Author Archives: lifewithlilred

About lifewithlilred

Just your average gal blogging an average blog!

5 Tips For Creating The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern

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5 Tips For Creating The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern

Before we visit a pumpkin patch or farm, we might want to brush up on our pumpkin decorating skills. A well decorated front yard for Halloween is a joy for children and adults alike so why not go all out? If you are looking for an activity that extends beyond choosing a pumpkin and decorating it, which will happen too, then click here. Let’s get started:

Select the Right Pumpkin:

A thorough inspection of the pumpkin should include checking for soft spots. This is to make sure that you do not end up choosing a pumpkin that has already begun to spoil. Also avoid pumpkins with deep ridges and go for a smooth-surfaced one. At pumpkin farms, there will be plenty of choices as opposed to you trying to pick the best among limited options within a grocery store, when customers have already bought the best ones.

The design that you have in mind should also dictate the pumpkin that you choose. In other words, do you need a short and round pumpkin or one that is skinnier and taller in terms of its shape? Know in advance what you are looking for.

Prepare Your Design Before Applying to the Pumpkin:

Draw out your design and then use tracing paper to transfer it onto the pumpkin. This can be a design that you have approved yourself or that has been checked with someone else first. However, it is nice to surprise people by not showing them your design until it is carved on your finished pumpkin.

With your design, think beyond just a traditional triangular face and consider creating other Halloween symbols such as bats, stars, or moons. More adventurous still, you could attempt a graveyard scene or a spooky forest. If designing your pumpkin further down the line, perhaps at Thanksgiving in November, then think about alternative creations of say puppies, cats, or rabbits. Children tend to prefer animals because of their familiarity and the cute factor.

Know How to Hold Your Pumpkin:

It is a good idea to hold the pumpkin in your lap as you are carving it. This is the most supportive and safest way to carve a pumpkin. Have the right equipment of a serrated kitchen knife for the main carving and a small saw for the more intricate parts of the design.

Consider Shaving:

We are not talking shaving your legs or facial hair, but the alternative of not cutting right through the pumpkin with every stroke. Instead, sometimes deciding to just scrape pieces of pumpkin away to allow just enough light to glow through your open-design creations. It is always important to be patient when creating any pumpkin design. The best designs have taken much thought and a good deal of carving, and your other technique of shaving should make for a design that is more dynamic than it might otherwise have been.

Incorporating Scraps Within the Design:

Do not waste anything because you can incorporate your scraps or discarded pieces of pumpkin within your design. The ones that you do not intend to cook, that is. For example, you could make hair, a tongue, a pipe, or a chimney from these spare pieces. This will make your pumpkin into more of a character with a personality, a more sophisticated structure, or make it more three dimensional in form. You can be as artistic as you like, creating something for your pumpkin that merely started as a basic idea on paper. Think as creatively about your scraps as you do about the main part of your creation.

Turn your ordinary pumpkin into something extraordinary with the tips above and you will delight your whole neighborhood with your creation!

Show Your Bones OOTD

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Show Your Bones OOTD

Hi! I have been making great use out of my new iPhone for exactly why I wanted it in the first place – lots of OOTD posts. 😀 Today, we are going to check out a spooky OOTD perfect for Halloween that I sported this weekend for a date night with Johnny. Let’s get to it:

Who? What? Wear?

Over the weekend, I got certified in Medication Administration which was a nine to five class both Saturday and Sunday. The location of the training was a decent amount away from the homestead, so I thought that I would get a hotel nearby to make it easier on myself. The classes were very intense and the only thing getting me through the day towards the end of the Saturday lesson was a date night afterwards.

After class, Johnny took me to a delicious Italian dinner at Napoli’s. Then, we headed to an arcade bar called the Buzzbin to play some games. However, when we got there we learned that there were no longer any arcade games there. Johnny immediately hopped on the case and we ended up at Rack It Up, which was another arcade bar in the area. We must have played ski ball for close to an hour – it was a hoot!

