Lil Red’s Thanksgiving

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Lil Red’s Thanksgiving

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love sitting around the table with my family and enjoying the most delicious food that I have been waiting all year to eat, lol! Unfortunately, due to the nature of my job of working in several different homes throughout the course of this pandemic, Johnny and I deemed it unsafe for us to participate in the holiday with both of our families.

Making that decision was not easy and I honestly cried for at least three days about it. However, safety is and will always be my primary goal and anything I can do to protect my family, my clients, and myself is worth all of the hardships. As I’ve mentioned before, COVID-19 has been on a terrifying rise in Ohio and it has made doing anything other than work and grocery shopping damn near impossible for those who are taking the virus seriously.

On Thanksgiving, Johnny and I were able to visit with my family outside and my parents were nice enough to drop off our Thanksgiving meal to our apartment. It was not traditional in any sense of the word but we all felt good with that decision no matter how hard it was.

As someone who has worked in the health care field throughout this entire pandemic, it is safe to say that I am totally burned out. However, a bright ray of sunshine is on the horizon for me come Christmas. I have not taken any time off to recharge for the past nine months and I plan on taking two weeks off prior to Christmas so I can celebrate safely with my family.

It will feel so good to have that time to relax, breathe a little bit easier, and be able to watch my family open all of the gifts that I picked out special for them. Thanksgiving was a bust but I am going to make this Christmas the best one yet and I can’t wait!

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

PS: Thank those of us in the health care profession not just with your words but by wearing a mask and social distancing to help curb the spread of COVID-19. We are tired. We are exhausted. And we need your help!

Dancing With The Stars Finale

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Dancing With The Stars Finale

Hellooo everyone! I got roped back into Dancing With The Stars this season because one of my favorite figure skaters and personalities, Johnny Weir, was competing. I was looking forward to him taking the Mirror Ball trophy the entire season to redeem himself from his not so hot competitive skating circuit – especially his lackluster Olympic efforts.

Unfortunately, Johnny and my other favorite – the adorable Disney channel star, Skai Jackson, both got eliminated in the semi-finals which left Nelly, Nev Schulman, Kaitlyn Bristowe, and Justina Machado competing to take the cake. To be honest, I would have been fine with anyone BUT Kaitlyn Bristowe winning so, naturally, she won. -_-

Due to a lack of cable TV in my apartment, I have been watching DWTS once it airs on Hulu, usually on Tuesday or Wednesday night. However, when I showed up to work at my family home Tuesday morning, I couldn’t stand the anticipation and had my parents tell me the winner. Y’all know I hate surprises!

After finding out that Kaitlyn had won, I didn’t have much of a desire to even watch the finale but I knew that Derek Hough was dancing and I really wanted to see that. I also watched the freestyle dances of Nev, Nelly, and Justina. In my opinion, Nev’s Broadway-esque dance to “Singing In The Rain” stole the show and it was exciting to behold because I have never seen anything like it on DWTS before.

Of course, no one beats Derek Hough and his performance was the major highlight of my finale viewing. That and the fact that my Johnny watched all of the dances with me and that was really nice because I had a rough week and it was fun to see him have his mind blown by Derek’s moves!

The entirety of the season, I didn’t care for the champion, Kaitlyn Bristowe, at all. I thought that she lacked the personality of a lot of the other competitors and it showed in her performances. There is no denying that she’s a great dancer but she just didn’t move me (ba dum chh) in any way shape or form.

I don’t plan on watching DWTS again unless there’s someone I really like competing. I did have a lot of fun watching this season, though, and it was nice to have something both creative and lighthearted to tune in to. Also, call me when Tyra Banks is no longer the hostess THANKS!

How did you feel about the DWTS finale? Who was your favorite couple this season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Wanted: Holiday Season Guest Bloggers

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Wanted: Holiday Season Guest Bloggers

Hi everyone! I don’t know what COVID is like in your neck of the woods but it is bad, bad, bad in Ohio. Johnny and I are even more hunkered down than ever and, if that’s the case for you, then why not fill a free afternoon with guest blogging for lifewithlilred?!

From your Christmas cookie decoration station to gift guides, delicious recipes, favorite holiday memories, etc. if it has something to do with the holiday season, then I want it on my page! If you are interested in being a featured blogger for the day on lifewithlilred, please email me your post ideas at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com so that we can chit chat and get you scheduled. 🙂

Once you guest blog on my page you will always be welcome back with open arms so join the Lil Red fam today! Stay safe and happy holidays! ❤

Face Mask Festivities: Julep Triple Quench Sheet Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Julep Triple Quench Sheet Mask Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to a new edition of Face Mask Festivities! During my last little TJMaxx haul, I ordered an intriguing looking mask by Julep that was not only a sheet mask but also offered a pre and post treatment. I have never used a mask that had multiple treatments in one package so I figured it had to be good. I figured wrong, though, because this mask was definitely nothing to sneeze at. Lol, take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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  • Pic 3: Pre-treatment gel
  • Pic 4: Lol, you know I love sheet mask pictures!
  • Pic 5: Post-treatment cream

Step one of this Julep mask was to apply a pre-treatment gel for maximum absorption before putting on the sheet mask. The “gel” didn’t have the traditional, sticky texture which was nice and it was easy to put on.

Next, it was time for the sheet mask. I love sheet masks but, sadly, I don’t think they love me because they’re all too damn big! Lol, this sheet mask was huge and it was not the most comfortable to have on for a full fifteen minutes. Despite it slipping and sliding, I powered through by distracting myself with an episode of Trailer Park Boys with Johnny.

Before I knew it, the sheet mask was ready to come off and the post treatment cream came on to help seal in all of the nutrients and hydration. I can’t say that I was impressed with the results once I completed all three steps. My skin didn’t feel super hydrated, either. In fact, it actually felt rather tight and my cheeks were a rosy pink for the entire evening.

I thought that I might see a better outcome the following morning once all of the treatments could soak in but that wasn’t the case. My skin felt a bit softer, yes. However, I feel like I get those results just from my normal nighttime skin care routine of a serum, eye cream, and moisturizer. This is also a three step process but at least I know it to be effective.

I can’t say that I would recommend this mask because it really didn’t do much. I thought that the three step process the Julep sheet mask offered was an inspired idea but the results left a lot to be desired. I haven’t had a lot of luck with sheet masks recently and I’m thinking it might be time to go back to the traditional clay masks, which I think work a little bit better. We’ll see what happens!

Do you recommend any great sheet or clay masks? Have you used any products that were a dud lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

November 2020 Finishes

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November 2020 Finishes

Howdy! Can you believe we’re already coming to the end of November? 2020 has, admittedly, sucked on ice but at least we’ve been flying through these past few months! November drawing to a close means it’s time to discuss all of the beauty products that I finished up so let’s get to it:

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Would I Use Again?

  • Bath & Body Works Champagne Toast shower gel: YES
  • Garnier water proof micellar water: YES
  • Azure Lux 24K Gold serum: YES
  • SkinLab Revitalize & Hydrate eye gel: NO
  • SkinLab Lift & Firm moisturizer: YES

Why/Why Not?

B&BW Shower Gel: The Champagne Toast scent from Bath & Body Works rocks! Originally, Johnny thought that this shower gel was called Champagne & Toast, which is what we call it now but no matter what name you give it – the fragrance is divine.

I ordered this body wash online without ever smelling it and I was worried that it would have an alcohol like scent. Thankfully, that was not the case at all! Rather, Champagne Toast has all the allure of fizzy bubbles mixed with sweet berries and tangerine making it oh so sweet and totally luxurious. Speaking of bubbles, this shower gel lathered like a dream and it took me one month to finish the bottle.

SkinLab Eye Gel: I have never tried the Revitalize & Hydrate eye gel by SkinLab before and I would definitely not use it again. While working through this little jar, which took me over two months, I did not notice a single difference to the delicate skin around my eyes. It also would flake clean off if you happened to rub your eyes within a half hour of applying it. Not a good look. I will be sticking to the Lift & Firm eye gel from now on!

For More On The Other Products:

Which products did you use up this month? Are there any products that you would not recommend? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Picking The Perfect Pet For Your Family

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Picking The Perfect Pet For Your Family

Animals are an amazing addition to your life. They offer companionship and give you a reason to be more active. There are many different pets you can add to your family like a cat, dog, fish, hamster, bird, or guinea pig. The important thing is to make an informed decision, so you end up with a good fit for your family:

Narrow it down:

Before you start looking at pets, you need to ask yourself some questions to try to narrow down your search for the perfect pet. You need to think about your lifestyle and how a pet will fit into it. If you are not at home very often, then you shouldn’t get a dog that will need a lot of attention and walks every day.

You should also consider your personality. If you are extroverted, then a dog may be a good fit because they tend to be extroverted, as well. Quieter personalities may prefer the companionship of a cat, hamster, or reptile. You should also consider if you have any allergies that pet dander will make worse. If you do have pet allergies, then you may want to welcome a reptile or amphibian into your home. You can go here for more information.

Always keep in mind where you live and the level of care that you are capable of providing. If you live in an apartment, then you will want an animal that can thrive without a lot of space. If you are not able to take a dog on regular walks or change a cage often, then you need to consider that in your decision.

Dogs:

If you think a dog will be a good fit for your family, then you need to think about the breed that would be best. Some dogs are much higher energy than others so it is important to find a dog that is the best fit for your expectations. If you have small children, you want to make sure that the kind of dog you get will coexist happily with them.

Cats:

Cats are great low-maintenance pets once they are fully grown. If you want a cat that is a little more affectionate, then you need to consider the breeds when you are searching for the right fit. Long hair cats may also be a little higher maintenance to keep groomed and clean up after.

Birds:

Some types of birds are better suited for human companionship than others, so be sure to do your research before finding a bird to have as a pet. Different kinds of birds will all prove to be extremely different for handling, teaching to talk, or performing tricks.

Fish:

Fish have the lowest care needs of any of the pets, so they are ideal for people who want minimal effort. They do not provide any affection or tricks, but they do provide some companionship and beautify any space. Be sure that you understand the needs of the kind of fish you get to make sure it is comfortable and safe in the tank.

Pets will make a wonderful addition to any home but they are a huge responsibility. Consider the care you are able to best provide before making any decisions!

Featured Image By: Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes By Suzanne Collins Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes By Suzanne Collins Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! This post has been a long time coming because The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes by Suzanne Collins was five hundred and fifteen pages. It took me a while to finish this prequel to The Hunger Games series but it was worth every single page and then some. As always, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

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For those of you who don’t know, I am a HUGE fan of The Hunger Games. From the books to the movies, I love it all and Katniss is one of my heroes. I am also #teampeta till the day I die, in case you were wondering! ANYWHO, The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes was pre-Katniss times and focuses solely on the future president of Panem, Coriolanus Snow, and his ultimate rise to power.

Young eighteen year old Coriolanus (Coryo to his loved ones) is a Capitol sweetheart despite secretly barely having a penny to his name. He covers his lack of cash with the gift of gab and excels at school. In fact, he excels so much that for the first time in Hunger Games history, students at the Academy are going to be mentors to the tributes and he is chosen to coach none other than Lucy Grey of District 12.

Originally, Coryo was disgusted by his fate because surely a scrawny girl from 12 couldn’t be the victor amid her extremely tough competition. What’s more, sadistic Dr. Gaul who is one of the head scientists of the games is watching his every move and she has plenty of surprises up her sleeves with her genetically mutated animals and love of war.

Despite Coryo’s obvious setbacks for the games, he lives by the motto “Snow lands on top” and he will do anything to win. And, as Lucy Grey proves herself to be a formidable opponent and a huge prize for the winning coach is announced – a full ride to the University, Coryo becomes even more intent on reigning victorious.

The Hunger Games are just the beginning of this wild ride and, sadly, I really can’t give any more away without spoiling a MAJOR plot twist that left me with my chin touching the floor. So, I will say this, The Hunger Games fans will absolutely love this book because it was easily one of my favorite ones of the series.

It was so interesting to read The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes because it tied in beautifully to the other three books. From beloved songs like “The Hanging Tree” and characters like the introduction of Lucky Flickerman, this prequel answers a lot of unanswered questions and it paints a very clear picture of how The Hunger Games began and why they are still happening decades later once Katniss volunteers as tribute.

Jam packed with action, twists, and turns on every page, it was impossible to put this book down. It also leaves you feeling conflicted about Coriolanus Snow who can almost be viewed as a tragic hero in his younger years. Don’t let this fool you, though, because if you have read the series or watched the movies, you will know that he ends up as a president who runs things more like a dictatorship.

Yes, Snow lands on top. But at what cost? Read The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes and find out!

Who else is a fan of The Hunger Games? Are you #teampeta or #teamgale? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Enjoy A Calm Winter

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How To Enjoy A Calm Winter

Winter is well and truly on its way. In fact, it’s pretty much here. And with what’s going on in the world right now, you may find that you really don’t want to be spending too much time on anything that’s strenuous or that takes your energy away. And if that’s the case, you will be reaping as many of the benefits that a winter hibernation can offer you. At this time of the year, we don’t always want to spend too much outside or on hard activities. Instead, we want to be able to slow down and make sure that we can get through to spring feeling fantastic. To help you to do that, you may find that the ideas below will inspire you:

Switch off more:

To start with, one of the best things that you can do here is to make sure that you’re letting yourself switch off as much as possible. If you’re always on the go or your mind is always racing, your time won’t be calm. So try to switch off from work or the online world for a little bit if you can.

Distance yourself:

From here, you might want to try and think about keeping your distance from negativity. This may seem like a strange thing to add in as a winter practice, however, it can be really beneficial for your mind. If you know that you have a lot of toxic people in your life as you’re choosing to enjoy a few calming months, it’s good to try and keep them at arm’s length. That way, you know that your tranquillity won’t be threatened.

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Make room for calming practices:

The next thing that you might want to do is make sure that you are welcoming more calming practices into your life. You may find that you are able to feel a lot calmer throughout the colder months when you actively look to make this happen. Maybe you want to read instead of watch TV? Turn to something like Bloom Farms CBD instead of alcohol? Or quiet games nights with family rather than something rowdier? It all helps.

Treat yourself better:

Even if you think you already do this, you may not be treating yourself as well as you’d think. Are you resting? Are you looking after your body? Are you prioritizing your needs? If not, then you’re going to want to make sure that you change this. You’ll find it helps you to be a lot calmer and feel much better about yourself.

Enjoy the downtime:

Finally, you may find that it’s actually really nice for you to just enjoy more of the downtime. Winter isn’t always as fun, busy, and outgoing as summer – and it needn’t be. With winter comes the cold and dark and it’s not always the time of year that you want to be active. So just let yourself enjoy the calm and the slower pace. Do less. Relax. Be slow. Lap up all of the things you can do in hibernation before a glorious springtime comes back once again.

Ready, set, relax with the tips above and have a calm and safe winter!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

What Should You Expect From A Leading Estate Agent?

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What Should You Expect From A Leading Estate Agent?

Would you build a house without using a reputable construction firm? It’s unlikely. So, why should your approach be any different when buying or selling a property? There are many people who overlook the services of an estate agency in an attempt to save themselves some cash. However, this could cost a lot more in the long run. Signing a contract without expert consultation could turn out to be a disaster.

Moreover, with an experienced estate agent on your side, you have more chance of striking the perfect deal for you. Knowledgeable estate agents can help in all aspects of sales and rentals, allowing their clients to benefit from their expertise when it comes to everything from negotiation, adding value to a property, and finding the right tenants. Property law can be complex, and it is ever-changing, which is why it is always advisable to have an expert in the field on your side. This eliminates the need to carry out extensive research and gives you the peace of mind that everything is being handled effectively and efficiently.

What to expect when selling your property:

With an abundance of experience, an esteemed position in the industry, and a constant appetite to stay up to date with the latest trends, you will have the help you need from an expert estate agency. A dedicated team will ensure that the process of selling your home is as straightforward and stress-free as possible. They will conduct a thorough valuation of your property, and when you are ready to proceed they will market it via both offline and online channels. Click here to see a good example. They will take professional photographs to show your property in the best light and combine them with an attractive description. They’ll conduct professional viewings whenever anyone is interested.

Buying a property with a leading agent:

If you’re looking to buy, then your agent will provide you with all the information on properties in your preferred area that fit within your price range, making sure the process of finding your dream home runs as smoothly as possible. Once you’ve found your dream home, there should be an evident commitment to providing an enjoyable purchasing experience. From liaising with solicitors and mortgage providers to answering any questions you may have about the progress of your purchase, your consultant will be on hand to provide information and advice on all parts of the property buying process.

Property rentals with agents:

Do you have a portfolio of properties you’d like to rent out? Perhaps you’re thinking of moving home and would like to make an income on your current place? No matter what applies, a leading agent should offer you an exceptional service for landlords. If you’re interested in renting a property out, a dedicated team will find the perfect tenant for you. They’ll market your property via numerous channels, using professional photographs and compelling content. Once they find someone interested in your property, they will conduct the necessary checks, including credit checks and references, while they will also put together tenancy agreements and all other required documents.

Don’t skimp on the importance of working with an estate agent when it comes to selling or purchasing property!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Compliments of COVID, the 2020 holiday season is going to be a lot different. Family get togethers might be taking place over Zoom rather than in person or the celebrations could be pushed back until everyone can participate without crippling anxiety. No matter how you spend your day, I urge all of you to do it as safely as possible so all of your loved ones will be around to celebrate a *hopefully* normal Thanksgiving and Christmas next year.

2020 has been a wild ride and the craziness just reminds me of how thankful I am for all of the wonderful things about my life. A beautiful family, loving relationship, rewarding job, and fabulous friends both in person and online in the blogosphere are certainly nothing to sneeze at!

Thank you all so much for sharing in lifewithlilred with me because each and every one of you help keep me motivated to write each and every day. I am so proud of the sense of community that I feel on my page and I wish nothing but health, safety, and all of the good things for you and yours. ❤

Happy Thanksgiving!

Accessory Story: Meredith Leigh Necklace Edition

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Accessory Story: Meredith Leigh Necklace Edition

Hello! I don’t know about all of you, but COVID-19 has put me in the most “treat yoself” mood possible. Johnny and I literally never go out, we rarely order take out and have saved so much money that when I feel the urge to online shop I always can find a way to justify it.

Despite treating myself to all of the pretty new things like shoes and clothes, at the end of the day, it’s not like anyone is going to see me in them until a semblance of our social lives comes back. So, I decided I wanted to have something lovely and delicate to wear just for me. Especially since my normal fashionista OOTDs has slowly turned into leggings and a hoodie lol.

I thought that this Meredith Leigh necklace would be perfect to have on at work. Similar to the thrill some might find in wearing sexy lingerie and just knowing it’s on, I love having this simple but stunning piece of jewelry around my neck. Check it out:

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As soon as I saw this necklace while browsing on TJMaxx’s website, it instantly reminded me of my mom who loves hearts. The delicate gold chain with a small opal heart is a far cry from the normal chunky jewelry that I gravitate towards but it was exactly what I wanted.

The eighteen inch chain allows the heart to fall right between my collarbones and it looks so flattering in the blank space between the tattoos on my chest seen below:

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Of course, I can’t wait to show off my Meredith Leigh necklace when I have an actual reason to get dressed up. But, for now, having it under a hoodie or sweater to shield me from the Ohio cold is just right for me. It is a reminder of how things can still be beautiful despite all of the unideal situations we are currently faced with. Seeing the sparkling heart makes me smile and knowing it’s there and feeling it on my skin is a small comfort throughout such difficult times.

Do you have something pretty that is just for you? How has your style changed since COVID? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Guide To Social Media Etiquette

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A Guide To Social Media Etiquette

Over one billion people use social media daily, mostly for entertainment or business. For this reason, most people consider social media to be part of their daily life. Some users generate a lot of income and survive entirely on the money made from social media platforms. However, not everyone uses social media correctly as intended by the developers.

Over the years, employers have increasingly found it necessary to see if their candidate conducts themselves professionally on these platforms. With that said, here are the most common social media dos and don’ts:

Do – Spread positive ideas:

Social media never forgets. Have you ever seen posts that you deleted ages ago from the search results? It is difficult to wipe out everything about you on the internet. Therefore, whenever you feel like sharing your negative opinion, think twice. The consequences that come after may not be worth it.

Do – Have a visually appealing profile:

You need to complete your profile as required and update it frequently. Along with that, choose a theme for every one of your posts. You should also have a unique pattern that demonstrates your personality. Your personality and appearance can help you stand out among the millions of users. You can edit your photos, but don’t overdo it. You should also consider retouching jewelry to enhance the sparkle and help you demonstrate your sense of style.

Do – Post relevant content regularly:

Social networks are known to favoring active users’ accounts. Such accounts get more exposure than others. Their posts go viral and get more engagement in terms of comments, likes, and shares. While this may be tempting, resist the urge to post too much content. For some reason, some users might hate reading tens of posts from a single user in a day. It shows that you have nothing else to do even when you do.

Don’t – Spam:

Various social networks like Facebook have algorithms set up to flag spamming accounts. With all the privileges of an active account, you may not like yours to have any restrictions. Imagine being an influencer and missing out on huge deals just because you did not abide by simple rules!

Don’t – Repeatedly share posts:

Sharing a post multiple times can come off as a bit excessive. Solely focus on new content before sharing something already published again.

Don’t – Ignore your followers:

While it is humanly impossible to respond to every question and comment, try your best to respond to a few every time you log on. You may never know what you miss out on unless you spare some time and interact with your followers. Even worse off is setting up an auto-responding bot that lacks the special touch of your own personality!

Like every other activity in life, social media requires self-discipline for the best results. Most importantly, share content that you will look back and be proud of in the future.

What Is Your Business Missing Right Now?

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What Is Your Business Missing Right Now?

If you look at your business, can you tell that something is missing? Is there something that is sticking out like a sore thumb that you can point to and say ‘that’s what I need’? If the answer is no, then it might be a little more difficult to figure out why your business is lacking at the moment and, therefore, what you’re going to need to fix it. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the common problems that you might be facing, so keep reading if you would like to find out what your business could be missing:

The proper funding:

Having the proper funding is going to have the ability to make or break your business. We know that you’ve probably heard the stories about people who have started their business with no more than five dollars to their name, but this (likely) won’t be you. It’s for this reason that you must make sure the business is getting the proper funding. If you’re putting up the funds for the business, you’ve got to be willing to give it whatever it needs. How far are you willing to go to provide money for your business? That’s a question that you need to ask yourself.

Or, if you are getting money from an investor, you may need to ask them for more. Show them the data, tell them why you need it and why it’s going to be worth it to entice them.

An excellent team:

What is your team like right now? Are they dedicated? Do they do whatever you need them to? Do they want to see success for your company? Are they experts in their field? These are all important questions, some more so than others. While you don’t need experts, it doesn’t help to have this extra boost in some areas. For example, CFD Trading can be tricky to understand, but if you have someone who knows this topic inside out, your company is going to have a leg up.

Having a dedicated team isn’t optional, though. Without this, your business will crumble because your team is the backbone of the business. If they aren’t doing their best, your business won’t be giving its best.

Great leadership:

Maybe what your business is missing is great leadership. It’s not nice to admit to ourselves that we may be the problem, but if you think about your leadership style, what can you say about it? Would you be happy to work for you? If not, then things need to change. Better leadership leads to better results and a much happier team working for you. Always remember that!

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that your business could be missing right now. If it’s none of these things, then you’re going to have to put your thinking cap on and work out what it is. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Keeping Your Dog Happy, Always

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Keeping Your Dog Happy, Always

If you are a dog owner, you are probably always going to be concerned with ensuring that your pooch is as happy as possible. After all, that is the main aim of looking after them, and it’s something that you should spend your time and energy on if you are going to have a dog at all. But there are a lot of things to consider here, and you need to make sure that you are going to focus on them all if you really want to keep your dog happy. In this article, we are going to discuss just a few of the things to bear in mind, so that you can make sure your dog is the happiest in town:

Show them lots of love:

The most important thing for a dog is that they know you love them. Anyone who has ever had a dog will know that they are very needy when it comes to your love, and you need to make sure that you are showing and expressing this to them as much as possible. If they start to feel that you don’t really care, then that is the biggest way you can possibly upset them, and it can actually lead to some pretty negative consequences on the whole. So do whatever you can to show you love them – cuddle them, kiss them, play with them – and you will be keeping them so much happier for longer.

Give them some freedom:

Dogs still need to feel free to a certain degree and there are a lot of ways to do this. One is to ensure that you take them for their daily walk without fail – which obviously has a range of other benefits for their health, as well. Another is to install a dog door into your sliding glass door so that they are able to come and go into the garden whenever they want to. If you give them freedom in this way, you are going to find that they are much more likely to feel happy with their life, and you will see this in their behavior soon enough.

Keep them healthy:

On top of all of this, you also need to make sure that you are keeping your dog as healthy as possible too. If they are not healthy, then they are not going to feel happy, and you will find that they are much less likely to look as though they are fully enjoying life. This is something that you can always improve, so if you are not feeding them the best food or you know you could walk them more, you should make sure to do that as soon as possible. These changes are likely to make things so much better in the long run, and you will find that you are going to feel like a better pet owner too.

Give your four leggeds the best life possible with the tips above and give them lots of pets for me! 😀

Featured Image By: Pexels

If The Shoe Fits: Nine West Kitten Heels Edition

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If The Shoe Fits: Nine West Kitten Heels Edition

Howdy and welcome to another new edition of If The Shoe Fits! Today, we are going to be talking about the most darling pair of kitten heels by Nine West. I have had my eye on these adorable mini pumps for at least a year on TJMaxx’s online store. However, every time I want to order them they never have my size. After what seemed like an eternity of sold out size sixes, I finally snagged a pair and I couldn’t be happier so take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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As you all know, I live for a chunky platform or wedge heel. I actually don’t care for stilettos on me so a kitten heel is the closest I will get to it! I think kitten heels are the perfect combination of sweet and sassy and these Nine Wests are a total testament to that. The sleek jet black adds the oomph while the rhinestone wrap around the ankle adds that little bit of sugar. Is that sweet and sassy or what?

I feel like these kitten heels would look amazing on anyone and they also come in a charming shade of blush pink. Easy to dress up or down, the mini pumps would look stunning with a shimmering New Year’s Eve party dress. They would also be just as flattering with a pair of skinny jeans and a sharp blazer for an evening drink with the girls… Post-COVID, of course.

I am ecstatic to finally add my Nine Wests into my always growing shoe collection because I have waited so long to order them! And, I actually only own one other pair of kitten heels so now my lonely solo pair has a companion. For forty dollars, these babies are a steal and I wouldn’t wait too long if you want to grab a pair for yourself!

What is your favorite shape for a heel? How do you take a look from day to night? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

If The Shoe Fits: Vince Camuto Platforms Edition

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If The Shoe Fits: Vince Camuto Platforms Edition

Hellooo! I am extremely close to finishing my Christmas shopping with only a handful of people left to buy for. And, after all of that shopping for other people, I decided that I needed a treat too. I had a TJMaxx ten dollar certificate burning a hole in my pocket so I went online and ordered a few pretty little somethings for myself. Like these amazing snakeskin pattern platforms by Vince Camuto:

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I have had my eye on these bad boys for a while but I just couldn’t justify their eighty dollar price tag. So, trust and believe when I saw them marked down to forty dollars, they went straight into the cart! I was very excited for these platforms to arrive because snakeskin is my absolute favorite animal print and I don’t own any shoes that are even remotely similar.

I ripped the TJMaxx package open with the gusto of a child on Christmas and, I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed when I saw the platforms in real life. On the picture featured on TJMaxx’s website, the sepia and caramel tones looked straight up mustard yellow. What came in the mail was a really far cry from the image shown but I still love them just the same!

Despite the initial “well damn”, there is no denying that these platforms are freaking beautiful and they were a literal perfect fit when I slipped them on. Not only are these Vinny C’s comfortable as all get out but they are sturdy, well made, and super chic. I expected nothing less, of course, as Vince Camuto is one of my favorite brands when it comes to shoes and clothing.

I can’t say when I am going to be able to wear my new shoes as date nights and hang outs outside of the apartment with Johnny are nonexistent, thanks to COVID. But, I can say that when I am finally able to bust them out, my outfit is going to be fierce! Could you imagine these paired with a cozy sweater dress and thick tights? Sigh. A girl can dream, right?!

How far along are you on your holiday shopping? What was the last purchase you treated yourself to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 4

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What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 4

Hello!! With COVID cases spiking dangerously in Ohio, Johnny and I are more hunkered down than ever. So, obviously, we have been getting a lot of use out of our streaming services of Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, and Shudder. Here is the best of what we have been watching recently:

Ils (Them):

First things first, sorry to my mom if she’s reading this because this French horror movie scared her so bad but it is one of my favorites. If you have Shudder, then you can watch Ils too. This crazy twist of a home invasion movie is what began my fondness for foreign films. I can remember when I first started learning French and I would watch this movie to practice, as the dialogue is quite limited. It felt so good to watch this several years later, completely understand it, and enjoy it just as much as the first time I saw it. Highly recommend for horror fans!

Slasher:

Johnny and I recently finished up the Canadian horror anthology Slasher and it was very good! So far, there are three seasons all with a different plot but some of the same cast members (like American Horror Story) and a fourth season is currently in the works. Slasher is equally entertaining as it is bloody and disgusting, drawing inspiration from lots of different… Well, slasher movies! I will say that season one was my favorite followed by season two, then three. However, each season was unique in its own way and it is a must for horror fans.

Letterkenny:

Another Canadian show that Johnny and I absolutely love is Letterkenny. Named after the small, fictional town in Canada the show is based in, Letterkenny follows a group of pals and all of their nonsense. From getting hammered, getting in fights, and participating in talent shows and adult spelling bees, there is literally never a not hilarious moment in this show. Each and every character is so funny and likeable in their own way but I am particularly fond of Stewart, Jonesy, and Riley! #ferda

Dancing With The Stars:

Finally, I am still going strong on watching Dancing With The Stars. Back in the day, I was an avid fan of the show but lost interest and haven’t seen it in several years. But, when I heard that Johnny Weir (one of my favorite figure skaters) was going to be competing, I was happy to step back into the ballroom.

Although I am enjoying DWTS, I am ready for it to be over lol. Don’t get me wrong, I love the performing, music, and costumes. However, I just can’t stand Tyra Banks as a hostess – she is so awful! I don’t plan on watching the next season unless there is someone who I really like on – but I am looking forward to seeing who comes out on top this season!

Which shows have you been binge watching? Do you have any movie or TV recommendations for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Silly Stuff Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Silly Stuff Edition

Hello! One of the most fun parts about dating Johnny is that I feel like we are constantly surprising each other with gifts that are either totally sweet or really silly. From cute coffee mugs and LEGO sets to random Honey Nut Cheerios found throughout my kitchen, where ever I turn in my apartment there seems to be a reminder of our relationship.

This past week, I arrived home with the DVD seen below and the following morning I woke up to a goofy surprise on my laptop:

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Throughout our days of being in lock down from COVID, Johnny and I talk about literally anything and everything. From world affairs to desert island favorites and the merits of Danny Trejo showing up in the most random movies, it’s never all that boring!

In fact, we’ve talked about Danny Trejo a lot so when I saw the TREJO TRIO DVD at the Dollar Tree I wasn’t not going to buy it. Lol, I was so excited to show Johnny my “can’t believe it’s only a dollar” find and we were completely cracking up after the grand reveal.

Obviously, Johnny and I both love to laugh so it was still surprising but no surprise that the following morning, I woke up to a Waffully Good Joke on my laptop. It was such a little, silly thing but it put me in the best mood when I woke up because I knew Johnny was thinking about me while he made his breakfast in the morning.

I love our relationship and our surprises to each other from the romantic and sentimental to the downright hysterical makes me so happy. A dollar DVD and a joke from the LEGGO waffles packaging kept me smiling all day and, sometimes, the simplest things can cause the biggest impact! ❤

What are some silly things that you and your friends or SO talk about? How do you surprise your loved ones? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

At Home Concerts Pt. 2

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At Home Concerts Pt. 2

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, my “big girl” job is as an independent provider for adults with special needs. Pre-COVID, community integration was my specialty and I was always finding exciting activities and events for my clients to participate in that they might not have had access to before.

One of my favorite haunts “back in the day” with a client who is a music lover was a vinyl record club at the library where a group of our now good friends would sit around, eat pizza, listen to music, and talk about anything and everything. It was such fun and we both miss it a lot so, naturally, at home concerts had to happen when record club was no longer an option.

At home concerts are one of my favorite activities to do with clients now because it’s fun, safe, and I love singing and dancing with my pals! If you remember my original At Home Concerts post, you will know I taught one of my friends how to use YouTube and we are still going strong on watching his favorite golden oldies artists perform.

My other client has a much different taste in music, though. He loves rap! And so do I so at home concerts with him are an absolute trip. In fact, he was the one who introduced me to Cardi B and she’s one of my faves now! Every week we alternate who is going to pick the album and we spend the entire time dancing on opposite ends of the room, laughing, and talking about everything from the important to the downright silly.

Pre-COVID, at home concerts were the last thing on my mind when I could take my clients to all kinds of wonderful events where live music was played. Post-COVID, I find at home concerts to be an inspired idea and it has become my new favorite part about my job.

Exploring different genres of music, hearing songs I’ve never listened to before, and seeing my clients have fun is a high point of my day when we feel like listening to some tunes. We all consider our at home concerts to be an exciting event and it could be for you and your friends/family too!

Dress as your favorite artists, celebrate a different theme or genre, or even learn the different dances of the times so you can better groove to the music. An at home concert can turn a blah day into something really awesome – all it takes is a little creativity. 🙂

What are some of your favorite at home activities? Do you have any suggestions for what my clients and I should listen to next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Unusual Benefits Of Learning From Home For Kids

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4 Unusual Benefits Of Learning From Home For Kids

Earlier in the year, schools around the world closed their doors for many months. At the same time, teaching still moved forward and kids still learned. It was all done at home, and there’s every chance we’ll see this again in the future. Nobody really knows what will happen with COVID in the next few months/years, but you could also look ahead to the distant future. Who knows, learning from home might be the common thing in ten years!

Anyway, you might worry about kids not being in school, but there are actually a few benefits of learning from home like the following:

You get to monitor their work:

When your child is in school, you have to assume they’re paying attention in lessons. You put blind faith in the idea that they are working hard at all times. Realistically, this could be far from the truth and they might mess around a lot. But, if they learn from home, you can monitor their progress. You can check that they’re paying attention and being a good student. Effectively, you make sure they do the school work and actually learn while in class!

They develop better computer skills:

All schools will have a system in place where children can speak to teachers as they learn from home. Typically, this is some kind of cloud based teaching software. As such, your children spend a lot of time working on a computer and using different applications. In this day and age, that can be extremely beneficial. They develop better computer skills, setting them up for better job prospects. You pretty much need to be a computer expert if you want a job in the next decade or so. So, while face-to-face learning may be better in some aspects, studying via a computer doesn’t come without its strengths.

Much better school lunches:

Let’s be honest, school lunches are terrible. They might be good in some schools, but they generally reach a very low standard. By learning from home, your child will have access to the entire kitchen – and your cooking. Therefore, you can make them a much better and more nutritious school lunch. This will definitely help fuel them for the rest of the day.

Fewer distractions and more help:

Your child has fewer distractions when they’re learning from home. This is mainly because they have no classmates causing disruptions. As a consequence, they might be able to focus and get through their work a lot quicker. Plus, the other benefit of not being in a classroom is that they can get more help. If they struggle with something, they can ask you for assistance. There’s no need to wait for the teacher to help twenty other kids before eventually getting to them!

