Category Archives: Anything & Everything

Adulting Essentials

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Adulting Essentials
Hello everyone and TGIF! I hope all of you are having a fabulous day so far and have a bright and exciting weekend to look forward to. If there’s one thing that I know as a twenty-something, it’s that I constantly feel under-prepared. Everything up until the late teens and early twenties was great, right? A la-di-da world where the only thing that you needed to worry about was what to wear to school and your hours at your weekend job. Fast forward to the ripe age of 23. Freshly graduated from college, moving out of your dorm to your own apartment, and (sort of) ready to take on the world. This is basically what your teenage self has been dreaming about since forever. So why does it feel so stressful?!

The life of a twenty-something is a bumbling and haphazard mess 90% of the time. Job hunting, grad school, moving out of chez mom and dad. You’re stretched thin in all directions and all you want is some literal direction in your so called life. As the baby of the family, I’ve watched three older siblings do the growing up thing. And now, as the 23 year old baby of the family, I guess I have to do the whole growing up thing myself. Gross.

So what comes with growing up? A big girl job, your own place, squeezing some time in for fun between binge eating or binge studying – that all sounds about right. For a big girl job you’re armed with your education or experience. For having some fun, you have your high school or college BFFs to schedule a GNO with. But your own place? A place that you need to pay rent for, furnish, AND do your own laundry in? Well, you’re gonna need a few things:

1) Stationary: From calendars and notebooks to agendas and business cards, stationary is a total must. You know how the life of a twenty-something is a bumbling, haphazard mess 90% of the time? That, my dear readers, is what the planner is for. The calendar, the to do list, the agenda – whatever you call it, is a twenty-something essential. Doctors appointments? Job interview? Date night with the SO? Drinks with the girls? Yeah, there’s a planner for that. Hang your calendar with pride wherever you can see it and take a stab at sitting down with a glass of wine and organizing your week. You will be amazed at how your days will open up once you begin utilizing the free space that you have in between work till four and cardio at 7 on Monday and Wednesday.

2) The Perfect Mattress: The first thing that my sister did when she moved into her own apartment was buy herself a queen sized bed. Okay, girl. I see you. Now, I don’t usually say this, but she had the right idea. There is nothing better than tucking into bed with a good book and Enya on your iPod after a long day. Get comfy cozy in your boyfriend’s shirt, throw on an overnight face mask, and snuggle up on your new mattress compliments of Casper. Breathable, lush, plush, springy, and supportive, you’ll be traveling to the land of nod in no time as soon as you get curled up on the mattress of your dreams. Just make sure to put mattress shopping with Casper on your to do list before dozing off tonight! 😉

3) Business Casual Wardrobe: This isn’t necessarily an apartment essential as much as it is a life essential. I think that it is so important for twenty-somethings to begin investing in business casual wardrobe staples. Whether your ideal job setting is laid back or totally formal, you still need something to wear to the interview, right? Start supplying your closet with sharp, chic pieces that scream “boss lady” as soon as you walk in the door. I’m talking pencil skirts, crisp button downs, trench coats, blazers, cardigans, and a smart pair of trousers.

When I began shopping for my job with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (which is about as business cashe as it gets), I gradually began making an effort to instill a more professional feel into my wardrobe. I hit up stores like Loft and Express for clothes that were unquestionably cute, but still looked put together and work place appropriate. Look for simple, well tailored pieces and let your accessories or a funky patterned cardi showcase your personality. There is no rule stating that business casual means boring!

4) Culinary Cool: One of the things that comes with moving out is not having a delicious meal prepped for you every day by the rents. I, personally, am a firm believer that everyone should have a basic understanding of cooking and finding your way around a kitchen. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this mindset with me, so cooking on your own might be a rude awakening to burnt pizzas or blowing a fortune on takeout every night.

BUT IT’S OKAY!! I promise. I absolutely love cooking and baking and my golden rule is that if you can read, you can cook. Go to the library or bookstore, snag some cook books (even if it is Making Eggs For Dummies!), and practice. Hit up your local Aldi’s or Save A Lot for ingredients, follow the directions, and you’ll have a meal that you made all by yourself in no time. I swear that it is not as daunting as it might seem and, within time, you might find yourself actually enjoying your meal preparations in your kitchen.

But, of course, you can’t cook without the proper tools. You don’t need to go overboard, but do invest in some quality but not too costly gear to help you out. Spatulas, measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowls, and a sheet pan for your pizza rolls will go a long way. And, like any well stocked arsenal, it doesn’t become that way over night. Pick up odds and ends for your kitchen every so often when you’re out and about and you’ll have all of the necessities before you know it.

5) TREAT YOSELF: Adulting can sometimes really suck. Like a lot. Believe me, I get it. Full time job, college, bills? It’s like a whirlwind of misery. That is why I am all about incorporating a TREAT YOSELF attitude into my adult lifestyle. Seriously. Get out, have some fun, and let the destressing begin. This can range from going out to get your nails done after a long week in the office to buying that sassy dress from Target because it hugged your curves in all of the right places. Do things that make you feel good (within reason). Buy things that make you feel good (within your budget), and you’ll find yourself breezing through adulthood like the boss lady that you are. YOU GO, GIRL!
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Adulting can be unquestionably overwhelming, but you’ll be just fine with the right Essentials! What are your adulting must haves? How do you destress after a long day of being a grown up? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Featured Image By: ZootScoop
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Home Issues From Hell

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Home Issues From Hell

There are so many things that can go wrong with a home that you probably don’t want to think about. In some cases, you might buy a new property and discover that the builder has cut a lot of corners, leaving you with a home riddled with problems. In others, it’s possible that you’ve bought a home and now that it’s starting to age, you’re seeing more issues develop. Either way, it can be useful to know what these issues are, the impact that they can have, and the best way to handle them. Let’s start by thinking about the problem with water:

Water Woes: The issue with water, is that it’s meant to run off of the house, away from the home when it rains. However, some homes with poor builds have guttering that causes the water to pool on top of the roof. When this happens, it can leave a weight on the roof, pushing it down. Eventually, depending on the level of water building up, a cheaper roof could even collapse leaving a very unhappy, soggy homeowner. If you think that you have an issue like this with your roof, you might want to think about getting it repaired. A roofing contractor can help you resolve the issue, formulating a plan for the repair, and completing it within a couple of months. It’s far better than one day finding that water is pouring through your ceiling and onto all of your possessions.

Don’t forget, that if water does trickle into your home, it’s quite possible that it will cause issues with damp, which will eventually lead to mold. This, in turn, can leave you with a rather nasty insect infestation in your new, soggy environment. At the point when you see hundreds of insects crawling on the inside wall of your home where mold has developed, feel free to scream. I think we all would!

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#EW

How Much?!? Of course, the problem from hell in your home could also be financial. If you’re paying your energy bill monthly, you could be on a nice little tariff that is more than reasonable. But then, one day you get a letter in the post, stating that your bill will rise by hundreds. What on earth is going on? Usually, this is due to a fault in your boiler or heating system that is costing you a fortune. You need to get this repaired as quickly as possible. The problem is, that if it’s caused your energy bills to fluctuate, the issue is already quite serious. That’s why you want to get regular inspections of systems like this. By doing that, you can avoid a problem creeping up on you and hitting you with an unexpected, painfully high bill.

Time To Yell Timber? If we’re looking at the worst problem for a property owner, it has to be structural issues. Structural issues can be due to poor builds or environmental factors. Either way, it might mean that your home is dangerous to live in and needs and instant, expensive repair job. There’s no way around this, and you can’t sell your way out of it, either. No sensible buyer is going to buy a home with structural issues. The first signs of a problem like this are buckling floorboards and sticking doors.

It’s a special kind of hell when your home goes from safe haven to a money pit, so be on the look out for signs of a shaky build, damp, and poor guttering when you’re house hunting.

Monday Update: HELLLLP Edition

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Monday Update: HELLLLP Edition

Hellooooooooooooooo everyone and happy Monday! I hope that everyone had a super fabulous weekend! Okay, so I’m gonna keep it real with you guys: I NEED HELP. I am really trying to get more likes on lifewithlilred’s Facebook page and I would be so incredibly happy and thankful if all of you could click the like button! And, of course, I’ll help you right back. If you have a Facebook page for your blog, comment me the link and I’ll send a like your way. If not, I’ll follow your blog, instead!

I promise you all that I don’t spam my Facebook page with constant posts, either. In fact, I got a notification from Facebook today saying that I wasn’t posting enough! So click that like button, leave me a comment saying if you want me to like your FB page or follow your blog, and I will happily oblige! Much love. -Sarah

THANKS!!!!!!!!! ❤

^^^ #obnoxious

Summer Bucket List Ideas

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Summer Bucket List Ideas

Hi everyone and welcome to day two of my Salute To Summer guest bloggers series thanks to the darling Charlotte of CharlieeStar. Charlotte is one of the most sweet as can be girls that I have had the pleasure of working with and her blog is a real treat! She is just starting out in the blogging world, so please make sure to check out her page and give it some love! In this post, Charlotte is going to provide us with some super fun Summer Bucket List Ideas, so take a look and enjoy:

Summer Bucket List Ideas

Hey guys,

After reading that Sarah (lifewithlilred) was looking for summer guest writers, I jumped at the opportunity! So before I get into my post I’d like to say a thank you to Sarah for letting me appear on here! Anyways, who am I? Well I’m Charlotte from CharlieeStar. I’m a UK blogger focusing on lifestyle, beauty, and relationship posts! Seeing as summer is just around the corner, I thought that I’d do a post on potential Summer Bucket List Ideas. Basically, these are the things that I think I would like to do this summer and I thought that you might be able to take some inspiration from them, too! I think I’ve done enough rambling now so let’s get into this!

Beach BBQs:

Luckily for me (or unluckily depending on how you look at it), I live about 15 minutes away from the beach. This means, that in the summer I have a pretty obvious area to hang out. But don’t be fooled, the beach is always mobbed by tourists. This is why the first thing on my bucket list takes place in the evening. BBQs on the beach sound so basic, but they’re such a great way to hang out with your friends and enjoy the warmer summer evenings. By the evening, the gathering tourists will be heading back inland for dinner or whatever it is that tourists do. Meaning the beach is quiet and the world feels like yours. There’s no limit to this just being a beach activity though! If you don’t live near a beach, then you could hold the BBQ in a nearby field or even in your back garden.

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Catch Up On Some Reading:

I love reading but never seem to have enough time for it! That’s why this summer I want to take some time to read. I’ll be publishing a ‘What’s on my summer reading list’ over on my blog so please feel free to follow me and look out for that if you are interested!

Star Gaze (With Haydn):

My boyfriend (Haydn) and I are a long distance couple so we don’t have endless amounts of time together, but a peaceful night under the stars together listening to music and eating snacks sounds perfect to me. If you’re not in a relationship, you could totally do this with your close friends, your dog, or even just you. Although, if like me you do live in the UK, you’ll probably need to take some blankets so you don’t get hypothermia.

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Enjoy The Area:

This probably sounds really old person like, but I want to make better use of the area I live in. I love going for walks or riding my bike, so this summer I want to do more walks around local rivers and in the countryside or take my bike out. Even on days where my friends are busy, I still want to motivate myself to actually do something with my days. Contrary to popular belief, you can have too much Netflix – trust me!

Work On My Blog:

Of course, one of the main things that I love doing is blogging! I started in January as a way to do something more productive with my spare time. I haven’t grown a ton (as I’m writing this I have just over 100 followers), but I’d really like to. Over the summer, I’ll hardly have any school work so I want to use some of my free time to learn about how to be a better blogger! (If you’ve got any tips please let me know! You can comment down below or message me on Instagram @charliestarblogs) If you haven’t got a hobby or want to put more time/effort into the ones that you do have, summer is the perfect time to work on them.

Movie Marathon:

I know that I just stated how much I love being outdoors, but I’m a ‘homely’ kinda girl at heart and a movie marathon is likely the only marathon I’ll ever complete! Either with my girls or on my own, I want to put my pajamas on, snuggle under a duvet, and binge watch a good series (TV or movies). Does this count as something to go on a bucket list? I think so!

Feel Body Confident:

This is one that I thought a lot about before putting it onto my list. I mean, it’s not something that you can do for fun in the summer but it is something that I want to feel? IDK. This summer, I want to stop worrying that my boobs are too small to wear some of the cute crop tops out there or that my back acne is gross so I shouldn’t wear low backed tops. I want to wear the clothing that I think looks cute and feel confident doing it! After all, we’re all beautiful in our own way and someone will always love the flaws that you hate.

Thank you guys for reading my little list. I think I broke a lot of the bucket list rules but that’s okay, we’ll just roll with it. These are all of the things that I want to do/achieve but what about you guys? Let me know in the comments below! Once again thanks to Sarah for letting me appear here on lifewithlilred!

*Pretend my sign off is cool*,

Charliestar xoxo

Blog: CharlieeStar

Instagram: @charliestarblogs

Thank you so much again to Charlotte for sharing her Summer Bucket List Ideas with us! What are your summer goals? How do you plan on spending your summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Stay In Control Of Your Cash

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How To Stay In Control Of Your Cash

When you’re just starting out in the world of work and education, you’ve got a big shot at life. No matter your circumstances, your relationship with money will define your future, your level of stability and security, and, of course – the rest of your life. We’re sorry to say, but money really does make the world go round, and you could lock yourself out of a future and enter a world of financial insecurity if you are not careful with your cash. If money makes the world go round, you can easily find yourself lost in that same cycle.

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Say “money”!

The good news, though? You’re young, you’re just starting out, and you have the internet. This means that you’ve got time, opportunities, and knowledge on your side (if you choose to read up and learn, that is!). With some valuable tools, you can avoid making financial mistakes and you can – for the most part – develop a healthy relationship with money quite easily. The key? It’s to never let your spending outweigh your earnings. Major shopping sprees, vacations, and spending with reckless abandon? It’s an easy path into pointless debt. It’s an easy path to financial misery.

People will get into debt. When you take out a loan to fund a car purchase after passing your test, you’ll be in debt to the provider of the finance. When you get your mortgage, you’re in debt with the lender. When you take out a loan to fund a business venture, you’ll be in debt. This, for the most part, can be seen as “good debt”. It’s debt that is acquired for a purpose. What’s bad debt? Well it has a different definition in business, but to us, it’s the debt that you acquire with high-interest values because you can’t hold yourself back from spending. It’s payday loans; it is credit cards.

Debt is a real danger and for a number of reasons. Debt, of any size, will affect our credit rating. This can affect the future of a young person quite drastically. It can mean that you are rejected from having a mobile phone contract. It can mean that your mortgage is turned down. It can seriously affect any future decisions that you choose to make. Debt also creates emotional stress and worry. Debt isn’t the end of the world, we all get into debt – it’s how we pay it off that matters.

Being in debt isn’t a bad thing – it is when we choose to live in debt that things turn nasty. There are always methods to paying off debt and anyone that you owe will prefer that some attempt at paying can be made. When you are in debt, you will always have options like student loan forgiveness. Getting stressed about being in debt can quickly lead to one avoiding paying for their way out of it.

To stay in control of your cash, you need to manage debt and your spending. This can be hard for youngsters – because they are explicitly targeted by those who seek to profit from debt. However, control of cash is an invaluable skill for anyone and your bank account will be thanking you! Not today, debt. Not today.

Featured Image By: Wikimedia

Pros Of Being A Practical Present Presenter

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Pros Of Being A Practical Present Presenter

Are you tired of being a bad gift buyer? In order to be a better gift buyer, you need to think practically. When you evaluate the presents for your birthday or under the Christmas tree, the best gift buyer is almost always the person that buys something that has a purpose and a practical use. Read on to find out why you should become a practical gift buyer, too:

No One Wants Gifts That Turn Into Clutter: No one wants gifts that just get left lying around doing nothing. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who receive gifts that they don’t really want. These items just get thrown in a drawer and then they never get used again. This is probably not what you want to happen to the gifts that you buy for people. So, to make sure that you don’t buy bad gifts for people, you should make sure that what you buy can be used for something specific. It’s a great way to make sure that your gift doesn’t just become clutter but a new favorite household or wardrobe staple, instead.

You Can be Sure That Value Can be Found in Your Gift: When you do decide to buy gifts that have a practical purpose for the people who you’re buying for, you will find that you can get value for what you spend. Although the item will, of course, be used by the people you bought it for, it will still be getting used. This means that the amount of money that you spend will not be wasted in the way it would if your gift wasn’t used. No one wants to feel like they are just throwing money away and not getting value from it, so this is vital.

Being Practical Doesn’t Have to Mean Being Boring: Just because you are buying a gift that has a practical use doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. You can just as easily find a way to make your gifts interesting and practical at the same time. For example, you can buy stationery online, and have it personalized. This makes it that little bit more special and it becomes less of a blah item and a lot more personal and thoughtful. These things are important when buying gifts so put some thought into how you can customize practicality presents for the person receiving them.

You Can Make the Receiver’s Life Easier in Ways They Would Never Have Thought Of: Sometimes, you can make a person’s day to day life easier and more enjoyable by getting them a practical gift. And the interesting thing is that the person you’re buying for would probably never have thought to buy these kinds of things for themselves. This is often how it goes. Embrace this, and buy your friends and relatives a gift that they can make the most of. It could make their life better and that’s a pretty big deal!

Kitschy little gifts are all very well to a point but when it comes down to it, the practical presents always seem to take the cake!

Featured Image By: Public Domain Pictures

Friday Q & A

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Friday Q & A

Hi everyone and TGIF!! I have seen so many fun Q & A posts lately and I WANT IN! It’s Friday, which usually means having some fun at one point or another and I thought there’s no better place to do that than on my little ol’ blog. Not only do I think that Q & A’s are an enjoyable past time, but they are also a great way to get to know each other better so LET’S DO THIS:

Lil Red’s Q & A:

Age? I am 22 and am going to be 23 on June 7th. I am SO not excited. -_-

Favorite food? I’m all about that Taco Bell, darling. And as a vegetarian, I always get the most confused looks when I say that but you can get beans on everything there instead of meat! #protip

Last thing watched on Netflix? A movie called We Need To Talk About Kevin, which I’ve seen like a million times but I still love.

Current series I’m watching? I am keeping up with both the new seasons of Fargo and Wentworth at the moment. I would consider both of them two of my favorite shows. And I’m super looking forward to the new season of Orange Is The New Black!

Favorite candy? Anything sour.

Favorite ice cream flavor? Mint chocolate chip but only the green kind!!!!

Favorite store to shop at? TJMaxx is my number one favorite, but I also love Target, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and H&M.

Last movie seen in theaters? I saw Beauty & The Beast with my mom and sister for my mom’s birthday and I freaking loved it.

Last YouTube video watched? One of my ex boyfriends showed me this and it’s the first thing that I think of when I think of questions, lol.

Last song listened to? Basically an ode to my talons.

Last book read? I just finished rereading the Sandman graphic novel series by my author crush, Neil Gaiman. ❤

Alcohol of choice? MOSCATO, lol so girly.

Beverage of choice? I am a Diet Coke fiend and yes, I know it’s super bad for me!!

Weekend plans? I make it up as I go along!

So there you have it, a little Friday Q & A here on lifewithlilred! How would you answer some of my questions? What are some of your questions for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah