Lil Red’s Book Club: The Wife Upstairs By Rachel Hawkins Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Wife Upstairs By Rachel Hawkins Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller by Rachel Hawkins called The Wife Upstairs – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, I will be putting a trigger warning on this book for general violence. Now, let’s get to it:

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Jane is on the run from her old life after a not so desirable experience in the foster care system and one major incident. Desperate to start fresh, she winds up in the apartment of a skeezy friend in the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama. After a stint slinging coffees in a local cafe, she lands a gig as a dog walker in the posh Thornfield Estates, a gated community crawling with Stepford Wives, huge properties, and lots and lots of money.

Plain Jane has an eye for pretty things and is a chronic kleptomaniac. She feels right at home in the mansions she works in, although constantly feeling like she doesn’t belong from her lack of funds. This is all about to change drastically, though, after a chance encounter with a widower named Eddie.

Eddie is charming, handsome, filthy rich, and has been grieving the loss of his wife, Bea, and her best friend in a tragic boating accident. A whirlwind relationship between him and Jane begins and it is like a dream come true for her. In the blink of an eye, Jane has access to more money than she can imagine and can’t believe her good luck. What she doesn’t know is that Eddie is hiding a terrible secret in his own home.

While Jane is enjoying her newfound duties of live in girlfriend and fitting in with the neighborhood wives, a police investigation begins. The body of Bea’s best friend, Blanche, has been found and it appears that her death was no accident. This puts Eddie and Blanche’s husband at the forefront of the investigation and Jane begins to wonder if she ever knew Eddie at all. Will the body of Eddie’s wife be found? And is Jane next? Read The Wife Upstairs to find out!

When I first started reading this book, I admit that I wasn’t immediately sold on it. The first forty or so pages, I feared that The Wife Upstairs was a bit too cutesy for my liking but then the pace picked up drastically. I devoured this thriller in three days and my only regret is that it wasn’t longer. It. Was. SO. Good!

The Wife Upstairs is a far cry from the usual murder mysteries that I read and I think that’s why I liked it so much. With multiple narrators, there were twists and turns at every page and, for once, I didn’t see the final grand reveal coming at all. Believe you me, I’m just as surprised by that as all of you are.

This book is a true testament to the age old adage of “money can’t buy happiness” but, despite each character’s flaws, there were things that I liked about all of them. This made it difficult to determine whodoneit because my loyalty shifted each time there was a plot twist. I can’t give away some of these game changers without spoiling things right off the bat, but just know that this book is definitely worth the read.

I am going to award The Wife Upstairs with the coveted ten out of ten stars. I was so pleasantly surprised by it and loved being blindsided with every page. If, like me, you like to try and figure out the grand reveal of a book beforehand, I advise not making split decisions and viewing each character with a more discerning eye. I highly, highly recommend this book – especially if you are looking for a “lighter” thriller.

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

Making A Small Home Feel Spacious

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Making A Small Home Feel Spacious

There are plenty of benefits to having a small home, one of the biggest would be the fact that smaller homes are significantly more eco-friendly compared to larger ones. Less energy is used to warm up the space, and this on its own means there is less of a chance of furnace repair or high energy costs. While small homes have their perks such as being more sustainable, it’s understandable why people would prefer to gravitate more towards larger spaces.

Larger spaces tend to make people feel happy. There is more breathing more in a large space and more privacy. Larger spaces also tend to look better from an interior design perspective. But what about living in a small space? While small spaces are far more eco-friendly, is there a way to make them feel more spacious? These tips can help:

Add a lot of lighting:

Lighting is one of the best ways to create a spacious look for your home. Most (but not all) smaller homes, especially apartments, will tend to have low ceilings. Low ceilings essentially add fuel to the fire of having a space look far too small. So you’ll want to think about creating illusions and how to maintain them.

When it comes to spaces, it’s best to utilize natural lighting whenever possible, but it’s also acceptable to have artificial lighting too. You’ll want the space to be very bright. One idea for carrying out this bright space can include adding some lamps in corners of the room, removing curtains, and placing mirrors on the wall where they can easily reflect light. Doing all of this will help in achieving an airy space.

Be wise with your furnishing choices:

When it comes to furniture, it can be quite tricky. Sure, you want a style in your home that feels right for you. That’s completely understandable but you should also keep in mind what your options are too. If your furniture is too big and bulky, then it’s only going to cut down on the free space that you have in your home. You may be better off cutting down on the statement pieces that you have and pick pieces of furniture that have multiple functions such as a couch with storage space or an ottoman-chair combination.

Always declutter:

You should make a habit of decluttering on a regular basis. This can also help with your mental health as tight and cramped spaces tend to make people feel anxious. Decluttering allows you to give yourself the mental challenge of what you can and can’t part with and will help open the space up. This is not to say to clear out your entire home but to limit the objects that are making your space feel cramped.

Making a smaller home feel larger is all about making smart choices and creating illusions. Using storage spaces will be your friend, too, and there is no shame in tucking away those odds and ends you don’t know what to do with!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Nars Blush Swatches In Behave & Dolce Vita

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Nars Blush Swatches In Behave & Dolce Vita

Hi! Today, we are going to take a look at swatches from the last two blushes in my Nars Basic Instincts 1 palette. These colors are called Behave and Dolce Vita. While they might not be my favorite colors at first glance, I do intend on at least giving them a shot as an attempt to break out of my makeup comfort zone – we’ll see what happens! Now, let’s get to it:

^^^ The fourth picture is the swatch in Behave and the fifth picture is Dolce Vita.

When first looking at Behave, I thought that it might be too dark for my liking so I was pleased to see that it applied as a dusty rose. I think I could work with this blush but it’s not one that I would pick out for myself as I prefer brighter colors on my cheeks. Behave might be a nice shade for fall and winter but it wouldn’t be my go to choice for spring or summer. It is still pretty, though, and I will use it to dip my toes in the water of something other than my favorite shade of bubblegum pink.

On the other hand, we have Dolce Vita and it actually reminds me of the blush that my mom would put on me for skating competitions. Which is probably why I am tentative on it because we all know that competition makeup can be over the top! While the shade is almost identical, I admit that it’s much more subtle lol. I can’t picture myself using Dolce Vita too often but it could be a good look for a date night. In the end, I do think it would be more flattering on someone who isn’t me!

Although I am not head over heels about all of the blushes in the Nars Basic Instincts 1 palette, I am looking forward to using it. I do love the first blush in Orgasm and the other three hues will be ones that I can experiment with. I’m thinking that if I mix them with other preferred shades, I might have a better outcome. Many thanks again to my sister for this gift! ❤

What is your favorite blush? Which colors of makeup push you out of your comfort zone? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

On The Job Hunt? Try These Tips!

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On The Job Hunt? Try These Tips!

Applying for job after job while getting no response or interest can be such a disheartening experience, but there are a number of reasons that your resume might be falling flat. Thankfully, this guide contains everything that you need to know to improve your chances of achieving success in your search for a new career. We promise, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might expect to get started today. So, if you’re ready to find out more, then read on:

Get Another Qualification:

When a potential employer is scanning through your resume, one of the most important things that they’re searching for is a list of your qualifications. If this list is limited at best, then there’s no surprise that your application gets put to the back of the pile. Having qualifications proves that you have the relevant knowledge and experience in your chosen field, and it shows an employer that you have studied hard to improve your chances of gaining a more rewarding role.

There are many different qualifications that you can study for in the modern education system, from online courses that fit around your schedule to full time, on campus learning that throws you right into the topic you choose. Whether you decide to take the ITIL foundation exam or opt for a managerial course at night school, the more qualifications you have, the better your chances are of getting ahead of your competition. Making the decision to head back to school as an adult can be a great indicator of commitment and motivation, which is something that most employers will look out for when choosing a suitable candidate.

Confidence Is Key:

Whether you’re walking into a business to hand over your job application or attending an interview for your dream role, confidence is always key. You need to show your potential employer that you have the utmost confidence in your own abilities, having faith in the fact that you can offer unique skills and insight that other candidates cannot bring to the table. Your resume should be one that’s written with self assurance, removing any sign of self doubt to promote your positives and individual selling points.

Going into an interview with the fear that you won’t get the job is a recipe for disaster, as you’ll stumble over your answers and cower further into your seat as the conversation progresses. Instead, sit proudly with your head held high, wearing a confident smile that shows a potential employer that you’re ready and waiting to take on whatever challenge lays ahead of you.

When you can fully commit to improving your career through study and aim to maintain the highest levels of confidence throughout your quest for a rewarding role, then you’re far more likely to find and secure the job of your dreams!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Nars Blush Swatches In Orgasm & Orgasm X

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Nars Blush Swatches In Orgasm & Orgasm X

Hi! My big sis gifted me with some new makeup for Christmas and today we are going to check out some swatches from the Nars Basic Instincts 1 blush palette. She claims that the Nars blushes are “the best” so I am very excited to incorporate them into my makeup routine. Here’s to stepping out of my makeup comfort zone in 2022! Let’s get started by talking about Orgasm and Orgasm X and tomorrow, be sure to tune in for the remaining shades:

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^^^ Orgasm is the fourth picture and Orgasm X is the fifth.

When first opening my new palette, I was immediately drawn to our first swatch in Orgasm… Which feels funny to say but, then again, I have the sense of humor of a twelve year old lol. I loved the bubblegum, glittery hue that isn’t too far of a cry from a blush that I already use. Give me any makeup with a touch of shimmer in it and I am so there for it. I can definitely picture myself using this shade often and think that it will really compliment my fairer complexion.

Orgasm X, on the other hand, is a pretty color but is one that I can’t say that I would use for myself. It has the glitter going for it, however, I fear that it would look clownish on me because it is a deeper shade than I have ever used before. I do think it would look lovely on someone with a darker complexion, especially because it has an orangey tint to it for the ultimate sunkissed look.

When it comes to blushes, I prefer a cream one and don’t use packed powder too often. So, I was very impressed with how soft and creamy these Nars blushes were. It was so easy to apply and didn’t feel cakey in the slightest. Some powder products just crumple to the touch but that wasn’t the case for this palette at all. Very nice!

Tomorrow, we will be taking a look at the final two shades in Behave and Dolce Vita. Then, keep tuning in for future OOTDs so you can see these new blushes in action!

Which blushes do you like from this palette? What are your thoughts on Nars products? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Helping Your Child Choose The Right College 

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Helping Your Child Choose The Right College 

Going to college can be one of the biggest and most exciting things for you and your child, but when it comes to choosing the right one? It can be a challenge, to say the least. College doesn’t suit everyone, and not every college will suit every person, either. Many colleges offer different clubs, opportunities, career pathways, and support. Scholarships, grants, and other funding will also vary from school to school.

So how can you make sure that your child finds the best place for them? Read on to find out more:

Career goals:

One of the most important things to know about the colleges in question is if it supports your child’s eventual career goals. While many colleges have prestigious reputations, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be the right place. Educational institutions like Rockford Career College often offer a clearer view of career prospects after graduation.

Applications:

After you have created your shortlist, it is time to apply. Make sure that you have all of the paperwork that will be required. The application packs should have all of the information you need about costs. It can also be a good idea to discuss if your child should stay at home while they study or how accommodation might look if the commute is too long.

Be sure to spread the application process over a few days so that you and your child don’t get tired. Each one needs to be as good as possible.

Visiting:

Traveling to visit all of the universities can be an expensive endeavor, but it is essential. This means that you and your child will have a good idea of how it is situated, the student body, and even speak to some teachers. It is vital to find somewhere that your child feels comfortable – it is often obvious where they feel the most at home and which establishment sparks the most joy.

Practical:

It is often our biggest hope that they will get into a prestigious school on a full scholarship and be happy. But this doesn’t always work out. It might be due to grades; it could be because of financial situations or distance. When you first start browsing all of the options, practical things are up for discussion too. It isn’t about quashing dreams but tackling some things on a reasonable level. Ensure that each application they send is somewhere that they will be happy to go and that it makes practical sense in terms of their situation.

When your child is getting ready to leave for college, it is a big thing for everyone. You might have some hesitations about them leaving the nest, but you must move into a supportive role. College is often one of the first times that older children are allowed to spread their wings and see what truly makes them happy.

Arming them with knowledge and support is a must, so here is a great post that can help: 3 Things All College Students Should Know | lifewithlilred.

Featured Image By: Rui Silvestre on Unsplash

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick Swatch In Dazed

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick Swatch In Dazed

Howdy! Today, we are going to be swatching the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick that I got from my sister for Christmas in a shade called Dazed. I have never used anything by ABH before so I was very excited to receive it as a gift! This ultra pretty pinky maroon hue is a perfect shade for fall and winter and I cannot wait to complete an OOTD with a swiping of it on my lips. Check it out:

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When it comes to makeup, I prefer to stick with my old faithfuls rather than try anything different. It might not make for the most exciting MOTDs, but it’s what I’m comfortable with and capable of applying lol. That is why I am so thankful for my sister because whether it be hand me downs or new makeup as a gift, she always tries to get me out of my comfort zone!

This ABH liquid lippie is definitely a color that I wouldn’t have picked out for myself but, then again, what do I know? I consider my sister to be a makeup guru so if she thinks that it will work, then I trust her. When swatching, I was pleased by how quickly this lipstick dried into a nice, matte hue. I am a matte girl all the way – mainly because you can eat with it on and it won’t budge. 😀

I think that the Dazed shade will look simply charming with a comfy cozy OOTD of a soft cardigan or sweater, skirt with tights, and knee high boots. The deep raspberry color will pop against the grey days of winter and I will be sure to wear it during mine and Johnny’s next date day.

In my opinion, a present that you wouldn’t get for yourself is the best kind so my new Anastasia Beverly Hills lipstick was a wonderful surprise. Thanks again, sis! Be sure to tune in tomorrow for some swatches from my Nars blush palette. ❤

What is your favorite makeup brand? Who do you turn to for makeup inspiration? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Harbor Blue & Shadow Grey Nails

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New Harbor Blue & Shadow Grey Nails

Hello! This past Wednesday, I spent some time at Elysian Nails after work getting pampered. It was much needed because some of my acrylics were lifting and they were looking all around jank. Thankfully, my fave nail tech quickly solved all of the problematic claws and I even had a gift card to spend from Johnny’s aunt for Christmas. Getting pampered is great but it’s even better when it’s free! Check it out:

Before my appointments at Elysian Nails, I normally have a pretty good idea of what polish colors I would like to use. This time around, however, I had no idea and stood at the nail polish wall waiting for something to speak for me. At first, I had a cobalt blue in mind and thought that grey would look nice with it. I was all set with these two hues until the harbor blue bottle of polish caught my eye and I knew that I had found my match. Right away, my nail tech told me how much she liked my choices so, needless to say, I was feeling my damn self!

As soon as I got to my nail tech’s station, I literally sank into the chair. I don’t think I realized how tired I was from my holiday weekend with my family until I had time to myself to relax! As always, it was an absolute delight to get my nails done and the conversation was great as per ushe too. It is so fun to be able to have my monthly catch up with my tech so we can dish about anything and everything. What is said in the salon chair stays in the salon chair, after all.

I am in love with the end result of my fill and the stormy seas color palette is one of my favorite combinations I’ve done in a while. It feels so perfect for those grey January days! After my nails have dried, I always leave Elysian Nails feeling like a million bucks. I can’t wait to go back next month and spend the rest of my gift card! 😀

What color are your nails? Which colors should I get next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Oh Deer!

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Oh Deer!

Hi! During our family holiday weekend at Oglebay, we jam packed a ton of activities into a short period of time. The property was beautiful with fun events happening everywhere you looked as well as what seemed like a never ending amount of deer roaming about. One particular family of deer seemed to take a liking to hanging around our lodge and were so tame that we were able to feed them peanuts right out of the palm of our hands. It. Was. Awesome! Check it out:

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When my deer friends first started congregating in the front of our lodge, I thought it was lucky to be able to see them so closely. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that they would come right up to my sister and I for a snack but I have photographic proof of that! At first, we just threw some peanuts in their general direction to see what happened. They must have really liked them because, shortly after, they just started coming directly to the source for more. 😀

Throughout our stay, we must have seen close to fifty deer and many of them were enjoying treats from other families too. I would have been completely satisfied just feeding the deer our entire weekend stay and was so sad when my friends eventually had their fill and headed back into the woods. However, something tells me that they will have no problem finding another family to score some snacks with upon our return home!

What an amazing experience this was because hand feeding the deer in my neck of the woods would never happen. This was one of the many highlights of my holiday weekend at Oglebay! ❤

What kind of wildlife resides in your area? What is your favorite animal? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Stay Clear Minded And Focused Throughout The Day

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How To Stay Clear Minded And Focused Throughout The Day

If you’re someone who tends to get distracted and you find it harder to focus the longer the day drags on, there are many reasons why that might be the case. Today, we’re going to take a look at the things you can do to stay focused and be more clear minded throughout your working day. A combination of the ideas discussed below might deliver exactly what you’re looking for:

Go to Bed and Get Up Earlier:

First of all, you should take a look at your sleeping patterns and routines. If you’re going to bed late and then skipping the alarm five times before you get out of bed, your mornings are always going to be more chaotic and stressful than they should be. And that can lead to problems with focus due to a lack of sleep and a good morning routine throughout the day. So go to bed earlier and get up earlier too.

Take Regular Breaks:

It’s a good idea not to work yourself too hard if you can help it. By taking regular breaks away from your desk and the computer screen throughout the working day, you can make sure that you’re not becoming too tired and drained. If you don’t take breaks, by the time you reach the middle of the afternoon, you’ll probably be exhausted and your performance will decline.

Drink More Water:

Drinking more water and staying hydrated throughout the day is one of the best things that you can do to stay focused and keep your mind clear. You’ll become more distracted and irritable, finding it harder to stay focused when you’re not staying properly hydrated. If you don’t really enjoy drinking water, you can find a coffee or try the best bubble tea you can find; just stay away from drinks that contain too much sugar.

Stay Away from Excessive Multitasking:

Staying away from too much multitasking is definitely a good idea if you want to make sure that you don’t get bogged down in too much work. When you multitask, you also don’t work in a way that’s efficient. So try to focus on taking on one task at a time because that’s usually something that yields better results and better focus throughout the whole day.

Work on Building Willpower:

Finally, you should think about whether your willpower or a lack of it is negatively impacting your work performance. If you struggle to focus on the task at hand, it might be because you give in to distractions and other temptations too easily. By training your brain to focus on what you’re doing and building your willpower up, you should be able to stay focused for longer.

We all need to stay on our A game throughout the day, especially when we’re juggling our jobs with our family responsibilities and the like. If focus is something that you’ve been struggling with lately, be sure to give the ideas above a try and see if they help you out!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Choosing A Style That Feels Right For Your Home 

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Choosing A Style That Feels Right For Your Home 

There are so many websites that are filled with beautiful home decor. It’s not even just online either, as you’ll find plenty of ideas just by visiting department stores, checking out magazines, look books, and watching TV. With so many options for your home decor, it can feel overwhelming!

Nowadays the consumer is having to deal with new styles and trends being thrown at them constantly and home decor is a part of this too. Do you know about fast fashion and how new fashion trends come out almost monthly? It’s the same for interior decor too. This can make it incredibly difficult to figure out what’s best for your home when products are changing rapidly.

Today, we are going to look at some tips to help you figure out your own personal style when it comes to home decor – no HGTV or fleeting trends required:

Create a list of what you like:

One of the best stepping stones into figuring out what feels right for you would be just stopping for a moment, reflecting, and writing it all down. You should ask yourself what type of style you enjoy. Some examples of interior design styles include Minimalist, Scandinavian, and mid century modern. Examine what you like and what you could do without. An example could include “I like the mid century modern design because of the soft edges it brings into a room”.

Think about what you’d like to change in your home:

Is there anything that you’re hoping to change in your home? This can include adding something extra or removing anything. It could be one space in your room or multiple changes around the entire house. Maybe you’re interested in a Bend Window for your living room or an open plan for your house. Thinking about the changes you’re wanting in your home could help to lead you in the right direction of the styles that feel right for you.

Think about your location:

Did you know that the location of your home is going to affect your home design? If you live somewhere such as a rural area, then your home is most likely going to be decorated differently compared to living in a suburb or city. So why is this? It’s similar for interests and even fashion. It’s whatever is available but it’s also what’s pushed. Home decor stores in rural areas are going to be far less likely to sell industrial home decor and will most likely sell rustic farmhouse decor. So maybe you never truly discovered your style because of the location of your home and where you’re shopping at.

Check out what’s in your closet:

No matter what style you have in your closet, there is a chance that it will reflect on your home decor style as well. It may sound a bit odd but it can work! Whether you’re looking for a timeless approach or just need a decent step in the right direction of furnishing your home, the items in your closet can help you out. Interior design and fashion can truly go together, hand in hand.

Go to your closet and take a good look at what’s available. Do you notice a pattern with colors or fabrics? Are there any repeated features that you’re seeing? Do you see any common traits at all? If you’re a person who wears mostly dark colors, then you’re more than likely to enjoy reflecting this in your home as well.

For home decor and fashion alike, it should reflect your personality and how you feel. Once you understand your own personal style, the decorating process should come easily!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Seventies Chic OOTD Bonus Pictures

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Seventies Chic OOTD Bonus Pictures

Hi everyone and welcome to some bonus pictures from my Seventies Chic OOTD! These pictures were taken at our lodge at Oglebay where my family enjoyed a holiday weekend together. It was the best! In just one short day and a half, we did so many activities around the property and it was absolute Christmas magic – even if it was a few weeks late! Check out some more OOTD pics and let’s discuss:

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For holiday fun, Oglebay is definitely the place to be. The property boasts six miles of holiday light displays to drive through, a laser light show, zoo, and an outdoor light show set to a remixed tune of Christmas music and Led Zeppelin. Not to mention the abundance of deer wandering around that are so friendly that you can feed them out of the palm of your hand. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for pics of that because it was incredible!

From opening presents and experiencing the spectacular light displays, it was a weekend that I will never forget. In fact, my family is already in talks of doing it again next year. My favorite part of our little getaway had to be the outdoor light show that had a rocking soundtrack. The snow was falling and Johnny and I even had an impromptu snowball fight. It might have resulted in me accidentally hitting him in the face when I was aiming for his arm but he walked it off like a champ… Whoops. 🙂

Every Christmas spent with my family is an amazing time but our Oglebay adventure holds a very special place in my heart. Barely two days didn’t feel long enough and I already can’t wait for next Christmas! ❤

How did you celebrate the holidays this year? 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

Managing Working Remotely When You’re Feeling Ill

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Managing Working Remotely When You’re Feeling Ill

If one ‘good’ thing has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that people have been staying at home when they feel ill, rather than dragging their sick selves into the office. However, with working from home becoming more and more prevalent, and looking like it is going to be sticking around for the foreseeable future, more and more people will be logging in and working from home while feeling less than perfect. Of course, in an ideal world, we would all stay in bed and rest, but we are realistic enough to know that this is not always possible, particularly if you work for yourself.

In this blog post, we will look at how to manage your work when you are feeling ill:

Dress comfortably:

One of the benefits of working from home is that, unless you are forced to participate in a video call, you can get away with wearing whatever you want. Usually, to be productive and get in the right mindset for a working day, we would advise you to get up and get dressed into something work appropriate. However, if you are ill, take advantage. If a hoodie and sweats are comfortable and keep you at the right temperature, then wear them. If you want to stay in your PJs, stay in them. If you do have to attend a video call, throw a smart jumper or shirt on for the call – no one will notice if you are wearing your cat print PJ bottoms!

Eat well and stay hydrated:

While it can be tempting to load up on carbs or just eat junk food when you are unwell, it is even more important than ever to eat well, if you can manage it. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies for that vitamin C boost and do not forget the good old chicken soup – always a winner when you are sick! Have a look here to find out how to make chicken broth. Try to avoid drinking too much coffee, and stick to water to keep you hydrated and fresh fruit juice for extra vitamins.

Try to rearrange or delegate as much as possible:

Make every effort to postpone any meetings that you know you will not be able to attend over the next few days. Make sure that everyone is aware of the changes and reschedule things accordingly. You can also ask if someone can record the online meeting or take notes so that you can review them afterwards.

Look at breaking up your workday:

Breaking down your job into smaller, manageable components will help you as you begin to recover.  When you are sick, you will not be able to complete things as quickly as normal, so this is a great method to avoid a productivity slump. If you are supposed to work for eight hours, see if you can do four hours and then have a nap before completing the second half of the work. The last thing you need to do is overdo it and end up back where you started, or worse.

Prioritize important tasks:

A sick worker’s output is only about 60% of what it would be under normal circumstances. As a result, you will need to plan out exactly what tasks you will be able to complete while sick. Prioritize the things that must be performed during your sick day by examining your deadlines and schedule.

Be reasonable with your expectations:

Acknowledge that you will not be able to work as hard as usual when you are sick. Do not push yourself too hard and do not let yourself get exhausted. If you go overboard, you could put off your recovery or make yourself sicker. If you need to get things done, do so, but do not forget to take a break.

Reward yourself for small achievements:

Each day, give yourself a reward for accomplishing your goals. Sick days are the perfect time to indulge in some of your favorite comfort foods, hot beverages, naps, or your favorite movie. You should be proud of yourself for managing to get so much done despite your illness.

The important thing to remember is that if you feel too ill to work, you need to stop and rest. While it may be inconvenient, it will be even more so if you run yourself into the ground. Stop, rest, and you will recover and be back before you know it!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Hosting The Perfect Brunch Party

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Hosting The Perfect Brunch Party

Brunch parties are an excellent way to bring your friends together for any type of social event, whether it is a bachelorette party, baby shower, or just a general get together. When it comes to brunch, you do not have to plan an elaborate setup for a fun gathering because it’s a much more laid back event. Here, we look at how to host the perfect brunch party:

Think about who you are inviting and your budget:

It is important to work out the kinks in the plan before inviting everyone to your brunch of the century via group text. Decide how many people you can comfortably seat and go from there because this will help you plan your budget accordingly. Figuring out the amount of money you intend to spend on food for a brunch is your next task. Having a rough idea of your spending limit in advance will help you plan a menu with a reasonable budget.

Plan your menu:

It is time to start thinking about brunch menus after you have a guest list and a ballpark budget in mind. In order to please everyone in attendance, it is critical to include a variety of foods, both sweet and savory, on your menu. Creating your meal can be accomplished in many different ways including:

  • The first alternative is to prepare a number of little plates, similar to those served at a tapas restaurant. This allows you to experiment with all of the recipes you have saved on Instagram and Pinterest throughout the years.
  • Traditional meals can also be served with just one main dish and a few side dishes. With this method, you do not need as many components, which saves time and money.
  • In order to make a brunch truly memorable, you will want to serve dishes that highlight your culinary prowess and leave your guests clamoring for the recipe, such as this shrimp and grits recipe.

Don’t forget the cocktails:

Brunch drinks like mimosas, Bloody Marys, and sangria go well with the meal. Offering a selection of alcoholic beverages will help your guests relax and unwind. The longer a drink like sangria sits, the better it tastes. You do not have to worry about being a bartender because you can make them a few days ahead of time.

Nonalcoholic components can still be mixed in advance if you are making bubbly drinks like mimosas. All you will need to do is pour the champagne and mix it well before guests arrive. Make sure you have a selection of virgin mocktails for guests who would like a nonalcoholic option.

Lay the table the night before:

If you are hosting a brunch for a large group, it is a good idea to set up the table the night before. Putting out food and decorations may not seem like a big deal, but if you are a perfectionist, you could spend hours nitpicking. Take your time and create the party layout you have envisioned. The mood can be ruined if you are not thrilled with your setting because you had to rush.

Good food, yummy drinks, and great company will make your next brunch get together the best ever!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

 

Seventies Chic OOTD

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Seventies Chic OOTD

Hello! This past weekend, my entire family took a trip to Wheeling, West Virginia to have Christmas part two at Oglebay. As a gift, my oldest brother and his family rented a lodge for us to stay at and we had the best time. We all arrived mid afternoon last Friday and before the festivities began, Johnny and I were able to snap some quick OOTD pics. It was seriously the fastest shoot ever because with two toddlers staying with us, anarchy soon happened! Lol, check it out:

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Who? What? Wear?

I have been absolutely dying to break out my new super seventies inspired dress by MaxSport LA and I thought that the holiday weekend was the perfect time to wear it – despite the bitter cold! This dress was a steal for ten dollars rather than the original tag price of two hundred and forty and that made the purchase even sweeter… The fact that it is one of my favorite new pieces is the cherry on top.

For this Seventies Chic look, I wanted to invoke the era with some flower power and fun. The knee high floral boots by B.A.I.T. were an obvious choice to go with and the orange flowers matched the orange dots on the dress flawlessly. This made the two very different patterns work, especially since the brown base of the boots acted as a neutral color.

To add some warmth and seventies flare, I added my topper jacket by Lucky Brand. The velvety soft material provided texture to the OOTD and it was another nice retro touch. It is also one of my favorite pieces in my entire wardrobe! As I mentioned before, it was really cold and snowy and my look was still looking a little bare. To rectify this, I topped things off with my smiley face scarf by Nardi & Tagliaferri for some Peace, Love, and Happiness.

Was I done yet? Of course not! Because of the somewhat lower cut of my dress, a necklace was in order and I knew just what I wanted to complete the look – my favorite necklace that belonged to my grandma. I have always loved this necklace and it is so special to wear it. The emerald green and floral painting on the tooth shaped centerpiece added a perfect pop of color and it made my outfit feel runway ready.

While driving to our lodge, I was trying to scope out some nice places for pictures and was coming up short. Thankfully, the problem was solved as soon as we walked into our home for the weekend because it felt like stepping into a time machine. The wood paneling, seventies lounge furniture, and warm lighting provided the ultimate backdrop to shoot this retro look in. This setting definitely did my OOTD justice!

I love fashion because it allows you to be anything you want. Some days I’m punk, other days I feel fashionista, and this past weekend I was Seventies Chic. Keep it posted for bonus pics from this look tomorrow!

How would you describe your personal style? What is your favorite era of fashion? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Tips For Creating An Eco-Friendly Household   

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4 Tips For Creating An Eco-Friendly Household   

With increasing concerns about the environment, many are finding ways to take action so they can help save mother Earth. This includes looking into ways to be more aware of how they can help, what companies are doing, how to buy, how to better recycle, and being energy-efficient at home. The smallest of changes can make a massive difference if it’s all combined!

Not only are these changes great for the environment, but it’s also good for your wallet too. There is this idea that you need to be rich in order to be sustainable but that’s far from the case. Living a sustainable lifestyle can not only be incredibly cheap, but it can save you a lot of money each year. These are some ways that you can create a more eco-friendly space right at home:

Check to see if there are any cracks that need to be sealed:

You want to make sure that your home is well insulated, especially during the colder months. Right before fall or winter hits, you’ll want to do a thorough inspection at home to see if there are any cracks that need to be sealed up in your doorways, window seals, vents. It’s also best to take a look at your doors and windows to see how energy efficient they are. Something such as a bend window is known for being majorly energy-efficient and those can save you a lot of money each year in electricity. Sealing up your cracks and changing out the doors and windows are also great for boosting your property value as well.

Take a look at energy-efficient swaps at home:

There are plenty of appliances that can be swapped out for something more efficient. This can include checking out bathroom appliances such as low-flow toilets, showers, and sinks but it can go far beyond that as well. Did you know that your light bulbs could save you money? There are plenty of energy-efficient light bulbs on the market that can help you out. Even looking into Star Energy appliances for your kitchen or laundry room can make a massive impact.

Buy secondhand:

One way to avoid getting things thrown into a landfill would be to check the secondhand market first such as visiting flea markets, thrift shops, and going on websites such as Craigslist, eBay, or even Facebook Marketplace. If you’re unable to find a secondhand version of the product you’re looking for, then you can buy it brand new. We all know that the secondhand option will be much cheaper!

Start a garden:

Even modern apartments will have a space to do some gardening. Gardening is not only a way to save on groceries, but improving that green thumb of yours can help offset your carbon footprint. Having a garden is wonderful for bees and other pollinators such as butterflies too. There are so many perks to having a garden, that it can even boost the curb appeal of your property.

But what if you don’t have space for a garden? What if you don’t have a lawn? Even if you don’t have adequate spacing, you can make room for growing some produce or flowers. Many apartments will have balconies or a large table will do too. Your plants don’t necessarily need to be outside in order to thrive. If you have some space next to a window, that will be just as adequate.

Helping the environment and saving some money is the ultimate win/win and there is no better time than the present to get started!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Happy Haulidays: Sister & Family Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Sister & Family Edition

Hello! To celebrate Christmas part two, my entire family went to Oglebay in Wheeling, West Virginia all together. It was such a wonderful long weekend filled with good company, good food, and all of the holiday cheer. To kick start our festivities, we began with a gift exchange for all of the presents that hadn’t been opened yet. My sister, her boyfriend, and my sweet niece gifted me with the following:

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I was so happy to give everyone their presents and receiving some for me was the cherry on top. I am very excited to test out my new makeup from Nars and Anastasia Beverly Hills because I have never used anything by either brand before. Be sure to keep it posted on lifewithlilred for some swatch posts soon!

Not only did I get some new makeup but I also was gifted with some pretty copper mugs to make Moscow Mules with – my favorite. As always, the Chipotle gift card will serve me well because that is also one of my favorites. It isn’t quite Taco Bell but it still holds a special place in my heart. ❤

The crowning jewel of my gifts from my sis and her family is definitely the handmade mustard yellow beanie from Discounted Dreams. It is a small business run by one of our friends who is pretty incredible with some needles and yarn. I have already worn my gift several times and it is nice and warm – not to mention one of my favorite colors too!

My long weekend with my whole family was the best gift in the entire world but I sure love my presents from my big sis. Keep tuning into lifewithlilred for more about Oglebay, a brand new OOTD, makeup swatches, and haulidays!

How did your family celebrate the holiday season? Have you ever been to Oglebay before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Walmart Gift Card Haul

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Walmart Gift Card Haul

Hello! Johnny’s mom and dad were kind enough to gift me with a Walmart gift card for Christmas. And, let me tell you, I have never felt more like an adult than during my online shopping haul to use it. I spent my gift card on apartment essentials and while it wasn’t the most fun thing in the world, all of these things will be handy to have around:

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For home essentials, you can’t go wrong with any of these purchases. Johnny and I are always in need of Drano, trash bags, electric toothbrush heads, and filters for our Brita pitcher. I rarely do shopping at Walmart so I figured that buying these must haves was the way to go to make the most of my gift card. It will also mean less stuff to buy when I do my next curbside pickup at Giant Eagle. Not only did I get all of the above, but I also got some fluorescent lights that have been burnt out in my kitchen for literal months. Whoops!

Was this the most exciting haul in the world? Not necessarily. But, will it be much needed around the apartment? Totally. It was nice to be able to make such good use of the gift from Johnny’s parents. Thanks again! ❤

What are some of your home essentials? What makes you feel like an adult? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

6 Features You Need In A Modern Apartment   

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6 Features You Need In A Modern Apartment   

If you’re looking for a new modern apartment, there are some features that you shouldn’t skimp out on to make your place the ultimate place to be. Modern means comfort as well as aesthetic so look out for the following during your apartment hunt:

Built-In Closets:

When you live in an apartment, built-in closets are important. Not only are they space-saving, but they also help to declutter your home. What’s more, you don’t have to go to the expense of buying your own shelving and chests of drawers – it’s all done for you. The best built-in closets have sliding doors for extra space-saving and mirrored surfaces for extra primping.

Ice Maker Refrigerator:

Most apartments come with kitchen appliances as standard. However, the vast majority of them do not have ice makers. While having an ice maker might not sound like an essential feature, you’d be surprised how often you need it. Whenever you entertain or make yourself a cold drink in the summer months, it comes in handy. Don’t overlook it.

A Balcony:

Most apartments near me, especially the new ones, have balconies. These days, they’re almost standard. The reason for this is simple: people want outdoor spaces where they can lounge in the summer and enjoy themselves. They don’t want to feel claustrophobic while looking at the fine weather through the window passing them by.

In some situations, you may also be able to make do with a Juliet balcony. Just make sure that it is safe, particularly if you have kids.

A Walk-In Shower:

When it comes to shower facilities, modern apartments can be quite appealing. That’s because many of them are now offering buyers walk-in showers. These get rid of the shower cubicles of old and replace them with a more natural, functional design. They’re particularly helpful for anyone living with a disability.

The way they work is pretty simple too. Instead of using a cubicle to create a drain for the water, walk-in showers use the entire floor of the room. The whole thing is graded downwards towards a central drain that scoots all of the wastewater off into the plumbing. Most come with non-slip flooring too, helping you to keep your balance.

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^^^ Unsplash Image

Programmable Lighting:

If you’re buying a modern apartment, it will almost certainly come with programmable lighting. This feature allows you to change the color and intensity of the light with the press of a button. Programmable lighting can also be a lot of fun. You can create sequences that dance through different types of light or react to the music you’re playing.

Hard Floors:

While carpeted apartments can be nice, you’re often better off with hard floors. They’re easier to clean and far less prone to damage which could affect your deposit. Of course, if you want it to feel soft under foot, you can always put down rugs. Just remember to attach sticky tacks to the back so that they don’t slip and slide across the floor.

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^^^ Unsplash Image

A modern apartment should include all of the extra touches that make your living experience more enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the place perfect for you!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

Hello! This past Wednesday, my best friend of fourteen years, Lea, and I had our holiday gift exchange. It may have been a bit late but it still felt like Christmas magic to me. As soon as she walked in the door, we immediately began opening presents and spent the evening girl talking away. I am so in love with what my best girl gifted me with and my new flower pressed coasters she got me from Etsy already have a very special place on my coffee table:

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Lea and I both know the value of receiving bath and body care during gift exchanges so I was very excited for some eos brand goodies to add to my beauty hoard. I have only ever used their lip balms before, which are fabulous, so I can’t wait to test out the lotion and hand cream. Eos is a brand that I have always been interested in, but would never buy for myself so it was a perfect present.

Of course, the piece de resistance were the handmade coasters that she purchased off of Etsy. We both share an affinity for shopping on Etsy and my gifts from her were actually ordered on there too. I have never owned coasters before so it definitely felt like moving up in the adult world. And, what an amazing place to start because they are beautiful! 😀

For over fourteen years, Lea and I have participated in gift exchanges and it will never get old. It is so special to share holidays and birthdays with her and, oh yeah, half of our lives too. She is the best friend a gal could ask for and I love her so much! ❤

How do you celebrate holidays with your bestie? Do you have a favorite Etsy shop? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: An Unwanted Guest By Shari Lapena Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: An Unwanted Guest By Shari Lapena Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a suspense novel by Shari Lapena called An Unwanted Guest – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on An Unwanted Guest for general violence. I devoured this book in less than a week and really enjoyed it so let’s get to it:

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Mitchell’s Inn is a quaint mountain lodge that boasts beautiful scenery, lush furnishings, and the piece de resistance of no WiFi. It is the place to be for a romantic getaway or to unwind with friends for a long weekend. With attentive staff, gourmet meals, and an abundance of activities the guests arriving don’t think that anything could possibly go wrong. But, we all know in a thriller that that is never the case!

An Unwanted Guest features a wide array of players all at Mitchell’s for the weekend. However, thanks to a massive snow storm, the inn is fairly empty and devoid of staff other than the owner and his son who live on site. We have Lauren and Ian, Dana and Matthew, best friends Gwen and Riley, Beverly and Henry, Candice, and David. Despite the snow, all of the guests are trying to make the most of their visit. But, things take a dark turn both literally and metaphorically when the power goes out, plunging them into bitter cold and darkness.

The guests wake the following morning disappointed that the power is still out but their troubles are just beginning as Dana’s body is discovered at the foot of the stairs with a nasty head wound. The suspicions point to her fiance, Matthew, as the culprit but the murderer could be any one of them. And, as more bodies are discovered throughout the weekend, it turns into the ultimate whodoneit. 

Tensions are high and dark secrets come to light as each guest tries to plead their case of not guilty. But is it one of them or is someone lurking about Mitchell’s Inn who most definitely isn’t on the guest list? Who is the murderer and who will be left standing? Read An Unwanted Guest to find out!

Upon starting this book, I wasn’t so sure about it. But I am genuinely unsure why because I was hooked about thirty pages in. An Unwanted Guest is a fast paced murder mystery and goes back and forth between each guest every page or so. What would be a somewhat tired plot felt brand new with the addition of the power outage. It added such a spooky vibe to this read because the killer could be right behind any of the guests at any time and they would be none the wiser.

I was very impressed with An Unwanted Guest because, given the amount of people that were narrating, there was bound to be a dud in there somewhere. However, all of the characters added their own unique touches and stories to the mix and I was excited to read each of their takes on the events. The grand reveal was also nothing to sneeze at, either. Although I did figure it out prior to, my jaw still dropped as to the reason why and I think yours will too.

I am going to award An Unwanted Guest with a nine out of ten stars. This is a book that I highly recommend and I plan on reading more from Shari Lapena in the future. If you are a fan of a good old fashioned whodoneit, then this is the book for you.

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

 

 

Five Ways To Progress In Your Career 

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Five Ways To Progress In Your Career 

It’s critical to continuously be looking for methods to grow professionally in order to be competitive in today’s employment market and achieve your career goals. Those that invest in their personal and professional growth generally reap the rewards of additional chances for advancement, higher wages, and greater overall job satisfaction.

Here are a few actions that can lead to new experiences and career development:

  • Taking the lead during a sales pitch
  • Pursuing a position in order to obtain information, skills, or experience
  • Using your organization’s time or resources to assist a charity
  • Attending professional training classes to gain new skill sets and qualifications
  • Managing a huge project, which requires more employees or a larger budget

Here are some steps to help you advance in your career:

Establish Clear Expectations For Yourself:

You may build practical steps to assist you to reach your goals by setting detailed, quantifiable targets. Being able to track your progress can also help you stay motivated in the long run. The following are some examples of professional development objectives:

  • Getting a college diploma
  • Obtaining accreditation in the industry
  • Become a member of a professional organization
  • Furthering your education, for example, continuing education for nurses
  • Getting acquainted with new technology
  • Increasing responsibility and tasks

Make A Step-By-Step Plan To Achieve Your Goal:

Break down your goal into a step-by-step action plan once you’ve set it. A career plan can help you achieve your objective by guiding you through a series of planned steps. Be sure to set a plausible time frame for each step to help keep yourself on track.

Be On The Lookout For Fresh Opportunities:

While education is essential for professional development, experience and chances can be equally transforming. Look for opportunities to attend conferences and classes, but also keep an eye out for projects that will stretch you and help you improve your skills. You will discover more about your potential by taking on additional duties.

Talk To A Supervisor About Your Career Objectives:

It’s critical to communicate your career goals to your boss. After all, it’s part of their duty to help you grow into a useful asset within the firm. They will begin to trust you with more duties if they see that you are eager to take on new challenges. Your supervisors can also help you find out about various training opportunities. Ask a coworker in your business if they know of any opportunities to increase your abilities or expertise if you don’t have supervision or work independently.

Keep A Record Of Your Accomplishments:

Though it’s exhilarating to progress, there may be moments when you are frustrated or doubtful. That’s why it’s crucial to keep track of your achievements and evaluate your development regularly. This also ensures that you stick to your goal and helps you to adjust your efforts if development becomes sluggish.

Remember that good things in your career take time and hard work. Use the tips above to help you continue to progress!

Featured Image By: Christin Hume on Unsplash

Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush’s Golden Wonder Pt. 2 Edition

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Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush’s Golden Wonder Pt. 2 Edition

Howdy! When it comes to my self care, it is all about pampering myself. Whether it’s a face mask, bubble bath, or getting my hair or nails done, I always feel like a million bucks afterwards. This past Tuesday, I was very eager to return home from work because I had big plans for a hot bath featuring one of the Lush bath bombs that I was gifted with this Christmas.

I used a bath bomb called Golden Wonder, which is actually one that we have discussed before. However, this time around there are much better pictures involved thanks to my newish phone! Let’s get to it:

During my last review of the Golden Wonder bath bomb, I awarded it with eight out of ten stars. But, upon using it again, I am not so sure why because it was definitely not as good as I remember it being. When first using this bath bomb, I was surprised to see a ton of different colors emerge from the gift box like orange, yellow, dark blue, and pink. This time, only a small amount of hot pink came out with no other colors in sight.

This was a bit of a disappointment because bath bombs from Lush always put on the best shows that last several minutes. The Golden Wonder bath bomb missed the mark on this too and fizzed out pretty quickly, leaving the water a murky teal that did not look the most inviting against my ultra 70s mustard yellow bathtub.

Not only do I look forward to the display that a Lush bath bomb puts on but I am also excited for the way the water feels. I don’t know how to describe it other than the bath water feels velvety, leaving my skin feeling so moisturized and nourished. The extra dose of hydration wasn’t there, either, making this bath bomb experience a total dud. Ba dum chhhhh!

After using the Golden Wonder bath bomb again, I am going to give it a five out of ten stars. It was still nice to use, of course, but it just didn’t hold up to my original memory in the slightest. This is one that you can skip on during your next Lush haul.

What is your favorite bath bomb from Lush? Where is your favorite place to shop for bath and body care? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Best Husband Ever!

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Best Husband Ever!

Hi! It wouldn’t be an OOTD shoot for me and Johnny without me insisting that I take some pictures of him as well as a few (or a lot) of selfies with me. As always, Johnny is a great sport despite forever making silly faces when we take pictures together! He is truly the best husband/blog husband ever and I am so thankful to him for everything he does for the old ball and chain (AKA me lol).

Here are some of my favorite shots of him during my Houndstooth, Honey shoot:

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From our date days to video game nights or just sitting around watching our programs, any time spent with Johnny is the best. And, it has been that way since our first date. I love getting dressed up with him to go out and about and am always impressed with his own panache for fashion. Whether we’re running errands or spending time with our families, we both consider it an occasion worth getting dolled up for and I freaking love it.

I am so excited to see what 2022 has in store for us and even if it sucks just as much as last year, at least we are together for it! We can’t wait to celebrate our first year of being married and three years of being together as well as planning weekend trips for a change of scenery. In fact, we have a little trip coming up soon so keep it posted to read all about it and, of course, see some OOTD pics!

How would you describe your personal style? What is something that you admire about your partner or best friend? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Most Common Damages You’ll Find In A Fixer Upper   

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The Most Common Damages You’ll Find In A Fixer Upper   

Have you just bought your first property? Or maybe you’re about to begin your own house flipping business? Well, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to start with a ‘fixer upper’ in either of these scenarios. You offset the price discount of the property with the amount of work it needs, and you can even get specialized mortgages to help with the repair work – what could be better for your budget?

However, it’s important to note that fixer upper properties often need more work than you realize. All sorts of damage can be found within these structures and knowing what you’re looking at is crucial. This post is here to help you identify some of these issues:

Problems with the Wiring:

Wiring problems are very common in fixer uppers. Wires may be chewed through and potentially even sparking without your knowledge. If you can smell a musty and/or ‘fishy’ smell within the property, it could be a sign. You’re going to need to rip them out to be sure it’s safe, so your best bet is to simply replace as much of the electricals as you can.

Signs of Water Damage:

Because the house has likely sat for a long time completely unprotected, water is sure to have made its way in, whether from a burst pipe nearby or the weather. The signs of water damage could be extensive, and you may have to call in a professional Water Damage Restoration team to take care of the problem for you. Signs of water damage tend to include dark spots, flaking or bubbling paint/wallpaper, and random puddles throughout the property.

Holes in the Roof:

Roofing on a fixer upper is usually touch and go. As such, you should think about getting a proper, stabilized ladder out and checking what’s going on up there. Similarly, if there’s an attic space within the house, be sure to investigate it as well. If you can see right through to the outside, there’s clearly an issue! You may also feel very cold when you’re in the house, hear tiles slipping during your renovation efforts, and even notice leaks coming from the upstairs ceiling.

Faulty Plumbing:

Finally, the amount of burst and broken pipes to be found in a fixer upper can be shocking! Make sure you go around each room, specifically the kitchen and bathroom(s) and pay special attention to how the pipes are laid out. If they’re just rusting, you can save the pipe itself just fine. However, you may have to pull out cupboards, sinks, and the toilet to be double sure about the state of the plumbing in total.

If you own a fixer upper, be prepared for a lot of work in your future to get your house to livable standards!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Help Your Child Improve Their Mental Health And Learning Skills

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Help Your Child Improve Their Mental Health And Learning Skills

Some school age children are very interested in schoolwork, and they’re constantly striving to be the best. While other school age children might not like schoolwork at all, and it comes as a huge challenge for them. What’s going on here?

The reason for this is that school age children have different feelings about schoolwork. Some of these include: how much time is spent learning, what type of information is being given, their level of self-confidence, and whether they feel comfortable in the environment they’re learning in. Here are some ways to help your child improve if they are struggling with their school work:

Children Learn in Different Ways:

It’s important to understand that children learn differently and at different speeds. Not every child’s brain works the same or learns best in the same way. You may have heard of the ‘right-brained’ and ‘left-brained’ people out there – everyone uses both sides of the brain to an extent, but often one side is dominant over the other.

It is common for people to favor either the left side (logical, analytical) or the right side (creative, imaginative) because of school, family, or cultural influences. Do you know what this means for your child when they are learning? If they’re right-brained, they probably respond better to visual information. They might be more interested in books than in flashcards. If your child is left-brained, they may be better with auditory information.

Enrolling your child in a school with a British curriculum may help them do schoolwork, especially if their teachers are more hands-on. But helping your child to learn in the ways that they need to is still important, so here are some methods on how you can do that:

Method #1 Play “Catch-up”:

If you know that your child is playing catch up with their learning, it’s important to give them the time to focus on what they are doing. This will allow them to succeed, and you mustn’t distract them too much.

It’s possible that their schoolwork isn’t meeting the same standards as others in their age group due to a lack of self-confidence, which is understandable. If they are not confident enough to approach schoolwork with confidence, how can you expect them to do a good job?

That’s why you should spend more time watching the subtle differences in your child’s behavior and mannerisms to see if they’re showing a lack of interest in school or they seem less confident than normal. Sometimes there are underlying causes that have been affecting learning without being noticed.

Method #2 Make Time for Quiet:

School age children must have time and space to be quiet. This is a great way to think and get peaceful, creative ideas into their heads. If school age children don’t have enough time for this, then schoolwork will seem even more of a burden than it already does. During this time, you should make sure that they’re not exposed to screens and loud noises as they can be a distraction.

Method #3 Take Breaks from Schoolwork:

Taking the occasional break is a great way to keep school age children productive. If you let them have time away from schoolwork, they’ll return feeling refreshed and ready to go. Incorporate snack times or play a game together to give some much needed time off.

Method #4 Create an Environment for Learning:

The environment where school-age children learn can affect how well they retain schoolwork. If they feel comfortable and happy in the environment that they are learning in, then schoolwork will be more enjoyable for them. There are many ways to create this type of atmosphere at home. Make the schoolwork space look special with posters on the wall or a tidy desk. Be sure to have excellent lighting too.

When children are learning, it’s important to keep in mind that they have different preferences for how information is presented. If your child has been struggling with schoolwork lately, then look at these methods to help them learn better and more efficiently.

Houndstooth, Honey OOTD Bloopers

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Houndstooth, Honey OOTD Bloopers

Hello! Thanks to Johnny’s new method of continuous picture taking when helping me with my OOTD pics, I have a wide variety of options to choose from when creating my posts. The good, the bad, and the bloopers. Even when I’m telling him that we are done for the round of pics, he will still take them until my phone is in my hands!

Contrary to popular belief, a blogger’s camera feed is not just perfectly timed shots but a mixture of great, not quite, and definitely not. If you’re like me, you love a blooper feed during the credits at the end of a movie so, rather than delete these “whoops” shots, I thought that I would share them with all of you! Here goes the blooper takes from my Houndstooth, Honey OOTD:

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After taking OOTD pics, I am always eager to start scrolling through the endless amounts of shots that Johnny has taken. And, more often than not, I am showing him the bloopers as opposed to my favorites and laughing about them. To add to the humor, all of the pictures on my phone are taken “live” so you can usually see me cracking up and mouthing “oh my god, Johnny” when I realize he’s still clicking away.

When Johnny and I got engaged, he disguised his intentions as helping me out with my OOTDS and every photography adventure we have taken since reminds me of that. Not only is it sentimental for the both of us when we do OOTD shoots together but it is always so much fun. His vast improvement in composition is nothing to sneeze at, either!

Johnny is the best blog husband in the world and I am so thankful to him for being willing to snap some pics – or hundreds of yours truly. The best, the worst, or the bloopers, all of the pictures are special to me because of the time we have spent together. ❤

Who takes your pictures for your blog? Where is your favorite place to take pictures at? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Maintain Your Self Confidence With These Tips

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Maintain Your Self Confidence With These Tips

Your self confidence is something that can always be improved on. Even the most confident people still have days where they falter! What confidence requires is taking a direct effort towards affirming yourself, towards expressing who you are, and in finding inspiration where you deem it most necessary. In this new year, it could be a wonderful time to work on building that confidence up and maintaining it. Here are some tips to help with that:

Confidence Helps Us Take Risks:

Confidence helps us take risks and be okay with the potential for failure. It can help us head out and make us want to try new things, or a new challenge. Taking risks can help us build confidence. Think of how an agoraphobic, under careful therapeutic maintenance, will help manage their condition by taking small steps outside, steps that can often be seen as thoroughly worrying and risky in their mental space at the time. Once they come back, that exposure makes them realize that actually, their acceptance of the perceived risk has helped them grow, just a little, and a crack in their struggle is found. Could this principle apply to parts of your life?

Confidence Helps Us Care For Ourselves:

Confidence allows us to understand that taking care of number one isn’t so bad. It’s not narcissistic to do this, because the more you care for yourself, the more you can care for others. This means going out and visiting a local dentist to have that problem seen to, making your exercise regimen more solidified, or learning when you need to take a day off to help recuperate your mental health. Confidence can help inspire us to look after ourselves as necessary.

When You Realize Your Worth, Confidence Builds:

A good way to build confidence is to watch yourself. Most of us are our biggest critics, because we see everything behind the scenes, including when we lose our temper, when we’re mean, or too proud. Yet often, we forget to look at when we’re kind or supportive of another, when we want to think about our hopes and dreams, when we sacrifice ourselves to care for someone we love. When you watch yourself in this way, you realize that you’re not that bad at all. Perhaps you have something worth keeping. Maybe, if you were just a bit more sure of yourself, you’d be able to spread that good even further. If more people realized that, the world would be a better place. It’s okay to start with you.

With this advice, we hope that your confidence continues to bloom and maintains its blossoms year round in 2022.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Houndstooth, Honey OOTD Bonus Pictures

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Houndstooth, Honey OOTD Bonus Pictures

Hello everyone and welcome to some bonus pics from my Houndstooth, Honey OOTD! My Johnny is the ultimate blog husband who has improved leaps and bounds in taking pictures of yours truly. Originally, he would take five or so pictures at a time, then consult me. It worked, but it turned our photo shoots into a time consuming effort.

Now, he takes a million pictures at once, providing me with tons of options to pick from. This has slashed the amount of time for OOTD pics considerably and, in total, it takes about ten minutes to get things done. However, it takes me a lot of time to sort through all of the shots afterwards! That’s more than okay, though, because it gives me ample pics to share with all of you!

Today, we are going to look at some bonus pics from my shoot and tomorrow you can peep all of the blooper shots that Johnny captures. Let’s get to it:

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As mentioned yesterday, Johnny and I walked through Lock 3 in downtown Akron to take these pictures. Lock 3 is an Akron staple that boasts concerts, fireworks, and food festivals in the summertime and a skating rink and holiday market come winter. It is surrounded by fabulous eateries and bars and is the place to be during any time of the year for a fun outing.

Lock 3 is an amazing place for the community to come together and it features lots of cool sights to see. Of course, there is a lock, wonderful landscaping in the summer, and an industrial vibe from the brick apartments, towering fire escapes, and murals painted on the walls. It definitely makes for an awesome setting to take pictures at!

Akron isn’t just where it all began for our hometown hero of Lebron James – it is so much more than that. Small businesses, the Akron Civic Theater, Lock 3, and all of the amazing people who live there make our city so special. Not to mention our beautiful library and Akron Art Museum. A hop, skip, and a jump and you are in the middle of an exciting place to be and I loved spending time in the A-K-Rowdy with my husband! ❤

Who are some of your hometown heroes? Do you have an area similar to Lock 3 in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Improving Your Office Space For Increased Productivity  

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Improving Your Office Space For Increased Productivity  

The office is where you and your workers accomplish the tasks necessary to keep your business running smoothly. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you own, making your office a pleasant place to work is essential. There are a variety of reasons why people suffer in the workplace around the world, many of which lead to poor performance and the risk of losing their jobs. It is within your power as a business owner to prevent this from happening, so here are some simple suggestions for making your office a better place to work for you and your staff:

Install air conditioning:

Working in a hot, stuffy workplace with no air circulation is one of the most miserable experiences a person could have. It has the potential to make people irritable as well as more prone to making errors. Installing air conditioning will allow you and your employees to operate in a comfortable, well-ventilated environment at all times. In this day and age, an air conditioning unit is not prohibitively expensive, but it may make a significant difference in the way you and your employees function on a daily basis. Installing air conditioning in your office will provide a welcome breath of fresh air!

Remove any distractions:

There’s nothing worse than trying to work while being constantly distracted by your surroundings and even if you’ve done everything you can to keep your office free of distractions, it’s likely that noise from outside will find its way in and disrupt work. Consider using aluminum windows to ensure that as much noise as possible is kept out of your office. They are not only fantastic for soundproofing, but they are also environmentally friendly and extremely durable in all types of weather. Fortunately, there are many various types of windows available with aluminum frames, so you’re sure to find one that meets your requirements for your office building.

Keep things as simple as possible:

It can be extremely difficult to work when there is a lot going on visually around you. Make sure your walls are painted in a light and airy color to avoid migraines and provide opportunity for the lighting to bounce. Plants are a wonderful idea to have around the office because they improve the air quality and can quickly make workers feel happier. Maintaining a minimalist office environment will result in a more productive working environment and a greater likelihood of growing your business.

Have refreshments available:

Last but not least, if you want to make your office a more pleasant place to work, provide easy access to refreshments so your employees can periodically recharge before coming back to work! Making these small modifications can help you enhance productivity in your office, which will ultimately lead to a more successful company.

While going to work might not be the most fun thing in the world, the experience can be improved upon with simple steps like the ones mentioned above!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

4 Tips For Finding A New Apartment Fast   

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4 Tips For Finding A New Apartment Fast   

If you need to find a new place to live as soon as possible, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. Perhaps your lease has been suddenly terminated or your living conditions were not sustainable. Maybe you’ve just left it until the last minute to start looking and now the clock is ticking.

Whatever your reasons, it’s important not to panic. If you are committed to finding a new apartment and put the time in, then you could be sitting happily in your new living space in no time at all. To help you find your new home right away, here are four tips for rapid apartment hunting:

Set your budget:

How much can you realistically afford to spend on your rent? Work out your maximum weekly and monthly expenditure, taking into account additional costs like bills and groceries, and you’ll have a clear idea of your budget. This way, when you are looking for apartments you can avoid wasting time by quickly ruling out those that are too expensive (or indeed way too cheap). Usually you can negotiate with the real estate agent to knock the price down, but if you are in a hurry then don’t bank on being able to do this successfully.

Use your free time:

If you work all week, it can be hard to find the time in your busy schedule to look for apartments and visit them in person so you need to use your time wisely. Get up earlier and Google “apartments near me” before work, and try to schedule viewings during your lunch break or straight after work. It may be energy draining and stressful but cramming your schedule to the brim will maximize your chances of finding something soon.

Get your documents in order:

Once you have found an apartment and made an offer, you still have to wait until all of your documentation has been processed. Your new landlord is likely to require references so don’t wait until the last minute to get in touch. Contact your people immediately and ask them to write you a reference in advance. You will probably also need to show your landlord identification, bank statements, or letters of employment so bring copies of everything with you to the viewing so your landlord can get them processed quicker.

Take a short term view:

If you are getting really desperate to find somewhere and time is running out, you may just need to settle for the best option currently available. This might mean you end up with a lengthy commute, a rundown apartment, or a rent beyond your budget but this doesn’t have to be permanent. Plenty of places offer short term lets of three months or potentially less, so this could be a good option to keep you going and give you more time to search for something that meets your requirements.

You might have to spend a lot of time and energy looking for your new apartment, but this hard work will pay off. Just be patient and prepared and before long you’ll be feeling right at home!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Houndstooth, Honey OOTD

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Houndstooth, Honey OOTD

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new OOTD here on lifewithlilred! This is a look that I put together for a little date day that Johnny and I had on New Year’s Eve. We walked around Lock 3 in downtown Akron for a photography adventure. Then, we hung out with our niece, picked up some champagne at the grocery store, and played video games and listened to oldies music all night to ring in the new year. It was a blast!

Here are some pics from our stroll around Akron and do be sure to keep it posted for bonus and blooper shots! Check it out:

Who? What? Wear?

One of my all time favorite chick flicks is, easily, The Devil Wears Prada. I saw it in theaters when it came out with my mom, sister, and grandma and it is one of my most treasured memories. I’ll never forget walking out of the theater together and laughing and talking about all of the fabulous fashion. This OOTD is actually inspired by one of the looks that Anne Hathaway wore in her transformation montage where she is sporting a white peacoat and newsboy cap. I think my grandma would have loved it!

It has been quite warm, despite it being winter time, so I haven’t been able to wear all of my beloved coats in my collection as much as I would like. So, needless to say, I was very excited to finally be able to bust out my Vince Camuto blazer, which is one of my absolute faves. I love the houndstooth pattern, the swing style shape, and the faux fur cuffs on the sleeves.

When styling this outfit, I wanted to highlight the blazer through accessories because it really didn’t need much in terms of clothing. This statement maker speaks for itself. I went with my newsboy cap to mix and match patterns, which worked because they were both of a similar color palette. For a fun pop of color in the somewhat muted scheme I was working with, I chose my little red booties to add some length and visual interest.

With these added accessories, my OOTD was fine but it felt like it was still missing something. To rectify this, I added my St. Tropez faux fur collar which is one of my favorite TJMaxx finds. I love it so much and it adds a unique touch to any look. I almost bypassed this option thinking it would be “too much” but it ended up being just right. When I wasn’t wearing the collar, I slung it through the strap of my mustard yellow purse or wore it draped over my shoulder. It incorporated the additional texture that made my OOTD feel complete.

I channeled my inner Anne Hathaway post transformation in The Devil Wears Prada and I felt like a star in my Houndstooth, Honey OOTD. This look made me feel confident and I was so proud of what I had styled. Although I wasn’t walking through the bustling streets of New York City, it was even better to be strolling through Akron with my darling husband. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for more on this look!

What is your favorite chick flick? What was your favorite outfit in The Devil Wears Prada? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Paranormal Activity Pt. 6

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Paranormal Activity Pt. 6

Hello!!! Ever since I moved into my apartment almost three years ago, I have been convinced that it is haunted. From misplaced footsteps and shadows on the wall to a levitating piece of paper and So. Much. Broken. Glass. there has been many instances that can’t be explained at chez moi.

I let whatever spirit that’s here know that it was okay if he hung out but to please not hurt me any more. My poor feet were tired of being cut by glass shards! It seemed to work and it has been a while since any paranormal activity has happened. But, that changed earlier this week.

When Johnny and I were unwinding with some episodes of Superstore, I went downstairs to go to the bathroom. I walked near my sofa and my socks were soaking wet. I turned the lights on and I saw a HUGE pool of water going all the way to my kitchen table. At first, I thought Johnny spilled something but I thought it to be unlikely that he dropped at least four gallons of water on our apartment floor.

I began looking for any type of explanation for this mini flood and came up short. There was absolutely no water near our dishwasher so I know it didn’t come from that. All of our faucets were turned off, no pipes were leaking, none of our vases of flowers fell, and there was no leaks anywhere on the ceiling. It was the strangest thing!

It took four bath towels to clean up the tidal wave that took place in my living room and I am still stumped as to how it got there. Every explanation that could have caused it was immediately debunked. I’m just thankful that I wasn’t in a rush to get to the bathroom because I could have slipped and fell. I guess spilled water is better than shards of broken glass in my foot, though.

Every time long stretches with no paranormal activity happen, I often think my “ghostie” does something to let me know that he’s still around. He made himself loud and clear this time!

Have you ever witnessed any paranormal activity? Do you have any ideas as to what could have caused this mystery spill? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How Your Location Affects Your Home Design   

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How Your Location Affects Your Home Design   

Many things can influence your design choices when you decorate your home, or even when you renovate or build a home from scratch. One of the things that might affect your home design is your location, which can have an impact on your choices for both practical and aesthetic reasons. You may need to consider the local environment and weather when designing your home, among other things. Your location can affect your home design in several ways, whether consciously or through having a less direct impact on your choices.

If you’re thinking about how to build, renovate, or decorate your home, you might want to consider some of these things:

Design in Keeping with Local Style:

Designing your home so that it’s in keeping with other homes in the area is something that may or may not concern you. For some people, it’s an essential thing to think about, especially if there are any local ordinances or you’re part of a homeowners association that might set rules for what your home should look like. Others might not be so concerned with fitting in and making their home look like others in the neighborhood. But the preferred local style can help to inspire you.

Being Prepared for Weather Events and Natural Disasters:

Your home’s location can influence design in very practical ways too. If you live in an area that experiences storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, or flooding, it’s important that your home is protected. This can lead to you searching for hurricane windows near me, hurricane shutters, pumps for your basement, strong guttering systems, and other essentials to protect you and your home. Of course, these things can affect what your home looks like and how it’s constructed. However, they don’t have to prevent you from making stylish choices.

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^^^ Pixabay Image

Be Influenced By the Environment:

The environment surrounding your home might influence your design choices, whether consciously or not. You can use the colors and textures of the world that surrounds you when making decisions for the design of your home. You can also find that the local environment affects your home design in terms of what natural resources are available or which plants grow best in the local soil and climate. If you want to use your local environment for inspiration, it could help you to choose the right color scheme for your decor.

Using Locally Produced Goods:

Using locally produced goods for your home can be a great way to incorporate elements of your location into your home design. For example, you can look for furniture that has been crafted in the local area or choose art and home accessories that have been created by local artists. This will not only give your home more of a local flavor and connect it to the region, but it will also mean that you are supporting local businesses and your local economy.

Let your home’s location influence and help inspire your design for the best looking home on the block!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

6 DIY Gift Ideas Your Mom Will Love

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6 DIY Gift Ideas Your Mom Will Love

When it comes to our moms, sometimes the DIY route is the best way to go for gift giving occassions. It’s unique, personalized, and allows your gift to stand out from the rest. There’s nothing like a homemade present to show how much you care. From making her favorite dessert (or breakfast) to painting an old frame with some new family photos, these DIY gift ideas will have any mother feeling loved:

Make a personalized gift with her favorite things:

The best gift you can give your mom is a personalized present tailored just for her. Make sure to include all of her favorite things. This could be anything from accessories, food, or clothes and it will make the perfect way of showing how much she means to you.

Cozy Accessories:

DIY clothing is an excellent gift this winter season. Whether it’s something as simple as a blanket scarf or going all out with some matching gloves for extra warmth, she will appreciate the effort that went into making these handcrafted gifts. You can also gift her with patterned wrap dresses since they’re practical and stylish enough that she can wear them for casual events or vacation trips.

DIY a flower arrangement:

Motherhood has always been synonymous with springtime and flowers as they both represent life and fertility. Flowers also represent beauty and grace, things we associate with our own mothers. Here are some simple tips on how you can easily arrange flowers for your mom:

The flowers should be fresh and fragrant with colors that represent your mom and coordinate well with her house. Choose what type of container size works best: vases, bowls, or pots and fill them accordingly so they don’t overflow when watering them. Use either potting soil/manure mix which is rich in nutrients because these types can hold more moisture than just sand. And, don’t forget to pair them with her favorite chocolates!

Create a photo collage:

Moms have a special place in their hearts for memories they’ve made with the family over the years. Creating a photo collage is an excellent way to make sure that she knows how much she means to you. She will surely love this gift. Buy a photo album or make one yourself and choose photos that would make her recall all of the happy times you’ve spent together.

Make a scrapbook:

Scrapbooking is a great hobby and makes a thoughtful gift, too. Write down some of your favorite memories together and create something that will last forever, turning it into a keepsake for both you and even for future generations of your family.

Homemade cookies, brownies, or other sweets:

If you’re looking for the perfect gift, look no further than these delicious treats. Cookies and other sweet treats are excellent gifts for your mom if she has a sweet tooth. For starters, try this vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe:

Servings: 10

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil (refined, melted)
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 4 oz vegan chocolate chunks or chips
  • 4 oz vegan dark chocolate

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together the sugars, salt, and coconut oil in a large bowl
  2. Pour in the non-dairy milk and vanilla, and whisk until the batter is smooth and all sugar has dissolved
  3. Sift in the baking soda and the flour
  4. Mix with a spatula
  5. Pour in the chocolate chunks
  6. Put the dough in the freezer for at least 30 minutes
  7. Preheat oven to 180C or 350F
  8. Scoop the dough into cookie bits using a spoon or ice cream scoop and put it onto a baking sheet until golden brown.

There are so many ways to DIY a present for mom that she’ll love, but the best ones will be personal and from the heart like the ideas above!

Happy Haulidays: Husband’s Family Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Husband’s Family Edition

Hello! Due to the high rates of COVID in Ohio, Johnny and I have had to have late Christmas celebrations with our families. This is why you haven’t seen any OOTDs or Hauliday posts recently but keep your eyes peeled because they are still going to happen! This past week, we celebrated with Johnny’s family and one of his aunts who is just wonderful and it was such a great time.

Living during a pandemic is insanely difficult but especially during the holidays as Johnny and I want to protect our vulnerable populations as much as we can. We haven’t seen his family as much as we would like so it was so nice to be able to share a meal, catch up, and open presents. Johnny’s family so generously gifted me with the following:

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Hanging out with Johnny’s family after so much time apart was the best gift of all, of course, but I am so appreciative of everything that they treated us to. I love my cobweb earrings the best of all and I am tickled by the gift from Johnny’s dad of the flashlight/screw driver/whistle/everything else lol. It is such a dad gift and I am obsessed – even if I don’t quite know how to use it. 😀

I am also very touched by the ornament from his mom made for caregivers, although we all had a laugh about how we couldn’t read the sweet sentiments that were on it. Johnny and I have been diligently working through our holiday chocolate – my favorite being the chocolate covered chips. I have never tried one before and it is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I could seriously eat twenty bags of them!

The piece de resistance of our holiday haul had to be the new air fryer for the both of us. We meant to buy a new one after we got married as ours was on the fritz but we just never got around to it. It finally went kaput a few months ago so we were thrilled with the new appliance. We have been air frying literally everything and have missed it so much. The novelty of air fried food never wears off. 🙂

Although we didn’t keep up with our Miller family tradition of watching Christmas Vacation together, it was still an amazing celebration. I am so thankful to have two beautiful families to join in the holidays with and have my fingers crossed that we can celebrate next Christmas on time altogether! ❤

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

Awesome Apartment Ideas To Improve Your Space

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Awesome Apartment Ideas To Improve Your Space

It can be challenging to find time for yourself between work, school, and trying to keep up with friends and family. And when you finally find some free time, there is always something else that needs attention at home! Today, we are going to look at some quick and simple fixes to improve your apartment space so you can spend your free time on you and you alone. Let’s get to it:

Upgrade Your Furniture:

One of the easiest ways to make your apartment feel new is upgrading your furniture. This can be as simple as buying a new couch or bed or it can be more complex, like installing built-in shelving or cabinets. By upgrading your furniture, you’ll not only make your home look nicer, but you’ll also have added storage and seating options.

Create a Functional Space:

If you’re short on living space, you can create a functional space. This could be anything from setting up a home office to creating an extra storage area. By utilizing every square foot of your apartment, you’ll be able to keep your home more organized and make it feel larger.

Decorate Your Exterior:

The exterior of your home is just as important as the interior. One way to spruce up your apartment is by adding a new mailbox or doormat, painting the front door a bright color if you’re allowed, and planting flowers in planters on either side of the entrance. Adding these components to the exterior will provide curb appeal and make your apartment feel brighter with homey touches.

Add Greenery:

Adding greenery to your home is a great way to improve the air quality and reduce stress levels. Not only that, but plants can also get used to decorate your house. Some easy to maintain plants perfect for apartments include spider plants, aloe vera, and bamboo palms.

Hang Up More Mirrors:

Mirrors have a way of making any space feel larger. So by hanging up more mirrors in your apartment, you’ll be able to reflect light and create the illusion of more space. Not only will this make your home look nicer, but it will also help to brighten up any dark corners.

Install Track Lighting:

If you’re looking for a way to instantly improve the look of your apartment, installing track lighting is equally a great option. Track lighting can be used to highlight specific areas in your home or to provide general illumination. Plus, it’s a relatively easy DIY project that you can do with minimal tools and skills.

Refresh Your Decor:

One of the easiest ways to give your apartment a fresh look is by changing your decor. This can be as simple as repainting a wall or adding new throw pillows. By changing your decor regularly, you’ll be able to keep your home looking new and stylish.

When you implement these awesome apartment ideas, you’ll be able to quickly refresh your space for a more relaxing and enjoyable home experience.

Featured Image By: Pexels

New & Improved Beauty Hoard

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New & Improved Beauty Hoard

Hello! Saying that mine and Johnny’s refrigerator/pantry situation was getting cluttered was a severe understatement. So, I took it upon myself during winter break to rectify this. But, I didn’t stop there and I cleared enough pantry space to incorporate my beauty hoard into it. Originally, my stock pile was just a big Amazon box filled with products. Now, it looks like this:

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From Bath & Body Works freebies to semi annual sale hauls, I don’t think I realized just how much I had in my hoard until seeing it all set out in front of me. I knew that I was a product pack rat prior to but damn lol. Sifting through my stock pile was very enlightening, to say the least, and I also found the face masks that I thought I misplaced and an extra bottle of Tree Of Life serum. 😀

My new stock pile set up is something that I am very pleased with and it will also help me save some money. Normally, when I am restocking supplies, I just get a little bit of everything regardless of if I actually need it or not. Now, I can see clearly what I need to buy more of and what I can hold off on. For example, I always seem to be buying more micellar water but it turns out I have four bottles of it!

Not only is this new set up handy but it is also very visually pleasing to me. It’s like my own little beauty shop right in my pantry. Now that I have my hoard all nice and organized, I can’t believe it was ever stowed away like it was. GREAT SUCCESS!

This was a little project but it made a big difference and I vow to never do my hoard the disservice of an Amazon box again. 😀

What is in your beauty hoard? Where do you stow your stock pile? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy New Year!!

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Happy New Year!!

Howdy everyone and Happy New Year! We are officially in 2022, which means a whole new year of opportunity and, of course, fun on lifewithlilred. 😀 I am so excited to be rolling out another three hundred and sixty-five days of daily blogging and have my fingers crossed that 2022 won’t be as much of a dumpster fire as the past two years. Here’s to hoping, anyways!

In this new year, my wish is for everyone to find comfort in better days ahead. We are living through a pandemic and it is scary on a good day. I wish for safety and good health for all and that we can revel in the happy moments of 2022.

While I also wish that the passing of time would slow down (I’ll be twenty-eight this year!), I am so thankful that I get to spend time with each and every one of you every day. May 2022 bring us good fortune, great successes, and a slightly less anxiety provoking time!

Happy 2022! ❤

What are your New Year’s resolutions (I, as always, have none!)? What are you wishing for in the new year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What To Consider When Installing A Water Fountain In Your Yard

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What To Consider When Installing A Water Fountain In Your Yard

When looking for ways to make the front yard more beautiful, many people might consider adding a water fountain. Usually made of stone or metal, these fountains are available in different shapes and sizes. Not only will they add something nice to look at to your yard, but they have several benefits that will help you in the long run.

Although the costs of installing a fountain can be steep upfront, it is generally affordable afterwards. The only costs will be in the initial fountain purchase and in water expenses over time to maintain it, which in most cases, is extremely minimal.

Of course, there are considerations to take into account before spending your hard-earned money. For one, you’ll want to make sure there is an electrical outlet nearby or that you can put one in. You also want to make sure the area surrounding the fountain is level and free of any rocks, plants, or hard materials. Here are some things that you should consider when purchasing a fountain for your front yard:

What are the benefits of having a water fountain?

One of the benefits of a fountain is that it can help keep mosquitoes and other pests away. Mosquitoes breed in moist areas, such as ponds or streams. If you fill your water fountain with mosquito-repelling plants, then you’ll help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your yard without having to use any harmful chemicals.

Another benefit to a water fountain is that it will contribute to the beauty of your front yard. Adding a water fountain to your yard can be as simple as finding one that fits in with the natural landscape and features of your yard. But you could also go all out and have a custom-made fountain designed for your yard specifically.

Where should you put the water fountain?

Now that you know why a water fountain might be a good idea for your front yard, you should consider where to put it. You want to make sure that it’s properly situated against your home or another object to avoid having the water spray right onto the side of your house or into someone’s yard. You also want a spot with good visibility so everyone can enjoy it.

How much does it cost to install a water fountain?

Depending on the size and style of the fountain, you might pay anywhere from $100 to $5,000 for it. Keep in mind that if you want something custom made or made of rare materials, then you’ll probably end up paying more than you would if you went with something more generic.

You’ll also have to pay for labor unless you’re installing it yourself. Aside from the people you’ll be paying to install the fountain, you might want to hire paving contractors to install pavers around the area. This way, your fountain won’t scratch up the lawn, and you’ll also be able to add a nice touch by having lights added underneath.

How long will it take to install a water fountain?

The installation time for a water fountain can vary depending on what kind you get and whether you have it installed professionally or by yourself. If you have hired professionals, they’ll usually be able to install your fountain in one day. However, if you’re installing it yourself, it will probably take several days to complete the installation process.

There are many benefits to adding a water fountain in your front yard. Not only do they look beautiful and keep pests away, but they also make soothing sounds to replace the noise of cars and kids playing. What a wonderful way to relax!

December 2021 Finishes

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December 2021 Finishes

Hello everyone and welcome to the last post of 2021 here on lifewithlilred! We’ll talk New Years tomorrow but, today, we will be wrapping up the year with my December finishes. There were a lot of them so let’s get started:

Would I Use Again:

Why/Why Not?

Clean & Clear Cleanser: I absolutely love the Morning Burst cleanser by Clean & Clear. It is so refreshing during my morning shower and the citrus scent never fails to at least sort of wake me up lol. This cleanser leaves my skin feeling invigorated and looking bright. It was also an excellent value! I bought it in a set of two for eleven dollars and it took me about five months to finish one bottle.

St. Ives Scrub: I have always loved the St. Ives scrubs and have been using them on and off since I was a teenager. My favorite, of course, is the Apricot scrub and I just had to buy it when I saw it for three bucks at TJMaxx. It has been a while since I used this scrub and I was honestly blown away the first time I used it again. My skin felt SO. Freaking. Soft. and I looked forward to using it every morning. It took me a little over one month to finish the bottle.

B&BW Body Wash: This lavender scented aromatherapy body wash was a gift from my bestie and I used it as a bubble bath. While I would happily use this again if I was gifted with it, I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it for myself. I much prefer the regular old body washes from B&BW. That’s not to say that the aromatherapy one wasn’t pleasant to use, though. It smelled nice and bubbled up really well! I got about eight uses out of one bottle.

A La Maison Cream: If you read the linked review for this hand cream, then you will know that I freaking loved it. If you didn’t read the linked review, then I freaking loved this hand cream lol. It is one of the best products that I have used in a while and I wish I had more of it. I could take or leave the Wildflower scent but that’s no matter because of how well it worked. I noticed a huge difference in how my hands looked and felt after just one use. It took over a month of daily use to finish one bottle.

Tree Of Life Serum: It took my skin a couple of uses to get used to the Retinol serum by Tree Of Life. I rarely use retinol products so it dried my skin out initially. However, it did work well and I noticed a difference in the tightness of my skin after a month of twice daily use. This serum was also a great deal as I purchased a set of three for twenty dollars making it buy two get one free.

As you can see, December was a wildly successful month of beauty finishes. Now, here’s to hoping the new year will be just as good. 😀 See you tomorrow in 2022!

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

 

 

*Super Yummy* Vegetarian Chili Recipe

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*Super Yummy* Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Hello! One of my best girlfriends, Danielle, was kind enough to bring Johnny and I some of her amazing homemade vegetarian chili this past holiday week. She is one of my favorite people in the world and concocted this recipe all by herself. It was SO good that I just had to share it with all of you to get warmed up during those chilly (See what I did there!) winter evenings. Let’s get to it:

Ingredients:

  • 6 to 8 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 cans of beans (kidney, pinto, or navy)
  • 1 package of vegetarian crumblers
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 2 Tbs cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne powder (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 to 5 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 C water

Prep (About 10 minutes):

Dice onion and poblano
“top” and halve the tomatoes
Peel and halve the garlic

Cook (Between 45 and 60 minutes):

Heat oil in a sauce pan (4 Qt or larger) and add onions, garlic, and poblano. Cook 5 minutes
or so, then add water followed by the tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat to just above medium,
and let simmer for 5 minutes. Continue to cook, but at this point the tomato skins can be
easily peeled from the tomatoes, so using a pair of tongs remove the skins and squish the
tomatoes as they cook. (Throw away the skins.)

Continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes are completely cooked. Using
tongs remove any of the hard cores that might remain. Put the tomato liquid into a blender and add the spices. Blend on low at first, then high until the mixture is a smooth liquid; about 5 minutes.

Return the liquid to the sauce pan, add beans and crumblers. Heat over low heat for 15 to 30
minutes. (This lets the crumblers heat through and allows the spices to really take over.)

Options:

If I want to have some extra heat I’ll dice two or three jalapenos and add them with the
poblano and onions. You can always add more Cayenne pepper too.

Before adding the beans and crumblers the sauce is a good burrito topping. I’ve also used a
cup or two of crumblers to make taco filling.

Of course, you can always add in extra chunky things (onion, peppers, etc) to the sauce if you
like some “crunch.”

* I prefer a can of kidney or pinto and a can of navy beans. I’ve also used chick peas in a
pinch.

** I like Boca crumblers (keeps it vegan) and have used Morningstar Farms and impossible
crumblers all of which work well.

Not only is Danielle one of my A-1s but she is, obviously, a master chef too! I cannot wait to make her recipe and hope that all of you enjoy it as much as I did. ❤

What is your favorite cold weather food? How about warm weather? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Improving Your Health In The New Year

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Improving Your Health In The New Year

Many new year’s resolutions involve losing weight or earning more money. But aside from improving their appearance or bank balance, there is one meaningful resolution that is well worth making this new year. Focusing on improving your health in 2022 is a new year’s resolution that will make a significant difference in your life. Here are some of the ways that you can focus on improving your health in the coming year and make some really positive changes in your life:

Identify Your Goals:

It is hard to reach your goals if you are not entirely sure what you want to accomplish. Deciding on specific areas of your health you hope to improve will help make it easier to focus on achieving this. Simply saying you want to get healthy can make it hard to measure your progress and challenging to see measurable results. But, setting specific goals such as exercising three times a week or breaking free from an addictive habit will ensure you have something clear to aim for, which will help you to stay on track.

Understand What’s Holding You Back:

Often new year’s resolutions are goals people want to achieve throughout the year but keep delaying. Thinking about why you have been holding back on your resolutions is an excellent way to break through the barriers preventing you from taking action. Once you have identified what is preventing you from reaching your goals, you can establish methods to overcome these barriers. When you know what has been holding you back in the past, you should find it easier to commit to successfully reaching your resolutions.

Make a Plan:

After deciding what you hope to achieve from your resolution and identifying the barriers holding you back, it is time to begin making plans. With a clear plan, you can work towards your goals, making steady progress along the way. Thinking about the practical methods you can use to achieve your goals will provide you with a road map to get started and guide you toward achieving them.

Sometimes, getting started on your journey towards achieving a goal is the hardest part. So, putting an action plan in place should help you to start and then continue onward towards realizing your goal. Maybe you plan to beat an addiction, so taking a look at rehablist.org is a great starting point when making your plan. Or, perhaps you want to take a physical exam at your doctor’s office and make your health plans based on this. Whatever your situation, making a plan with a clear starting point is valuable.

Seek Support:

Trying to commit to something as important as improving your health can be challenging, so it is helpful to seek support. Finding the proper help through friends, family, or counseling will make it so much easier for you to commit to focusing on your health in the new year and beyond.

There is no better time than a new year to improve on your health. Use the tips above to be your best, healthiest self in 2022!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

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Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

Raising a child with healthy teeth is no easy feat. There are so many different things that can go wrong and cause problems in their mouth, but there are also plenty of ways to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some great tips for raising your kids with healthier teeth to keep their smile bright and healthy:

Make an Appointment with Your Pediatric Dentist:

Having your child checked by a specialist regularly is essential to maintaining their oral health. In addition, a pediatric dentist will be able to provide you with tips and tricks on how to keep your child’s teeth healthy, as well as advice on diet and general hygiene.

Regular dental checkups are essential for young children, who may not properly brush their teeth yet. In addition, early diagnosis of any problems can help prevent them from becoming more severe down the road. For exceptional dental services tailored for children visit https://www.smilemesa.com/ and be sure your child’s needs are taken care of.

Incorporate Healthy Fats To Their Diet:

Kids need healthy fats for their overall health and development, including oral health. Omega-rich foods like salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds are all great options to provide your child with the nutrients they need. Finally, make sure your pediatric dentist knows about any dietary restrictions or allergies your child has so they can provide appropriate dental care.

Give Them Plenty of Water:

Offer your children water instead of juice and pop. Water is the best option for keeping their teeth healthy and strong. It also provides these benefits:

  • Maintains regularity and prevents constipation
  • Prevents kidney stones
  • Boosts energy levels without caffeine or sugar crashes
  • Hydrates skin from the inside out
  • Cools the body down on a hot day
  • Helps with headaches and migraines

Supply Magnesium for Their Needs:

Magnesium is a mineral found in many dark green leafy veggies and beans. It also comes with whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Magnesium helps kids maintain healthy teeth as it boosts the growth of tissues, bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels found inside the mouth. A lack of magnesium can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. When looking for a good source of magnesium, go for food sources instead of supplements, as they usually have more nutrients that are beneficial to overall health.

In addition, kids need about 80 mg/day of magnesium, which is easily achievable by including magnesium-rich foods in their diets regularly. Some good sources of magnesium include:

  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Beet greens
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts

By following the simple tips listed in this article, you can help your child have healthy teeth and avoid common dental problems.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

4 Tips To Improve Your Customer’s Experience

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4 Tips To Improve Your Customer’s Experience

The comfort of your customers matters, this also goes for your targeted customers as well. Tending to the things that will improve the overall experience of your potential customers and clients will keep people returning to your business. Returning customers will help your business boom as they are also more likely to recommend you to others. Start with the following to make working with you the best experience possible:

Know your target audience:

In any business, it’s important to pick a niche because that’s where the money is at. You need to know exactly who your target audience is. Never try to be broad when targeting your audience. If you’re trying to sell something such as a joint case, then you need to know exactly the type of customer who will buy that. You don’t want to make people, even those who are not your target, uncomfortable as this can damper your business’s reputation. Know your target demographic, understand that niches are fine, and don’t be broad.

Have a professional website:

Maybe it’s high time that your business gets a website makeover. Every few years a business should get one in order to combat looking outdated and unused. Even in web design, trends change and it can be a good thing to try out those new ideas. Getting regular updates can also help with keeping your security on your website tight. Many scammers and hackers will target unprotected and even unprofessional websites to leak data or even put up malware.

Have a professional online appearance:

Just like you’ll want to have a professional looking website, you should also look into having a professional appearance online as well. This is going to include creating a LinkedIn account for yourself and your business, and regularly being active on it. This should go for other aspects of social media as well. If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your business, you should do that. The same can be said for Instagram and Twitter.

Just make sure that you keep the appearance strictly professional. This means not picking a fight with naysayers!

Be open to customer testimonials:

Customer reviews and testimonials are how many people will base whether they’ll buy from a business or not. So just make sure that you don’t have this closed off. Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions based on their own experiences. Plus, it’s going to look suspicious if you have nothing but perfect reviews.

Help your business reach its potential with the tips above. Making sure the customer experience is excellent is the best way to start.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

5 Ways To Make Moving Day A Breeze 

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5 Ways To Make Moving Day A Breeze 

Moving is exciting. After patiently waiting for the inspections and paperwork to be completed, you’ll probably want to settle in as soon as possible. It’s important to take your time and make sure everything is in order before you move in. To help with that, here are five things you should do before you move into your new house:

Complete the checks:

When you buy or rent a new house, you need to make sure that the necessary checks are completed. You do not want to live in a home that does not provide safety and security. You could find yourself in danger or facing a hefty financial burden.

This includes ensuring that your electrical systems are safe and functioning properly. You can get an EICR on the internet from reputable providers. Before agreeing to the deal, you can request a demonstration and inquire about price on the website. Make certain that you have an EICR so that you can be confident that your electrics are safe and in proper functioning order.

Keep your documents safe:

Before you move, you’ll need to fill out lots of paperwork. Those signed documents must be preserved and stored in a secure location. Moving includes a lot of pacing, which may cause you to lose track of your belongings in the process. Make sure to keep your documents in a safe location before dealing with your personal things. You may want to look at DFW safes for sale to keep everything safe in your new home. Your signed paperwork is far more significant than your washroom towels, so keep an eye on it.

Get rid of the clutter:

It is important to clear all of the clutter from your new home in order to guarantee that the area is ready to be occupied. Rather than relocating your belongings and juggling two activities at once, you can begin unpacking immediately. Managing and completing tasks will be considerably simpler if the environment is clean. You’ll be able to put your stamp on the new house and turn it into a home much more quickly.

Decide when to move:

You’ll need a definite moving date so you’ll know exactly when you can take possession of the property. You could not have a place to dwell if you don’t have a specific date. Making a mutually agreed upon moving date with the sellers will guarantee that you sell and load up your old property at the same time as you move into your new one. You won’t want to have to deal with two properties at the same time and you won’t want to be without a place to live, either.

Create a first-night kit:

You will most likely be surrounded by boxes when you move into your new house. There is a chance that you will finish moving late and not have the energy to go through all of the boxes to find new clothes and toothbrushes. To help with this, putting together a first-night kit will ensure that you have everything you need for your first night in your new home and that you will not have to worry about unpacking boxes.

Moving will always be stressful but you can make it simpler with the tips above. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Unsplash