Author Archives: lifewithlilred

About lifewithlilred

Just your average gal blogging an average blog!

Face Mask Festivities: Freeman Glacier Water & Pink Peony Hydrating Gel Cream Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Freeman Glacier Water & Pink Peony Hydrating Gel Cream Mask Edition

Hello! During one of my previous Amazon hauls, I ordered a set of six new face masks from Freeman. Unfortunately, the first one I tried was a dud and this gel cream mask just didn’t do anything for me, either. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

When I decided to use this gel cream mask, I thought it sounded so refreshing that it would have to be good. I love gel masks because of their bouncy texture and the glacier water/pink peony combo seemed like it would just add to the enjoyment. So, I prepped my bath water and applied my face mask for an evening of pampering.

As I squeezed the mask into my hand, it reminded me so much of one of my favorite gel masks from The Body Shop and I was taken with the pale blue color it was tinted. The gel cream dried fairly quickly and, as per the instructions, I left it on all night.

The following morning, I was eager to wash my face and see how my skin felt as I had the mask on for well over ten hours at that point. Sadly, I noticed no difference to my skin. In fact, after I got out of the shower my skin felt tight and was practically begging me for my moisturizing routine.

I have never used a gel mask that did this little for me before and I was honestly shocked. With some of my favorite gel masks, it left my skin looking so radiant and feeling hella moisturized but, obviously, all of them can’t be winners. -_-

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this face mask and, as of now, I am striking out on my Freeman haul. Here’s to hoping the next few will be better so keep it posted for more Face Mask Festivities coming soon!

Which face masks would you not recommend? Do you have a favorite gel cream mask? 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 Hunting Party By Lucy Foley Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Hunting Party By Lucy Foley Edition

Howdy and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be talking about a book called The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley, without giving any spoilers away, of course. Now, this author might sound familiar to you because I actually just finished up another book of hers a few weeks ago. While I enjoyed the last book I read of Lucy Foley’s well enough, The Hunting Party missed the mark severely.

Read on to find out more and find out what star rating this book ends up with:

It’s a New Year’s bash and anyone who is anyone in the posh “inner circle” will be there. A group of the closest friends who, for the most part, all met during their university years at Oxford. Every New Year, couples Giles and Samira, Julian and Miranda, Mark and Emma, Nick and Bo, and odd one out Katie embarks on a mini vacation to celebrate.

They end up somewhere different each time, as it’s always up to a different person to plan it, and this year they find themselves in the Scottish Highlands. Scenic and beautiful, yes, but extremely remote and with a startling lack of WiFi. Each respective couple has their own tiny cabin on the resort but their primary hang out is the rustic chic Lodge with plush rugs and couches, mounted deer heads, and oh yeah… It’s made entirely of glass.

For the most part, this all sounds relatively nice. However, as the booze is poured, celebratory pills are popped, and a downfall of snow threatens to keep them barricaded all of their dark secrets and rivalries begin to bubble to the surface. The Hunting Party covers their entire New Year’s excursion from the moment they board the train to the ghastly murder that concludes their trip. Anyone and everyone is a suspect and it’s up to you to find out who if you read The Hunting Party.

Similarly to Foley’s last book, The Hunting Party is told in an interweaving tale between beautiful Miranda, homely Emma, quiet Katie, as well as the gamekeeper of the property named Doug, and the property manager called Heather. Similarly to Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood, this book revolves around a celebratory weekend gone awry in a remote location in a house made of glass.

Because of both of these identical nods to books that I have already read, it felt really impossible to enjoy this book. It almost felt like I was reading a combination of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley instead of individual books from each author. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t particularly care for any of the characters. None of them were incredibly relatable in terms of their personalities, professions, and backstory and I never felt like I was getting “in” to the book. Rather, just speed reading to finish it up.

Perhaps, all of these other issues would be less damning had the grand reveal been amazing. Unfortunately, that fell flat too. I figured it out extremely early and every Red Herring introduced was debunked so quickly that there were no real “twists and turns” throughout the book.

I honestly can’t say that I would recommend The Hunting Party to any of you and have to rate it with a zero out of ten stars. The plot was tired and used before, the characters felt like caricatures instead of real people, and the grand reveal was so simple I think that a fifth grader could figure it out. It is not worth your time and definitely wasn’t worth mine. WHOMP WHOMP.

Have you read any lackluster books lately? Do you have a recommendation for what I should read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

It’s A Walk In The Park

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It’s A Walk In The Park

Hello! A super nice thing about October other than all Halloween everything is that Johnny has every Friday off. I, on the other hand, always have Fridays off so it has been really fun having an extra day to spend with him on our weekends. Although we are always okay with staying at home with our video games and streaming services, we decided to have a little field trip this past Friday.

Johnny and I loaded into his mini van and went for a drive through the Cuyahoga Valley. We admired the changing leaves while enjoying the pleasant temperatures of an autumn day, all set to the tunes of Dire Straits which Johnny deemed appropriate driving music. Sadly, he passed on my offer to play some Cardi B but that’s neither here nor there.

Regardless of what our soundtrack was, it was exciting to be doing something with my boyfriend other than sitting in the apartment. He had just gotten his hair done and looked SO fine and driving around and talking and laughing had me falling in love all over again. :*)

We stopped off at one of the hiking trails before heading home and took an excursion around Indigo Lake. We explored train tracks and Johnny proved to be an excellent stone skipper. I proved to be… Anyways, it was a hoot. To be out in the public of nature together was refreshing for both of us because we don’t venture out often now, as safety is our primary concern.

Johnny and I were both kitted out in our fall Sunday’s Best but, as always, it was back in our comfy clothes as soon as we returned home. We settled in for an evening of weird comedies like Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories and The Mighty Boosh and it was a great day. ❤

If you’re feeling cooped up from being at home a lot now, don’t discount the benefits of spending some time outdoors. I think you’ll be glad you did. 🙂

How do you safely go out right now? Where is your favorite place to go hiking? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

October 2020 Funky Time Jams

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October 2020 Funky Time Jams

Hi! One of the big things that my clients and I do together now that we don’t really go anywhere is listen to music. I swear, we are constantly having concerts starring each other and honestly can make an afternoon of it. Sometimes I’m dancing the YMCA and other times I’m spitting bars to Cardi B! Lol, my job is never boring and it’s impossible to hear the following songs without thinking of the people I work with:

^^^ As always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!

This is such a random compilation of songs but each set of three are usually the first songs that come to mind when I think of a specific client. I really get a tour of different styles of music each week, going from girl power anthems to golden oldies all the way to rap and, yes, Marilyn Manson. (I got one of my guys hooked on him!)

Impromptu dance parties, sing alongs, and at home concerts have become primary sources of entertainment when I’m at work and my clients have a blast every time. In some way shape or form, I’m pretty sure we’ve developed some kind of hand movement routine or different melodies to all of my client’s top picks. We even make music videos of us singing our favorite songs together!

Coming up with enticing activities to do at home is the name of my work game now. Whether that be dancing the Hokey Pokey or the Electric Slide in someone’s kitchen to going for a drive with the windows down and music blasting, my brain is always working overtime to help my clients stay safe while still enjoying themselves. I love having “our songs” with each person I work with and nothing warms my heart more than when one of them hears a tune and says “this is our jam”. ❤

Is there a song that reminds you of someone whenever you hear it? What is your favorite song to dance to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Ways To Tell You’re Ready For A Career Change

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5 Ways To Tell You’re Ready For A Career Change

Many people aren’t actually doing what they want to do work wise or, unfortunately, only see their job as a means to an end. It’s common to feel a bit stagnant and decide to focus on furthering studies or learning something new. If you’re not feeling challenged anymore, it might be time to shake things up a bit with a career change. You’ll be more likely to be engaged and motivated at work, and will be able to start making realistic financial goals for your future. Here are five ways to tell you’re ready for a career change:

You don’t feel like your job makes a difference:

Many people opt for a career change because they want to do something more rewarding. This might mean a new job where you help make a difference in people’s lives. If you’re interested in this type of work, you could look into taking a course with an occupational therapy school. This is an example of a career where you can help people of all ages with any physical, developmental, and social challenges they may be facing.

You no longer feel challenged:

If you’ve been in the same job for a while, it’s easy to feel bored and in a rut. Often people are afraid to change careers because they don’t believe they can learn something new. This is not the solution, however, and it’s much more beneficial to seek out new challenges. This way, you’ll improve your skill set and have more opportunities in the future. It’s time to get focused and finally leave your comfort zone.

You would like to continue studying:

There are also many benefits to furthering your education. You’ll be a much more valuable member of staff to any employer, and you’ll be able to gain more experience and responsibility. Perhaps there’s a subject you’ve always wanted to study but haven’t got round to yet? It’s never too late to continue studying and if you don’t want to leave your current job you can opt for a part-time course online. Employers are generally on board with this idea, as it helps to motivate staff, so they might even offer to sponsor you.

You don’t feel financially compensated:

It’s also time for a career change if you don’t feel financially compensated. By focusing on gaining a new qualification you might be able to finally curb financial anxiety and get paid what you deserve. Money isn’t always the reason people decide on a career change, but it’s definitely a factor if you don’t feel valued at work.

Your priorities have changed:

Your priorities might have changed since you were younger. Whereas in your previous role you were more interested in travel or networking, for instance, you might now be looking for other challenges in order to progress. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for in the future, here are some tips on how to prioritize. Before you make the decision to change careers, you need to get your goals and priorities straight.

It’s never too late to try something new and, yes, that includes your career! Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

How You Can Start Decluttering Your Home

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How You Can Start Decluttering Your Home

As we approach winter and the festive period, you may be wondering exactly what you could be doing in your home that can have a positive impact on your life. Aside from getting excited about what is to come, you can make some big improvements in your home. Decluttering and clearing away mess, then organizing the chaos can help you to feel happier and more content in your home. So what can you do to get started? Here are some of the things to think about:

Find a solution for the things you want to keep:

One of the biggest issues we can find when it comes to our homes is feeling like we have no choice but to get rid of some of the things we want to keep, because our homes just can’t house them right now. Maybe pieces of furniture or other big items like baby and kids beds. Something you may want for the future, but have no need for now. Decluttering doesn’t always mean selling, donating, or disposing of things, it can mean storing correctly. Using a secure self storage facility could be a great option to consider. Meaning you can store items you want for one day, such as when family dynamics change or you have a bigger property.

Start with five minutes a day:

Often, it is the small things that can start to drive you crazy when it comes to decluttering your home, so you may want to not overwhelm yourself when you start the journey. This is when just using five minutes a day can start to make a big difference. Grab a bag and walk around your home for five minutes, getting rid of bits of rubbish, odd items, and clutter. Then go through it and decide whether it needs to be disposed of or not. This method is great for cleaning papers and other recyclable items. Helping you to have a clearer space to work with.

Seek out inspiration:

If you are struggling, then you may want to seek out some inspiration online or through visual videos and programs. This is when The Home Edit, the Marie Kondo TV series on Netflix, or following the account on social media could be great sources of inspiration. There are some simple things that you can do to store items better such as using canisters in cupboards or folding clothes in a specific way. The inspiration could help you to come up with ways to store the items in your home more effectively.

Focus on one room at a time:

If it feels like you have a lot to go through, then focus on one room at a time. You can then dedicate the time you have to going through drawers, decluttering items, and storing them differently or more effectively. The one room at a time method gives you a focus and once it is done it can be a huge motivation to carry on with the next project.

Get to decluttering more effectively with the tips above! Happy cleaning!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Steps To Take Towards A Healthier Pregnancy

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Steps To Take Towards A Healthier Pregnancy

For a lot of women, simply getting the good news that you’re pregnant can be work enough. However, it’s about to get a lot tougher after that due to the range of health issues that, even if they’re not serious, can plague a pregnancy and make it much tougher to get through. Aside from following all of the advice from your doctor, here are tips that can help you achieve a healthier pregnancy:

Folic acid and Vitamin D are key:

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important when you’re pregnant, but there are a few vitamins and nutrients that are worth giving a little more focus. In particular, vitamin D is crucial for developing healthy bones and muscles, while folic acid can help decrease the risk of a wide range of birth defects. As such, talk to your doctor about taking folic acid supplements. These are often prescribed to expecting mothers and are usually taken up until the end of the first trimester when you should be out of the woods.

Keep moving:

Pain is a greater risk when you’re pregnant. You’re gaining weight, a lot of it on your belly, which can change the way that your body handles the pressure caused by gravity pushing down on that weight. This can lead to very achy joints and back pain. For that reason, it’s a great idea to make sure that you remain as active as you safely can through all stages of the pregnancy. There are pregnancy exercise classes that you can do in person or online, whichever is safest at the moment. Otherwise, even daily stretches and walks can make a big difference.

Tackle your pain head on:

By being more active and addressing posture issues, you can make sure that your added belly weight isn’t stressing your body out as much as it otherwise would. However, chronic pain is a regular part of many women’s pregnancies and one that should be addressed with care. As such, look for professionals like a chiropractor that offers specific treatments for pregnant women that take into account your additional health concerns. There are also maternity massages that ensure your baby bump is kept safe while offering you some much-needed relief.

Don’t ignore your mental health:

We naturally complain more when we’re pregnant. We’re in more physical discomfort, we might be anxious about the upcoming birth, we’re planning for a huge life change. However, if you’re having real trouble with your mental health, then it is worth taking the time to reach out to a counselor. Nowadays, it’s much easier to find trained professionals online who can help you deal with a wide range of anxieties and insecurities. Don’t feel like you would be too much of a burden talking to friends and family, either. Everyone wants to make sure you get through this in tip-top shape.

Your doctor’s advice is always paramount when it comes to deciding how you deal with a pregnancy. However, the tips above can be a good supplement to that and are worth keeping in mind!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

An Apple A Day

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An Apple A Day

Hello!! For those of you who don’t know, my big girl job is as an Independent Provider for people with special needs. I love my job always but in the summer and fall, I feel particularly thankful because I am constantly being spoiled with produce from gardens and apple orchards. Each family I work with does a garden every summer and, I swear, I never went a week without delicious, homegrown veggies in my apartment these past few months.

This past week, a client and his family visited an apple orchard and I had such fun hearing about his outing. Fast forward to when I was about to pull out of their yard to go home and his mom comes running out to stop me with a huge bag of apples. SO sweet!

All of the families I work with consider me an “honorary” member of their household and it is an honor for me. So, to come home with a bag of apples or veggies is special to me because it’s a reminder of how much we all care for each other. I would be so lonely without all of the wonderful families I get to help out and, god forbid one of us gets sick or goes on vacation, because we all end up missing each other like crazy!

Like I said, my client’s mom ran to my car with this beautiful bounty and it was like getting the most fantastic hug. Small and simple acts of kindness are often the best so be sure to offer an apple (pumpkin or gourd!) a day to someone you love if you visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch this fall. You have the Lil Red Guarantee that it will be oh so appreciated. ❤

What was the last random act of kindness you made? What do you like to grow in your garden? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Clothes You Love Looking New

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Keeping Clothes You Love Looking New

When you fall in love with a piece of clothing, whether it’s your new jeans or an elegant blouse, you want them to last for as long as possible. Unfortunately, when it comes to fashion, nothing lasts forever. Clothes are made to be worn, and as such, they can develop signs of wear and tear. It’s part of their life cycle.

However, more often than not, the items you love don’t even make it to “old age”, so to say. Your fall haul shopping may not last longer than a couple of months if you can’t prevent damage. If you’ve been choosing new clothes to keep you warm in fall and winter, here is a brief reminder of how to avoid those rookie fashion care mistakes.

Read the label:

It might sound silly, but you’d be surprised to know that most people are quick to snap the label off without reading it. It makes sense: Labels can be itchy and unpleasant against the skin. Yet they contain valuable information. If you’re going to cut it, make sure to store it safely for future reference. Your label will display different symbols related to wash, bleaching, tumble dry, ironing, dry cleaning, and additional instructions. A hot wash and tumble dry are the most common places where damages can occur! If you’ve removed the label without reading it, your best bet is to apply the following principles:

  • Warm wash for cotton and similar fabric
  • Hand wash for silk, satin, underwear, lace, mesh, and wool fabric
  • Avoid tumble dryer for wool, non-stretchy clothes, and fragile clothes such as underwear, tights, or mesh skirts

Check your water:

Do you find white marks on your clothes after washing them? It could be limescale. Hard water can damage the fabric and leave white stains that are difficult to remove. Ideally, you want to consider hard water removal solutions such as a water softener. You can test your water to figure out if it is relevant to you. However, the easiest way is to check for limescale in the kettle, around the taps, and on the shower curtains.

Sort your colors and fabrics:

Granted, nowadays, you can throw all your clothes in the wash at the same time and add a color catcher sheet to avoid color bleeds. Do these sheets work? Yes, more often than not, they can be highly effective. But it takes only one lousy sheet to ruin your laundry, so it’s best to learn to sort out your clothes. Ideally, you want to end up with distinctive piles: whites, darks, lights, denim, delicates. Color sorting is only one step! Make sure to consider fabric weight – hence denim VS delicates for instance – heavily stained garments.

Keep your washing machine clean:

A dirty washing machine will damage your clothes. Simple steps such as removing debris after a wash like pet hair and small particles and not leaving wet clothes inside the machine for too long can avoid unpleasant odors. You can also run a cleaning cycle as most washers have one nowadays.

If you’ve had your love affair with a piece of garment cut short because of unexpected damage, now’s the time to stop the story from repeating itself! Keeping your clothes for longer means becoming more strategic and organized with your laundry routine.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Fall Haul: Seven Jeans Edition

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Fall Haul: Seven Jeans Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to the last post of my Fall Haul with TJMaxx! I am so happy with all of my purchases and can’t wait to incorporate all of my new clothes into my fall and winter wardrobe. It is, indeed, the most wonderful time of the year for me to shop and I think this was one of my best Fall Hauls yet!

Now, finally, let’s check out these coated, snakeskin patterned skinny jeans from Seven:

Man, do I love when the items I purchase still have their original price tag. My new jeans were marked as seventy-nine bucks and I got them for thirty, I believe. Score!

If there’s one thing Lil Red loves, it is coated skinny jeans. I think they are just the tops. The sheen, the punk rock appeal, the cool patterns – give me a pair of coated jeans over regular any day of the week! I was so taken by these skinnies just in the picture on TJ’s website that I didn’t even care if they were high waisted. I threw caution to the wind and it paid off big time because they are, easily, one of the most unique pairs of jeans I own.

When placing my order online, I really didn’t realize that these jeans were Seven brand until seeing them at home. For those of you who don’t know, Fergie references Seven in the timeless classic “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas. So, permission to be feeling myself for the rest of the year was obviously granted after that discovery! 😀

Although these jeans are high waisted, they fit a little bit higher than a standard normal rise. I can definitely get down with that and I love how long and lean they make my legs look. The metallic shine of the coated snakeskin pattern adds such a dramatic flare and Fergie really was right… My butt looks great in them! Lol!

Pre-COVID, I lived for my fall shopping trips to TJMaxx. Unfortunately, that’s just not possible right now and my online haul was the next best thing. I got a lot of super cute new pieces for a fraction of their original price and there is nothing better. ❤

What is your favorite thing from my Fall Haul? Have you purchased any new clothes recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah