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

Happy Haulidays: Sister & Family Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Sister & Family Edition

Hello! To celebrate Christmas part two, my entire family went to Oglebay in Wheeling, West Virginia all together. It was such a wonderful long weekend filled with good company, good food, and all of the holiday cheer. To kick start our festivities, we began with a gift exchange for all of the presents that hadn’t been opened yet. My sister, her boyfriend, and my sweet niece gifted me with the following:

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I was so happy to give everyone their presents and receiving some for me was the cherry on top. I am very excited to test out my new makeup from Nars and Anastasia Beverly Hills because I have never used anything by either brand before. Be sure to keep it posted on lifewithlilred for some swatch posts soon!

Not only did I get some new makeup but I also was gifted with some pretty copper mugs to make Moscow Mules with – my favorite. As always, the Chipotle gift card will serve me well because that is also one of my favorites. It isn’t quite Taco Bell but it still holds a special place in my heart. ❤

The crowning jewel of my gifts from my sis and her family is definitely the handmade mustard yellow beanie from Discounted Dreams. It is a small business run by one of our friends who is pretty incredible with some needles and yarn. I have already worn my gift several times and it is nice and warm – not to mention one of my favorite colors too!

My long weekend with my whole family was the best gift in the entire world but I sure love my presents from my big sis. Keep tuning into lifewithlilred for more about Oglebay, a brand new OOTD, makeup swatches, and haulidays!

How did your family celebrate the holiday season? Have you ever been to Oglebay before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Walmart Gift Card Haul

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Walmart Gift Card Haul

Hello! Johnny’s mom and dad were kind enough to gift me with a Walmart gift card for Christmas. And, let me tell you, I have never felt more like an adult than during my online shopping haul to use it. I spent my gift card on apartment essentials and while it wasn’t the most fun thing in the world, all of these things will be handy to have around:

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For home essentials, you can’t go wrong with any of these purchases. Johnny and I are always in need of Drano, trash bags, electric toothbrush heads, and filters for our Brita pitcher. I rarely do shopping at Walmart so I figured that buying these must haves was the way to go to make the most of my gift card. It will also mean less stuff to buy when I do my next curbside pickup at Giant Eagle. Not only did I get all of the above, but I also got some fluorescent lights that have been burnt out in my kitchen for literal months. Whoops!

Was this the most exciting haul in the world? Not necessarily. But, will it be much needed around the apartment? Totally. It was nice to be able to make such good use of the gift from Johnny’s parents. Thanks again! ❤

What are some of your home essentials? What makes you feel like an adult? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

6 Features You Need In A Modern Apartment   

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6 Features You Need In A Modern Apartment   

If you’re looking for a new modern apartment, there are some features that you shouldn’t skimp out on to make your place the ultimate place to be. Modern means comfort as well as aesthetic so look out for the following during your apartment hunt:

Built-In Closets:

When you live in an apartment, built-in closets are important. Not only are they space-saving, but they also help to declutter your home. What’s more, you don’t have to go to the expense of buying your own shelving and chests of drawers – it’s all done for you. The best built-in closets have sliding doors for extra space-saving and mirrored surfaces for extra primping.

Ice Maker Refrigerator:

Most apartments come with kitchen appliances as standard. However, the vast majority of them do not have ice makers. While having an ice maker might not sound like an essential feature, you’d be surprised how often you need it. Whenever you entertain or make yourself a cold drink in the summer months, it comes in handy. Don’t overlook it.

A Balcony:

Most apartments near me, especially the new ones, have balconies. These days, they’re almost standard. The reason for this is simple: people want outdoor spaces where they can lounge in the summer and enjoy themselves. They don’t want to feel claustrophobic while looking at the fine weather through the window passing them by.

In some situations, you may also be able to make do with a Juliet balcony. Just make sure that it is safe, particularly if you have kids.

A Walk-In Shower:

When it comes to shower facilities, modern apartments can be quite appealing. That’s because many of them are now offering buyers walk-in showers. These get rid of the shower cubicles of old and replace them with a more natural, functional design. They’re particularly helpful for anyone living with a disability.

The way they work is pretty simple too. Instead of using a cubicle to create a drain for the water, walk-in showers use the entire floor of the room. The whole thing is graded downwards towards a central drain that scoots all of the wastewater off into the plumbing. Most come with non-slip flooring too, helping you to keep your balance.

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^^^ Unsplash Image

Programmable Lighting:

If you’re buying a modern apartment, it will almost certainly come with programmable lighting. This feature allows you to change the color and intensity of the light with the press of a button. Programmable lighting can also be a lot of fun. You can create sequences that dance through different types of light or react to the music you’re playing.

Hard Floors:

While carpeted apartments can be nice, you’re often better off with hard floors. They’re easier to clean and far less prone to damage which could affect your deposit. Of course, if you want it to feel soft under foot, you can always put down rugs. Just remember to attach sticky tacks to the back so that they don’t slip and slide across the floor.

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^^^ Unsplash Image

A modern apartment should include all of the extra touches that make your living experience more enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the place perfect for you!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

Hello! This past Wednesday, my best friend of fourteen years, Lea, and I had our holiday gift exchange. It may have been a bit late but it still felt like Christmas magic to me. As soon as she walked in the door, we immediately began opening presents and spent the evening girl talking away. I am so in love with what my best girl gifted me with and my new flower pressed coasters she got me from Etsy already have a very special place on my coffee table:

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Lea and I both know the value of receiving bath and body care during gift exchanges so I was very excited for some eos brand goodies to add to my beauty hoard. I have only ever used their lip balms before, which are fabulous, so I can’t wait to test out the lotion and hand cream. Eos is a brand that I have always been interested in, but would never buy for myself so it was a perfect present.

Of course, the piece de resistance were the handmade coasters that she purchased off of Etsy. We both share an affinity for shopping on Etsy and my gifts from her were actually ordered on there too. I have never owned coasters before so it definitely felt like moving up in the adult world. And, what an amazing place to start because they are beautiful! 😀

For over fourteen years, Lea and I have participated in gift exchanges and it will never get old. It is so special to share holidays and birthdays with her and, oh yeah, half of our lives too. She is the best friend a gal could ask for and I love her so much! ❤

How do you celebrate holidays with your bestie? Do you have a favorite Etsy shop? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: An Unwanted Guest By Shari Lapena Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: An Unwanted Guest By Shari Lapena Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a suspense novel by Shari Lapena called An Unwanted Guest – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on An Unwanted Guest for general violence. I devoured this book in less than a week and really enjoyed it so let’s get to it:

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Mitchell’s Inn is a quaint mountain lodge that boasts beautiful scenery, lush furnishings, and the piece de resistance of no WiFi. It is the place to be for a romantic getaway or to unwind with friends for a long weekend. With attentive staff, gourmet meals, and an abundance of activities the guests arriving don’t think that anything could possibly go wrong. But, we all know in a thriller that that is never the case!

An Unwanted Guest features a wide array of players all at Mitchell’s for the weekend. However, thanks to a massive snow storm, the inn is fairly empty and devoid of staff other than the owner and his son who live on site. We have Lauren and Ian, Dana and Matthew, best friends Gwen and Riley, Beverly and Henry, Candice, and David. Despite the snow, all of the guests are trying to make the most of their visit. But, things take a dark turn both literally and metaphorically when the power goes out, plunging them into bitter cold and darkness.

The guests wake the following morning disappointed that the power is still out but their troubles are just beginning as Dana’s body is discovered at the foot of the stairs with a nasty head wound. The suspicions point to her fiance, Matthew, as the culprit but the murderer could be any one of them. And, as more bodies are discovered throughout the weekend, it turns into the ultimate whodoneit. 

Tensions are high and dark secrets come to light as each guest tries to plead their case of not guilty. But is it one of them or is someone lurking about Mitchell’s Inn who most definitely isn’t on the guest list? Who is the murderer and who will be left standing? Read An Unwanted Guest to find out!

Upon starting this book, I wasn’t so sure about it. But I am genuinely unsure why because I was hooked about thirty pages in. An Unwanted Guest is a fast paced murder mystery and goes back and forth between each guest every page or so. What would be a somewhat tired plot felt brand new with the addition of the power outage. It added such a spooky vibe to this read because the killer could be right behind any of the guests at any time and they would be none the wiser.

I was very impressed with An Unwanted Guest because, given the amount of people that were narrating, there was bound to be a dud in there somewhere. However, all of the characters added their own unique touches and stories to the mix and I was excited to read each of their takes on the events. The grand reveal was also nothing to sneeze at, either. Although I did figure it out prior to, my jaw still dropped as to the reason why and I think yours will too.

I am going to award An Unwanted Guest with a nine out of ten stars. This is a book that I highly recommend and I plan on reading more from Shari Lapena in the future. If you are a fan of a good old fashioned whodoneit, then this is the book for you.

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

 

Five Ways To Progress In Your Career 

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Five Ways To Progress In Your Career 

It’s critical to continuously be looking for methods to grow professionally in order to be competitive in today’s employment market and achieve your career goals. Those that invest in their personal and professional growth generally reap the rewards of additional chances for advancement, higher wages, and greater overall job satisfaction.

Here are a few actions that can lead to new experiences and career development:

  • Taking the lead during a sales pitch
  • Pursuing a position in order to obtain information, skills, or experience
  • Using your organization’s time or resources to assist a charity
  • Attending professional training classes to gain new skill sets and qualifications
  • Managing a huge project, which requires more employees or a larger budget

Here are some steps to help you advance in your career:

Establish Clear Expectations For Yourself:

You may build practical steps to assist you to reach your goals by setting detailed, quantifiable targets. Being able to track your progress can also help you stay motivated in the long run. The following are some examples of professional development objectives:

  • Getting a college diploma
  • Obtaining accreditation in the industry
  • Become a member of a professional organization
  • Furthering your education, for example, continuing education for nurses
  • Getting acquainted with new technology
  • Increasing responsibility and tasks

Make A Step-By-Step Plan To Achieve Your Goal:

Break down your goal into a step-by-step action plan once you’ve set it. A career plan can help you achieve your objective by guiding you through a series of planned steps. Be sure to set a plausible time frame for each step to help keep yourself on track.

Be On The Lookout For Fresh Opportunities:

While education is essential for professional development, experience and chances can be equally transforming. Look for opportunities to attend conferences and classes, but also keep an eye out for projects that will stretch you and help you improve your skills. You will discover more about your potential by taking on additional duties.

Talk To A Supervisor About Your Career Objectives:

It’s critical to communicate your career goals to your boss. After all, it’s part of their duty to help you grow into a useful asset within the firm. They will begin to trust you with more duties if they see that you are eager to take on new challenges. Your supervisors can also help you find out about various training opportunities. Ask a coworker in your business if they know of any opportunities to increase your abilities or expertise if you don’t have supervision or work independently.

Keep A Record Of Your Accomplishments:

Though it’s exhilarating to progress, there may be moments when you are frustrated or doubtful. That’s why it’s crucial to keep track of your achievements and evaluate your development regularly. This also ensures that you stick to your goal and helps you to adjust your efforts if development becomes sluggish.

Remember that good things in your career take time and hard work. Use the tips above to help you continue to progress!

Featured Image By: Christin Hume on Unsplash

Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush’s Golden Wonder Pt. 2 Edition

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Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush’s Golden Wonder Pt. 2 Edition

Howdy! When it comes to my self care, it is all about pampering myself. Whether it’s a face mask, bubble bath, or getting my hair or nails done, I always feel like a million bucks afterwards. This past Tuesday, I was very eager to return home from work because I had big plans for a hot bath featuring one of the Lush bath bombs that I was gifted with this Christmas.

I used a bath bomb called Golden Wonder, which is actually one that we have discussed before. However, this time around there are much better pictures involved thanks to my newish phone! Let’s get to it:

During my last review of the Golden Wonder bath bomb, I awarded it with eight out of ten stars. But, upon using it again, I am not so sure why because it was definitely not as good as I remember it being. When first using this bath bomb, I was surprised to see a ton of different colors emerge from the gift box like orange, yellow, dark blue, and pink. This time, only a small amount of hot pink came out with no other colors in sight.

This was a bit of a disappointment because bath bombs from Lush always put on the best shows that last several minutes. The Golden Wonder bath bomb missed the mark on this too and fizzed out pretty quickly, leaving the water a murky teal that did not look the most inviting against my ultra 70s mustard yellow bathtub.

Not only do I look forward to the display that a Lush bath bomb puts on but I am also excited for the way the water feels. I don’t know how to describe it other than the bath water feels velvety, leaving my skin feeling so moisturized and nourished. The extra dose of hydration wasn’t there, either, making this bath bomb experience a total dud. Ba dum chhhhh!

After using the Golden Wonder bath bomb again, I am going to give it a five out of ten stars. It was still nice to use, of course, but it just didn’t hold up to my original memory in the slightest. This is one that you can skip on during your next Lush haul.

What is your favorite bath bomb from Lush? Where is your favorite place to shop for bath and body care? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Best Husband Ever!

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Best Husband Ever!

Hi! It wouldn’t be an OOTD shoot for me and Johnny without me insisting that I take some pictures of him as well as a few (or a lot) of selfies with me. As always, Johnny is a great sport despite forever making silly faces when we take pictures together! He is truly the best husband/blog husband ever and I am so thankful to him for everything he does for the old ball and chain (AKA me lol).

Here are some of my favorite shots of him during my Houndstooth, Honey shoot:

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From our date days to video game nights or just sitting around watching our programs, any time spent with Johnny is the best. And, it has been that way since our first date. I love getting dressed up with him to go out and about and am always impressed with his own panache for fashion. Whether we’re running errands or spending time with our families, we both consider it an occasion worth getting dolled up for and I freaking love it.

I am so excited to see what 2022 has in store for us and even if it sucks just as much as last year, at least we are together for it! We can’t wait to celebrate our first year of being married and three years of being together as well as planning weekend trips for a change of scenery. In fact, we have a little trip coming up soon so keep it posted to read all about it and, of course, see some OOTD pics!

How would you describe your personal style? What is something that you admire about your partner or best friend? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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