a result, you will receive more focused work that is built upon your personal interests, allowing you to develop on a personal and professional level. It is fair to argue that personal branding is essential if you wish to work successfully as a lawyer.

Opening Doors:

Elite Lawyer Management works with lawyers whose careers exceed far beyond the courtroom, allowing you to develop a unique and diverse skill set. For example, they can help you step into the world of publishing and academia or public speaking – both of which will allow you to use your expertise to enact positive change and inform others. If you have always wanted to appear on television, you may also want to consider working as a legal advisor for a local or national news channel.

Content Marketing:

To take the next steps in your career, you need to ensure that you are staying up to date with current trends so that your work remains on the public radar. One way in which you can do this is through crafting an online presence. In fact, in a world that becomes more and more reliant on technology, not having a web presence could harm your growth. Whether this means you focus on cultivating a social media presence or writing blogs, management services can help your work reach the right audience.

In conclusion, legal management services are a great way to progress in your career, providing you with valuable ways in which you can develop your skills and help you stand out from the crowd. Even better, they will not work with any other attorneys or law firms that could be considered your direct competitor, proving that your success remains their priority.

Featured Image By: Nick Morrison on Unsplash

There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

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There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

You know… I think the best ships are Auntships and yes I definitely made that up on the spot, lol. This past weekend, I had the absolute joy of watching my sweet niece Miss Valerie Jane. Val Gal is almost twenty months old and she is my sister, Kristen, and brother in law, Ramon’s, little girl. Valerie is honest to god my best friend and my life has been so much happier since she was born.

Despite having Blue’s Clues on in the background for the entire evening, Val and I had the best time playing, snacking, and enjoying a pajama party while her mom and dad were at work. Between her French lessons from her auntie, reading books, putting puzzles together, working on her flash cards, and cooking in her pretend kitchen we had a jam packed Saturday night!

I love being able to see Val’s happy and silly personality continue to develop every time I see her. I swear, she is always giggling, belly laughing, and on the move and I don’t know how her parents keep up with her. Especially considering that Kristen and Ramon have five pets, as well. Three dogs named Tydus, Winston, and Platinum and two cats called Mary and Gloria (All rescued). 🙂

I know I’m biased because Val is my niece but I am just so proud of her, Kristen, and Ramon because she’s legit the best kid on the planet. In fact, I tend to not like children that much to begin with but I wish I could see Valerie every day.

Being able to go to chez Kristen and Ramon’s for an evening and do nothing but make Val laugh hysterically from the “Where’s Val? I can’t find her anywhere” game was a high point of this entire year, lol. I was so tired after caring for a constantly on the move kiddo but all I have to do is think about our “auntie and me” time together and it never ceases to put a smile on my face.

Being an auntie to lil Valerie Jane is one of the best gifts I’ve ever had and I really do think the best ships are Auntships. ❤

Are you a proud aunt or uncle? Which TV shows are the kiddos in your life obsessed with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

October 2020 Finishes

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October 2020 Finishes

Hello!!! Holy COW October is just about over and I don’t know how it was for all of you but it went by so quick for me. I swear, as soon as I start all of my early Christmas preparations, the months leading up to the big day just go by in turbo speed. And, with one of my favorite months of October nearing completion, that means it’s time to chit chat about all of the beauty products I used up so let’s get to it:

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Would I Use Again?

  • Garnier Micellar Water: YES
  • Bath & Body Works Gingham body wash: YES
  • Azure Lux Rose Gold serum: YES
  • SkinLab Lift & Firm moisturizer: YES
  • SkinLab Lift & Firm eye cream: YES

If you would like to read more about these products, please visit some of my old empties posts because I literally use the ones above all of the time! And, in case you missed any of my beauty posts this past month, check out some of the following:

Pampering myself with my must have products has been one of the main things keeping me sane during all of this COVID craziness. Please, everyone, keep being good to yourselves and, sometimes, feeling much better is only a face mask or a bubble bath away!

What are some of your must have products? Are there any discontinued products that you miss? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Calm When Moving House Independently

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Keeping Calm When Moving House Independently

Moving to a new house is such a huge task, and it can feel almost impossible when you have to struggle through the journey by yourself. Moving alone means that you are the only person responsible for completing each and every requirement, and this can easily become an overwhelming task. Luckily you needn’t suffer through such a negative experience, as there are many proactive tips and tricks that you can utilize to keep calm and cool whilst moving to a new home independently! Read on to uncover some of the best steps that you can follow now to breeze through your move and make the most of each and every achievement:

Make A Plan:

One of the best things that you can do to take the stress out of moving by yourself is to make a detailed plan which includes every important step and feature. The most essential date of all is the day that you move into your new property, but there are also many other tasks that you must complete before you reach this point. Your belongings must be organized and either packed up ready for the move, sold on for extra funds, or simply thrown away, and you need to update your address with all of the relevant companies to maintain security.

It is also important to organize utilities inside your new home, not forgetting a WiFi connection, and arrange your finances by using a platform like MortgageCalculator.Org to figure out your monthly payments. Making a plan will help you to ensure that you don’t accidentally miss any of the most essential steps during your move, and the fact that you can tick off each task as you go is a great motivation to keep on working hard to get closer to your goal.

Get Professional Support

If you feel as though you are struggling through your move without any support, there’s always the option to enlist professional, specialist help to see you through to the end of your journey. Whether you need the help of an experienced estate agent to find your new dream home or would benefit from a team of trusted movers to help you transport your life from A to B, there are many different brands and people ready and waiting for your inquiry. It’s a good idea to check online and read a few reviews left by previous customers to get a better feel for the quality of the service they provide, as you don’t want to waste money on something that won’t really offer any benefit, and positive feedback can give you great peace of mind.

Keeping calm when moving independently has never been so simple when you are able to utilize the top tips and tricks that have been detailed above! You needn’t struggle through such a huge task all by yourself, as there’s always a way to maintain control or seek out specialist support to help carry you through the process.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

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Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

Hi! Lil Red may not be the craftiest gal in the bunch but, I’ll be damned if I don’t try my best with my clients when we’re creating something together. One of my pals had a plethora of Popsicle sticks so I figured we could try to do a Halloween craft with them by painting them into little ghosts. While my client opted for making names of his loved ones out of the sticks (So sweet!), I made the following for Johnny’s desk at work and something special for my crafting partner. Check it out:

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I started my crafting palooza with something easy by painting the Popsicle sticks white and making little ghost faces with Sharpie markers once the paint was dry. Simple, yes, but they turned out so cute I decided to try my hand at a few more designs even though they were going to be much harder for my non crafty self.

I thought a Frankenstein stick would look awesome and I knew Johnny would love it so I looked up a picture of ol’ Frank and did my best. While the green paint on the stick dried, I practiced drawing his face several times on paper before I Sharpied in the final effort and, frankly (lol), I couldn’t believe how good it turned out. In fact, it ended up being Johnny’s favorite creation.

After seeing my Frankenstein, my client asked me if I could make him a Barney one. I told him I’ll see what I can do and got to work on two Barney themed Popsicle sticks. In honor of the Barney Halloween episode that he loves, I painted a stick purple with green polka dots, just like the pumpkin Barney had in the show.

The real challenge, now, was going to be making Barney’s face because I can’t draw for crap. Lol, like with Frankenstein, I looked up a picture of Barney and practiced drawing his face while the purple base paint dried. Once I was satisfied, I Sharpied in the face of the friendly purple dinosaur and I thought it turned out great. I added a green tummy and his yellow toes and my client was so happy with what I made him, which is all that matters to me.

To wrap up our crafting, I made a Jack-O-Lantern stick to complete Johnny’s spooky set. Both my client and I had a blast with our arts and crafts hour and I was so happy to come up with something that was simple but we both enjoyed so much. Oh you crafty, huh?!

Would you consider yourself crafty? What is something that you have made that you are proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Creating The Perfect Bathroom

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Creating The Perfect Bathroom

Whenever you get the chance to revamp your bathroom, there’s bound to be so many different styles and aesthetics whizzing around your mind. From earthy and natural to sleek and modern, the list is truly endless when it comes to interior design options. Purchasing random furniture and fittings as well as seeking out the incorrect tradesmen in an attempt to convert your dreams into a reality may not always go as you had hoped, as bathroom renovation takes planning and detail to get right.

Luckily, there are a few key tips and tricks that you can make the most of to create the perfect bathroom in no time at all, and it needn’t be difficult to get started today. If you would like to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best steps that you can utilize now to begin your bathroom renovations:

Mood Boards & More:

One of the first steps that you must take if you wish to achieve a successful makeover is the planning stage, as a mind full of ideas just isn’t going to be a feasible starting point. It’s a great idea to create a kind of mood board that involves all manner of different concepts and details, from potential paint colors to wallpaper designs, bathroom suite styles and tiles galore. Collecting a few snippets of inspiration will help your overall design flourish, and it’s really beneficial to have that initial reference point to express what you expect your tradesmen to achieve.

Explore online and in magazines for more inspiration, as there are hundreds of brand new interior design trends that you may just fall in love with! You can even visit a local luxury hotel to check out the chic style of their en suites, as hotels generally have the most glorious and exotic of bathrooms for their guests to enjoy.

Find The Right Support:

A bathroom renovation simply isn’t a DIY job – there are too many tasks that require specific skills or qualifications that the average person does not possess, and you may even be putting yourself in danger by attempting such efforts. It’s so vital that you can find the right support to help you achieve your interior design goals, as there are so many specialists out there just ready and waiting for your call.

The most important tradesmen that you must employ are local plumbers, as they have the key training required to totally revamp your bathroom suite in a safe and controlled manner. If you’re not totally equipped to choose the style of your new suite then don’t fret, as you can even enlist the support of a professional interior designer to help you make the best decisions to benefit your home’s aesthetic.

Creating the perfect bathroom has never been so simple when you are able to make the most of the amazing tips and tricks that have been detailed above. You’ll never want to leave the tub once you revamp your suite!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Pumpkin Party

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Pumpkin Party

Hi! This past week, I thought I would bring the pumpkin patch to one of my clients so that we could paint them together. Painting pumpkins is one of my favorite activities to do with clients because for one: it’s a lot of fun and for two: I have never even carved a pumpkin before so I definitely don’t trust myself with that!

During the “pumpkin party”, we had Casper The Friendly Ghost playing on the TV while we worked on our masterpieces. We painted away until we were satisfied with our creations and then gave each other a grand reveal of the end results. They looked a little something like this:

While I opted for multicolored polka dots on my pumpkin, my client decided he wanted to make one with the likeness of yours truly. I’ve got to say, I can definitely see the similarities and I was so touched that that’s what he wanted to make with the pumpkin I brought him. We both gave each other the pumpkins we made at the end of the day and I have mine proudly displayed in my apartment.

Whether it be painting pumpkins, hand traced turkeys for Thanksgiving, or ornaments for the holiday season: Painting is a blast. Make an afternoon of your crafting by putting on a movie or music to fit the theme and get to stepping on your own handmade holiday decor. And, always remember, that fun times can still be had from the safety of your home – all it takes is a little creativity!

Do you have any holiday craft ideas? What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Sure Your Children Get The Best Education

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Making Sure Your Children Get The Best Education

The responsibilities you take on when you become a parent seems almost endless, and it can often be hard to keep up with their various needs and demands. One area which you may believe needs little intervention is their education, as many parents feel relief dropping their child off at school, knowing they’re in ‘good hands’. This isn’t always the case, and your child should not have to struggle through their education all alone with nowhere to turn for support or guidance besides their teachers, who are commonly too busy to help.

Ensuring your child can get the best education needn’t be difficult, as there are a few key areas in which you can focus your efforts to encourage them to thrive. So, if you would like to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best top tips and tricks that you can make the most of today to help your children thrive:

Make Things Fun:

One big issue that mainstream education can’t seem to overcome is the fact that learning must be fun. Children will never develop an interest in the topic that they are being taught unless they are somehow inspired by the process, as their imagination is at its peak during early school age and this should be taken into consideration. Turning learning into a game is such a great way to motivate your little ones to get more involved with schoolwork. Getting crafty is also a super immersive tool as well as just being a blast!

Create a kind of reward board for school homework and extracurricular activities that can fill up with gold stars as your children progress, as this is a great fun way to keep them interested and motivated. Rather than simply sitting around the table to complete homework on a sheet of paper, incorporate other materials into the mix which can help them to visualize – this is especially good for mathematics, as things like playtime building blocks can be a great representation for counting and other simple maths.

Explore Alternative Methods:

Many education facilities simply don’t provide their students with enough teachers and resources to inspire them to truly thrive, so it’s a good idea to explore a few alternative or additional methods that might be of benefit. There are many extracurricular activities that your child can explore, from exciting STEM clubs that take part in cool experiments to platforms which offer online resources that can be utilized by you at home! Alternative home schooling is constantly growing in popularity, and this added interest is allowing for continued investment into fun opportunities that your children can make the most of.

Help your children continue to blossom in their education with the tips above. You can maintain ultimate peace of mind that they are receiving all of the help they need and you will bond as you play a bigger role in their school experience.

Featured Image By: Pexels

7 Pandemic Proof Jobs You Could Try

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7 Pandemic Proof Jobs You Could Try

While COVID-19 has meant that many people have lost jobs, it has also highlighted those jobs which are needed more than ever. If you have been left unemployed or you are only just starting out in your career, then perhaps these jobs are something you should consider:

Teacher:

Parents have never appreciated teachers more now that they have had the experience of homeschooling their kids. Teachers are always going to be needed, and while a lot of teaching has or will move online, this will be an addition to the face to face learning meaning that there will be more jobs for teachers. Thanks to the use of video conferencing, it will be more commonplace to teach to people all over the world. So if teaching is something you have a passion for, then there are people who will always need you.

Skilled Tradespeople:

Plumbers and electricians, for example, can still do their jobs with little risk as they can social distance and wear PPE to protect themselves and their clients. You can also usually learn on the job with an apprenticeship such as this one here: https://www.abcksmo.org/training/plumbing-program/. Check it out and see if it’s right for you.

Healthcare Workers:

Again, healthcare workers have never been so important, and this will continue to be the case. While the world will be more prepared for a pandemic should one happen again, there will always be a need for more people to help people. Whether it’s those in a hospital or living in care homes, there are many vulnerable people who need health care.

Exercise Coaching:

While many gyms and exercise centers had to close due to the pandemic, exercise is still extremely important and very popular. A lot of personal trainers moved online, and this is something that will look to continue as people want to exercise from the safety of their own home but still want to learn and to be pushed by someone.

Delivery Drivers:

As more people order online, whether it be food or shopping, there is a higher demand for delivery drivers, and this doesn’t look set to change any time soon. You can start by working for somewhere like Amazon Flex or Deliveroo if you just want to make some money on the side.

IT Professionals:

We’ve also never been more reliant on technology and software engineers, web developers, and online security specialists are in demand. Digital skills are required in all industries, from e-commerce to automating processes in factories, so there is huge growth in this sector right now. There is also a lot of competition, but there’s no reason why you can’t beat that and be the one to get the job.

Cleaners:

Offices which are now open have to be extra vigilant with their cleaning, as do shops and services. Also, places like holiday homes need extra attention, so there is a greater need not just for more cleaners but for a deeper clean to eliminate the risk of COVID.

If you are on the hunt for a job, get inspired with the ideas above!

Featured Image By: 14995841 from Pixabay

Ballooning Around

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Ballooning Around

Hello! As of right now, there has been a sharp increase of COVID cases in Ohio. Myself and Johnny, both of our families, and all of my clients are hunkered down more than ever and the feeling of having “nothing to do” is particularly strong. As an independent provider for people with special needs, I am constantly trying to figure out ways to keep my clients entertained from the comfort of their home. This past month, I learned that something has simple as a balloon can be a whole lot of fun.

My most senior (and high risk) client’s brother celebrated a birthday in October, so we spent a lot of time making decorations and discussing birthdays of years’ past. The piece de resistance, however, was definitely when I blew up a ton of balloons the day before and the morning of the big day. My client loved selecting which color balloons he wanted and he wrote his brother’s name on every single one.

Once we had plenty of balloons ready, I asked my client if he wanted to hit it back and forth together and he was all for it. In fact, so much so that we have played “Balloon Bounce” pretty much every day that I’ve seen him since. This has been my “sneaky” way of incorporating a more, for lack of a better words, “active” activity into my client’s routine and he has so much fun that it doesn’t even feel like a little work out.

We have dubbed ourselves the Balloon Bounce International League and we have nicknames too! While we’re hitting the balloon, we always play our favorites tunes and it brings my client back to playing volleyball in the Special Olympics. My only rule? Placing items that could get hit throughout his room elsewhere so nothing breaks!

Balloon Bounce is one of the most simple past times I think I have ever come up with and it really is a blast. All it takes it a little creativity and imagination and even the smallest activities can become a new daily favorite. Hey, I’ll take it!

How do you get creative with activities at home? How did you celebrate any recent birthdays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Deeana Creates From Pexels

Spooky (And Safe!) Family Fun

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Spooky (And Safe!) Family Fun

Hello! Halloween is right around the corner and, unfortunately, it’s going to be very different than in 2019. No trick or treat for my niece, no big parties, no Halloween concerts with Johnny – just lots of scary movies and fond memories of when COVID didn’t exist. If you’re a huge fan of Halloween like me and Johnny, this might have you feeling down and out about the lack of activity going on. So, why not give these spooky and safe ideas a try?

Trunk Or Treat:

In my neck of the woods, they are doing a trunk or treat program for the little ones getting in the Halloween spirit. This involves picking up a treat bag at ten different, driveable locations and, afterwards, your name will be put in a drawing for more goodies. My family plans on piling up in Johnny’s mini van so we can all enjoy seeing our little niece dressed up in her Halloween’s best… And all from the comfort of our car! Nice. 😀

Shudder Screening:

Johnny and I have been watching nothing but scary movies this entire month and we have the streaming service, Shudder, to thank for that. In fact, we’ve had so much success that we plan on keeping the service beyond our free month long trial. From exclusive content just for Shudder, scary shows, movies, and the fact that they are constantly adding more programming I can’t believe we haven’t gotten this service sooner! The first show I recommend? Creepshow! It. Was. AWESOME.

Costume Contests:

If you’re used to having a yearly Halloween party with your friend group, how about hopping on Zoom to have a little reunion? Create costumes from what you already have at home and award a prize to the best look. Maybe that will be Cash app-ing some moolah or ordering a pizza for the top winner? Don’t forget “raspberry” prizes for the worst costume!

Spooky Scavenger Hunt:

A super fun way to celebrate Halloween night is with a spooky scavenger hunt. Limit yourselves just in your home and backyard and, once it gets dark, let the games begin. Fun for people of all ages, use clues and hints to help direct the participants to the items being collected. Mini pumpkins or ingredients to a “potion” perhaps? Once the hunt is complete, celebrate with candy, caramel apples, hot cider, and a movie.

Jack-O-Lantern Contest:

Jack-O-Lantern contests are a great way to get the whole neighborhood involved in some Halloween fun. Have everyone vote for the best pumpkins on your block and see who comes out on top. You can also have contests for best decorated house, cutest pet costumes – you name it! Then, everyone in your area can get in on the Halloween spirit, too. 🙂

How are you safely celebrating Halloween this year? What did you dress up as last year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Working In The Care Profession During COVID Times

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Working In The Care Profession During COVID Times

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, I am an Independent Provider for people with special needs and I provide care in home and in the community. I have been an essential worker since the beginning of all of this COVID business in March and, I’ll be honest, sometimes I just want to crawl back in bed instead of go to work!

Because I work with some very high risk families, I have been essentially in my own state of lock down for the past seven months. Coffees with friends have turned into FaceTime dates and dinners out with Johnny just means Door Dashing something now. Of course, this is all A-okay, though, because I would never forgive myself if I ever brought this virus to any of my clients. It’s a lot of pressure but it’s just me doing my job.

I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be “going out” and Johnny has too, since we live together (Believe me, I wouldn’t want to. Just the thought of going to a bar or restaurant makes me cringe!). This has put us in very close acquaintance with our TV, Nintendo Switch, and each other literally every day, lol.

Although it can feel like a lot to be so limited to my apartment, I do still treat myself monthly to getting my nails done and it is my outing to look forward to. I know that many of those working in the care and health profession are doing everything that they can to keep their clients and patients safe and I applaud all of them because it’s not easy, that’s for sure.

I also encourage all of us who are hunkered down to participate in a “treat” to help lift your spirits. After a rough day at work or even just hearing the state of the world on the news, I never say no to a pick me up. Whether that be pampering myself with a face mask or maybe ordering something small online – it’s important for me to be in the best mood I can to continue being able to give the best care that I can to my clients every day.

I am very thankful to my clients and their families because they motivate me to be extra careful every day. I am also very thankful to everyone in the health and care profession as well as all employees right now who continue with their duties despite potentially being in harm’s way. We rock and I wish nothing but the best for all of you! ❤

How has your job been affected from COVID? How do you keep your spirits high right now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

When You’re Having Trouble Finding Your Dream Home

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When You’re Having Trouble Finding Your Dream Home

The real estate market can be one wild ride to go through. Looking for homes is far from easy and even homes that you should be able to easily say “no” or “yes” to can become a trickier subject when you’re thinking about trying to move quickly or ensuring you have your finances in the right place. However, it’s even harder when you just can’t find a home to say “yes” to. If you’re having trouble finding your new home, here are a few tips to get you back in the game:

Know your priorities:

First of all, you might need to manage your expectations a little. When you’re talking about the right home for you, does it have to tick every single box or are there some boxes that are more important than the others? For the vast majority of house hunters, the latter is more likely to be the case. If that is so, then you should take the time to actually know which boxes need to be ticked and which would be nice to have. Sit down with a pen, paper, and anyone else who is involved in buying the home and brainstorm things you want from the home. Then take the time to separate them into actual wants and needs, so you know what you might be willing to drop if all the most important boxes are ticked.

Get some help looking:

If you’re having trouble finding a good home, then the simple issue might be that you don’t know where to look. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s not like it’s your profession to go house hunting. That is the profession of real estate agents, however. Working with local real estate agents means getting access to someone who has done plenty of research in the area, so they know about what amenities you can expect, how properties compare to one another in the general area, as well as pricing history throughout the area. What’s more, there are plenty of properties that don’t get advertised to the general public that a good estate agent can help you find.

Can you make it your dream home?

Your home might not exactly fit all of your needs and wants right now, but how many of those could you take the time to implement yourself? When it comes to home styling, the world is your oyster so long as you have the budget for it. However, even when it comes to how much space you have and how many rooms you have, you might want to look at home remodeling services. This is going to boost the overall price of the home, of course, so you need to seriously consider how much you want those changes.

Can you make your dream home?

Buying a home to only renovate and remodel it can be a lot more expensive than you might think. In fact, it might actually be more cost-effective to build your dream home, yourself. Going for a new build with the help of custom home builders is actually a more reasonable choice than you might think. Besides, if you have the budget, you can make sure that your custom home ticks every single one of your wants and needs. For those who don’t want to compromise, there simply isn’t a better option than to build the home yourself instead of buying one.

Know when you have found the right house:

Perhaps you’ve already found the home for you, but you simply haven’t taken the time to acknowledge it. In a lot of cases, if you find the best home on the market early, then you might not make a move on it since you want to see what else is out there. However, the more homes you look at, the more the details of that older property can slip out of your mind. Be sure to talk about homes you have looked over with your real estate agent so you can compare them in detail and remind yourself of the house that might already be right for you. Then you need to be willing to act on it.

You might not always be able to get the home that ticks every single one of your boxes. If you do, it’s probably going to be more expensive than you might think. However, hopefully, the tips above will help you get a little closer than you currently are!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Stuck On Early Holiday Shopping? Have Some Ideas!

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Stuck On Early Holiday Shopping? Have Some Ideas!

Hello!! Yes, yes, roll your eyes all you want to my last minute holiday shoppers but Lil Red is over halfway done with her Christmas shopping! In case you haven’t noticed, I absolutely love gift giving and because I have so many people to shop for – the earlier I can get done the better for me. A stress free December where all I have to do is wrap up prezzies is the goal.

However, my drive to complete my holiday shopping doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten stuck on gifts to purchase. In fact, it’s been difficult this year because I feel like I’ve used up all of my best ideas before. Lol, so I had to get creative and if you got gifter’s block like me, you might appreciate these ideas:

Insect Condos:

I have quite a few giftees with a positively green thumb and gifts for the garden always go over well for them. This year, I was very interested in insect condos to help promote healthy garden growth as well as our bee population. These little “houses” feature all of the materials that handy insects like lady bugs, bees, butterflies (the list goes on) love like sawdust, bamboo, and cedar wood.

I thought these insect condos would be a perfect addition to the gardens that my giftees tend so lovingly and you can find tons of amazing homemade ones on Etsy or there are plenty on Amazon. I also had to snag a butterfly feeder for my dad (He doesn’t read my blog so I can post this, I swear!) because him and his granddaughter love watching the butterflies in his garden together. I know they will both be happy with it!

Baking Boxes:

This year, I wanted to get something different for the families I work with as opposed to the normal holiday decor, chocolates, or ornaments. So, I found some baking boxes through King Arthur Flour to gift them with. These boxes come with all of the ingredients to make a delicious dessert and I thought it would be a fun activity that all of them could bake and enjoy together.

There is nothing better for baking than products from King Arthur Flour and I was happy to be able to get such nice gifts for a price I was comfortable with. In fact, I plan on purchasing more as it gets closer to Christmas to have shipped to other loved ones on my list.

Willow Tree Figures:

I have always been fond of gifting the beautiful Willow Tree figurines to people because they are sentimental and simple decor and it’s easy to find one that applies to wherever your giftee is in life. For example, last year when my mom and dad became grandparents, I gifted my mom a statue to represent that, as it was a grandma holding her sweet grandbaby.

From celebrating your pets and relationships to saying thank you by purchasing a Willow figure holding a bouquet of flowers, you are surely to find the right one for your giftee!

Stocking Stuffers:

Stocking stuffers are great if you need a little something extra for a gift or you want to do an entire goodie basket. Winter accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves are a great place to start if you’re doing a gift exchange in your friend group. Cozy blankets, a decadent box of chocolates, and bottles of wine always go over well too! Still stuck? Candles, bath and body care, gift cards, your favorite book, and even socks (I like getting them!) are all crowd pleasers.

Take some of the stress out of your holiday preparations with the gift ideas above. Happy shopping!

When do you normally start holiday shopping? Who is the most difficult person on your list to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Freeman Manuka Honey & Tea Tree Oil Deep Clearing Clay Mask & Cleanser Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Freeman Manuka Honey & Tea Tree Oil Deep Clearing Clay Mask & Cleanser Edition

Hi! At least every weekend I try to use a new face mask as a pampering treat after a long week. I am currently using up a pack of six Freeman masks I got from Amazon and, unfortunately, the first two I tried were total duds. It definitely made me ambivalent to try the other masks but I am happy to have had some success because it turns out the third try is a charm!

I loved the Deep Clearing mask I used with Manuka Honey and Tea Tree Oil so take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

I’ll be honest, I was a little wary of the honey and tea tree combination because I thought it would smell nasty. However, my first impression when I opened the packet was just how good it smelled! It was seriously like oats and honey and it made the rich and creamy texture feel that much more lush and nourishing. The mask was also really easy to apply, despite its thickness, and that is always a bonus because I hate having a struggle to even put the mask on.

I left this mask/cleanser on for about seven minutes and was curious to see how it would wash off. Like the application, the mask was a piece of cake to remove because it doubled as a cleanser too. As I washed it off, it was kind of foamy which helped take the mask off in its entirety without harsh scrubbing – it was really nice!

Yes, the mask application and removal process was the best out of the three Freeman masks I have tried… But how did it leave my skin feeling? The answer is: EXCELLENT! My skin felt so soft, my pores felt like they got a deep clean, and my skin tone looked perfectly even. I legit couldn’t stop rubbing my cheek because it was baby’s bottom smooth. 😀

I would absolutely recommend the Freeman Deep Clearing Manuka Honey & Tea Tree Oil Mask/Cleanser. I haven’t used a mask that left my skin feeling so nourished in a long time and I would be happy to use it again!

Which brand has the best face masks? How do you pamper yourself? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Best Boyfriend Ever Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Best Boyfriend Ever Edition

Hello! So, last Thursday, I had quite possibly one of the worst work days of my life. I can’t go into more detail than that but it was emotionally charged and very sad for me. Despite being so upset, I knew Johnny had kind of a bum week too so I decided to pick him up some fast food from one of his favorite places in the area I was in. I texted him that I had his dinner and not to make anything for himself and he replied back that he actually had a surprise for me, as well.

Naturally, the word “surprise” put a tiny pep back in my step and I was eager to get home to see what Johnny was talking about. When I walked into our apartment, I laughed out loud because I saw this hanging from our rafter:

Originally, I thought the ghostie was the surprise but Johnny told me that it was for him to take to work to decorate his space with. Then, he handed me this adorable sugar skull coffee mug:

I absolutely love being gifted with coffee mugs because it makes me think of whoever gave it to me whenever I use it. I have so many cute mugs from my best friend and the ones that aren’t in my kitchen cabinet house little knick knacks and baubles throughout my apartment. Johnny hit the nail on the head with this pick me up and, somehow, we both knew that each of us would need one that day.

My new coffee mug is deliciously Day Of The Dead and I plan on keeping it out all of the time because it always makes me smile when I see it. My Johnny really is the best boyfriend ever and my day got a whole lot brighter as soon as I got home.

For the rest of the night, we watched The Haunting Of Bly Manor and Seinfeld and laughed every time the ghost decoration spooked me when I saw it in my peripheral. I am so thankful to have him because he turned my awful day into a wonderful evening and all I had to do was open the door to our place. ❤

Has anyone given you a Sweet Surprise recently? How do you unwind after a bad day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Got A Pest Problem? Here’s What To Do

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Got A Pest Problem? Here’s What To Do

Nobody wants to have a pest issue in their home but, somehow, it seems to happen to everyone at some point during their life. You could have a mouse or rat infestation, a wasp nest, or an ant problem – but whatever kind of pest you have, it’s important to take the necessary steps to get rid of them. Even those of us who love animals and don’t want to harm them have to take action against an infestation in our own homes. Unfortunately, rodents carry diseases which are unhygienic and dangerous for us. Plus, they’ll give you a fright if you see one scurrying around in the night!

So what are your options for pest control? Here are some ways to combat a pest issue in your home:

Natural Means Of Extermination:

Natural pest control consists of a number of different actions you can take. If you aren’t a fan of harmful chemicals or poison being put down to kill the pests, you can try other means of pest control which are more natural and ethical. These could include:

  • A cat or terrier dog: This might sound like a laughable suggestion, but rescuing a cat or small dog is a great natural means of controlling mice and rats. Cats will hunt naturally and are savage when it comes to killing their prey, while terrier dogs are genetically programmed to run after small furry creatures in their space – and kill when they catch them. This is a means of ‘natural’ pest control because the dog and cat is living out its natural instincts, while the pests aren’t being killed using chemicals.
  • Sustainable pest control: This would involve hiring a sustainable pest control company who specializes in non-toxic means of exterminating pests.

Hiring A Pest Control Company:

If you have an issue that goes beyond a mouse problem, you might need to consider hiring a traditional pest control company to deal with it. Spider, cockroach, or wasp infestations can be dangerous for yourself, your children, and your pets and require more than just a few mousetraps to get the job done.

Pest control companies use a range of techniques which will aim to minimize the effect on your home and routine, while maximizing the effectiveness of extermination. These can include:

  • Using poison to kill the population of pests.
  • Using deterrent chemicals, such as strong smelling oils like peppermint oil.
  • Filling in the cracks in your home using a special foam which is impossible for mice and rats to chew.
  • Advising on other home habits such as cleaning, avoiding piles of garden waste, removing spider webs on a regular basis (If your problem is spiders, that is!) and avoiding leaving food out which tempts pests.

Clean Your Home Top To Bottom:

While you are waiting for pest control to sort the problem, there are still things you can do. Clean your home from top to bottom, leaving no crumbs or other little things for pests to nibble at. This will ensure you reduce the chances of pests coming into your home and causing further disturbance.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Liebster Award #20

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Liebster Award #20

Hi! A few days ago I was nominated by one of my dear friends, Sheryl, of Sheryl’s Light for lifewithlilred’s twentieth Liebster Award! You might remember her guest posting on my blog, which is how we became fast friends. Now, it seems like we are always chatting in some way over Facebook or our blogs! Sheryl is an absolute joy and I am so lucky to have her in my “circle”. Do be sure to give her blog some love, too! Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers.
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions.
  • Notify your 11 nominees.

Q & A:

What is your favorite childhood memory? Other than all of the wonderful vacations we would go on I would probably have to say watching the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics with my dad. That was the year Sarah Hughes won the gold for America in figure skating. My dad asked if that was something I would like to try and, of course, I said yes. The rest is history because, after that, he signed me up for ice skating lessons and I fell in love. I still am in love with the sport to this day, eighteen years later. ❤

Why did you start blogging? For fun! My blog is like my online journal and all of the amazing friends I’ve met along the way are the most wonderful bonus!

Who is your favorite actor? I love Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.

What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving! Lol, I was literally just telling my client I can’t wait for Thanksgiving because all I want to do is eat food… Thanksgiving food is one of my faves!

If you could go anywhere all expenses paid, where would you go? Definitely to France so I could put my French speaking skills to good use.

What is your favorite music? I like all kinds of music. Everything from indie and alternative to rock and emo all the way to gangster rap, opera, and musicals. You never know what you’ll end up listening to if you’re ever a passenger in my car!

What is your favorite food to eat? I love all kinds of food and am always willing to try something new as long as it’s vegetarian. I’d have to say that Indian food is one of my top faves, though.

What positives have come out of the coronavirus for you? Johnny and I have saved so much money from no longer going to bars, restaurants, movies, etc. so that rocks!

What would you tell your teenage self in a letter? That things will get much better.

If you could turn back time where would you go? Back to before Donald Trump was president, lol.

My Nominees (I’m only doing three):

My Questions For You:

  1. Which shows have you bingewatched compliments of COVID?
  2. How do you safely go out right now?
  3. What is your favorite place to get take out from?
  4. What is fall weather like in your neck of the woods?
  5. What are COVID precautions like where you live?
  6. What is the last book you read?
  7. Last movie you saw in theaters?
  8. What do you love the most about blogging?
  9. What do you admire about your best friend?
  10. Do you have a celebrity crush? Who?
  11. How early do you start your holiday season shopping?

Thank you so much again to Sheryl for the Liebster Award nomination! How would you answer some of Sheryl’s questions for her nominees? How about some of my questions for mine? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Hair Selfies

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New Hair Selfies

Hi! A little under two months ago, my hair stylist transformed my hair into a candy apple red and dandelion yellow delight. I am so obsessed with how it turned out and I have never gotten so many compliments on my hair before in my life. I realize that I have not uploaded some decent selfies of my new do and, while my sister and I road tripped to Pittsburgh, I was finally able to snap some because she was driving! Lol, check it out:

^^^ Lol!!! ❤

Now, I realize that two months is a long time to go without taking selfies but, believe you me, I have an explanation: COVID-19. Haha, Johnny and I don’t go anywhere and my clients and I rarely go out when I am working so I haven’t really had the need or desire to get full on “ready” AKA makeup, hair, and a cute outfit.

A road trip with my sister seemed like the perfect opportunity to go all out and, as luck would have it, it was kind of overcast when we were driving which is perfect selfie conditions! Kristen was laughing because she says I always take selfies in her car and it’s true, lol, I never seem to be the passenger in a car so when I am, I have to seize the opportunity!

I think that these new pics show off my hair perfectly and I also am so pleased with the adorable Cynthia Rowley sweater I got during my TJMaxx Fall Haul. Kristen and I had a great day and I can’t wait till we can go back to Pittsburgh in December for our microblading touch ups so I can go “all out” when I get ready again. 😀

Do you do your makeup less now because of COVID? How often do you take selfies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

La Marie Brow Club Update

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La Marie Brow Club Update

Hello!!! Just about two years ago, I had my first microblading appointment at my cousin, Laura’s, studio in Pittsburgh called La Marie Brow Club. At the time, she was renting out the back of a tattoo studio to do her amazing work. Now, for the past year, she owns her own shop with multiple artists working there who specialize in permanent makeup.

Over the weekend, my sister and I went on a road trip so Laura could work her microblading magic on Kristen. Not only does my sister look fabulous but Laura’s new shop is so awesome I just had to share it with all of you! Kristen and I are both already itching to go back for our touch up appointments in December. 🙂

Check it out:

Laura’s last studio was the size of just one of her new microblading rooms in the new shop so this is a major upgrade for her and I am so proud. La Marie Brow Club is closed on Sundays and Laura opened up special for us so we could hang out and Kristen could get her brows done. We had the best time having hours on end of girl talk and pampering and it was so fun to catch up because the last time we saw Laura was on March 19th AKA when all of the bars and restaurants in Ohio closed.

After Kristen’s appointment, we all headed to Laura’s parents for a social distanced take out dinner and then we made our way home to flat Ohio from hilly Pittsburgh. As always, I can’t recommend Laura’s services enough and if you are in the area it is a must to get microbladed by the best!

My touch up appointment in December will be my third time getting microbladed and I seriously cannot wait for round three and road trip round two with Kristen. It was a great day! ❤

Do you have any permanent makeup done? Would you ever get microbladed? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Freeman Glacier Water & Pink Peony Hydrating Gel Cream Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Freeman Glacier Water & Pink Peony Hydrating Gel Cream Mask Edition

Hello! During one of my previous Amazon hauls, I ordered a set of six new face masks from Freeman. Unfortunately, the first one I tried was a dud and this gel cream mask just didn’t do anything for me, either. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

When I decided to use this gel cream mask, I thought it sounded so refreshing that it would have to be good. I love gel masks because of their bouncy texture and the glacier water/pink peony combo seemed like it would just add to the enjoyment. So, I prepped my bath water and applied my face mask for an evening of pampering.

As I squeezed the mask into my hand, it reminded me so much of one of my favorite gel masks from The Body Shop and I was taken with the pale blue color it was tinted. The gel cream dried fairly quickly and, as per the instructions, I left it on all night.

The following morning, I was eager to wash my face and see how my skin felt as I had the mask on for well over ten hours at that point. Sadly, I noticed no difference to my skin. In fact, after I got out of the shower my skin felt tight and was practically begging me for my moisturizing routine.

I have never used a gel mask that did this little for me before and I was honestly shocked. With some of my favorite gel masks, it left my skin looking so radiant and feeling hella moisturized but, obviously, all of them can’t be winners. -_-

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this face mask and, as of now, I am striking out on my Freeman haul. Here’s to hoping the next few will be better so keep it posted for more Face Mask Festivities coming soon!

Which face masks would you not recommend? Do you have a favorite gel cream mask? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Hunting Party By Lucy Foley Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Hunting Party By Lucy Foley Edition

Howdy and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be talking about a book called The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley, without giving any spoilers away, of course. Now, this author might sound familiar to you because I actually just finished up another book of hers a few weeks ago. While I enjoyed the last book I read of Lucy Foley’s well enough, The Hunting Party missed the mark severely.

Read on to find out more and find out what star rating this book ends up with:

It’s a New Year’s bash and anyone who is anyone in the posh “inner circle” will be there. A group of the closest friends who, for the most part, all met during their university years at Oxford. Every New Year, couples Giles and Samira, Julian and Miranda, Mark and Emma, Nick and Bo, and odd one out Katie embarks on a mini vacation to celebrate.

They end up somewhere different each time, as it’s always up to a different person to plan it, and this year they find themselves in the Scottish Highlands. Scenic and beautiful, yes, but extremely remote and with a startling lack of WiFi. Each respective couple has their own tiny cabin on the resort but their primary hang out is the rustic chic Lodge with plush rugs and couches, mounted deer heads, and oh yeah… It’s made entirely of glass.

For the most part, this all sounds relatively nice. However, as the booze is poured, celebratory pills are popped, and a downfall of snow threatens to keep them barricaded all of their dark secrets and rivalries begin to bubble to the surface. The Hunting Party covers their entire New Year’s excursion from the moment they board the train to the ghastly murder that concludes their trip. Anyone and everyone is a suspect and it’s up to you to find out who if you read The Hunting Party.

Similarly to Foley’s last book, The Hunting Party is told in an interweaving tale between beautiful Miranda, homely Emma, quiet Katie, as well as the gamekeeper of the property named Doug, and the property manager called Heather. Similarly to Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood, this book revolves around a celebratory weekend gone awry in a remote location in a house made of glass.

Because of both of these identical nods to books that I have already read, it felt really impossible to enjoy this book. It almost felt like I was reading a combination of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley instead of individual books from each author. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t particularly care for any of the characters. None of them were incredibly relatable in terms of their personalities, professions, and backstory and I never felt like I was getting “in” to the book. Rather, just speed reading to finish it up.

Perhaps, all of these other issues would be less damning had the grand reveal been amazing. Unfortunately, that fell flat too. I figured it out extremely early and every Red Herring introduced was debunked so quickly that there were no real “twists and turns” throughout the book.

I honestly can’t say that I would recommend The Hunting Party to any of you and have to rate it with a zero out of ten stars. The plot was tired and used before, the characters felt like caricatures instead of real people, and the grand reveal was so simple I think that a fifth grader could figure it out. It is not worth your time and definitely wasn’t worth mine. WHOMP WHOMP.

Have you read any lackluster books lately? Do you have a recommendation for what I should read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

It’s A Walk In The Park

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It’s A Walk In The Park

Hello! A super nice thing about October other than all Halloween everything is that Johnny has every Friday off. I, on the other hand, always have Fridays off so it has been really fun having an extra day to spend with him on our weekends. Although we are always okay with staying at home with our video games and streaming services, we decided to have a little field trip this past Friday.

Johnny and I loaded into his mini van and went for a drive through the Cuyahoga Valley. We admired the changing leaves while enjoying the pleasant temperatures of an autumn day, all set to the tunes of Dire Straits which Johnny deemed appropriate driving music. Sadly, he passed on my offer to play some Cardi B but that’s neither here nor there.

Regardless of what our soundtrack was, it was exciting to be doing something with my boyfriend other than sitting in the apartment. He had just gotten his hair done and looked SO fine and driving around and talking and laughing had me falling in love all over again. :*)

We stopped off at one of the hiking trails before heading home and took an excursion around Indigo Lake. We explored train tracks and Johnny proved to be an excellent stone skipper. I proved to be… Anyways, it was a hoot. To be out in the public of nature together was refreshing for both of us because we don’t venture out often now, as safety is our primary concern.

Johnny and I were both kitted out in our fall Sunday’s Best but, as always, it was back in our comfy clothes as soon as we returned home. We settled in for an evening of weird comedies like Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories and The Mighty Boosh and it was a great day. ❤

If you’re feeling cooped up from being at home a lot now, don’t discount the benefits of spending some time outdoors. I think you’ll be glad you did. 🙂

How do you safely go out right now? Where is your favorite place to go hiking? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

October 2020 Funky Time Jams

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October 2020 Funky Time Jams

Hi! One of the big things that my clients and I do together now that we don’t really go anywhere is listen to music. I swear, we are constantly having concerts starring each other and honestly can make an afternoon of it. Sometimes I’m dancing the YMCA and other times I’m spitting bars to Cardi B! Lol, my job is never boring and it’s impossible to hear the following songs without thinking of the people I work with:

^^^ As always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!

This is such a random compilation of songs but each set of three are usually the first songs that come to mind when I think of a specific client. I really get a tour of different styles of music each week, going from girl power anthems to golden oldies all the way to rap and, yes, Marilyn Manson. (I got one of my guys hooked on him!)

Impromptu dance parties, sing alongs, and at home concerts have become primary sources of entertainment when I’m at work and my clients have a blast every time. In some way shape or form, I’m pretty sure we’ve developed some kind of hand movement routine or different melodies to all of my client’s top picks. We even make music videos of us singing our favorite songs together!

Coming up with enticing activities to do at home is the name of my work game now. Whether that be dancing the Hokey Pokey or the Electric Slide in someone’s kitchen to going for a drive with the windows down and music blasting, my brain is always working overtime to help my clients stay safe while still enjoying themselves. I love having “our songs” with each person I work with and nothing warms my heart more than when one of them hears a tune and says “this is our jam”. ❤

Is there a song that reminds you of someone whenever you hear it? What is your favorite song to dance to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Ways To Tell You’re Ready For A Career Change

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5 Ways To Tell You’re Ready For A Career Change

Many people aren’t actually doing what they want to do work wise or, unfortunately, only see their job as a means to an end. It’s common to feel a bit stagnant and decide to focus on furthering studies or learning something new. If you’re not feeling challenged anymore, it might be time to shake things up a bit with a career change. You’ll be more likely to be engaged and motivated at work, and will be able to start making realistic financial goals for your future. Here are five ways to tell you’re ready for a career change:

You don’t feel like your job makes a difference:

Many people opt for a career change because they want to do something more rewarding. This might mean a new job where you help make a difference in people’s lives. If you’re interested in this type of work, you could look into taking a course with an occupational therapy school. This is an example of a career where you can help people of all ages with any physical, developmental, and social challenges they may be facing.

You no longer feel challenged:

If you’ve been in the same job for a while, it’s easy to feel bored and in a rut. Often people are afraid to change careers because they don’t believe they can learn something new. This is not the solution, however, and it’s much more beneficial to seek out new challenges. This way, you’ll improve your skill set and have more opportunities in the future. It’s time to get focused and finally leave your comfort zone.

You would like to continue studying:

There are also many benefits to furthering your education. You’ll be a much more valuable member of staff to any employer, and you’ll be able to gain more experience and responsibility. Perhaps there’s a subject you’ve always wanted to study but haven’t got round to yet? It’s never too late to continue studying and if you don’t want to leave your current job you can opt for a part-time course online. Employers are generally on board with this idea, as it helps to motivate staff, so they might even offer to sponsor you.

You don’t feel financially compensated:

It’s also time for a career change if you don’t feel financially compensated. By focusing on gaining a new qualification you might be able to finally curb financial anxiety and get paid what you deserve. Money isn’t always the reason people decide on a career change, but it’s definitely a factor if you don’t feel valued at work.

Your priorities have changed:

Your priorities might have changed since you were younger. Whereas in your previous role you were more interested in travel or networking, for instance, you might now be looking for other challenges in order to progress. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for in the future, here are some tips on how to prioritize. Before you make the decision to change careers, you need to get your goals and priorities straight.

It’s never too late to try something new and, yes, that includes your career! Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

How You Can Start Decluttering Your Home

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How You Can Start Decluttering Your Home

As we approach winter and the festive period, you may be wondering exactly what you could be doing in your home that can have a positive impact on your life. Aside from getting excited about what is to come, you can make some big improvements in your home. Decluttering and clearing away mess, then organizing the chaos can help you to feel happier and more content in your home. So what can you do to get started? Here are some of the things to think about:

Find a solution for the things you want to keep:

One of the biggest issues we can find when it comes to our homes is feeling like we have no choice but to get rid of some of the things we want to keep, because our homes just can’t house them right now. Maybe pieces of furniture or other big items like baby and kids beds. Something you may want for the future, but have no need for now. Decluttering doesn’t always mean selling, donating, or disposing of things, it can mean storing correctly. Using a secure self storage facility could be a great option to consider. Meaning you can store items you want for one day, such as when family dynamics change or you have a bigger property.

Start with five minutes a day:

Often, it is the small things that can start to drive you crazy when it comes to decluttering your home, so you may want to not overwhelm yourself when you start the journey. This is when just using five minutes a day can start to make a big difference. Grab a bag and walk around your home for five minutes, getting rid of bits of rubbish, odd items, and clutter. Then go through it and decide whether it needs to be disposed of or not. This method is great for cleaning papers and other recyclable items. Helping you to have a clearer space to work with.

Seek out inspiration:

If you are struggling, then you may want to seek out some inspiration online or through visual videos and programs. This is when The Home Edit, the Marie Kondo TV series on Netflix, or following the account on social media could be great sources of inspiration. There are some simple things that you can do to store items better such as using canisters in cupboards or folding clothes in a specific way. The inspiration could help you to come up with ways to store the items in your home more effectively.

Focus on one room at a time:

If it feels like you have a lot to go through, then focus on one room at a time. You can then dedicate the time you have to going through drawers, decluttering items, and storing them differently or more effectively. The one room at a time method gives you a focus and once it is done it can be a huge motivation to carry on with the next project.

Get to decluttering more effectively with the tips above! Happy cleaning!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Steps To Take Towards A Healthier Pregnancy

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Steps To Take Towards A Healthier Pregnancy

For a lot of women, simply getting the good news that you’re pregnant can be work enough. However, it’s about to get a lot tougher after that due to the range of health issues that, even if they’re not serious, can plague a pregnancy and make it much tougher to get through. Aside from following all of the advice from your doctor, here are tips that can help you achieve a healthier pregnancy:

Folic acid and Vitamin D are key:

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important when you’re pregnant, but there are a few vitamins and nutrients that are worth giving a little more focus. In particular, vitamin D is crucial for developing healthy bones and muscles, while folic acid can help decrease the risk of a wide range of birth defects. As such, talk to your doctor about taking folic acid supplements. These are often prescribed to expecting mothers and are usually taken up until the end of the first trimester when you should be out of the woods.

Keep moving:

Pain is a greater risk when you’re pregnant. You’re gaining weight, a lot of it on your belly, which can change the way that your body handles the pressure caused by gravity pushing down on that weight. This can lead to very achy joints and back pain. For that reason, it’s a great idea to make sure that you remain as active as you safely can through all stages of the pregnancy. There are pregnancy exercise classes that you can do in person or online, whichever is safest at the moment. Otherwise, even daily stretches and walks can make a big difference.

Tackle your pain head on:

By being more active and addressing posture issues, you can make sure that your added belly weight isn’t stressing your body out as much as it otherwise would. However, chronic pain is a regular part of many women’s pregnancies and one that should be addressed with care. As such, look for professionals like a chiropractor that offers specific treatments for pregnant women that take into account your additional health concerns. There are also maternity massages that ensure your baby bump is kept safe while offering you some much-needed relief.

Don’t ignore your mental health:

We naturally complain more when we’re pregnant. We’re in more physical discomfort, we might be anxious about the upcoming birth, we’re planning for a huge life change. However, if you’re having real trouble with your mental health, then it is worth taking the time to reach out to a counselor. Nowadays, it’s much easier to find trained professionals online who can help you deal with a wide range of anxieties and insecurities. Don’t feel like you would be too much of a burden talking to friends and family, either. Everyone wants to make sure you get through this in tip-top shape.

Your doctor’s advice is always paramount when it comes to deciding how you deal with a pregnancy. However, the tips above can be a good supplement to that and are worth keeping in mind!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

An Apple A Day

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An Apple A Day

Hello!! For those of you who don’t know, my big girl job is as an Independent Provider for people with special needs. I love my job always but in the summer and fall, I feel particularly thankful because I am constantly being spoiled with produce from gardens and apple orchards. Each family I work with does a garden every summer and, I swear, I never went a week without delicious, homegrown veggies in my apartment these past few months.

This past week, a client and his family visited an apple orchard and I had such fun hearing about his outing. Fast forward to when I was about to pull out of their yard to go home and his mom comes running out to stop me with a huge bag of apples. SO sweet!

All of the families I work with consider me an “honorary” member of their household and it is an honor for me. So, to come home with a bag of apples or veggies is special to me because it’s a reminder of how much we all care for each other. I would be so lonely without all of the wonderful families I get to help out and, god forbid one of us gets sick or goes on vacation, because we all end up missing each other like crazy!

Like I said, my client’s mom ran to my car with this beautiful bounty and it was like getting the most fantastic hug. Small and simple acts of kindness are often the best so be sure to offer an apple (pumpkin or gourd!) a day to someone you love if you visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch this fall. You have the Lil Red Guarantee that it will be oh so appreciated. ❤

What was the last random act of kindness you made? What do you like to grow in your garden? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Clothes You Love Looking New

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Keeping Clothes You Love Looking New

When you fall in love with a piece of clothing, whether it’s your new jeans or an elegant blouse, you want them to last for as long as possible. Unfortunately, when it comes to fashion, nothing lasts forever. Clothes are made to be worn, and as such, they can develop signs of wear and tear. It’s part of their life cycle.

However, more often than not, the items you love don’t even make it to “old age”, so to say. Your fall haul shopping may not last longer than a couple of months if you can’t prevent damage. If you’ve been choosing new clothes to keep you warm in fall and winter, here is a brief reminder of how to avoid those rookie fashion care mistakes.

Read the label:

It might sound silly, but you’d be surprised to know that most people are quick to snap the label off without reading it. It makes sense: Labels can be itchy and unpleasant against the skin. Yet they contain valuable information. If you’re going to cut it, make sure to store it safely for future reference. Your label will display different symbols related to wash, bleaching, tumble dry, ironing, dry cleaning, and additional instructions. A hot wash and tumble dry are the most common places where damages can occur! If you’ve removed the label without reading it, your best bet is to apply the following principles:

  • Warm wash for cotton and similar fabric
  • Hand wash for silk, satin, underwear, lace, mesh, and wool fabric
  • Avoid tumble dryer for wool, non-stretchy clothes, and fragile clothes such as underwear, tights, or mesh skirts

Check your water:

Do you find white marks on your clothes after washing them? It could be limescale. Hard water can damage the fabric and leave white stains that are difficult to remove. Ideally, you want to consider hard water removal solutions such as a water softener. You can test your water to figure out if it is relevant to you. However, the easiest way is to check for limescale in the kettle, around the taps, and on the shower curtains.

Sort your colors and fabrics:

Granted, nowadays, you can throw all your clothes in the wash at the same time and add a color catcher sheet to avoid color bleeds. Do these sheets work? Yes, more often than not, they can be highly effective. But it takes only one lousy sheet to ruin your laundry, so it’s best to learn to sort out your clothes. Ideally, you want to end up with distinctive piles: whites, darks, lights, denim, delicates. Color sorting is only one step! Make sure to consider fabric weight – hence denim VS delicates for instance – heavily stained garments.

Keep your washing machine clean:

A dirty washing machine will damage your clothes. Simple steps such as removing debris after a wash like pet hair and small particles and not leaving wet clothes inside the machine for too long can avoid unpleasant odors. You can also run a cleaning cycle as most washers have one nowadays.

If you’ve had your love affair with a piece of garment cut short because of unexpected damage, now’s the time to stop the story from repeating itself! Keeping your clothes for longer means becoming more strategic and organized with your laundry routine.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Fall Haul: Seven Jeans Edition

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Fall Haul: Seven Jeans Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to the last post of my Fall Haul with TJMaxx! I am so happy with all of my purchases and can’t wait to incorporate all of my new clothes into my fall and winter wardrobe. It is, indeed, the most wonderful time of the year for me to shop and I think this was one of my best Fall Hauls yet!

Now, finally, let’s check out these coated, snakeskin patterned skinny jeans from Seven:

Man, do I love when the items I purchase still have their original price tag. My new jeans were marked as seventy-nine bucks and I got them for thirty, I believe. Score!

If there’s one thing Lil Red loves, it is coated skinny jeans. I think they are just the tops. The sheen, the punk rock appeal, the cool patterns – give me a pair of coated jeans over regular any day of the week! I was so taken by these skinnies just in the picture on TJ’s website that I didn’t even care if they were high waisted. I threw caution to the wind and it paid off big time because they are, easily, one of the most unique pairs of jeans I own.

When placing my order online, I really didn’t realize that these jeans were Seven brand until seeing them at home. For those of you who don’t know, Fergie references Seven in the timeless classic “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas. So, permission to be feeling myself for the rest of the year was obviously granted after that discovery! 😀

Although these jeans are high waisted, they fit a little bit higher than a standard normal rise. I can definitely get down with that and I love how long and lean they make my legs look. The metallic shine of the coated snakeskin pattern adds such a dramatic flare and Fergie really was right… My butt looks great in them! Lol!

Pre-COVID, I lived for my fall shopping trips to TJMaxx. Unfortunately, that’s just not possible right now and my online haul was the next best thing. I got a lot of super cute new pieces for a fraction of their original price and there is nothing better. ❤

What is your favorite thing from my Fall Haul? Have you purchased any new clothes recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fall Haul: Sound & Style Skinny Jeans Edition

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Fall Haul: Sound & Style Skinny Jeans Edition

Hello! In Lil Red’s world, one can never have enough pairs of black skinny jeans. From pleather and coated to plaid and plain Jane, I try to get at least one to two new pairs of jeans per year as I can’t stand once my black jeans start turning grey after multiple washes! During this TJMaxx haul, I tried my luck by ordering two new pairs, not really expecting either to work. To my surprise, both of them did! Check out the first pair today and then tune in tomorrow for the last post of my Fall Haul. Let’s get to it:

The main reason why I thought that both of my new jeans were going to be unsuccessful was because both of them happen to be high waisted. Most of you know by now that I hate high waisted clothing but, for those of you that don’t: I hate high waisted clothing. I have never been a fan because I never found it to be flattering on my body type. It literally was just butt and boobs when I tried high waisted shorts out and I have steered clear ever since.

Because I refuse to wear high waisted, it can be difficult for me to find normal rise jeans and shorts. But, it had been a while so I figured “how bad can it be” and added both of my high waisted jeans into the cart. Once I tried them on at home, I was pleased to see that neither of the pants went up too high and, I’ve got to say, they both looked damn good!

I absolutely love my new plaid skinnies by Sound & Style. The black background with the muted plaid in purple, green, and yellow just seems like a perfect pair for fall. I can so picture myself wearing them with all of my favorite sweaters and cardigans in hues that match the plaid.

I have wanted jeans like this for a long time and my hatred of high waisted prevented me from having them. Of course, if they didn’t work I could have always returned them at my local TJMaxx but who wants to do that?! I am proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and the pay off of pants that fit amazingly and are too cute to boot was well worth any feelings of uncertainty! 😀

What is your preferred rise for pants? How do you step out of your comfort zone when it comes to clothes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fall Haul: Chaser Pullover Sweater Edition

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Fall Haul: Chaser Pullover Sweater Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to my favorite purchase from my TJMaxx Fall Haul! Today, we are going to be talking about the most adorable pullover sweater by Chaser blinged out in sparkling, golden stars. As soon as I saw it on TJ’s website, it just had to be mine and I can’t wait to wear it all fall and winter long! Check it out:

There was a point in time when I shied away from colors I deemed “boring”. AKA white and brown. Lol, for the longest time I never owned anything in those shades and finally decided to give both of them a shot. After realizing that I happen to look good in white and brown, I learned that colors are only as boring as the outfits you style and began adding both colors into my wardrobe palette.

Of course, just plain brown or white will never do so when I found this lovely creamy colored, star adorned sweater I was in love. And when I say in love I mean love love. This pullover fits so nicely without being too tight or too loose. You can rock it zipped up or you can easily put a lacy cami top underneath for a sexy surprise zipped down.

I always thought that hues in the white and brown family would wash me out but this sweater does the total opposite. It makes my red and yellow hair as well as all of my features pop and I know I’m going to wear it all of the time! I feel like an absolute star in this sweater and for under thirty dollars I consider it a steal. Hurray for fall shopping!

Is there a color you used to never wear that you like now? What is your favorite and least favorite color to wear? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fall Haul: Max Sport Cardigan Edition

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Fall Haul: Max Sport Cardigan Edition

Hi! Today, we’re going to be talking about a new cardigan by Max Sport compliments of my TJMaxx fall haul. This cardi just so happens to be Johnny’s favorite thing that I ordered because he claims it looks like a pirate. It definitely does but I think he’s been playing his Assassins Creed game too much! 😉 Haha, check it out:

First things first, WOAH, peep that original price tag. Three hundred twenty-eight dollars originally and I bought it for forty bucks – you just can’t beat that! Second things second, I think this cardigan rocks. Naturally, I have pirates on the brain because of Johnny but, damn, I just might be the poshest pirate in all of the Seven Seas with this little number.

The color palette of this Max Sport hooded cardi is just divine. I love the golden yellow paired with the deep red, which both look so shocking against its black background. I can see myself wearing this all fall and winter with my favorite thigh high black boots and the skinniest black jeans I own for a powerful and sleek silhouette. Y’all can call me Mrs. Captain Blackbeard! 😀

This Max Sport cardi was a great purchase and I couldn’t be happier with it. There is also nothing better than seeing that crazy huge original price and knowing that I got it for a song. And, the fact that my boyfriend wants to borrow it makes it that much better, lol! Tune in tomorrow for more of my fall haul because my favorite find will be on the agenda. It makes me feel like a star. ❤

How would you style this cardigan? Where do you shop for the best deals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fall Haul: Cynthia Rowley Sweater Edition

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Fall Haul: Cynthia Rowley Sweater Edition

Hi! It is no secret that Lil Red loves shopping for the fall. I detest shopping in the summer but ring in the cold weather and my heart begins to soar! Layers, jackets, sweaters, darling accessories, BOOTS?! The best. Despite not really going anywhere or doing anything in COVID times, I just had to treat myself to a spot of TJMaxx fall shopping online. It is the most wonderful time of the year for me, clothes-wise, after all!

Check out this adorable sweater by Cynthia Rowley and let’s get to it:

One of the things that I miss doing the most is my TJMaxx shopping trips with my mom and this sweater reminded me of her so much when I saw it. I could just picture her saying that she loved it when I came across it online because she loves anything with hearts on it. And, just as I suspected, this was one of her favorite things that I purchased when I gave her a fashion show of all my new treats.

I absolutely adore this navy and white striped sweater by Cynthia Rowley. It honestly reminds me of sweaters from Hollister that the “cool girls” would wear back in high school but much more posh, lol! I’ve never owned much with horizontal stripes because, as a girl with a bigger bust, they can make me look wide. However, this sweater just fits so nicely without being too tight or baggy and I love how I look in it.

The best part? The adorable heart, of course! It takes this sweater from something plain Jane into a more unique piece and I think I’m going to be wearing it all of the time this fall. In fact, I’m wearing it right now as I type this! 😀 ❤

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

New Oxblood & Black Nails

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New Oxblood & Black Nails

Hi! This past week, a new set of acrylics was much needed as all of my real nails underneath had grown out the length of the fake ones. I was very much looking forward to getting my claws done with a spooky color palette for Halloween but, naturally, I just had to get the nail tech who manhandles me again. *Massive eye roll*.

Other than the general discomfort of the whole experience, my nails did turn out really good. But, I promise, next appointment I am putting my big girl pants on and asking for a new tech! Lol, check it out:

I honest to god have never experienced a nail tech quite like this woman before. She literally cut into my real nail and it hurt so bad to the point that I half yelled “ouch”. You would think after that she would have been more careful but nope, I had so many ouchies and boo boos after this time at the salon that my fingers ached.

Another major problem with this nail tech is her constant need to complain about my hands and the difficulty I have moving them. I was in a car accident a year ago that left nerve damage in both of my arms. My hands tend to get very stiff and rigid and they are usually even worse after my day at work. I explained my accident to her but to have her constantly poke and prod my hands and say “relax” after the fact is just offensive when I can’t.

I decided that the next time I call in for an appointment is when I ask for a different tech because I am so sick of this. Lol, my nails look awesome but I hardly even mentioned it in this post because the situation is so off putting. But, yes, I love my dark and spooky oxblood and black nails and they are just what I wanted for October. I just wish a different nail tech did them! 😀

What color of nail polish are you wearing? What is your favorite Halloween activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 At Home Issues To Handle To Ease Your Mind

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4 At Home Issues To Handle To Ease Your Mind

Life is hard sometimes. It’s an amazing adventure that we’re all lucky to embark on, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be full of stresses and strains to our mental well-being along the way. For some reason, life likes to throw curve balls at us in order to challenge our will and capabilities. That’s okay, though, because the harsher times allow us to really appreciate the good ones.

Something that a lot of us have to deal with from time to time is anxiety or an obscene amount of personal stress. While this isn’t the most convenient set of feelings in the world, they’re pretty common. They can also be helped and lessened quite easily if you know how to attack the route of the issue.

Most of the time, the root of the problem is right at home. If we’re not content in our abode, then everything else can feel toxic. Everyone’s domestic life is different, obviously, so spoon-feeding you solutions probably won’t work. Here are a few suggestions, however, that could do your mind a world of good:

Create a housework routine:

Doing things around the house can feel so draining – especially when you’re not used to doing them. Leaving them and holding off for ages seems okay at the time, but you’ll eventually have to do the jobs, and the longer you leave them, the more work you have to do. If you get into a systematic routine, you’ll get things done quickly, and it’ll all feel like a cakewalk. Plan out a daily cleaning routine so normal messes don’t turn into huge disasters.

Reconcile issues with those in the house:

When something’s weighing on your mind, it can affect how you behave day-in-day-out. You need to open up and talk about things with others – especially if there’s some awkward tension or friction there. The best thing to do, always, is to talk things out and get to the bottom of whatever is going on. Even if the outcome is pretty negative, it is still an outcome and closure – you can move on accordingly.

Take care of tedious tasks:

We all have annoying aspects of the home that need to be seen to. A lot of people, however, get on with life and don’t get them handled. They just plod along and get upset whenever they see the things that need to be changed or fixed. It’s understandable as there are many important aspects of one’s life, but everyone has the same twenty-four hours. Get in touch with an electrician if you think your wires are on the fritz. Speak to a plumber who can deal with the awkward piping and boiler situation you may have. Don’t leave things until they go completely kaput.

Take a look at finances and spending habits:

Our bank accounts and our outgoings can put us under a lot of pressure – sometimes unnecessarily. Take a look at how you’ve been behaving financially over the past year or so. If you’re doing okay for money, then, by all means, continue enjoying what you do. If you’re a little tight for cash right now, then you might want to look at your situation and do a little revising for emergencies.

Feeling good starts in your house. Take care of what you can DIY and, as always, call in the professionals when you need help!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Accessory Story: StilEstro Bejeweled Gloves Edition

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Accessory Story: StilEstro Bejeweled Gloves Edition

Hi! I love cold weather accessories A LOT. Hats, gloves, fingerless gloves, scarves, shawls, and ponchos – I have several of each thing I mentioned and I always like to treat myself to another one once the cold weather strikes. During my last TJMaxx online haul, I found a lovely pair of wheat colored gloves with a gem stoned surprise. In fact, I was so taken by them that I just had to grab another pair for my bestie for Christmas. Check it out:

Like everything in my wardrobe, I loved that these gloves had a little extra something that made them special. The bejeweled daisy sparkling against the creamy colored fabric is so charming. And, when the light hits it? Forget about it! It’s fabulous. Not to mention, I’m a bit obsessed with having clothes and accessories that were made abroad so the “Made in Italy” on the tag definitely sealed the deal!

When I saw these gloves, they immediately reminded me of my best friend, Lea. I thought that she would look so sweet all bundled up in her navy coat with a tiny bit of bling glittering at her wrist. I can’t wait to gift these to her and then go get a great big Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks in our matching gloves/personalities. Lol, I am so lucky to have her as a best friend for over a decade now and I can’t wait to spoil her this holiday season. ❤

What is your favorite cold weather accessory? How do you spoil your bestie during the holidays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pajama Party: Vince Camuto Nightgown Edition

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Pajama Party: Vince Camuto Nightgown Edition

Hi! I recently had a huge online shopping haul from TJMaxx – the first one in well over half a year and it definitely put a renewed pep back in my step. I found some darling new sweaters and jeans which you will all see if you keep tuning in! Today, though, I want to take a trip to comfy cozy town and talk about the most lovely little nightie by Vince Camuto that I purchased for a whole fifteen bucks. Peep that over fifty dollar original price tag, too!

I absolutely adore having actual pajamas to wear instead of just throwing on my oldest pair of sweats and t-shirts. The prospect of having cute nighties and PJ sets to wear just to go to sleep seems so luxurious to me, which makes a fifteen dollar nightgown the ultimate inexpensive treat.

I have not bought new pajamas in over a year and as soon as I saw my new nightgown while browsing TJMaxx’s website, I considered it “the one”. Lol, it looked SO comfortable and I loved the dove grey and dusty pink coloring. The nightie also seemed nice and cool to wear during the summer but you could absolutely get away with wearing it come winter with a pair of leggings. AND, to top it off, I am a huge fan of anything Vince Camuto so I considered it fifteen dollars well spent before even trying it on.

When my big box from TJMaxx finally arrived and I took the nightie out of its plastic wrapping, I wanted to wear it right then and there but I settled and put it on at bed time. It was so soft and I mean this wholeheartedly when I say it was like getting a hug from a sweet fuzzy animal! This nightie is one that you just want to wrap yourself in and I felt like I spoiled myself rotten with it.

I highly recommend this nightgown for literally anyone and you should still be able to buy it for a song on TJMaxx’s website. Here’s to your best Pajama Party yet!

Have you had any online shopping success lately? Which online clothing store is your favorite? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Great Day

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A Great Day

Hi! It is always hard to go back to work after having any type of time off, whether that be from being sick, a vacation, or what have you. When I returned back to work after a stint with a sinus infection this month, I can’t say that I was thrilled lol but the ride to my client’s house with Cardi B bumping was enough to get me right back into work mode and it ended up being a great day.

I had to take my client to the eye doctor as well as help her pick out some glasses – it was definitely a long time coming for a new pair! I have always loved helping people pick out glasses and I take a lot of pride in picking out a lot of the pairs that my mom has had throughout the years, so I knew that we were both going to have some fun.

My client and I both decided that it was time for a totally new style of glasses as opposed to her old metal frames so we experimented with a lot of different styles. After finding a few “winners”, I took her outside so she could she what she looked like in a picture without her mask on. It’s hard to imagine a whole new look with more than half of your face covered!

Once we had a quick photo shoot, we both decided that a funky pair of deep purple square plastic frames were the way to go. And, I’ve got to say, they looked fabulous on her. The best part? She knew she looked awesome too and I could tell my client was feeling herself with her brand new look. My friend had such a sense of pride for trying something completely different and the frames working out perfectly was the cherry on top.

It may seem like a simple outing, but a quick trip to the eye doctor reminded me of how much I enjoy my job. I felt amazing because my client felt amazing and I had something to do with it. It made her day and it made my month! ❤

How has someone made your day recently? What was the last new thing you tried? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Quarantine Routines

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Quarantine Routines

Hello! I’ll tell you what, ever since March 19th (The day bars and restaurants in Ohio temporarily shut down) my life has changed drastically. For my big girl job, I provide care in home for people with special needs and, now, more than ever it is my responsibility to continue staying healthy for those who need me.

Due to the nature of my job, going out for frivolity is the last thing on my mind. Back track to 2019 and it was the only thing on my mind, lol! Going to shows with Johnny, restaurants, movies, TJMAXX!!! Ugh, I miss all of that so much.

My “normal” routines of going here, there, and everywhere definitely seem to be a thing of the past. So, obviously, I had to fill up all of this newfound free time with other things. They are still fun for me, of course, but I don’t think any of these options trump my bimonthly TJMaxx shopping trips with my mom. Haha, check it out:

Reading:

I have read so many freaking books in the past six months, it is insane. My goal has been to try and finish at least two to three per month and I have achieved it every time. It has been fun to experiment with different authors like Lucy Foley and Ilaria Tuti. Both Johnny and I have also been enjoying our Audible subscription for books on tape, as well. We are always open to author and book suggestions so keep them coming!

Language Learning:

Yes, I currently am still learning French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, and German on Duolingo. I make an effort to try and practice each language four times per week, bare minimum, and so far so good. What I would really like to do in the next month or so is purchase the Duolingo Plus subscription so I never run out of hearts while practicing. This seems very necessary when learning five languages and, once I get Duo Plus, I’d like to start learning a sixth. Any ideas as to which one?

Online Shopping:

Maybe once or so per week, I will take ten to fifteen minutes to browse through some of my favorite online stores to window shop. Mainly TJMaxx, Unique Vintage, ModCloth, and Nasty Gal. It is definitely not the same as regular shopping but it somewhat satisfies that itch to go browse the aisles in person!

When I’m not aimlessly scrolling through websites and saying “oh that’s cute” about basically everything, I am trying to do some early Christmas shopping. With a long list of people to shop for, it is never too early to start the Xmas process and I am pleased with the slow and steady progress I’ve been making.

Movie Nights:

Johnny and I have decided to put a halt to finding something we can both agree on when it comes to movies. Now, we alternate whose pick it is for our movie nights and it has been great! Normally, Johnny will pick a war documentary or movie and I will choose a horror, psychological thriller, or foreign film. I love being able to see all of his favorites and it is exciting to rack my brain and browse through our streaming services to select my next pick!

Are these new routines the most exciting? Well… No. But they are as exciting as I choose to make them and I still always end up having an awesome and totally safe time at home. 🙂

What should Johnny and I watch next? How about a great new suggestion on Audible? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Morning Star Meals

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Morning Star Meals

Hello! I have been a strict vegetarian for the closer part of two decades and literally could never imagine eating meat again. Although I have a different diet than Johnny who loves cheeseburgers, bacon, and hot dogs we still both eat the “fake” meat by Morning Star pretty regularly. Check it out:

I have never been one of the vegetarians who are put off by people eating meat so I was tickled when Johnny wanted to try my vegetarian chicken nuggets and sausage patties. I was even more thrilled about the fact that he liked them just as much as me! In fact, I consider it a rarity to have a boyfriend who is excited about me making a veggie option and not asking me to make “regular” meat for him – even though he knows I would be happy to.

We are both huge fans of the Morning Star buffalo chicken nuggets and, this past shopping trip, I got us the buffalo patties for him to try. I was about to start prepping our meal when Johnny took it upon himself to make it, instead. He air fried our patties, then buttered and toasted the buns. We topped it off with lettuce and ranch and my heart kind of melted when Johnny said “it tastes just like a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy’s”.

My Johnny is just so dear to me and him being willing to always try new things is one of the many things I love about him. I know it seems like a little thing but Morning Star meals with my non vegetarian boyfriend will never cease to put me in all of the happy feels. I’m a lucky girl. ❤

What is the most recent new food you tried? Which other brands make the best “fake” meat? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Wigging Out

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Wigging Out

Hi! For as long as I can remember, I have been sporting short hair. From uber short to now short/mid and everything in between the two, I just can’t be bothered to grow my hair out. Mind you, this is not for a lack of trying. Every once in a while I make a sincere effort to lengthen my hair but by the time it grows a few inches, I find that it totally takes away my edge and all of the angles in my face that pop with short hair are instantly dulled down.

This is all fine and dandy because I know now that short hair will always look best on me. The only problem with permanent short hair? You can’t do anything with it. No ponytails, no messy buns, no braids – just lots and lots of headbands, hair straightening, hats, and beanies.

Don’t get me wrong, I love headbands, hair straightening, hats, and beanies more than the average Joe. But, damnit, I just want to wear a long ponytail for the first time since grade school. Growing my hair out just to wear a ponytail and then cut it is not feasible so, for the first time in my life, I am considering getting some wigs.

I have quite a few friends who love experimenting with different wig styles, cuts, and colors and I am enamored with the idea of putting one on and having a totally new look. Playing around with all of the up-dos is also something on my agenda! However, I really don’t know anything about reputable brands, application, and best practices for taking care of the “hair”.

This, is where all of my fabulous beauty bloggers come in. If any of you gurus out there are wig experts, please link me your posts on the subject in the comments so I can learn more and give your page some love. Many thanks in advance! ❤ 🙂

Who has worn a wig before? Do you have any advice for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Having Trouble Focusing While Working From Home?

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Having Trouble Focusing While Working From Home?

Many of us have had to get used to the prospect of working from home over the past few months. While there are undeniable benefits to being able to take care of business in your own space, a lot of people have trouble adjusting to it, as well. If you’re having trouble getting productive, here are a few solutions that might help you get back on top of things:

You’re not making time for it:

With the flexibility that comes with working from home, it might feel tempting to simply do work whenever it suits you and not have any solid plans. However, this tends to end up wrecking your work-life balance. It’s a good idea to find what time you’re more productive and create a daily schedule around that, complete with strict starting and finishing times. This way, your life and work-life don’t start to bleed together to the point that you feel like you have to be half “on” whenever you’re in the home.

You’re surrounded by clutter:

It might sound like the difference would be minimal, but a neat and organized desk actually has a big impact on your mental condition while you’re working. Clutter has been shown to be a more significant cause of stress than we otherwise give it credit for. Maximizing closet space and making use of things like desk trays in the home office can ensure that you’re not surrounded by bits and bobs all day long. As such, you can work on what’s important free of most major distractions.

Your office doesn’t give the right vibe:

This point might sound nebulous, but getting yourself in the right headspace to work is vitally important. As such, investing in decor that can help you create a quirky but professional vibe is important. You want to make sure that you’re surrounded by imagery and designs that inspire and energize you while also ensuring that the workplace is subtle enough that it doesn’t serve as an ongoing distraction. For some people, it might be as simple as hanging a few pieces of art to give the room some life.

You’re physically uncomfortable:

Of course, even if your office gives the vibe you need and is organized to perfection, you’re going to have a hard time enjoying it if you’re dealing with a sore back. You might not notice the impacts of poor posture immediately, but if you start to feel some aches and pains in your back and joints towards the end of the day, that means it’s time to look at your chair and desk setup. Ergonomic furniture design can help support these achy parts of you, leading to a more comfortable working day while decreasing the chances that you might actually injure yourself.

It isn’t always easy to create a home office that feels right for your working needs. However, it’s worth taking the time to implement fixes and find what works for you rather than letting yourself start to hate the prospect of working at home entirely.

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Solutions For Having Too Much Stuff

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Solutions For Having Too Much Stuff

We’ve all been there. Somehow, over the years, you’ve accumulated piles upon piles of stuff, and now you don’t know what to do with it. The stuff could be work-related (think heaps of documents, bits of equipment you never know if you might need, old materials, even backlogged products you’ve yet to sell) or personal.

What are you meant to do with those homework files from twenty years ago, the hundreds of drawings and old toys your kids used to play with, all those films you watch once in a blue moon? Getting rid of all of this stuff can be difficult, both psychologically and practically, but luckily there are some solutions that can help you move on with the old:

Sorting and Organizing:

If you don’t want to throw everything (or anything!) away, some simple organization can help clear your space. First, sort all of the mess into clear piles. You might even find that one of these piles becomes items you can throw away – it’ll be easier to see with it all separated out. The piles can be sorted by many different categories; age, how often you use something, the type of object it is. Once this is done, put each pile into a separate box and stack them neatly, or find other places to store them. This organization can clear space and create order without forcing you to get rid of all your stuff – a perfect solution!

Storage Solutions:

Sometimes, you simply might not have enough space even after sorting and organizing everything. In this case, if you’re still unable to make great inroads by using the trash, it’s worth looking at external storage solutions. These come in many shapes and sizes, from storage trailers, to garage-sized units, to entire warehouses. Renting storage is an amazing solution if you’re running a business that requires surplus stock, and also personally if you’re moving house and need temporary storage for a while.

Having A Clear Away:

Finally, we come to it. The best solution for having too much stuff is simply to get rid of it, and yet this is easier said than done. Many personal items can hold sentimental value and letting go can be harder than it sounds – yet often, after the initial separation, you may never think of it again! It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. To help yourself let go, you can use a tidying method like the famous Marie Kondo.

Getting Help:

If you’re struggling to clear all of your stuff (and who doesn’t), it’s time to get help. Having another person in the room, a friend or a partner, is a great way to force yourself into making decisions. They are there to tell you when you’re being overly sentimental, and to grieve with you over the little items you’ll miss, but really don’t deserve to be taking up space any longer. Getting help doesn’t mean hiring a demolition company, it just means finding a friendly (but stern!) voice to keep you company while you make your decisions.

Clean away your clutter and make your home (and headspace) much more clear! 🙂

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Making Every Family Dinner Special

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Making Every Family Dinner Special

If you want to spend more quality time with your family but you’re struggling to figure out how to do it, one way is to start making your family dinners special. If you all sit down for dinner and ignore one another while scrolling on your phones or watching TV, of course it’s going to feel like you don’t have enough quality time together.

Similarly, if you all eat dinner separately, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to catch up with one another. It might not be possible to do this every day, but there are all kinds of benefits to having dinner together each night. If you want to make the family dinners that you do have together more special, then read on for some advice:

Make It A Ritual:

Start by making it a ritual. Try to do family dinners at the same time, wash up beforehand, and name three things you’re grateful for before you begin to eat. Of course, your ritual may differ – but it’s definitely worth coming up with one that means something to you.

Set The Table:

Set the table for your dinner with nice plates and cutlery, place mats, a tablecloth, and even candles. Make it look fancy. This is especially important if you don’t get to have many family dinners together. Setting the table nicely can make a huge difference to the atmosphere.

Have Themed Nights:

It can be really fun to have themed dinner nights together. You could have Mexican nights, Italian food nights, and even nights based around Porter & York meats. Having themes can keep family dinners exciting and give some structure to your week if you have one every few days.

Turn Off The TV:

Ban phones from the table and don’t watch the TV, either. Enjoy one another’s company. Listen and concentrate – these could be the most meaningful moments of your day! This is so much better than spending hours sitting together while not really concentrating on one another at all.

Prep Together:

Involving your family in the preparation of the dinner can help everyone to get more invested in the meal and bond beforehand. This is especially great for younger members of the family, as they tend to enjoy helping and will learn a lot from it. They are also far more likely to eat different foods if they have had a hand in making them!

Find Something To Celebrate:

It doesn’t need to be a special occasion for you to find something to celebrate. Has somebody in the family achieved something? It doesn’t matter how small – find something and celebrate it! At the very least, this will make each dinner a cheery event and teach everybody to look for the good, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant!

Family dinners are tons of fun and helps bring you and yours closer together. Bon appetit!

Featured Image By: Pexels