Feeling Great!

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Feeling Great!

Hello!! With all of the craziness of politics, COVID, and everything in between it is very easy to feel down and out. This is especially true if, like me and Johnny, you are still limiting your time in public. The monotony of my never ending cycle of sitting at home, work, then sitting at home certainly leaves a lot to be desired but, after this past anniversary weekend I have been feeling great!

Johnny and I celebrated our one year anniversary over the weekend with a delicious meal made by a super talented friend in our very own kitchen. It was one of the best dates I’ve ever been on despite not leaving our apartment and we seriously had the time of our lives getting dressed up to stay in.

It feels easy to just turn on another episode of whatever you were last binging on Netflix and make a day of it. And, no judgement here, because that’s what Johnny and I do nine times out of ten. However, one small change up to our routine left me with a newly found spring in my step and I feel much better than I did before.

This is not me saying to go out here, there, and everywhere for something new. Rather, to explore all of the fun things that can be done from the safety of your home. Everything from dress up date nights to even a cleaning spree with the best music and company can get you out of the “I never do anything” slump.

Brainstorm with your friends about your next game night over Zoom, plan a social distanced picnic in the park, or maybe even a long weekend in a cabin? The possibilities really are endless and I promise that it’s going to be infinitely more fun than whatever TV series you were going to cozy up with! Explore and enjoy! 😀

How do you have social distanced outings? What has been the best date you have ever been on? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red & The Best Anniversary Ever

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Lil Red & The Best Anniversary Ever

Hello! On September first, Johnny and I celebrated our one year anniversary of dating. This past weekend, we celebrated officially by the most wonderful surprise that Johnny had been working on: A specially prepared dinner by a chef friend that I got to choose.

Originally, I wanted something bold like Pad Thai or Indian food but Johnny is not a fan of either so I went with an old favorite of fettuccine Alfredo, garlic bread, and a salad. This was sure to go over well with the both of us and on Saturday I was banished from the apartment while our mystery guest and Johnny got to work.

For a few hours I visited my parents and brother as well as their next door neighbor, Alice. But, the entire time, I was eagerly awaiting a text from Johnny to tell me I could come back home. I had butterflies in my stomach the whole time I was away and I was freaking giddy when I was allowed to start heading over.

I opened the door to our apartment and was greeted by the most delicious aroma of garlic bread you could ever imagine, a cleaned off kitchen table, and our friend Jimmy standing in the kitchen! Jimmy plays in The Outside Voices with Johnny and is an exceptional chef so Johnny hired him to prepare our anniversary feast.

I was literally speechless when I saw Jimmy because I had no idea who Johnny was talking about this whole time. Between that, my kitchen table being cleaned, and Johnny looking so damn fine I was completely floundering, lol!

Around seven, our meal was ready and Jimmy poured us both a healthy glass of wine and left us to begin our celebrations. Saying our dinner was to die for was an understatement. The fettuccine Alfredo surpassed anything I’ve ever had before (Take that, Olive Garden!). The rosemary garlic bread was so crisp and had enough garlic to kill a vampire but that’s exactly how I like it. And, finally, the salad was gorgeous – fresh greens with mozzarella cheese, blackberries, sliced almonds, onions, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Can you say, YUM?!

We ate like royalty and immediately after, we retired into our comfy clothes to begin the relaxation portion of our celebration. All night, Johnny and I listened to music, poorly did imitations of our favorite TV characters, and laughed. It was the best day of my life.

Johnny’s anniversary date night was one of the nicest things that anyone has ever done for me and I am never going to forget it. The following morning I told him I thought I gained a pound from dinner but that food baby was just a small price to pay for the most beautiful day! ❤

How did you celebrate an anniversary this year? How about a birthday? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Disappointment Of The Day: Mango Outshine Popsicles With Tajin Edition

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Disappointment Of The Day: Mango Outshine Popsicles With Tajin Edition

Howdy! I recently had a huge grocery shopping trip because Johnny and I were down to below the bare minimum at our apartment. I picked out plenty of our favorites but I also snagged something that I’ve been curious about compliments of never ending Facebook ads about it: Mango Outshine popsicles with a coating of chili lime Tajin seasoning on it.

I love trying out new foods and unique flavors and after seeing it advertised for what felt like forever, I just had to give these popsicles a shot. I thought the sweet heat of the mango and chili lime combination would be tasty but I guess I didn’t take into consideration the fact that I would have to eat an entire popsicle’s worth of it.

My first bite into the popsicle was great, I’m not going to lie. So, I had a few more and got maybe a quarter of the way into it. Then, the taste got really old really quickly and I was totally done. The mango portion of the popsicle was sickly sweet in comparison to the spicy seasoning and it left a really questionable taste in my mouth and stomach.

The combination of the way too sweet fruit with an, on its own, very tasty and kicky seasoning was anything but refreshing which is what you want in a popsicle. I don’t think I could ever eat a full one of these fruit bars and I definitely regret buying them because I know damn well the remaining five are going to sit uneaten in my freezer for the next century, lol!

Save yourself some cash and skip on these Outshine fruit bars because they were a big fat Disappointment Of The Day. -_-

Have you bought any duds lately? What are your thoughts on these popsicles if you have tried them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Top Learning Apps For Kindergarten & Pre-School

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5 Top Learning Apps For Kindergarten & Pre-School

As a parent, you’ll want to help your kids with their education as much as you can. When you’re teaching them at home, it can be hard to know which resources are the best. There are many educational apps which can be used as learning aids at home. To get you started with a few of the best, try these five:

1. Teach Your Monster To Read

This fun-filled app is the perfect tool to teach your kids to read. It’s both simple to use and engaging. Teach Your Monster To Read was created based on the early phonics curriculum, so you can be sure that they are learning everything they need. It’s an award-winning game which takes your children on an exciting journey (with plenty of monster friends)! Kids get to match letters and sounds, blend, segment, master tricky words, and work towards making full sentences. The app is the perfect after school activity for a little extra learning!

2. Moose Math:

With the Moose Math app, your kids can learn all about geometry, sorting, subtraction, addition, and counting to 100. The activities make sure that learning about math is super fun! Your kids get to run their own juice shop, search the lost and found box, and meet plenty of cute and kooky characters. Your kids will just love the ‘pet bingo’ game and ‘paint pet’. Here they’ll learn plenty of skills, including:

  • Using algebraic thinking to solve word puzzles
  • Practice their pattern recognition skills
  • Recognize and identify shapes
  • Compare different lengths

3. Busy Shapes & Colors:

With the Busy Shapes & Colors app, learning colors and shapes has never been more fun. Here you’ll find plenty of cute penguin characters to entertain your children through the process! It’s a simple app to help little ones improve their fine motor skills. Each level brings a new challenge so your kids will never get bored! Further features of the app include four different play modes; the choice of fifteen languages; color and shape ‘makers’; multi-touch play and more!

4. Hungry Caterpillar Pre-School:

Based on the famous book by Eric Carle, this app is the perfect tool for preschoolers. The activities guide kids through math concepts, language, and literature too. Here your kids will learn about phonics and build their confidence over time. There are science topics, puzzles and reasoning, and plenty of fun songs!

5. ABCmouse:

ABCmouse is a fantastic learning program which covers music, art, reading and more. The app was designed for 2-8-year-olds, and is based on the pre-school and school curriculum. With so many fun activities your kids will have tons of options! Using the app, you’ll boost your child’s development across all their subjects, giving them a great head start.

All of these apps follow a pre-school and kindergarten curriculum. Choosing the right kindergarten is an important part of your child’s learning journey. If you’re looking for a top-quality kindergarten, be sure to check out jennys kindergarten and early learning. Ready, get set, and learn!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Scent Memories

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Scent Memories

Hello! Ever since moving into my apartment, the foaming hand soaps from Bath & Body Works have been a staple for my kitchen and bathroom sinks. I love all of the delicious fragrances and how clean and moisturized my hands feel after each wash. Recently, I had a huge online haul from B&BW and I have been enjoying testing out all of the different scents.

A couple of days ago, I ran out of soap in my bathroom and began using the Orange Sunrise option seen below:

I pumped the soap into my hands and I don’t really know what I was expecting – maybe a Creamsicle like scent? But, I took a whiff and was nearly blown over by a scent memory. Do you ever get those? When you smell something that takes you back to when you first experienced an amazing or nasty aroma?

Luckily for me, the Orange Sunrise soap wasn’t a sickening scent memory but quite the opposite. Because, holy cow, this soap smells exactly like the orange bath beads that used to be sold at The Body Shop. In case my fellow nineties kids don’t remember bath beads, they were basically like little jelly spheres filled with scented and moisturizing oil to add into your bath.

When my siblings and I were little, my mom used to take us to The Body Shop all the time and all I wanted were the bath beads. I loved the green ones but the orange Satsuma beads were my favorites. I have so many memories of bath times with those beads and squishing them with my fingers and toes and letting the delicious aroma wash over me.

For a second when I first pumped the B&BW soap into my hands, I was right back in The Body Shop with my mom filling up a huge bag of bath beads to take home. It was one of the best scent memories I’ve ever had and I am so happy to be taken back to that moment that I had almost forgotten every time I wash my hands! ❤

Have you had a scent memory recently? Where can I find bath beads? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Snacky

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Feeling Snacky

Hi! It has always been important to me to have healthy food and snacks in my apartment. I rarely eat sweet treats as I prefer the savory but Johnny, on the other hand, requests something in the dessert department whenever I go grocery shopping. And, when that time of the month rolls around, I am oh so happy when there is chocolate or cookies handy compliments of Johnny’s sweet tooth! ❤

When Aunt Flo comes for a visit, my primary craving is ice cream. However, I can’t justify buying a tub of ice cream that I’m barely going to eat. My solution? Frozen Greek yogurt!

Living that #YOGURTLIFE in the words of Terry Crews from Brooklyn 99!

My newest snack craze has been sticking a yogurt in the freezer and crumbling a chocolate chip cookie for the topping. I love the ice cream like texture of the yogurt once it freezes and with that extra bit of cookie it feels like I am eating a low calorie sundae.

Your topping preference is up to you but for the yogurt I definitely prefer the Light & Fit by Dannon. The vanilla Greek yogurt is so rich, creamy, and flavorful and it’s seriously hard to believe that it’s only eighty calories! I like how filling it is and sometimes, if I’m not snacking sundae style, I will have a yogurt with my medication before bed.

The Dannon Light & Fit yogurts were actually not my first choice but Johnny brought them home from the grocery store as my primary option wasn’t available. He is always getting me to try new things and this one just happened to become a staple at chez moi!

What is your favorite snack? Do you crave sweet or salty? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Guest List By Lucy Foley Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Guest List By Lucy Foley Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we’re going to be talking about a total dream wedding gone totally wrong in Lucy Foley’s The Guest List. Without giving any spoilers away, of course, let’s discuss. But, first, I will be placing a trigger warning on this book for references to self harm, suicide, and plenty of relationship wrong doings.

Now, let’s get to it:

^^^ Peep how my nails match the title text! 😀

Jules and Will. Will and Jules. The ultimate power couple, as Jules runs her own online magazine and Will is the host of the popular TV show, Survive The Night. Their fast moving relationship resulted in a wedding less than a year later and this should be an event for the ages with both of their celebrity status.

Do dream weddings always end happily ever after, though? Told in a back and forth style between Jules, Will, the bridesmaid (Jules’ little sister, Olivia), the best man (Will’s “best friend”, Johnno), the plus one (Hannah, wife of Jules’ best friend), and the wedding planner named Aoife we learn that not everyone is who we think they are.

Everyone in this wedding party is seemingly connected and you must finish the book to find out how. As the cover says, it’s an event so big and posh that you would “kill to be in on it”.

I really enjoyed The Guest List for several reasons. I loved the back and forth between the five main characters and it was cool how each chapter filled in a blank piece that was missing before. This build up made for tension so thick you could cut it with a butter knife and I had to make myself put it down so many times just so I could get to bed!

The grand reveal was also one which I didn’t see coming – a rarity as I like to consider myself a bit of a sleuth! Although some of the characters were absolutely horrendous in their past and current actions, there were others that shined like beacons and it’s up to you to figure out which bad seed ruined this whole bunch.

I am going to rate The Guest List with an eight out of ten stars. I have never read anything by Lucy Foley before and this was an excellent introduction. The unputdownable story line combined with a startling location and unique characters left for a “put you on the edge of your seat” thriller and I can’t wait to read more from Foley!

Which book are you reading? Have you finished anything good recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Things I’m Missing: SHOPPING Edition

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Things I’m Missing: SHOPPING Edition

Hello!!! Pre COVID, I reveled in every shopping trip to TJMaxx that I would take with my mom AKA my partner in crime. I loved browsing the aisles on the hunt for just that perfect little something and tracking down my mom in the store so we could show off our finds. Even if we returned home empty handed, the thrill of window shopping is still fun. But, when the trip was successful? That’s an amusement park ride level thrill!

I have not had an in store shopping trip for anything other than groceries since the end of February. It’s all very depressing and I miss TJMaxx and Target more than I can say. One of the worst parts, though? I haven’t ordered jack online, either, and this is not for a lack of trying.

Online shopping has been so handy for me these past COVID months because, obviously, I don’t need to leave the house. So, I have been ordering all of my skin care and Bath & Body Works goodies online. Of course, I have been trying to shop for clothes and accessories too but I have just had no such luck.

I visit online websites like TJMaxx, Unique Vintage, ModCloth, and Nasty Gal fairly regularly and I have not had any success aside from a gorgeous pair of boots from TJ’s. Every time I go online with the intention of shopping, I see things that I like. However, I simply can’t justify buying anything right now.

I know, I know that seems like a bold statement coming from a certified shopaholic but it’s true. The fact of the matter, is that literally no one other than Johnny, my family, clients, and (rarely) a handful of friends are seeing me right now. Johnny and I don’t go out, opting for the safety of the apartment. Therefore, if I bought new anything, I would be the epitome of “all dressed up with nowhere to go”.

Am I complaining? No. It’s nice to have some extra cash, especially since I have already started holiday shopping! But, I guess I am complaining a little because I sure do miss going out and finding a perfect outfit for a date night or when Johnny’s band is playing.

All I know is, I can’t wait to finally feel safe enough to go shopping again. But, until then, I will think back fondly of TJMaxx in all of its discounted shopping glory. #NEVERFORGET

What do you miss in COVID times? Has your online shopping increased too? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Disappointment Of The Day: WordPress Block Editor Edition

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Disappointment Of The Day: WordPress Block Editor Edition

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, I am not the biggest fan of ever changing technology. For example, I refuse to get a smart phone and have been rocking an old school slide up for the past ten years. Lol, my phone can call and text and that’s all I need. The day I have to get a smart phone? I guess you can call me on the landline. 😉

I have been a WordPress blogger for going on seven years now. I have always enjoyed the simplicity of the original editor and it did not take me long to whip up visually appealing posts thanks to the handy tool bar with literally anything you need on it. So, you can imagine my disappointment when this new block editor came into play and we have to use it now.

I’ve gotta say, this new editor is a hassle and it has been taking me forever to figure out how to use it. The worst part? You actually can get the old editor back. However, you can only get it back if you update your plan to a Business one which will allow you to use plugins. It just so happens that this upgrade is over two hundred dollars a year!

Obviously, I am not going to change to a business plan just to get the old editor back but the principle of it is kind of shitty. Yes, I will get used to this new block editor and I know I am being petty right now. But, damn! Your girl needed to vent, lol. *Deep breath* I think I feel better now. 😀

How do you feel about the new editor? How long have you been blogging for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Early Christmas Shopping

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Early Christmas Shopping

Hello!! I know a ton of you are reading this title with a slight eye roll because Christmas is far away but yes… I did start shopping already. I promise it’s for good reason too because I have a ton of people to shop for. Not only do I have all of my family but I also have Johnny, his parents, my clients, and a new niece and nephew to share in the holiday spirit with.

I decided that I would like to knock out at least a couple of people on my list per month so that I am not stuck with a giant bill come December. I also feel a huge sense of relief when I am that much closer to purchasing all of the gifts I plan to put under the tree.

This past month, I decided to spoil my little niece rotten and I am so stoked about one of the items I ordered. Those with small children to shop for might be interested in this ultra fun and creative gift too:

Several months ago, I saw this inflatable, washable easel for finger painting advertised on Facebook and I thought it was such a fabulous idea. I could picture my sister and brother in law setting it up for my niece in their backyard on a nice summer day and having a ball with it. My niece will be older than two by the time it gets warm enough to use it and I can’t wait to see the masterpieces that she comes up with.

I figured that my niece is pretty well stocked for activities that she can use now – you should see her playroom! So, I wanted to purchase gifts that would be fun for her to use as she gets older. Her inflatable easel is what I am particularly excited for but I know Johnny is most looking forward to the tiny guitar he plans on getting her. It’s never too early to start lessons with her uncle! ❤

When do you normally start holiday shopping? Do you have a lot of people to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Breakfast Burrito Bonanza

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Breakfast Burrito Bonanza

Howdy! My boyfriend, Johnny, is somewhat of a breakfast aficionado and I revel in when I can actually make breakfast for him over the weekends. A few days ago, however, breakfast for dinner was the move and it ended up being one of my favorite things that I’ve made in a long time. So, get your orange juice and coffee ready because we are talking breakfast burritos!

The last time I went to the grocery store, I went a bit wild because we literally had no food in the apartment. In this “we’ve gotta stock up” stupor, I had no problem purchasing all of the goods to make delicious meals at home. A girl has gotta eat. 😀

One of the things that I love about Johnny is that he is willing to try new things. For example, I am a strict vegetarian while he is the furthest thing from it. While there is meat at our place for him, there is MorningStar veggie sausage patties and chicken nuggets for me… And for him too, because he likes the vegetarian products as much as I do!

I decided that breakfast burritos would be a delicious way to go and something that Johnny would love. So I purchased tortillas, shredded cheese, shredded hash browns, vegetarian sausage patties, and eggs for the filling. In fact, when I mentioned it to him when I got home from shopping he asked me if I could make them right at that moment, lol!

I didn’t make the burritos right at that moment but when I did the following day they were a huge hit! In one pan I scrambled eggs and in the other I combined the hash browns and sausage together, breaking apart the patties into pieces once they were cooked enough. After everything was prepared, I mixed the eggs, hash browns, and sausage into one pan and then I put some shredded cheese in each tortilla. Then, I added the filling and wrapped them up. Breakfast for dinner is served!

While I preferred some salsa on mine, Johnny liked his plain. Either way, they were SO yummy and I definitely plan on making breakfast burritos again. Next time, I might consider different toppings like sour cream, guacamole, or cheese sauce. I also might add some sliced red peppers for a tangy crunch. However you dress your breakfast burrito, it is sure to be a hit no matter what time of the day you eat it. 😀

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

How To Choose A Moving Company

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How To Choose A Moving Company

Moving home is a huge task. It’s not like when you were younger and could move everything you owned in the back of your parent’s car. As you get older and have a family, you won’t believe how many items you accumulate.

While the cheapest option would be to hire a truck and do it yourself, there are many advantages to hiring a specialist moving company. When looking at a removal company, make sure your stick to the following tips:

Get a recommendation:

Hiring an Austin moving company isn’t something you do every day, so you probably don’t know much about them. Ask family and friends for recommendations. If you don’t know anyone who has moved property recently, try going online and asking on a forum or local Facebook page.

The next best thing to a personal recommendation is to look at the online reviews. Check out Yelp, Google, and Facebook and see if they have a history of happy customers.

Ask for a free quote:

A good company will send someone to your house to assess what needs to be done and give you a quote. They’ll also be able to view any large items or potential access problems. If they don’t send someone to do a survey, then you may get stuck with additional costs if the job is more complicated than they expected.

They offer additional services:

Many companies will turn up and pack up your belongings, provide the boxes and packing materials, and even unpack them at your new property.

Check their license and insurances:

Different states have varying requirements on the permits and insurance needed. Check to make sure that your chosen removal company has these in place. If they don’t and your property is lost or damaged, you will not be able to claim compensation.

Professional employees/Customer service:

A removal company should have good hiring practices. Their employees should be reference checked and trustworthy. There’s an element of ‘gut feel’ in your decision too. When talking to removal companies, they should be professional, friendly, and responsive.

Be aware of suspicious payment practices:

A reputable company will offer a range of options to pay. If they are demanding that you pay by cash, or pay the entire cost upfront, then you should probably steer clear of that particular company.

Also, ask them about their policy on delays. Things can often go wrong with a house sale, which causes the moving date to be pushed back. If the fees for this are extortionate, then you may need to look for a company that is more flexible.

Choosing a removal company is an important part of moving home.  You need to trust them to turn up, do the job, and take care of your most valuable possessions. Don’t just go for the lowest price, look at the services they provide and the guarantees against damage and delay.

Featured Image By: Erda Estremera on Unsplash

Give Your Garden A Boost With These Tips

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Give Your Garden A Boost With These Tips

The backyard is the one private space you have in your home that gives you a chance to be in touch with nature and get outside at the same time. It’s also the place you have free rein to be as creative as you like. Getting outside and enjoying your garden space means choosing to reinvigorate and redesign your garden to make it look as beautiful as possible.

You should be able to head into the back yard with a book and a drink and soak up the scenery. The kids should be able to play safely and happily. You should be able to plant your favorite fruits and vegetables, knowing that they are in a healthy place to grow. With the tips below, you can make your garden the most extraordinary place possible, so that you can kick back and enjoy it no matter the season.

Use Trees:

Planting trees in your backyard to frame the garden is one of the prettiest ways to add something amazing. Asking New Life landscape to help you with your lawn is going to help you to map out exactly how you want your garden to look. Adding fruit trees is a great way to not only grow your own fruit, but you will be able to add these trees to the corners of the garden to frame that newly laid lawn of yours. Choose apple trees and lemon trees and watch them grow!

Design The Beds:

Between those new trees you’ve planted, adding garden beds will enhance the edges of the garden. You can make it as informal or as formal as you like, and you can plant beautiful flowers in the flowerbeds. The beds can vary in length, and you can plant flowers and bushes of a variety of colors to make it pop. You can coordinate the flowers by height and by color, and you can share your ideas with a professional landscaping team to bring it all to life properly.

Go Beyond Greenery:

Garden beauty comes in more than just flowers and bushes. You need to consider hardscaping. Hardscapes like decorative rocks and stone patios will help you to make your living space comfortable and low maintenance. You can add different types of hardscapes to the garden, too, to really give it a unique look.

Irrigate:

You should look at installing a drip irrigation or soaker hose system to water your garden properly. Irrigating your landscaped backyard will keep it fresh, healthy and it will stop it from flooding in the rain. Choose the right size irrigation system and make sure that you have your garden covered. You have the chance to create a beautiful backyard, and you should use these tips to give your garden the boost you need.

With the right inspiration, you can make your garden stand out and improve the way that you spend time in it at the same time. Take the time to landscape your garden this year, and you’ll be enjoying it by next summer!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Paranormal Activity Pt. 5

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Paranormal Activity Pt. 5

Hi! For those of you who don’t know, I have experienced quite a bit of what I would call “Paranormal Activity” in my apartment. From a piece of paper almost levitating onto a candle to walking on broken glass a lot, my “ghostie” seems to pop up from time to time just to remind me that he (I think it’s a he) is still here.

Broken glass has always seemed to be the motif of my ghost. I can count on over one hand the amount of time I’ve stepped on it, even though it has been months since anything was broken in my apartment. The glass also seems to end up in the most inconvenient and unexpected spot – my bathroom for some odd reason.

This past week, I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror getting ready for work when, all of a sudden, I felt a sharp nick – like I cut myself shaving. I looked all over the floor for the culprit and couldn’t find zilch. I also examined my legs and feet extremely thoroughly and could not find any cuts or blood so I continued with my morning routine and considered it a “phantom” pain.

I left the bathroom and got dressed and then returned for finishing touches to something really weird – a trail of blood on the floor that was definitely not there earlier. I looked on both of my feet again and couldn’t find any puncture wounds or traces of blood.

At this point, I was in a rush and decided to just forget about it and I almost had until later that evening. I visited the LOO and as I was walking out, I felt that same sharp pain in my foot and, this time, there was a shard of broken glass sticking out of it.

This may seem like something little or coincidental but I swear, I walk on broken glass at least bimonthly and I’m not sure how it’s always me and never Johnny. It’s not like there is a lot of room to walk around in our apartment and yet I am the one with the glass in my foot. My right foot to be specific because that is always the one to get injured.

I understand that broken glass is hard to clean and it can end up everywhere but, the fact is, it somehow ALWAYS ends up in the bathroom and I am always the victim. The glass is never enough to hurt but it sure can be annoying and I am hoping that my ghostie comes up with a new motif ASAP!

Has any paranormal activity ever happened to you? Do you have a ghostie in your house? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Embed Health & Safety Into Your Business

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How To Embed Health & Safety Into Your Business

All businesses have a duty of care to their employees, a series of legal requirements that they must meet with regards to the health and safety of those in their employ. Often, the health and safety guidelines are covered in an employees onboarding program, then forgotten about.

With injuries in the workplace costing businesses millions of dollars each year, you can’t afford to let things slip. Here’s how to ensure that health and safety are at the heart of your business:

Support should come from the top:

The importance of health and safety should be evident at all levels of the organization. Everyone from the boss on down should be promoting the importance of health and safety at work, or risk a call from a personal injury lawyer. Don’t just leave everything to one designated person.

Perform annual training:

Health and safety training should be covered when an employee joins the company. This way, you are ensuring that they are getting the very latest information on your policies. But what about those employees who have been with you for a long time? How do they get their information and how much of it can they actually remember? By making annual health and safety refresher courses mandatory, you can be sure that all employees are getting the latest information on a regular basis.

Annual training doesn’t have to be an onerous or expensive undertaking, you could put the training online and people can complete it with minimum interruptions to their working day.

Include employees in your policy making:

Rather than making one person or department totally responsible for health and safety within the company, try and find ways to get others involved. You could make health and safety issues a standing agenda item on a team meeting or have some kind of forum that people can make suggestions or report issues.

Show that you are listening:

If you have gone to great lengths to include your employees in the health and safety process, they will soon lose any enthusiasm if you aren’t listening. By failing to act on their concerns, they will assume that they are not being listened to and will eventually stop contributing at all. Make any health and safety changes or results of investigations available to them.

Focus the benefits on the employee:

You have to pitch your health and safety policies in the right way. If you present it as something that is there solely to protect the company legally and financially, it will be difficult to get buy-in. Instead, show how the policy affects their own lives and is there to protect them and keep them safe.

In order to embed health and safety into the forefront of your workforce, you need to ensure that you include employees at every step, communicate often, and repeat training on a regular basis. Not only will it lead to reduced incidents in the workplace, but will also protect your company from potential litigation.

Featured Image By: Benjamin Sow on Unsplash

Moving? Get Things In Order For A Smoother Move!

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Moving? Get Things In Order For A Smoother Move!

We all know that moving house can be a bit stressful, especially when it comes to your first time. The scale of organization, the psychological adjustment, and the emotional strain involved in the process, are the main factors behind the enormous pressure we can experience during this transitional stage of our lives.

First-time movers often underestimate some key elements of the pre-mobile phase, such as market research for a modern transportation service or packing their assets properly. So, to avoid feeling in a state of panic a week before the big day, do your homework and get an idea from some transport company specializing in home relocations. Also, make sure you start packing your items in advance and mark the shipping boxes correctly. This way, you will be able to find everything you need, quickly and easily, when you start unpacking them in your new home and garden!

So your dream home is ready. Let’s say you have found a beautiful new property with Bellriver Homes and you are about to move in. You will definitely want to make sure it runs smoothly, so how can you pack up easily and effectively?

Priority marking:

This marking system could determine which box has priority in moving, which goes first to the transport truck and which is loaded last. In this way, the moving company will be able to give priority to which boxes will be loaded first in the truck so that they can then be unloaded and transported in the correct order to the right room. The other idea behind this system for easy removal is to state clearly so that you remember which box has priority in terms of unpacking. Thus, you can mark a box with a “Y” for high priority, a “M” for medium priority and an “X” to highlight its low priority level. 

How to pack fragile items and how to mark the boxes to achieve safe transport:

In this case, whether you decide to pack your fragile items in groups or to make fragile items per room, numbered or with colored markers, you will need to use packaging and to wrap them properly with protective bubble wrap. Wrap each item individually whether it is glass, crystal, porcelain, or mirror and carefully place them in boxes. Use a lot of bubble wrap or old towels and cloths to fill any gaps between the objects and the sides of the box so that when the transport is undertaken with the truck the objects remain in place. Lastly, make sure that you have a label on all sides of the package that says it is fragile for the movers to see.

Unpacking after moving house?

The move is over, you are in your new home, and there are so many boxes to unpack! The best thing you can do is keep your cool and take your time. You will find that unpacking can be fun, especially if you have done the packaging and labeling correctly. You can reuse the marking system and start unpacking room by room, from high to low priority. Take regular breaks and enjoy, decorate your new home gradually without stress. Why not open a bottle of wine or lemonade, light a scented candle, and say “hello” to your new home! And if you have to move again one day, you now know how to do it the easiest way!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Lil Red & The Best Morning Ever

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Lil Red & The Best Morning Ever

Hi! I am and am not a morning person. I love to sleep in on the weekends but when I do need to get up for work during the week I am pretty good about not hitting the snooze button! My mornings before work are usually a bit hectic because I still need to write and get ready before I head out an hour and change later. So, I guess I have to be pretty good about not hitting the snooze button.

A few days ago, though? I hit that snooze button so hard! Fifteen minutes worth, in fact, so I had to kick it into hyper speed if I wanted to make it to work on time, write, and shower. Instead of freaking out, I said “challenge accepted” and ended up having a morning where everything went my way.

First of all, I felt awesome from the little bit of extra sleep. I also managed to leave my apartment earlier than normal because I had to drop some about to be due library books off at my mom and dad’s on the way. But, in my rush out the door as well as carrying a bunch of other crap, I forgot my can of Diet Coke on the kitchen table and didn’t realize it until I got in my car. Too late to turn back so I headed to chez parents.

LUCKY ME, though, because besides from seeing my parents bright and early (Which was nice!) I was able to snag a can of pop from their place and all was well. Then, about five minutes later, things just got a whole lot better.

I haven’t mentioned this on here, but my car radio has not been working for the past month. No radio, no CDs, no plugging in my iPod – nothing. So, I just have to play my iPod really loud while driving but it just isn’t the same. I missed being able to play the radio, specifically on Throwback Thursday, desperately and vowed to get it fixed EVENTUALLY.

Although it sucks, I came to terms with my unfortunate radio situation and was cranking AFI’s decemberunderground on my iPod when a miracle happened. I was sitting at a red light and out of nowhere my radio turned on! I literally thought I was imagining things but it really was playing and I eagerly began going through all of my favorite stations to hear what was good that I’ve been missing out on.

During my twenty or so minute drive to work, I heard all of my favorite songs on the radio and it really did feel like everything was going my way. I was just worried my radio wasn’t going to work again when I was done with my shift. LUCKY ME, though, because it did and I heard even more of my favorites on the way to my next client. It. Was. AWESOME!

Having such an amazing string of luck all morning was just the pick me up I needed to finish my work week strongly and I am still reveling in my good fortune. It really is true that the smallest things can have the biggest impact! 🙂

Have you had something lucky happen recently? Are you an early bird or night owl? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Could You Work With Dogs?

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Could You Work With Dogs?

With unemployment levels high and rising all of the time, and so many sectors hit hard by COVID-19 and the restrictions that it has brought, many people are starting to think about entirely different career paths. If many people in your industry have been made redundant, competition for the jobs that are available is going to be tough. With no idea when the economy might go back to normal, or even when life will start to feel like it used to, it’s a great time to explore alternative options and give a completely different job a try.

One option that appeals to many of us is starting our own business. When it comes to creating something for ourselves, most of us hope to do it in an area that we enjoy. If you’ve always had dogs, and use dog walking or training businesses yourself, you might be tempted to start your own. Here are some of the things that you should ask yourself before jumping in:

Do You Love Dogs?

Loving your own pet dog isn’t the same as loving someone else’s. Looking after an animal requires patience and understanding. You might happily clean up after your dog, but would you do it for someone else’s? Could you cope with another dog disobeying? Are you the kind of person that can only truly love an animal that you’ve gotten to know and bonded with? Or, do you care deeply for all animals?

At the same time, it’s worth asking yourself if you would still enjoy spending time with your own animal if you spend all day looking after other peoples?

Do You Have Great People Skills?

When you work with dogs, most of your days will be spent with the animals themselves. But it won’t be the dog that hires you, pays your wages, or tells their friends how great you are. If you want to build a business, you don’t just need to get on well with the animals. You also need to be great with people.

Do You Have Business Acumen?

Running a business is always about much more than doing those core tasks that you enjoy so much. To build a business, you need to have good business sense. You need to be able to choose the right pet food packaging if you want to sell products. You need to be good at marketing, finance, and all of the other elements of running a successful business. You need to come up with ideas that sets your business apart if you want it to do well.

Do You Have the Drive to Work for Yourself?

Another problem that many new businesses owners face is the shock of actually working for themselves. If you’ve always been told what to do, suddenly having to manage your time, get stuff done, and stay on top of your to-do list can be tough. Do you think that it is something that you are ready for?

Working with dogs can be great fun. It can also be an exceptionally fulfilling career, giving you the chance to make a difference to families with pets. But it’s also challenging, time-consuming, and often stressful. Working with dogs can be fantastic, but it’s not something that you should do without giving it some careful thought first.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Wanted: Back To School Guest Bloggers

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Wanted: Back To School Guest Bloggers

Hello! Whether you’re learning from home or actually going on campus, it is now back to school season. Was I ever really excited for back to school? Not really! Not until college, anyways. I think I would be extra not excited to go back now so that means lifewithlilred needs some amazing guest bloggers more than ever.

No matter how you or your children are learning, I want to hear about it! What has home schooling been like? Do you have a how to guide to make cloth face masks? What about a fresh face MOTD or comfy cozy OOTD for Zoom meetings? Or perhaps your own unique take on a school lunch? If you are interested in guest blogging for lifewithlilred, please shoot me an email at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com (And remember – my blog is read in over one hundred and ninety different countries!)

Can’t wait to hear from you!

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Grocery Shopping Fun

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Grocery Shopping Fun

Hello! I don’t know about you guys but I have always loved going grocery shopping. From tagging along with my mom in my youth to stocking up the cupboards in my apartment, there’s just something about picking out tasty food that is so enjoyable to me. I normally only try to go shopping one time a month and knock everything out that I need and it has always worked for me. In fact, it works even better now in COVID times because who wants to go to the store every single time they run out of something?

My shopping extravaganzas were put on pause for the past month or so because Johnny made a few smaller trips. I was so thankful he did because I really didn’t feel like it but his shopping trips just didn’t hit the same. No offense to my MAN because I definitely was not as specific on the shopping list as I could have been, lol! This past week, I finally did a big shopping trip after we deemed our apartment as having “nothing to eat” and it was a blast!

In my neck of the woods, we have Giant Eagle and if you’re lucky it’s a Market District one like I have by me. The Market Districts are DOPE because they have literally everything you could ever want including all of the things you didn’t even know you needed. When it first opened five or so years ago, it was actually the place to be as there is a bar where you can get a drink and walk around with it while you shop. They even had live music playing for the first handful of months.

Not only does the Market District have a bar but they have all kinds of food stands where you can pick up specialty items – everything from gelato and sushi to stir fry, soul food, and delicious prepared pasta salads, soups, and antipasto. Like I said, all of the things you didn’t even know you needed.

I love going grocery shopping because it feels good to take care of myself and Johnny. Of course, I get everything we need on the list but I picked up plenty of treats for myself like vegetarian sushi, my favorite grapefruit beer, and yummy fruit popsicles. Johnny, on the other hand, got a lot of the breakfast items that he eats but didn’t make a special request for. I got them anyways because I wanted him to have variety. 🙂

Adulting doesn’t always have to suck and I think my deep love for grocery shopping is a prime example of that. Don’t tell anyone – but it can actually be kind of fun!

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

Fun & (Video) Games

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Fun & (Video) Games

Hi! Johnny and I celebrated our one year anniversary on September first – hurray! Pre-Johnny, I never played video games too often. Of course, I played my fair share of Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. back in the day. I was also addicted to Diablo II on the ol’ desktop computer. Besides from those, that’s about as far as my video game expertise goes. Until Johnny and I started dating that is! Before, all I had was a lowly GameCube and Wii – now we collectively have a Switch and a PlayStation 3.

In recent quarantine times, I developed a huge taste for Animal Crossing and try to check in on my island at least every other day. I also love playing throwback Mario games on the Switch’s Super Nintendo Arcade. Other than that, though? Nothing really. Until Johnny and I exchanged gifts for our one year that is!

For part of my gift (Tune in later for more on our celebration!), Johnny ceremonially turned the Switch on and displayed on the screen was both Paper Mario: The Origami King and Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls. I absolutely LOVE the Paper Mario games and have been telling Johnny I want to try The Origami King for the past few months now. I also haven’t played Diablo III in over half a decade so that was just the cherry on top of a perfect gift.

Johnny and I recently watched an excellent documentary on Netflix called High Score. The series was about seven or eight episodes long and it discussed the evolution of video games from the old school arcades to present day. I think the video game bug definitely bit the both of us while we bingewatched High Score and I can see it reflected in my anniversary gift – I’m so not mad about it though!

In fact, I think I shall dub our one year as the Fun & Games anniversary because I, too, got something entertainment based for Johnny. That’s right, I got him the Millennium Falcon LEGO set from Star Wars. No, not the crazy expensive sets – however, we decided our five year will be the Upgrade the Millennium Falcon anniversary! Johnny put his space craft together in one evening and I am already looking forward to more time with Paper Mario and Diablo, lol. I’m looking forward to more time with my MAN the most and here’s to our one year together. ❤

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

Tattoo You: Family Portraits Edition

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Tattoo You: Family Portraits Edition

Hello!! This past month, I treated myself to a tap out tattoo session AKA nine hours straight of getting work done. I prefer this method, as I can get a lot done at one time and my tattoo artist, Emily, completed nine tattoos and some touch ups during our time together. I love everything I got but I am particularly enamored with these family portraits I got on the side of my lower leg. Check it out:

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A lot of my tattoos are from comic books that I love but I also find inspiration when I’m scrolling through social media and see something cool. At some point, someone on my Facebook timeline posted the example picture that my tattoos are based on and I fell in love. I decided that I would like to do something similar with my own family and my tattoo artist made the perfect depictions with just lines and patterns.

My tattoos are in the following order:

  • Grandma, Grandpa (Dad’s side)
  • Grandma, Grandpa (Mom’s side)
  • Mom, Dad

Emily told me that the hardest part of sketching out these tattoos was making each silhouette look like the person despite not having a face. I say that she knocked it out of the park and I can see the likeness of all of my loved ones perfectly. In my parent’s house, all three of these pictures have been on the shelves in the living room for as long as I can remember and they have always been some of my favorites. I am proud to have something so beautiful to commemorate each family member and I have not been able to stop looking at my legs since I got the tattoos!!

Do you have any tattoos? Which one is your favorite? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Yellow & Red Violet Nails

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New Yellow & Red Violet Nails

Hello everyone! Your girl was feeling her damn self in August! I got my hair done, new tattoos, and a gorgeous fill on my talons. It’s safe to say my self esteem is sky high because there’s nothing like some pampering (Yes, getting tattooed is pampering to me!) to make me feel at one hundred million percent. I love my “treat time” in the salons and it is always just what the doctor ordered. Because the doctor did, in fact, order these claws:

Way back in the day, my sister had an eyeshadow kit by some drugstore brand or another – it might have been CoverGirl or something of the like. Anyways, it was called “Bird Of Paradise” and the colors were very similar to the ones I picked. I have always loved the color combination of a bright red violet and poppy yellow ever since and wanted to do one more hurrah to summer hues before we transition into the fall.

Last time I got my nails done, you might remember me complaining about how rough the nail tech was on my nails. She made me bleed multiple times and I don’t think I have ever been so uncomfortable during a fill before. So, naturally, I would get this nail tech again this time around.

I am never one to complain and I understand that things aren’t always going to feel like a massage at the nail salon. However, I have just never had an experience of getting nicked and legit man handled So. Many. Times. before. After the fourth or fifth “ouch” I finally had to say something because it was just getting ridiculous at that point.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the results of my fill but I don’t want to spend an entire hour and fifteen minutes (She takes a long time.) with my fingers bleeding. Not the best look and I definitely plan on asking not to have her do my nails again the next time I come in. #SOannoying -_-

Have you ever had an unpleasant salon experience before? What happened? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Creating A Perfect Garden

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Creating A Perfect Garden

Having some outside space at your home is a significant asset and one that enables you to enjoy spending time at your property both indoors and outside. Keeping your yard looking great has many benefits; for a start, it improves your home’s curb appeal, which could add to its value should you decide to sell it. Secondly, having a yard that is in tip-top condition enables you to get outdoors and spend time in the beautiful natural surroundings of your garden.

If you don’t naturally have a green thumb, you may feel a little daunted by the idea of taking care of a garden, and the thought of keeping it looking great may feel overwhelming. However, creating a gorgeous garden is well worth the effort, and is so much easier than you may think. Plus, being outdoors and closer to nature is believed to have significant benefits on your wellbeing, so having a lovely garden is most definitely a winner.

Ready to get to work on creating a photo worthy outside space? Here’s how to create a perfect garden:

Luscious lawns:

Your lawn is likely to cover your yard’s largest area, so it is worth taking the time to get your grass looking its best. Achieving a perfect lawn requires the right tools for the job. You will need a mower that makes light work of trimming your grass, plus a trimmer to neaten up the edges. It is worth doing some research for the perfect garden machinery to match your needs, as it does make a big difference. You can click here to read handy reviews to help you decide on the right tools for you.

Pick Your Plants:

When you pick the right plants for your yard, they will stay looking good for longer and will really enhance your space. You will need to consider the climate that you live in along with the soil conditions where you live to choose the perfect plants for your yard. Some plants are better suited to colder conditions, and some flowers are hardy enough to survive even the hottest climates. It is also worth thinking about how much time you have to take care of your garden. If you are short of time, there’s no reason why your backyard cannot stay looking great. It would be best if you simply choose low maintenance options to keep your garden looking awesome with minimal effort.

A Place to Relax:

No garden is complete if you are unable to enjoy it. When creating your perfect garden, you need to consider how you plan to spend your time outdoors, so that you can ensure that your yard matches your needs. Perhaps you like to relax in the sunshine with a good book, or maybe you want to practice yoga on the lawn. Whatever you love to do in your garden, you can create an outdoor space that fits the bill.

Create your own outdoor oasis with new lush garden landscapes!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Feeling Presidential

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Feeling Presidential

Hi everyone!! For those of you who don’t know, my “big girl job” is as an Independent Provider for people with special needs. Most of my clients are not too interested in politics and that is totally fine. However, one of my clients decided he wants to become president this past week. With nothing to do cause COVID, we turned our time together into running his campaign and nurturing his dreams.

My client and I made posters, campaign speeches, and discussed all of his platforms and strategies. It proved to be educational for both of us because he learned more about what it takes to become president and I got to learn about all of the things that are really important to him. It was also just plain fun and something different.

If you work in the field like me or if you have children, this could be a great idea to get them Feeling Presidential too. Spend some time talking about what it means to be president and how your future candidate would go about their victory. Then, you can craft to your heart’s content and even work on some grammar as you write your speeches.

The crafting and talking about future goals is inspiring and it could open up a whole new world that your child or client might not know existed before. So put your president pants on and get to work!

How do you create fun and unique activities for your children? What would your platform be if you were president? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Press & Journal

Staying In Your Own Home As You Age

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Staying In Your Own Home As You Age

If you’re planning to stay in place and remain at home as you age, then the key is to plan ahead. Many things change as we get older and new challenges that we need to overcome start to present themselves. Here are some things that you may want to consider if you want to age in your own home rather than entering a care facility:

Make your wishes known:

If you have decided that you want to age in place, then the first thing that you should do is to make your wishes known to your friends and family. By letting those close to you know your intentions, they can start to think of ways in which they can best support you. If you fail to let your relatives know your wishes, then you risk them fighting you when it comes down to making the decision.

Start looking at the support you have available:

It is never too early to start familiarizing yourself with the home health care services and aged support available to you in your area. How about getting started by checking out www.careforfamily.com.au/ ? You can get virtually any kind of help you need at home, though you should be aware that most of these come at a cost. If you know the cost of aging in-state early, then you can begin saving for these expenses to help you afford them. Don’t forget to research the benefit schemes that may also be available to you and to look into other funding sources such as equity release.

Identify areas in which you may need help:

If you already have an existing medical condition, then plan ahead to try and identify areas that could potentially prevent you from aging at home. Are you worried about your mobility? Do you struggle to keep up with the housework? Do you forget things? By identifying these potential issues early, you can put safeguarding measures in place that will allow you to stay safe in your own home.

Start socializing with other local seniors:

One of the biggest issues with choosing to age at home is the isolation that it can cause. People who choose to move into a care facility often have access to group activities, other residents, and the company of staff, but if you choose to age at home, then these may not be available to you. To prevent loneliness and boredom, try to get involved with social clubs and to make friends in your local area that are around the same age as you.

Boost your security:

Last but not least, although no one wants to think about people preying on the elderly, you need to ensure that your home security is robust enough to keep you safe. You may want to consider installing CCTV, a monitored alarm, or additional outside lighting to deter intruders and to notify the authorities if someone tries to break into your property.

Most people would like to stay in their own homes for as long as possible while they age but are let down by a lack of funding and pre-planning. By thinking ahead and budgeting for the cost, you can ensure that your wishes become a reality!

Featured Image By: Pexels

5 Ways To Reduce Home-Buying Anxiety As A Seller

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5 Ways To Reduce Home-Buying Anxiety As A Seller

As a property owner, you understand what it feels like to buy a home. Although you can’t wait to locate your ideal house, there’s also a sense of tension. With the figures involved, the last thing you want to do is spend money on a dud. Plus, it doesn’t have to be a dump – you may learn to hate it over time because it isn’t perfect.

Buying a home is easily one of the most stressful experiences ever. However, sellers aren’t exempt from the sensation. When your property is listed online or with a traditional realtor, you must make the interested parties feel as at home as possible. Those who are tense and anxious will instantly dislike the house and choose another property.

You already have a lot on your plate since buyers are incredibly picky, which may make you annoyed and frustrated. It wouldn’t surprise you the number of homeowners that think selling up is a mistake! Still, reducing a buyer’s anxiety levels is vital as it will give them a warm, fuzzy glow, and once they connect that with your house, they won’t want another property.

Here are the five best ways to make investing in your home as stress-free as possible:

Offer Flexible Viewing Times:

Flexible viewing times are the least you can do to welcome potential buyers into your home and give them a grand tour. By all means, discuss the optimal periods with your realtor and let them advertise the information accordingly, yet if they call at 6 PM and ask if it’s okay to pop around for thirty minutes, you should say yes.

There’s no doubt that it gets in the way of your routine, but half-an-hour is a small sacrifice if it boosts the odds of offloading the property. An excellent middle ground is to stage an open house. That way, you can house as many people as will fit throughout the day. The fact that an open house viewing lasts from the morning until the evening is ideal from a flexibility perspective. People will be less anxious when they know that they don’t have to rush.

Spruce Up The Exterior:

In many ways, the exterior of the house is the most important feature. The interior is important, too, but buyers are happy to see the building’s foundation as they want to stamp their authority on the property. They don’t like a house that’s already furnished and hard (or expensive) to restructure.

The outside is a different animal as it’s the first thing they see when they turn up on the drive. Curb appeal is a fantastic way to impress home buyers, and that’s what you should focus on as a seller. Houses that have the wow factor stand out from the crowd in a saturated market place. Therefore, the odds of finding someone who wants to purchase your home are higher.

It’s tough to explain because it’s a feeling. One thing that makes buyers more anxious is the idea that they won’t fall in love at first sight. They won’t if your property omits the elements that are non-negotiable, such as a garden and garage. Not only will these features tick the right boxes, but they’ll also impress the viewers if you take the time to repair impurities and add a lick of paint to make it shiny.

keys1Home sweet home!

Check For Signs Of Pests:

You may assume that you’d know if you were sharing your home with pests. Most people do, which is why it comes as a shock when buyers spot the signs and point them out during a viewing. Aside from blindsiding you, it also ruins any shot you have of closing the deal, with current viewers or future ones. It’s a small market and word travels quickly.

Pests make people anxious because the last thing they want to do is move in and realize critters are running amok. Thankfully, you would notice if big pests were residing in your property. Still, smaller insects are harder to spot as they can seem like the norm.

Mosquitoes are everywhere, so it’s not as if there’s an infestation. At least, that’s how it appears, yet Mosquito Authority points out that people should enjoy their gardens and pools without swatting away flying insects. If your home has water features and dense vegetation, there’s a good chance that the mosquitoes aren’t just visiting.

Other creepy crawlies to watch out for are termites, roaches, and ants as they’re inconspicuous enough to go under the radar.

Respond ASAP:

Whatever your decision, you should respond as quickly as you can to an offer. For buyers, it’s tempting to see meaning in the tiniest of things, so not hearing from a seller will send them crazy. The Balance recommends breathing techniques for people who get stressed out while waiting to hear back about an offer!

Don’t worry if you aren’t going to give them the news they hoped for as it’s part of the process. Remember – the sooner they understand that you want more money, the quicker you can come to an arrangement. Of course, if you leave it for weeks and assume that they don’t have the money, you’ll reduce the chances of securing a compromise.

In reality, their realtor has probably told them that you’d come back with a counteroffer, so they’ll be prepared to increase the bid or take themselves out of the running. You control the outcome, meaning you’re in charge and hold all the cards. Remember that the next time and try and empathize with the people who are desperately waiting to hear if they have a new home or need to make another bid.

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Accept Cold Feet:

Cold feet – everybody gets them. It’s not rare for sellers to back out of deals because they hate the idea of moving. As a result, you shouldn’t lose the plot if a buyer starts to have second thoughts. Firstly, it may be nothing more than a ploy to reduce the value of the property. Lots of sellers have fallen for it and dropped the asking price out of desperation.

On the other hand, they could genuinely be worried about the prospect of buying your home. In that case, there isn’t much you can do but hope that the feeling passes and the buyers come to their senses. Sure, offer them another viewing if you believe that it will set the story straight, yet there’s no reason to bend over backward.

With the figures involved, the likelihood is that they’re second-guessing the decision and nothing you do will change that. Instead, the trick is to hold firm and wait. In the meantime, you can continue to talk to other parties and line-up another buyer in case the agreement falls through. Whatever you do, please don’t contact them in-person and harass them as you’ll only increase their anxiety.

Anxiety can kill a deal, regardless of how much you attempt to ease a person’s nerves. The key is to eliminate the tension from the moment they view your property by boosting its curb appeal and fixing flaws, whether they are apparent or hard to spot. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Sweet Surprises: Sister Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Sister Edition

Hello all and welcome to the first post of September 2020 here on lifewithlilred! Today, we are going to discuss a sweet surprise from my big sister, Kristen. My sis is my ultimate BFF and I am proud to be the permanent fourth wheel to her, her boyfriend, and daughter. If I could I would be with them all of the time!

This past week, Kristen told me she had a gift waiting for me at my mom and dad’s and I could hardly wait to get over there for work to see what it was. I had no idea what it could have been and no hints were given to me so I went into the surprise blind… And discovered the following:

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As a “just because” prezzie, Kristen surprised me with this super cool skull and butterfly art by Marmont Hill that she found at TJMaxx. Kristen told me she thought it looked “very me” when she saw it and couldn’t pass it up… She was right! It is very me and if I weren’t almost out of blank space on my body I’d get it tattooed, lol.

Unfortunately, I see Kristen and her family nowhere near as much as I would like and we both want to make an effort to change that. However, we text each other pretty much every day. I am so excited to hang my new art up in my apartment and I am going to get the warm fuzzies every time I see it.

After returning home with my treasured new decor, I was in such a giving spirit that I decided to start my Christmas shopping way early. I have a ton of people to shop for, sue me for it! I just had to spoil my sister’s daughter rotten this year and I can’t wait to do the same for Kristen and her partner. Both are such hard working, loving, dedicated parents and friends and if anyone deserves gifts galore, it is most definitely them. ❤

How do you surprise your loved ones? When do you like to start your holiday shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Key Ways To Impress A Home Buyer

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3 Key Ways To Impress A Home Buyer

Are you thinking about selling your home soon? If so then you need to make sure that you are taking the right steps to impress potential buyers. Steps like the following:

Ensure The Property Is In Tip Top Condition:

If you are trying to sell someone your home, they aren’t going to be interested unless you have got it in tip-top condition. All of the repairs should be done. There should be no peeling wallpaper or paint coming off of the walls. Nothing should be broken or look like it is about to be broken. All of the holes in the wall should be filled and anything else that takes away from the condition of your home needs to be sorted out.

If you are not marketing your property as a fixer-upper, then that is not what people expect to see. People will only pay your asking price if they are impressed with your home, and if it looks as though it’s going to need a lot of money poured into it to restore, this isn’t going to happen. As well as making all of the necessary repairs, check that all the decor is up to standard, no paint on the floor, and so on. All of the rooms in the home should be clear and tidy, and you can even look into master bedroom organization tips to keep your room looking awesomely neat.

Don’t Forget About Curb Appeal:

The first impression that anyone has of your home is when they see it from the outside. If you haven’t focused on the curb appeal of your property, and it looks like a mess from outside, they are already going to have this opinion of the home in their head by the time they come inside. This could be detrimental to the possibility of a sale, so you must be careful with this and take the time to improve the outside of your home.

It doesn’t have to be a lot to make it impressive. Simply keep the grass at a reasonable length, add some flowers for decoration, and perhaps a plant pot or two. If the actual house itself looks as though it could use an update, do this too. It might feel like a lot of work for a home you are moving out of, but you can get the money back through the sale, so it’s not the end of the world.

Include A Few Unique Features:

Finally, you need to make sure that you are thinking about adding some unique design options to your home. Don’t forget that there are going to be a few different properties around your neighborhood that will undoubtedly be on sale at the same time. You’ll need to make sure that your home stands out from these. One of the best ways to do that is with a few unique features One of these could be a water feature at the front of the home. These can look incredible and are cheaper to set up than you might imagine. There are even DIY options to explore.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now understand some of the key ways to impress a home buyer. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pexels

August 2020 Finishes

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August 2020 Finishes

Hi everyone and welcome to the last post of August 2020 here on lifewithlilred! Today, we are going to be discussing all of the products I used up this past month and there are quite a few of them. Let’s get started and, then, I will see all of ya’ll in September! Here we go:

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Would I Use Again?

  • Bath & Body Works Champagne Apple & Honey shower gel: YES
  • Garnier Micellar Water: YES
  • Garnier Waterproof Makeup Micellar Water: MAYBE
  • Azure Lux Rose Gold Serum: YES
  • SkinLab Lift & Firm moisturizer: YES
  • SkinLab Hydrate & Replenish Eye Cream: NO

Why/Why Not?

B&BW Shower Gel: As per ushe, I gotta have my Bath & Body Works goodies stocked and at the ready in my apartment and their shower gels are one of my favorite things to hoard! The Champagne Apple & Honey fragrance smells so good and I must have bought at least six bottles of it at their Semi Annual Sale! It takes me over one month to finish one bottle.

Garnier Micellar Water: Garnier’s Micellar Water is another statement item in my beauty routine and I always have a bottle or two handy at home. It usually takes me at least two and a half months to finish one bottle and I use it morning and night as a toner and eye makeup remover. It is especially nice to use after a very hot day – so refreshing!

Garnier Waterproof Micellar Water: This travel sized bottle came as a freebie when I purchased my normal pink bottle of micellar water. I noticed no real difference between the waterproof and regular formula so I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it again. But I never say no to free! It took me less than three weeks to finish the mini bottle.

Azure Lux Serum: As always, I absolutely love the Azure Lux serums. The Rose Gold is my fave but I enjoy the 24K one too! It takes me one month to finish one bottle with morning and night use and my skin has never looked brighter or more radiant. Highly recommend and it can be found on Amazon or, if you’re lucky, TJMaxx. 🙂

SkinLab Moisturizer: Like a lot of these empties, I keep a healthy supply of my SkinLab moisturizer on hand at all times too. It takes me a little under one month to use one jar with morning and night use and my skin thanks me for it every day. I feel like the Lift & Firm formula has kept my skin so youthful and… firm. Lol! The SkinLab products can also be purchased on Amazon or at TJMaxx if you come across them.

SkinLab Eye Cream: I normally use SkinLab’s Lift & Firm eye cream but I decided to give the Hydrate & Replenish formula a try. I really liked the gel texture, however, I never felt like it did a whole lot. It did not absorb nicely and when I would rub my eyes, little bits of eye cream gunk would rub off with it. It took me about two or so months to use one tiny pot and I would not use it again.

August 2020 left me with a lot of finishes and I’m ready to go in September slightly cooler, hopefully, and with lots of pampering in my future!

Which products did you use up this month? Which beauty products do you recommend? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hi, How Are You?

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Hi, How Are You?

Hi there! Recently at work, I took a client through a McDonald’s drive thru for lunch. I pulled my car up to the speaker and greeted whomever was working with a standard “Hi, how are you?” A very young and shocked sounding male voice told me “no one ever asks me how I’m doing, I guess I’m doing pretty good”. We chatted for a few seconds and he took my order, then I pulled up to his window to make the transaction.

A barely twenty-something year old kid who looked miserable, at best, had the voice I could finally put a face to. However, when I pulled my car up, he gave me a huge smile and thanked me for “being cool”. My heart somewhat broke and exploded. Broke because this young man working at a Micky D’s right off of the highway had a high point in his day just because I asked him how he was. Exploded because something so simple improved how he felt and, therefore, it made me feel good.

After I rolled up to the next window, I proceeded to give his compliments to the manager because he deserved it. He was prompt and kind and I wanted his day to continue to be the best. When my client and I drove away she told me “I think you made his day” and I told her that he made mine too.

Times are crazy right now. COVID and political unrest do not make for the most ideal living situation! But, times are never too crazy to be friendly to everyone you encounter and I think this story definitely can attest to that. ❤

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

lifewithlilred Domain Renewal!

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lifewithlilred Domain Renewal!

Hello!!! On August 21st, lifewithlilred’s domain of http://www.lifewithlilred.com has been renewed for its seventh year online. It feels like just yesterday when I started my blog and it’s hard to believe that it has already been going on for the better part of a decade. lifewithlilred originally started out as more of an online journal and ode to fashion and from such simple beginnings, I now have readers and friends in over one hundred and ninety different countries. Wow!

Since lifewithlilred’s conception, I have been writing every day. I get up early before work to get my blogging done and I can’t believe I still have stuff to talk about after all of this time! No one ever said blogging was easy and that is the truth – it takes a lot of dedication and perseverance to write Every. Single. Day. Luckily for me, such amazing friends tuning in makes this task a joy instead of a burden.

I want to thank literally everyone who has viewed lifewithlilred because all of you serve as my motivation to continue on with this blogging journey. So thank you all from the bottom of my heart and here’s to another lucky seven more years of lifewithlilred!! ❤

And, as a reminder, my blog is a safe place for everyone and if you are ever interested in guest blogging for me, then shoot me an email at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com 🙂

Preparations To Make Moving Day A Breeze

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Preparations To Make Moving Day A Breeze

Moving day should be an exciting one where you step right into your next adventure. However, there’s a lot to remember and the idea of moving can be pretty overwhelming. To help you, the ideas below should make the day a breeze. Take a look and see what you can do to make this a much easier task:

Don’t Panic About Doing The Hard Stuff Yourself – Hire Somebody:

Stop panicking about doing the hard stuff yourself. You shouldn’t have to do it alone. Contacting a service like Burnett’s Moving Services will take a literal weight off of your shoulders and give you the help you need. You may also want to ask family members and friends for help.

Donate Items That You No Longer Use Or Want:

Don’t take absolutely everything with you on moving day. There are likely some items that you can donate as you no longer use them. If you haven’t used something for six months or more, chances are, you won’t use them again.

Organize Your Boxes:

Remember, don’t make one box too heavy or an innocent helper or removal expert could end up dropping all of your things when the bottom opens up. Make sure your boxes are a fair weight and that you have organized them well. For instance, you should label each box, not just with the room but what’s inside of it. This will help you if you need to grab something quickly.

Create A To-do List In Advance:

Your moving preparations should start months, or at least weeks ahead to ensure that you don’t forget anything. Make to-do lists so that you can stay on top of everything. You’ll need to make sure you do the following things:

  • Inform your utility suppliers of your move.
  • Redirect mail to your new address.
  • Inform neighbors that you’re moving.
  • Look for a new school if you have kids.
  • Prepare your pets for the move.
  • Use up all of the food in the house.
  • Hire the necessary services and ensure they are available on the day.

Try Not To Have Kids and Pets There On Moving Day:

Kids and pets can slow you down on moving day, especially if they are feeling stressed about the whole thing. See if you can find a sitter if you’re not moving too far away and let the adults handle the rest.

Get Smart As You Pack:

You can get smart as you pack, for example, wrapping up your dishes and other breakable items with clothing, socks, towels, and t-shirts to cushion any impact. You can also leave your drawers intact and simply wrap them up with plastic to keep the content’s safe. Try filling up things like hampers, laundry baskets, and storage bins with clothes and other items to double their use up.

Pack An Emergency Box For Each Family Member:

Pack an emergency box for each member of the family, including things like a drink, snack, charger, book, toy, and anything else they may need when they are making their way to or have arrived at the new place. You’ll minimize tantrums and keep everybody happy!

Good luck on your move!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Boy From The Woods By Harlan Coben Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Boy From The Woods By Harlan Coben Edition

Hi there and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be talking about a book that I enjoyed very much by Harlan Coben called The Boy From The Woods. I devoured this three hundred and seventy page thriller in about a week and I would definitely put it under the “un-put-down-able” category. Bold and interesting characters mixed with a modern story line as well as a nod to the unsettling political times we are in made for an exciting read. So, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

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The Boy From The Woods is an interweaving tale between Hester Crimstein, seventy something criminal attorney with her own TV show and Wilde. Simply Wilde with no last name because he doesn’t have one. Wilde was found living in the woods, all alone but somewhat thriving as he learned how to read and talk through breaking into homes and watching TV and instructional videos. Wilde’s first and best friend was Hester’s now deceased son, David, and they played in the woods together before Wilde was even discovered.

Wilde remains a “family figure” in Hester’s world because he is the godfather to David’s son, Matthew, and lover to his widow, Laila. All is going well in Wilde’s world, until a distressed Matthew asks him for a favor. Find Naomi Pine. Who is she? A bullied classmate who spent her school life in torment and has been missing for a week.

Hester and Wilde team up to find Naomi, using Hester’s TV platform and connections to help the cause. When a second child goes missing from Naomi and Matthew’s high school is when things start to get a lot more complicated. Cue uber rich TV producer moguls Dash and Delia Maynard and their son, Crash. The only difference between Crash and Naomi? A ransom note was delivered for Crash, with a promise for his release if and only if damning tapes of megalomaniac politician Rusty Eggers are turned in.

Dash Maynard found fame through documentaries and used to record everything back in the day. And by everything, I mean everything. Him and Delia supposedly have tapes that would destroy Rusty’s potential presidency and someone wants them back. But who? Could Crash and Naomi’s disappearances be connected? Are they together right now? And what dark secrets are connecting this cast of characters to a final shocking conclusion? Read The Boy From The Woods to find out!

What I absolutely loved about this story line was the extremely modern take they had on, well, everything. I wonder which politician Rusty Eggers reminds me of (lol) and Naomi’s troubled life was a sad but very fresh take on your traditional high school student drama. The Boy From The Woods also embraced the media through texting, videos, apps, and Hester’s TV show. It almost felt like I was watching a movie in my head as I read because of the graphic and somewhat flashy descriptions of showbiz, baby.

The best thing about The Boy From The Woods, though? The grand reveal! The brilliance of this book is that Every. Single. Red. Herring. was hidden in plain sight and I thought that was really cool. The books I am used to reading involve a lot of guesswork and intuition to figure out the reveal before it’s… revealed. So, I was using that mentality to figure this book out and I couldn’t.

The grand reveal left me in absolute shock and when all of the clues were divvied up, I couldn’t believe I didn’t see it sooner. I haven’t read a book that threw me for this big of a loop in a long time and for that reason I am giving The Boy From The Woods an eight out of ten stars. I highly, highly recommend it!

What are you reading right now? Have you read anything good lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Are Your Goals For The Rest Of The Year?

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What Are Your Goals For The Rest Of The Year?

It’s easy to think that this year has been a bit of a mess. Because in many ways, it has. But at the same time, the days are still ticking by. And if you’re someone that is looking at the time and thinking, where has the time gone, then you’re not alone. Because the situation of the world definitely makes you feel like you’re on pause, but you’re not! Life goes on. And before long, you may find that you want to try and turn the year around and be able to accomplish something. This doesn’t even have to refer to work. It can be about your hobbies, your home, or your health – anything! But if you want anything to happen, you have to make sure that you set those goals. So, let’s take a look.

Follow Your Passion:

To start with, it could be that you want to think about doing something that you love. Maybe you’ve felt uneasy over the last few months and you’ve felt lost? When that’s the case, working to uncover your passion and then dedicating some time to it can be just what you need right now.

Start A Side Hustle:

As a step on from that, you may find that you want to do something that will help or advance your career. Maybe you’re not happy at work at the moment? Or you have always dreamed of doing a different job? Now could be the time that you start a side hustle or you think about taking a course to help you change careers.

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Get Fit:

You also might want to look after your body a little more. If you have felt lethargic lately, it could really help you if you start to work on getting fit. There’s so much time left this year, you could really transform your body!

Redo Your Home:

You may even be thinking about your home and some of the changes that you’d like to make. Because when you’re spending more time inside, as you will throughout the winter, you might want to spruce it up. Whether you have suffered with an issue recently and need to look into water damage restoration cost or you want to redo the space because it’s been a while since you did it, now is the time. It may be the project you focus on that makes you feel great!

Be More Present:

You may find that the most important thing for you is to be able to be more present. It’s easy to get worked up over everything that is happening in the world right now. That can then often mean that you’re worrying or overthinking a lot of the time. But that just causes you to miss a lot of life. It will pass you by! When you decide to be more present, you are going to find that you are able to make the most of all of your efforts.

Ready, set, goal and finish the year strong!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

New Candy Apple Red & Dandelion Yellow Hair

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New Candy Apple Red & Dandelion Yellow Hair

Hello! I absolutely busted a gut when I saw my featured image photo because it is the honest to god truth. My hair stylist, Anna, has been my go to gal for well over a decade and I would never trust anyone else to even look at my hair. I recently decided that I wanted a change and Anna created what we coined as “convertible hair”. AKA half blonde and half red, expertly designed to be able to move the different colors into a whole new style:

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We both loved the blonde but we both knew that the colors weren’t exactly what I wanted. When I think red I think red red and when I had blonde in mind I wanted it to be a super bright pop. This first style was a great first crack and the second go at it was just as good. But was it what we had in mind? Not quite.

However, as the old saying goes, the third time was a charm. Anna ordered Pulp Riot colors special for me and I finally got the candy colored hair of my dreams. Check it out:

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To achieve my light bright hair, Anna bleached it for about twenty minutes. And, I’m not going to lie, I kind of like how I looked all blonde! After washing out the bleach and drying it, she applied Pulp Riot’s Fireball for my red and Satire for the yellow and we let it sit for thirty-five minutes.

Obviously the end result is Skittle colored vibrancy but the dye in itself was the exact same color as the finished product and as soon as she put it on we had a very good feeling about it. Not to mention that the Pulp Riot dye smells like Sweet Tarts – very appropriate for hair that almost looks good enough to eat, lol!

As soon as Anna washed the dye out, we were freaking out before we even dried it because the colors were that bright soaking wet. Anna told me that she has never done color like this before and I am so thankful that I was her guinea pig. My request was, admittedly, a tall order and she did her research and her absolute best to give me the results I wanted.

The results? Hair worthy of a cartoon character and off the charts self-confidence. We both had such a blast with this quest for candy colored hair and now Anna knows how to get my locks just right every time. The next color I have in mind after I grow bored with the blonde? Hot pink, of course!

What is the craziest color of hair you ever rocked? How do you experiment with bold colors in your personal style? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Random Lil Red Fun Facts

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Random Lil Red Fun Facts

Hello! In coronavirus times, I have become a little bit “boring”. Not because I want to, of course. Safety trumps all and with multiple high risk clients that I care for, I can never be too, well… careful! A lack of going out and socializing/shopping has definitely made maintaining lifewithlilred more difficult but no one said being a blogger was easy and I still write every day.

If you are just tuning into my page, welcome! I hope you learn something new about me. For those of you who have been with me for the past almost six years, hi again! I also hope you learn something new about me with the following:

  1. I have well over fifty tattoos and have simply lost count of how many I have at this point.
  2. I try to read at least two books per month – sometimes three if I’m feeling especially reading ravenous.
  3. I wouldn’t consider myself a huge “gamer” but I have become obsessed with Animal Crossing since I have been at home more often. Johnny and I share an island called Dingusburg and my favorite thing is fishing for sharks and diving for undersea critters. 🙂
  4. I have been self employed for the past six years and run two businesses that I am very proud of.
  5. Johnny and I are celebrating one year together on September 1st and I couldn’t be happier!
  6. My last in store shopping trip was at TJMaxx in February and I miss it desperately.
  7. I also miss going ice skating a lot too! I used to figure skate competitively and just started taking up learning how to ice dance. I even bought new skates. Then, COVID happened, and I haven’t been on the ice since March. Whomp whomp.
  8. I am an aunt to an adorable niece and nephew. I am the baby of the family with two older brothers and an older sister. I also have two dog brothers named Archie and Ollie. ❤
  9. I allow myself two “treat” outings per month and I always opt to get my hair and nails done. I think I would go crazy without my monthly fill and color touch up!
  10. I have been a vegetarian for close to two decades and I love all kinds of food – especially Indian, Mexican, and Thai. Unfortunately, Johnny is on a much different diet of chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and Honey Nut Cheerios to lower his cholesterol so I usually have to eat my favorites by my damn self… More for me!

What are some fun facts about you? Do you have any questions for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Take Better Care Of Yourself

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How To Take Better Care Of Yourself

It’s not always easy to take the best care of yourself. Even though you know deep down that you need to look after your health and wellness, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, life gets in the way. And when that’s the case, you may find that you put yourself and your care to the bottom of the pile. But this is never a good idea. Because, before long, you will find that it catches up with you and you will find yourself feeling sick or run down. So, it’s important for you to make sure that you know how to take care of yourself. This can be especially important if you are feeling stressed or burned out. Here’s what you can do:

Get More Sleep:

To start with, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. It’s easy to think that you are, but it’s more likely the case that you are not. Especially if you are feeling off! However, you may find that when you sleep better, you’re going to feel great too. You will feel healthy and much better in yourself. So do what you can to make high-quality sleep your priority.

Look After Your Body:

From here, you’re then going to want to make sure that you are looking after your body as much as you possibly can. It’s important for you to keep your nutrition in check and to keep on top of your exercise. This is something that will always make you feel better in yourself. So make this a big part of your routine.

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Get Your Check-Ups:

You’re going to want to make sure that you are getting yourself medically checked out too. You know that you need to see a doctor when you’re sick or for a general check up, and you have to do the same with your dentist too. So why not access their website and make an appointment. It’s something so small but it can really make a difference to your health.

Be Kind To Yourself:

It’s also important for you to make sure that you are as kind to yourself as possible. If you feel stressed or you are beating yourself up about something, it’s going to have an affect on your health. So, you need to make sure that you are working on your mental health so you can keep viewing yourself in a positive light.

Finally, you are also going to want to make sure that you’re making self care a priority. You can’t just rush through life stressed out and feeling overwhelmed – it’s not going to do anything for your health. However, if you can slow down a bit and make sure that you’re having some me time, it will really help your health. Things like taking a bath, pampering, drinking more water, having cozy evenings, and just relaxing can really help you to take better care of yourself. Enjoy!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

 

Accessory Story: Homemade Cuff Edition

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Accessory Story: Homemade Cuff Edition

Hi! For those of you who don’t know, my big girl job is as an independent provider for people with special needs. I have four clients who I see throughout the week and all of them bring so much joy into my life. Each of my clients has their own unique hobbies and I always like to encourage them, especially when there isn’t much else to do right now except hang out at home and perfect their crafts.

Speaking of crafts, one of my clients is very handy when it comes to making homemade jewelry and she created this cuff just for me. Check it out:

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Two of my clients enjoy playing music like the drums and piano and my other two love to craft. Sometimes we will make bracelets, color pictures, or make our own holiday cards. The creator of my new bracelet can often be found working on her dream journal or making jewelry for her loved ones and I was so tickled when she handed me her masterpiece the last time I was at work.

My friend is incredibly generous and she is always thinking about what she can do for others instead of herself. It’s such an admirable trait and she loves being the reason that someone smiles or their day has been “made”. I think everyone can take some notes out of her book and I am proud to have something that she put together with her little old provider in mind. ❤

What is a character trait that you admire? What is your favorite hobby? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: BFF Edition

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Sweet Surprises: BFF Edition

Hello! My best friend of over twelve years, Lea, is going to be getting married at the end of October and I am one of her bridesmaids! Unfortunately, a pandemic isn’t the best time for a wedding celebration and because of having several high risk clients, I have had to opt out of a lot of the fun. It makes me sad that I can’t participate in good conscious in the different activities but Lea knows where I’m coming from and that’s the only important thing to me.

During our most recent hang out to have an early 26th birthday celebration for Lea (AKA drinks on my parent’s deck), I was expecting for her to be the only one receiving prezzies. But my darling bestie surprised me with the following:

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Lea is honestly one of the sweetest people I have ever met in my life and it is so like her to bring something for me on a day that should be celebrating her. I am so in love with the comfy cozy “Bridesmaid” tee by Bella + Canvas (I’m wearing it right now!) and the customized glass is adorable enough that I don’t even want to drink out of it!

It has been hard being out of the metaphorical wedding loop right now for Lea because safety is my primary concern. So, these gifts were very special to me because it showed that Lea still thinks of me as one of her bridesmaids no matter what.

2020 has been such a crazy year and I am so sad that Lea’s wedding isn’t going to be everything that she dreamed of and then some. But, as her best friend and STILL her bridesmaid even though I hardly deserve a participation trophy, I will be doing everything I can in the meantime to keep her spirits way up high. I know she would do the exact same for me. ❤

Did you have an event that got cancelled this year? How do you stay safe during the pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Improving Your Home The Right Way

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Improving Your Home The Right Way

Building is one of the most commonly sought-after trades, and builders can specialize in several types of residential projects. From conversions to minor refurbishment works, some do it all, yet it is important to ensure that the builders you employ are adequately skilled and experienced.

Finding a reliable builder who is committed to delivering exceptional customer service is absolutely essential to running a successful project without any problems. From kitchens to bathrooms and garage conversions to loft conversions, there are certainly plenty of projects to keep builders busy throughout the year. Like the following:

People Prefer To Improve Their Current Home:

House price rises mean that people are now having to stay in the property where they currently live and to extend either into the garage or up into the loft area. This is often seen as a much cheaper way of adding extra space to the property than moving house. The kitchen and bathroom are also popular room refurbishments, particularly if you have bought a house which is in need of some maintenance. Perhaps you are a buy-to-let investor and need a trusted builder to carry out refurbishment work for you – you need a good quality builder who you can count on. All building work takes skill and many years to master properly through training and experience. You should always make sure that your builder has the right level of knowledge and expertise to carry out your projects.

Finding Quality Builders:

Securing the services of quality builders can be difficult if you don’t take the necessary steps to find the most suitable one. Whatever work you need, from an extension through to a full renovation project, you must ensure that your property and the project will be in safe hands. Finding a good builder will also reassure you that they will be using the right quality materials for the work they are undertaking. Before you start searching for builders, friends and family are always a good port of call, to see if they can recommend any reputable builders they have used previously. You may need to bring some other professionals into the mix as well, such as a plumber, so follow the same careful process and ensure they are happy to work within your existing schedule.

If you are ever unsure of anything, it’s always best to leave it to the professionals. If you’re considering a new roof and need a Conservatory Roof Conversions Company, Projects4Roofing is an excellent way to go!

Refurbishment Projects and Bathroom Fitters:

Once you have found a plumber for all of your pipework, you need to fit your bathroom. Within any type of bathroom refurbishment, there is certainly a lot to think about and fitting fixtures is perhaps the last thing on your mind. However, choosing decent bathroom fitters is important as they will understand how each unit fits together and will ensure that your new bathroom is installed with few or no problems. They use their knowledge and expertise to professionally install new showers, toilet facilities, baths, and sinks as well as completing tiling and decorating work. It is always recommended that you use a qualified and experienced fitter.

Efficient Building:

Once you have chosen suitable builders, it pays to carry out several steps to ensure that both parties are safeguarded. It is always recommended that you draw up some form of a written contract so you understand what work will be carried out and the builder knows what is expected of them. A contract provided by builders should detail the work to be completed, when it will begin, how long it will last, how much it will cost, and when payment is required. During the build, make sure that all furniture and household items are tidied away and the builder has enough space to work.

Use the tips above and improve on your home in the best way possible!

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Making Time For Me

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Making Time For Me

Hello! Ever since I began my self employment journey five years and change back, I have been dedicated to running both of my businesses the best that I can. Of course, it is exhausting but it is also so rewarding that it makes putting one foot in front of the other each day that little bit easier. The only bad thing about self employment? No paid time off. -_-

I have always had a hard time taking days off because needing “me time” during the week means I won’t be getting paid! However, having a boyfriend who gets holidays off has turned my mindset a total one eighty. Believe you me, I love my job but having to go to work on a day that Johnny has off is for the birds.

So, I began to do something different when Johnny and I got more serious. I began being much more lenient with myself about taking a day off. Sleeping in during the weekend rocks but there’s something about sleeping in on a day you should be at work that just hits different.

Since I have become better about taking a day off every once in a while, it has given me something to look forward to. Johnny and I now coordinate our time off as best as we can and I cannot wait for Labor Day Monday so I can have a three day weekend with my MAN. It’s a bit of a way off, yes. But can you blame a girl for being excited about the little things during the coronavirus pandemic?!

Making more time for me has turned me into a much more relaxed individual because I’m literally giving myself permission to chill out. That really has never happened before since I began being my own boss. A day off with my boyfriend is always what the doctor ordered, though, so bring on Labor Day! 😀

What are you looking forward to? How do you make time for yourself? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Change Of Scenery

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A Change Of Scenery

Hello! As you all know from yesterday’s post, Johnny and I went on our first date this past weekend since the beginning of all of this COVID business. It was insanely refreshing, to say the least, and we are both eager to get out and about a bit more under circumstances that we are comfortable with. We really did have the best time and the only thing that was different was that we were sitting outside with our drinks instead of in the bar – and social distanced from our friends, of course.

Although our excursion was edited slightly to fit the current times, it just felt good to get out of the house! If you are itching for a change of scenery, why not try the following:

Picnics:

In Ohio, downtown Kent has a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) where you can enjoy food and drinks on spread apart picnic benches. This is how Johnny spent our date night out and we loved it! It was so nice to be in a downtown area and seeing so many people who we’ve been missing since March.

If your neck of the woods doesn’t have a DORA program, pick your favorite Metro Park or even set up a blanket in your own backyard. Purchase take out or make your own meal, sit back, and enjoy the sunshine.

Hiking:

How about a trek through the woods to get you in some different scenery? One of my friends has a goal of hiking one hundred miles by October and he is well on his way to achieving it. If you prefer having company, there are plenty of local animal shelters with lots of dogs to walk along with you. Who knows, you might even end up adopting your new best friend!

Dinner Party:

The next time Johnny and I visit another couple who we are friends with in Kent, I plan on preparing dinner for us. Their house is one you can social distance at. Our apartment? Not so much because it’s so small! I’m bringing the ingredients and “borrowing” their kitchen and we will light a bonfire and eat outdoors. Johnny and I used to go on double dates with this couple often pre-COVID and it will be so fun to continue this tradition in a slightly altered way.

Fun & Games:

There are plenty of games that you can play all while being spread out from people. Video games, charades, Dungeons & Dragons, Bingo, and even silly story telling can all be part of a social distanced game night with your close friends or family. You could even have a paint night right from your own backyard! All it takes is a little creativity and I’m sure you can come up with plenty of social distanced activities, too.

Of course, things are not close to being “back to normal” yet. However, the last date night Johnny and I had was the most normal thing we’ve done in a while. Set up your safety plan so everyone feels comfortable and try out a change of scenery for yourself!

How do you safely see your friends in the COVID era? Where do you go when you need a change of scenery? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Going From Renter To Homeowner The Easy Way

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Going From Renter To Homeowner The Easy Way

If you are keen to put down roots but you are used to being a seasoned renter, you might not know where to begin when it comes to home ownership. The thought of buying a piece of real estate and taking out the largest loan of your life to afford it can be terrifying but it can also give you the chance to build up equity and have your own little patch of bricks and mortar. Home ownership is still a luxury for many. However, if you have the cash saved up, you no longer want to move from rental pad to rental pad, and you’d rather not throw money at a faceless landlord, you need to read this guide to help you go from renter to homeowner the easy way:

Finances:

The most important part of buying a house is making sure that you have your finances in order. It’s all too easy to go house hunting without sorting out your home loan and property lawyer first. To make life easy for yourself, begin saving your hard-earned cash as soon as you have an inkling that you want to buy. Don’t venture into your overdraft for at least three months prior to putting an offer in on a house and demonstrate to home loan lenders that you are a responsible borrower. This means paying off the full balance of your credit card each month and not being flash with the cash, paying out for big-ticket items like new cars or luxury holidays. Be frugal and you could find more favorable home loan interest rates available to you.

Moving:

When you are renting, it can be difficult to get your lease end date and your moving date into your new pad merging together perfectly. While the second-best option would be to collect the keys to your new dwelling prior to your lease ending so you can move your items from one place to another, it doesn’t always work out like that. If you need to move out of your rented home before completing your property purchase, you may need to look into storage units to house your furniture, heirlooms, and items for a short while before you can eventually start setting up house. While timelines can get a little muddled, don’t allow your logistics to get in the way of signing for your home.

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Image by cottonbro on Pexels!

Location:

If you know the area that you want to move to, it still always pays to do some research. If you’re looking to outperform the market and you don’t mind having a go at some home renovations, it can pay to buy the worst house on the best street. If you are wanting to buy in a well-established and highly desirable area but don’t have the budget, this can be the ideal way to get your foot on the property ladder. Hold some cash back from your deposit and change up the kitchen, put some more modern decor into your new living spaces, and give your garden an overhaul. Doing this will increase the value of your first home and leave you more equity in your bricks and mortar. This is key if you are looking to move again in the future.

You don’t have to rent forever. Take the plunge and you can evolve from seasoned renter to homeowner!

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Looking Your Best Out Of Lock Down

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Looking Your Best Out Of Lock Down

The world is slowly returning a little more to normal after the global Coronavirus pandemic, we’re all looking forward to getting a more social again, safely. Whether it’s catching up with friends and family, going on socially distanced dates, or being able to meet colleagues in person again, we all have to readjust to doing things face to face. So it’s little wonder the question of how to look and feel good is at the top of our minds. How about starting with these tips?

Sort Out Your Smile:

Non-verbal communication and facial expressions are hugely important in how others feel about us. Just simple things like smiling more can change the way people perceive you. If you don’t feel confident about your smile, it’s easy to fix these days. Home teeth whitening kits are easier and safer than ever or you could try adding a charcoal toothpaste to your routine for a more natural boost. If you need a bigger change, cosmetic dentistry has some answers, such as invisalign braces to straighten out crooked or gapped teeth. Being able to smile with confidence can make a huge difference to the success of that job interview or date.

Add A Pop Of Blush:

We’re all a tad pasty from staying inside so much, so one easy trick to define your face more is adding a little extra touch of blush to your makeup. Cream or gel blush formulas tend to be the best – they blend out easier, give a fresh look, and it’s harder to be too heavy-handed with them. The vibrant color can be easily applied just by using your fingertips or a dense, fluffy synthetic brush. Hello rosy and defined cheeks! You’ll be glowing.

Fill In Those Brows:

Another important step for the ‘architecture’ of your face is well-groomed, neatly defined eyebrows. These frame your eyes, which are so important for expressing yourself, especially if you are wearing a face mask. Done correctly, a brow makeover can even make the rest of your face appear lifted and refreshed. Quickly brush them upwards with a spoolie or an old, cleaned up mascara wand, and then gently stroke through a brow pencil or a powder eyeshadow which matches the shade of your brows. If you’re blonde, consider a light taupe a shade or two darker, and if you have really dark hair, a shade or two lighter with a chocolate brown often looks softer.

Get The Lighting Right:

Hollywood actresses and Instagram influencers alike know that lighting is everything! So when getting back to socializing in person, you can feel confident by flattering yourself with the right illumination. Position yourself to be facing a window and you won’t get any harsh shadows that show up under eye bags and fine lines. Position a lamp or other light source to the other side for truly flawless results!

Everyone has their own quick fixes for looking their best and hopefully these will have you feeling it as you step back into this great big world. 🙂

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