Category Archives: Anything & Everything

Fall Flowers

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Fall Flowers

Howdy! In my neck of the woods, there’s a really awesome garden center called Graf Growers. They have farmer’s market events, workshops, a garden store, and a market filled with fresh produce. Every week during the fall, you can get a Market Basket that comes filled with fresh fruits and veggies along with recipes and a surprise gift. In the basket that we just got, all of the vegetables that were included could be used to make pico de gallo. Yum!

Normally, the surprise gift is an extra selection of produce but, this week, we were treated to a beautiful bouquet from their gardens. Check it out:

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What I love about this arrangement is that it looks like fall. The deeper colors that are used are so striking, and they look so lovely against the white roses and snap dragons in the arrangement. There is nothing like a fresh bouquet of flowers to make you smile, especially one that was a surprise! And, this special treat certainly displays all of the glory of autumn in one small bunch. So pretty! :*)

What is your favorite fall color? What is your favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Four Year Blogiversary?!

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Four Year Blogiversary?!

HOLY MOLEY!!!! According to WordPress, I have had lifewithlilred up and running for four years as of the thirteenth of September and I had no idea! It feels like just yesterday that I started my blog as I prepared to start college and, now, here we are four years later and still going strong. I am so proud of my dedication to keeping my page afloat for four whole years. That’s almost a half a decade of fabulousness and I’m so thankful for having such a wonderful group of readers to share that with.

Blogging can sometimes be a thankless job, but the friends that I have made and the businesses that I’ve had the pleasure of working with make it all worthwhile. There is nothing like a blogiversary to give you a swift kick in the booty to keep up the good work and my motivation is sky high right now. Here’s to another four years of lifewithlilred and I’m looking forward to sharing it with all of you! Much love. -Sarah

Nurturing Your Inspiration Is A Vital Requirement

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Nurturing Your Inspiration Is A Vital Requirement

Nurturing your inspiration is a vital requirement if you hope to continually enjoy your best creative self from year to year. Remember that creativity is a fire to be kindled, not a pool that continually refills no matter how you encourage it. Many people think that reading books, watching movies or television, and even playing story-driven video games are simply efforts in pure recreation. However, are they really? Consider what you are doing during this time. You are intellectually absorbing a story, emotionally feeling through the methods the medium is using to present its ideas to you, as well as serving as a way of connecting with narratives that may not be present in your life.

This is why stories and recreational entertainment will always be a powerful tool for inspiration. For example, no good writer has ever managed to write an amazing book without being skilled in the art of reading or understanding the narrative elements that help a book come to full fruition. Every painter can list their favorite paintings. Even some of the best stories known are inspired projects. For all of the incredible writing and extremely polished narrative arcs of the Harry Potter series, even JK Rowling herself has credited the New Testament and Joseph Campell’s ‘The Hero’s Journey’ as helping her formulate the basis of her efforts.

It’s likely that you understand the need for inspiration. But how can you find it in the world around you? Are there methods of helping you attain this without difficulty, or do you need to work at it in order to kindle your levels? Well, not entirely. Consider the following:

Live Theater:

Live theater offers the power of presenting us a story in a dramatized fashion and, as such, can be tremendously useful to see the full visceral and creative power of a story. In order to make the most of this experience, you need to stay present, and also know what to look for in the first place. Heading to the theatre can be an absolutely essential experience for many people, but not enough people head to the shows that aren’t mainstream. The theatre can completely transfix you in thought, show you a story with more intimacy than a movie or TV series ever could, and inspire you with the creative beauty and excellence of actors and dramatists in their prime.

Go to a hit show, like Sleep No More in order to feel sustained, or find your favorite theatre practitioner and decide to view many different plays in their style. Some of the best shows, such as Sleep No More, are adaptions of some of the most famous plays of all time, such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth. There are reasons stories such as these have survived for hundreds of years, and they deserve your attention. This historical performance and memorable peak that is presented to you can really inspire you. How could it not? Heading outside of your comfort zone and to a show like this could be the first bedrock of inspiration you consider applying to your life.

Biographies:

Literature can teach us many things. It can serve as a means of not only shaping the world around us by depending on it artistically but can help us learn the lessons of a period, become intimate with a setting, or understand human nature through both fictional and real-life vessels documented with beautiful language. If you rarely read, you are sorely missing out.

However, instead of insisting that you read Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky in order to feel inspired, sometimes nurturing your own motivation and creative interest on a personal level can be best achieved by reading the biographies of those who you most respect. From people who have managed to turn challenges into beacons of positivity such as Michael J. Fox, or historical figures that spearheaded a movement such as Mary Wollstonecraft, biographies have the power to help us feel and think as a person who we admire.

You might find biographies that inspire you to work out, help you through an injury, or to help you manage loss. Remember that you are human too, so connecting to others through this personal yet private experience can help kindle your inspiration.

Personal Achievements:

Of course, finding inspiration needn’t come from others. Sometimes, you should look to yourself for this. Remember, it’s likely that you are much more amazing than you think and have completed many great achievements that your modesty will not allow you to celebrate. Remember your best self, because this is who you are underneath everything. Understanding this and reminding you of it can help you bring that side of you out more often, and can generally help you feel more comfortable using that side of you to conduct most matters of your life. If you make this effort, you are sure to experience inspiration.

With these tips, you are sure to feel fueled and nourished from day to day as a more inspired individual.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Unique Differences In U.S. Military Weddings

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Unique Differences In U.S. Military Weddings

Each of us is dreaming and planning of how to make our special day stand out and worth remembering for everyone. But, sometimes, it’s easier said than done. However, if you are serving in the military, you are an ex-Army officer, or you’re a cadet in the Academy, you are entitled to have a wedding ceremony in a military fashion. Military weddings in the States are different than the typical civil weddings in many ways.

Although they proved to be very hard to organize and plan due to the uncertainty and dynamics of living the military life, there is a big chance that everyone present at the wedding will remember it for all of those little things that are applicable only to these types of weddings. In this article, we’ll give you a number of brief examples of all of the traditions related to military-themed weddings:

Dress Code:

If you’re in the military and you decide to marry your beloved, you will be expected to wear your unit’s uniform, along with all of the medals or ribbons that you might have. And, as there will probably be lots of other military members (most commonly, the best man), they are also expected to wear their Army suits.

In cases when the bride is the one serving her country, there is a tradition that calls for a bride wearing military boots under her beautiful wedding dress. Apart from that, when attending a military-themed wedding, all attendees should wear formal attire if they’re not members of the military.

Arch From the Drawn Swords:

The feeling of walking down the aisle and saying that fateful ‘’yes’’ is even better when you know that there will be a memorable moment after that where you and your beloved will march down the arch made of drawn swords and sabres. Truly a sight to behold and relatable only to military weddings.

Army Insignia:

To spice things up even more and make everyone feel like part of the Army tradition, couples can also opt for engraving custom insignia on challenge coins and presenting a coin to each guest. Professional yet affordable coins can be made by Embleholics on your big day.

It’s also worth noting here that military couples do enjoy some benefits in the form of numerous discounts when it comes to finding a professional makeup artist for the wedding or acquiring pearl wedding rings.

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Getting Married on Base:

Military bases of operation usually provide everything for the wedding ceremony and the reception that comes after that. You won’t have a chance of attending a wedding ceremony on base if you are invited to a civilian wedding!

There are many other things that we didn’t mention in this article, but we will leave the rest for you to imagine (although we are pretty sure that you already know of many things that should be added to our little list here). The bottom line, is that military weddings are truly different than other weddings. They never fail to create unforgettable memories and experiences for everyone.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Designing Your Own Custom T-Shirts

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Designing Your Own Custom T-Shirts

Designing a few custom t-shirts can be a great way to promote your brand, represent your favorite local club, or just have some unique articles of clothing in your wardrobe. Regardless of what purpose you’ll be using your custom shirts for, there are some particulars you’ll want to consider beforehand. Here’s what you should be keeping in mind:

What’s Your Goal?

You might think a t-shirt is just a t-shirt, but it pays to think about your goals before jumping into your design phase. If you’re going to be marketing your custom shirts as a sale item, you’ll want to craft them with that purpose in mind. Techie has a great write-up that covers how you can craft shirts that will sell well, with some choice tips being that you should concentrate on basic colors (like black) and simple designs.

If you’re going to be using your shirts to market your brand, as part of a unifying outfit for an organization, or just for your own enjoyment, however, you can experiment more with colors, font choices, patterns, and the like. The more personal to yourself you intend the final product to be, the more leeway you’ll have in this regard.

What About Your Design?

No matter your goals, you’re going to want whatever shirt you design to be high quality. If you have a measure of graphic design talent yourself, you can get to work devising your t-shirt art, remembering to keep in mind some of the best practices for doing so. Both 99designs and Creative Bloq have excellent guides that can set you on the right track. Above all else, you’ll want to take the tone and personality you’re trying to convey into account:

“You want to make sure your t-shirt design communicates clearly…Is your brand playful or serious? Edgy or conservative? Luxurious or affordable? A focused t-shirt design can answer all of these questions at a glance.”

You can convey a great deal of information with the right graphics. Do your research if you’re going for any sort of symbolism, and don’t go too “on-the-nose” if you’re trying to attempt something humorous. Remember: the small details matter, but subtlety and simplicity will help you win the day when it comes to designing the best t-shirt you possibly can.

Now, if you aren’t particularly savvy when it comes to design, but still have some ideas that you think would look amazing printed, you might have to turn to a third party to help bring your vision to life. Companies like The Teehive (and others) are generally regarded as specialists when it comes to putting designs onto clothing. Normally, working with such a business to complete your designs grants a few options.

You could, for instance, select one of the designs that they have available, applying subtle (or sweeping) customizations to make them more personal and applicable to your brand.

This might be a good option if you don’t need anything overly-distinct, but if you have something more innovative in mind, a better option would be to work with a designer directly. You could describe your idea to them and they would use your input to draft something that fits what you’re going for.

If you decide to go the third-party route, remember that the tried-and-true wisdom on selecting the right graphic designer to work with you is always applicable in such scenarios, and you should probably prioritize quality and professionalism over pricing in most situations.

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Chillin’

What About Getting Your Shirts Printed?

Unless you’ve got a screenprinting business set up in your back office, you’ll need to turn to the pros for this final step. Again, there are plenty of companies that can assist — from your local print shops to bigger names like The Teehive — and a skilled touch is exactly what you’ll need to bring your shirts to life. Just remember, there are plenty of options when it comes to t-shirt fabrics, weights, sizes, labeling, etc. that will affect the look of your end product and total costs. Make sure you take all of these into consideration to ensure that you end up with custom t-shirts that make you satisfied.

Wrapping Up:

Going the custom t-shirt route for your brand, club, or personal enjoyment has its intricacies but, when done right, it can be a worthwhile endeavor. Keep some of these tips and considerations in mind and, above all else, you should try to create something that speaks to you — just a bit of thought in this regard will go a long way in ensuring the best quality.

Featured Image By: Pexels

The Art Of Simple Living

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The Art Of Simple Living

With the world in somewhat uncertain times, and things like the fuel, food, and the cost of living rising, budgets are getting more and more stretched. So while this is going on, many people are looking to cut back in different aspects of their lives. In essence, they have been looking to live a more simplistic life, that can lead to being happy and healthy, in spite of all that is going on around them.

But what is simple living and how can you apply it in your life? In short, it is about living with the things that you need to survive and to make you happy; it is living a life without excess. We can so often confuse what our real needs are with the things that we want. Things like cable TV or processed fast foods are not necessary for living, but we often think that we need them. It might be easy to think that these kinds of things will help to make your life easier or better, but in many instances, this isn’t the case. So if this sounds like a type of living that you’d like to start embracing, here are some practical ways that you can bring simple living in at home:

Declutter:

One of the best things that you can do to start off with is decluttering. Whether that be looking for somewhere that does skip bin hire and throwing things out that you don’t need (or selling them) or decluttering your personal life, it can all help to give you some much-needed clarity. When you have a home that is filled with only the things you need, and not full of excess, it is a good place to start. It clears your mind and can actually be good for you.

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Decluttering is key!

Establishing Wants And Needs:

As has been described, it is a great thing to distinguish between the wants and needs in your life. This can stop you from overspending and stop you from filling your life with excess. So get back to basics; what do you need in your life? If you write things down and make a list, it will help you to know the areas that you need to cut back on. Many people spend more than they think about, especially for things like socializing. Grabbing a coffee here or going for a drink there can all add up. Are they essential in your life, though?

One Step At A Time:

It is important to not give up everything all at the same time, especially if there are certain aspects of your life that are really essential to you. Being able to go the gym may be a vital part of your mental health and wellbeing, so that could stay in there. Some people enjoy going out to eat. While you could still do this, you could just get a main course, rather than a three-course meal, for instance. You’re just going for what you need to sustain you, and not wasting money or calories on excess.

Simple living is an amazing way to bring clarity into your life as well as saving some extra moolah!

Learn To Live For Today And Plan For Tomorrow

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Learn To Live For Today And Plan For Tomorrow

We all walk a fine line with our finances. We don’t want to spend our time doing nothing, we want to enjoy ourselves and experience life’s little luxuries from trips away to fun purchases. If you constantly favor saving over spending, you’re going to have a pretty boring life. At the same time, though, we have to prepare for tomorrow. We need to think about making sure that we are going to be financially secure ten days, ten months, or even ten years from now.

It seems that we are under constant pressure to plan for tomorrow. Just look at the housing market. As soon as you hit your twenties, there will be people around you, telling you to buy a home. A home gives you some form of financial security sure, but it also ties down your finances. Now, for years, you’ll need to fit in mortgage repayments into your budget. These can be incredibly expensive and will make paying for those luxuries that you love just that little bit harder. As such, it might be wise to not buy a home until you have the income where you can easily cover this cost and still live a full life. Or, simply prepare to accept the fact that, at least for a short time, you won’t be able to afford those fancy trips or that new car. You can learn more about whether you can afford to buy property on www.cnbc.com.

The lesson here, is that it’s a balancing act. It’s about balancing what you need with what you want. It’s about balancing what you must spend with what you’d love to purchase. It’s about planning for the future while still enjoying the present so that one day you’ll be able to look back at the past with no regrets. So, let’s explore some of the ways you can do this, and we can start by thinking about budgeting:

How Should You Budget?

Budgeting is actually easier than a lot of people realize. You need to start by working out exactly what you make per month. This is the total amount you have to play with, and it should include all of your incomes. So, if you have a side hustle, make sure that this is counted. Unless you would rather see that as extra money.

Then, subtract all of the costs that you are aware of. This includes bills, rent, mortgage repayments as well as an average food cost. So, you might budget fifty a week or more for food. Now, the amount you have left should be halved. Half of this must go into savings. Set yourself a goal to save each month and put this as a direct debit on your account. Just like a tax, it will leave your account at the end of each month. This cuts out the choice of hanging onto it and spending it. Congratulations, you’ve just made a smart choice on how to prepare for your future.

The other money you can spend however you like. Put it towards your holiday, use it for presents or nights out. It’s your choice, but you have to remember that this is all you have to spend. Now immediately, you might notice a problem. There isn’t actually that much to spend is there?

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Budgeting is key!

Play With The Numbers:

This is where you need to start cutting costs on things that you need so you can afford things you want. An example of this would be something like energy bills. We all have to pay energy bills, but they should be more manageable if you can go a little more green. Make changes to your home to save energy, and you’ll have a little extra to spend each month. It won’t be much, but it will make a difference. Since you have already set a target, add that to your spending budget for now.

You can also think about boosting your income. What you’re looking for here is a passive income. There’s no point in taking on a second income to enjoy your spare time if you’re going to end up with no time to spare. There are various options for passive incomes from the stock market to property. Research a few and find out which one will benefit you and suit you the most. If you’re good with numbers, you might want to consider forex trading, which is basically investing in the value of different currencies. By predicting patterns, you can make a fortune in this market without even trying.

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Preparing For Disaster:

Of course, your budget is based on your income. Any hit to your income will kill both your spending budget and your savings. Worse still, it might mean that you have to use your savings to cover expenses that you can no longer afford. You can see how this would be an issue. Suddenly, you don’t have any money in your account for the future. This is where great budgeting advice that is found on www.lifehacker.com comes in handy. But how do you handle this situation?

You have to prepare for any disaster that can be foreseen. You’re probably thinking, wait a minute – unexpected costs can’t be foreseen. That’s why they’re unexpected. It’s not true. You might not expect to develop a disability, but you can forsee that it’s a possibility so you should plan for it. Anyone could develop a disability. You might be involved in a car accident, you could fall at work, or it may even develop due to biological causes. Since it could happen, you should plan for it. According to www.insurestat.com, doctors should definitely do this because anyone working in the medical field who develops a disability will probably be unable to work. As such, they should protect their income. You can protect your income with disability insurance and guarantee that you are always on roughly the same level of pay. Regardless of whether you can work or not.

This isn’t the only disaster you need to prepare for. You have to consider the worst-case scenarios that could impact your finances. Medical bills, for instance, are one of the greatest causes of debt in the USA today. You can plan for this by buying into the right health coverage plan that provides everything you might need.

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Insurance is a must.

Don’t Always Wait For Tomorrow:

Tomorrow doesn’t always come. Or rather, you can miss too many tomorrow’s and before you know it you’ve run out of time to do what you want. This may sound morbid, but you could die tomorrow. So, you might constantly be putting off that holiday to a point where you can easily afford it and when you’ll still have savings. But what if that day never comes? Most people do live their lives on an average, basic income. They never reach that 100K a year paycheck, and yes you can wait until retirement and use your 401K. But, after you’ve retired, you might not have the energy or the health to do everything you wanted. Don’t let life pass you by while you wait around for the right moment to do something.

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 #justdoit

Live For What You Love:

Finally, you need to make sure that you’re not spending your hard earned money on things that you don’t want and that you don’t need. This happens all of the time. We’ve already mentioned one example, and that’s property. Buying a home can be right for some people. But, if you are still moving around and haven’t settled, it’s just a waste of money and adds plenty of stress to your life that you don’t need. Instead, you should continue to rent. While it might be dead money, it can be far cheaper than purchasing a home that you may never pay off.

Ultimately, you have to live your life in a way that makes sense for you and financial purchases should be part of that decision. Some people spend their whole life traveling around the world, work by freelancing, and never once think about settling down into a comfortable routine. This site, www.justonewayticket.com, has some great advice on spending your life traveling. Could this be the lifestyle of your dreams? Perhaps! And as long as you have a plan for tomorrow, you can live however you want to today.

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#goals

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