See, learning from home isn’t as bad as you might think. So, you shouldn’t worry if schools close again, and your child is back in this situation. Like everything in life, it’s all about finding the positives out of a negative situation. 

Featured Image By: Pexels

How To Ace Winter At Home

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How To Ace Winter At Home

Winter varies from place to place but unless you’re somewhere on the equator the likelihood is that it’s going to be cold. Sure, some places are worse than others and will need better home preparation but, in most cases, there’s usually a few things needing to be done to ensure the home is a functioning and comfortable place to be during the winter months. Some people love winter. The coziness of it is what attracts people, and Christmas, of course. Others hate it. They don’t do well with the darkness and cold, and that’s fine. Either or, here are some tips to help you succeed over the winter months:

Get your energy solutions sorted:

Energy prices fluctuate year in and out which is why you need to change your provider often. If you want a good winter, you don’t want to pay too much money for your energy, so make sure you consider changing providers. You might also want to look at your insulation. Of course, a heating and cooling company can check this out for you. If you know you don’t have any it could be a worthy investment which could save you a lot of money on energy. In the same vein, you’ll want to get your boiler and other burning devices serviced so that you know they’re safe to operate.

Clean the gutters:

Winter usually brings rain and snow. This will increase water flow and really clog up your gutters, especially if you live somewhere close to trees. The leaves are usually the key culprits of gutter blockage. You can buy the tools for these on amazon but you might just be better off approaching someone to do it for you. If you do it yourself, make sure there’s someone under you holding the ladder so you don’t fall.

You might also need to clear the drains which the gutters run into. These can be more important because they’ll cause standing water issues around your home, small puddles might be manageable but when you get the bigger ones it’ll be a lot harder to handle in most cases. It’s just a case of lifting the lid with a gloved hand and pulling the leaves out.

Check the alarms:

You’ll be at home more often due to the winter weather and this is even more prevalent this year due to coronavirus. So make sure it’s safe. Check your smoke alarms first, then make sure you’ve got a working carbon monoxide alarm in place around any fossil burning appliance. Then you need to ensure the house alarm is working. If it isn’t, think about upgrading or at least making the current one work properly. If you can’t afford it don’t panic, just make sure your doors and locks are secure and be sure to check the windows too.

Get your home in tip top shape before the winter comes with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Garage Organization Tips You Need To Know

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Garage Organization Tips You Need To Know

If you are currently rooting through your home looking for small DIY jobs to pass the time, you might not have yet considered the garage. Our garage is as much a part of the home as any other but, sadly, it becomes a dumping ground all too often with no rhyme or reason. Today, we want to show you how you can easily organize your garage and keep everything as tidy as can be.

Here are our simple tips for organizing your garage to make it into a functioning part of your home once more:

Clear out clutter:

Over the years you may have accumulated a lot of things in your garage such as random tools, partial tins of paint, and other knick knacks that don’t fit in the house. Now is the time to go through your garage and get rid of anything you don’t need. By clearing out some space in your garage you will open it up for better storage ideas, and it will make the space feel more like an actual room.

Secure the door:

It is important before you do anything else with your garage that the door is secure and safe. You can hire a garage door installer to help you update your door, and be sure that if you choose a rolling door that there is plenty of space around the area for it to open and close. Updating the door will not only make the garage feel new and fresh, but it will increase your security and give you peace of mind.

Make use of plastic trays:

Plastic trays will soon become your best friend as you try to organize and improve your garage. You can buy steel shelving similar to warehouse shelves and buy plastic trays to fit inside which can hold all of your tools, spare paint tubs, and random items such as bungee ties and wire. Labeling your plastic trays with the contents of them can also be a helpful trick to use.

Hang up tools:

When you have large garden tools such as an axe, rake, shovel, or hoe – it is a great idea to hang them up rather than standing them awkwardly in a corner of your garage. You can install hooks cheaply or even use sturdy nails in the wall and hang these larger objects to so no one trips over them.

Use your paint:

If you are short on space and have some random partial paint tins in the garage, why not use them to spruce up the place? A well placed white or cream on your garage walls can make all the difference to the space and it will allow you to get rid of empty tins rather than waste paint that is perfectly good.

Utilize vertical space:

When you have a garage and a lot of things to put in it, it is a good idea to make the most of vertical storage. This means using hooks and shelves on the walls of your garage to maximize how much you can store safely away from the floor. Such an effective way to clear clutter!

Using these small tips, you should be able to make a positive change to your garage this winter and store all the things in a much more organized fashion!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Arranging An Unforgettable Birthday For Your SO

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Arranging An Unforgettable Birthday For Your SO

We’ve all been having a tough year and most of us are looking forward to things getting back to normal, now that there’s some hope on the horizon. If your SO has played a big role in helping you get through the obstacle course that the previous year has been, then it’s only right that you want to give them the big birthday bash they deserve. If things are safe enough to really enjoy the day with a bang by the time the big day rolls around, here are some tips on how to do it:

A wake up to remember:

There really are few things as heartwarming as getting breakfast in bed or waking up to find a little gift lying beside you on the pillow. You can make their morning truly special with even the smallest gestures to show that, yes, you do remember what day it is and you want to celebrate it as soon as possible. It doesn’t have to be a huge spread. However, one thing you don’t want to do is to wake up your SO just so you can give them the birthday morning you have planned. Get things ready for when they usually wake up and then wait for them to start to stir. Otherwise, you shouldn’t be surprised if they start off grumpy.

Pamper them silly:

Some people don’t like spa-like stuff, but you might be surprised how well some people can take to it if they have never felt it before. Whether it’s going for a full spa treatment, spending some time at the sauna together, or even just preparing an extra lush bath for them at home. If you’re feeling more romantically inclined, then you might think to arrange for a couple’s massage. If your SO has been working extra hard as of late to keep things going smoothly, then letting them take the edge off is the perfect way to acknowledge that and to make it clear that you care about their well being amongst all of this.

Arrange a big night on the town:

If it has been an extra-long while since you have both been able to go out and to enjoy the nightlife, then it might be the perfect time to think about taking them out with your shared group of friends to really live it up. You can order some table service to make sure your loved one really feels like a VIP, then go dancing, partying, and getting into some trouble with one another. Of course, not a great option if your loved one is more of a homebody who likes their creature comforts, but a lot of us have been just waiting for the opportunity to kick things off.

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The big party:

Sure, it might be the traditional idea, but for some people, the big birthday party really works. If it’s a particularly big birthday, such as the 21st, the 30th, or any of the other multiples of ten, it’s often expected that a little extra bit of fuss is made over a person. If it’s a special birthday, you can also get their loved ones such as friends and family involved in making it a really big event. However, if your SO has said that they genuinely don’t enjoy parties in the past and they have meant it, don’t assume that they do really love parties deep down. That simply is not the case for most people who say that.

Make it a time to appreciate them:

Not every way of celebrating their birthday has to be some big thing. Instead, you can just as easily leave little touches throughout the day that show them how much you care about them. For instance, one great gift could be a jar of love notes that they can open up throughout the day and beyond to see reasons that you love them, are grateful for them, memories you share with them, or even the occasional blue message if you want to take things into the boudoir. You can make things even more fun and leave these messages with little bonus gifts (like their favorite candy) in places they’re likely to look throughout the day.

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Go somewhere together:

This isn’t necessarily an idea that’s exclusive from those above. However, if you’re able to travel, then it might be a great idea to combine one of the ideas above with the chance to enjoy getting away from familiar locations. A great romantic city break could be just what you need so that you can both feel like you’re being treated to something special on the big day. You can order food, enjoy hotel facilities, and take the time to explore something new together. It’s a great way to create brand new memories and a lot of us have really been missing the chance to explore outside of our own neighborhoods for the past several months.

There is no particular event, expenditure, or organization that can make your SO’s birthday special. What is most important is that you think about what they would love and you do what you can to make it a reality. That’s the surest way to make them feel special!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Lil Red COVID-19 PSA

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Lil Red COVID-19 PSA

Howdy!! Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still causing a lot of grief for everyone. Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take to better protect yourselves and your loved ones. Like some of the following:

Mask Up:

Whether you’re rocking a surgical mask or a homemade cloth one, it is so important to wear a mask if you are out in public. Yes, some people find them uncomfortable. But, you know what’s more uncomfortable? People getting sick and dying. Wearing a mask is a sign of respect to those around you, for yourself, and for your loved ones. It is the absolute least we can all do.

Social Distance:

If you are out in public, be sure to follow proper social distancing protocols by standing at least six feet apart from those around you. Many stores have handy markers on the ground to help keep everyone the appropriate space apart. Be aware of them, use them, and don’t be that person who is up in everyone’s space despite the PANDEMIC going on. Also, while in public, make sure you are using Purell or your preferred brand of hand sanitizer often.

Just Stay In:

As someone who works with very high risk people, I have been hunkered down since March to better protect myself and my clients. Would it be nice to continue to go here, there, and everywhere as if things were normal right now? Yes. But things aren’t normal right now and most outings like restaurants, bars, or large get togethers are completely unnecessary.

Order take out, have a wine night at home, or Zoom everybody in for a hang sesh in the evening. It has been so difficult for me to give things up that I love like ice skating weekly, seeing my friends, and in store shopping trips. However, I value everyone’s health and safety far more than all of my favorite activities combined.

If You’re Bored…

And, if you’re super bored, you are always welcome here on lifewithlilred as a guest blogger! Fill up some ample free time by emailing me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com and we can arrange for you to be my featured blogger of the day. The best part? lifewithlilred is about creating a family in the blogosphere and all of my previous guest bloggers will always have a home on my page when they want to have their work featured again. Stay in for an afternoon and become part of my ever growing blogging family! ❤

How do you stay safe in COVID times? What is something that you miss doing the most? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Ways To Create A Low Maintenance Home

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4 Ways To Create A Low Maintenance Home

Even though you’re spending more time at home at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic, you don’t want to be spending all of your time cleaning it! It’s nice to have a home that you can just sit and relax in without thinking about what jobs need to be done or being surrounded by clutter. It can sometimes feel like housework is never-ending, but that doesn’t have to be the case at all because with a little work up front now, you could create a very low-maintenance home. This would be like a gift to yourself and mean that you can sit and enjoy your home while doing things you like, such as reading and watching TV, knitting, or playing games with the family.

Choose Easy Flooring:

When you have flooring that has gaps or joint lines, you have a lot more dirt to clean as this type of flooring gives it a place for dirt to settle. Look into flooring services to find something that would suit your home and give you an easy life when it comes to cleaning, something that means you’ll only need a broom and a mop to keep it clean. There are plenty of options when it comes to flooring, so you won’t find it difficult to get something to suit your home, needs, and budget.

Keep Things Simple:

Keeping things simple not only makes your home look clean and tidy rather than cluttered, but it also helps you to keep it clean and tidy. When you have fancy moldings on your walls, they will do nothing but collect dust, protruding edges will attract spiders and webs, detailed light fittings will want dusting regularly, and blinds or shutters collect dirt. All of this creates more jobs for you; however, if you do like your home to be full of ornaments and trinkets, then put them in easy reach so that dusting is not an even bigger task.

Choose Stain Resistant Fabrics/Materials:

If you have children and often spend your time wiping up after spills, then choose furniture with materials such as leather or fabrics that are durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. This way, you won’t have to spend your time scrubbing and trying to get pen marks or food stains out of furniture that you love.

Declutter:

When you have fewer things in your house, you automatically will have less mess, and when you have less mess, you have less stress. Having a clean and tidy house will make you feel calmer and more relaxed. If you declutter your home and donate or sell things that you don’t need or use anymore, then not only will your home look cleaner but there will be fewer things to clean. Total win/win!

Cut your cleaning time significantly with the tips above and get back to your Netflix marathons! 😀

Featured Image By: Wokandapix from Pixabay

Top Tips For Looking Your Best

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Top Tips For Looking Your Best

When you look great, you usually feel great, which is a recipe for success and joyfulness. You can’t help but have confidence in yourself and hold your head up high. The dilemma may be that you’re not taking good care of yourself and are letting your self-care slip because you’re busy.

Make yourself and your wellness and beauty a priority, and you’ll be much happier about your appearance. Review the following tips so you can look your best and get back to living life to the fullest with a smile on your face. Have fun with it and enjoy the transformation when you’re in a better place:

Get Enough Sleep:

One tip for looking your best is to get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Sleep not only gives you more natural energy, but it’ll ensure you don’t have dark circles under your eyes too. Your skin will glow and have fewer blemishes, and you’ll find it’s easier to maintain or lose weight. Sleep is essential to you feeling motivated to achieve your goals and tackle your to-do list.

Take Care of Your Smile:

Another tip for looking your best is to take care of your smile. Smiling makes you feel lively and will help you give off a friendly vibe to others. Visit your dentist regularly and brush your teeth and floss at home to maintain white and healthy teeth. If you’ve lost any teeth due to injury or illness, you may want to consider dental implants. After this procedure, you can smile confidently and will no longer feel self conscious when speaking and interacting with others.  

Do Your Hair & Makeup:

Wake up each day and take a shower and get ready so you can feel and look your best. Commit to doing your hair and applying makeup, which will make you feel ready to seize the day. You want to leave the house feeling good about yourself and the way you look. If you roll out of bed with messy hair and no makeup, you might feel tired and lousy all day. If you’re in a rush, then find quick up-dos you can use for your hair and, at the minimum, put on mascara and lip balm to add some color to your smile.

Exercise & Eat Well:

You’re going to look your best when you’re at a healthy weight and are free from stress and anxiety. Two ways you can reduce your worry and get into better shape is to exercise and eat well. Find physical activities you enjoy doing, and that allow you to burn calories and break a sweat. Get in the habit of cooking for yourself at home and carrying healthy snacks with you to eat throughout the day. When you combine healthy eating with regular exercise, you’ll be setting yourself up to love the way you look, and you’ll feel energized and content inside your mind and body, as well. 

It’s hard to feel good when times are so crazy but the tips above will help get some pep back in your step!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Amazon Skin Care Haul

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Amazon Skin Care Haul

Hello! Whenever I needed new skin care back in pre-COVID days, I would go to TJMaxx and browse the aisles for everything I needed/didn’t need. Now, when I am running low on my skin care, I order a three or so month’s supply from Amazon. Originally, I was having a lot of luck finding all of the brands that I liked from TJs on Amazon. The prices weren’t as good but I was still happy to use what was familiar to me.

This time around, it came as a HUGE shock to see that the SkinLab brand on Amazon that I love so very much had all of their prices jacked up to twenty dollars. I was normally paying seven to eight bucks at TJs and eleven or so on Amazon. Twenty dollars for moisturizer and eye cream is just ridiculous so I had to try out some new products at prices I was more comfortable with. Check it out:

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The Haul:

  • Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream for normal/combo skin
  • Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream for dry skin
  • Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating facial cleanser
  • Pacifica Kale Charcoal Foaming Facial Detox Bar
  • 3 Azure Lux Rose Gold serums
  • Garnier Micellar Water

After I discovered the high price of my SkinLab products, it took me a while to find a moisturizer at a price point I was okay with. Finally, I found a great deal on the Garnier pack of two moisturizers for SEVEN BUCKS! I thought that was a steal and I love Garnier products as well as gel cream moisturizers. Do I wish that I could have gotten my usual SkinLab Lift & Firm? Yes. But, I am excited to try something new.

Another product that I was sad to see wasn’t available on Amazon that used to be there was the Destiny Boutique charcoal face bars. I have been using their face bars for years and always like to have one or two handy at my apartment. Sadly, the brand was nowhere to be found on Amazon so I had to try my hand at the Pacifica bar, instead. I like that it is a foaming bar but I don’t like how small the bar is in comparison to the picture online. It was also packaged really poorly, which was kind of a turn off so we will see!

Along with my other usuals of Garnier micellar water and the Azure Lux serums, I bought a new Clean & Clear cleanser, as well. I am currently finishing up their Skin Brightening Morning Burst cleanser and have enjoyed it. However, it was really expensive on Amazon – over ten bucks, if I recall correctly. So, I went with the less pricey Hydrating cleanser. I am okay with this swap, though, because my skin needs all the hydrating it can get come winter.

I am looking forward to trying out all of my new products because it certainly has been a while since I went for something totally different. The almighty dollar talks every time and I don’t think I will be using my old faithfuls again until their prices go down.

Do you have a favorite product that got discontinued or really expensive? Does the substitute you picked out compare? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Blogging Through 2020

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Blogging Through 2020

Hello! For over six years, lifewithlilred has been going strong on the blogosphere and, unless there are some crazy circumstances, I write each and every day. You all have been with me through a lot from graduating college, break ups, car accidents and everything in between. With that in mind, there has never been a lack of anything for me to write about because it always felt like something new was happening.

Then, COVID-19 came around in 2020 and said “hold my beer”. As someone who works with extremely high risk families every day, all of my previous favorite activities fell by the wayside to not only protect me but all of my clients and loved ones. This meant no more shopping in store, no movies, no restaurants, no bars – no nothing, really.

This change from a constant on the go career as well as bopping around here, there, and everywhere with Johnny as his band played shows to a mostly sedentary lifestyle in my apartment was a huge shock. I have never had a lack of things to talk about on my blog but now, some days, I just don’t feel like I have anything to say!

But, we all know that Lil Red having nothing to say is impossible and I still have managed to write every day of 2020 despite the constant ups and downs. This is something that I am really proud of myself for because I have had to get so creative with my content to keep new posts coming, which can be uber difficult when you barely leave the house, lol.

Blogging through 2020 has taught me about finding inspiration in unlikely places and being more forthright in my own opinions and beliefs. I am so thankful that all of my beloved readers have stuck with me through such crazy times and it makes me that much more motivated to get up early every morning and write before I have to head to work.

Honestly, I have always been my toughest critic and it’s sometimes hard for me to come up with nice things to say about myself. It feels so good to see the fruits of my labor every day with a new post on lifewithlilred and having such a sense of pride in my work has increased my self esteem tenfold.

Times are hard right now and everyone’s situation is different. But, in Lil Red’s world, we’re all in this together so thank you for continuing to share in this crazy journey with me! ❤

Has it been difficult for you to blog during 2020? What do you do when you have writer’s block? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Her This Christmas

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December is nearly here, which means Christmas is nearly here! Have you got your tree up yet? I know a lot of people that get their decorations out right after Thanksgiving. It is such a fun time of year, full of good food, laughter, family, and gifts. The latter can be a little stressful, though. Buying gifts can be tricky when you’re not sure what on earth they would like. We all know that one person that seems to be impossible to shop for, right? But you don’t need to look any further; I have the ultimate Christmas gift guide for you right here. Whether it is your grandma, mom, sister, daughter, or a friend, I have plenty of ideas for you. So grab a coffee and have a read through these suggestions. I hope that this is really useful for you!

For the Home: There are lots of great gifts that you can get for people to have in their home. It helps if you have been in their home and seen their style, though. But some gifts that work well for everyone are things like scented candles. I don’t think I know of anyone what wouldn’t enjoy getting these as a gift. Choose some seasonal scents and they can fill their home with the lovely scent of cinnamon and clove, for example. If you know that they already have quite a lot of scented candles, you could choose to get them some candle accessories. Candle holders, votive holders, or trays are a great idea. For larger jar candles, you can even get little ‘lampshades’ to put on top of them. It makes them look really cute and cozy, so perfect for a gift at this time of year.

Other things for the home could be throws and pillows. I think little items like this add such a touch of luxury to the home. They are also things that people might not necessarily buy for themselves. Thick, chunky knit throws are stylish at the moment and perfect for winter. If you are on a tight budget, you could even knit one. There are a lot of tutorials online of how to make one. And because they are so chunky, you don’t even need to use knitting needles most of the time. It will be an extra nice gift to give when it is a homemade one!

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 Love!

Storage Accessories: One of my favorite gift giving methods is getting a cute basket and filling it with goodies. You can make it as big or as small as you’d like so it works really well for all budgets. Grab a storage accessory that can be used after the gifts are emptied and get creative. To keep it cheaper, you could make some treats for them. How about some homemade jam or jelly? You could make some cookies to put in there, as well as some truffles or even oil infusions. Just go with what the recipient loves and you can make it specific to them. Another thing that I love about giving a little goodie basket as a gift is that you can make it completely unique for the recipient. If you’re short on time or your budget is a little more elaborate, then you could add in some wine or a bottle of chocolate liquor. Hello, spiked holiday hot chocolate!

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I would love that gift set!

Clothing Accessories: Another gift idea that I utilize often are clothing accessories. They aren’t as full on as a piece of clothing so it is easier to get it right. As long as you know their general style, it can be easy to pick something out for them. It could be a scarf or pashmina, for example. You can buy them in all sorts of colors and patterns these days so you can find something to suit every taste. You could even think about getting them a hat and scarf combo, too. Bobble hats are on trend for this winter so that could be a cute idea. If you are buying a gift for someone that is going through chemotherapy or suffers from hair loss, then a hat could be perfect for them – especially with such frigid weather. You could even look somewhere like Hats with Heart for lots of different styles.

Other accessories that I think work well for gifts are pieces of jewelry like necklaces and bracelets. The reason I haven’t mentioned rings is that you need to know someone’s ring size for that. Necklaces, earrings, and bracelets are generally all a ‘one size fits all’ type of thing so you will never have a problem with them not fitting. You could choose some chunkier style costume jewelry if that is more their thing or go for a classic piece or silver or gold jewelry. Just check on their style and the color of jewelry that they already wear. If they have a lot of gold rings, then they’d most likely want a gold one to match, rather than silver.

Technology: As much as I’m sure a few of us would like to buy our sisters or moms a brand new Macbook, we can’t all afford to do so. There are some options for technology and gadgets, though, for all budgets. A tablet or e-reader will still be on the expensive side, but cheaper than a computer. If you know someone that already has something like a Kindle, then you could get them a gift card to be able to download and read some new books. My boyfriend gifted me with a Kindle for our anniversary and I LOVE it! It is great for playing games, watching Netflix, and browsing the web from the comfort of a plush arm chair.

Otherwise, I think getting some accessories for their existing tech is a fun idea. There are lots of phone covers, laptop skins, or tablet covers that you can buy. So have a look out for what you think might be their style. Your grandma or mom might like a custom cover, with photos of the kids or grandkids on it, for example, which makes that gift a little bit more special and thoughtful. Personalized gifts can take a little longer to make and have them delivered so it is worth looking into something like that now. We are so close to Christmas once December comes around.

Headphones are also always a good idea, especially if you have a family member or friend that commutes or goes to the gym regularly. You can get wireless headphones now too, so they are a funky and modern gift.

Homemade Coupons: This works well if you still live with the person you are giving the gift to so a sister, daughter or mom, for example. You could put together a coupon booklet, full of things specific to them. Then they can redeem them throughout the year. It could be full of things like ‘good for one trip to the mall with me’ or ‘good for one back massage,’ as examples. If it was for your mom or grandma, it could be for a trip out for afternoon tea, or a night off from the kids, for instance. It could even be some more fun things like having breakfast for dinner on their chosen day or having a ‘treat pass’ which they can cash in for something like Starbucks or their favorite candy. The great thing is that you can make it completely personal. It is also an awesome budget gift idea which is perfect for when things are a little bit tight. It is sweet and thoughtful too, so your recipient will love it as it will mean much more than a store-bought gift.

Kitchen Gadgets: We all know a foodie, right? So there are several options that you can get for them to make their life in the kitchen easier. It could be something like a spiralizer or a julienne peeler. Then they can make zoodles or courgetti to their heart’s content. A juicer is also a gift that will be super useful to a foodie friend. That, a blender, mini food processor, or stick blender are all good ideas, too. As a treat, something like a waffle iron or crepe pan would make an awesome gift (hopefully, one that you’d get to reap the rewards of)! Bakeware is also always a fabulous idea. How about some colorful silicone bakeware that is so on trend these days?

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Bathroom Treats: We all shower or take a bath (I hope!) so we would all make use of things like shower gel, shampoo, and bubble bath soap. You could get a little bathroom set for them, full of all things like lotion, perfume, bath bombs, or bath gel. It isn’t necessarily the most creative gift ever but it is a gift that will definitely be utilized and appreciated. You could choose more luxurious brands than they would choose for themselves, which then makes the gift a little fancier. Another gift idea could be something like an electric toothbrush. This would work well with a niece or daughter, especially if it was one of their favorite characters on the toothbrush.

Who has finished their holiday shopping already? Who is the most difficult person in your family or group of friends to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

BFF Post Wedding Celebration

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BFF Post Wedding Celebration

Hello everyone! My bestie, Lea, got married on October 24th. I was supposed to be a bridesmaid for her big day but, unfortunately, I did not feel comfortable being there cause COVID. Of course, Lea was A-okay about it and was nothing short of totally understanding to all of the concerns I had. That’s what best friends of over twelve years is for! ❤

I wanted nothing more than to be at Lea’s wedding and, after she returned home from her honeymoon and was settled in, we had our own celebration. For the big evening, I got a bottle of champagne and we watched the professional video of the ceremony together.

Lea looked absolutely beautiful on her big day and it made me so emotional to see my bestie who I grew up with walking down the aisle. We laughed, I cried, and it was perfect. This hang out was, honestly, the next best thing to being able to participate in her wedding and I was so thankful that we got to have that time together because all it did was make our sister like bond even stronger.

After hearing all of the amazing stories from her ceremony and the reception to her secluded honeymoon in the mountains, Lea bestowed these lovely gifts onto me:

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^^^ How adorable is that homemade card?!

Lea has gifted her bridesmaids with the cutest prezzies throughout the months leading up to her wedding and I treasure all of them so much. She’s just the most sweet, thoughtful person and I felt honored that she still wanted to include me as much as she could despite my discomfort.

This was, easily, one of the best times I’ve had since COVID began in March and I am never going to forget it. Popping champagne with my BFF and celebrating her happiness got me over the slump that I have been in and I feel so excited to continue having life adventures with Lea every step of the way! ❤

Have you ever participated in a wedding before? How long have you and your bestie been friends for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Up To?

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What Have I Been Up To?

Howdy! I will always be the first to say how much I miss pre-COVID life. I miss going on dates with Johnny, seeing all of our friends, and not worrying my head off every time I’m in public. And, as someone who works with very high risk families, nonessential outings just seem unimportant to me. So what in the heck have I been up to, then, if I don’t do much of anything in public any more? A whole lot of the following:

Reading:

I love, love, love to read and always have so ample at home time has meant finishing beaucoup books. I try to read at least two chapters or thirty or so pages depending on the book daily. Right now, I am finishing up the prequel to The Hunger Games called The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes and it is excellent! I have such a hankering now to go back and read the entire series and watch all of the movies, of course. 😀

The Sleeping Nymph by Ilaria Tuti is what’s on deck after my Hunger Games book. I am also always open to suggestions of your favorite books so be sure to let me know in the comments!

Duolingo:

Like reading, I try to practice all five of the languages I’m learning daily on Duolingo. I am currently on a twenty day streak of studying French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech and that is huge for me. The last time I had a streak that long was when I was recovering for a month from my oral surgery gone wrong.

I am very motivated to keep that streak going and I am so excited for Johnny to get me Duolingo Plus for Christmas so I no longer have to worry about having enough hearts to complete each practice session. I also plan on adding Swedish, Latin, or Greek into the mix next!

Video Chats:

My ultimate BFF, Lea, and I still see each other about once a month to have a social distanced drink at either one of our homesteads. Other than that, I do a lot of FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom to “see” all of the rest of my pals in my friend group. I love setting aside an hour block or so on the weekend to catch up with friends both near and far and it definitely helps keep me sane to chat even if it isn’t face to face.

Video Games:

Johnny and I are both in love with our Nintendo Switch and when I have some free time, I enjoy playing Animal Crossing. It is so relaxing and fun and I am always excited when the game updates so that you can catch new fish and bugs and participate in different activities like growing pumpkins or foraging mushrooms. I cannot wait to see what our island looks like for Christmas!

I also just beat Paper Mario: The Origami King last week and it was an absolute blast. Johnny got it for me for our one year anniversary and it felt so good to finally beat it. The game was insanely entertaining, visually beautiful, and it was challenging without ever being too too hard. I plan on buying a new Mario game for the Switch soon so if anyone has any favorites, please let me know. 🙂

Online Shopping:

Finally, there is nothing like a little bit of online shopping to help perk me up. I have so enjoyed all of my early Christmas shopping and I am very pleased to say that I am almost done buying for everyone on my gift list. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t pick out a little something something for myself too – especially since I haven’t gone shopping in person since February.

I love ordering small pick me ups like face masks to pamper myself with and, when I really feel like splurging, I never say no to a new pair of shoes!

Are the activities I listed above the most exciting? Not by a long shot. But I value my safety and those around me much more than needing to be out and about right now. So, in the end, it’s not all that bad. ❤

What are your favorite at home activities? What do you miss the most from pre-COVID times? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Gourmet Instant Food You Need In Your Life

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Gourmet Instant Food You Need In Your Life

The words “gourmet” and “instant” don’t usually go together. But in our high-tech world of technological voodoo, that’s no longer the case in the realm of food. Today there are all sorts of instant gourmet options available. And it’s taking instant gratification to a whole new level:

Cheese Stuffed Burgers:

Why put cheese on top of your burger patty when you can put it inside, instead? That’s the idea behind cheese-stuffed burgers. As a home chef, you just cook the burgers as you usually would. Then when you bite into them, the cheese oozes out, and you get a massive dose of flavor.

What’s nice about these burgers is how runny the cheese gets when you cook it this way. The meat prevents evaporation, so you wind up with a sous-vide-style experience. These burgers tend to work best with semi-sweet sauces, like BBQ, but you can also pair them with coleslaw or onion rings.

Gourmet Calzones:

Call up your local late night pizza delivery services these days and they will probably offer gourmet options around the clock. Today, it is a completely different experience. Takeouts know that their patrons want quality ingredients and new taste sensations. The standard options are still popular. But there’s also a big market for the finer flavors.

Today, gourmet calzones are a big hit. That’s because you can fit more quality ingredients in them than you can a standard pizza. Goat cheese, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and roasted peppers are all par for the course. And the taste experience is dramatically improved for foodies with sophisticated palates.

Specialty Ramen:

If you thought that ramen was just for students on microscopic budgets, think again. It turns out that multiple vendors are now making gourmet versions that harken back to the original Asian dish. With these meals, you’re getting much more than just some cheap noodles suspended in MSG-filled water. Many come with things like king shiitake mushrooms, wholefood glass noodles, sugar snap peas, black fungus, and marinated tofu. In fact, the number of options is quite spectacular. If you haven’t checked out the market yet, you definitely should!

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Mac n’ Cheese With a Twist:

This classic American dish is usually something you put in the microwave and enjoy steaming hot a few minutes later. But even this “plain” dish is going through a revolution.

The standard version is just a cheese sauce with refined macaroni pieces. It’s comforting, but it’s not healthy food. Today, though, people are discovering that they can create a better experience by combining flavors and using whole food ingredients. So, instead of using refined pasta, they’re using specialty wholemeal versions. And instead of using cheese sauce, they’re replacing it with cashew and nutritional yeast. A lot of budding chefs also like to char some broccoli with soy sauce before mixing into the main meal.

Bean Sausages:

Finally, we’re seeing the rise of bean gourmet sausages made with fresh ingredients. In these recipes, the base is always beans and wholemeal breadcrumbs. People are then adding their choice of herbs to create a variety of flavors to keep them interested throughout the month.

Is your mouth watering yet? Use the ideas above and transform your family dinner tonight!

Featured Image By: Pexels

2020 Approved Christmas Gift Ideas

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2020 Approved Christmas Gift Ideas

Hello! 2020 has been a crazy year, to say the least. And, until the COVID-19 pandemic gets under control, things are going to remain crazy. The coronavirus may have put a damper on your upcoming holiday plans. However, you can still be the best gifter of the bunch with these totally approved for 2020 gift ideas. Check it out:

Streaming Subscription:

If one of your giftees doesn’t have a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Shudder, or Amazon Prime, then this would be the perfect time to introduce them. Buy a subscription for them for a couple of months or, heck, the entire year! The gift of entertainment will certainly go a long way right now and it will give you someone new to talk about all of your favorite shows with.

Gift Cards:

To some, gift cards might feel like a cop out gift. I have never been under that impression and am never opposed to gift cards – especially right now! Gift cards are great because you can use them during online shopping so no visits to the store are required and your giftee can pick out exactly what they want. Safe, smart, and so simple.

Date Night In:

Staying in is the best thing you can do right now so why not create a date night in for your favorite couple? Try sending them a box from Blue Apron or Hello Fresh so that they can prepare a meal together and a new board game for the evening’s entertainment. The wine is optional but would not go unappreciated… For me, at least! 😀

Craft Kits:

Another fun idea for creating entertainment at home for your giftee is assembling a craft kit for them. Whether that be a wooden bird box and some paint for a nature lover, beautiful beads for a friend who makes jewelry, or a sketch pad and colored pencils for your favorite artist a craft kit is thoughtful and sure to be a success for your artistically inclined giftees.

2020 Care Package:

Honestly, everyone can use some help right now and a 2020 care package could be the biggest crowd pleaser of all. Fill a basket with hand made cloth masks from a local business, Purell, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies. Is it the most fun? No. Is it the most useful? Absolutely! It’s just like getting socks for Christmas – no one necessarily loves it but they are always needed! 🙂

If you are struggling with coming up with gifts for everyone on your list, use the tips above for the ultimate 2020 approved ideas!

Are you all done holiday shopping? What are some of your best gift ideas for 2020? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

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Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

Hello!! Normally, the holiday season is an uber exciting time to get together with the people you love most and celebrate. However, with COVID-19 still on the up and up, these next few holidays might feel more daunting than anything. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be different this year but different doesn’t mean bad so try getting more into the holiday spirit with these ideas:

Host A Food Drive:

It’s nice to remember how fortunate we are during the holiday season but it’s even better to think about those who have less than you. So, how about hosting a food drive with your friend group or family? Choose some of your local food banks or homeless shelters to help support and see how big your donation haul can get. Offer a small reward to the person who collected the most goods and turn a collection drive into a yearly tradition.

Mystery Gifts:

Due to COVID, it is much easier and safer to online shop for holiday gifts instead of going into the store. A fun way to recognize this would be to send mystery gifts to your friends or family. No names, no cards – just a Zoom meeting after all of the gifts are received to see if anyone can guess who sent them theirs. Set your own rules like a spending limit or if hints can be given and see how well all of you know each other by sending off surprise gifts!

Arts & Crafts:

Having an abundance of time at home is perfect for trying your hand at some holiday themed crafts. Whether that be creating hand print turkeys with your little ones or having a boozy Christmas ornament decorating sesh with the girls, a craft night is a perfect way to get together and try something new. Have a Zoom meeting all together or social distance appropriately and, who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite hobby.

Countdown Memories:

Sadly, a lot of families will not be able to get together this holiday season and that sucks – for lack of a better word. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in one of the most loved holiday activities – reminiscing on holidays of past. Create a slideshow or presentation of your top holiday memories complete with pictures, videos, or goofy memes to help better describe your favorite times. Send them off to those you hold dear and enjoy hearing about everyone else’s most treasured holiday memories.

Sponsor A Family:

The holiday season should, ideally, be a magical time for everyone but, unfortunately, that is not the case. If there is a family in your community that you know is struggling, lend a helping hand. Leave a surprise donation of toys, gift cards, food, and anything else that you think they would need to better enjoy their day. You might be able to make it the best holiday yet for someone who needs it the most.

How do you get into the holiday spirit? What are some of your favorite holiday memories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Are You Ready To Move In With Your Partner?

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Are You Ready To Move In With Your Partner?

So, you’ve met the perfect person. They make you happy in so many different ways and dating them is a dream. Sure, you’ve got your ups and downs, but nothing so far has been a deal breaker. If you’re wondering whether you’re ready to take the next step – moving in together – then take a look at these four key signs that you can start apartment-hunting:

It’s something you’ve already talked about:

If you aren’t talking about your future, then it might not be the right time to spring a conversation about moving in together on your partner. Not only is it healthy to keep communication lines open with your partner about what your expectations are of the relationship, but it will also indicate that you both want the same things and are prepared to take that next step together.

It’s not about “fixing” things:

You should avoid taking steps in your relationship because you’re expecting them to fix things. Moving in together won’t patch up a rocky relationship – that needs to come before you pick up the keys. Moving in together is a big deal, but it won’t suddenly mean your S.O. becomes a better communicator overnight, or more ambitious, or any other little annoyance that you’ve been ignoring up to now. If that’s your expectation, it might be time to put on the brakes.

You mostly agree:

Okay, we’re not saying you have to agree on everything – that would be pretty boring. But there does have to be a bit of common ground. If everything you’re looking for in an apartment is different, then that’s a reason to pause for thought. Are they interested in buying an apartment off the plan, but it’s not something you want? Or they’d prefer to be further outside the city whereas you want the nightlife? There should be an overlap of what you both want in the place you decide to cohabit. Of course, there will be points of compromise for both of you down this path, but that should make your relationship strong, rather than be a point of contention.

You’re okay with loosing some of your independence:

Again, this isn’t something that you’ll lose entirely. It’s usually a sign of an unhealthy relationship if you’re too dependent on each other. But at the same time, you will be giving up some of your own space and time for someone else. Rather than focusing on anything practical, like whether or not your lease is running out or you spend most of your time sleeping over at each other’s places, think about the emotional side of cohabiting. Is this person who you want to wake up next to every morning? Share meals with? Go through the ups and downs and life stresses with? If there’s a question mark hovering over those things, then you might be rushing into it.

Don’t downplay how important moving in together is – it’s usually the first steps towards a bright future for you and your partner. Just make sure you’re going in with your eyes open before you start picking out bedroom furniture!

Featured Image By: Pexels

New Blue Grey & Glitter Periwinkle Nails

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New Blue Grey & Glitter Periwinkle Nails

Hello! If you have been following Lil Red’s saga at the nail salon, then you will know that the past three times around, I had a nail tech that caused me a lot of grief. During my last appointment, my real nail got cut into and it hurt like the dickens. After that, I said enough is enough and requested someone new for my next appointment.

I am so glad that I did because 1) My experience this fill around was fabulous and 2) Getting my nails done is really the only “outing” that I do other than grocery shopping because I work with so many high risk clients and families. When I get my nails done, I want to fully enjoy my time at the salon because, otherwise, I don’t go out. And, believe you me, enjoying yourself is hard when the tender skin around your nails is being cut multiple times per visit.

I am proud that I stuck up for myself because, usually, I am a very go with the flow kind of gal and only complain when it’s absolutely necessary in a salon situation. This fill has been the first time in three months that I truly felt pampered and I am obsessed with the results. Check it out:

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Despite it being shockingly warm for November in Ohio, I wanted to do a winter wonderland inspired palette. While driving to the salon, I decided I wanted to do a light, sparkly purple along with a shade of grey. I fell in love with the shimmery periwinkle I picked out and, even though I’ve never seen Frozen, it made me think of Elsa!

Once the purple was decided, I found a stormy ocean blue grey to toughen it up. My nails turned out exactly how I wanted them to and the shape that my new tech improved on looked divine after he cut them down and sharpened them up. The best part, though? No cuts, no ouches, and absolutely NO discomfort the entire time. I am one hundred and fifty percent satisfied and I already am looking forward to my next appointment. 🙂 ❤

Have you ever had a similar situation to my previous woes in a salon? How did you handle it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick Swatch In 9 To 5

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Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick Swatch In 9 To 5

Howdy! Today, we are going to be talking about the last product from my hand me down haul from my sister. It is last but certainly not least, though, because the lipstick we’re swatching today is definitely my favorite of the bunch. In this post, we are going to be talking about Smashbox’s Be Legendary lipstick in 9 To 5 and it sure is pretty! Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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First things first, can we please talk about how freaking ADORABLE this lipstick’s tube is?! I have never seen a lippie packaged like this before and it makes me wish all of my lipstick tubes featured poppy colors and fun patterns. This alone made me excited to open up the tube and check out the color and I was not disappointed!

Back when I was a full redhead without my blonde patch, I never would have dreamed of wearing a punchy pink shade. The bright pinks just didn’t look good so I stuck with my red lippie and nude hues pretty exclusively. Now, a whole new color palette has opened up to me and I am obsessed with the watermelon punch 9 To 5.

All I can think about when I see this color is spring time, floral dresses, and a swiping of 9 To 5 on my lips. The texture of this Smashbox lipstick is so creamy yet is long lasting and I am so thankful to my sister for bestowing it onto me. Working 9 To 5 has never been so sweet and sassy with this lippie and I can’t wait to rock it when I actually have an occasion to, lol!

Which makeup brand has the best packaging? Did makeup shades that normally didn’t work for you look better if you have ever changed your hair color? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Creating The Perfect Bedroom

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Creating The Perfect Bedroom

Every now and then, we get a little bored of our bedrooms and decide it needs a makeover. We have got some small and large tips to get your bedroom looking brand new. Check out our suggestions below:

Declutter:

Marie Kondo your room by getting rid of unwanted items that no longer bring you joy. You will notice how much stuff you have accumulated over the years. Decluttering and making room will help clear your mind too.

Choose a color to stick to:

There is a whole rainbow of colors to choose from, so decide on primary colors that go together and start from there. Don’t forget to choose what color wood compliments your chosen colors the best. And always have a theme in mind, there are many websites you can draw inspiration from.

Rugs:

Whether you have carpet or hard floors, a rug can really pull a room together. Get one that’s large enough to place under your bed but protrudes evenly out on either side. Think plush and cushy fabrics for underneath your feet when you first wake up!

Think about built in wardrobes:

Opting for built-in wardrobes can make your room appear bigger and less cluttered. Find a good place to tuck them away and, to make your bedroom look even more spacious, go for mirrored doors to bounce the light.

Redecorate the walls:

Over time our walls gather marks and fingerprints and are in need of a fresh coat of paint. If you don’t want to change the color, you can repaint your walls the same shade, this will make your room look clean and fresh. For a more bold change, either paint or wallpaper one wall to create a feature wall.

Incorporate mirrors:

As said above, adding mirrors into your room creates light and the illusion of more space. If you haven’t opted for mirrors on your wardrobe doors, find a place for a statement mirror.

Hang art:

Hanging a large piece of art above your bed can be eye catching for anyone who enters. If paintings aren’t your thing, then select a photo and get it enlarged and framed or you can create a collage full of your favorite images.

Choosing your bed:

If you found that decluttering didn’t clear as much as you hoped for, then changing your bed to an ottoman or dividend bed can help. It has handy storage underneath to keep all of your rarely used bits hidden away. If you have managed to declutter, then any bed is your choice. If you are feeling grande, then why not opt for a four-poster bed? So luxurious!

Decorate the bed:

You can’t go wrong with decorating your bed with the most comfy cushions and throws. Don’t go mad taking up half the bed with cushions, you don’t want it to look overcrowded. Instead, have a maximum of six or fewer.

We hope we have got you excited about creating your perfect bedroom by just incorporating a few of these ideas! For more home tips, check out Getting Your Home In Shape For Cold Weather.

Featured Image By: SHOP SLO® on Unsplash

Women’s Golf, Is It Time To Increase Its Popularity?

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Women’s Golf, Is It Time To Increase Its Popularity?

Golf club managers have a lot of questions about Millennials. However, we must not forget that there are still too few women in the field. According to our statistics, approximately 75% of the millions of golfers who use our software are male. This proportion is enormous! If women’s attendance equaled men’s, our bookings could increase by 47%. Golf is not a sport physically inaccessible to women so why are so few playing? Rather, the problem lies in the culture of the golf community itself and within the media. Changing your club culture is no easy task, but there are several steps you can take to gain the interest of women:

Organize camps and lessons for young women:

The earlier and the younger the players start playing, the better. Learning is through teaching and instruction. Setting up training camps for young women is the perfect way to get more girls to play golf, besides giving parents a break during summer vacation. During camp planning, take the time to find inspiring leaders. It is more motivating and interesting for young girls to refer to a female model. Your young golfers could be marked for life by the teaching of a strong and talented woman. If you have an interest in golf from a young age, then this hobby should certainly be nurtured.

Host an event to celebrate Women’s Golf Day:

If you didn’t know, Women’s Golf Day is an internationally successful initiative celebrating current and future golfers. The event is repeated every year in June. Normally, this celebration lasts about four hours and is divided into two: two hours are spent on golf and two more on networking. The first half can consist of playing a nine-hole game, taking lessons, doing practice sessions, showing new product demos, or just practicing on the driving range. After golf, participants are encouraged to socialize over a drink or a meal. In some cases, golf clubs invite speakers and promote business networking.

Golf clubs that have organized an event to celebrate Women’s Golf Day have said they have witnessed an increase in their female clientele. Some participants continued with the lessons, and others even bought an annual membership! There is certainly a shift in the sports industry when publicity is used to its advantage. The media are responsible for the success of many marketing campaigns, and with sports becoming a more intrinsic part of our lives, for fitness and pleasure, it is certainly important to look out online for all the newest news and information relating to women in the industry. It’s a great way to promote women’s sports proactively.

Get Fashionable:

Sports clothing has become much more fashionable recently. We appreciate the comfort and the style of sportswear, and it has been incorporated into our everyday life. When women play golf, there is no reason to say that they can’t look dazzling in their apparel. Ladies golf clothing is now better than ever. Golf fashion is timeless, elegant, and a real must-have on the golf course.

Hit the green with more girl power than ever with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick Swatch In Ayesha

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Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick Swatch In Ayesha

Hello!! The swatches from my hand me down haul from my sister just keep on coming. Today, we are going to be chatting about Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ayesha. I have never used her products before, I don’t exactly plan on it, and I am also not the biggest fan of the shade we’re swatching. However, just because it wouldn’t look flattering on me doesn’t apply to everyone and some of you might love it! Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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My first impression of this lippie after opening the tube was the smell of it. At first, I thought it smelled really creamy – kind of like opening up a big tub of ice cream or a fresh gallon of milk. But, unfortunately, as I kept smelling the product while applying it, I realized it smelled faintly rotten as if the milk had gone sour. So, trust and believe I was more than happy to put a heart on my hand to see the color instead of putting it on my lips!

As far as the color goes, I don’t hate it but it would wash me out completely as it is much too purple for me. If I want to rock a shade in the mauve family, it absolutely needs to have pink undertones. Maybe next Halloween I could use it if I went as something undead but for normal use? Forget about it, lol.

My last comment on Kat Von D’s Liquid Everlasting Lipstick was that it did stay on very well! It smudged a little after it was dry but other than that the lippie didn’t budge and I had to scrub at it fairly hard with soap and water to remove it completely. So, it’s nice to know that if you do want to experiment with this product that it does have a lot of holding power. 🙂

Would I recommend this lipstick? Not necessarily. I am glad that I got to try it out from the comfort of my home, though, so big ups to my sister for giving me something new to me for all of us to learn more about!

What is your favorite shade of lipstick to wear? Which shade doesn’t look the best on you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Ways To Keep Your Workers Safe & Healthy

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4 Ways To Keep Your Workers Safe & Healthy

Your employees are the backbone of your company. They keep it up and running and help you reach your goals. Therefore, it’s wise to implement ways to keep your workers safe and healthy.

The following advice will help you maintain a productive and satisfactory workplace so everyone is happy and stays well. It’s your responsibility as the business owner and boss to ensure your work environment keeps your employee’s safe and that they feel comfortable coming into the office each day. You’ll find that you will deal with fewer accidents or mishaps and that your workers won’t be out sick as much when you follow through with these suggestions:

Clean & Disinfect Often:

If you want to continue to operate and serve your clients during these trying times, then you must be prepared to maintain a clean and sanitary workspace. It’s a reality that many business owners like yourself have to deal with and manage daily. Keep your workers safe and healthy by cleaning and disinfecting the work environment, surfaces, and your building often. Consider hiring a professional restoration services team that specializes in deep cleaning to protect against the coronavirus and other illnesses.

Document & Communicate Policies & Procedures:

Another way to keep your workers safe and healthy is to document and communicate policies and procedures. Put it in writing, so there is less confusion among your workers. You must set expectations early on and have rules in place that help keep them protected and out of harm’s way. Circulate these documents and provide copies to your employees so they can review them and ask any questions they have. These guidelines will help you to maintain a safe and healthy working environment.

Encourage A Culture Of Work/Life Balance:

It’s also wise to encourage a culture of work-life balance at your office. Keep your workers safe and healthy by letting them know the importance of them taking care of themselves and that they have your full support in doing so. They’ll have more energy and get better sleep this way and, in turn, will be more productive and content at work. Ensure each person has an amount of work they can realistically handle and have others jump in and help whenever necessary. You might also want to obtain an employee discount to a local gym and implement half-day Fridays during the summertime to show that you’re committed to this initiative. 

Train Your Employees:

You can also prevent injuries and keep your workers safe and healthy by training them. Make sure that they know how to work special equipment or handle toxic chemicals if applicable in your work environment. You want to do all that’s in your power to ensure your employees can do their jobs correctly while at the same time remaining safe and protected. You’re also showing that you’re invested in your workers by making sure they are properly trained and that you’re committed to them performing well on the job.

Implement the tips above and keep those in your company safe during the coronavirus pandemic!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Ill Fitting Face Mask? Try This Quick Tip!

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Ill Fitting Face Mask? Try This Quick Tip!

Hello! It is so important to wear a face mask right now to help with the spread of COVID-19. It is also so important that your face mask fits well and that there are no gaps anywhere that leave parts of your face exposed. I love my cloth masks, myself, because I find that they fit much better than the surgical masks, which are very loose on me.

My mom is a very petite lady and has the cutest little face. But that means that some cloth masks can be really big on her. This past week, she told me her secret for improving the fit of her masks and it is so simple and smart that I just had to share it with all of you:

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If the top half of your cloth mask slides past your nose and can open up to expose the inside, then all you need is a bag of coffee grounds for the solution. Actually, all you need is the silver safety seal on a bag of coffee grounds to help keep it fresh.

Once your seal has been acquired, all you need to do is slide it up to the top crease of your mask through the opening. This will then act as a clamp so that you can tighten the top half, much like the tops of the blue surgical masks.

This quick fix has improved my mom’s mask game tenfold and all it takes is a bag of coffee. So, grab your favorite blend, keep caffeinated, use this tip, and pass it along to anyone who might find it helpful! 🙂

What are some of your fixes for an ill fitting mask? Where do you find the cutest face masks? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lisa Frank X Glamour Dolls Eyeshadow Swatch In Stargazing

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Lisa Frank X Glamour Dolls Eyeshadow Swatch In Stargazing

Hi! Back when I was in grade school a million years ago, it was all about all Lisa Frank everything. From her colorful designs, lots of shimmer, and cute animals adorning school supplies and book bags, it was impossible to not get into the Lisa Frank hype. It has been forever since I have thought about that brand but memories of my favorite LF notebooks came rushing back when I found a Lisa Frank eyeshadow in the hand me downs my sister gave me.

This eyeshadow in Stargazing is a special nod to Lisa Frank’s signature style and it also happens to be one of my fave colors. So, take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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^^^ The first heart is the eyeshadow applied wet and the second one is applied dry.

Everything about this eyeshadow is so fab to me. From the punchy purple and silver packaging to the glittering hue of shooting stars once you open the compact, this is Lisa Frank to the T. When I first saw this eyeshadow in my hand me down haul, I was shocked because I had no idea that a collaboration between Lisa Frank and Glamour Dolls even happened. But, now that I see it, my only question is why the heck it didn’t happen sooner!

This eyeshadow also couldn’t have come soon enough because I was running dangerously low on my go to bronze shade from The Body Shop. Out of all of the eyeshadows that I swatched these past few days, I can definitely say that I will be wearing this Stargazing hue the most. I just know I’m going to love it and, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s even prettier than my old TBS fave seen here. 😀

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Bring on all of the fun of early 2000’s Lisa Frank with this amazing eyeshadow!

Did you have any Lisa Frank gear back in the day? What did it look like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Beaute Basics Eyeshadow Swatch In Satin Taupe

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Beaute Basics Eyeshadow Swatch In Satin Taupe

Hello! Today, we are going to be taking a look at an eyeshadow by Beaute Basics thanks to a hand me down haul from my sister, Kristen. The shade that I’m swatching is called Satin Taupe and I can definitely picture myself wearing it! So, take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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^^^ The top heart is the eyeshadow applied while wet and the second one is applied while dry.

As you all know, nothing pleases Lil Red more than a metallic hue from the bronze or brown family. I just think it looks so flattering with my eyes and skin tone and I never venture too far from those shades when it comes to my makeup. My sister knows this better than anyone because she constantly makes fun of me for it, lol. But, she is also my biggest supporter because when I get hand me downs from her, nine times out of ten there is some type of shimmery gold or brown eyeshadow waiting for me.

Beaute Basics was right in calling this shade Satin Taupe because it seriously applied smooth as satin. The eyeshadow felt so soft but it was still nice and compact. This was a huge bonus because I find that the softer shadows usually apply pretty flaky and you end up with more makeup around your eyes than on the lid itself.

What I liked the most about this eyeshadow is the fact that the color on my skin was true to what I saw in the compact, unlike the Elizabeth Mott shade that I swatched yesterday. My only recommendation would be applying it wet because the eyeshadow is more of a shimmer when dry as opposed to an actual, bold color. I can’t wait to add this Beaute Basics hue into my makeup arsenal!

Do you like to experiment with makeup? Or, like me, do you have a handful of shades that you stick with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Best Ways To Surprise Yourself

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The Best Ways To Surprise Yourself

Life can get pretty stale sometimes. Most of the time, if we want to be surprised, we have to wait for someone else to do it by arranging a spontaneous trip or giving us a gift. But what if we didn’t wait? What if, when we wanted to be surprised, we did it ourselves? It might not sound possible since being surprised is all about not knowing what’s coming, but we think it can be done, and we think it should be done. Here are some of our ideas:

Join A Subscription Box:

A subscription box is definitely something you can surprise yourself with. You’ll be sent a new box each month, and you’ll never know what’s going to be inside it. So, although you organized the box to be delivered, and although you’re paying for it, it’s still going to be a surprise. At the same time, it’s something you can look forward to, and this is a scarce combination indeed.

The key to enjoying your subscription box is to pick something you know you’re going to love, whatever the box’s actual contents might be. You could choose a Me Time Box or something that delivers food or cooking ingredients. There are boxes of clothes, bath salts, perfumes, and books. There are subscription boxes for pretty much everything, so search around and you’re sure to find one you like.

Write Yourself Notes:

We might think we’ve got good memories, but the human brain doesn’t remember everything. It only keeps the most important things where they can easily be reached through memory, and everything else is stored away much deeper. These things can usually only be triggered by a certain smell, photographs, or perhaps stories from friends and relatives.

This is why writing notes to yourself can be a great surprise. Write some positive notes and leave them in places where you know you’ll find them later on – maybe months down the line. When you find them, it will be a pleasant surprise and something to make you feel good. Some examples of what you can write include:

  • Stay positive
  • You are beautiful
  • You are loved
  • I’m proud of you
  • Keep going

Place the notes into drawers, under cushions, in coat pockets, in books, or even in outside places that you’re going to return to time and again.

Say Yes:

When we are asked to do something or given any kind of opportunity, there are two responses. You’ll either say yes or no. It’s easier to say no. Saying no means that nothing has to change, and we don’t have to try anything new. So most of the time, that’s what we’ll say.

Why not surprise yourself and say yes, instead? This will give you the chance to try all kinds of new things. Some you will dislike, some you will enjoy, and others you might fall in love with, and your life might change (for the better) because of it. Unless you say yes and give yourself a surprise, you’ll never know. Staying in your comfort zone is not surprising and will only cause stress and anxiety over time. At the very least, you’ll be bored!

Say yes to the ideas above and give yourself a surprise today!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Flooring For Your Retail Store

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Flooring For Your Retail Store

Commercial flooring may be something you are considering if you are opening up a new store or you have determined that it is time for a re-vamp. There are many different types of flooring to pick from, and below we will tell you what needs to be considered when choosing flooring for your retail store.

The first factor to keep in mind is how the commercial flooring looks. A lot of people will only shop in places that visually appeal to them. This is why selecting the right flooring is so crucial. Consider the color and the tone. In hidden corners, dark floors can carry connotations of dirt. Light floors have the benefit of opening up the store and making it look bigger. For excitement and warmth, consider the likes of melon, orange, paprika, and other warm colors. For a modern and refined style, flooring in shades of grey, navy, or mint works effectively.

You also need to consider the resilience, as your floor will need to be able to withstand a high amount of foot track. If you’re going to go for carpet, make sure you put together a carpet cleaning schedule to keep on top of things. You also need flooring that has a high level of friction. The last thing you want is for your clients to fall or slip while looking around. Not only would they end up being injured, but you’d be liable.

Additionally, when choosing commercial flooring, you have to consider the product. A prime example would be a bike store. Most have non-slip flooring, as this is essential for when customers are trying out bicycles.

What About Flotex Flooring?

In the past, business owners had the option of wood, tiling, or carpet when it came to flooring. This was the case for many years. However, there are now lots of flooring choices available, and one of these options is Flotex.

Flotex commercial flooring is very much like a hybrid of vinyl and carpet flooring. It combines the best features of the two, resulting in commercial flooring that is cheap, practical, and aesthetically pleasing. You will find this type of flooring in a lot of public spaces, including classrooms, gyms, and libraries. So, what makes it so popular?

Flotex flooring is easy to look after and hygienic. Carpets trap everything, from allergens and spills to dirt. This is because the fibers are typically curved. Flotex flooring does not do this, as the fibers are upright. This makes the flooring a lot easier to clean.

You can also expect high levels of comfort and durability with Flotex flooring because it has more fibers than carpet, which makes it very comfortable. It also means that it is long-lasting and durable too, which is why it works well in environments where there is a high amount of traffic.

You can also expect better acoustic qualities when compared with other flooring alternatives due to the sheer number of fibers. As you can see, there are many benefits associated with Flotex, and this is why it is also popular in homes and businesses.

Signs You Need To Replace Your Carpet:

Nothing looks worse than a dirty or worn carpet. It can have a negative impact on the overall appearance of your business. Signs that you need to get rid of your current carpet includes stains that cannot be removed, as well as an excessive amount of wear and tear. Is your carpet giving off a bad odor? There is only so much air freshener you can use to disguise this. Plus, not everyone wants to smell artificial air sprays when at work.

Have you noticed that more and more people are suffering from allergies at your business? Allergies are made worse when a carpet is old. This is because the carpet retains more particulate matter and allergens. An increase in allergies is likely to come from your carpet. You also need to look at the state of the carpet padding. If you don’t have any padding, the carpet is essentially nothing but a layer of fabric. The padding improves insulation, buffers sound, and provides comfort. When this layer is worn, you need to replace your carpet with new commercial flooring, as it has lost its effectiveness.

Use the tips above and get your business looking its best with new flooring!

Featured Image By: Pexels