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Red! A Retelling Of An Old Story

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Red! A Retelling Of An Old Story

Hi everyone and welcome to the next post in my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series, written by a professional story teller. Yeah, Simon Brooks, the author of the piece that you are about to read literally gets paid to visit libraries, colleges, and businesses to tell folk and fairy tales. Dream job, much?

When Simon emailed me and told me that he had a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood that he created, I jumped at the opportunity to have him on my page. What better place to tell the tale of Little Red Riding Hood than on lifewithlilred?! And what’s more, Simon was kind enough to record his tale on his SoundCloud page special for all of you. I cannot recommend listening to it enough, because it’s truly incredible. Simon’s story starts in the belly of the wolf and will be sure to get you in the spooky spirit of Halloween faster than you can say “Little Red”! Listen along to the recording as you read and enjoy:

Red! A Retelling Of An Old Story

By Simon Brooks, © 2017

It was dark, damp, and hot. The air was filled with rancidity. The old woman felt around the slime covered walls, which gave and moved to her touch. She felt a jolt and was bounced around and for a short while was not sure which way was up and which was down. Then all was still. Sitting up, she felt the walls press against her. She heard gentle rumblings, was jolted again and felt it become slightly and slowly more damp. There was an acidic smell to the new dampness, not unlike wine. At least it was warm. Silence and stillness and what seemed like eternal darkness ruled for a while.

Then, the old lady could hear murmurings and mumbles, but could not make anything out. The woman was glad to try to hear what the noise was; it was a distraction from the claustrophobia that she was beginning to feel. Then, another sudden jolt, a roar, and she was bounced and jostled around and felt something land and press against her. There was barely room to move before; now she was crushed almost beyond endurance against the stinking, slimy wall. The old woman did not move and then muttered to herself: “It’s dark in here, but at least I am still alive.”

“Who’s there?” said a tiny voice.

“Is that you, Little Red?”

“Grandma! Did the wolf eat you, too?”

“Well, I suppose he did, my little one.”

“I’m sorry Granny, it’s all my fault.” The small voice began to tremble, so Granny pulled her grandchild in close and hugged her.

“Don’t be silly. How can it be your fault?”

“Well, me and Mama, we made some bread for you ‘cause you was poorly and I was supposed to bring it to you with the wine. And I was s’posed to come straight here, but I never did,” said the girl. “It’s so hot, I can barely breathe.”

Granny spoke softly. “There, there.”

There was a sudden movement and they heard the sound of liquid rushing towards them. It poured over them both. Red cried out and Granny held the girl tighter. There was that acidic smell again. In another place it might have smelled good. Maybe. Granny said, “Well, what happened?” She tried to clear the warm liquid from Red’s face.

“Mama told me to come straight here, but I didn’t,” said Red.

“Well, what happened?” Granny asked again.

The girl sniffed and said, “I met a wolf on the path, Granny.”

Granny’s voice was patient and soft. “What happened, Red?”

“He asked if he could walk with me as it was such a nice day and I said ‘yes’. He was big, but really thin, Granny.”

“There, there. What happened?” There was more noise and some moving, then nothing.

“He asked where I was going and I told him. That I was coming to your house ‘cause you was poorly and I had bread me and Mama made and some wine for you. The wolf, the wolf, he said maybe I should pick some flowers, too. That if you were poorly, flowers would make you happy and feel better.”

“Yes, they would, my dear. Yes they would. So you strayed off the path?”

“I did, Granny. I strayed off the path, and then he was gone. And I came straight here.”

Granny was quiet for a while. “That wolf, the old sinner. I bet he thought he’d come here and make a meal of us both.” She sniffed the air and her clothes. “And wash us down with the wine, of course.” She sighed and thought. “I’m sure that there’s a way out of this, if I could think of it,” she said.

“It smells in here, Granny.”

“That is does, dear. That it does. It’s dark and hot, too, in case you hadn’t noticed.” Although Red could not see her grandmother, she knew that she was smiling. Red could hear it in her grandmother’s voice.

The humidity rose and rose. Granny tried to take deep breaths, but found it hard. The fetid air grew heavier until there was a great rumbling roar and release. For a while Granny and Red could breathe a little easier.

There was a slight movement and it felt like something was pushing in against one of the walls of the wolf’s stomach. A shining point came through the wall and with it, a thin sliver of light. The sudden brightness grew as the slit grew. After the complete darkness, the light made Granny cover both her own eyes and those of Little Red. More light poured in and a pair of hands followed.

Little Red was pulled from Grandma’s grasp and lifted out of the belly of the beast. Granny cried out. The hands reached down again and carefully lifted Granny. They both blinked in the bright light and saw before them a tall, strong, kind-faced huntsman. Although he smiled at them, there was something about his face that told Granny how both she and her granddaughter looked and smelled.

“Are you two ladies alright?” He asked. He looked about and got a cloth. After dampening it, he handed it to Granny who wiped her face and hands clean. A basket lay on the floor, and flowers were strewn about. An empty bottle lay on the floor next to an untouched loaf of bread, still wrapped in a cloth. The table had been pushed across the floor and a chair tipped over. The old lady stood, still shaking a little, and wetted the cloth once more and began to wipe off Red. The young girl clung to her grandmother, looking back and forth between the huntsman and the wolf.

The huntsman began to pick up the belongings, which had been knocked onto the floor, and straightened the house up a little. He said: “I’ve been tracking this old sinner for a while, now. Sorry I didn’t find him sooner.”

Granny looked at the huntsman. He was handsome and made Granny’s heart skip a beat. She smiled at the man. “Thank you. For saving us and for picking up the mess.” Granny looked over at her bed and saw the wolf with his head flopped back and belly opened up. “Please take it away.”

The huntsman pulled the sheets around the wolf and took the body outside. Granny washed Red’s hair at the water pump in the kitchen.

When the hunter came back in, he told them that he had skinned the wolf and butchered the meat. “No point in letting it all go to waste.” His clothes were rough but well made. The boots heavy and worn, but looked comfortable.

Granny remembered her husband, when he had been alive. He had a pair just like them and he used to say that they were as comfortable as slippers. She smiled at the memory, but then shuddered again, thinking of the wolf.

The man looked around the house and then at Granny. “Well, there is a reward for a wolf’s pelt. It doesn’t seem right to me that I keep it all. After all, I found the sinner in your house.” He moved from one foot to another, slightly embarrassed. I’ll bring you the money or we could split it,” said the man.

“No need to do that.” Granny stroked Red’s hair with lavender oil, trying to get rid of the smell. “If you had not been tracking him, I don’t know when we would have got out. You keep the money.”

“If you say so. Thank you. Can I help out here? Should I send word to anyone?”

“No. We will be fine now. If you could burn the bed covers and sheets, I would appreciate that.”

“Of course.”

So, the house was put right again. The great pot was boiled and the water poured into a small tin tub into which Little Red was thoroughly scrubbed. The pot was boiled again and Granny washed herself. She picked some lavender and rubbed the leaves over both of them. Granny dressed her granddaughter in some of her own clothes, and the two laughed at such a small girl dressed in such roomy clothing.

While the washed clothes dried in the sun, the girl’s hooded red cloak flapped in the warm breeze. Together they made some soup, which went very nicely with the bread that Red had brought.

Before dusk, they went out together and picked some new flowers and put them in a vase. The flowers Red had arrived with were broken and trampled. Red’s mother and father visited a couple of days later to check on them both. The hunter had told them that the wolf had been found and killed and that Granny and Red were fine.

Although it needs not to be mentioned, I will say that Little Red never strayed from the path again; unless it was with her grandmother to pick flowers.

^^^ Wow! Infinite thanks to Simon for sharing his newly penned fairy tale with my readers. If you enjoyed this piece, then I urge you to check out Simon’s page for more stories and audio recordings of his work! What is your favorite fairy or folk tale? Which fairy/folk tale frightened you as a child? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Pinterest

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Planning On Moving Abroad? Make Things Easier On Yourself!

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Planning On Moving Abroad? Make Things Easier On Yourself!

There are a lot of things to consider when moving overseas. Currencies change, cultures vary, and there are always moving arrangements to consider. Somewhere between all of the planning, packing, and stress, there are a few key factors that tend to get overlooked. Blending into the local environment isn’t always as simple as it might sound. This article is here to help take some of the stress off of your shoulders and help make your transition an easy one:

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Planning For The Unexpected:

No one can see the future, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan ahead for some minor issues. In the same way you’ll take extra care to pack your personal belongings, take a moment to consider what health coverage you will have in the event that you become sick.

Depending on your new destination, it can be difficult to know where to go for advice when you feel sick. Unfortunately, Medicare coverage plans do not travel with an individual when they move overseas, unless you’re planning on moving to a U.S. territory like Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. It might seem overwhelming when you consider having to find new health insurance, but don’t panic just yet.

The vast majority of countries offer an all-inclusive, government-sponsored health care plan. That means doctor visits, hospitalization, prescriptions, and more are all covered under one plan that usually costs a small percentage of your income. Even if you opt for a private plan instead of a public one, the cost is often one-fifth less than it is here in the U.S.

Should you get sick and need to see a doctor, you will require the same medical care that you would here. Thankfully, that coverage is easily obtained and you won’t have to worry when the unexpected happens.

Adapting To The Culture:

There is no single sure-fire way to adapt to every culture on the planet, but there are a few things that you can practice that the majority of cultures do take part in. One of those things is to focus on living a little greener or eco-friendly. While we might not think about it, the amount of waste that we throw away here in the U.S. is astronomical compared to several other first world nations.

A simple rule of thumb is to take something like metal, plastic, or even cardboard and reuse it wisely. In most cases, that just means recycling it properly. Countries like Austria and Germany have the world’s leading recycling programs, which means that it is a large part of their culture.

While you might never get used to some customs, choosing to take part in a country’s recycling habits can help you blend in with them in a heartbeat. It shows that you care about the same things they do. Plus, it’s great for the environment!

Eliminating Some Stress:

It’s easy to pack a couple of bags when heading on vacation, but moving all of your belongings to a new country can seem like a nightmare. Just like you would turn to UPS or FedEx when you need an important package delivered, why not turn to international shipping experts when moving abroad?

What used to be a complicated and expensive process has been made much simpler by a few companies who specialize in shipping luggage overseas. This will help you to avoid extra costs on airline baggage fees (Which can add up fast.), while taking some the burden of moving off of your shoulders. One less thing to worry about is always a good thing.

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Choosing to move overseas is a big decision that requires a lot of planning and work. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can prepare for ahead of time to make the process go over as smooth as possible. Happy travels!

Easy Peasy Scarecrow Costume Makeup

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Easy Peasy Scarecrow Costume Makeup

Hi everyone and welcome to a simple and sweet scarecrow costume makeup tutorial compliments of my friend, Sarrah, from Vegan From Mars. Sarrah created this look special for the readers of my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series who are in need of a fast and cost friendly costume. So grab your blue jeans, a huge flannel, and braid your hair and follow this step by step guide to becoming the most adorable scarecrow at the Halloween party that starts in two hours!

Easy Peasy Scarecrow Costume Makeup

Hello friends! Halloween is upon us and it’s time to get creative. I’ve come up with this super cute scarecrow makeup look for those who want to keep it simple or are not the most skilled with a makeup brush. It’s insanely easy – just five steps! And the best part? You can complete this look with the makeup that you already have in your collection (I only had to buy one product!).

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Step By Step:

Step 1: Do your makeup how you normally would. For me, that means a tiny winged eyeliner, some mascara, and the lightest of all light contours. Now you’re ready to get spooky-cute!

Step 2: Start by smiling. That’s right, look right in the mirror and give yourself a big smile. You see the cute apples of your cheeks? You’re going to draw big orange circles right there. I used a light orange from my Wet N’ Wild “Brights” paint palette to get the shape down. Then, I went over it with the Wet N’ Wild Liquid Catsuit liquid lipstick in the shade “Terrifying Tangerine”. I used this same technique on my lips.

Step 3: Take any black eyeliner (I recommend any liquid eyeliner) and draw a curved line from the corners of your lips to your new circular orange cheeks. Then, draw vertical lines along that line to form your stitches.

Step 4: Using the same technique as your cheeks, use your orange color to fill in the tip of your nose and bring it to a slight point towards the top. Afterwards, trace around the shape you just made with the black eyeliner and draw stitches along the outline.

Step 5: Use this time to add any finishing touches and little details! I added some stitches to my forehead. I also took white liquid eyeliner to add a little dimension to my nose, cheeks, and lips.

And that’s all, folks! I hope you loved this quick tutorial and will try it out for yourself!

^^^ Many thanks again to Sarrah for creating such a darling makeup look for my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series! Lil Red is so not a makeup girl and this tutorial gave me hope that I, too, can pull together a fun and cute costume if my Halloween activities this year calls for it!

What are some costume ideas for those who have no idea what they’re going to be yet? What are some other simple and sweet last minute costumes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Dreamland Park

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Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Dreamland Park
Hi everyone and happy Monday! This special post in my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series is brought to you by my friend, Les, over at PhotoJournal Of Corker2. This is actually one of my favorite posts that has graced my page in a long while, because I am a horror junkie. I love the literature, the films, the haunted attractions and, of course, a good old fashioned ghost story. Obviously, this guest post is right up my alley and I can’t thank Les enough for it. Take a look and don’t get too scared! 😉

Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Dreamland Park

Back in the middle 60’s there was a place called Dreamland Park. It was located not far from me on a two lane back country road. This small amusement park was once the place to be on a Friday and Saturday night. It was not a very big park, but at the time it offered what us kids wanted. It had a main building where you could play bingo and pinball machines. It also had a jukebox to dance to and a picnic area. There was a Band Shell, a Ferris Wheel, and a French Fry Stand where you could buy hot dogs, hamburgers, and candy. It was a nice place for that time. Since I was only there once, I still remember it.
The place was doing quite well. Then, sometime in 1969, a murder took place there and it was never the same again. The story goes, that one evening a couple was up on Skyline Drive, a popular “parking” area that overlooked the city up on top of Neversink Mountain. They were a teenage couple, like most of us. I forget the guy’s name, but the girl was Marilyn. While parked up there, three members of the Pagan Motorcycle Gang stopped at the parked car and started abusing the couple. They took them for a ride around the countryside, traveling the back roads during which time they raped, beat the girl, and then shot her. They beat the boy unconscious and then shot him, too. The Gang ended up in Dreamland Park where they buried both of them in a shallow grave and covered it with leaves.
In the days that followed, the law found out who committed such an atrocious act, and all three were arrested for first degree murder and then sentenced to jail for I don’t know how long. They did recover the bodies of the two teenagers and gave them a proper burial. The name of one member of the Pagan Gang was John Elways. The other two I don’t recall.
After all of this happened, the park gradually started to decline. Profits fell and sometime later, Dreamland Park closed for good, never to reopen again.
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Pictured above is all that remains of the French Fry Stand.

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This is what is left of the main building. It was around here that I had a strange encounter. Notice the small “white” area where my watermark is placed. It’s not the camera. What is that? I could not get rid of it.

What used to be the Carousel Building.

Here stands what used to be the carousel building. For 25 cents you could ride the carousel and try to catch the magic golden ring. Now gone to history, all that remains is the outside frame. It was just behind this, that the couple was found.

Now, fast forward to present time.
I had almost forgotten about Dreamland Park until I got word of it from a friend that told me it was haunted. I decided to take my camera and go check it out. I was not told that it was now private property, so I just went right in and started walking around. I could still remember what and where things were from long ago.
The weather was in the high 50s, but sunny. No one was here, except for me and my Pentax K100D. There was a slight breeze that moved the bushes and trees, but the chill was far from unbearable. While walking through the slicker bushes, weeds, and small trees, I started to get this feeling that someone or something was behind me. I must have turned around at least six times, thinking that I was being watched. I didn’t feel threatened. It was more of a “creepy” feeling that’s hard to describe. Still, there was no one there.
I kept walking around and stopping here and there to see if anyone was “lurking” around. Nothing. After about an hour, I decided to take my exit from Dreamland Park.
To this day, I still wonder if “something” was there. Was it the ghosts of the murdered couple? Was it just my imagination? I don’t know. I have not gone back to Dreamland Park since then. By now, there is not much left of what once was. There is also a book out about what happened there called Dark In The Park. It probably gives a much better description of what went on, if you are interested.
^^^ Wasn’t that fantastic?! Once again, a million thanks to the man behind the camera who shared his pictures and story with us. Les runs an excellent blog and I can’t recommend it enough, so do check it out! Are there any haunted attractions in your neck of the woods? What is something that you’re afraid of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet As Sugar Skull Costume Makeup

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Sweet As Sugar Skull Costume Makeup

Hi everyone and welcome to the first post in lifewithlilred’s Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series! This time around, I did something a bit different while on the hunt for participants for Halloween Heaven – I put my call of action on Facebook. My friends list is filled with so many talented makeup artists that it felt foolish to not try and include them, since part of the fun of Halloween is all about the costume makeup.

One of the lovely ladies who answered my cry for help is the darling Allison, who you can find at: allicat.mua on Instagram. Today, Allison is going to teach all of you how to apply a spooky beautiful sugar skull costume makeup. Then, she will be back later on in the series if you are in need of some more Halloween makeup inspiration for any upcoming parties. Take a look:

Sweet As Sugar Skull Costume Makeup

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Products Used:

Base/Face:

  • bareMinerals Combo Control primer
  • Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion
  • Kat Von D Lock-It concealer in White Out
  • KVD Lock-It Foundation in Light 42
  • White face powder from Spirit Halloween

Eyes/Lips:

  • Black face paint crayon from Spirit Hallowen
  • KVD Mi Vida Loca Remix palette
  • KVD Alchemist palette
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Dark Brown
  • KVD Everlasting liquid lipstick in Echo
  • KVD Glimmer Veil lipstick in Satellite
  • KVD Ink liner in Trooper
  • IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara
  • Press-on pearls from Spirit Halloween

Step By Step:

*Please note that these are basic steps. This look allows you to be as fun and creative as you want. There is no right or wrong. The products that I used can easily be duped with drugstore items or any traditional Halloween store cosmetics.

  1. Apply primer all over your face.
  2. Apply eye primer, as well, and then set it with a flesh-colored eyeshadow.
  3. Face First: Apply under eye concealer and foundation, then set it with a white finishing powder. Contour using a navy or dark, cool-toned eyeshadow.
  4. Using the face paint crayon, draw a circle around each eye and fill it in with the crayon or black eyeshadow.
  5. With a small brush and colored face paint or eyeshadow (You could use lip liner for this step, as well.), draw your designs. Be creative!
  6. Apply lipstick or leave it whited out. Use eyeliner to draw the lines or teeth to complete the look.

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^^^ So ghoulishly gorgeous! Major thanks again to the insanely talented Allison for sharing her skills with us. Do be sure to give her Instagram (allicat.mua) some love if you want to see more of her amazing work! What are you being for Halloween? Do you have a sugar skull makeup look to show off? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Let The Halloween Heaven Guest Bloggers Series COMMENCE!

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Let The Halloween Heaven Guest Bloggers Series COMMENCE!

Hello everyone and happy weekend!! Tomorrow begins lifewithlilred’s Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series and I, for one, am really freaking excited. I have a bunch of incredibly cool posts to share with you brought to you by some of the best makeup artists, photographers, chefs, and writers that I know.

This guest bloggers series is going to be a fun change of pace from the fashion based series (Which I’ve loved!) that have graced lifewithlilred in the past. The Halloween Heaven posts that will launch tomorrow are all made by brand new (and one returning) guest bloggers on my page and I am so thrilled to share their talent with all of you.

I hope that you all are ready for some Halloween themed fun on lifewithlilred! I SURE AM. What was your favorite Halloween costume that you’ve worn? What is something that you enjoy doing during this spooky time of the year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Creative Storage Ideas For Tiny Homes

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Creative Storage Ideas For Tiny Homes

If you have a pretty small home or apartment, then the struggle to find enough space to store things around the home, really is real. But if you’re not quite ready to throw the majority of your things away (Who is?!), then you need to know some awesome hacks for maximizing the storage space. Here are some ways to make the most of the space in a small home:

Floor To Ceiling Storage:

When there isn’t much storage, you want to make sure that you’re using the most of the space you’ve got. So for things like bookshelves or kitchen units, make sure that they go from floor to ceiling. You don’t want any wasted space left at the top of the kitchen cabinets, for instance.

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Floor to ceiling storage is a must.

Create Outdoor Space:

If you have the ability to add space outdoors but don’t have the budget for an extension, then something like a wraparound porch could be a good idea. It is pretty simple to construct, it adds floor space, it won’t cost too much to arrange, and is a great hang out spot for friends and family.

Use Garage Space:

If you’re lucky enough to have a garage, then you need to make sure that you’re using it wisely. If you use it for your car, do you really need to be? Could you make better use of it by using it as an additional room in the home or for storage? It might need some changes to it, through the help of garage door services, for example. But once it is secure and has everything that you need in it, it can be a really invaluable space. Man cave or she shed, anyone?

Embrace Open Plan Living:

To help a home feel larger and more spacious than it is, then some walls are going to need to come down. When rooms are small and walls are thick, it can make the home look darker and much smaller. So it could be time to opt for a kitchen diner or kitchen and living space. Just check what walls can be knocked down before you take the sledgehammer and angsty feels to it!

Use Under the Stairs Space:

The space left under the stairs can be pretty huge (Except for Harry Potter!). But because it is a little awkward, it can often just get left to hang some coats and that’s about it. But if you plan carefully, you can get some shelving and storage under there, for sure. Using every space you have is so important – even the little nooks and crannies!

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LOVE THIS!!

Get Creative With Mirrors:

Mirrors are a great way to help a room look brighter and larger, so make sure that you get creative with the use of them around your home. Aim for at least one per room and the space will feel and look much brighter, lighter, and airy.

Use Room Dividers:

If you’re not quite ready to go open plan, then you could at least think about getting room dividers instead of walls. They could be glass partitions, curtains, or even large sliding doors so that you can open up the whole space if you want to (But you don’t have to have it that way all the time.).

Sweet and small homes are amazing – but your storage might not be! Use the tips above to open up your space and make the most of it!

Featured Image By: Flickr