Whenever my husband and I step out together, we love to show out in our emo’s best. With spooky season upon us, I couldn’t think of a better time to break out my hand me down skeleton sweater from Johnny. While it was too small for him, it fit me just right. 🙂 All Black Everything was an obvious must for this look and to keep the wearing your insides on your sleeve motif going, I wore my vertebrae platforms a la Dolls Kill. It has been a while since I have gotten to wear them and they reminded me so much of the heels that I wore for my wedding. :*)

Although my Show Your Bones OOTD is quite simple, it was so much fun to wear because it felt like Halloween came early! As a short gal, it is important to me to create the illusion of length in the outfits that I style and I felt ten feet tall in this one. Rest assured that no bones were broken in the making of this post! 😀

What are you going to be for Halloween? Where do you find the best spooky themed clothes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Simple Ways To Cut Down Home Ownership Expenses

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Simple Ways To Cut Down Home Ownership Expenses

Owning a home is a significant investment move. But, unfortunately, the costs involved do not end after your final payment. Whether you paid fully for your home or working with a mortgage, you will still face various home ownership expenses. Some of these are pretty much predictable, while others can take you by surprise. And unless you already have some financial cushioning, these expenses can be a source of stress. So, are you drowning under these waves of home ownership expenses? Use these tips to cut down on how much you spend:

Switch utility and insurance providers:

Suppose you’ve used the same home insurance company, utility provider, or electric company for over a year. In that case, it’s time to shop the market for alternatives, as you may be overpaying at this point. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much utility providers and home insurance providers vary in their price range. Take the time to check other providers and compare their prices and other special offers they may have, and settle for the ones that give you the best deal in terms of service and price.

Try refinancing your mortgage loan:

If you have a mortgage on your property and it’s eating chunks off your income, then you might want to consider refinancing. Thankfully, getting a refinance mortgage quote is easy, as you can do it online. According to some experts, the average interest rate on a fixed-rate loan for 30 years is 3.14%. So, if your current rate is even a fraction higher than that, opting for a mortgage refinancing could help save you hundreds of dollars every month.

You can also speak with a mortgage broker to determine what rate you can qualify for if you refinance or get a refinance mortgage quote online. However, you need to note that refinancing may come with some fees. So, be sure that you intend to own your home long enough to recoup the expenses saved.

Generate income from your home:

An effective way to reduce your expenses is to generate income from your property. Depending on where you are, the size of your home, or your special interests, various options are available to you. One option is to rent out rooms in your home. You can also rent out spaces in your yard for small home dwellers looking for land space for their tiny homes. Another option is to register for short stay hospitality services like Airbnb or rent out storage space in your garage.

Find out if you can reduce your property taxes:

There is always a chance that your property tax is not being assessed correctly. And that’s not all, as you can also enjoy tax breaks for various reasons. Property tax is probably one of your most significant expenses as a homeowner, so it pays to find if there are tax breaks for you or if you’re overpaying.

^^^ Pexels Image

Saving money where you can when it comes to your home will save you lots of stress in the long run. These extra savings will sure come in handy for home ownership surprise expenses that can’t be avoided!

Featured Image By: Pexels

One Year Duolingo Streak!

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One Year Duolingo Streak!

Hi! This has been a year of very exciting milestones for yours truly. I recently achieved a 1,000 day streak of writing in a row on lifewithlilred and, today, I have reached one full year of daily practice on Duolingo! Every day, I have been working on my French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, and German and I am amazed at the progress that I have made in all of them. If you can’t tell, I am a woman who thrives with a routine and it is so exciting to see my hard work continue to pay off.

Because I have six years of experience of being taught French in high school and college, it will always be my best language in terms of speaking, reading, and comprehension. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure how speaking my other four languages would go because I haven’t had the opportunity to interact with anyone who speaks them – especially in COVID times because Johnny and I haven’t been able to travel for our honeymoon like we wanted.

That’s not to say that I haven’t noticed big improvements, though. I am always tickled when Johnny and I are watching a TV show or movie and one of my five languages is being spoken. More often than not, I can get the basic gist of what is being said and it makes me feel very proud of myself. Now, the next challenge will be figuring out which language to start learning next!

For the longest time, I have answered the “What would your super power be?” question with being fluent in every language. It has been a time consuming task to achieve this without being bitten by a radioactive spider but learning on Duolingo every day brings me one step closer to that dream. 🙂

Which language should I learn next? Which languages can you speak? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Customers Refusing To Pay? Try This

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Customers Refusing To Pay? Try This

Nothing is more disconcerting than a customer who refuses to pay for quality services rendered. You’ve worked hard, but you’re not getting the reward. It can be heartbreaking. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to ensure that you get the money you’re owed, no matter what your industry. Check out our ideas below:

Stop Working:

If a client refuses to pay you according to the schedule you initially set out, stop working immediately. Don’t continue toiling in the hope that you will eventually get paid. The reason you should stop working is because it helps you set clear boundaries. Clients who believe that you are a pushover may continue to ask you to work, even in the absence of any pay.

Leaving a project unfinished puts the client in a tricky position. They could try to find a workaround, but usually that’s not possible. It improves your bargaining position and makes it clear that their actions are unacceptable.

Charge Late Fees:

You can also try charging late fees. Late fees encourage clients to get their act together and to pay payments on time, instead of waiting for fines to accrue.

Work With An Industry-Specific Collection Service:

You can back up your efforts by working with a company that specializes in recovering payments. Many CBD firms, for example, use a cannabis collection agency since they understand how the industry works. Collection agencies reduce the hassle of collecting payments yourself. You don’t have to personally call clients and demand money (which can be emotionally draining). Instead, experts do it all for you.

Use Factoring:

You can also use a factoring model. Here, third-party companies buy your accounts receivable off of you and then pursue money collection themselves. Prices for this can be quite high. Usually, you’ll receive around seventy percent of the value of the invoice. However, at least it provides you with cash immediately, instead of having to wait for months, meaning that it is great for cash flow.

Make Contracts:

Making contracts in advance helps you to avoid late payment problems. By spelling out precisely what each party can expect, you have legal recourse should your customers fail to pay you at a later date.

Ask Why:

If customers won’t pay you, find out why by asking them. They could provide all manner of reasons – and you won’t necessarily know what they are in advance. In some cases, they might cite their own poor cash flow, in which case, debt collection might be the only option. In others, they might tell you that they’re not happy with the quality of the service. If there is a problem, try to find out specifically what it is so that you can correct it. Often, once you solve customers’ problems, they are more than willing to pay you.

Non-paying customers can be stressful. But, fortunately, you have many options. You can explore the issue more, find out what’s gone wrong, create incentives to pay on time, and even hire legal help.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

4 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Surgery   

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4 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Surgery   

Do you know what questions to ask your doctor before surgery? When you are deciding if an operation is the best fit for your medical needs, it is important to have all of your questions answered. There are many different factors that will determine if surgery is right for you or not. Here are some questions that should be asked before any decision is made on surgical treatment options.

What type of surgery will I need?

Getting your doctor to answer this question is often the first step in determining if a surgical procedure is right for you. There are three types of surgeries that can be done depending on your medical needs:

Major Surgery:

This includes any invasive process where an incision has to be made into the body and tissues, muscle or fat has to be removed, and some bone has to be cut or modified.

Minor Surgery:

These include operations which do not require major surgery but do require an incision and/or removal of tissues, muscle, or fat.

Reconstructive Surgery:

This type of surgery is performed to correct a problem that has occurred as the result of another condition such as disease.

It is important for you to know about the type of surgery you need since doctors can misdiagnose you. If this happens, don’t hesitate to get help from medical malpractice attorneys so you can be compensated.

What are the potential benefits of surgery?

Ask your doctor about the potential benefits of surgery as different surgeries will offer different benefits based on your needs. For example, if you have a herniated disc in your back that has caused pain for several years, there may be some relief after having an invasive surgical procedure to remove part or all of the damaged section.

Will I be able to go home after surgery? 

Whenever someone has surgery, there is a chance that they can go home from the hospital on the same day as their operation or within 24 hours of being admitted for treatment. However, some patients are required to stay in the hospital for up to five days after surgery. You should know ahead of time what your recovery plan will be so that you can prepare yourself and ensure that proper arrangements are made if necessary.

Will I need a follow-up appointment?

If you have been advised by your doctor to get any kind of surgery, it is important for them to outline a plan for your recovery. This will involve a list of instructions to follow during the first few days after surgery and it is very important that you adhere to these so they can be sure that all goes well with the healing process.

A follow-up appointment should also be scheduled shortly after being discharged from hospital care in order to collect test results, check your recovery, and answer any questions you may have.

If you need to get surgery, the best thing you can do is ask a lot of questions. Make sure you know everything that will be happening to your body before you consent to any procedure. Being informed is the only way to get peace of mind before you have an operation.

Featured Image By: Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

4 Mistakes When Seeking A Job In The Field Of Law   

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4 Mistakes When Seeking A Job In The Field Of Law   

If you are an aspiring attorney and are looking for your dream job, it is important to approach the process carefully. Law is a popular industry, and it is likely that you are going to come across some stiff competition. With that in mind, read on to discover some of the common mistakes you need to avoid while conducting your job hunt:

Not using a recruiter:

There is no reason why you should not use a recruitment firm during your job search. Working with a specialist recruiter is a great way to ensure that you get notified about the best job vacancies and that you are matched with a job that is right for you. They will also offer you insights into law companies that are not available elsewhere, prepare for lateral interviews, and perfect your resume. Not only this, but you don’t have to pay a fortune to benefit from such a service. In fact, you will find that they are often available free of charge.

Failing to tailor your application:

One of the biggest mistakes that attorneys make is failing to tailor their application to the vacancy in question. If you are applying to join a team of nursing home neglect lawyers, you will need to tailor your application accordingly, rather than sending a generic CV. You also need to show why you are a good fit for the team. An employer does not want to see a basic resume that anyone can produce; they want to discover what makes you different from the rest and why you are a good fit for their business.

Self-submitting blind inquiries:

Self-submitting an application for a non-existent position is guaranteed to get your resume thrown into the recruiting director’s trashcan. You need to make sure that the company has a listed need that you can fill if you are going to go down the self-submission route. Everyone wants to work at specific companies, but your resume is only going to become a nuisance if the company does not have a specific need. This could even have a detrimental impact on any applications you make in the future when a position does not open. Make sure a need exists, rather than simply self-submitting to a firm because you like it.

Failing to conduct precision marketing based on your experience and understanding:

Last but not least, a lot of job seekers fail to conduct precision marketing when looking for a new job. You need to market yourself based on where you want to work. After all, the job hunt process is not only about finding companies that need talent, but it is also about marketing yourself as the talent that these businesses cannot afford to miss out on. Make sure your social media profiles are updated, that you have a professional website, and that you are applying search engine optimization tactics to all of this.

Job hunting for any field can be stressful. Use the tips above to help your job hunt go smoothly and help you land your dream position!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops In Moonlight Swatch

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Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops In Moonlight Swatch

Howdy! I am so appreciative to my sister for always giving me her makeup that she no longer wants for the sake of swatching on lifewithlilred. Granted, I haven’t used a majority of her hand me downs because our styles are so different BUT these swatch posts give further insight for people who might be interested in them and that’s all that matters! Today, we are going to be discussing the Custom Enhancer Drops by Cover FX in Moonlight. Let’s get to it:

These drops by Cover FX can be used as a highlighter and I actually like the Moonlight color a lot. However, it is much too intense for my liking! I have never used a liquid highlighter before and much prefer a powder one, myself. But the cool thing about these drops is that you can use as much or as little as you like over or on top of makeup. Did I mention that the color is intense? My swatch consisted of a mere two drops!

I don’t think I would feel comfortable wearing the Custom Enhancer Drops for daily use. Although it could be fun to break out for a New Year’s Eve celebration for an ultra glam look. Cover FX has seven different colors of the drops and I think that I like Glistening Pearl the best. It’s much more toned down than Moonlight and, if given the opportunity, I might be able to get away with wearing it during the day. 😮

Do you prefer a liquid or powder highlighter? How do you achieve a glam makeup look? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Cost Effective Ways Of Losing Weight And Being Healthy   

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Cost Effective Ways Of Losing Weight And Being Healthy   

One of the main reasons why people struggle to lose weight today is because they deem it to be too expensive. You only need to take a trip to a supermarket to see that the processed, unhealthy foods are exceptionally cheap, while it costs a lot more to get your hands on the good stuff, like fish, organic fruit and vegetables, and white meat. Plus, you then have the likes of a gym membership and exercise equipment to add into the mix. It’s not hard to see why the expense can be off-putting. Nevertheless, you can lose weight healthily without spending a fortune, and here are some ways to do so:

Embrace free exercise options:

Yes, joining the gym is going to cost you money. However, there are many different ways that you can lose weight. You don’t need a personal trainer, nor do you need to buy expensive exercise equipment. What about a good old-fashioned run or power walk? This is one of the best ways to exercise and it doesn’t cost a dime. Also, thanks to the Internet, you can gain access to so many different exercise videos free of charge. All you need to do is a quick search on YouTube or another video site and you will see all different types of exercise videos you can follow, from Zumba to yoga. You no longer need to pay to go to a class.

Rethink your commute:

Another easy and effective way to incorporate free exercise into your lifestyle is to rethink your commute. If you live within a few miles of your place of work, how about biking or walking there? If this is not an option, small changes can make a massive difference. For example, take the stairs and stop using the elevator.

Skip ‘healthy’ convenience food:

Not all healthy foods are expensive – carrots are probably one of the cheapest things you can buy in a grocery store! What is expensive, however, are those convenient ‘healthy’ foods. You know, those 100-calorie snack packs, and the ‘healthy’ ready meals that are available in supermarkets. These are nothing more than budget drainers. You would be much better off buying a packet of dried fruit and nuts and making your own snack packs with sandwich bags. Weight loss has a lot to do with budget control, but do you really need to spend way over the odds for someone to give you the right quantity? You can do this yourself. In fact, if you’re worried that you will overeat, all you need to do is carry a measuring cup with you, and this will ensure that you are always on the right track.

Buy in bulk:

One of the best ways to save money when you are shopping is to buy in bulk. You can buy the likes of frozen vegetables, wholemeal rice, and oatmeal in bulk, and this will save you a lot of money. Another option is to buy a whole chicken instead of buying chicken pieces. You can easily cut the whole chicken up yourself into portions for the week. This will save you a good deal of money over time.

Are you eligible for surgery?

If you are deemed morbidly obese, you may be eligible for surgery. This is something that you may have to fund yourself or you may be entitled to some form of monetary assistance from the government. This all depends on your unique circumstances and where you live. Nevertheless, it is something that is worth exploring further, and this is certainly a case of money well spent if your weight is having an extremely detrimental impact on your health. You can’t put a price on living longer, but as any medical malpractice attorney will tell you, selecting a surgeon carefully is critical.

Ditch the red meat:

Ditching the red meat is not only good for your diet, but good for your bank balance too. Lamb and beef can cost a considerable amount of money and they contain more calories than white meat, such as chicken and turkey. Instead of embracing the red meat one night a week approach, why not go meatless? Turning veggie, even if it is for one night every week, will make it a lot more cost efficient for you to lose weight.

Make the most of vouchers and coupons:

Last but not least, one of the best ways to save money on your grocery shopping is to make the most of vouchers and coupons. Nowadays, you only need to do a quick search online to find hundreds of vouchers for different stores. You can also make the most of money saving apps too. Also, a lot of supermarkets and grocery stores offer you a discount on your first purchase so it’s worth exploring the option of buying from different stores from time to time. Don’t forget to make the most of loyalty cards as well; those reward points certainly add up over time.

If you follow the advice that has been discussed above, you should be able to lose weight without it impacting your bank balance. While there are a lot of companies that profit from exploiting people’s want to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, you don’t need to buy into what they are offering. Being healthy doesn’t need to cost a fortune!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

New Orange & Red Violet Nails

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New Orange & Red Violet Nails

Howdy! It is spooky season alright, which means that Halloween nails were in order when I got my fill at Elysian Nails. All day long, I was debating which color combination to go with because I didn’t want to do something as obvious as red and black. Then, I began going through a mental list of Halloween movies to draw inspiration from and settled on Hocus Pocus for a unique orange and red violet combo. Check it out:

While I love my nails and the fact that the tech I went to did a speedy job, I miss my old go to girl very much. Which is why I can’t wait for my next fill because she’ll be back! Although it’s always nice to sit back and be pampered without much chit chat, the girl talk is part of the reason why going to the hair or nail salon is one of my favorite hobbies. So, the silent fill I had this time around without any dishing about work, significant others, etc. felt incomplete.

Despite a somewhat lackluster experience, my nails did turn out great and I am obsessed with the colors that I chose. Aside from my wedding, I have never gotten fun designs on my nails simply because I don’t feel like paying for it. This is why I wanted a nontraditional color combo that still said Halloween.

Like many who think of Hocus Pocus, the first thing that came to mind was Winifred’s hair! The orange was a must but what would go with it? I went through my mental archives some more and settled on Sarah’s purple accents on her dress. Originally, the colors I selected at Elysian were much darker but it felt kind of blah. I scoured through the polish wall several more times and went with brighter hues in each shade and ended up with exactly what I pictured in my head! 😀

It’s all just Hocus Pocus but it sure is fun. Happy Halloween to all!

What is your favorite Halloween movie? What colors make you think of spooky season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah