Category Archives: Fun

Reader Map Update

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Reader Map Update

Hiiii everyone and happy weekend! So yesterday I was hanging out and listening to a little I’m From Barcelona and their song “Collection Of Stamps” came on. This song, a little ditty that gives an ode to friends and locations world wide reminded me that it’s been a while since I posted an updated reader map picture. So first, take a listen. And then, take a look!

(As always, I have no rights to this song. I just like it a lot.)

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I started making my reader map once I had a little over forty countries reading me with the pure intention of keeping track of them all. But now, with over one hundred and seventy different countries that are hip to lifewithlilred, this map serves as so much more than a location tracker. This little project that I began gives me such an immense feeling of pride every time I look at it – which is frequently, considering it’s located in my bedroom!

To know that the page that little old me started two and a half years ago is reaching locations that I never even knew existed completely blows my mind. This map has also made me SO much better at the geography questions on Jeopardy, which is a really nice added bonus! As soon as “Collection Of Stamps” came on, it made me think of all of my wonderful readers, friends, and followers in the blogging community and I just knew that I had to send a shout out to them in an Updated Reader Map post.

Thank you all so, so much for stopping by my page. If it’s as a one time reader or a loyal follower, I appreciate it far more than you know. Many well wishes and a ton of love to each and every one of you!

What country on my reader map would you like to visit some day? Where are you located? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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How To: Creating A Garden Indoors

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How To: Creating A Garden Indoors

If you live in a city, green spaces can be hard to find. The noise and pollution that is part of our day to day life shouldn’t follow us home. Our homes should be a place of rest and recuperation. At home we should be able to let go of the stresses of the day and enjoy some healthy and happy quiet time. With all this in mind, it makes sense to have a garden in our homes! There are so many benefits to having plants and nature-inspired items in our house, and it can be so easy to create an indoor garden. Keep reading for some inspiration…

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Pretty!!!

What Are The Benefits? It may sound like an eccentric concept, but creating a garden indoors actually has lots of benefits. Living in close proximity to plants and flowers can help us to feel more at ease with our surroundings, less anxious, and more relaxed. Plants also add something interesting and stimulating to look at and care for in our homes. These factors all contribute to our overall well being and can make us happier and less stressed. There is even some evidence to suggest that plants can create an improved learning environment.

One of the other benefits of having plants indoors is that they help with breathing and purifying the air. Plants release oxygen during photosynthesis, which increases oxygen levels in the home. The process of photosynthesis also produces moisture vapor. This is good news as the humidity in the air increases, meaning less dry skin, colds, and sore throats.

How to Create an Indoor Garden: Creating a garden indoors is no mean feat. You’ll have to invest time and money into your project, but the results will be well worth it. It is possible to grow plants indoors with LED grow lights. LumiGrowth has a great guide to the best lights to buy and how to use them. Once you’re set up and growing plants indoors, you can move on to the other garden features.

Most gardens contain some kind of pathway, decking, or patio. Bring some stone into your home to give the feeling of a garden path. Statement walls are a great place to incorporate stone or around a fireplace if you have one. For a cheaper alternative, buy some stone statues or ornaments to place around your home. You can even place some smooth stones around your house as a quirky accessory. For a more practical approach, use smooth stones as doorstops instead.

Another key aspect of a garden is well tended grass. Now I’m not suggesting you bring grass indoors, but use the color green where you can to add some bursts of nature. You don’t have to take this too literally either. Rather than painting the walls green, create a little herb garden in the kitchen. Simply line up fresh herbs in pots on a windowsill and watch them grow! They will help you create an indoor garden, and will make an awesome addition to your meals!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Going Local: Enjoying Where You Live

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Going Local: Enjoying Where You Live

We are probably all a little guilty of spending too much time in our homes or venturing far away when we want to enjoy a little social time. It’s crazy to think that we choose to live somewhere because we love a location and then spend a majority of our time enjoying other places, instead!

Getting to know your area is great fun and brilliant for increasing your social circle, support unit, and even living a healthier lifestyle both physically and mentally. A great place to start is getting online and researching the history and culture of your home town and surrounding area. What is it famous for? Did any celebrities live here? What are the restaurants like? Getting an understanding through research can help introduce you to things you didn’t even know existed right on your doorstep.

The best way to understand a place, though, is to get involved with the community. You will probably have a local church, shop, or park with a variety of events happening and it is here that you will meet the experts on local knowledge. Getting out and meeting other parents will help you find out what activities you have within walking distance of your front door, it will also help your children and gives you the chance to spend quality time with your friends. Heading to the local bar is great for adults who want to know more about the services in the areas. Most small towns love to advertise other small businesses and will have attended all kinds of networking events with the owners. So get to chatting and find out what is on offer!

Taking long trips to the larger supermarkets is pretty time consuming. You can use the internet to find out what shops you have in your area. From seeking out a local green grocer to sticking donuts near me in your search engine, you’ll be surprised what you can buy locally to save you time and support local companies. Of course you will also have restaurants near you, too. The internet has loads of review sites to let you share feedback with other customers, although the best way to find out what the local buzz is is to hit the streets and eat. Try everything, one person’s bad experience may not reflect your own. Plus, you have the added benefit of not needing to drive, so you can enjoy a couple of drinks with your dinner!

Your local services such as the police and fire station are good things to know and if you have young children, they can offer a fun day visit. What kid doesn’t enjoy putting on a fire hat and watching people slide down poles? It’s also likely that you have some form of library even if it is a mobile library. Make the most of these services and support them where ever you can. More customers means better demand and you will see your area staying alive with shops and activities. If you lose them, then property values will decrease and your dream home may not be worth as much as you need it to be!

Featured Image By: Pexels

4 Fun Ways to Spend a Night in with Friends and Family

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4 Fun Ways to Spend a Night in with Friends and Family

What are you usual plans for a Friday night in? Do you go out to the bar with your colleagues? Maybe you have a lovely dinner with your partner or family members at a fancy restaurant? Or perhaps you like to visit the cinema and catch up on the latest film releases? Whatever your decision, there’s always the option of staying indoors with your friends and family.

But why? There are plenty of good reasons to stay indoors, such as the reduced cost of having an entertaining night or the freedom of doing what you like and not having to be around crowds, loud music, and sloppy drunk patrons. If you’d like to switch it up this week and enjoy a night in, here are a couple of ideas to get you excited for a change of pace:

Movie Night: Having a movie night can almost become a ritual if you do it often enough. It’s a night to look forward to because you get to catch up on the latest shows or movies with your friends while stuffing your faces with pizza, tacos, or any kind of greasy fast food. It’s cheap as well thanks to subscription services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. There are even specialized services, such as Crunchyroll, if you’d prefer to watch something like anime.

With so many shows and films available on the internet, it’s hard to get bored or stumped on what to watch. You could even have a video night where you browse funny and interesting YouTube videos together with your friends and family, and with the growing library of content you’ll always have something fun to watch.

Bingo Night: Bingo might be associated with seniors playing in a club or retirement home, but it’s still a fun and exciting game that is suitable for the whole family. No matter how old or young the players, bingo is a fun game that can be played almost anywhere. You don’t need complicated machinery either because you can play bingo online and use online tools to draw numbers and print off bingo cards. Or you could take things one step further and make the cards relateable to the players by using their initials and inside jokes or memories as the calling criteria.

Gaming Party: Almost everyone has played a video game once in their life, and it’s becoming increasingly popular for young adults, parents, and children to engage in video game parties. Set up a large television in the living room, grab loads of snacks, and connect four controllers to your video game console of choice and play together. You could even get party games such as Just Dance which is fun even if you’re not a gamer—you don’t even need controllers because you can play with your phone!

Board Game Night: Board games have been somewhat forgotten because of the rise of video games, but it’s still a hobby enjoyed by many people around the world. Whether it’s a humble game of Monopoly or something more immersive such as Dungeons and Dragons, there are plenty of board games and pen and paper games for you to play with your family and friends. Board games aren’t very expensive (they cost about as much as a video game or less) and you can have countless hours of fun with them if you keep them in good condition.

Featured Image By: Pexels

It’s Getting Hot In Here: Daydreaming Of Summer

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Who else is tired of the colder weather and the dark days? The January blues can hit us hard, so there is no surprise that some people will be counting down the days until the Summer officially arrives. The warmth that tingles your skin, the feeling of a frozen treat being enjoyed while lounging in a hammock and watching the world go by. Sounds like heaven doesn’t it? But we can often forget the downside of the heat, and it can be just as difficult to endure as the coldest days of the year. So while we are daydreaming, perhaps we can work out some of the ways that we can prepare ourselves in advance for the summer months ahead. After all, it’s far better to enjoy the sun than to be wishing for those winter days to return.

Stock Up On The Summer Essentials: Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy, so it’s worth making those investments now to ensure that you are comfortable and can have as much fun as possible. With plenty of discounts available across all kinds of stores, January would be the ideal time to get those big summer purchases sorted. Perhaps consider an outdoor grill so that you can have garden parties and cook up a storm. Maybe invest in some cotton bed sheets to ensure you get a comfortable night’s sleep during the hottest days of the year. Or why not even treat yourself to an inflatable swimming pool for your outside space? They are certainly not just for children!

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Pixabay Image

Get Your Home Prepared: As much as we want to be outside constantly, we often will still need to be in our homes for a good chunk of our time. You may work from home or even just retire here at the hottest points of the day. This is why now might be the time to consider adding a ducted air conditioning system to your house or property. They can actually be quite cost efficient when you get the right system installed.

Try Out New Recipes For Frozen Treats: Summer wouldn’t be complete without those frozen treats stocked up in the freezer. So why not kick those January blues and start planning and trying out new recipes? Maybe you want to consider a new flavor combination or check out websites like eBay for ice molds you can use. They can be a refreshing treat but also very healthy if you consider the type of ingredients you are using.

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I NEED ONE!

Plan Ahead: Finally, daydreaming is the perfect opportunity to plan ahead for those summer months. Do you want to go on vacation? Do you plan to spend more time at home or with loved ones? Perhaps there is a beach you want to visit or an activity that you want to do more of? Now is the time to start thinking ahead and booking up your diary. After all, sometimes the only way to get through a tough month is to have plenty of things to look forward to!

Easy Peasy Parties: Don’t Miss The Fun With These Time Saving Tips

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Easy Peasy Parties: Don’t Miss The Fun With These Time Saving Tips

If there’s one thing that I love, it’s parties! They’re a great excuse to dress up, gather your friends together, and have a great time. But they’re also hard work. If you’re not careful, you could spend the whole evening in the kitchen preparing food and ensuring everyone’s needs are met. Follow our simple tips to enjoy your parties and still be the hostess with the mostess.

The Right Tools For The Job: Having the right tools for the job will make the process simpler and more efficient. So it follows that having the right kitchen appliances and accessories will make your preparations much smoother. Start with the basics like a good set of kitchen knives. Most food prep requires chopping of some description and the right knife will make your job much easier.

If you enjoy baking, possessing a professional food mixer will save on combining, rubbing in, whisking, etc. You’ll be whipping up Baking Show quality cakes in no time at all. An ice machine is also a godsend when it comes to parties and cocktail hour. Check out reviews such as the Manitowoc Ice Machine Review to find the best machine for your needs.

And finally, a dishwasher is indispensable and will pay for itself time and again in terms of the time you save. At the end of the party, you can stack the dishes, close the door, and switch it on. No more standing at the sink for hours clearing up.

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^ My kind of party!

Food: The food will depend on the type of party that you’re throwing. If it’s a casual affair, maybe chips, dips, and beers will be sufficient. If you’re throwing a dinner party, then that’s a whole different ball game. For anything in between, there are several nifty time-saving methods that you can employ.

  1. Suggest Everyone Brings A Dish: This will take a little organization. Otherwise, you’ll have thirty plates of cupcakes and no savory snacks. Get your friends together and decide who will bring which dish. Ensure that you have a good selection. This will free you up to spend time on your dress preparations, so you can emerge looking effortlessly stylish.
  1. Do A Buffet: Buffets are a great option when it comes to parties. The food is provided on a large table and everyone helps themselves. You can cater for lots of different tastes; just ensure that everything is correctly labeled. You don’t have to worry about trips in and out of the kitchen and ensuring everything is timed to perfection. You won’t even have to serve. Everyone can serve themselves while you get on with having fun. This is how my graduation party was set up and it worked perfectly! Just make sure that you provide for people with dietary restrictions and preferences like allergies or veganism!

For extra time-saving points, provide guests with paper plates and paper napkins. At the end of the night, go around with a plastic bag and toss the plates in the garbage. No washing up. Bonus! (In my opinion, this is a must!)

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 Pixabay Image

  1. Provide a Drinks Table: Providing a drinks table where everyone can help themselves will ease the burden of constantly having to check that everyone’s glass is filled. Pop and water are a necessity but you could also provide the fixings for hot chocolate or a specialty cocktail for some mixing fun!

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Cheers!

Parties are fun and a great way to catch up with all of your friends. Don’t miss out on yours by spending it in the kitchen. Employ a few smart time-saving strategies and the party will run itself.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

The Perfect Festive Night In

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The Perfect Festive Night In

The countdown to Christmas is on, by the end of this week we’ll be tucking into a big dinner and ripping open the presents under the tree! But in the meantime, why not enjoy the run-up to Christmas? It’s that perfect time of year when everyone is truly in the festive spirit; chances are you’ve already broken up from work and have free time to relax and enjoy yourself. Here’s everything you need for a perfect, festive night in.

Make Your Surroundings Cozy: Whether it’s your comfy sofa with plenty of throws and pillows, or your bed with gorgeous, clean sheets make sure that you have everything situated for cold winter cuddles. If you want to really treat yourself you could buy a brand new set to use; Christmas bedding is a popular choice, or you could go with something luxurious like hotel bedding from Richard Haworth. Light some candles, turn on the heating, draw the curtains and create the perfect cozy environment to enjoy your evening.

Use Some Pampering Products: A pampering bath is the perfect way to begin your cozy night in. A soak in a hot bath with a luxurious bath oil, bath bomb, or bubbles will warm you up and have you feeling perfectly relaxed. You could use a face mask to treat your skin, and a hair mask to nourish your locks. You could paint your nails in a festive shade and use your most indulgent skin care to leave your skin feeling extra smooth and soft. We all have those products which we save for a special occasion, so why not make that now!

Change into Comfy Pajamas: Once you’re out of the bath, comfy pajamas are a must. You can buy pajama sets, dressing gowns, fluffy socks, and slippers all for relatively cheap, and they’re great for this time of year. You want pieces that are ultra soft and comfortable so you can properly lounge. I recommend TJMaxx for all of your pajama needs – that’s where I stocked up!

Prepare Some Festive Food and Drink: Enjoy some of the delicious festive snacks that you probably wouldn’t have during the rest of the year. Hot chocolate with all the trimmings, or a glass of mulled wine. Lots of chocolate and indulgences- Christmas isn’t a time to be counting calories! Allow yourself whatever you want, guilt free. The inevitable New Year’s detox is right around the corner so may as well enjoy it while you can!

Decide On a Few Things To Do: Do you have a box set that you’ve been dying to start, or a program you want to catch up on? Now is the time to put it on. You could scour Netflix for some Christmas films or download lots of books to your Kindle. You could listen to music, Skype a friend or family member, or even put on a meditation app and just relax. This is a great time to catch up on all of the fun things that you want to do on a regular day, but just don’t have the time for. Having time to sit around and do whatever you want gives your mind a much-needed break from work. When you eventually do go back in in January, you’ll be well rested and ready to go.

Featured Image By: Pexels