Tag Archives: anything and everything

One Year Duolingo Streak!

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One Year Duolingo Streak!

Hi! This has been a year of very exciting milestones for yours truly. I recently achieved a 1,000 day streak of writing in a row on lifewithlilred and, today, I have reached one full year of daily practice on Duolingo! Every day, I have been working on my French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, and German and I am amazed at the progress that I have made in all of them. If you can’t tell, I am a woman who thrives with a routine and it is so exciting to see my hard work continue to pay off.

Because I have six years of experience of being taught French in high school and college, it will always be my best language in terms of speaking, reading, and comprehension. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure how speaking my other four languages would go because I haven’t had the opportunity to interact with anyone who speaks them – especially in COVID times because Johnny and I haven’t been able to travel for our honeymoon like we wanted.

That’s not to say that I haven’t noticed big improvements, though. I am always tickled when Johnny and I are watching a TV show or movie and one of my five languages is being spoken. More often than not, I can get the basic gist of what is being said and it makes me feel very proud of myself. Now, the next challenge will be figuring out which language to start learning next!

For the longest time, I have answered the “What would your super power be?” question with being fluent in every language. It has been a time consuming task to achieve this without being bitten by a radioactive spider but learning on Duolingo every day brings me one step closer to that dream. 🙂

Which language should I learn next? Which languages can you speak? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Creative Ways To Make Lasting Memories With Your Partner

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4 Creative Ways To Make Lasting Memories With Your Partner

Sustaining your relationship with your partner requires hard work, commitment, and creativity. Making memories with each other can be beneficial in many ways, including positively affecting your well-being. If you’re wondering what ways you can make unforgettable memories with your special one, here are some simple tips worth considering:

Be creative with your gifts:

Gifts are an exciting way to remind your partner that you love them and are worth remembering. It’s even more special when you give them something without waiting for a special occasion. Getting the right gift can be challenging at times, but considering their interests and being attentive to their needs can make it easier for you to choose the perfect gift. If you want to playfully communicate to your partner how much they mean to you, why not try a love book? Not only will it be a memorable present, but it also allows you to record some of your best-loved memories with your partner and remind them why they mean so much to you.

Plan a getaway:

Sometimes, you and your partner need to get away from the hustle and bustle of life to spend quality time with each other. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy or faraway. You can go somewhere you both love and unplug from everything else like your phones, busy schedule, etc. Doing this could work wonders for your bond with each other and help you to have some moments worth cherishing. You can do this for a short period like a long weekend. Alternatively, you can get away for as long as you both would like so that you can return refreshed with a renewed spark.

Take advantage of your skills:

Another great way to make memories with your partner is by using your skills. For instance, if you love to cook, you can prepare a hearty meal for breakfast or a new dinner recipe and have a meal together while you relax on a picnic blanket or in the candlelight. You can also make handmade gifts that your partner will always appreciate and remember if you’re an artistic person. Aside from your skills, you both can spend time enjoying your favorite hobbies, such as reading together, singing your favorite songs during karaoke night, etc.

Have clear boundaries between work and home:

Another way to let your partner know that they’re a priority in your life is by separating your work from your time with them. No matter how busy you may be, it would help to put everything away when you get home. Doing this will make your partner feel valued, and you can spend time, no matter how short, doing things that you both enjoy. It also allows you to listen to your partner, share how your day went, and enjoy each other’s company just hanging out at home.

Making time for each other is essential in helping you both spend memorable moments together. These practical and thoughtful ideas will help you and your partner create some exciting memories and remind each other why you fell in love in the first place.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

The End Of An Era

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The End Of An Era

Hi! For those of you who don’t know, I have been using the same slide up keyboard phone for the past several years and have never owned a smartphone. For taking pictures and using the internet when WiFi is available, I relied on my iPod Touch and never really had a problem with this set up until recently.

When I first moved into my apartment, I could make phone calls and send text messages from anywhere inside. Fast forward to the spring of this year, and slowly but surely I began having lots of trouble doing any basic functions on my phone. It went from not being able to talk on the phone upstairs and mild difficulty sending texts to not being able to make or receive phone calls at all when I was at home.

As you can imagine, this was wildly inconvenient and I had to resort to using my husband’s phone if I had to make a call for work. However, I still held on to my old school phone because, at the end of the day, I freaking loved it. Until last week, that is.

I don’t know what clicked in my head but I finally said “enough is enough” and purchased an iPhone 12. Talk about an upgrade! I have to say that it is so nice to text and talk on the phone freely when I am at home but that wasn’t the main reason for my switcheroo. I’ll be the first to admit that the pictures on my blog weren’t the best and I was sold on getting a new phone for the better camera.

This is my first experience with an iPhone and I am definitely still getting used to it. I miss my little keyboard more than words can say as I don’t like typing on a touch screen. But, the pictures that this phone takes are great and I do love being able to send Bitmojis to Johnny constantly!

^^^ How cute is that?!

My iPhone skyrocketed me into the twenty-first century and it isn’t all that bad. I am excited to be able to take lots of OOTD pictures and selfies on it rather than having to use Johnny’s phone constantly. And, maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll be more comfortable using it by next year lol! 😀

What is your favorite thing about the iPhone? What is an old school piece of technology that you have? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Getting Back To Work With An Injured Finger   

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Getting Back To Work With An Injured Finger   

No matter what kind of injury, you need to make sure that you don’t exacerbate it when you return to work. For a lot of people, a finger injury might not seem like a big deal. However, if you spend a lot of your time working, it can really get in the way. As such, here are a few tips to help you get back to tapping away without worrying about exacerbating the injury any further:

Take on a little less work:

It might not sound like the solution that you want, but you may simply have to get used to the fact that you’re not going to be able to type as much as you could. Most finger jams and sprains don’t take more than a few days to heal but, in the meantime, you shouldn’t think that you can keep up with your pace just by relying on your other fingers. This is going to strain other parts of the hand much more than they’re used to, which can then lead to repetitive strain injury in the hand or wrist, which can see you taking even longer to get better.

Make sure that it’s resting:

If you’re typing at the keyboard, you need to make sure that you’re not using the injured finger to do so. You need to keep that finger in a state of rest as much as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that it’s dressed to avoid using the fingers any further down your hand (so, don’t use your pinky if you have injured your ring finger, for instance.) Learn how to wrap a jammed finger so that you can keep it compressed and prevent it from wiggling too much while you’re typing, as well. It might take a while to get used to typing without all your digits on your side, but it is worth it.

Managing the pain:

Even if you’re able to avoid using the affected finger while you’re working, you’re still going to be moving the digits around it, which can affect the tendons controlling that finger. Micro-movements can still cause the pain to get a little worse. For that reason, you might want to look at some of the natural ways of easing pain that you can rely on during the day to make sure that you’re alleviating some of the stress that you might be causing. If the feeling starts to tick a little higher on the pain chart, it’s important to stop and rest for a while. Don’t work through the pain, that can only make it take longer to recover fully.

You might be going a little slower than usual for a while, but it’s important to make sure that you give your finger the time it needs to heal. If you have to talk with your employers or clients about maintaining expectations until you’re back at full strength, then you simply have to do it.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Sticker Surprise

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Sticker Surprise

Hi! This past Friday at work, I was having some coffee and thought that I had spilled some on my hoodie. Yes, it’s finally hoodie weather in Ohio and I am LOVING it!! When I looked down, I noticed what I thought was coffee but, to my surprise, it ended up being a sticker that my lil niece had stuck on there back in the springtime:

I couldn’t believe that this tiny butterfly (Her favorite!) sticker had stayed on for that long because it was barely hanging on by the time I noticed it. The sticker withstood me putting it on and running out into the cold and windy morning to my car. I am so glad that it did because this Sticker Surprise was just what I needed after a super long week at work.

I have been insanely busy on the ol’ blog and I had been getting up at 5:45 every morning last week to get things done before going to my other job. By the time Friday rolled around, I was completely exhausted! Looking down and seeing a sticker from my niece on my hoodie turned a normal day into something special. Despite being drop dead tired and all, I had a great day because I had the best pick me up in the morning.

Feeling down or worn out? Always look for your own personal butterflies to help turn things around! It’s the little things, right? ❤

What makes you smile? When do you normally get up for work? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Eco Friendly Options To Consider

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Eco Friendly Options To Consider

Being eco friendly is one of the best ways to show that you care about the planet and those who inhabit it. While we hear the words “eco friendly” often, it can be hard to know where to get started. The best way to begin a more eco friendly lifestyle is by making small, immediate changes to your day to day life. Nothing is too small as long as you are committed to sticking with them! Let’s look at a few ways to incorporate some eco friendliness into your life:

Your Commute To Work:

Driving to work might be the only option for some people due to a range of different reasons like the distance, lack of a metro system, or poor weather. However, if you can bike, walk, ride share, or take the bus even one day out of the week, it can make a big difference! Alternate modes of transportation also help save you money. What’s not to like?!

Give An Item A New Purpose:

Reusing items in a different way is always an eco friendly option. For example, did you know that some companies will remove old appliances for you, repair them, and sell it at a discounted rate so people can buy used appliances for sale? Not only is this environmentally friendly as it will prevent the appliance from ending up in a landfill but it provides safe and cheaper options for people who might not be able to afford a brand new model.

Secondhand Shopping:

When moving into my apartment, I furnished it almost entirely with thrifted or handed down items. When it comes to clothing, furniture, or little odds and ends that you didn’t know you needed, you can’t go wrong with secondhand shopping. There is nothing better than finding a treasure that no one else will have and it will provide you with a space and style that is totally unique for you.

Donate What You Can:

When doing a home haul away, there are plenty of different routes that you can take instead of just throwing things away. Clothing can be donated to homeless or battered women’s shelters. Old bath or beach towels can make an animal in a shelter much more comfortable. Furniture can be given to a family in need or could be sold on virtual marketplaces. You could even have a yard sale! Repurposing items is always the way to go and can make a big difference for the people who will receive it.

Living an eco friendly life helps this great big wide world and is an amazing way to assist people who might not be as fortunate as you. ❤

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Hi! Guess what?! We are officially THREE DAYS AWAY from my 1,000 post streak and I am so beyond excited! Make sure you keep it posted for a giveaway to celebrate this monumental accomplishment. 🙂 We all know that Lil Red loves to write, but what about my other favorite things? Read on to find out more:

Favorite Drink?

Every day I try to drink a lot of water and bring my travel mug from the Department Of Developmental Disabilities with me everywhere to stay hydrated. This makes me feel less bad about drinking two cans of Diet Coke every morning for a caffeine jolt before work lol! Diet Coke is, hands down, my favorite drink and I could drink it all day. When it comes to adult beverages, I love champagne and my life changed for the better when I learned that you don’t need a special occasion to drink it. 😀

Favorite Non-Writing Hobby:

I have always loved to read and I try to finish at least two books per month. Getting lost in a good book is one of my favorite forms of self care and it’s even better if it is raining outside! I also really enjoy learning different languages and am on a three hundred twenty-five day streak on Duolingo. French is my best language, by far, but it is such fun to try and improve my Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech too!

Favorite Season?

Fall, of course! Every year I look forward to fall time… Mainly for the fashion! I love layering, boots, and breaking out all of my favorite jackets. Fall time activities like apple picking, hiking, and corn mazes are also a blast and I live for haunted houses. I haven’t been in two years due to the pandemic and, sadly, probably won’t get to go this year due to the rises in COVID cases. But I cannot wait to get reacquainted with my favorite haunts when it’s safer.

My first job was actually as an actor at the Carnival Of Horrors and, even though I know a ton of haunted house tricks, I am still terrified at every one I visit!

Favorite Thing About Myself?

Well, I like to think that I’m frickin hilarious. But, my favorite thing about myself is probably my determination. Once I have a goal in mind, I try to stick with it and I wouldn’t be reaching a 1,000 post writing streak without that. Nothing pleases me more than crossing things off of my mental daily “to do” list and that’s what keeps me motivated to continue writing, practicing my languages, and working out every day.

Favorite Sport:

Ice skating! I skated competitively for about ten years and stopped when I was sixteen or so. Prior to the pandemic, I got back into it and lived for my weekly skate sessions. I actually just had my first lesson since the winter of 2020 a few weekends ago and it was amazing… Even though my legs felt like Jello all day afterwards!

When it comes to my favorite sport that I like to watch other than skating, I would definitely say gymnastics. My mind is blown every time I see it so, trust and believe that my brain was exploding during these past Olympic Games.

Favorite Memory:

My wedding!! Getting married this June was so amazing and I love being a wifey. Any time spent with my Johnny is my favorite. I also loved becoming an aunt when my niece was born, graduating from Cuyahoga Community College, and vacationing in Orlando, Florida with my family.

Favorite Game:

My husband and I are avid gamers and I love our weekend game nights together. Word games are my favorite so my preferred game is Scrabble, for sure. Johnny and I also love the game Horrified where you have to save a village from classic movie monsters. In terms of video games, I am still addicted to Animal Crossing and Pokemon Snap – I actually just played both last night! 😀

And, of course, another one of my favorite things is creating content every day for my dear friends and readers. I love you all so much! ❤

What are some of your favorite things? What are your goals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Delivering A Sincere Message To Someone In Your Life   

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Delivering A Sincere Message To Someone In Your Life   

From time to time, we need to talk from the heart. This is because life can be tough, emotional, and the standard pleasantries won’t cut it. For whatever reason, sometimes we may not be so forthcoming with the people we really trust or we might feel that accepting and discussing a truth we have to be out of the question due to our own insecurity.

Perhaps we might have wronged another person without realizing it, only to mature and realize the issue with what took place. Every now and then, we should take stock and see how important certain people are in our lives, avoiding the tendency to take them for granted. Maybe you feel that taking the next step in a relationship is the best way forward, and you want to communicate that as carefully as possible.

Or, most likely, you have your own reasons that we need not guess at, because that’s your private inner purpose that you wish to express in a confidential sense. How do you deliver a message like this with care? In this post, we’ll discuss that and more:

Write A Letter By Hand:

There’s something intimate about writing every word yourself, which is an art that many of us have lost over the last twenty years. Digital communication is immediate and oh so convenient, but we also lose something in that exchange. When someone sees that you’ve written a letter in your handwriting, they know it was important to you and that you took your time to properly format and think of exactly what you were hoping to communicate. Automatically, you add gravitas and sincerity without even considering the context of your message.

Small, Direct, Careful Gifts:

A gift that has been thought about but isn’t too assumptive in its messaging can be very helpful, giving your message that added impact while also showcasing just how much thought you put into it. For instance, Today Flowers provides you access to amazing creations gathered by award-winning florists. A beautiful bouquet of selected flowers can show the amount of thought you’ve put in, while also allowing your recipient to enjoy the beauty and fairly digestible implication. It’s hard not to receive flowers and to feel anything other than goodwill.

Give A Little:

The way that people often connect with one another, especially if relationships might have been strained in the past, is to give a little. Admit fault if you feel you’ve been faulty. Be humble. Don’t try to win or seem like you’re trying to achieve victory over someone else. That’s no way to connect to them. If you give a little, someone else is likely to give a little. There are so many relationships out there right now that are fractured and could be soothed if only one person decided to approach the other with care. It might be that you could be this person.

With this advice, we know you’ll deliver that sincere message with care and clarity.

Featured Image By: Pexels

How To Avoid Blogging Burn Out

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How To Avoid Blogging Burn Out

Hi! In thirteen short days, I will complete my 1,000 day writing streak on lifewithlilred and I am SO beyond excited! One of the questions that I often get asked, especially as my blog has been going strong for almost seven years now, is how I avoid burn out when it comes to writing. So, today, I thought that I would go over my tips and tricks that help to keep myself fresh and inspired so I can sit down and write every day. Let’s get to it:

It’s All Good:

Are my blog posts always the most insightful? No. Are my pictures on my page the best? Thanks to my old school phone, still no. But do I let those factors stress me out? Definitely not! I write purely for the joy of writing, which is why all of the extra things are not even on my radar. Of course, it’s important for your blog to look nice and presentable but the bells and whistles can get you distracted from the main goal of content creating if you stress about them. Take a breath, relax, and let the words on your posts do the talking.

Keep Your Motivation Up:

I write every day strictly because I want to and that’s what keeps me waking up extra early to blog before work. I want to check in with my readers and friends and I want them all to have daily content to look forward to. This gives me tremendous drive and I wouldn’t be nearing a 1,000 day writing streak without it.

Setting goals for yourself or simply crossing “blogging” off of your to do list every day could be motivating enough. But, if it isn’t that’s okay too! Writing should be a fun activity and not something that you feel like you have to do. If you are feeling burnt out or that you are running out of content, it is always a good idea to take a few days off and then try again. Have a breather, find content inspo, and blog later with a clearer head. There is never any shame in that. ❤

Newsflash:

One of the main pressures that writers put on themselves is having absolutely groundbreaking content and I am here to tell you that you don’t need it! While ultra profound posts are great, that isn’t why your readers keep coming back to you. They visit your page again and again because they like you and feel a connection through your writing. This is extremely comforting to me and, therefore, it makes me feel comfortable with posts where I just have something silly or random to say. Remember, writing becomes more of a chore than a joy when you are too hard on yourself.

It’s The Little Things:

I struggle with writer’s block just as much as anyone and a surefire cure for it is to think outside of the box. You don’t need a major event or a bunch of vacation pics to have a good post. Rather, always keep your eyes open for the little things that happen throughout your day because the content is there if you pay attention. When your blog is a healthy mix of this, that, and the other, it keeps your readers excited to tune in every day because they can’t guess what will be posted on your page next.

For me, blogging on lifewithlilred is all about keeping it footloose and fancy free. This helps eliminate the pressure, keeps my motivation high, and makes me love writing even more every day! ❤

What are some of your tips and tricks when it comes to blogging? What motivates you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Your Blog The Best It Can Be

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Making Your Blog The Best It Can Be

Hi! My 1,000th day of writing on lifewithlilred is fast approaching so there is no better time than the present to talk about some more of my favorite blogging tips and tricks that have helped get me to this point. Obviously, I love to write or this crazy long streak wouldn’t be possible. If you are not passionate, then it is going to be difficult to sit down at the computer every day to create a blog post.

Just as importantly, I love the blogging community and my amazing friends and readers and this encourages me to keep coming up with daily content for them. Today, we are going to discuss some of my favorite ways to help strengthen your blogosphere to make your blog the best it can be. Let’s get to it:

Communication Is Key:

This may seem like an obvious one but you would be amazed by how many people leave comments or emails unanswered and this is a huge no no! The foundation of your blogosphere will be very flimsy, indeed, if you ignore these communications because it is what keeps readers coming back.

Once you start a dialogue with your commenters, the real blogging fun begins because it is a great way to make new friends! In fact, one of my best friends is from the blogging world and it all started with commenting back and forth on each other’s pages. ❤

Don’t Be Vague:

I have always considered my blog to be my online journal, which is why a lot of my posts feel so personal as it is coming straight from me and my experiences. Of course, you should only post what you are comfortable with. As far as what you are writing about, don’t spare any details! While some vague posts are okay, like if you are announcing something exciting in the future, a lot of grey area doesn’t give your readers much to go off of so your page could become boring fairly quickly.

Remember, your readers want to relate to you. This is why they continue to visit your page! Encourage this by writing as the “real you” with genuine posts. Not only will it enhance your stats but it will improve your writing skills too!

Share The Love:

While it feels nice to have people liking, commenting, and following your blog, it is so important to give the love right back. Interact with the members of the blogosphere on their own page to show that you are just as interested in what they have to say as they are about you. Don’t forget to link to their blogs when appropriate on your posts too as a friendly tip of the cap.

Reading other blogs can help inspire you and you might just form unique collaborations from it. Trust me, it’s really fun to do collab posts with other writers and it helps set the groundwork for lasting friendships.

You could have the best written posts on planet Earth on your page but it means nothing if you don’t have the support from our wonderful blogosphere. This is what will help make your blog the best that it can possibly be. 🙂

Do you have a favorite blogger? Have you formed any close friendships in the blogging world? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah