Category Archives: Travel

How To Make The Most Of Your Family’s First Winter Getaway

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How To Make The Most Of Your Family’s First Winter Getaway

Winter can be magical, especially for those who’ll be experiencing it for the first time. If you’re planning on having your first winter vacation, it’s best to come prepared and also to make all the necessary arrangements beforehand. That said, we’ll be taking a look at tips to help you better prepare your first winter getaway:

The Transportation:

There’s nothing worse than having your trip cancelled before it even began. If you’re planning on going to your snowy destination through a series of air and land transportation, it’s best to purchase the tickets beforehand and don’t leave things to chance. Not only would buying your tickets be cheaper, but it would ensure that you have guaranteed seats.

And, if you’re planning on driving towards your destination, make sure that your car undergoes a tune-up to lessen the risk of it breaking down in the middle of the road. If you do plan on bringing your car (or renting an RV to serve as your transportation and your accommodation), make sure to bring an ice scraper or shovel, as snow can pile up on and around your vehicle very quickly.

The Accommodation:

As with transportation, the earlier you book your accommodation, the better — especially if you’re planning your vacation during peak seasons. This guarantees you lower prices and that you have a roof over your head. Apart from early booking, it’s just as crucial for you to consider where you’ll be staying. Don’t skimp on accommodation, choose someplace that has excellent amenities and can keep you warm — your family will thank you later, especially after they’ll be experiencing the snow and cold air for the first time. Popular choices would be cabins, condos, and even homes for rent, but you can also rent an RV with good heating.

The Activities:

There are many activities your family can partake in for your first winter vacation, from simple snowball fights and snowman building to more active activities such as skiing, snowboarding, or even snowmobile riding. If you plan on taking up the latter activities, it’s important that you make a reservation beforehand, and it would be a good idea to hire a guide or trainer to help you and the kids learn how to ski properly or for you to safely and properly use the snowmobiles. If you think skiing would, later on, become something that you or your family would repeatedly enjoy in the future, you might want to consider buying quality ski equipment, such as Nordica women’s skis for your wife or daughter.

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The Clothing and Apparel:

Lastly, you’ll want to invest in winter clothing. The last thing you’d want to happen is for you to freeze or get sick from the cold by not wearing the right winter clothing and apparel. There are many guides out there to help you out in packing up your winter clothing, and all of them would point to one thing: layers. Make sure that you all have many layers to keep your family dry and warm, but just enough that you can still comfortably move and enjoy your winter activities. It’s also important that you don’t skimp out on boots, gloves, and head protection. And, if you plan on skiing, make sure that you also buy or rent skiing or snowboarding goggles.

Your first winter vacation should be just as magical as your kids imagine it and, with these simple tips, you’re one step closer to making that a reality. So make sure that you plan and prepare for your trip to get the most out of it. Enjoy!

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A Guide To Buying A Home In The Philippines

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A Guide To Buying A Home In The Philippines

Buying a home is a major life purchase. The wrong choice can result in years of regret, so you will want to do it right. However, the housing market in the Philippines can be a complicated thing to navigate through. To make it simpler for you, here are a few tips to help with your house-buying journey:

There Are a Multitude of Choices:

One of the first things you’ll notice when you enter the Philippines real estate market is that there are many choices available. Looking for a house and lot for sale in Cavite and other regions in the Philippines should be a breeze since you’ll be swimming with options. The trouble, is that you’re only buying one of them. The Philippines still has much land for houses to be built on.

You’ll want a property close to urban centers. This increases the price of the property significantly and does narrow down your choices. To help reduce your options, you should pick out the region where you want to put down roots and focus your search there.

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Get a Broker:

When hunting for real estate, it is best not to do it alone. You will want a partner that knows how the market works and can guide you through it. There are dozens of real estate brokers out there, and they can be a big help. However, note that many of these brokers work on a commission basis. They’re aiming to sell you a great property, but they won’t do it cheaply. This is why you’ll want to clear things up and talk with them about the budget you have for your purchase well beforehand.

Follow the Steps:

It can be tempting to skip ahead and pay off the seller to get your hands on the property. But, if you wish for no problems, then you will want to do it by the book. Start with a property viewing with your broker so that you know what you can buy. If you like what you see, send out a letter of intent. After that, pay the seller the agreed price and collect all of the necessary documents. This includes the title certificates, tax forms, and more. This is where a broker can be a big asset since they can help with the paperwork as well as the processing of the various fees. When done correctly, you will have your new property completely and legally under your control.

Be Prepared to Pay Extra:

When buying property, you will not just be paying the seller’s price. You might also end up paying several “hidden” fees. This can mean that your initial payment price is not enough. Always have extra money during the purchase so that they can be paid. Don’t be fooled by the price tag since that often does not include a variety of charges that are not associated with the payment. For example, you may plan to use a bank loan to pay for the purchase. This means you’ll need to pay the bank charges for the loan.

When you make that house purchase, you are committing yourself to a significant step. With the tips above, you should be able to buy without any regret. The property you buy will meet your needs, and it will be something you can be proud of.

Dogwood Festival Fun

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Dogwood Festival Fun

Hellooo! While in Atlanta, my family and I attended their Dogwood Festival which was really cool. It was like a huge open market with booths full of homemade art in various specialties like sculpting, photography, woodworking, and painting. There was also entertainment, food trucks, and a Frisbee event with the DISK DOGS OF ATLANTA which I am obviously super psyched about!

Being able to walk around and admire everyone’s art was like being at an outdoor museum and, although 99% of what I liked was way too expensive for my budget, I was able to get this gorgeous hand carved necklace by the artist, John Deveer, that I am in love with. Check it out:

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Although I am usually a gaudy girl when it comes to jewelry, I do love simple things, too! This wooden necklace is so stunning to me. I love the dark chocolate color with the black detailing and am lightweight obsessed with the toggle clasp on the black leather band. This necklace will seriously go with everything and it felt like a steal getting it for fifteen dollars! I am so happy to have been able to support such a talented artist and wish that I could have bought something from everyone at the Dogwood Festival.

Unfortunately and obviously, you couldn’t take pictures of the artist’s art but you can explore all of their websites if you click on the following. And, please be sure to check out John Deveer’s page, too!

Are there any art festivals in your neck of the woods? How do you support local artists? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Honey, I’m Home!

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Honey, I’m Home!

Howdy! This past weekend, I took a little trip with my mom to Atlanta, Georgia to visit my brother and sister in law. This was actually only my second time on an airplane, which was super exciting in itself! It was a whirlwind of a weekend beginning on Friday afternoon and arriving home around eleven in the morning on Monday. Despite being insanely tired, it was a fun trip and it was nice to spend some time with family before my big move this weekend. But, I am happy to be home so that I can continue to bring you the latest and greatest here on lifewithlilred. Keep it posted for more on my trip, coming soon!

Where is the best place to go for a weekend getaway? What is your preferred method of travel? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Makes One Want To Live Abroad?

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What Makes One Want To Live Abroad?

The prospect of living abroad can be daunting, especially if you believe that there is no sweeter place than home. But, we all come across the story of a friend, a distant relative, or even the friend of a friend who has decided to move away from the motherland to explore what the world has to offer. It can be difficult to understand how they can live a happy life while being so far away from their loved ones.

But, as many will tell you, it’s not a matter of what you lose. It’s all about what you gain. This lifestyle provides a new angle in the exploration of self. Most people who call home a distant location, far away from the place where they grew up, have found something that their old country couldn’t give them. They tap into undiscovered traits, strengths, and emotions that they never experienced in the homeland. Indeed, you don’t live abroad to move away. You live abroad to move closer to your true self or maybe for some of the following reasons:

You fell in love during a vacation:

Falling in love can take you by surprise. A lot of expats agree that they were not ready to fall head over heels for a country, its people, culture, and language. They had planned for a long trip and found themselves not wanting to come back. Thankfully, a long-term adventure had the advantage of preparing you to sort out your affairs. Your home and income are covered for the time being so that you can take the time you need to decide whether you want to stay or come back home. And, if you do choose to stay, things can be easily sorted out with removal experts such as https://www.chessmoving.com.au/, for instance. For many expats, the decision to let the long adventure continue was easy to take as, in consideration, they had already prepared for a temporary life abroad.

You studied or applied for a job abroad:

Moving overseas during your study is not only a creative way to explore a new culture, but it also ensures that your skills are relevant to the local market. If you’re still going to college, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of study abroad programs that let you travel to Europe, Asia, or South America for one or two semesters. As a result, many students start to work at the end of their studies and realize that they don’t want to leave.

You’ve got itchy feet:

Last, but not least, nomadic professionals are independent millennials who want to make the most of the resources available. They use their skills to build a unique career that supports their travel needs. Whether they choose to develop their career through digital tech or whether they live their passion in the wild – as you can see on https://www.professionalnomads.org –, the new generation in the workforce combines travel and work successfully. They live in many countries and every bed they sleep in is home.

Ultimately, the question is not how to become an expat. But it’s all about understanding the triggers and aspirations that drive people to leave their comfort zone and build a home abroad.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Happy Tails Thrift Shop

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Happy Tails Thrift Shop

Hello! Recently, a really cool thrift shop opened up right down the road from me. It is called Happy Tails and all of the proceeds are given to the Akron Humane Society. My mom enjoys volunteering there on the weekends and I love taking my clients there to shop around and find some good deals. And, I found some good deals too! This past month, I got a four drawer filing cabinet (Which I’ve wanted for forever.) and a pair of retro sunglasses for just under eleven bucks. Check it out:

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I am so incredibly happy with my purchases and it’s even better that the money goes to helping our local animals in need. I asked for a filing cabinet for Christmas and, sadly, did not find one under the tree. And, while scoping post holiday sales, a two drawer cabinet was still around forty dollars. I got twice that for ten bucks!

I love the old school locker feel of my new cabinets and I had a blast organizing all of my paperwork in accordion folders so that I no longer have to lug huge binders from home to home. I was able to clear away a ton of clutter to house in my new cabinet and I even left a drawer for my mom to store all of her paperwork in, too. My filing cabinet makes me feel like an adulting champion and there is nothing better than that.

My new sunnies that I got for fifty cents was also a huge success from Happy Tails and I’ve worn them every day since I got them. Within the past year, seventy-five percent of the sunglasses that I’ve owned for years have broke. And, while I’m shopping at Target or TJMaxx, I just can’t justify spending twelve to fifteen bucks on a pair of shades. But, fifty scents for these mini framed, mint green beauties was something that I could definitely swing! I’ve wanted a pair like this for forever, and the funky color makes them unique and so totally fun!

Thrifting can bring tons of amazing steals and when your spendings go to a good cause, it makes it that much more enjoyable. I can’t wait to go shop at Happy Tails again soon. 😀

What is the best thing you’ve found at a thrift store? What are some ways that you shop smart? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Make Memories On Your Next Family Vacation

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Make Memories On Your Next Family Vacation

There’s nothing quite like a family vacation. As parents, we only get 18 summers and 18 winter breaks with our children before they grow up and want to do things on their own. These words should stick in the mind of any parent who has so far put off a family vacation because of timing, money, or even the fact that their kids are young and may not remember it. It doesn’t matter if they remember it, because YOU will. As a parent, you’re going to carry every single vacation, haircut, and the first day of school in your heart and mind for the rest of your life. Memories are moments that you can never get back and you should be doing everything possible to make memories with your children.

Below, you’re going to read some of the ways that you can make memories with your children on your next vacation:

Unplug:

Between work, social media, and the massive lack of downtime that parents get, smartphones and tablets are usually the entertainment of choice throughout the day. When you are on vacation, though, it’s time to unplug. Facebook is like an empty refrigerator; you can open it several times, and you still won’t find anything interesting in there! Put the phone away and watch things happen with your eyes, not a screen.

Take Photos:

Taking lots of pictures of the scenery is nice, but taking photos of the kids and your family all together and having fun is so much nicer! Prepare yourself with a list of 50mm DSLR lenses so that you know the best ones to bring with you when you go, and don’t pose too much. Get the candid pictures when they’re not expecting it, and you capture those raw moments of your children discovering life – it’s exciting, and you’ll be able to hold onto those forever.

Go With The Flow:

No matter what goes wrong, relax. Take it in, absorb it, and make the best of the situation at hand. You cannot predict freak weather or a delay in your flight. What you can do, though, is make the best of it. Play silly games with the kids. Run around and get some energy moving. Keep everyone calm and happy with snacks and crayons. Just go with it; you’re still going to have those, “remember when…” moments, maybe just not the ones you originally anticipated!

Rewind Time:

When was the last time you ran screaming toward the waves on vacation? Or built sandcastles? It’s time to put down the book and go and have some immersive, imaginative fun with the children. They’re going to love every second of you being messy with them, so go and be messy! Those are the memories that you can never get back.

Making memories on vacation is the way that you set up your future. Looking back is never sweeter than when you have a photo album full of your family in the best light possible. Take a moment, breathe it in, and enjoy!

Featured Image By: Pexels