Category Archives: Travel

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

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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

Hitting The Open Road

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Hitting The Open Road

There is something about road trips that gets people all excited. Perhaps it’s so alluring because anything can happen while you are on the road (new experiences) or you get to become a stranger in every new destination. No one knows you and something about that is freeing. However, as much as it can be unpredictable, you still need to plan before you hit the road if you want to have a perfect vacation:

Your destination and route:

The best way to pick a destination is to work out the time it will take you to get there. Ideally, road trips should not take longer than a day. Choose a destination that is only a couple of hours away so that you can make as many stops as possible to take in the views and tour new places. Once you have decided on a destination, pick the most scenic routes to that location. People can get bored easily on a road trip if all they see is flat grass and predictable scenery along the way.

Tune up your car:

Get your car checked thoroughly by a qualified mechanic. For example, get the oil changed, refill your windshield wiper fluid, and make sure that all of the lights are working correctly. You need cars that can carry all of you and your luggage without you feeling cramped inside. If your road trip will be long, then you will need to consider the mileage of your vehicle. Sports cars, convertibles, and SUVs are great for road trips. If you are bringing along more than two friends, then definitely go for an SUV.

Your expectations:

Your friends have different expectations and it’s up to you to bring up a discussion about those expectations. The point here, is for all of you to agree on what you should do on the road trip. For example, you need to decide where you will stop along the road and whether you will stay in hostels, hotels, or Airbnbs. If you decide to stay in a hotel, make reservations ahead of time. You don’t want an argument to break out somewhere in the middle of the trip about where to stop to eat or sleep.

The scenery and the new people you meet along the way are not going to be enough entertainment. So bring along your headphones, books, magazines, puzzles, DVD players, and more to keep everyone entertained and remember to have fun!

Preparing For A Long Trip

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Preparing For A Long Trip

It can be a fun and exciting prospect to embark on a long term adventure. But, it can also be a stressful and anxious time in terms of getting yourself prepared before setting off.  The great thing about long term travel, is that it brings so much variety into life, and as they say, variety is the spice of life… but with such variety comes uncertainty, and whilst this level of uncertainty can be part of the fun, it can also be anxiety inducing, which is why it’s important to ensure that you are well prepared before embarking on a long trip. This article looks at a few aspects to take care of prior to departure:

Your Home Life:

Chances are that you’ll be leaving a loving family, comfortable home, and reliable job behind. In terms of your family, it would be nice for them to have some quality time with you in the weeks before your trip. They will appreciate the fact that you’re making an effort to spend time with them rather than just abscond abroad.

With regard to your home, it’s important to leave things in a stable condition, for instance, if you know there might be an issue with pests it would be good to call pest control before you leave to take care of the issue rather than leave it to get out of control. Also, make sure that a family member, friend, or neighbor has a set of keys in order to check up on the house from time to time.

That said, if you have an animal, you might want to consider a house sitting situation where your home and pet are looked after while you are away.

Income:

If you’re traveling long-term, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to top up your income whilst away. Having something in place before leaving can reduce the stress associated with long term travel finances; for instance, you could try to keep your job but work remotely or set yourself up as a freelancer, that means you can work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Travel Insurance:

Finally, the other crucial aspect to reduce the anxiety associated with preparing for a long trip is to see that you have adequate travel insurance coverage in place. This can be expensive for long-term trips, particularly if you plan to undertake adventure activities such as mountain climbing, white water rafting, and bungee jumping. But, without it, you could not only find yourself at financial risk, but that your entire life is at risk, too.

Insurance is a prophylactic measure that you can hopefully live without, but if you should get sick or be injured, it’s worth its weight in gold. The option of having to pay for your own treatment is not always financially viable, meaning you will be stuck in a “local hospital” without the ability to get home and receive the care you require.

Long term travel is an exciting adventure, but it can also be anxiety inducing if you leave with loose ends. This is why it’s important to provide as much stability and peace of mind for yourself as possible before you leave.

Featured Image By: Pexels