Category Archives: For Your Information

4 Tips For Creating An Eco-Friendly Household   

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4 Tips For Creating An Eco-Friendly Household   

With increasing concerns about the environment, many are finding ways to take action so they can help save mother Earth. This includes looking into ways to be more aware of how they can help, what companies are doing, how to buy, how to better recycle, and being energy-efficient at home. The smallest of changes can make a massive difference if it’s all combined!

Not only are these changes great for the environment, but it’s also good for your wallet too. There is this idea that you need to be rich in order to be sustainable but that’s far from the case. Living a sustainable lifestyle can not only be incredibly cheap, but it can save you a lot of money each year. These are some ways that you can create a more eco-friendly space right at home:

Check to see if there are any cracks that need to be sealed:

You want to make sure that your home is well insulated, especially during the colder months. Right before fall or winter hits, you’ll want to do a thorough inspection at home to see if there are any cracks that need to be sealed up in your doorways, window seals, vents. It’s also best to take a look at your doors and windows to see how energy efficient they are. Something such as a bend window is known for being majorly energy-efficient and those can save you a lot of money each year in electricity. Sealing up your cracks and changing out the doors and windows are also great for boosting your property value as well.

Take a look at energy-efficient swaps at home:

There are plenty of appliances that can be swapped out for something more efficient. This can include checking out bathroom appliances such as low-flow toilets, showers, and sinks but it can go far beyond that as well. Did you know that your light bulbs could save you money? There are plenty of energy-efficient light bulbs on the market that can help you out. Even looking into Star Energy appliances for your kitchen or laundry room can make a massive impact.

Buy secondhand:

One way to avoid getting things thrown into a landfill would be to check the secondhand market first such as visiting flea markets, thrift shops, and going on websites such as Craigslist, eBay, or even Facebook Marketplace. If you’re unable to find a secondhand version of the product you’re looking for, then you can buy it brand new. We all know that the secondhand option will be much cheaper!

Start a garden:

Even modern apartments will have a space to do some gardening. Gardening is not only a way to save on groceries, but improving that green thumb of yours can help offset your carbon footprint. Having a garden is wonderful for bees and other pollinators such as butterflies too. There are so many perks to having a garden, that it can even boost the curb appeal of your property.

But what if you don’t have space for a garden? What if you don’t have a lawn? Even if you don’t have adequate spacing, you can make room for growing some produce or flowers. Many apartments will have balconies or a large table will do too. Your plants don’t necessarily need to be outside in order to thrive. If you have some space next to a window, that will be just as adequate.

Helping the environment and saving some money is the ultimate win/win and there is no better time than the present to get started!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

The Most Common Damages You’ll Find In A Fixer Upper   

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The Most Common Damages You’ll Find In A Fixer Upper   

Have you just bought your first property? Or maybe you’re about to begin your own house flipping business? Well, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to start with a ‘fixer upper’ in either of these scenarios. You offset the price discount of the property with the amount of work it needs, and you can even get specialized mortgages to help with the repair work – what could be better for your budget?

However, it’s important to note that fixer upper properties often need more work than you realize. All sorts of damage can be found within these structures and knowing what you’re looking at is crucial. This post is here to help you identify some of these issues:

Problems with the Wiring:

Wiring problems are very common in fixer uppers. Wires may be chewed through and potentially even sparking without your knowledge. If you can smell a musty and/or ‘fishy’ smell within the property, it could be a sign. You’re going to need to rip them out to be sure it’s safe, so your best bet is to simply replace as much of the electricals as you can.

Signs of Water Damage:

Because the house has likely sat for a long time completely unprotected, water is sure to have made its way in, whether from a burst pipe nearby or the weather. The signs of water damage could be extensive, and you may have to call in a professional Water Damage Restoration team to take care of the problem for you. Signs of water damage tend to include dark spots, flaking or bubbling paint/wallpaper, and random puddles throughout the property.

Holes in the Roof:

Roofing on a fixer upper is usually touch and go. As such, you should think about getting a proper, stabilized ladder out and checking what’s going on up there. Similarly, if there’s an attic space within the house, be sure to investigate it as well. If you can see right through to the outside, there’s clearly an issue! You may also feel very cold when you’re in the house, hear tiles slipping during your renovation efforts, and even notice leaks coming from the upstairs ceiling.

Faulty Plumbing:

Finally, the amount of burst and broken pipes to be found in a fixer upper can be shocking! Make sure you go around each room, specifically the kitchen and bathroom(s) and pay special attention to how the pipes are laid out. If they’re just rusting, you can save the pipe itself just fine. However, you may have to pull out cupboards, sinks, and the toilet to be double sure about the state of the plumbing in total.

If you own a fixer upper, be prepared for a lot of work in your future to get your house to livable standards!

Featured Image By: Pexels

4 Tips For Finding A New Apartment Fast   

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4 Tips For Finding A New Apartment Fast   

If you need to find a new place to live as soon as possible, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. Perhaps your lease has been suddenly terminated or your living conditions were not sustainable. Maybe you’ve just left it until the last minute to start looking and now the clock is ticking.

Whatever your reasons, it’s important not to panic. If you are committed to finding a new apartment and put the time in, then you could be sitting happily in your new living space in no time at all. To help you find your new home right away, here are four tips for rapid apartment hunting:

Set your budget:

How much can you realistically afford to spend on your rent? Work out your maximum weekly and monthly expenditure, taking into account additional costs like bills and groceries, and you’ll have a clear idea of your budget. This way, when you are looking for apartments you can avoid wasting time by quickly ruling out those that are too expensive (or indeed way too cheap). Usually you can negotiate with the real estate agent to knock the price down, but if you are in a hurry then don’t bank on being able to do this successfully.

Use your free time:

If you work all week, it can be hard to find the time in your busy schedule to look for apartments and visit them in person so you need to use your time wisely. Get up earlier and Google “apartments near me” before work, and try to schedule viewings during your lunch break or straight after work. It may be energy draining and stressful but cramming your schedule to the brim will maximize your chances of finding something soon.

Get your documents in order:

Once you have found an apartment and made an offer, you still have to wait until all of your documentation has been processed. Your new landlord is likely to require references so don’t wait until the last minute to get in touch. Contact your people immediately and ask them to write you a reference in advance. You will probably also need to show your landlord identification, bank statements, or letters of employment so bring copies of everything with you to the viewing so your landlord can get them processed quicker.

Take a short term view:

If you are getting really desperate to find somewhere and time is running out, you may just need to settle for the best option currently available. This might mean you end up with a lengthy commute, a rundown apartment, or a rent beyond your budget but this doesn’t have to be permanent. Plenty of places offer short term lets of three months or potentially less, so this could be a good option to keep you going and give you more time to search for something that meets your requirements.

You might have to spend a lot of time and energy looking for your new apartment, but this hard work will pay off. Just be patient and prepared and before long you’ll be feeling right at home!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

5 Ways To Make Moving Day A Breeze 

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5 Ways To Make Moving Day A Breeze 

Moving is exciting. After patiently waiting for the inspections and paperwork to be completed, you’ll probably want to settle in as soon as possible. It’s important to take your time and make sure everything is in order before you move in. To help with that, here are five things you should do before you move into your new house:

Complete the checks:

When you buy or rent a new house, you need to make sure that the necessary checks are completed. You do not want to live in a home that does not provide safety and security. You could find yourself in danger or facing a hefty financial burden.

This includes ensuring that your electrical systems are safe and functioning properly. You can get an EICR on the internet from reputable providers. Before agreeing to the deal, you can request a demonstration and inquire about price on the website. Make certain that you have an EICR so that you can be confident that your electrics are safe and in proper functioning order.

Keep your documents safe:

Before you move, you’ll need to fill out lots of paperwork. Those signed documents must be preserved and stored in a secure location. Moving includes a lot of pacing, which may cause you to lose track of your belongings in the process. Make sure to keep your documents in a safe location before dealing with your personal things. You may want to look at DFW safes for sale to keep everything safe in your new home. Your signed paperwork is far more significant than your washroom towels, so keep an eye on it.

Get rid of the clutter:

It is important to clear all of the clutter from your new home in order to guarantee that the area is ready to be occupied. Rather than relocating your belongings and juggling two activities at once, you can begin unpacking immediately. Managing and completing tasks will be considerably simpler if the environment is clean. You’ll be able to put your stamp on the new house and turn it into a home much more quickly.

Decide when to move:

You’ll need a definite moving date so you’ll know exactly when you can take possession of the property. You could not have a place to dwell if you don’t have a specific date. Making a mutually agreed upon moving date with the sellers will guarantee that you sell and load up your old property at the same time as you move into your new one. You won’t want to have to deal with two properties at the same time and you won’t want to be without a place to live, either.

Create a first-night kit:

You will most likely be surrounded by boxes when you move into your new house. There is a chance that you will finish moving late and not have the energy to go through all of the boxes to find new clothes and toothbrushes. To help with this, putting together a first-night kit will ensure that you have everything you need for your first night in your new home and that you will not have to worry about unpacking boxes.

Moving will always be stressful but you can make it simpler with the tips above. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

All For The Gram

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All For The Gram

Hello! Lil Red is truly skyrocketing into the twenty-first century with my new(ish) smartphone. I have so enjoyed using it to take OOTD pictures for lifewithlilred and *gasp* I have made an Instagram! For the longest time, I avoided making any new social media accounts because between my blog, Facebook (Sarah Mushenheim), and job I have my hands full enough as is.

However, during my little holiday break, I figured that there was no better time than the present to give Instagram a try. I will admit that it is not my favorite form of social media because I am, first and foremost, a word girl. But, if you are interested in exclusive content from yours truly that doesn’t make it onto lifewithlilred or my Facebook page, give me a follow at @lifewithlilred94 . You can also see my Insta posts on the side bar of my blog too!

I would love to have some more followers on THE GRAM and, of course, I’ll follow you back. And, eventually, you will be able to shop my OOTD styles on there so do keep it posted! ❤

What is your favorite social media platform? What is your favorite thing to post pictures of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Safe & Sound – Let’s Talk Home Security

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Safe & Sound – Let’s Talk Home Security

The safety and security of your home should always be at the forefront of your mind for yourselves, family, and pets. With so many amazing options out there, it never hurts to shop around for ways to better improve your home security. You can start with some of the following:

Doors & Windows:

The doors and windows of your home are an excellent place to start, especially if they are a bit worse for the wear. A flimsy front door or obviously broken windows are as good as inviting unwanted guests into your home. Steel doors are sturdy and affordable for homeowners. Not to mention that new and improved doors and windows will give an instant makeover to your home’s exterior to boost its curb appeal significantly.

Get To Know Your Neighbors:

Having neighbors is, of course, great for friendship, cookouts, and get togethers. It’s also nice to have an extra set of eyes on your home if you’re not there. Let your neighbors know if you are going on vacation or a weekend getaway so they can check in on your place while you’re gone. And, as always, you will want to post on social media about your adventures but that puts a big neon sign on your house saying that you’re not home.

Lighting/Landscaping:

A poorly lit home exterior as well as lots of shrubbery or trees on your property are all things that potential burglars look for when scouting houses. To remedy this, consider motion activated lights around your property. If you like the privacy that your current landscaping brings, you could think about getting a fence or gate installed for an added layer of protection.

Security Systems:

You can’t talk about boosting your home security without mentioning security systems, of course. From cameras for your doorbell or by the front door to security alarms, they are all worth discussing with a local security company. A lot of these systems can be accessed and controlled by your smartphone too making it much more convenient.

With the holiday season upon us, we will all be out and about more. Consider your home security so you can celebrate with family and friends worry free.

Don’t Wait To Fix These Home Problems

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Don’t Wait To Fix These Home Problems

There are some problems in the home that are things you can hold off on like installing new flooring, replacing old furniture, and the like. While remodeling is fun, it’s something that you can postpone until a more appropriate time or a bigger budget. However, there are some problems that can happen in your home that shouldn’t wait to be fixed, like these examples:

Pest Issues:

Problems with pests both inside and out should always be tended to immediately because quick action will prevent the problem from getting worse. And, holding off can cause the situation to spiral out of control rapidly from a health and safety perspective for you and your family. If you’re having an issue with bugs, mice, or other critters call in a local expert to help deal with the infestation in the most humane way possible.

Leaks:

Similarly to pest problems, a leak in the roof or a pipe is something that can get out of hand quickly. It is a money drainer considering the heat, cold, or water that the house is losing, not to mention the cost of fixing the water damaged areas. Unless you are handy, this is also something that should be dealt with by local experts for a fast and effective way to fix the problem.

Appliance Repair:

Appliances are something that we all take for granted until they stop working. We never truly know how lucky we are for a dishwasher or a washer and dryer until you’re spending evenings washing dishes by hand or at the laundromat. It is important to schedule timely dishwasher repair services before it disrupts life routine. If any of your appliances appear to be on the fritz, schedule a repair appointment today to continue on with convenience and safety.

Windows & Doors:

If your windows or doors leave your home feeling drafty, it’s time to look at an upgrade. Can you imagine your savings in heating and air conditioning once these fixtures are more secure? It can also help prevent illness from the weather being let in. Not only will it keep the cold and warmth inside more effectively, but it will also double as a way to boost your home security, making it a win/win situation.

If you are having any issues with the problems above, it’s important to get on top of them before they cause even more headache. And, as always, if you are unsure of anything, then leave it to the professionals!

Getting By In Money & Mindset: 3 Methods To Incorporate

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Getting By In Money & Mindset: 3 Methods To Incorporate

It is not easy in the slightest to get by in the modern world. But whether you are trying to make extra money through numerous practices, or you are consciously trying to downgrade your life, there are so many different approaches that you could take to get by. Let’s show you a number of practices that could prove beneficial, and how you could use them:

Method One: Embracing a Minimalist Mindset

Minimalism has become very popular, not least because it can help you to make the most of very little. A lot of people are talking about minimalism as an antidote to what the modern world offers. If this appeals to you, you could sell your house quickly through companies like Offer Pear and start to live a more off the grid lifestyle. Being minimalist has a number of benefits for our mental health. We live in a world dominated by stuff. It seems that if we have to get ahead, we need more stuff, which means more money. A minimalist mindset means that you are effectively training yourself to get by with less.

Method Two: Becoming a “Slashie”

Also known as a portfolio career, this is where someone will make multiple income streams from different careers. A relatively new term, however, it appears to be essential to get by. Over the last couple of years, people have found that living off one income stream is not enough. Therefore, they’ve had to find ways to achieve extra income. There are naturally many approaches to doing this. If you already have a full time job, you may find having an extra part time role on top of what you do sufficient enough to help you live the lifestyle you want. But it is important to be aware that this approach can be difficult to maintain, depending on what your lifestyle entails.

Parents will struggle to maintain this approach if they don’t go about it in the right way. This is partly why many people try to find passive income streams. This is another very popular approach, but one of the downfalls of going with a popular approach to earning money means that it is already over saturated. If you want to become a slashie, the most important thing to consider is doing it in a way that doesn’t cause you to burn out. Many people feel that they need to maintain their lifestyles, and despite rising prices, rather than reappraising everything they have, they find they need to work more. The result? More stress, anxiety, and a whole slew of health problems! But, that being said, if you want to go down this route, the best approach is to do things that will actually make you happy and fulfilled.

Method Three: Addressing Your Expenditure and Income

Part of the problem in getting by in the modern world is that we believe that we need to earn more to maintain a current lifestyle. We’ve already talked about the importance of becoming a minimalist, but this may not be for everyone. You may think that your income is the first thing to address, but you need to look at what your income is actually going towards. If what is coming into your account is going out straight away, you need to look at the things you’re spending your money on.

One of the simplest things we can all do is to make a couple of downgrades. There are plenty of things that we can do for free, but rather than actually thinking we’ve got to completely get rid of everything to live a better life, it is about playing the odds and the balances. You can still go out for meals with your friends, as long as you find other ways to cut back on your day to day life. A very common example is daily takeaway coffee. If you opt for a homemade coffee, you will see how much this adds up.

These three methods can work together in tandem whether you are looking to save up for a big purchase or just cushioning your savings. The most important thing is to keep your mental health in check to avoid burn out. It is always okay to treat yourself!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

5 Common Kitchen Tools You’re Probably Using Wrong

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5 Common Kitchen Tools You’re Probably Using Wrong

Kitchen gadgets and appliances are designed to make your life easier and there seems to be a new one coming out every five minutes. A lot of them are completely useless and probably not worth your money but there are plenty that are actually useful. The problem is, many people don’t know how to use their kitchen appliances and gadgets properly, so they’re not getting the most out of them. These are some of the kitchen tools you are probably using wrong:

Garlic Press:

The worst thing about using garlic in the kitchen is taking the skin off. It’s so fiddly and annoying to do, so you’d think that it would be more useful to have a tool for that instead of a garlic press. The thing is, you don’t actually need to remove the skin at all when you use a garlic press! Most people make this mistake and they waste a lot of time. But if you put the whole clove in there and use the press, it should do all of the hard work for you.

Nutribullet:

Nutribullets are one of the most popular kitchen gadgets on the market right now. They’re great for making smoothies, but that’s not all they’re for. People often make the mistake of using their Nutribullet for making smoothies and nothing else. But if you’re going to do that, you may as well buy a much cheaper smoothie maker. Nutribullets can actually be used for all sorts of things like blending soups, making sauces, and mixing batter. You can even use them for crushing ice and nuts too, so you get the most out of the one gadget.

If you have a Nutribullet of your own, check out these 19 nutribullet recipes at mykidslickthebowl.com to get some more ideas. Once you start experimenting with a few different recipes, you’ll see that your Nutribullet is capable of much more than just making smoothies (although it is great for that too).

Dishwasher:

There are a lot of ways that people use their dishwasher wrong. Sometimes, people just pile all of the dirty dishes in there without giving it a second thought. But if you don’t load it efficiently, things won’t clean properly and you won’t be able to get as much in there. Loading your dishwasher properly makes everything easier for the machine, which means that it will run more efficiently and even save you money on electricity bills if you do it right.

People also overlook the fact that they need to clean their dishwashers. If you don’t clean your dishwasher regularly, then the machine will get clogged up with food particles and it will start breaking down. It’s important to keep on top of this if you want your dishwasher to continue working properly. There are filters inside that you need to take out and clean yourself. You should also rinse plates properly before you put them in to prevent food buildup.

Knives:

Most people don’t know how to sharpen their knives properly. If you want your knives to stay sharp, it’s crucial that you hand wash them and dry them thoroughly after each use. Don’t put them in the dishwasher because this will ruin the blade and make it duller very quickly. After cleaning, you should store them either hung up or on a magnetic bar (not loose).

Using the right knife for the right job is important too, and it’s something that people get wrong a lot. A standard chef knife is good for most tasks, but some jobs require a bread knife, fillet knife, carving knife, and so on. By using the right knife for each job, you’ll get much better results and you will be able to cut things more easily. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that sharper means more dangerous. In fact, a blunt knife means that you have to apply more pressure to cut, and that increases the likelihood of slipping and cutting yourself. So, it’s actually better to use a sharper knife.

Spaghetti Spoons:

Most people assume that the hole in the middle of a spaghetti spoon is for draining water. It does help with that, but that isn’t what it’s there for! Most people don’t realize that the hole in the middle of the spoon is actually for measuring the amount of spaghetti you should cook. The hole will take one average portion of pasta for a person, so you can avoid cooking way too much.

If you want to make life easier for yourself in the kitchen, make sure that you are using these tools properly!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Just So You Know!

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Just So You Know!

Hello! Johnny and I got married on June fourth and, as many of you know, we very much wanted to have a Halloween reception. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we just weren’t comfortable with this but are aware that our friends and family wanted to send us gifts. We never bothered making a registry, which we probably should have lol but we are accepting donations to our honeymoon/new microwave fund! If you would like to send us a wedding present, my Venmo handle is: @Sarah-Mushenheim

We so appreciate the well wishes from everyone and wish that we could have celebrated our big day all together. As always, thank you for your unending support and we love you all! -Sarah and Johnny ❤