Author Archives: lifewithlilred

About lifewithlilred

Just your average gal blogging an average blog!

Garden Goodies

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Garden Goodies

Hi! I looove having lots of fresh fruits and veggies at my apartment and, during the summer, I am never lacking in that department. My dad as well as all of the families of my clients have gardens and I always seem to be returning home from work with surplus veggies. It’s freaking awesome and I haven’t been without cucumbers, zucchinis, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans in weeks.

I know that all of the families I work with are up to their ears in produce and they have entire gardens but, shit, I am too! I can’t even get to the bottom of my crisper drawer until it’s filled up again with all of the garden goodies I am constantly being gifted with. The last thing I am doing is complaining about it, though!!

My appetite changes drastically in the summer because I get nauseous when it’s really hot. I find myself craving light dishes as I think I would keel over even thinking about eating a heavy meal in my hot ass apartment. Having a never ending supply of veggies has been a game changer because I can snack on them all day totally guilt free and it has added a lot of variety to my cooking.

This past week, I had an overflow of produce that I needed to purge from my fridge – cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, lemon, and lots of garlic. So, I decided to prepare a cucumber salad with the ingredients I had available. My recipe went as so:

Lemon Cucumber Salad

  • 2 large cucumbers with the skin peeled and cut in slices
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • Multicolored grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • Juice from one lemon, with some of the pulp added too
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste

I am obsessed with the salad I whipped up and have been eating a few servings daily. I just love the tart lemon mixed with the tang of the balsamic vinegar and when it’s poured over crisp veggies it is an absolute treat. Get creative with your cooking and try making a salad recipe of your own next family dinner!

How has your garden been doing? What do you have growing? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How Can You Tell When A Job Is Good For You?

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How Can You Tell When A Job Is Good For You?

Being able to tell when a job is good for you can be hard; it’s tricky in the moment, when you’re caught up with work, and it might be all forgotten about by the time you slip into bed at night. However, there are quite a few things you can look out for as you work away day by day to tell you if the job you’re currently signed up for is actually good for your health. Make sure you keep the points below in mind if you’re curious about where you stand with your occupation, and whether or not something needs to change:

Every Day is Satisfying:

If you want to know if a job is good for you or not, it’s important to take note of how you feel at the end of each working day. Say, if you’re working in food service jobs right now, and you’re coming home feeling like the day was good (Even with a couple of fussy customers!) and you’re surrounded by friends at work, you might just be in the right position for you.

Overall, you need to be satisfied with how your workdays usually go. You need to be able to come home feeling like you’ve done some good work, and you’re ready to face a similar tomorrow. Jobs should be satisfying, in order for you to do your best work through them, and if not, it’s time to look elsewhere!

You’re Always Motivated to Keep Going:

Working can take a lot out of us, but when we enjoy a job, we keep going, if not for any other reason than we’re being paid for it – don’t worry, it’s valid! But in knowing that a job is right for you, being able to keep going, no matter how tough things get, is a great way to determine whether or not you’re happy where you are.

Take some time to think about the worst days and how you handled them. Did you need to stop and take five? If so, did you get back to the task at hand? Because even if you did, you’re well suited to your job!

You’re Still Feeling Healthy:

And, finally, it’s important to think about how physically strong and/or well you feel, after working in a job for at least six months. Are you worn out? Do you get on with labor you’re not trained for or can’t handle? Are you at a desk for 8 hours a day? Because all of these questions can help you to determine if your work is keeping you healthy, and if you need to offset any of the effects.

A job is good for you when you know how to do it, you can do it safely, and you’re satisfied when you come home again at the end of the day. A good job is one that treats you like a human being, and ensures you have everything you need to succeed. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Lil Red’s Book Club: A Killer’s Mind By Mike Omer Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: A Killer’s Mind By Mike Omer Edition

Howdy and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Within this past year, I read a book called Into The Darkness by Mike Omer. The book chronicled forensic psychologist Doctor Zoe Bentley and FBI agent Tatum Grey as they tried to hunt down a serial killer. Little did I know, however, that Into The Darkness was the second part of a series of Zoe Bentley books, which all started with A Killer’s Mind. Whoops!

After realizing I was reading the second book first, I was too far in to not finish it. In fact, I was even more eager to read the first one because I loved the second one. I finally finished A Killer’s Mind a few days ago and it was excellent. I will be placing a trigger warning on this review because the book covered a lot of unsavory stuff, including the tracking of sexually deviant serial killers. Now, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

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Forensic psychologist Doctor Zoe Bentley has a knack for getting inside the mind of a killer. And, she has the experience to back it up, as she lived next door to a serial killer in her youth and is now a civilian consultant for the FBI. It is her job to create a profile for whomever they are tracking to help narrow their search pool and discover what makes the killer tick.

Despite her job being draining, Zoe loves it and has been sent to Chicago to help their police investigate a recent chain of killings. The bodies of three women had been found in different public locations. Sounds really bad. But it gets worse. The women that have been discovered were all in different stages of the embalming process and were essentially set up as human dolls in plain sight.

It is up to intense Zoe and marches to the beat of his own drum Tatum to crack the case before the killer strikes again. The only problem? Finding out who he is, of course!

Although the content of A Killer’s Mind was nothing short of disturbing, it was a great read. I mentioned when I reviewed Into The Darkness that Mike Omer’s books read like Law & Order SVU and A Killer’s Mind was no different. I loved the sharpness and brilliance of each character doing their best to keep the people in their community safe. The palpable chemistry between Agent Grey and Zoe is nothing to sneeze at, either. 😀

I adored Zoe Bentley in Into The Darkness so it was fun to read her story from the beginning. I knew she lived next door to a serial killer from reading the second book but I had no idea what all transpired in her youth. A Killer’s Mind delved deep into this and Zoe was able to use her own experiences to become amazing at her job. She’s a strong and smart female lead and I just want more!

If you have a weak stomach, the Zoe Bentley books are definitely not for you. But, if you’re looking for intense investigations with interconnected story lines, then this series might be one to look into. The villains are sickening but the heroes are incredible and you will be rooting for the good guys by the first page of both A Killer’s Mind and Into The Darkness.

I am going to give A Killer’s Mind an: eight out of ten star rating. Total page turner, a crazy scary story line, and ingenious workers on the case. It doesn’t get much better than that. However, there were certainly parts that I had a hard time reading and it is not a book for everyone.

What is the last book that you finished? Do you have a favorite genre or author? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

8 Things You Can Do To Make Your Kitchen Better This Week

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8 Things You Can Do To Make Your Kitchen Better This Week

If you’re looking for ways you can make your kitchen better this week, you’ll find eight ideas you can try below. Making your kitchen better doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune on new items and remodeling. The ideas below should be fairly easy to implement, and they should actually make a big difference to your kitchen! The kitchen can be the hub of the home, a place to prepare food, eat together, do homework, and catch up over coffee. It’s a multi purpose room so the days of having a cold and uncomfortable kitchen must be forgotten. Read on for more:

Install Under Cabinet Lighting:

Under cabinet lighting can add something special to your kitchen, helping to light it effectively and giving it a unique appearance. This can also save energy, as you are eliminating the need to light the entire room. The bulbs burn cool, and they don’t require much power, either.

Come Up With A Better Storage Solution:

Better storage solutions are so important in the kitchen, as there are many items that could easily make the place look overrun with junk. For example, your herbs and spices, cutlery, cleaning products – all of these things are usually kept in the kitchen, so you’ll need to come up with solutions for all of them. You can make cupboards more effective by hanging hooks on the back of the doors to hang things that you frequently reach for, such as dusters, cooking implements, and more. Smart storage solutions are essential in any modern day kitchen and will help you to utilize the entire space.

Freshen Up Your Cabinets:

Your cabinets are one of the main features of your kitchen. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders for them, especially if you decide to go for a brighter color to give the room some personality. If you’d rather, you could always look into a cabinet refinishing service to make your cabinets look like new again without having to replace them.

Build A Rack For Your Pots and Pans:

A rack for your pots and pans can look great and save you a lot of hassle when cooking. This is great for homeowners that enjoy cooking and will mean no more hassle having to put pans away in a small cupboard, making a racket every time you take something out!

Make Sure You Have Task Lighting:

Task lighting is crucial in any kitchen. You need to see what you’re doing when you prepare food, so make sure you choose the correct bulbs and ensure that it is in the ideal position. Having dimmer switches, lamps, and other lighting options can be helpful when you have people over. You won’t want bright task lighting when you’re eating a meal!

Swap Out Your Hardware:

Your hardware is one of the easiest and most cost effective things to change in your kitchen. You can find all kinds of options to suit the look you want to achieve, and it’s really easy to change drawer pulls and things yourself. You could even swap out your old tap for a new, more modern looking one. Making small changes like this takes very little effort and won’t cost too much money.

Add A New Backsplash:

A new backsplash in your kitchen can help to give the room some personality. Obviously, a backsplash is great because it stops you from getting marks on the wall when cooking, but this is also an opportunity to show off your style and bring some interest to the kitchen. Tiles can look great, but you need to make sure you’re comfortable with grouting and all of the other things associated with installing a backsplash. You can get really creative here, so check out some ideas before you go ahead to make sure you’re happy with the result.

Install Underfloor Heating:

Underfloor heating is an amazing addition that you’ll only truly appreciate when you head down to the kitchen for your morning coffee and realize you don’t need to wear socks or slippers to stay comfortable. Nothing wakes you up quite like a cold kitchen floor in the morning, but underfloor heating can make it so much more comfortable and cozy.

Keep yourself occupied for a few days and have your kitchen looking amazing with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pexels

 

More OOTD Photo Shoot Pics

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More OOTD Photo Shoot Pics

Hi! Yesterday, I talked you through the styling for my In Summer, We Wear Black OOTD. I really enjoyed creating that post and it has since become one of my favorite outfits. Today, I am just going to share some additional pictures from the photo shoot because there were so many that I liked and I couldn’t limit it to one post! Check it out:

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There is seriously nothing better than when you are totally and completely feeling yourself and that is how I felt when I took these pictures. I had a blast because my mom was the photographer and the self-confidence surge was, obviously, a lot of fun too! ❤

Do you have a favorite outfit? What does your clothes say about you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

In Summer, We Wear Black OOTD

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In Summer, We Wear Black OOTD

Howdy! Something I really miss doing while I continue to keep my distance amidst the coronavirus pandemic is having photo shoots for lifewithlilred. I loved doing my makeup, styling the perfect outfit, and feeling like America’s Next Top Model for the day. This past month, I felt comfortable enough to schedule a social distance photo shoot with my usual photographer. But, unfortunately, he had to cancel due to a COVID case at his work (All has since been resolved!).

After that, I decided that I would have my mom take my pictures for me over the weekend – just like she used to when lifewithlilred first started! Now, sweet JANE has no photography experience at all but, unlike my dad, she knows how to take pictures on my iPod. This makes it very easy for me because I can set up the shot, have her stand exactly where I want her to, and she can snap away.

After ten or so shots, I usually take a look at what we have, evaluate what I liked and didn’t like, and then continue the process until I’m satisfied. JANE was a rock star, as per ushe, and I was very happy with the following shots for this All Black Everything OOTD:

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Who? What? Wear?

Nine times out of ten in the summertime, you can find me posted up in my normal uniform of all black. Ten times out of ten, you will hear me complaining about how hot it is. Be that as it may, I never “outgrew” my emo phase. It has turned into a lifestyle at this point so I can’t just stop dressing in a way that I’m almost always prepared for a funeral for a little thing like the sun, lol. Besides, the feathery fake lashes I was rocking were enough of a neon pop to make up for the, otherwise, bleak color palette.

I have become a huge fan of fake eyelashes lately and when I saw the funky pair I’m sporting in the pics while online shopping Sephora, I couldn’t pass them up. I knew that I wanted them to make a major statement in my pictures because they are so unique, so my all black OOTD only enhanced it. It also made the beautiful flowers in my dad’s garden pop, which was another goal I had in mind when preparing this shoot.

When it comes to my personal style, I love having a lot of essential pieces that have an extra something to them. The skort is such a fun take on traditional shorts and they also give the illusion of a romper when styled properly (Which is great for me because I look awful in real rompers!). With a playsuit vibe in mind, I opted for one of my favorite tops to wear tucked in and the end result was an, in my opinion, more modern take on an actual romper or shorts and T-shirt combo.

After the initial outfit was styled, it was all about accessories. I chose one of my smaller brimmed hats for this shoot because I didn’t want a huge floppy one taking away from the eyelashes. Wearing Johnny’s sunglasses was another easy choice because they’re relatively plain and it definitely popped nicely against the black.

Bat wing embellished platforms helped complete this chic goth in the sun OOTD. In fact, I know they did because one of the neighborhood kids said they looked vampire-y. Great success! And, finally, I am extra enough to carry a parasol. Enough said.

I am not exaggerating when I say to you all that I felt like a million bucks in these pictures. It was a hot day but my outfit kept me nice and cool and I felt freaking sexy in it. Lol, since coronavirus, I have not put the most effort into my personal appearance and it felt amazing to both feel and look good. I definitely spammed Facebook with pictures of myself but, damn, I couldn’t help it! Your girl was feeling herself!!

This wasn’t exactly the fancy shmancy photo shoot that I had in mind but it was easily one of my favorites. I loved being able to spend time with my mom and I got a HUGE boost of self-confidence. Some new content on the blog is nothing to sneeze at, either. 😉 Keep it posted for more pics this week!

When do you feel confident? Which color do you wear the most often? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

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Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

Hi! This past weekend, lifewithlilred was nominated for its first Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award by my friend, Luna, over at BetterDayWeb. It has been a good long while since my page was nominated for a blogging award so I was excited to work on this post after reading Luna’s comment to me with the award info. It is so nice to know that other people take something positive with them when they visit my page and it is much appreciated. For more positive, inspiring bloggers, do be sure to check out Luna’s blog, as well! Now, let’s get on to the rules for this award:

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their site
  • Answer the questions you got
  • Nominate up to 9 bloggers and ask them 5 new questions
  • Notify the bloggers you nominate so they know they have been nominated
  • List the rules and display the award logo in your blog post
  • Provide a link to the award creator. Rising Star from https://idealinspiration.blog/

Q & A:

What is the absolute best thing that has happened in your life so far? Just one?! How about three? Lol, I love being an aunt, I am insanely proud of my two businesses, and I have a wonderful family and boyfriend. That is all, definitely, the best!

Do you have a special talent, if yes; what is it? I have an excellent memory, which made my time in the theater world a snap with all of the lines I had to memorize! Now, I use that special gift to learn different languages. I currently practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, Czech, and American Sign Language. I’d like to learn Latin or Swedish next.

If you could do anything you wanted at all with no risk of failing. What would you do? This is a tough one! I would probably go to the skating rink and bust out some Olympic level figure skating – which, sadly, only happens in my dreams!

Fill in the blank. To me, Happiness is ________. Being with my family, hands down.

What always makes you smile? Coming home from work and seeing Johnny after a long day. 🙂

My Nominees (I’m only doing three):

My Questions For You:

  1. Which actor or actress would you love to be besties with?
  2. Do you like salty snacks or do you have a sweet tooth?
  3. How did the coronavirus affect your neck of the woods?
  4. Favorite movie, TV show, and book?
  5. What is your favorite season and why?

Thank you so much again to the darling Luna for nominating lifewithlilred for the Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award! How would you answer some of Luna’s questions for her nominees? How about some of my questions for mine? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Face Mask Festivities: Celavi Charcoal Sheet Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Celavi Charcoal Sheet Mask Edition

Hello! I recently ordered a pack of face masks by Celavi off of Amazon during a skin care haul. I got twelve face masks for ten dollars and I figured, successful or not, that’s a cheap way to get some blog content – especially considering I don’t do much of anything anymore! I recently tried the Charcoal sheet mask by Celavi that was supposed to purify and refine and, although it wasn’t the best, it wasn’t too bad. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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As all of you know, I love charcoal skin care products so I was eager to try this mask. After my last face mask experience with Celavi, I wasn’t expecting too much out of the Charcoal one but I figured if it could clear away just some of my blackheads, then I would be happy. And it did. All of the pesky blackheads on my nose were sent packing and my skin felt clean and fresh after removing the mask.

My main qualm with the face masks I purchased is that they are HUGE. They slip and slide on my face, as you can see in the picture above, and the serums in the mask always end up getting in my eyes. Not fun. However, once the mask begins to dry about fifteen minutes in, it holds a lot better and it makes the experience much more pleasant. I typically wear my Celavi masks for twenty minutes and sometimes a little extra if they are still damp.

This Charcoal sheet mask was by no means the best one I’ve ever used but it was a vast improvement from the Honey one by Celavi that I tried because it actually did something. I have four other Celavi masks to try and, after the minor success of the Charcoal mask, I’m kind of looking forward to the other ones. Keep it posted and find out what I think! 🙂

What is your favorite skin care trend? Who else is a charcoal skin care fan? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Blue? Get In The Christmas Spirit Early!

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Feeling Blue? Get In The Christmas Spirit Early!

Christmas will be here before we know it. It’s scary how quick this whole year has gone and everything that has happened. But with recent events it is understandable that many of our minds just naturally wander to Christmas and some of the brighter times we have in the future. Chase the Christmas spirit by getting organized early. You won’t believe how less stressful Christmas time can be when you don’t leave things to the last minute. With that in mind, here are some top tips to get ready for the festive season ahead:

Create lists:

Writing up a list can save you a lot of hassle and time. It’s a way of downloading all those ideas you have in your mind and having them safe somewhere for you to refer back to. List what you need to do, who you need to buy for, gift ideas, and budgets. Check things off as you go along and you’ll be holiday season ready in no time.

What about the Christmas budget?

The sooner you start thinking about Christmas might be the moment you start to panic about the financial side of things. Many people save up throughout the year, but others may find that that they need some extra help around the holiday season. This is when looking at ways to finance the Christmas period could be useful. Many then use the following months to start planning and paying things back off.

Get those holiday cards written:

With all of the writing and sending off of Christmas cards in time for the actual day, it might be best to get them out of the way now. The same can be said for if you decide to throw a Christmas party or gathering. One of the biggest jobs is getting those party invitations sent out to your guests. Again, give yourself plenty of time to do this and consider having them printed to save on time.

Start bulk buying the food:

We know that Christmas is a time of eating and drinking with friends and family. While you can’t stock up on the fresh stuff, you can begin to buy in the food and drink that will last. This helps spread the cost of Christmas over a few weeks instead of feeling the pinch in one big food bill.

Buy gifts when you see them:

If you are out shopping and you are suddenly inspired for a gift idea, get it there and then. You will either forget it or regret it if you don’t purchase it. Buying gifts early can not only help spread the cost but it also gets you super organized. You may want to look at the gifts for the day and also any stocking fillers, things such as Christmas sweaters and shirts could be a good option to buy now and websites like UglyChristmasSweater.com have a great selection.

Start wrapping early:

Finally, when you buy a gift wrap it up and put it away. The last thing you want is a huge pile of gifts to wrap all at once. You will feel so much better knowing this job is done and you are prepared for the big day ahead.

Let’s hope these top tips will assist in getting you organized for the Christmas season and help improve your current 2020 blahs!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

July 2020 Finishes

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July 2020 Finishes

Hello!! July was an insanely hot and busy month and I found that, other than my normal day and night skin care routine, I let any other pampering fall by the wayside. I know what you all are thinking: “That is so not like you, Sarah!” However, Lil Red does not do well in extreme heat (I literally get sick) and it is always extremely hot in my apartment. Not to mention, most of July was in the high eighties and mid nineties in my neck of the woods. Therefore, any movement away from being directly in front of my fan was deemed unnecessary.

I only finished one product that you all haven’t heard of already so we will briefly chat about that. Then, I will provide you with some links to previous beauty themed posts this past month in case you missed them. And, finally, make sure you tune in tomorrow for a new Face Mask Festivities to close out the month. Alright! Let’s get to it:

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Would I Use Again:

Why/Why Not?

SkinLab Moisturizer: As you all know, I love my SkinLab Lift & Firm moisturizer and it took me one month to finish one jar. You can read more about it in this post, since it pops up often enough lol. 🙂

Azure Lux Serum: During a recent Amazon haul, I needed to stock up on my skin care. Originally, I was going to stick with my usual and just order a bunch of the Azure Lux Rose Gold serums. I purchased a few but I also decided to give the 24K Gold serum a try, as well. Was it much different than its Rose Gold sister? Not really. But I love the Rose Gold sister so, obviously, I loved the 24K serum too!

My skin feels so bright and radiant whenever I use the Azure Lux serums and they are so nourishing, to boot. I definitely think my skin has become more glowy and fresh since using the Azure Lux products and it takes me one month to finish one bottle.

More To Enjoy:

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for a brand new Face Mask Festivities!

Which products did you use up this month? Which products have you been impressed with lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah