Category Archives: Anything & Everything

Top Tips To Start Your Day Off Right

Standard
Top Tips To Start Your Day Off Right

Are you a morning person or do you find it impossible to feel energized and motivated until at least 10 AM? Getting the morning off to a good start sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you struggle to get up or you feel like you rarely start the day with energy and enthusiasm, here are some simple tips to help you make positive changes:

Establish a sleep routine:

Most people don’t want to jump out of bed as soon as their alarm goes off because they are tired, and staying under the covers is a much more appealing option. If you experience tiredness in the mornings, it’s a good idea to review your sleep routine. You might not be getting enough sleep or your body clock may be out of kilter. Try to establish a routine, which involves setting a time to go to sleep and get up in the morning. Stick to those times as much as possible to enable your body clock to adjust and ensure that you get the rest you need.

Stretch:

Stretching is a brilliant way to make your body feel more alive and get your mind ready for the day ahead. Take five or ten minutes to stretch your body, do a yoga session, or enjoy benefits from Surya Namaskar sun salutations. Stretching is beneficial for your joints and muscles, it increases flexibility and suppleness,  reduces stress, and makes you feel calmer and more focused. The beauty of daily stretching is that you can do it whenever and wherever you like. You can follow workouts or guided sessions or simply do your favorite stretches when you wake up, you have a break at work, or there are a few minutes to spare after dropping the kids off at school.

Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast:

Most of us are familiar with the old adage, ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. Eating breakfast fires up your digestive system and it can help to raise energy levels and prevent you from experiencing hunger and a lack of energy and motivation later in the day. Try to opt for nutritious foods and meals such as wholemeal toast with poached eggs or avocado, oatmeal, whole grain cereals, omelets, and fruit and natural yogurt. Foods that release energy slowly will help you stay fuller for longer.

Get organized the night before:

Stress and anxiety can make it difficult to sleep. If you know you’ve got an important meeting the next day, you won’t have time to go out and buy lunch, or you need to look sharp, get organized the night before. Make a wrap, salad, or sandwich to take with you, decide what you’re going to wear, pack your bag, and take half an hour before you go to bed to de-stress and relax. Run a bath, read a book, watch TV, listen to music, or meditate. Avoid checking emails, scrolling through social media, or doing anything that will stress you out or stimulate your mind late at night.

Some people jump out of bed in the morning ready to attack the day, but for many, it’s a struggle to get motivated. If you find it hard to approach the day with energy and vigor, use these simple tips to get every day off to the best possible start!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Sweetest Thing Ever!

Standard
Sweetest Thing Ever!

Hello! The day of Johnny’s show this past weekend, we were just hanging around our apartment when he looked closely at my new nails. Then, he told me that they were the same color I had on during our first date – strawberry lemonade! Needless to say, my heart exploded into a million tiny pieces and I had to pinch myself that I actually have this guy as my husband.

image_67202817image_67184641(3)image_50414593(5)135A6333135A6326

I can remember our first date very well but obviously not as well as Johnny. For example, I was so nervous that when I got to the Cashmere Cricket, I literally walked right by him without even noticing that he was there lol. Over drinks, we talked about anything and everything and had the best time and have been together almost every day since. Johnny, on the other hand, could tell you verbatim conversations that we had on our first date and it never fails to give me the warm fuzzies.

When Johnny told me his revelation about my fresh fill, my first thought was instantly that “I am the luckiest girl in the world”. And, secondly, I thought that no one should settle for anything less than this. And, believe you me, before I met Johnny I did a lot of settling when it came to relationships and I always wondered why I didn’t have the best results.

Every person deserves to be treated like royalty by their significant others and, despite always thinking this, I never let that rule apply to me. I, honestly, didn’t even know my own worth until I started seeing myself through Johnny’s eyes. We often get from our friends and complete strangers that we are “#relationshipgoals” and that is so sweet. However, we are just two people who are basically exactly alike who found each other at just the right time.

Prior to our first date we had both been unlucky in love and I had sworn off of dating until he Facebook messaged me asking if they made a pair of my Union Jack platforms in men’s. Now, there was a guy that I could talk to! We went out to the Cashmere Cricket that night and the rest is history. Every day I am reminded of how lucky I am to be married to such a stand up guy and his comment about my nails is a shining example. ❤

How did you and your SO meet? What makes you feel lucky? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have We Been Up To?

Standard
What Have We Been Up To?

Hello! Johnny and I have been diligently unpacking away after our big move at the end of April. While that has taken up a majority of our free time, we have still been enjoying ourselves and making time for fun things too. And, yes, part of the fun has shockingly come from the unpacking process itself – which I never thought I would say!

Unpacking:

Actually… Let me rephrase that… It’s not so much the unpacking that’s fun rather than all of the opportunities that come with it. Johnny moved into my apartment so there wasn’t much for us to decide on when it came to furniture placement and decorating together. Now, however, with much more room, it has been nice to come up with our apartment layout as a team.

For example, we have a little nook under our staircase that we decided would be perfect for bookshelves to house our massive collection. When I got home from work, it was a huge surprise because Johnny assembled and filled the new shelves while I was gone. This opened up considerable space having the shelves neatly tucked away and we were able to have a lot more options when it comes to placement of other furniture. It looks so nice!

Another fun part about the unpacking process is that we have a goal in mind: A housewarming/birthaversary party. We can’t wait to welcome friends and family into our new place at the end of the month to celebrate all kinds of big events: Our move, Johnny’s birthday, my birthday, and our one year wedding anniversary. I’m so excited! 😀

Entertainment:

Because of having a functional AC unit in our new apartment, it has become the place to chill both literally and metaphorically. We have been having a blast relaxing in a comfortable climate and watching all kinds of good movies and TV. We are currently binging The Man In The High Castle, which is absolutely EXCELLENT. We have also been enjoying lots of movies including The Imitation Game (One of my faves!), Schindler’s List, Indiana Jones, and Role Models (Both of our faves!).

Of course, this was something that we would have done at our old place regardless of the extreme heat. Actually feeling cold and snuggling up with blankets is a brand new sensation to us, though, and we still can’t get over the novelty of it!

Out & About:

Actual spring weather is finally here with some summer like temps peppered in for good measure. We have been making the most of it with outings in downtown Cuyahoga Falls, at hiking trails with my family, game nights with friends, and meeting our new neighbors. It was easy to stay cuddled up at home with the snowy and rainy days last month. But, there is no excuse now that the weather is nice out and we have been trying to have outings together at least once a week.

It has been an exciting and jam packed few weeks for us and I have been enjoying every minute of it… I’ll enjoy it even more, though, when we are fully unpacked and celebrating at our party!

What have you been up to? What are you currently binge watching? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Find The Perfect Home

Standard
How To Find The Perfect Home

Selling your house to buy a new one is a major decision that should not be made lightly, as it can take a significant amount of time, effort, and money to identify and find the ideal property for you. Fortunately, when you know how, choosing the right property doesn’t have to be as challenging as you might assume, and there are just a few important areas in which you should concentrate your efforts to guarantee that you can remain cool and calm during your move. If you’re looking for the perfect house and want to learn some of the most useful ideas and tactics for accomplishing your goals in no time, then read on:

Plan And Prepare:

One of the most common mistakes made by house movers is a lack of preparation. It’s surprising to learn that almost two-thirds of home buyers don’t have a list of questions to ask the real estate agent before they visit houses or apartments to view them. When planning, it’s helpful to make a list of your negotiables and non-negotiables. Other factors to consider include which house characteristics are essential to you and which you are ready to compromise on.

When searching for a new house, an extensive web search will save you time and provide a good starting point. We recommend contacting your local real estate agents as well, as they may have a house on the market – or even one that’s just about to come onto the market that is just right for you.

Know Your Budget:

You’re contemplating a move, but how much can you really afford? Find out how much your present home is worth by getting at least two or three estimates from local real estate professionals. You’ll have a better idea of how much money you have to work with if you do this. Your calculations should include:

  • Any outstanding bills or mortgage payments.
  • The cost of new furnishings.
  • Any additional funds that may be required in the future.

Working out your finances in detail can help you achieve your goal of moving. Knowing your budget from the beginning is essential if you want to erase debt and save for the future.

Think Ahead:

Smaller houses will not accommodate large families effectively, so if you want to grow your family soon, think accordingly and get that additional room. This is also true if you work remotely (or are planning to once you move). It would be beneficial to have an extra space that can be converted into a home office. A smaller house, on the other hand, can suffice if you are single or a couple who does not want to have children in the near future. If and when the time comes, you can always sell and move into a larger house.

Check Out The Neighborhood:

Searching online is one thing, and it’s almost certain that you’ll find a few houses that tick all the boxes for you. However, it’s crucial that you take the time to check out the neighborhood too – it might be that the house you love is in a place that won’t suit you, perhaps because it’s far away from work or school, the parking is a nightmare, or there isn’t enough green space (or too much of it – it all depends on your preferences).

When searching for a new home, it is all about the preparation and research on your end to keep the process running smoothly. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Ketut Subiyanto

What’s The Move? Let’s Talk Unpacking!

Standard
What’s The Move? Let’s Talk Unpacking!

Hello everyone! When it comes to mine and Johnny’s move, I think packing has been way easier than the unpacking process. While we have both been steadily chipping away at our endless amount of boxes, it’s so easy to lose motivation since we’re already at our new place! Of course, it is a necessary evil and today we are going to talk about some pro tips for unpacking at your new digs:

Start With The Kitchen/Bathroom:

The first room that I fully unpacked was the kitchen and I am so glad that I did. I enjoy eating out as much as the next person but I don’t like to do it too often. With two take out meals in a row on Saturday and Sunday, I was in desperate need of real food. In fact, just the smell of the pizza we ordered in the fridge made me nauseous.

If you feel similarly, then starting with the kitchen is an absolute must. Or, you could prepare meals that just need to be put in the oven prior to your move so you can have actual food at the ready. The first meal I prepared in my new kitchen was baked ziti and I can’t tell if it was better than normal because I was so over take out or if it actually was just really good!

Unpacking the bathrooms as a priority is a no brainer and I’m about halfway there on that project. This one is a bit of a struggle because, despite now having two full bathrooms, the counter space in each of them is significantly less than my old apartment. It will get there eventually but do make sure you have a bag with your toiletries that you use every day at the ready so you don’t have to go digging for your toothbrush.

Declutter As You Go:

Johnny and I did a significant amount of decluttering before our move and had already taken several bags to Goodwill. Don’t stop there, though! It’s great to declutter before a move but I find it much easier to do it while unpacking. When I was packing up the old place, there wasn’t much of a rhyme or reason to it other than filling up boxes and getting rid of obviously unneeded things.

While unpacking, you get the opportunity to see each item in your new setting and can decide from there if it’s worth the space. With that alone in mind, I was able to fill up two trash bags of donated items just from unpacking my closet. Like many people, Johnny and I moved for the additional space. I want the new apartment to feel as open as possible and that means donating a whole lot more.

Unpack With Projects In Mind:

I find that Johnny and I are much more motivated to unpack with a set goal or project in mind. For example, Johnny decided yesterday that he wanted to prepare our game room closet and that was the first thing he did when he got home from work. It looks great and it is completely done! Whether it’s a big task or small doesn’t matter because it needs to get done eventually, anyways. Just work at a steady pace, keep checking things off of your to do list, and you will be amazed by how much progress you will make.

Don’t Forget Your Boxes:

One thing that’s taking up a lot of space in our new apartment is all of the empty boxes! Make sure to keep breaking them down as you go. This is more of a reminder for myself than anything because I hate that chore! Find the nearest recycling facility to dispose of them properly or it might be worth posting on your social media if anyone else might need them. I was actually able to get rid of all of my boxes from my first move because of Facebook and that was the case this time around too. One of my best girlfriends is moving and almost all of our empty boxes and packing supplies are going to her next week!

I can’t say that I’m having the time of my life unpacking but the end results will be so worth it. I can’t wait to show all of you!

What are some of your unpacking pro tips? What is your least favorite part about moving? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Moving Pro Tips Pt. 2

Standard
Lil Red’s Moving Pro Tips Pt. 2

Hello! Johnny and I had our big move last Saturday and it went as smoothly as it could have gone. However, there are definitely some things that I wish were done differently looking back. A few weeks ago, we looked at some pre moving pro tips and today, we are going to focus on the actual move itself. Let’s get to it:

Eat, Drink, & Be Merry:

One of both mine and Johnny’s biggest downfalls of the day was that we didn’t eat enough prior to getting our keys. While Johnny had a snack, I had nothing and I SO wish that I would have made a big breakfast for us. Rather, we chose to sleep in and that was a mistake. Having a good meal before the move seems like a no brainer but it’s honestly an easy thing to bypass when so many other things are happening that day. Do make sure to eat your fill before the move so you can avoid getting lightheaded, which is what happened to me!

And, of course, drink water, water, and more water. If your dishes are already packed up, it will help to have a travel mug handy that you can keep refilling. Even if your move is on a fairly chilly day like mine and Johnny’s, you’ll find yourself sweating very quickly and that fluid needs replenished. Our rule of thumb was to take a water break at least twice an hour to keep ourselves firing on pretty much all cylinders lol.

Move Boxes Accordingly:

Johnny and I moved in one day and our morning was cut short because we could only pick up our keys at ten. Had this been different, I would have been much more proactive about moving the boxes into the room they needed to be in as soon as they left the car. I tried to do this as much as possible but with our time crunch, it was easier to just put boxes into a spare room.

If this is the case for you, that’s totally fine… Just make sure you label the boxes! This is also something that Johnny and I didn’t do and it hasn’t cost us too much grief but it’s enough to be annoying. I packed up almost everything in the apartment so I have a fairly good idea of where things are. The stuff that Johnny packed, however, is a different story!

Ask For Help:

Moving is a big job and outside help is a necessity, whether that be in the form of hiring movers or assembling friends and family. Johnny and I hired Two Men And A Truck for our furniture and we would have been nowhere without them. Hiring movers can be expensive, which is why Johnny and I cut costs by moving everything else by ourselves. We were wishing all day that we had them move all of our boxes too, though!

My mom was also kind enough to come over and help with cleaning tasks so that Johnny and I could focus on getting boxes to the new apartment. This was a HUGE help because all I had to do was sweep up once we cleared out our old place. Then, one of our friends came by later in the evening to help set up some of our furniture and get our mattress on the bed. All of this additional help was much welcomed and so very appreciated especially considering how exhausted Johnny and I were.

Set A Time Frame:

One thing that Johnny and I did really well when it came to our move was setting a time frame that we wanted to be done by. We both agreed that if we were done by around six, then that would be ideal. The day was a mad dash but we did finish everything by the time we wanted and that was a huge relief. You don’t have to have a set in stone schedule but a general idea of when the task should be done will help you keep your pace up throughout the day.

Despite some hiccups during moving day, I don’t think it could have gone any better with all things considering. I am so happy to be in our new place! 😀

What are some of your moving pro tips? Did anyone help you when you moved? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Big Move!

Standard
The Big Move!

Hello!! Johnny and I moved to our new apartment this past Saturday and, let me tell you, it was an absolute doozy of a day. When I first moved into my apartment by myself, it wasn’t bad at all and I was actually able to unpack my belongings that day. Of course, I didn’t have all that much to move so I was totally unprepared for the task at hand of moving two people’s stuff out!

image_50445569(2)image_50456833(1)

^^^ YIKES!!!

Johnny and I weren’t able to pick up our apartment keys until ten o’clock on Saturday morning and from then until six or so at night, it was a mad dash. We were moving boxes like our lives depended on it until one or so when our moving team from Two Men And A Truck showed up. I had hired this company last time I moved and they were excellent then and now.

The team consisted of three young men and they were SO funny, kind, and efficient. In under two hours, they had moved all of our furniture from Point A to Point B and it was amazing to watch them work! They were moving all of these heavy pieces of furniture like it was nothing and never missed a beat for some playful banter. There wasn’t much that could be done on mine and Johnny’s end while they worked and it was a welcome break!

Once the movers were done, Johnny and I sprung back into action with another special guest: My mom! With sufficient space cleared out, she helped me with the cleaning process to get the apartment back into tip top shape. I had already done a super deep cleaning and she came to assist with finishing touches as well as cleaning supplies. We were both incredibly thankful for this helping hand and wouldn’t have been able to complete our one day move without her.

After my mom left, Johnny and I made several more trips back and forth to our new digs together. Then, I was able to fully sweep and Swiffer our hardwood surfaces. This was a surprisingly time consuming task because the sweepers weren’t picking up everything. After a couple passes, I had to collect the remaining debris with wet paper towel. My back was killing me by the end of it!

I worked my ass off during moving day but, honestly, it was nothing in comparison to Johnny and I am so appreciative to him for it. Johnny has a van which can hold way more than my little car ever could so he handled the brunt of the moving because I did almost all of the packing. He was also in charge of all of the heavy lifting because I just couldn’t do it.

Between moving instruments and equipment when his band plays and working in a factory, Johnny is used to this type of challenge. Myself, on the other hand? Not so much. I have never participated in a move of this level before and it showed. I was getting dizzy from the trips up and down stairs with bags and boxes in hand and Johnny made me sit down, drink water, and eat something every time this happened. He is an angel among men! ❤

By the time we were all settled in our new place amid a sea of boxes, we were beyond tired but so very proud of our work. It was a long, stressful day but there was nothing like sinking into our bed that first night and falling asleep as soon as our head’s hit the pillow. An air conditioning unit in our bedroom that actually works was also extremely conducive to a good night’s sleep. 😀

As we continue the unpacking process, keep it posted here on lifewithlilred for more on our new place. You will receive a grand tour, decorating projects, and some pro tips to make your move as pain free as possible!

What was the last time you moved like? What is the most difficult part about moving? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Getting Outside & Getting Active!

Standard
Getting Outside & Getting Active!

This decade started out with pretty intensive restrictions and many of us are far past due in reconnecting with nature. Getting outside and active again could be considered the pinnacle of self care, or at least a priority we should focus on now that spring is here. Let’s look at a few things that you can do to fully enjoy your time outdoors:

Consider Hiking Routes:

Hiking is a great way to exercise and get back out into nature. This is because the activity allows you to traverse nature trails at your own speed, with people you like, and in a relatively safe, well treaded environment. With enough hydration, nourishment, and the willingness to take breaks, you can see your surroundings through a lens that you might not have for a while. Speaking of lenses, this is also a fantastic means of taking up photography once more.

Revisit old trails or explore new ones and make a day of it. This is an ideal opportunity for picnicking with friends or enjoying quiet time with yourself in nature.

Try Your Hand At Archery:

Archery can be a cool activity to take up if you’re looking for something new and different. When you know how to buy a compound bow, you can work with friends to hit targets in a specialist center or perhaps on land that you have access to (in a direction safely oriented away from roads or footpaths). This kind of habit can get you out into nature, as well as strengthen your arm, neck, shoulder, back, and core muscles. And, let’s all admit that we all thought that archery looked like so much fun in summer camp movies!

Get Out On The Water:

There’s nothing quite as natural and awe-inspiring as the sea or large bodies of water. If you’re lucky enough to live near either, then spending time in that environment can be a welcome change. From joining a local sailing or rowing club to simply spending time in a rented kayak, a beautiful time connecting with water (or simply learning to gain your swimming strength once again as an adult), can be a tremendous activity. For strong swimmers, new advanced hobbies like scuba diving could be a fun and adventurous route to take.

Nice weather calls for enjoying the great outdoors so get active and have some fun!

Featured Image By: Pexels

GREAT NEWS!!!

Standard
GREAT NEWS!!!

Howdy!! Almost three years ago to the day, I moved into my first two bedroom one bath apartment. When I first moved in, I truly felt like queen of the castle and had a wonderful space all to myself. Fast forward to September of 2019 and Johnny and I began to date. Hit the fast forward button one more time and he moved in with me during March of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began hitting at full force.

When Johnny moved in, of course, I was so happy but I truly didn’t appreciate how much stuff we both had until he was actually here! We made do for a while and then began toying with the idea of renting a house in our general vicinity. Unfortunately, that was a bust because it is nearly impossible to find a house to rent in our neck of the woods. We filled out so many applications and went to viewings but never got a call back. It was pretty disappointing, to say the least.

After our lack of success with finding a home to rent, we decided it was fine to continue living in tight quarters. But, I am pleased to say that at the end of the month, that will be no longer because we are finally moving into a bigger apartment!! We will still be in the same apartment community as we are now but we will be upgrading to a three bedroom one and a half bath. 😀

We began setting our sights on a bigger apartment in the same community about a month ago and after lots of paperwork and crossing our fingers, we got a call saying that some three bedrooms were available. The following morning, I got to the leasing office as soon as it was open, did a quick viewing of our new digs, and signed for it all in a matter of forty-five minutes.

Our new place is great and it felt like a mansion when I did my walk through. I wish that we could have moved in that day! It’s nice and spacious, which is just what we need. But, to be honest, what I’m most excited for is having a bathroom on both floors lol. I hate having to walk down the stairs in the dark to make it to the bathroom every night. And we all know that turning on the lights is a no no unless you want to lose your tired!

Johnny and I have already been diligently packing away and I hope that the rest of the month flies by so we can get this move started. I can’t wait to decorate and show all of you our new place once we’re settled!

What is your home decor style? Do you have any pro tips on moving? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Here I Am!

Standard
Here I Am!

Hello everyone! It has been a minute since a new OOTD post because your girl needs her hair done! Thankfully, that problem will be solved soon and I can’t wait to show you all some perfectly spring OOTDs ASAP. In the meantime, here are some pics of yours truly and some of my favorite people to tide you over until then:

image_50413313image_50419713image_50427393(2)image_50403841(3)image_50424065(1)image_50414081

^^^ Can you spy one of my new tattoos?! 🙂

This past Sunday, we celebrated our darling niece’s third birthday a bit late because the weather has been wet and cold here. What was originally a party at a park turned into a get together at my sister and her partner’s house and, of course, Johnny and I had to step out in our best. This also meant all of the car selfies as well as pictures of me and Johnny when he refuses to just smile for the camera! *Massive eye roll* lol.

Our Val Gal’s party was a great success and it was so nice to see old friends and meet new ones. Johnny also finally got to meet some of my extended family who I haven’t seen in forever, which was awesome. We were surrounded by good company, good food, and lots of love and it’s safe to say that three year old Val knows how to throw a rager! 😀

Be sure to keep it posted on lifewithlilred for brand new OOTDs, book club reviews, Johnny’s unsmiling face, and all of the usual shenanigans this month. ❤

What do you like to do when your family gets together? Are you a smiling or silly face making selfie taker? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah