Author Archives: lifewithlilred

About lifewithlilred

Just your average gal blogging an average blog!

Pajama Party: My Calvins Pt. 2 Edition

Standard
Pajama Party: My Calvins Pt. 2 Edition

Hi everyone and happy Hump Day!! I would by no means say that I care deeply about designer clothing and accessories. A majority of my shopping is done at Target, TJMaxx, and Forever 21 and I’m extremely okay with that. However, we all have our favorite high end designers that we love to ogle over. Myself, for example? I love Michael Kors shoes. I adore Kate Spade and Betsey Johnson accessories. And, I also can’t get enough of Calvin Klein everything!

I would never ever pay full price for any of the designer goods that I listed above, but I definitely am inclined to make a purchase if I see any of their duds at TJMaxx. I’ve gotten gorgeous Michael Kors booties, darling Betsey Johnson jewelry, and sweet Kate Spade accessories for a fraction of their original price tag. However, my past two times at TJs has resulted in Calvin Klein sleepwear that I’m simply obsessed with, including these new pajama pants that I purchased this weekend:

ck3

  • Original Price: $42
  • TJMaxx Price: $15

I genuinely love pajamas and I’ve accumulated a collection this year that I am very happy with. To me, there is nothing better than slipping into a sweet nightie or a cozy flannel top and pants set and crawling into bed. It’s such a simple pleasure but, to me, it feels luxurious and I am all about a ballin on a budget life of luxury. And to think that up until now I was literally just sleeping in unwanted, god knows how old t-shirts!

I was so excited about these pajama pants because I had recently purchased the matching pair of boxers, which I love! They also had a nightie in this pattern that I shied away from because I didn’t much care for the shape. These pajama bottoms look cool and comfortable and I can’t wait to wear them during a chilly fall night while tucked under a million blankets.

What I love the most about these sleep pants is the feeling of “treating myself” that I got when I made the purchase. You would be a fool to spend over forty bucks on a pair of pajama bottoms. But fifteen? I can swing that! I get to hit the hay in one of my favorite designer’s sleepwear and it feels kind of naughty and absurd. But the fact that I got it for an amazing price makes the feeling of almost foolishness that comes with the territory of sleeping in designer duds totally guilt free and a whole lot of fun.

treatyoself_main01

So there you have it, Lil Red’s Pajama Party: My Calvins Pt. 2 Edition! How do you treat yourself? Who is your favorite high end designer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Advertisements

Productivity Boosting: Simple Guidance For New Company Bosses

Standard
Productivity Boosting: Simple Guidance For New Company Bosses

When anyone starts a new company, they often have to navigate many different stumbling blocks. If the individual manages to do that successfully, they should have a profitable business on their hands. However, there will come a time when it makes sense to implement new measures to boost productivity and efficiency, which helps to increase profits and ensure that the company can satisfy as many clients or customers as possible. The problem, is that most new entrepreneurs have no clue where to start. With that in mind, the guidance below this introduction should assist in providing some advice. Use one or more of the strategies mentioned in this post to increase productivity and take the brand to the next level:

Educate Employees: Sometimes the best way to increase productivity is to provide educational opportunities to the workforce. With a bit of luck, that process will help employees to learn new skills that they can apply to their roles within the company. The business owner just has to work out which course is most appropriate. Most entrepreneurs won’t want their workers to spend too much time out of the office. For that reason, it makes sense to select online programs that allow employees to gain their qualifications at home. MBA management online degrees could benefit people in team leader positions. Likewise, anyone working as part of the marketing team would learn the latest techniques from advertising and promotional courses. Employers just have to:

  • Present workers with suitable education programs
  • Offer to pay for the courses
  • Provide support for all learners

boss

Knowledge is power!

Make Use of the Latest Technology: There is no getting away from the fact that we are living in the digital age now. New technology reaches the market every single day and business owners need to keep their fingers on the pulse. Failure to do that could mean that the company never reaches maximum productivity and it could also mean that the brand loses out to their competition. Many different software packages could assist in reducing workloads and making the operation more efficient than it was in the past. For instance, entrepreneurs might like to invest in:

  • Cloud storage
  • Accounting software
  • Inventory software
  • Social media management tools
  • 3D printing technology

Many tech blogs and websites release articles discussing the latest advancements. It only makes sense for business owners to bookmark those addresses and take a look at new posts every day.

boss1

#technology

Offer Bonuses to Workers: Human beings are simple creatures and they tend to respond well to incentives. Bosses who want their employees to go the extra mile should offer financial bonuses. People who do that should notice a vast improvement in productivity almost immediately. The process is much the same as dangling a carrot in front of a donkey. Of course, some companies don’t have enough money in their accounts to hand out cash bonuses every week. In that situation, it’s wise to think of some alternative perks for employees who make an effort. For instance, bosses might consider offering:

  • Cinema tickets
  • Food vouchers
  • Alcoholic drinks (for the weekend)
  • New job opportunities
  • Workplace discounts

boss2

$$$$

Know When to Outsource: Most business owners have read about the process of outsourcing in the past. However, a significant percentage of entrepreneurs never push ahead with the idea. That is a terrible mistake to make for anyone who wants to boost productivity. There are going to be many tasks within the company that take a long time to complete. It often makes sense to employ outside specialists to handle those processes. For instance, many firms choose to outsource their customer service departments these days. That is a fantastic move because it means other people deal with correspondence and employees can focus on pushing the operation forward. Customers don’t know the difference because the business owner will create a script for the call center staff to follow. Other jobs individuals tend to outsource include:

  • Parts of the manufacturing process
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Human resources

boss4

Flickr Image

Move Towards Automation: Experts claim that automation is the key to success in the modern business world. That is especially the case for people who own manufacturing companies. There are many specialists out there who develop custom-built robots that can perform many tasks without human interaction. Automating the production process would mean business owners can get their products made in the fastest time possible. It should also mean there are fewer mistakes than before and the items are made to the highest of standards. However, even those running an office can benefit from automation. With the right tools, it’s possible to automate:

  • Employee salary payments
  • The recording of financial information
  • Inventory monitoring
  • The placing of supplier orders

Business owners just have to search online for the best-automated software packages. If they can’t find anything suitable, the entrepreneur should get in touch with developers. There are people out there who will build almost anything for a price.

Remove the Weakest Links: Just as company bosses have to reward hard workers, they also need to remove the weakest links from their team. If there are employees who show up late every day and never perform as expected, it’s time to terminate their contracts. Of course, all employers will have to follow a standard disciplinary process to avoid any disputes. Some workers will say mistreatment has taken place and that can result in them taking the boss to a tribunal. However, that should never happen if the entrepreneur treads carefully. Anyone who needs to understand the process should get in touch with experienced lawyers. People in that profession know how to get rid of useless workers without creating repercussions. Listen to their advice and put it into practice. In most instances, company bosses will have to:

  • Give the employee a verbal warning
  • Offer two written warnings
  • Present the employee with a final warning
  • Hold a meeting to discuss the situation
  • Fire the employee

People who follow that strategy will have done everything possible to resolve the issue in the eyes of the law. While some ex-employees might try to take the business to court, they will not succeed in their bid for compensation.

boss5

Bye bye!

Remain Flexible: All entrepreneurs should aim to stay as flexible as possible when it comes to their working processes. That is the only way to ensure that they always maximize profit potential. Maybe a new piece of software appears on the market that could slash working times in half? Perhaps a new material could assist in reducing the cost of product production? Only those with flexibility will manage to implement the changes quickly and reap the rewards. Time is often of the essence when it comes to making use of new ideas before the competition. All company bosses should ensure that they can change any part of their operation at the drop of a hat. Strategies for that might include:

  • Ensuring all departments are self-reliant
  • Improving workplace communication channels
  • Employing experts who can adjust the structure of the company quickly

boss6

Flickr Image

The tips and tricks listed in this article should be enough to point all entrepreneurs in the right direction. Boosting productivity can help to increase profits and make sure that the business has enough capital in its accounts to expand. Failure to use the advice from this page could mean the company becomes set in its ways. That is the worst thing that can happen to any modern operation, because it is only a matter of time before a rival blows it out of the water. Out of all of the guidance in this post, remaining flexible is the most important, so start working on that as soon as possible!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Mystery Blogger Award #4

Standard
Mystery Blogger Award #4

Hi everyone and happy Tuesday! I am so excited to do this post for lifewithlilred’s fourth Mystery Blogger Award nomination. I am so appreciative to my friend, Rachael, at A Little Moore for thinking of little old me while completing her award post. Please be sure to check out her page and give it some love! And special thanks to Okoto for creating this award. Now, let’s get on to the rules:

The Rules:

  • Feature the award logo/image on your blog post
  • List the rules
  • Thank the blogger that nominated you
  • Mention the award creator and link to their blog
  • Tell readers 3 things about yourself
  • Answer the questions provided
  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers and notify them by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice
  • Share and link to your best post(s)

Fun Facts:

  1. I love amusement parks and rollarcoasters but, ironically, get sick if I’m riding in a car on curvy roads.
  2. Nine times out of ten when I’m writing, my darling little dog named Ollie is at my feet keeping me company.
  3. The horror genre in film, books, and television is my favorite and I’m always looking for suggestions for new material to enjoy!

Q & A:

What inspired you to blog? Lol, enough people telling me that they would read my page if I ever began one! Lifewithlilred was started solely on the suggestions of others since I’m apparently fashionable and reasonably funny.

What is your favorite movie and why? Oh wow…Uh, I guess I’m going to say Pan’s Labyrinth because it’s visually stunning and I love the story. To me, that movie is perfect. But, believe me, I could name like ten more favorites if given the opportunity.

What is your favorite song at the moment? I don’t have one. I have a lot of favorite songs so these questions are actually really difficult for me to answer because I kind of can’t!

What is your favorite thing about the country that you live in? That there’s a Taco Bell one mile away from my home.

When was the last time you full on belly laughed at something? I find hilarity in lots of different scenarios so I have a good laugh at least once a day!

My Nominees (I’m only doing three):

My Questions For You:

  1. What is your favorite memory from this summer?
  2. What would you consider a perfect day?
  3. What is something that you’re afraid of?
  4. What are qualities that you look for in a friend?
  5. What is your favorite thing to treat yourself with?

My Best Post:

  • Meh, I don’t really have a favorite or one that I consider my best, so there’s that.

Thank you so much again to Rachael from A Little Moore for lifewithlilred’s fourth Mystery Blogger Award! How would you answer some of Rachael’s questions? How about some of mine? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Basic Space: Creating Your Songwriting Haven

Standard
Basic Space: Creating Your Songwriting Haven

Do you remember the early days when you were locked away in your room learning the guitar or piano and finding out there is no such thing as B-sharp? It was your continual curiosity that piqued your interest in becoming a musician in the first place. And if you are moving on to that next stage where you are trying to create your own music and writing songs, it’s important to get back to that metaphorical head space where you were curious. But it’s also important to get a good physical space in which to create, so here are a few things to think about:

Learn From The Best: The greatest thing about being a songwriter is that you have thousands upon thousands of people to get inspiration from and you can spend countless hours learning from others. You could spend your time reading books and listening to other artists to help you keep fresh when you are in a creative lull. If you are ever feeling dry, it’s very likely because you’re not assimilating enough inspiration.

Create a Space Conducive to Songwriting: If you haven’t got somewhere that you can tune out the world, you’ll be lucky to get any semblance of songwriting completed. But it’s also vital for your practice that you have somewhere where you can be free to experiment in a place that’s your own, but also be surrounded by a constant source of inspiration.

A good place to start in your space is with the classic vinyl records that are clearly pointed out to be a superior listening experience (which we all know deep down). It’s important to be surrounded with the right materials. New Order’s recording studio had a poster on the wall with a lot of old film titles which ended up being the basis for a lot of their songs in the 80’s including Cries And Whispers. So if you have the right environment in which to create, with adequate inspiration from books to posters and, yes, records, it will start you off on the right foot.

Throw The Rule Book Away: Thom Yorke (by way of Tom Waits) said that it was the ignorance of certain instruments that made them more infinitely fascinating. Noel Gallagher has been using the same 4 chords for 20 odd years but is still able to make them sound like new. So sometimes it’s important to unlearn what you have learned to free you up. If you are bound by structure, it can be inhibiting in certain ways, which is why it’s important to be able to make mistakes and play a bum note because you are in the experimental stage.

People place a lot of pressure on getting things right the first time especially if you’re in a band, but even a band like Genesis (love them or hate them!) made the vast majority of their later songs out of studio. The musicians were freer with each other by this point to experiment. Your own worst critic will always be yourself and when it comes to songwriting and creating the right atmosphere in which to do it, it’s important to create this space inside of your mind as well as in a physical location.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Monday Update: Sweet Surprises Edition

Standard
Monday Update: Sweet Surprises Edition

Hello everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a fabulous weekend and are beginning your week feeling refreshed and ready to go. So, as most of you have gathered by now, I am far from a religious person. This is ironic, considering I spent my years up until high school attending school and church in a Roman Catholic setting. But from as young as five years old, I knew that religion just wasn’t something that I was interested in.

Despite these feelings (which is not what this post is about), I do have a deep appreciation of the beauty of churches as well as religious imagery. Specifically, rosaries. I can remember being really young and loving to wear rosaries and to this day have a special drawing towards them. This has led me to beginning my collection of rosary style jewelry, a la Bono, my U2 front man celebrity crush.

In my collection, I actually have a beautiful black rosary that was blessed by Pope Francis, which was gifted to me by my brother. But the other two in my arsenal are from my beloved mama, who knows my style all too well thanks to hundreds of shopping trips throughout the ages.

My mom knows exactly how to make someone feel special. Whether it be through her kind words, lending an ear to listen to your problems, or picking out a treat just for you when she’s out shopping – my mom does it all. I can’t tell you the amount of times that she’s come home from trips to Target or the grocery store with a box of hair dye for me or a new shade of nail polish for my sister and, of course, a new makeup or polish shade to treat herself with, too.

treatyoself_main01

Ever since I was little, I can remember mom coming home with her shopping to tell me or one of my siblings that she has a “surprise” in the bag for one of us. As a child, I lived for that. And as a twenty-three year old adult, I still do. Knowing that someone picked something out special for you is a delight that I treasure so deeply. Finding out that someone saw a piece of jewelry or a color that reminded them of you so much as to purchase it for them is a marvel that never gets old to me. Kindness is something that I value beyond all other qualities and, to me, this exudes such divine kindness and generosity.

This past weekend was really rough for yours truly. My mom knew this and saved an afternoon of us running errands last Sunday to tell me that she has a “surprise” for me, which she had been carrying around in her purse. She waited until we were done with our shopping and in the car to leave for home to gift me with the most gorgeous necklace that I’ve ever seen:

thxx3thxx1thxx4thxx2

I literally gasped out loud when I opened the small black box that my mom presented me with and saw this amazing rosary necklace sitting inside of it. This Louisa L brand necklace was made in Italy and on the back of the charm with the Blessed Mother features the Italian “Ruega Por Nosotros” or “Pray for us”.

My new rosary necklace has everything that I love – the color, the style, and the thought behind it, which made this the most wonderful gift to receive. My mom had gotten this present days before my unfortunate weekend, but waited until a “rainy day” to give it to me. I am so happy that she did, because it left me feeling infinitely better and so loved. Thank you, mom!! I LOVE YOU! ❤

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Sweet Surprises Edition! What is something that makes you feel better when you’re feeling down? What is the best “just because” present that you have ever received? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: The Body Shop’s Honey & Oat Edition

Standard
Face Mask Festivities: The Body Shop’s Honey & Oat Edition

Helloooo everyone and welcome to the final post in my Face Mask Festivities mini series! Today, we’re going to discuss one of my all time favorite masks – The Body Shop’s Honey & Oat. This mask literally smells good enough to eat and it leaves your skin looking peaches and cream perfection. What’s not to love? Take a looksee and let’s talk more:

honeyy1honeyy3honeyy2honeyy4honeyy5

When I think of face masks, The Body Shop’s Honey & Oat is the first thing that comes to mind. This mask is my favorite because it’s so gentle. This is a bit contradictory because I usually tend to go for the more rough masks and exfoliaters because I like to feel it really working. But, I don’t know, when I think face masks I’m thinking about being at a spa and relaxing and the creamy texture of this mask just takes me there.

Not only does this mask feel amazing with its whipped consistency mixed with sudsy oats but the smell is simply to die for. You need only open the lid to catch a whiff of freshly made oatmeal combined with cream and a heaping dollop of honey. It really takes everything in my power to not take a finger full and give it a try. So imagine having to sit with this mask on for ten whole minutes when all you want to do is eat it! IT HURTS SO GOOD.

The best part about The Body Shop’s Honey & Oat mask, though? 1) It is SO easy to wash off. There are some masks that you really have to scrub to get off, but not this one. This mask seems to completely melt away as soon as warm water hits it, which makes for an even more lush experience since you don’t have to claw at your skin to get it off. And 2) Because of said easiness to wash off and the creamy texture of the mask, you’re left with a clean tub, instead of one that’s coated with mask residue. I’ll take it!

Doing this mini series was a lot of fun and, in my opinion, I saved the best for last. I do like the Lush and Charcoal mask from The Body Shop that I featured earlier in the week. However, the game changer with the Honey & Oat mask is the way your face feels after using it. When I washed this mask off, my skin felt nourished. It felt supple and soft rather than tight and dehydrated. The glow that radiated from me was from a mask that worked on my skin from the inside, rather than scrubbing at the surface to remove imperfections. This mask made me feel beautiful and it made me feel like I cared for myself while using it, and you really can’t beat that!

So there you have it, the finale to my Face Mask Festivities mini series with The Body Shop’s Honey & Oat mask! Out of the three masks that I wrote about, which one would you like to try? What do you look for in a face mask? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Body Shop Bronze Bliss Eyeshadow Swatches

Standard
The Body Shop Bronze Bliss Eyeshadow Swatches

Hi everyone and happy weekend! Today we’re going to discuss my all time favorite eyeshadow shade compliments of The Body Shop, Bronze Bliss. More often than not, although I am trying to step up my makeup game, you will see me sporting this color. Seriously, scroll through my pictures on Facebook for like ten seconds and you’ll see what I mean!

Bronze is such a magical color because it looks good on everyone. From the palest porcelain to the deepest ebony, bronze is a shade that can be pulled off on makeup and clothing with ease. I guess that’s why I’m so drawn to it. I could be wearing any outfit of any color and I know that this eyeshadow will look fantastic with it. That’s kind of why I never bothered with anything else, even though I’m having fun trying out new makeup shades now! Take a looksee at some swatches and let’s discuss:

bronze1bronze2bronze3

^^^ Pretty!

As per ushe, the first heart seen above is Bronze Bliss dry and the second heart is when it’s wet, which is how I prefer wearing it. Normally, I’ll wet my brush and just paint my entire lid with this shadow for a striking metallic hue against my hazel eyes. I love when I wear this eyeshadow because it turns my hazel peepers into an insanely reminiscent of Edward Cullen a la Twilight golden shade. This sounds like a cocky thing to say about oneself BUT I’ve been told this multiple times so I guess it must be true!

The best part about this particular color, though? Oh, that I got it for a whole five dollars when The Body Shop that I live by had their going out of business sale. You definitely can’t beat that! 😀

So there you have it, my Bronze Bliss Eyeshadow Swatches from The Body Shop! What other colors look universally good on the people of Earth? What is your go to color of eyeshadow to wear? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah