What A Guy!

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What A Guy!

Hi! Last week was a particularly stressful one and, due to a family emergency, I arrived home from work a lot later than usual on Wednesday. Thanks to Aunt Flo hanging out I was exhausted, had cramps, and was freaking starving. However, after literally one step into my apartment once I arrived home, all of that extra irritability and tension dissipated immediately. Johnny was at band practice so I knew I wouldn’t hear a video game or documentary when I walked in. Rather, I heard the dishwasher running and saw a bag of Taco Bell waiting for me on the stove top:

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My heart absolutely fluttered upon both of these discoveries and I, honestly, felt like a princess – which I texted him right away, of course. I am a woman of simple pleasures and it really doesn’t take much for me to feel spoiled by someone and, in this case, I felt spoiled rotten. After a long day I didn’t have to cook or clean – I just had to sit down and enjoy my food while watching Demon Slayer. It was perfect. Also the Taco Bell was A++++++ 🙂

My Johnny is simply the best and this sweet surprise is a shining example of how thoughtful he is. How did I get so lucky again? What a guy, what a guy, what a heck of a guy! ❤

What is your favorite fast food? When do you feel spoiled? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Hot Chocolate Bomb Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Hot Chocolate Bomb Edition

Hi! My neighbor from my family home, Alice, is one of my best friends. She is so kind and thoughtful and is always leaving sweet surprises for me in the mail box. I don’t know what I would do without her constant encouragement and we really did hit the jackpot for the best neighbor! A few weeks ago, Alice surprised me with a couple of hot chocolate bombs and I was excited to use one because I didn’t even know that they were a thing. My immediate thought was “Do you put it in the bath tub?”

Lol, well it turns out you don’t! On the stove top in a cup and a half of milk is where I placed the hot chocolate bomb and it was the ultimate sweet treat that I didn’t even know I needed. Check it out:

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First of all, can we please talk about how the hot chocolate bomb looks like the Golden Snitch from Harry Potter? It was almost too pretty to let fizz away! It took a while for the hot chocolate bomb to do anything and I would be a liar if I said I didn’t start poking at it after a couple of minutes on the stove top. I was so impatient to see what would happen! 😀

After moving the hot chocolate bomb around for a bit, it finally opened up with glittering flecks of gold mixed into the chocolate and, to my delight, three big marshmallows popped out. My mind was blown. Watching the hot chocolate bomb work was fun but it was even better trying the end result, which was delicious. It was so rich and had a really bold chocolate taste without being too sweet. It has been years since I had hot chocolate and this was the best possible way to be reintroduced. I also loved using my sugar skull mug which was a “just because” gift from Johnny. ❤

Huge shout out to Alice for this awesome sweet surprise. It put a smile on my face and on my taste buds! 🙂

What is your favorite sweet treat? Have you received any sweet surprises lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Buying A Horse? Consider The Following

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Buying A Horse? Consider The Following

Often, the elegance of a horse attracts horse owners: it is the most common reason people have when starting a horse farm or purchasing a horse. The excitement of owning a horse may shift your focus from being a good owner, though, and you need to consider the time, effort, and essential care items before you make any decisions.

If you are a first-time owner, be sure to research and consult the experts before committing your resources extensively. For experienced owners, it may be a walk in the park. However, do not take anything for granted as every horse is unique, and you should treat it as so.

Time Commitment:

Brace yourself – taking care of a horse is quite involving so you will need to have extra time and then some to make sure all of its needs are met. It is a time-consuming task that needs constant and quality work so that you can learn and bond with your horse. You will need to take care of its nutrition (what and how to feed the horse), grooming, stables, riding, and vet check ups. It may seem like a complex maze that will scare you off. But you only need to learn the basics of horse-owning, and you will be good to go. However, you should always be willing to learn more about your horse.

Intelligence:

Every horse has a unique character that you need to learn and create a connection with. Horses usually know how to connect with the rider and the owner by clicking with your emotions. It will be easier to take the cues from the horse if you spend time with it. You also have to know how best to take care of the horse during the different seasons as required. Similarly, the horse can also play a significant role in maintaining your happy mood through equine therapy.

Beauty and Quality:

The beauty of a horse requires a stable of equal measure. You need to design and provide the horse with adequate necessities properly. It would be best if you used your interactions with the horse to consider the designs that will be most fitting. Get in touch with your “horse personality” and choose the best stable from your pole barn builders.

When considering buying a horse, seek to know and understand which breed’s personality will fit with your character well. You can visit several horse farms or barns to familiarize yourself with the horses. You should also get the best grooming kits and techniques to care for them.

Safety:

You should always ensure that you provide a safe environment for your horse. Observe hygiene and good horse nutrition to keep them healthy and happy and rid the area of unnecessary clutter like blankets that may be harmful. To keep the horses fit, be sure to include riding in the green fields or the woods.

Horses are majestic and intelligent animals that need lots of love and care. Make sure you are willing to put in the time, effort, commitment, and passion for a joyful and healthy horse before going forward – they deserve it.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Quick Updates For Your Spring Wardrobe

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Quick Updates For Your Spring Wardrobe

Hello!! Unless you really do need a whole new wardrobe at a season change, typically, seasonal shopping is just about adding a few new pieces to update your closet. A handful of spring statement pieces gives you the opportunity to change how you style the clothes and accessories you already have, instantly making your entire wardrobe feel new again. While a huge haul of clothes is always nice, it is not necessary and, today, we’re going to talk about a few key pieces to add into your cart during your spring shopping:

Longer Skirt:

It can still be cold in the spring time and, despite the sun shining, it isn’t quite time for the mini skirts just yet! Mid to midi or tea length skirts are perfect for spring. This length will not only provide a little extra warmth but will make you the belle of a social distanced garden party with friends. A skirt also gives a great opportunity to incorporate a bold pattern or color into your closet that you might not want in a shirt or dress.

Lovely skirts are a fun way to give your outfit some movement too! Opt for one with pleats, ruffles, or a high low length to let your clothing put on a show when you’re walking around the farmer’s market. Don’t forget that on colder days, you can always slip a pair of tights on beneath your skirt! And, paired with a crop top, it will make an easy piece to transition into summer.

Speaking Of Tights:

While shopping, grab yourself a couple of pairs of tights to sport this spring. Of course, they are great underneath skirts or floral dresses but they are also so cute when worn under a pair of shorts! If your heart is screaming “summer”, break out your favorite pair of denim shorts and pair them with colored or patterned tights, a tucked in top, and a light jacket to incorporate summer clothes while still being weather appropriate. I tend to prefer white or pale pink tights in the spring because it gives such a sweet touch of girliness but any tights you like will do!

Pastel Accessories:

Pastel hues are huge in spring but, unfortunately, pastel shades just wash me out. I look a lot better in gem tones and if that is the case for you too, then incorporate pastels into your accessories instead. Statement purses, big sunglasses, silky scarves, and parasols in pastel shades will still give your outfit some spring flare while keeping your clothes in colors that you prefer. Don’t forget pastel hued kitten heels. Adorable! Updating your accessories with the season is also way cheaper than buying lots of new clothes.

Sharp Button Downs:

Spring is a fun season to style for because you get to play with several different silhouettes and materials. People often associate gauzy, silky, flowy fabrics with spring and there is nothing wrong with that. However, you still need pieces that will give your outfit structure so all of the billowy ones don’t overpower you. A well fitting button down with long or short sleeves will do the job just fine. As established, a button down looks great with a flowy skirt but it will also pair perfectly with gauchos and paper bag shorts. Remember to add a more structured piece to your look if you are rocking breezy materials to best enhance your shape.

Update Your Color Palette:

It is no secret that I prefer to wear dark colors over light and that black is usually my go to color. However, fashion is no fun if you can’t experiment with different shades, especially in the warmer months! Spring is the best time to try out other neutral colors like navy, white, and tan. I used to shy away from all of those colors but I love to wear them now and it definitely has made my wardrobe more interesting. You don’t have to go overboard with it but in the spring time, the pop of color technique is much more effective when it’s against a lighter shade.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to update your spring wardrobe. Go for a few of the pieces mentioned above and you will be all set to step out in style on the first warm day!

What is your go to neutral color? How do you update your wardrobe with the seasons? 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 Authenticity Project By Clare Pooley Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Authenticity Project By Clare Pooley Edition

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, without giving any spoilers away, we will be discussing a charming feel good book by Clare Pooley called The Authenticity Project. Typically, I tend to shy away from “feel good” books because I like the sense of adventure that comes with a thriller and I enjoy being shocked as well as trying to guess the grand reveal. However, after reading my last book club choice of The Wrong Family, I definitely needed a palette cleanser!

I really did love the last feel good book that I read called Miss Benson’s Beetle and wanted another story about ordinary people. From the pile of books that my mom got me from the library (Angel!), The Authenticity Project caught my eye. Just the title alone intrigued me and I wanted to know more. In its brief synopsis on the jacket, I learned that The Authenticity Project is a notebook that encourages people to share their truth honestly in its pages if they happen to find it.

This nice, light story line based around a simple but exciting concept sounded like just what I needed and I decided to give it a try. I am glad I did! The Authenticity Project was a delightful read so let’s get to it:

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Julian is a former famed artist who was very prominent in the social scene. Now, as a seventy-nine year old widower, he lives the life of a recluse and is incredibly lonely. Starved for connection, he decides to start The Authenticity Project in which he shares his story and shortcomings and encourages everyone who comes across it to do the same, pass it on, and live a more honest life. Julian thinks that the stories that each page holds has the potential to help someone but, little does he know, his project is about to turn his own world upside down.

The Authenticity Project ends up being found by Monica, an uptight cafe owner who yearns for the picture perfect life of marriage and a baby. After reading Julian’s story, she feels inclined to help him break free from his lonely life and begins advertising for someone to teach a weekly art class at her cafe with Julian in mind. To her own surprise, Monica wrote frankly about herself in the book too and passed it on to be found by the next person.

The next person? Hazard. The person after? Riley. Then Alice. And so on and so forth until The Authenticity Project’s “magic” creates a group of complete strangers who come together thanks to the stories on the pages with Julian right in the middle. The book worked in favor for Julian but how are the lives of the other characters in this interweaving tale benefiting from it? Read The Authenticity Project and find out!

As you all know, I love a book with multiple narrators and The Authenticity Project has six so, obviously, I was in heaven. I was excited to see how each character developed once they found the notebook and how they would show up among the existing characters. Despite having six narrators, The Authenticity Project balanced all of them beautifully and I felt a connection in some way to each of them. I also never felt like I was lacking in information about any of them because their highly personal notebook entry is shared when the character is introduced.

The idea of six lives melding together because of something as simple as writing in a notebook is such a lovely one and it was hard to read The Authenticity Project without smiling. I am also sure that many of you will be just as obsessed with the sassy high fashion senior citizen, Julian, as I was. He was fabulous and I aspire to be just as fierce as him when I’m almost eighty. 🙂

ANYWHO, my only qualm with this book is that it was a bit too obvious for my taste. It, honestly, felt like a more modern and grown up Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants. Sorry lol, I’ve been waiting this entire post to say that!! But there is some truth to that. Not only could you see each new development happen from a mile away but some of the character choices were a bit tired. See: Influencer whose life isn’t as perfect as she posts online as your starring example!

This seems like harsh criticism for a book that I just said was a delight but it really was and I enjoyed reading it a lot. It just had some of the classic feel good flaws and I wish that there was a little more depth to it. Overall, I am going to rate The Authenticity Project with a 6.25 out of ten stars. It was the perfect palette cleanser after just finishing a really intense book and if you are in that situation too, then I highly recommend it. However, if you’re looking for a more groundbreaking feel good read, then you could definitely take or leave this one.

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

February 2021 Finishes

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February 2021 Finishes

Howdy! While January literally felt like it lasted for five months, February flew by and it is already time to discuss my beauty product finishes for the month. I have always enjoyed testing out new bath, body, and skin care products but I never realized just how much until the COVID-19 pandemic. Trying new products not only keeps me looking my best but gives me something different in my routine to look forward to, is relatively cheap, and helps enhance my relaxation time after work.

Whenever I do any online shopping, I usually will buy a couple of beauty treats for myself and tested out two new serums this month. I was very impressed with one but the other? Not in the slightest. Let’s discuss:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Lubriderm Lotion: Pre-pandemic, I was getting tattooed regularly and always had several bottles of fragrance free Lubriderm lotion handy in my stockpile for after care. Obviously, I haven’t been to my favorite tattoo shop any time recently so my half used bottle of Lubriderm had just been sitting there on the bathroom counter taking up space. Waste not want not, so for the past four or five months I tried to use the lotion before bed or after my shower much to the relief of my dry winter skin! Other than the bonus of being fragrance free, this lotion absorbs super quickly and feels light while working effectively.

I was glad to finally finish this lotion up and will be looking forward to using the good ol’ Lubriderm again… After getting new tattoos post pandemic, that is! 😀

Azure Lux Serum: I have been using Azure Lux Sparkling Oil serums pretty regularly for the past two years, switching between the 24K and Rose Gold options. I decided that I wanted to try a different serum by them and went with the White Gold which encouraged firming, toning, and rejuvenating. For the entire month of using it twice daily, I noticed no difference in my skin whatsoever. In fact, I can recall times when I thought my skin looked dull and that was never an issue with the Rose or 24K Gold serums. I definitely won’t be buying this product again and would not recommend it.

I actually don’t plan on purchasing any more Azure Lux serums after I finish what is in my stockpile because I feel like the products are no longer benefiting my skin. Which directly leads into me trying out the last finish that we’re going to talk about:

Eclat Serum: After making the decision to wean myself off of the Azure Lux products, I began to research the best recommended skin care for people in their mid-twenties. The resounding theme was incorporating a Vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid into your routine so I ordered a serum by Eclat and a moisturizer by Neutrogena. The Eclat serum was not only very highly rated on Amazon (five stars) but also very cheap (seven bucks) so I figured why not? And I am so glad I did!

After one use of the Eclat serum, I noticed a difference in my skin which was incredibly radiant despite the fact that I was dead tired. I was simply amazed by the results and continued to be impressed morning and night because the difference it made in my skin in one use wasn’t just a fluke. My skin was glowing! I cannot wait to finish up the rest of my Azure Lux serums so I can use it again and I highly recommend it.

My only qualm with this serum is that the bottle is fairly small. If you are thinking of making a purchase, make sure you get two of them if you want a full month of usage. With twice daily use, I finished this serum in a little under three weeks.

Overall, February was a pretty good month for finishes. I have also been enjoying using up the several slabs of bar soap that I received as gifts. If you want to make an effort to reduce the use of plastic in your life, using face and body bars as opposed to shower gels and cleansers is a great first step! 🙂

What is a must have beauty product for you? What is your skin care routine like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

My Thoughts On The Elisa Lam Documentary

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My Thoughts On The Elisa Lam Documentary

Hey! So yesterday, we discussed various forms of my lock down entertainment but I left out one major talking point in the TV section. I had just watched the Netflix documentary, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel and it was all news to me. Despite the Elisa Lam story apparently being huge in 2013, I had no idea about any of it – the haunting viral video, the dark past of the Cecil Hotel (American Horror Story even based Hotel off of The Cecil!), and all of the conspiracy theories of what could have happened to Elisa even though her death was ruled an accident.

Because I had no past recollection of the Elisa Lam story, I devoured the four part under four hour long documentary in one evening. It took me a while to digest all of the information because the “elevator” video was playing on a loop in my head. However, after thinking about it for a few days, there is still something about the Elisa Lam story that just doesn’t sit well with me. At the end of the day, we have no firm idea of what her last few days were like which makes the case feel severely lacking in closure. I don’t believe in any of the far fetched conspiracies about the case but I have a feeling that the management of the Cecil Hotel knew more than they were letting on. The hotel manager didn’t seem particularly trustworthy to me and she had an extremely defensive standpoint throughout the documentary.

Speaking of conspiracies, I thought that this documentary focused way too much on them. I was completely shocked to learn at the very end of The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel of Elisa Lam’s struggle with her mental health as well as her family’s confirmation of it. Instead of starting a conversation about mental health, the documentary almost encouraged the Internet Sleuth sensation while only briefly glazing over a life that these “detectives” ruined – Pablo Vergara’s. Elisa Lam’s story just felt like it got added in after the fact.

This is the third documentary that I have watched recently on Netflix and I can’t say that I have been very impressed with any of them. Each documentary has just had so much extra crap muddled in that I feel like it doesn’t do the actual story any justice. While the first two episodes of Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel were really gripping and informative the remaining two indulged heavily in conspiracy theories which was a missed opportunity for more meaningful conversation.

What are your thoughts on the Elisa Lam story? What was the last documentary you watched? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Remember These Tips When Moving Out For The First Time

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Remember These Tips When Moving Out For The First Time

Moving out of the family home can be scary and stressful but it is also a really great start to a new chapter in your life. You are sure to be juggling a lot right now from furniture shopping to figuring out an internet service and it all can feel overwhelming. But a place that is your own is an exciting light at the end of the tunnel of seemingly endless apartment hunting and budgeting. Here are a few things to remember when you move out for the first time that might be missed or forgotten:

Find Your Local Go-To’s:

If you have moved into a different area or completely different town it is a good idea to get a feel for the place before you move. Find out where your new doctor’s office, the closest hospital, banks, supermarkets, restaurants, and pharmacy are. Knowing where all of these places are is important and can be a deciding factor in where you choose to live. You don’t want to be far away from a hospital when you are in an emergency!

Cleaning Appliances Will Be Needed:

When you move into your own place you will need to clean it. That’s right, it is all down to you now. So try to get yourself motivated to do it by buying all of your cleaning gear! There are all different types of things that you will need, like a spray mop, iron, washing machine, dishwasher, and a vacuum cleaner. There are so many different models, price ranges, and types so read about different brands to find the ones that are best suited to you and your needs.

Prepare For The Emotional Side Of It:

Moving out of the family home can be really exciting but it can also feel a bit scary. It is important to remember that even though you are moving out, your family is there for you no matter what. A good way to ease out of it is by having a weekly dinner where you go and spend quality time after you have moved out. So it could be every Sunday you go and have a big family meal. No one says you can’t pop by during the week too! They are also only a phone call away if you need any support.

Make A List For Chores:

When you are the sole responsible person for all of the cleaning, you will need to make sure it gets done. A quick and easy way to make sure this happens is to make a list. A chore chart is a great way to map out the additional time that it will take to keep your apartment as clean and bright as it was when you first moved in.

Meet The Neighbors:

Meeting your new neighbors is not only polite but you could end up becoming lifelong friends with each other! Knowing your neighbors is also beneficial if you ever need them. It will be nice to know that you can go on vacation with the peace of mind of your place being watched over and your mail getting picked up.

Moving out is challenging, scary, rewarding, and exciting all in one. There is much to do and it is a big change so follow the tips above to keep the process going smoothly.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Mental Health And Who Is There To Support You

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Mental Health And Who Is There To Support You

It is understandable to see how one’s mental health can be effected during the COVID-19 pandemic as everyone’s lives have changed so drastically in one short year. Jobs, finances, and socializing has all been turned upside down and that’s enough to stress anyone out. We all hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and normality will return soon, but in the meantime, if you are finding yourself struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression that you reach out and get the support you need.

Here are some useful suggestions on who you could turn to:

Mental Health Charities:

Mental health charities are wonderful as they have a stash of resources, trained staff, and professionals available to help. They can guide you and assist if counseling is needed, help you assess the best options available in your location, in addition to offering their services twenty-four hours a day. It is worth noting with charities, that there is a vast range of services offered and that some charities may have a more in-depth knowledge relating to specific age groups than others.

Your Family Doctor:

Approaching your personal doctor or physician is also a good port of call if you have any mental health concerns. They will be able to offer excellent guidance on additional support that can be provided and help arrange this for you. Whilst in some cases, they may even be able to prescribe medication to help support your recovery. As you will already have some relationship with this medical professional you may find this an easier first step than approaching someone new.

Employer:

Most employers have some kind of support system in place to help their employees. This will range from office workers that have occupational health benefits or private insurance included to actors and actresses that have an intimacy set coordinator in place to support their mental well being. Although you may find it tough approaching your boss to discuss these matters, know that they are there to help and support you.

Family And Friends:

Sometimes it can be easier to speak to someone you know and trust. Who is better than those that love you the most? Reaching out to a family member or close friend can make seeking help easier for some people. They already have an understanding of your situation, circumstances, and struggles. They are able to offer a friendly ear and, in some cases, can take some of the burdens you are feeling and offer or apply practical solutions to lift your mental load. Schedule a Zoom call with your best friend the next time you are feeling down, it will do a world of good.

It is important to talk about our feelings in such stressful times, not bottle them up! This will only make the pandemic feel more overwhelming. Schedule a call with a professional or a friend you trust to help ease mental health struggles and just know that you are not alone in feeling that way, at all.

Featured Image By: Pexels

My Lock Down Entertainment

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My Lock Down Entertainment

Hi! My lock down entertainment has mostly consisted of watching movies and TV and playing video games with Johnny as well as practicing Duolingo and reading at my leisure. Prior to the pandemic, Johnny and I already had a majority of the available streaming services and I was thankful for all of them then and I’m even more thankful for them now because we will never hurt for something to watch! Here is the latest of what we have been enjoying lately:

TV Shows:

Johnny has currently been making his way through a couple of Ken Burns documentaries and if I don’t feel like watching, then I might pop on an anime on my computer. Johnny and I recently watched Castlevania on Netflix and, despite season three not being the best, it was overall really good. My brother recommended Parasyte and Demon Slayer to me and I absolutely loved Parasyte and finished it in a matter of days! I am now working my way through Demon Slayer and plan on giving Death Note a try next.

When we are not watching our shows separately, Johnny and I love tuning into the new episodes of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Superstore, and Saturday Night Live every week. We also just binged The Mandalorian in a week! I am absolutely obsessed with The Child and already can’t wait for season three. Since The Office has been taken off of Netflix, we are watching King Of The Hill as our comedy and I am absolutely obsessed with Bobby too, lol. I am also very much looking forward to Netflix’s Sandman series which should be coming out at the end of 2021!

PS: For my fellow French speakers, La Mante on Netflix was excellent. 🙂

Movies:

Johnny and I really haven’t been watching too many movies lately. We watched Mad Max: Fury Road on Valentine’s Day at Johnny’s request and it was whatever, haha. It was just a two hour long car chase! Other than that, we watched Casablanca a few weeks ago which was fun because I had never seen it and Johnny has only saw it once. Trust and believe we said “we’ll always have Paris” like five hundred times while Johnny built his LEGO Paris skyline set. Obviously, we thought it was pretty funny lol!

Other than that, I watched a couple of French movies on Netflix in the past few months and both of them were awesome! If you like foreign films, then definitely check out Mon Frere and The Most Assassinated Woman In The World.

Reading:

The last book that I read was The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher which was not only crazy AF but fairly disturbing. I definitely needed a palette cleanser after that so I am just in the process of finishing The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley. It is a charming, weaving tale of how one little book ended up bringing together a group of unlikely friends. I only have a little over one hundred pages left so be on the lookout for a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club soon.

Duolingo:

On my last Duolingo update, I had just reached my one hundred day streak and I am currently past one twenty-five. I am so proud of my commitment to learning French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech as well as all of the progress that I have been making because I can definitely tell a difference. I also still can’t recommend Duolingo Plus enough. It is so nice to have unlimited hearts during a difficult lesson and also ad free which speeds up the process immensely.

Video Games:

For Valentine’s Day, Johnny got me Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door for the GameCube and I have been having so much fun playing it! I have been on a huge Mario kick during the pandemic and beat Paper Mario: The Origami King and Super Mario Galaxy which were both a blast. I have basically dropped off of Animal Crossing but will pop back on once they do an update for spring. You can only catch the same fish and bugs so much, ya know? Johnny and I play a lot of Diablo III together and we are also about to inherit our friend’s Nintendo 64 so we are really looking forward to that!

While going out would be nice, it’s just not safe right now. But you know what is nice for me? Ample time to watch all of the shows I never had time for, read all the books, and improve on my favorite hobbies – all while helping slow the spread of COVID-19. Enjoy your time in and make the most of it!

What has been your lock down entertainment? Which streaming service do you use the most? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

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Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

Hello! Life in lock down is, honestly, so boring at this point but the safety of ourselves, loved ones, and complete strangers is important and it makes all of the monotony worth it. If you have exhausted all of your ideas to keep you occupied at home, then it might be time to retire from your streaming services and try a new craft. There are so many amazing videos, kits, and how to guides out there to create something new and, today, we’re going to discuss a few of those options:

Knit Kits:

If you are interested in knitting, crochet, or macrame or would like to take the hobby up again, then there are so many websites that you can purchase kits from. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and advanced, each kit provides you with the pattern, step by step guide, and materials needed for you to make a scarf, sweater, or blanket. Stitch & Story, We Are Knitters, and Wool And The Gang are all great websites to browse through for your next project! When the weather is nice, you could even host a social distanced knitting circle in your own backyard.

Restoring Old Furniture:

A trip to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or even shopping online through Facebook Marketplace can give you access to all kinds of gently used furniture just begging for a makeover. You could repair, repaint, or reupholster new life into secondhand items and redo your entire living room. Not to mention, make some extra cash if you ever want to turn your craft into a side hustle. Don’t forget garage sale style apps as well as Poshmark if you would like to profit from your new hobby.

Building With LEGO:

My boyfriend and I absolutely love building with LEGO and, although it isn’t a craft per se, I just had to include it on this list. Did you know that a LEGO replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night will soon be available for purchase? What about a botanical collection that boasts bouquets, bonsai trees, and succulents? LEGO is constantly adding new sets with unique pieces and colors and are always finding innovative ways to work surprises into each build, which makes it an exciting hobby to have.

You can showcase your creative side with LEGO through free building or incorporating different sets into your home decor. I would sure like to have a LEGO Starry Night hanging on my wall!

Homemade Products:

Making your own cleaning products, candles, and bath and body care can be a really fun hobby, makes great gifts, and helps save you money. Online guides will help you develop your new craft and you can even experiment with your own recipes once you have a better idea for the best ingredients and techniques. You will feel comforted in knowing exactly what is going into the products that you are using and, who knows, it could just turn into a side hustle in the future if you create something really good!

Don’t forget to check in with your local businesses and boutiques because some of the owners might be offering online workshops for homemaking different products or art. For example, the local specialty knitting shop in my area, Harps & Thistles, offers knitting kits too and it’s always cool to shop local. 🙂

Have you learned a new craft during the pandemic? How about improved on any old hobbies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

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Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

Families can be difficult and, sometimes, you’re going to argue. Usually, disagreements get forgotten and things go back to normal but that isn’t always the case as some families might end up splitting apart and not speaking, potentially for years. Dealing with estranged family members can be incredibly difficult and many people feel as though they want to keep things as they are and not speak to those people ever again.

However, even though you feel like that in the heat of the moment, it’s something that you could come to regret later on. Many people find that when they become parents and they start thinking about the importance of family, they want to rebuild those relationships before it’s too late. If you have an estranged family member and you want to reconnect with them, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Forgive Them For The Past:

If you are searching for an estranged family member because you feel like you’ve got a score to settle, things are never going to work out. It’s important that you forgive them for the past before you reconnect with them so you are going into this process with a positive mindset. Many people are estranged from loved ones that have been in legal trouble, for example. If this is the case, you need to deal with the practical elements, like how to search for an inmate and set up a visit, but you also need to find a way to forgive them for the mistakes they made in the first place. If you are not ready to put the past behind you, meeting up with estranged family members will only make things worse for both of you.

Establish Clear Boundaries:

Putting clear boundaries in place will help you rebuild the relationship slowly and avoid conflict. You should make your boundaries clear from the beginning and what those boundaries are depends on the relationship and the reason for it breaking down. To start, you may tell them that you won’t tolerate lying if that was a big issue before. Sometimes, you may also need practical boundaries in place about what time they can call you or how often you will see one another. The whole process will be much easier if everybody has clear expectations from the beginning.

Maintain Other Family Relationships:

When you rekindle a relationship with a family member that you haven’t spoken to for years, it feels like you have to make up for a lot of lost time. It’s common for people to throw themselves into that relationship and neglect other family members without even realizing it. It’s important that you are aware of this and you take the time to do fun activities with the family and spend quality time with your partner so they don’t feel like this new relationship has taken over everything else. 

These are all important things to consider but the main thing you need to remember is that you must be patient. Healing old wounds takes time, but as long as you don’t push it, your relationship can mend.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Stepping Up Your Pampering At Home

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Stepping Up Your Pampering At Home

Howdy! I don’t know about all of you, but I freaking love pampering myself with beauty treatments at home. From face masks to body scrubs and skin care, I have always enjoyed trying new products, scents, and ingredients to enhance my pampering even more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am sure that many of us have turned to at home beauty treatments to minimize unnecessary exposure. And, due to the pandemic approaching its one year anniversary, you might be running out of ideas for your at home spa nights!

We all deserve to feel relaxed and pampered and if you are feeling blah with your current treatments, step them up by trying the following:

Make Your Own:

If you have exhausted all of the sheet and clay face masks at your local pharmacy or are sick of your bath and body care scents, why not try making your own beauty products? There are countless how to guides and recipes out there for face masks, hair and nail treatments, and lotion and you might just find your new favorite hobby. You will also be amazed at how many products you could make with ingredients that you already have in your own home like avocado, olive oil, sugar, and eggs. You could even have a Zoom spa night with your friends where you can all make and use a spa treatment together while catching up on the latest.

If you aren’t interested in making your own products but would like to try something new, then try supporting a local or small online business that specializes in beauty care. I love testing out products from local creators and often find that their products are even better than store bought brands!

Tend To Neglected Areas:

I recently just realized that I spend so much time with products for my face that I have lightweight neglected several opportunities for pampering. To emphasize that point, at almost twenty-seven years old I just started using hand lotion before bed regularly a month ago. If this sounds like you, spend some time during your next spa night getting acquainted with neglected areas like overgrown cuticles, dry elbows, and rough heels for a complete pampering experience.

Create A Relaxing Space:

There is absolutely nothing relaxing about sitting in your bathroom waiting for your face mask to dry, lol. Enhance your spa night by creating a relaxing space. You could draw a nice hot bath or you could carve out a little space in your home where you can lounge and read as your treatments settle in. Don’t forget that scented candles, oil burners, or incense as well as nature sounds and soothing music will help make your experience even better!

Lil Red Pro Tip:

I am definitely not perfect when it comes to my skin care and my recent bout with a super huge zit can attest to that! I also just got over a case of the literal worst dandruff ever about a month ago and all I can say if you are dealing with dandruff is: Olive oil. There was no Head & Shoulders at my place and after researching online, I learned that an olive oil treatment is really effective. I soaked my scalp with olive oil for about fifteen minutes, washed my hair twice to get it all out, and was blown away to see no more white flakes. See! Awesome beauty treatments can be found right in your own home. 🙂

Give how you pamper yourself a makeover with the tips above to spruce things up during your next spa night!

How do you pamper yourself at home? What is your favorite beauty treatment? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tend To The Following To Breathe Better In Your Home

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Tend To The Following To Breathe Better In Your Home

If you’ve ever had to think about what areas in your home could be damaging to your health, your first thought might be the pantry or refrigerator – the places where we keep our sweet treats and unhealthy snacks. However, there are some arguably more unhealthy areas in our homes that are a bigger cause for concern. Neglect in the following four examples all has the potential to cause breathing problems to develop over time so it is important to know what they are and how you can minimize the problem:

The Insulation:

Typically, we won’t spot insulation problems since, thanks to our heaters, they don’t really impact the temperature of our homes too much. However, bad insulation can mean paying over the odds energy bills to make up for the fact that without heat, we’d be freezing cold. But high energy bills are the least of our worries. Using heating systems all of the time can mean overheating the interiors of our homes which can cause a whole host of issues due to dry air and can impact our hair, sinuses, and skin.

Our AC Systems:

We rely so much on our AC systems for heat and air to keep our temperatures regulated throughout the year. But did you know that they can actually be making us sick? Not cool. When they break, you’re going to want to call a 24 hour AC repair place to get you back on track as having a broken, malfunctioning, or dirty AC system can make you sick. You might suffer from breathing issues, bad skin, headaches, and fatigue frequently. If this is the case, you should get your AC system checked out before symptoms get worse.

Air Pollution in the Home:

The air inside your home isn’t clean.

‘But I dust and clean every day!’ you might be saying, however, in spite of this, there are still tiny particles making the air dirty floating around even if you live far away from polluted cities. Cooking smoke, cleaning products, and indoor stuffiness can impact on the cleanliness of the home. Use certain indoor plants and air purifiers to help to eliminate the issue and to improve the quality of the air in the home.

Clutter:

Having excess clutter can be a nightmare for our mental health as we struggle with the ample extra time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Highly cluttered spaces not only gather dust but can also attract pests and bugs who will have plenty of places to hide. Both of these instances can be dangerous to your respiratory health.

There are many things that you could be doing to improve your quality of life in the home and the quality of the air seems like a perfect place to start, doesn’t it?

Featured Image By: Pexels

Whole Lotta Nothing

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Whole Lotta Nothing

Hi everyone!! Valentine’s Day has come and past and, now, I am eagerly awaiting the warm weather and (hopefully) lack of snow that comes with the spring time. It is exciting to think of the possibilities that come with spring amidst the COVID-19 pandemic because warmer weather means the opportunity to social distance with friends outside. Unfortunately, we are not quite there yet as Ohio has been getting hit with a fair amount of snow, which means a few more months of a whole lotta nothing.

Johnny and I will have been hunkered down for an entire year on March 19th and we will continue doing so until it’s considered safe. However, I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t getting a little impatient waiting for it! The excitement of the holiday season has been long gone and, while it has been nice hibernating, it will be even nicer to enjoy the sunshine and see people in person (while following all safety regulations) as opposed to on the screen of my laptop.

Despite having a whole lotta nothing going on, I still feel insanely lucky because boring is good right now. Being tucked safely into the apartment with Johnny watching our shows, listening to music, or playing games is the best thing that we can both be doing for ourselves and loved ones and I am proud of our dedication for the past year. The pandemic is a scary thing but knowing that we are both doing everything we can to protect people is really comforting to me.

If the cabin fever is starting to kick in more intensely for you in your lock down lifestyle, I get it completely. But, in a few short weeks, the sun will be shining and being outdoors with friends will be possible and I encourage all of you to keep holding on until then! Being able to say that you’re doing a whole lotta nothing during a pandemic is something to be grateful for, no matter how boring it is. Sink into the couch, start that new series on Netflix, and let the countdown till spring and better times begin!

What is your lock down lifestyle like? What are you looking forward to come spring? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

More Spring Flowers To Brighten Your Day

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More Spring Flowers To Brighten Your Day

Hello! At my parent’s house a few weeks ago, my dad got a bouquet of the most lovely orange and yellow tulips for the kitchen table. I was so enamored by the sunburst colors, especially in the middle of winter, and I didn’t think that anything could be prettier. That is, until I saw the beautiful arrangement that my dad made special for Valentine’s Day. The ruby red tulips he picked out were such a unique twist on traditional V-Day roses and it also rang true to my Lil Red namesake so, of course, I was smitten! Check it out:

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Whenever I see a new bouquet at my parent’s house, it never fails to put a huge smile on my face. My dad has never been known to spend more than five dollars or so on flowers but he always manages to make his arrangements look stunning and expensive. These store bought tulips are divine, yes, but they still have nothing on my dad’s wildflower bouquets fresh from his garden in the summer!

As you can tell in the pictures above, there was snow on the ground when my dad made this bouquet and the contrast of the freshly fallen snow and the fiery red flowers was like Mother Nature putting on her own personal show special for us. I can’t imagine anyone not being able to delight in beautiful, colorful flowers and I feel so lucky that I constantly get to enjoy them at my parent’s house. ❤

What is your favorite flower? Do you have a green thumb? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

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Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home so why not get better acquainted with it during your next family night as opposed to the usual movies or games. Kitchens are meant to be used and enjoyed and creating a meal with your family gives you the opportunity to work as a team in a different activity while still spending quality time together. Who knows, you might just have a secret chef in your home! Try the following during your next family night for some good food and good fun:

Agree On A Menu:

If you are going to prepare an entire dinner with your family, then it is best to agree on a menu beforehand so you can pick up all of the necessary ingredients and save you from any surprise trips to the store. Is there going to be a cuisine style that should be adhered to? Is each person going to make their own dish or will tasks be delegated? Will there be enough options for people with dietary needs? All of this should come into consideration while preparing the menu to ensure that everything goes smoothly while cooking your meal.

Don’t forget to read your recipes carefully for instructions that you must complete beforehand or a crazy long cooking time so you can plan accordingly. It also doesn’t hurt to assign stations for everyone to work in so no one gets their toes stepped on and remember to tend to any fridge repairs that need done so all of your leftovers can keep!

Baking & Decorating:

If you’d rather move right onto dessert than try your hand at cooking a whole meal as a family, then that’s okay too! Baking and decorating desserts is fun for children and adults alike. You could even incorporate a competition element to the evening by offering a small prize for the best tasting (or decorated) dessert. Classic desserts are sure to please but there are plenty of creative updates on old favorites that you can try like cake pops and hot chocolate bombs. Making your own chocolate is also a great activity for those with a sweet tooth. 😀

Smoothies:

Going out for a hike with the family in the afternoon and returning home to make some smoothies seems like the perfect way to spend a spring day. Encourage everyone to make their own concoctions with a wide assortment of fruits and low fat yogurts to pick from. Smoothies are also great for sneaking in some veggies like spinach, kale, or carrots.

Slime & Play Dough:

Perhaps, you’d rather use your family time in the kitchen to whip up a few batches of slime or play dough together. If so, there are countless recipes online that you can follow for some colorful, creative fun made with ingredients in your own house. Your kids are sure to have a blast!

Retire your living room for family night and head to the kitchen instead for a more hands on, interactive evening. Creating in the kitchen as a family will encourage team work and help introduce children to different concepts in math like fractions and units of measurement. It’s just as educational as it is wholesome fun.

Spring Cleaning Check List

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Spring Cleaning Check List

As we near the end of February, the promise of spring after a long winter cooped up indoors is an exciting one. Sadly, the weather won’t warm up for a while but that doesn’t mean that your house can’t start feeling like spring time! Spring cleaning helps make your home feel as fresh as spring itself and is the perfect activity to conclude your winter hibernation with. Pay special attention to the following while you complete your spring cleaning:

Clean From Top To Bottom:

When cleaning a room, it is best to work in a top to bottom approach. Clear off and dust any shelving units or knick knacks and don’t forget the lighting fixtures. Give the windows in the room a good washing as well as any pillows, rugs, and blankets. It’s also a good idea to declutter as you go along to help the space feel more open. Once you have cleaned the top portion of the room, move onto the floors which will surely need some love after being walked on by snowy shoes. Working from top to bottom eliminates the possibility of scuffing up your nice clean floors after just washing them!

Know What To Prioritize:

Going over each room with a fine tooth comb is great, yes, but there are certain tasks on your check list that should take a higher priority. It is more important to tend to issues like leaks, holes, dryer or dishwasher repairs, as well as ensuring that your air conditioning is in working order to keep your house functioning safely and efficiently.

Work In Sections:

You are not obligated to complete your spring cleaning in one day. In fact, it’s better to break your chores up into sections so that you can clean and sanitize each area properly. Give yourself a few achievable cleaning tasks to accomplish each day so you don’t get burned out and take a break if you need to! The purpose of spring cleaning is to lighten the space and your mood, in turn, so give yourself a breather if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Switch Out Cozy Fabrics:

Thick curtains, plush rugs, and soft fleece blankets are all great for late fall and winter but not so much for spring. Switch out the cozy, seasonal fabrics at your place with gauzy curtains, canvas pillows, and more practical rugs. Remember to put your winter coats, snow boots, and chunky sweaters into storage to maximize the space in your closet too.

Get a head start on your spring cleaning with the advice in this check list to help make your home warm weather ready. Don’t forget that if you are out of any cleaning products, you can use contact free shopping to avoid any unnecessary exposure during the pandemic!

Valentine’s Day Celebration

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Valentine’s Day Celebration

Hello! On Valentine’s Day this past Sunday, Johnny and I didn’t do too much of anything because there really isn’t much to do! But that’s A-okay with me since we both still had a great day. Our Sundays have always been what we call “Lazy Sunday” and, as you can guess, we just stay in our pajamas all day and catch up on all of our TV shows or watch a couple of movies. This particular Lazy Sunday which Valentine’s Day happened to fall on was relaxing, as per usual, and a huge treat for me because Johnny got us Taco Bell for lunch which is literally all I wanted since we had already given each other our gifts the week before.

We spent our Valentine’s Day watching the new Saturday Night Live, King Of The Hill, Demon Slayer, and Mad Max: Fury Road at Johnny’s request. We were both so full from lunch that I don’t think we would have done anything even if it was safe to do so! Mad Max was pretty good, despite it just being a two hour long car chase (lol), and Johnny thought it was the funniest thing every time I would yell or gasp about an explosion or close calls with the main characters. I couldn’t help it – Even though it was definitely not my kind of movie, it was still intense AF!

Prior to mine and Johnny’s lazy day, I also got to see my parents, brother, and my lil niece who they were babysitting. I had such a wonderful time making masterpieces with dot markers with Valerie and have her handy work proudly displayed on my fridge. We also had a blast dancing to our favorite songs from Moana, spinning around on our bums on the kitchen floor, and practicing colors and animal noises. My Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without seeing my Val Gal, after all. ❤

Last year’s Valentine’s Day when Johnny and I spent a weekend in Marietta, Ohio while Johnny’s band played a show was, obviously, a lot more exciting. But, despite the circumstances this year, we both still had an awesome day gorging ourselves and getting to know all of our streaming services even better, haha. Any time spent with him is my favorite thing whether it be watching his band play live or just watching an action movie on the couch. Lazy Valentine’s Day was, in our opinion, still a huge success and I am so thankful for every holiday that we celebrate together!

How did you spend Valentine’s Day? What is a typical Sunday like for you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Best Practices For Keeping Your Clothes Like New

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Best Practices For Keeping Your Clothes Like New

Any fashionista wants their clothes to continue looking as good as it did the first time you tried it on in the store and that means knowing how to properly care for them. Keeping your clothes in great condition will allow you to get more use out of it as well as give you the opportunity to sell it on Poshmark once it is ready to retire from your wardrobe. Today, we’re going to go over a few best practices when it comes to taking care of your clothes to keep them like new for as long as possible:

Tend To Appliance Repairs:

A dryer that overheats or a washer that doesn’t fully rinse away detergent isn’t going to do your clothes any favors at all. Tend to all dryer and washer repairs when the problem arises to avoid an even bigger repair a month or two down the line as well as potentially ruining some of your favorite pieces. 

Store Your Clothes Properly:

Knowing how to store your clothes properly will help prevent wrinkles and creases which will limit the possibility of you burning your favorite top on the iron! That’s one of my nightmares, anyways. A good rule of thumb is to fold clothes that have a stretchy material like T-shirts and sweaters while hanging items that need their shape supported like a jacket as well as materials that can wrinkle easily like silk blouses. Learning the Marie Kondo method of folding will also help with the overstuffed dresser drawers that won’t shut!

Don’t forget to take care of your accessories too. Invest in a cute jewelry stand or a wall mounted fixture to display your bling while keeping them tangle free. Keep sunglasses in protective cloth bags and, if possible, keep your shoes stored in their original boxes. Remember to stuff your purses, shoes, and hats with tissue paper to help reinforce their shape.

Follow Washing Instructions On The Tag:

For some reason, people never seem to follow the cleaning instructions on clothing tags which provide a how to guide to the best care for the item. There is nothing more disappointing than a new favorite shirt that shrunk because you didn’t wash it in cold water! Following the instructions on the care tag will prevent the colors of your clothes from bleeding as well as the fabric from stretching, shrinking, or tearing. And, please, if it says “Dry clean only” just take it to the dry cleaner!

The clothing and accessories in our wardrobe were bought because we thought they were flattering so we want them to stay in great condition for as long as we can. Follow the best practices above to help increase the longevity of your clothes as well as giving truth to all of your “next to new” listings!

Don’t Wait To Tend To These Problems At Home

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Don’t Wait To Tend To These Problems At Home

When you’re a home owner, there are some problems that can arise that will require an immediate response as the longer you wait, the more expensive the solutions are going to be. Not to mention that some of these issues have the potential to be dangerous to yourself and family. If you are experiencing any of the following problems, don’t hesitate to call in the experts to help get your house functioning to its best ability again:

Appliance Repair:

A functional house means having appliances that are all working properly, which is why it is so important to address any issues as soon as you notice them. Waiting to call your local experts or Appliance Repair Oakville can result in a lot of annoyances and additional expenses like endless trips to the laundromat, having to order take out, and throwing food in the refrigerator away. Take note every time you use your appliances for any strange noises, odors, or delays so you can get a repair service in before it develops into a bigger issue.

Pest Problems:

A pest infestation is not only extremely damaging to your indoor or outdoor property but is a health hazard to your family. If you are dealing with a constant occurrence of creepy crawlies or critters, then it is definitely time to call in a local pest specialist. Infestations can get out of hand so quickly and are a surefire way to lower your curb appeal, which is going to make it much more difficult to sell when the time comes.

Leaky Roof:

A leak in your roof is another problem that requires immediate attention. Not only is it hazardous to your health, as mold will often develop if left untreated, but it has the potential to cause fires or injury if it collapses. As you can see, one small leak can turn into an expensive and dangerous home disaster.

Security Issues:

Nothing is more important than the safety of your family and any malfunctions with your security system as well as windows that could be opened easily and flimsy doors should never be put on the back burner. You should always feel well protected in your house and dealing with any potential security issues quickly will help restore your piece of mind.

Left untreated, the four problems above will not only have extremely expensive solutions but could compromise the health and safety of your family. Enlist the help of your local experts if you are currently dealing with any of the scenarios we discussed.

Featured Image By: PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

Fun & (Video) Games: Valentine’s Day Edition

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Fun & (Video) Games: Valentine’s Day Edition

Hello! Johnny and I are both avid gamers. In fact, we just got done playing about an hour and a half of Diablo III on the Switch before I sat down to write this, lol. My absolute favorite video game of 2020 has to be Paper Mario: The Origami King, which Johnny gifted me with for our one year anniversary this past September. When I first learned that there was a Paper Mario game for the Switch, I was so eager to play it and devoured it in about a month.

I was looking forward to that game so much because, way back in the day, I rented Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door from Block Buster (That just aged me so much!) and never forgot how much fun it was to play. I also never forgot the fact that I got to the final boss but was never able to beat it, smh. After enjoying The Origami King so much, I told Johnny that I would give anything to play The Thousand Year Door again for the GameCube. However, I knew this was unlikely because the GameCube is no longer made, therefore, the used games are uber expensive.

I had come to terms with the fact that I would probably never play my favorite childhood game again – Until Johnny gave me my Valentine’s Day present, that is. My darling boyfriend surprised me with The Thousand Year Door a week before V-Day!

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Johnny spent the Saturday afternoon prior to Valentine’s Day running errands, but he wouldn’t tell me where he was going. I knew he was going to be getting me my V-Day gift, though, through girlfriend instinct and I couldn’t wait for him to come home so I could maybe sneak a peak at what kind of bag it was in! I wasn’t expecting him to give me my gift when he walked in the door but he was so proud of visiting two different Exchanges to get the game that he just couldn’t wait. 🙂

After I gifted Johnny with his prezzie of the LEGO Architecture Paris skyline set, we spent the afternoon with him building our own mini Paris while I played my new game. It was absolutely perfect and The Thousand Year Door was just as fun and adorable as I remember it being. Whether Johnny and I are trying to beat an impossible seeming level of Mario Galaxy or slaying hell’s demons in Diablo III, I love our video game time together.

I am so blown away by Johnny’s gift and how thoughtful it was because it shows me that he listens when I tell him about my favorite things and that’s what means the most to me. Celebrating holidays with Johnny never gets old and I can’t wait for infinite more Valentine’s Days with him. ❤

What was your favorite childhood video game? What video game are you currently playing? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat!

Don’t Forget The Following When Cleaning Up At Work

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Don’t Forget The Following When Cleaning Up At Work

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all gotten in touch with our inner neat freak and that isn’t a bad thing at all. Our houses have all been cleaned and sanitized top to bottom and if you are not working from home, the same level of care when it comes to keeping your house clean should apply to your work place. Most people typically spend forty plus hours at work per week and it is important that they are safe during that time from injuries or illnesses that can come from an improperly cleaned space. Always keep the following in mind when you are completing your chore check list at work:

Check For Spills:

In a warehouse setting, spills that haven’t been cleaned up can be really dangerous for employees. Be sure to do a once over of your work space both before your shift and after to check for any spills that could cause you to fall and hurt yourself. Your company might even want to consider concrete polishing to keep the work floors nice and clean.

Clean Commonly Used Surfaces:

Can you imagine how many times per day the light switches, door knobs, or coffee pot is being touched at work by other employees? It’s probably even more than the already high number you have in your head! A great thing for employees to get in the habit of is sanitizing a commonly used surface after you are done using it so that it is safe for the next employee to get the door or pour their morning coffee. Commonly used surfaces that aren’t properly sanitized are a breeding ground for germs. Don’t forget the faucets and paper towel dispenser in the bathroom, too!

Helpful Hints:

There are a lot of great options out there for contact free access to hand sanitizer, paper towels, faucets, and hand soap with automatic dispensers and one less thing that employees have to touch is one less thing to clean! As mentioned before, can you imagine how many times those types of surfaces are touched per day? And, more often than not, by hands that need to be cleaned if the dispensers are in the bathroom! And, hopefully, gloves are being provided by your work place because, although they are annoying to wear, they will definitely help to slow the spread of germs.

Doing your share to help keep your work place clean will make it a safer environment for you and your coworkers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

 

New Slate Grey & Denim Blue Nails

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New Slate Grey & Denim Blue Nails

Hello! For Valentine’s Day, I just had to treat myself to a fill for my talons even though it was a bit earlier than my four week mark between appointments. I had an insanely busy week and the fact that I could get pampered at the end of it definitely helped get me through the long work days. My go to girl at Elysian Nails was unavailable, however, another of my favorite techs was able to fit me in and it was so nice to catch up. She also did a fabulous job on my claws! Check it out:

Normally, it takes me a fairly long time to pick out the perfect color combination for my nails. This time, though, I walked up to the polish station and my eyes immediately locked on a bottle of rich denim blue by OPI. I was in love and decided to go with a slate grey because of its blue undertones to enhance the beautiful blue even more. I am particularly fond of the shade of slate grey that I picked out and have used similar colors before but this one is definitely my favorite! I also love the fact that, in certain lighting, the denim blue looks black – it’s like having two different polish colors in one. 😀

I knew I was in good hands with my nail tech and we spent my entire time at the salon gabbing away about quarantine life, our favorite TV shows, and the traditions of Lunar New Year, which my tech was kind enough to teach me about. I also happened to get my fill on my favorite day at Elysian Nails: Throwback Thursday! They play the best hits of the late 90s and early 2000s all day and every time a new song would come on, we would both reminisce on how it was our jam. And apparently still is now!

Elysian Nails is, hands down, the best salon that I have ever been to. The nail techs are so incredibly talented and I enjoy getting to know each of them. The atmosphere created in the salon is not only fun with the great music and constant chit chat but I also feel safe when I go there because of their dedication to following COVID-19 regulations and then some. Whenever I go there, I not only get to be pampered like a queen but I get to see all of the techs and the owners who I am lucky enough to consider friends now. ❤

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

Mini Makeover: Laundry Room Edition

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Mini Makeover: Laundry Room Edition

It is not uncommon to hear someone say that doing laundry is their least favorite chore. I, personally, love doing laundry and there is nothing better to me than putting on clothes that are still warm from the dryer. If this doesn’t sound like you at all, however, then maybe giving your laundry room a Mini Makeover will help encourage a newfound love or, at least a little less disdain, for your least favorite chore. Consider the following and turn your laundry room into a space that feels as light and clean as all of your freshly washed clothes:

Tend To Repairs:

If doing laundry is a major eyeroll for you because you might need washer or dryer repairs, then that is the first thing that will need your attention. You can’t do a job well without the right tools and not only are appliances that don’t work properly potentially dangerous but they will be an even more expensive problem if you let getting it fixed go for too long. The most important part of a laundry room is, of course, a functional washer and dryer so any redecorating can wait until repairs are taken care of.

Use Storage Wisely:

Perhaps your dislike for laundry comes from a cluttered laundry room and this is nothing a good clean won’t fix. Find homes for everything in there that doesn’t have to do with laundry or cleaning. Laundry rooms are, usually, not particularly spacious so you want to use the limited storage available in there wisely. This way, you are not playing stacking Tetris every time you need to get the detergent down and, once decluttered, the room will feel a lot less claustrophobic.

Don’t forget that shelving doesn’t just have to be placed smack dab in the middle of the wall. You could install shelves floor to ceiling to help with your storage situation so the room stays more organized.

Fresh & Clean:

What do you associate with nice, freshly washed clothes? Is it a certain color like eggshell white or pale blue? How about fields of flowers or freshly fallen rain? Maybe it’s a certain soft texture? Whatever you associate fresh and clean with, incorporate it into your laundry room’s decor. This could be improving the lighting in there if it’s dim, repainting, incorporating a floral motif, or even adding a plush rug or installing carpet in the room.

You want your laundry room to look and feel as clean as your clothes are about to be and, with a room so lovely, you won’t want dirty laundry piling up in it! Thus, encouraging you to complete the chore in a timely manner. It’s a win/win and soon your laundry room might just be your favorite or less least favorite place in the house to be!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Keeping Pests Out Of Your Property

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Keeping Pests Out Of Your Property

With all of the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, the last thing anyone wants to be dealing with is pests, too. Especially considering we are all at home so much now! A pest free home is a safe and healthy home and you want to do all you can to prevent infestations as they can get out of hand really quickly. Give your home an inspection with a fine toothed comb to locate any problematic areas which give pests access into your house. Don’t forget to take a look at the following areas:

Doors:

If any of the doors leading into your home are warped from the weather or have gaps in them, then you are, essentially, leaving your door wide open to pests. These will need replaced immediately and it might be a good idea to invest in fiberglass doors as they are very durable and won’t warp. Until you can get new doors installed, be sure to close off any gaps with towels for a makeshift pest barrier in the meantime.

Holes In Screens:

Imagine opening up your windows on a summer’s day with a nice breeze only to find that bugs are being let in. Ugh! Inspecting the screens for both your windows and doors for holes is essential because insects big and small will easily be able to make their way into your home once they are opened. You might think that the small holes aren’t worth purchasing a new screen over but that is where you are wrong. The holes can not only be chewed through but the weather can open them up even more, creating an even bigger problem. No one wants to be swatting flies away when they’re trying to eat dinner!

Holes & Cracks In Walls:

When inspecting your home, the most important thing you can do is look closely at both the interior and exterior of your home for holes and cracks that will need patching up. Pests can make their way through tiny gaps in your front or garage doors and anything like that on your walls or roof is no exception. We are still in the midst of winter, too, and pests will see these weak spots as a welcome invitation to get warm now or cool off in the summer.

Don’t forget to look at your yard for any signs of animal boroughs, which you might have to call in the exterminator for. Speaking of the experts, it is always best to call them in if you are dealing with an infestation than try to do it yourself because you don’t want any pest problems to keep occurring. The best thing you can do is work on preventative measures on your property to keep them from happening in the first place!

How To Revamp Your Home’s Exterior

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How To Revamp Your Home’s Exterior

Whether you have a nondescript colonial house that needs a bit of a makeover or a cottage that you would like to improve its personality, it can always be tricky to decide on the changes to make. When it comes to exterior home makeovers, a straightforward trick of achieving a great look is to avoid forcing a particular style, especially unrelated to your home. However, with the best exterior enhancements, you stand a higher chance of improving your home’s overall appeal.

If you are not sure what aspects of the exterior of your home to change, here is a brief guide to help you:

Update the Front Door:

The front door of your house says a lot about it. There is a new trend where the focus is to create a meaningful sense of arrival by updating the door. Most traditional houses have asymmetrical windows, a front door that is not at the center, or even a jagged roof line. A bolt-on addition, such as a porch, would put the needed emphasis on the house’s entrance. Another way to update the front door for your home’s appeal would be to upgrade its hardware – change the door number and apply a new layer of color.

Add an Enclosed Entrance:

Including a cover overhead at the entryway would be a perfect way to make your home’s exterior stand out. An even better idea would be a covered entrance; it will go a long way to giving your home’s appearance a boost. If yours is a colonial-style home, opt for a minimalist portico with a pediment – it will define the entrance elegantly.

Even with the significance of such entrances, it is worth minding pests and other crawly creatures. Termites tend to hide in wooden structures similar to the ones used to create doorways. Find a pest control company near you to ensure that the right measures are in place; you don’t want a case where termites infest your entrance within a week of construction.

Work on the Roof:

Another significant way to boost your home’s appeal is by having an updated roof. You can do this in a variety of ways, including painting the existing roof or replacing it entirely. Whether to repaint or replace the roof depends on the roof’s condition, your budget, and aesthetics.

If the roof is in poor condition, repairing it might not be an option, especially if it nearing the end. In such a case, a replacement or an addition to the roof’s cover would give it a much better appearance. The new structure may be necessary, for safety and longevity reasons.

Replace the Old Windows:

How would your house look with a revamped door and new roof but old windows? Replacing the windows should be on your to do list to give your home’s exterior a facelift. You will have many options when it comes to window replacement – you can opt for powder-coated aluminum frames if you are a fan of contemporary styles or choose from PVCu, single-glazed, or period-style look windows.

Revamping your home’s exterior is something that you should occasionally do to keep it in perfect condition and align with the trends. Your focus should be on the yard, doors, windows, roofing, and perhaps the paint.

Featured Image By: Expect Best via Pexels

LEGO Architecture Paris Skyline Set

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LEGO Architecture Paris Skyline Set

Hi! My boyfriend, Johnny, and I love building with LEGO and we have quite the collection of Harry Potter and Star Wars sets. For Valentine’s Day, Johnny and I never really go overboard with gifts for each other and one of the two things that I got him was the Paris skyline LEGO set from their Architecture collection. Paris is, easily, one of the most romantic places in the world and it is somewhere that I would love to go with Johnny.

Given the world’s current conditions, it will be a long time until we make it there so, for now, our own little Paris on our knick knack shelf will suffice! Check it out:

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When building with LEGO, Johnny and I have our process down to a science. He handles all of the little pieces and details while I build with the bigger bricks because putting the small ones together are impossible with my nails! As you can see, the Paris Architecture set is completely made up of teeny tiny bricks so Johnny built it in its entirety in a matter of an hour while we talked and listened to music. I was blown away by how quickly he got it done!

Our Paris set is the first one that we have gotten together that is not inspired from a movie and it was the perfect introduction to the LEGO Architecture collection. I am so looking forward to when Johnny and I can travel together because I would love to have a LEGO skyline set of the places that we visit. Each skyline set boasts the most recognizable landmarks in each city. For Paris, this included the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Tour Montparnasse, Grand Palais, Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysees.

Johnny really enjoyed building this set because it was so different than anything that we already have. I am so happy that my Valentine’s Day gift to him was a success and be sure to keep it posted to see what Johnny surprised me with!

Where would you love to travel to? Which LEGO sets do you have? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Daily Dose Of Cuteness

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Daily Dose Of Cuteness

Hello!! I don’t know about you guys, but there is never a time for me when I don’t want to see pictures of someone’s pets. Dogs, cats, rabbits, lizards, fish – I don’t care what it is, I want the 411. Their names, funny stories, which rescue organization they came from, the list goes on! My life would not be the same without my family’s sweet rescue dogs, a tiny Terrier mix named Ollie and a Golden Retriever named Archie. They are both very good boys… Actually, they’re the best and here they are:

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My family will always be eternally grateful to the rescue organizations, Canine Lifeline and One Of A Kind Pets, for giving us the opportunity to care for both of our boys. Ollie is our more mellow of the two, who loves napping, playing with squeaker toys, and stepping out in his finest bandanas! On the other hand, we have Archie, our rambunctious puppy who is a HUGE lover of playing, kisses, and chewing all of the things! Both of our pups have such unique personalities that are so different from each other, but they get along just fine. 🙂

In my household, we are passionate about animal rescue and are so thankful to all of the amazing organizations for their hard work that saves countless lives. Nothing makes me happier than playing tug of war with Archie or snuggling up with little Ollie while he snoozes. The connection between a pet and its owner is so therapeutic as it is such a pure form of love and I am so over the moon about both of our angels.

Ollie and Archie send a virtual tail wag your way with the hopes that their precious pics puts a smile on your face today! ❤

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

Ugh! Pimple Problems & How I Dealt With Mine

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Ugh! Pimple Problems & How I Dealt With Mine

Hi! I have been lucky enough to say that I have never dealt with problems with acne in my adolescence or in my twenties. However, my lucky streak ended when I woke up to a HUGE pus filled pimple right in the middle of my forehead. TMI I know but, guys, it was awful and I wore a beanie every day until it was gone to cover it up. Because I’ve never had a pimple like this before, I really didn’t know what to do about it.

Of course, everyone’s first instinct is to pop a pimple even though it’s frowned upon and, I have to admit, it was the first thing I tried, lol. However, with my acrylics, popping it was impossible. After a few days with little to no improvement on my zit, I finally concocted a skin care combination that not only made the pimple go away in three days flat but it also allowed it to heal evenly. Check it out:

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When it comes to dealing with a tough pimple, I found that you can’t go wrong with charcoal and benzoyl peroxide. Charcoal is amazing for drawing all of the yuck out like a magnet and the benzoyl peroxide helps to kill any excess bacteria, oil, and dead skin. I figured that combining the two together would be my best shot at eliminating the problem and, I am pleased to say, that it worked like a charm. Fingers crossed I’ll never get a pimple again (Here’s hoping!) but, at least, now I know how to deal with it.

Once I was done completing my night time skin care routine, I put my theory into practice and added a mixture of The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal face mask and Clean & Clear’s persa-gel 10 onto the problem area and slept with it on. When I woke up after the first application, I could already tell that it made a difference because the pimple was much less swollen than it was before so I knew I was on the right track.

By the morning of day two, my pimple opened up naturally and I was able to squeeze out an okay amount of the gunk inside. I was encouraged by this because it’s not like I actually popped it! Once day three rolled around, I was able to completely rid the zit of anything left inside and, albeit red, my skin looked even and I knew that it would heal well.

I was insanely self conscious of my zit (Or the “honker” as my boyfriend so lovingly put it!) and it honestly felt like I was going to be stuck with it for forever. However, after a few treatments with products that were under thirty dollars in total, I solved my problem. Remember, when dealing with acne you not only want to rid yourself of blemishes but you want to make sure your skin heals well in the process. My method worked on both of these fronts and here’s to The Body Shop and Clean & Clear for allowing me to retire my beanie… Until my next bad hair day, that is!

How do you solve pimple problems? What are the best skin care products for problem skin? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Your House Pop From The Outside

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Making Your House Pop From The Outside

If you are planning on selling house, it is not only important for the inside to be perfect but the outside too. The outside of your home is what your curb appeal is based on, after all, and you want it in its best condition because it will be the first impression potential buyers have of your home. An unsightly outdoor property can turn off potential future owners instantly as they will want a home that is move in ready in all aspects. Moving is expensive and the last thing a buyer wants is to take on another big project, like getting the landscaping in order.

Raising your property’s curb appeal is all about adding visual interest with expertly placed splashes of color as well as tending to any outdoor care or maintenance to keep your home looking in tip top shape. To make your house pop before anyone even steps inside, try the following:

A Bold Front Door:

The entrance into your home should make a statement, which means no boring front doors allowed! A bold front door whether it be painted brightly or has interesting glass shapes will set your house apart from all of the others on the block. It is a simple fix that will definitely make a big difference. You can get inspiration from Pinterest and home decor blogs for the right door for your property and the experts at NorthShield Windows and Doors will take care of the rest! Don’t forget that your front door should be reflective of what the inside of your house looks like. A huge wooden door doesn’t exactly mesh well with a sleek modern interior.

Pops Of Color:

If you don’t want to go with a colorful front door in turquoise or buttercup yellow, give the exterior of your home some pops of color with lovely landscaping. A well manicured lawn with lush green grass paired with bright, beautiful flowers will do the job just fine! You can also think about painting your mailbox or, perhaps, the shed in your backyard to a shade that will stand out. As mentioned before, curb appeal is about making your house different than the rest and pops of color in the right places are sure to do that as well as make potential buyers smile.

A Smooth Driveway:

A driveway that is cracked or has potholes can be a massive eyesore on an, otherwise, well kept outdoor property. Potential owners want a driveway that they can park their car with pride in so tending to cracks and bumps is a must. And, speaking of cars, extending your garage to fit two cars instead of one will not only boost your curb appeal but property value too!

When selling house, it’s all about looking at the big picture of your property and its exterior is a part of that. Tend to your front and back yard as well as you do to the inside and your house will have the best curb appeal on the block!

Creating Your Dream Home

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Creating Your Dream Home

The COVID-19 pandemic has given us more time at home than many people have ever had before – myself, included. It looks like we will still be staying in for the foreseeable future so we might as well be spending this time in what we consider a “dream home”. If you are considering to start changing things up at your place, now is the perfect time. Not only is it a good time to start spring cleaning but, I’m sure everyone’s place is in desperate need of sprucing up and rearranging after spending almost an entire year inside!

Today, we are going to examine a few ideas from big to small to help you get started on creating a dream home that you can ride out the rest of the pandemic in:

Starting From Scratch:

If you are so sick of your house that you don’t even want to be in it anymore, you could start from scratch with our biggest change of building a new home. A brand new home that is completely designed by you and your family will, without a doubt, be your dream home since you had a say in everything about it! Sit down as a family and draw sketches of what you’d like your place to look like as well as a list of must haves that you need for it to be your dream home. Take a drive with your family to find the best location for your new place and don’t forget to obtain a building permit for said location or a building permit in Mississauga if you are in the area.

Adding More Space:

If you love your house but it’s starting to feel a little cramped, a much lesser project than building from scratch would be adding some extra rooms to your home. Whether this be a back sun room, an additional floor, or a guest suite, the additions will give your family more home to enjoy while allowing all of you to space out comfortably as we continue on with our lock down lifestyles. A guest suite could also become a lucrative business if you ever choose to rent it out!

Mini Makeovers:

Going room by room and giving each one a mini makeover is a surefire way to freshen up your space without breaking the bank. Mini makeovers can range from painting the room, installing new flooring or carpets, purchasing a new statement piece of furniture, or simply swapping out the decor from different areas of your home to make it feel like new again. Come up with a dream design for each room in your house, create a budget that you are comfortable with, and see what mini makeover magic you can create.

Home improvements and renovations to get your place up to your dream standards are not only exciting but are a great way to kill some free time while in lock down. Break out a dream journal for your house and get to work on creating a space that’s perfect for you and your family.

Celebrating My Inner Goddess

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Celebrating My Inner Goddess

Hi!! I love making new friendships through lifewithlilred and I am so thankful to have “met” Libby from The Goddess Attainable who so graciously guest posted on my page a few weeks ago. I was so honored when she contacted me shortly after her post published asking if I would guest blog for her and am excited to explore her prompts of what being a goddess means to me.

Libby encourages and inspires people to not only be the best version of themselves but to love who they are, too. In my post, I wanted to touch on two of her topics, one of which is how I access my inner goddess and the other is how my mom helps determine my definition of a goddess. Let’s get to it!

Celebrating My Inner Goddess

The word “goddess” is often affiliated with a beautiful woman and, while I do feel like a goddess when I am all dressed up, I feel even more so when I am working hard to achieve my goals. Goddesses aren’t just a pretty face but they are also ladies who are determined, strong, and motivated to keep going forward even when things are difficult. A goddess strives for greatness for herself and loved ones while letting her inner beauty shine brightly every step of the way.

My life has been dedicated to working with people with special needs and I have still been seeing all of my clients throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other than when I’m just hanging out with my boyfriend on the couch, I feel most like a goddess when I am at work. I love the families who I help and seeing my clients smile or hearing them laugh makes all of my hard work one hundred and fifty percent worth it. I know that I am doing something meaningful for my clients and myself and the passion I feel for the field I work in and improving people’s lives feels like goddesshood to me.

From sitting down at my laptop to write to the good old days pre-pandemic when I could hit the skating rink for practice, exploring my passions makes me feel immensely proud of myself. I have struggled with mental health issues for a majority of my life and being able to acknowledge that I am doing a good job is something that has never come easy to me. Goddesses not only love the world around them but they love themselves and continuing on with my passions has given me a newfound appreciation for myself that I have never had before. Who knew that that feels like goddesshood, too?!

As I continue on in my own life journey, I turn to a seasoned goddess when I need encouragement: My mom! I am so lucky to say that my mom is my best friend and there is really nothing that a quick phone call or text to her can’t fix. My mom is strong, smart, and simply beautiful inside and out. As a doctor, she has been dedicated to seeing her patients online throughout the pandemic and she was still working even as she underwent cancer treatment. Goddess much?

My mom is so beloved by everyone she meets because she takes the time out of her day to chat with, compliment, and get to know whomever she encounters. She shares her inner light generously and it is absolutely infectious. Whenever I am feeling down, I think about my mom (and dad!) and my favorite memories with them that I treasure so much. My mom sees the best in everyone and not only does that make her a goddess but it makes me feel like one, too, whenever I am around her. ❤

I want to thank Libby so much again for giving me this opportunity of reflection and I highly encourage all of you to get in touch with your inner goddess on her page. You will be glad you did!

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What makes you feel like a goddess? What is something that you’re proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pro Tips For A Spring Wardrobe Revamp

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Pro Tips For A Spring Wardrobe Revamp

Hello! I consider myself a seasonal shopper and enjoy upgrading my wardrobe with a few new pieces as the seasons change. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really able to show off my fall and winter TJMaxx haul in public because pandemic. However, with spring just around the corner and the promise of socially distanced outdoor hang outs, now is the time to give your wardrobe a boost so you can step out for the first time in ages in style. Consider the following tips as you revamp your wardrobe for spring:

Do Some Pre-Shopping:

Prior to browsing online, I always like to go through my closet and see what I already have before I add onto it. You can only have so many floral dresses and light jackets so evaluating what you have beforehand will allow you to purchase pieces that will stand out more in your wardrobe. I also do a lot of window shopping online before I commit to anything to get a feel of what trends and colors are going to be hot for the season. Mid February is a great time to do some pre-shopping, especially since full spring collections typically don’t drop until the end of the month or early March.

Set A Budget:

Once I have a good idea of what I will need from pre-shopping in my closet, I like to make a list of pieces that I would like as well as set a budget that I am comfortable with. Setting a budget is a wise thing to do before seasonal shopping because you don’t need a whole new wardrobe. Rather, just a few new pieces to freshen things up. You can leave a little wiggle room for a find that you simply can’t live without just don’t blow your entire budget on one extravagant purchase!

Keep Statement Accessories In Mind:

Spring is one of the best seasons to accessorize for and you can completely transform a look with one statement accessory. Accessory shopping tends to be cheaper than purchasing brand new clothes and if you like what you already have in your closet, then it is a great way to go for a wardrobe revamp. Think bold necklaces, patterned tights, floppy hats, floral fashion scarves, and pastel hued purses. Don’t forget a soft shawl or cardigan to layer with for chillier days.

Come Up With A Color Palette:

Warmer weather encourages a brighter color palette and while pre-shopping in your closet, it is also important to consider what colors your wardrobe is lacking. I, for example, prefer clothing in a darker color – so much so that I never really realized how much fun it is to experiment with clothing in pink, white, yellow, and green. Incorporating shades that you have never worn before or shy away from will quickly revamp your wardrobe so come up with your own spring palette and give it a try. The worst that can happen is you not liking it!

Updating your wardrobe never has to break your bank – especially if you follow the tips above. Set your budget, snag some statement pieces and, like the beautiful flowers of spring, your wardrobe will blossom too!

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

 

Why Online Pharmacies Are Essential During The Pandemic

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Why Online Pharmacies Are Essential During The Pandemic

Unfortunately, 2020 was the year of the COVID-19 outbreak. The virus, also known as Coronavirus, which is highly contagious and causes a whole host of health problems, is spreading fast all around the world and needs to be contained as soon as possible. From respiratory problems to joint pain, no one wants to catch COVID-19. To avoid catching the virus, many individuals and families are staying at home and minimizing their time outside. Of course, this is great, however there are still occasions when someone may need to venture out and buy some essential items. One of those essential trips may be to the pharmacy. However, that trip can be avoided thanks to online pharmacies. Here’s why:

Pharmacies are often filled with poorly people. There are people who need to pick up prescriptions for illnesses and those who need to seek medical advice from the pharmacist. Although these people may not look like they have COVID-19, they could be asymptomatic, meaning they’re carriers of the virus without even knowing it. Someone who is asymptomatic may head to a pharmacy to pick up some plasters for a cut and pick up five or six boxes of plasters looking for the ones they would prefer. Without realizing, they have potentially contaminated those plaster boxes with respiratory droplets which could then infect someone else. Heading to a site like www.pharmacyonline.com.au and ordering essentials online can completely eradicate the possibility of catching COVID-19 whilst waiting in line to collect a prescription or make a purchase.

Another reason you can use an online service is if you are actually feeling under the weather yourself. This also applies to any illness, not just the virus going around. If you’re feeling poorly or perhaps your household has come down with the flu or a bug, do not go to a pharmacy. As previously stated, the pharmacy is often filled with sick people and going into a pharmacy knowing you’re ill could make their conditions worse or introduce them to viruses their body hasn’t come into contact with before. Plus, if you’re feeling poorly, you’re probably feeling too weak to stand in line either, making the online service a more practical solution.

If you have small children, especially infants, an online pharmacy can be a lifesaver at times. Imagine, it’s late in the evening and you suddenly realize you have run out of formula. That’s not ideal! With an online pharmacy you can order your formula from the comfort of your own home without having to worry about waking a baby and taking them to the store. Not to mention, pharmacies are not open 24 hours a day, so you’d often have to wait until the pharmacy opens anyway. Ordering online and opting for next day delivery is a great way to keep on top of baby supplies without having to leave the house. Plus, babies are vulnerable when it comes to viruses and bugs so ordering online is a great way to keep them out of harm’s way.

Finally, even if you do venture out of the house to buy essentials, it’s not guaranteed that the pharmacy or store you visit will have everything you need. Whereas, if you were to browse an online pharmacy, you would be able to buy anything you need from the comfort of your bed or couch. From vitamins and minerals to make up and perfumes, you can purchase a whole range of products. Some of which haven’t been restocked in stores as shipping and distribution has been disrupted due to the virus. You could even discover new products online too as a physical pharmacy can only sell so many product ranges.

It’s important to stay safe during this pandemic and shopping for essentials online rather than heading to a store is certainly one way to look after yourself and others.

Turning Back The Clock On Those Creaky Joints

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Turning Back The Clock On Those Creaky Joints

It happens to all of us, but when you feel it for the first time, it’s only natural that you might be a little worried. Your joints might be starting to complain at you a little more regularly and you might be worried that this is an irreversible sign of aging. However, while joint paint does tend to naturally come with age, it doesn’t mean that it’s inevitable or unstoppable. In fact, here are a few ways you might be able to stop it:

Consider your weight:

It’s not a topic you might like to think about that often but the simple truth of the matter is that the more overweight you are, the more pressure is going to be put on areas like your back and your knees. Not only are they going to be uncomfortable more often, but you’re more likely to develop musculoskeletal injuries from simply moving around. Weight is not the end-all and be-all of your health, but if you are overweight, it can be damaging to your health in the long term. There are plenty of healthy weight management strategies, try choosing those that are easy to incorporate in the long term rather than fad diets or short-term tactics like cleanses.

Get yourself a little relief:

A lot of the pain that you are likely to feel around your lower back and your joints is likely to be caused by pressure as a result of inflammation. There are ways to help combat this inflammation, such as by managing your weight, but a little physical assistance can also do a lot of good. For instance, after exercising, it’s important to stretch and to use foam rollers to make sure you ease the tension out of your body after tensing it for so long. If you’re having joint aches, then direct approaches such as visiting a chiropractor for knee pain can help, as well. There are plenty of proven techniques for applying a little pressure to get the pain out of your body.

Check with your doctor:

Joint pain can be a natural part of aging or it can be a result of working too hard, being stressed, or not getting enough time to rest. However, it can also be a symptom of a chronic condition that you’re not dealing with. The most common of these is arthritis. Arthritis pain almost always presents primarily as joint pain, as it is a condition that is related to long-term inflammation. Getting a diagnosis can help you get access to additional treatments you need, such as medication and even surgery if the pain is that bad. The symptoms of such conditions tend to worsen over time, so it’s important to find it and start combating it early.

You can’t prevent all of the signs of aging from coming at one point or another. You can, however, make sure you’re doing your best to keep your body young, healthy, and free from pain as possible. Hopefully, the tips above can help with that!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Dim Lighting In Your House? Brighten Things Up!

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Dim Lighting In Your House? Brighten Things Up!

There is absolutely nothing worse than settling in on the couch with a good book, only to realize that you don’t have adequate lighting to read with. Believe me, I know, because the lighting in my apartment is awful (There is only one usable window.) and reading during the evening and, honestly, sometimes during the day is next to impossible. If the lighting in your place is lackluster, then follow these tips to brighten your space up:

Installing Windows:

If the lighting in your living room or home office is too dim to get your work done efficiently, then how about installing a few windows to let the sunshine in? Not only will this brighten your space and improve your property value but the additional lighting will also make the room appear bigger! It’s a total win/win and you can shop with Model Space Designs for the finishing touches of shutters and drapery for your new installation.

Improving What You Have:

One of the most simple fixes that you can make when it comes to improving the brightness in your home is replacing your light bulbs with those of a higher wattage. Dimmer bulbs are nice, of course, when you are settling in for the evening. However, they are less than effective when you still have a whole work from home day ahead of you! Experiment with a few different light bulbs to find the one that works best for each space you would like to brighten.

Accessory Lighting:

Expertly placed table lamps, standing lamps, or fairy lights will not only assist in the brightening process but help to accessorize your space, as well. These are options that won’t break your bank, either. I have had great success at finding budget friendly but effective standing lamps at Target. I even have quite a few table lamps that I found at the Goodwill for a more unique fixture.

Change The Room’s Color Palette:

A room with dark paint on the walls and furniture to match is stylish, yes, but it will also make your room feel closed in and dim even with the lights on. Changing the color palette of the room will not only open up your space but will allow the light to bounce around, creating even more brightness. With spring just around the corner, now is a great time to reevaluate the color palette in the problem area.

From big fixes like installing windows to simple improvements like merely changing your light bulb wattage, you will no longer have to live in the Dark Age in your own home! Brighten things up, sink into your couch, and finally crack open that book you’ve been itching to read!

Prepping The Outside Of Your Home For Spring

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Prepping The Outside Of Your Home For Spring

The thought of spring fast approaching is like a lighthouse amidst the gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic. Warmer weather means the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors social distanced with friends and loved ones and I know we are all looking forward to that! If your outdoor property is going to be the place to be this spring, start considering the following to get everything prepared for the first few warm days:

Tend To Landscaping:

Whether you plan on working on your landscaping yourself or hiring the experts from a landscaping company in Scarborough, this is definitely the first step you want to take when prepping your outdoors for spring. From installing fences and decks to the planting of lush greenery and flowers, you want your outdoor space to be just as welcoming to guests as your kitchen is. Get inspired about your dream yard from Pinterest and home design shows and see where your creativity takes you in a whole different setting!

Fix Problem Areas:

It will be hard to enjoy your outdoor property if your home isn’t looking its best from the outside. As the warmer weather hits, do a walk through around your house to locate problem areas that need fixed. Whether this means giving your place a fresh coat of paint, patching holes, or solving problems with pests – you want to deal with it all now instead of wishing you had already taken care of it halfway through spring. Then, you can fully enjoy the outdoors without constantly thinking about your to do list.

Contact Free Games:

A beautiful, manicured yard is just begging to be used and there are plenty of contact free games to enjoy playing with your friends. Invest in a set of bocce ball, croquet, or cornhole. All of these games can be played while social distancing and the bocce and croquet balls can be easily sanitized after using them. Despite being outdoors, it’s still important to keep following COVID-19 guidelines and contact free games will provide safe and fun entertainment for your guests.

Protection From The Sun:

There is nothing better than settling outside with a good book and a glass of lemonade but this can be difficult to do if there is no protection from the sun on your property to help keep you comfortable. Consider having a space on your deck or patio where you can cool down in the shade with a sun setter or a table with a nice big umbrella. This will be a welcome spot to beat the heat after a couple of games of bocce!

Spring hasn’t quite sprung yet but it’s never too early to start thinking about it and getting excited to break free from your living room. Work on getting your outdoor property ready for spring now and you will be ready to be the first one outside when the warm weather finally hits!

 

4 Steps For The Perfect Movie Marathon

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4 Steps For The Perfect Movie Marathon

When you’re in lock down, you have to constantly think of new ways to entertain yourself. Many people have taken up new hobbies, such as baking, gardening, or arts and crafts. These are excellent ways to keep your creative juices flowing and take your mind away from the harsh realities of the global situation.

But if none of these activities appeals to you, nothing beats the simple pleasure of watching a good film. An excellent way to keep your household entertained in lock down is to throw a family movie night. A chance to recreate the currently inaccessible cinematic experience in your own home, watching film after film with the lights off and surrounded by endless buckets of popcorn.

Anyone can have a movie marathon; you don’t need a 75-inch TV screen or a home cinema. As long as you have a selection of films and something to watch them on, you’re all set. To get your night off to a good start, here are the four steps of planning the perfect movie marathon.

Figure out your set-up:

The very first thing you need to do is set up the technology required. What will you be using to watch the film? The bigger the screen you use, the better the experience will be, so opt for a TV over a laptop or tablet if possible. If you have the budget for it, you could enlist electrical contractor services to help you install a home entertainment system and surround-sound speakers, but it’s not essential. You can make do with what you have.

Pick the movies:

The crucial decision for your movie marathon is deciding what to watch. Although you can choose anything you like, the best movie marathons follow a theme: a common element linking each one of the movies you pick. This could be watching all the films in a series, such as the Lord Of The Rings movies or the Twilight saga. Alternatively, it could feature films by a single director. If you are watching with the whole family, it’s hard to find something for everyone, so you could keep all viewers happy by getting each person to pick one of the films.

Get some snacks:

It’s not a movie marathon without something to munch on while you watch. Popcorn is a must-have and you’ll need some fizzy drinks too. If you’re planning on going through the night, you might need some caffeinated beverages on standby! Make sure there is something for everyone and you’ve covered all dietary requirements. You should try to refrain from including noisy foods like potato chips, as these will distract from the film.

Make it comfortable:

The final step is to make the room as comfortable and atmospheric as possible. Turn the lights down low, set the heating or air conditioning to a cozy temperature, and turn off phones and other distractions. Make sure there are plenty of blankets and pillows for everyone to find a comfortable position but don’t make it too comfy or you might not stay awake to the end!

You can’t go wrong with a movie night to help shake the boredom blues. Turn your living room into the movie theater and enjoy!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Natural Ways For A Man To Keep Fit

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Natural Ways For A Man To Keep Fit

For natural ways to keep fit, there is nothing like a run in the country. However, the weather is not always that kind to us, neither is the time that we have when we have busy working lives that involve earning a living to support ourselves. So, we look to ways that are less time consuming to keep fit. In other words, exercises that can be done that do not take us too far away from home.

This could mean attending a local gym or making our home the gym. The exercises in a gym are still natural because they involve the natural movements of the body. All we are doing is recreating the same movements as if we were running, using an oar, or climbing a rock face. Then, to assist further in these activities, some people like to use a natural testosterone booster to enhance their workouts. These are healthy supplements which you can take that complement and improve our performance with activities.

This article will consider some of these gym exercises that we can do in conjunction with taking natural boosters to decide how they relate to actual activities:

Treadmill:

The treadmill is a popular piece of gym equipment because it replicates the action of running. Also, it can replicate, by changing its angle, the gradient, so it recreates the exertion required to run up a mountainside. Apart from being a cardio workout machine, the treadmill will also help you to lose weight. So, perfect for a healthy heart and profile. For more information on running machines, click here.

Rowing:

A rowing machine will provide the same activity as if rowing in a boat down the river. It is an exercise that will increase both stamina and fitness. Rowing machines can benefit a range of muscle groups, keeping them well balanced and strong. Regular rowing will also strengthen the shoulders, back muscles, and the arms. In addition, rowing will be good for your hamstrings and glutes. It is a muscle strengthening activity as much as it will tone core muscles.

As a very physical activity, rowing is also good for pumping the blood around the body and, therefore, promoting a healthy heart. Exercise is only of benefit when it involves much exertion and rowing can certainly be said to achieve that.

Dumbbells:

Lifting weights can be the same as doing a physical job that involves carrying heavy weights. Repetitions of the same activity, that is lifting the dumbbells, will strengthen and tone the muscles in the arms. The advantage of dumbbells is that you can have different weights and build up from light to heavy. In fact, this is recommended. Another benefit of dumbbells is that they are more portable than other pieces of gym equipment and would not take up so much room in your house.

In summary, there are three types of gym equipment that can keep our body functioning to its peak and help with muscle development and strengthening. In addition, there are health supplements that can be taken to aid these activities and muscle development. For instance, boron will develop and strengthen the muscles that we need for these activities in the first place, and then assist our body in carrying them out. Sports nutrition is a growing industry and anyone from any walk of life can obtain products to help with fitness and improve their body’s performance and health.

Featured Image By: Maksim Romashkin from Pexels

Creating An Opulent And Impressive Bathroom Space

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Creating An Opulent And Impressive Bathroom Space

When designing the ultimate in luxurious bathrooms you can’t go far wrong in following the template of a five-star hotel bathroom. The elegant and extravagant style that is found in the best hotels anywhere in the world is the pinnacle of luxury. Design really is the key to an opulent bathroom and doing it well takes time, a great eye for detail and, of course, a generous budget Do not be tempted to cut corners where costs are concerned on any of those little details that will make your bathroom a true showpiece:

Don’t cut corners with plumbing:

The first thing you need to do is find a good plumber; someone you can rely on for everything from increasing water pressure to backflow inspection and repair. No matter what you do, your bathroom won’t be luxurious if your plumbing lets you down. In fact, it would just be disastrous!

Style:

One thing to consider is the look you are hoping to achieve, be it a sleek modern luxury or an ornate rather opulent bathroom with extravagant fixtures and fittings that are, perhaps, just a little over the top without looking cheap. Once you have a style in mind, the color scheme, bathroom suite, and all of the fixtures including light fitting can be sourced to fit in with the style. Remember, while color on the walls will play a big part in the overall style of your bathroom, it is important not to overlook both the floor and any tiled walls you require in order to compliment the overall look.

Clutter:

Consider your clutter when designing your bathroom, as clutter is not a feature that sits well in an opulent bathroom. Sleek lines and well thought out storage solutions should definitely be a big feature in any opulent bathroom. Keep personal items on display to a minimum and, instead, rely on cleverly designed cupboards or even a vanity unit to keep them out of sight. 

Fixtures:

Say goodbye to simple framed mirrors and glass-covered ceiling lights. Opulence is all about adding that touch of extra to the room. Make sure that your fixtures make a statement in their own right and consider using several light sources within the room to create a variety of light depending on your mood. When it comes to your fitting, look for taps and shower fixtures that are a unique shape or style to set your bathroom apart. Freestanding furniture such as vanity units and even a freestanding bathtub can also add to the luxury design of your bathroom, as can frameless shower units.

Tiles:

Special attention and consideration should be given to the choice of tiles on your wall and floor. It is important that the theme of your room continues over every surface in order to achieve the bathroom you desire. Opt for high-quality tiles – a choice that could even add value to your property.

Create a bathroom fit for royalty, which will not only increase your property value but decrease any stress as you sink into your freestanding tub after a long day!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Three Steps To Add Value To Your Home

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Three Steps To Add Value To Your Home

If you might be moving in the future, try to think about some of the best ways of being able to improve the value of your home and add appeal to it. When you’re looking to sell for a high price, it is important to think about the changes you can make that will allow you to be successful with this. Make sure you do as much as possible to present and provide a home that will be appealing to owners and add value to any sales price.

Work out what you can do to take things to the next level in your home to blow potential buyers away. Here are some of the most essential things that play a part in this and there is no better time than the present to get started!

Extend:

Extending your home is one of the best ways to add value to the home. Whether this be a sun room in the back of your home, building a second or third floor, or simply adding some additional bathrooms, your property value is sure to go up with these fixes because you will have more home to sell!

Sort the Garden Out:

Improving on the landscaping in your back and front yard are also surefire ways to add more value to your home. You can do so much to sort the garden out and add value, like hiring a tree company to remove the trees with problematic branches in your back garden, installing a koi pond, or – if you really want to go wild: building a new green house or shed.

Get a New Boiler:

There are a lot of changes that will help you when it comes to improving your home’s value, and one of the key things you can do to achieve this is to install a new boiler. There are a lot of factors that you should think about here, and a new boiler can make all of the difference to helping you improve the functionality of the home, as well as being able to boost the value as well in the process. Don’t forget to get all of your appliances repaired before you put your house on the market, too.

From extending your home to tending to the landscaping, there are ample ways for you to add more value to your property. For an even bigger boost to your curb appeal, give your home a fresh coat of paint and use a statement color for your shutters or front door!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Buyer’s Guide When Purchasing Plastic Access Panels

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Buyer’s Guide When Purchasing Plastic Access Panels

Access panels are used in an assortment of projects. They typically have the function of providing people with access to services for maintenance purposes, such as valves, fuses, and switches. Regardless of why you need this item, there is a lot to take into account to ensure you purchase the right plastic access panels for your needs specifically. Keeping that in mind, read on to discover everything you need to consider:

Wall or Ceiling: 

There is only one place to begin and this is by deciding where the access panel is going to be used. This will decipher whether you are going to purchase a wall or ceiling access panel. For example, if you’re looking for plastic panels for your electric fuse box, this will determine what you’re going to need from your access panels. Needless to say, the local electrician will be the best person to turn to for advice on things like this.

Size:

Size is, undoubtedly, a pivotal factor. You need to meet the right balance, because if you go for an access panel that is too small, you might not even benefit from its easy access. However, you don’t want to go for something too big that is going to take over the entire ceiling or wall. From 300 x 300 mm to 550 mm x 1200 mm to bespoke sizes, the options are endless.

Frames:

You also have a choice of different frames. Generally speaking you can choose between a plaster frame, a picture frame, and a beaded frame. A plaster frame is used when access panels are going to be installed into walls to be plastered. A picture from is used where supporting construction is already built. It is worth noting that you will be able to see the frame once it has been installed. Finally, a beaded frame is used in a new-build where the board is skim finished or taped and jointed.

Fire Rating: 

There are various performance benefits you are able to get from your plastic access panels and one of these is in regards to fire. Whilst a lot of access panels are not fire rated you can get those that are one hour or two hour fire rated.

Lock:

On a final note, you should also take the locking system into mind. If you need to benefit from high levels of security this is particularly important, with a lot of people going for a three-point locking system in this instance. Alternatively, you can select an access panel that is tamper proof or has a touch catch system. Budget access panels typically have a very low level of security. You can, of course, have a bespoke system created if you so wish.

There is a lot to consider when buying plastic access panels for your home. Keep the factors above in mind to find the ideal solution for your needs.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Giving Your Kitchen A Mini Makeover

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Giving Your Kitchen A Mini Makeover

If you had success during your Mini Living Room Makeover, then now might be the time to start turning your attention over to the kitchen. In my opinion, a house is only as great as its kitchen and not only will improving on it increase its functionality but it is also a surefire way to increase your home’s property value, too. Today, we are going to explore some ideas to help start your own mini makeover for your kitchen:

Tend To Maintenance:

The most important thing to do in your kitchen is to first make sure that all of your appliances are working properly. Maintenance like stove repair or a garbage disposal making questionable noises should be tended to immediately as more damage will be caused the longer you hold off. Despite appliance repairs not making a visual difference, they will sure improve your kitchen’s functionality and that’s just as good, if not better.

Add A Backsplash:

Adding a tile backsplash behind your stove or dishwasher is an amazing way to transform your kitchen relatively cheaply and easily. It also gives you the opportunity to have some fun as you decide on how you want your backsplash to look. From sleek monochrome colors to checkered, paisley, or even glitter you are sure to find a tile that will suit the mood you are going for in your kitchen.

If the backsplash you love doesn’t go with your current color scheme, fear not! That is nothing a new coat of paint won’t fix and you can space out these projects for as long as you need.

Storage:

If you proudly have had your ingredients like flour, sugar, and salt displayed in the same jars for years on your countertops, then it might be time to change things up! There are countless cute and functional storage tins and containers to house your most used ingredients in. You could even incorporate some shelving onto your kitchen walls to place them on to help free up counter space.

Storage accessories as well as dish towels, place mats, and dishes are all perfect opportunities to add bright pops of color or patterns into your kitchen. It is also one of the cheaper ways to makeover the space.

Improve The Lighting:

Having good lighting in a kitchen is crucial as you read new recipes, chop veggies, and measure ingredients. Not to mention entertain your guests and family! One of the best ways to improve the lighting in your kitchen if your current situation isn’t up to snuff is to add a few hanging light fixtures in the problem area. They will instantly illuminate your work space, island, or dining area and turn your kitchen into an even brighter space in the house.

The kitchen is the heart of the home and we all want ours to look its best. Follow the mini ideas above to start making big improvements!

Simple Upgrades To Make Life Easier

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Simple Upgrades To Make Life Easier

With all of the additional stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, I think we all deserve to treat ourselves to a few upgrades that will help make life a little easier. Our minds have been filled constantly this past year with concern for the health of our loved ones and any additional space we have left is spent worrying about work, bills, and how to keep our mental health in check. Give your brain a break by adding some of these simple and super handy upgrades into your life:

Remote Car Starter:

A remote car starter is an amazing tool to have, especially in the winter. I always find myself wishing that I had one, as it snows a lot where I live and nothing sounds more luxurious to me than getting my car to defrost automatically while I wait inside. A remote car starter will save you a lot of extra time in the morning since you can warm up your car as you finish getting ready for work. It will also save you from the frustration of having to slip slide around your car to brush your windows off. I hate that!

Air Fryer:

I know I’m about to sound like Every. Single. Adult who has an air fryer when I say this… But the air fryer is the best kitchen appliance ever. I am blown away by how good my food turns out whenever I use it and it is a much healthier option than greasy fried food. Air fryers are not only convenient in size but also really nice for when you’re feeling ravenous because you don’t have to wait for them to preheat.

Contact Free Shopping:

Did you know that certain grocery stores have employees that will gather the items on your shopping list for you, bag it, and either deliver it or put it all away in your car? As we are still in the midst of a pandemic, any way to cut out unnecessary contact is a good thing and is an immediate upgrade that you can make next time you need to restock your pantry.

It has also been said that people feel less likely to impulse buy when they shop for their groceries online, which can help save you money. Talk about a win/win!

Cleaning Appliances:

Endless time at home means an endless cycle of things to clean – That’s sure what it feels like, anyways. If you are constantly cleaning up at your place, you deserve to make the job easier with the right tools. Purchase a Swiffer WetJet instead of having to break out the mop and bucket. Or how about a Dust Buster for those hard to reach corners and spaces? There are also spot carpet cleaners which are great for if you have a new pet that you are house training. Cleaning is hard work and it is well worth it if you can make it any easier on yourself.

Upgrades don’t need to break your bank, despite the word sounding expensive. Simple upgrades, like the ones above, are budget friendly ways to make some improvements.

 

4 Stress-Busting Means Of Engaging Your Creativity

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4 Stress-Busting Means Of Engaging Your Creativity

To open this post, we need not speak about the difficulties of the last year, and just how life has changed. It’s a well-worn topic. However, it’s very true that the importance of self-care and the willingness to keep ourselves in check (and to check up on others) has never been so important. As such, figuring out a few methods for achieving exactly that is certainly worth our time. One method that is rarely spoken of when it comes to self care is that of practicing creativity.

Why is this? Well, sometimes, creativity can feel like work or practice. It’s not as if playing a piano is something we can all sit down and just learn by ear, it takes hard work and practice to get good before you can begin really flexing your creativity. The last thing you want to assign to someone having a stressful time is more work.

Or is that the case? Does creativity have to feel like work or could it feel like play? Perhaps it could be both. After all, most runners are all too familiar with the feeling we get when starting a run (feeling groggy, tired, irritable) and then how fun it gets once the endorphins are flowing and we feel like we could keep going for hours. Creativity can function in that way. It can also help us feel confident, relaxed, energized, inspired, productive, useful, and able to express ourselves. That has to be worth something quite important, to the point where we would totally recommend keeping on top of those considerations from now into the long term.

Let’s see what creative ambitions can fit within this worthwhile category:

Journaling:

People rarely feel that journaling is a creative hobby, but it truly is. Putting your thoughts, ideas, impressions, beliefs, or experiences down into written form can be very cathartic. Journaling can not only help you expel your ideas more readily, but it helps you understand exactly what you were thinking and why. This is doubled when you return to that which you’ve written and see just where you were at the time, and how you’ve grown. Giving yourself this kind of insight is not only a great practice for your mental health, but it can help you learn a new skill. Writing isn’t easy and it takes plenty of practice to get good at. A journal is a fantastic place to become more literate. It can also serve our next task:

Creative Writing:

People often think that creative writing needs to be strictly within a category. Either you’re writing poetry, a short story, a novel, or a travel log. That’s not true, of course. Writing is whatever you’d like it to be. Some of the best writing we have is when authors have the courage to break the rules, like the novel Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce, filled with difficult-to-decipher language that is both strange and very curated, almost poetic.

Creative writing helps us focus on our thoughts and what impressions we may wish to grant an audience, but it also helps us present a story line, write our thoughts for people to read, or perhaps veil our artistic insights in poetry or songwriting. Creative writing, like journaling, can be quite cathartic except the rules are much more open and freeing, giving you a sense of potential in every word you jot down. Why not try and write a page long stream of consciousness this week? It might inspire you to further expand your creativity.

Arts & Crafts:

Of course, many people prefer feeling like they have something tangible to offer, and arts and crafts can help us focus on actually making something rather than endlessly reflecting. That can be great to keep us focused and somewhat distracted, rather than ruminating on the tough times we’re going through.

For instance, you might find that putting together a wonderful mandala kit helps you create a beautiful decoration that you take pride in every time you see it. Arts and crafts can also serve a real purpose. You might use your seamstress skills to fix up some of your old clothes or reupholster your furniture by giving it a lick of paint and a varnish. Maybe you’ll just reclaim some wood and use a chisel and hammer to try your hand at amateur sculpture in your garage. Having a project like this on the go can feel very rewarding, as over time it takes form and you see your plans come to actual life.

Painting:

If you’re looking for some inspiration, there’s a special Twitch channel playing Bob Ross episodes 24/7, showcasing how even amateurs can enjoy painting and get something from it if they try. Why not gather some paints and give it a shot? You could mess around with watercolors and have fun with your teenage child. You might decide to do a self-portrait, something fun and whimsical or perhaps as realistic as you can try to make it. You can also experiment with the surfaces you paint on if you like, such as painting a beautiful family mural in your kitchen or corridor wall with images of your loved ones.

Don’t discount painting just because you may not have had time to enjoy it before. The process can be highly rewarding if you give it time, piece by piece, with a little verve and care.

With this advice, we hope you can more easily see the benefit in trying a new creative passion, even if you’ve never touched that process before. These suggested activities are cheap, fun, and can sustain you during difficult times. Best of luck!

Featured Image By: Pexels