Tag Archives: autumn

5 Tips For Creating The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern

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5 Tips For Creating The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern

Before we visit a pumpkin patch or farm, we might want to brush up on our pumpkin decorating skills. A well decorated front yard for Halloween is a joy for children and adults alike so why not go all out? If you are looking for an activity that extends beyond choosing a pumpkin and decorating it, which will happen too, then click here. Let’s get started:

Select the Right Pumpkin:

A thorough inspection of the pumpkin should include checking for soft spots. This is to make sure that you do not end up choosing a pumpkin that has already begun to spoil. Also avoid pumpkins with deep ridges and go for a smooth-surfaced one. At pumpkin farms, there will be plenty of choices as opposed to you trying to pick the best among limited options within a grocery store, when customers have already bought the best ones.

The design that you have in mind should also dictate the pumpkin that you choose. In other words, do you need a short and round pumpkin or one that is skinnier and taller in terms of its shape? Know in advance what you are looking for.

Prepare Your Design Before Applying to the Pumpkin:

Draw out your design and then use tracing paper to transfer it onto the pumpkin. This can be a design that you have approved yourself or that has been checked with someone else first. However, it is nice to surprise people by not showing them your design until it is carved on your finished pumpkin.

With your design, think beyond just a traditional triangular face and consider creating other Halloween symbols such as bats, stars, or moons. More adventurous still, you could attempt a graveyard scene or a spooky forest. If designing your pumpkin further down the line, perhaps at Thanksgiving in November, then think about alternative creations of say puppies, cats, or rabbits. Children tend to prefer animals because of their familiarity and the cute factor.

Know How to Hold Your Pumpkin:

It is a good idea to hold the pumpkin in your lap as you are carving it. This is the most supportive and safest way to carve a pumpkin. Have the right equipment of a serrated kitchen knife for the main carving and a small saw for the more intricate parts of the design.

Consider Shaving:

We are not talking shaving your legs or facial hair, but the alternative of not cutting right through the pumpkin with every stroke. Instead, sometimes deciding to just scrape pieces of pumpkin away to allow just enough light to glow through your open-design creations. It is always important to be patient when creating any pumpkin design. The best designs have taken much thought and a good deal of carving, and your other technique of shaving should make for a design that is more dynamic than it might otherwise have been.

Incorporating Scraps Within the Design:

Do not waste anything because you can incorporate your scraps or discarded pieces of pumpkin within your design. The ones that you do not intend to cook, that is. For example, you could make hair, a tongue, a pipe, or a chimney from these spare pieces. This will make your pumpkin into more of a character with a personality, a more sophisticated structure, or make it more three dimensional in form. You can be as artistic as you like, creating something for your pumpkin that merely started as a basic idea on paper. Think as creatively about your scraps as you do about the main part of your creation.

Turn your ordinary pumpkin into something extraordinary with the tips above and you will delight your whole neighborhood with your creation!

All Aboard!

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All Aboard!

Hi! During our family vacation to the Poconos, we took a charming ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. The ride was a perfect length at forty-five minutes and we got to see some amazing sights including an old train tunnel carved into a mountain, the beautiful changing leaves, and a waterfall. We all enjoyed ourselves so much! Check it out:

Our experience on the train ride was wonderful and we almost had an entire cart just for us which was awesome. There was also a super cool employee on our cart who filled us in on all kinds of fun facts about everything we were seeing. She also let Johnny and I know about the paranormal activity that takes place in the area which we were extremely interested in.

The train ride was a perfect excuse to break out my new Stella Luce snake print jacket because it was a bit chilly out. Wherever we go, Johnny and I love getting all dolled up and strutting our stuff and the train trip was no exception. All aboard the fashion express – CHOO CHOO! 😀

What is your preferred form of transportation? What is fall like in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Fall OOTD

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Feeling Fall OOTD

Howdy!! Fall is my favorite season for many reasons. I love the weather, the activities that come with it, Halloween, and the clothes! Fall fashion is the absolute best and if Ohio weather permitted it, I would be dressing for fall all year round. Today, we are going to check out an OOTD that had me Feeling Fall in nothing short of a spiritual way. Let’s get to it and be sure to tune back in tomorrow for bonus pictures from this shoot:

Who? What? Wear?

This OOTD is one of my favorite looks that I have styled in a while because I feel like it captures the fall season perfectly. The floral skirt by Originality is one of my most recent purchases and I couldn’t wait to wear it. There was no better time than on our family vacation to the Poconos to break it out and I felt so fabulous the entire day in this look. I have a feeling that I will be rewearing it a lot!

What I love the most about the Originality bodycon skirt is its versatility. As I mentioned in the New Skirt Alert post, it comes with countless styling options as you can match a top to any of the colors of the flowers for a cohesive look. I chose to pair this skirt with a Rachel Zoe tank top tucked in to make it look more like a dress. Then, I went with my Knitted Dove cardigan which paired beautifully as the cream base and burgundy accents were just right with the floral skirt.

To complete my Feeling Fall OOTD, I went with an adorable pair of Nine West Kitten Heels to add a little bling and some length. These heels were an ideal choice for the outfit because there are no straps on them to break up the leg line, making for a long and sleek silhouette. (Also this is the first time I spelled that word correctly on the first try so kudos to me lol!)

In my humble opinion, this OOTD is simply charming. From the mixing of textures and the matching of colors to the sparkly surprise on the shoes, this is an amazing look for fall. I am already looking forward to wearing it again! 😀

What is your favorite fall color? How about your favorite fall activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Home Maintenance Chores To Tackle In The Fall 

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Home Maintenance Chores To Tackle In The Fall 

Taking great care of your home involves many different maintenance chores, some of them might be a little boring, but they are important! As the summer comes to a close, there are several essential tasks to complete around the house. To get your home ready for the fall, try tackling these chores:

Bleed your radiators:

If there is trapped air in your radiator, then you’ll find that you get random cold spots across the radiator. Before the weather turns cold, it’s a good idea to bleed your radiators. Look at the top of the radiator to locate the radiator valve. Next, you can use a radiator key, (turning the key counter-clockwise). Keep turning the key until water drips out, this process will release any trapped air.

Inspect your furnace:

The end of the summer is a great time to inspect your furnace. The first step is to look at the filter, if it’s dirty you should replace it. If the filter is dirty, this means that the airflow may be restricted. If the airflow is restricted, less heat can pass through the heat exchanger. The result is that your furnace may get hotter than normal. Over time, this can cause the furnace to fail and shut down.

If you suspect that there is a problem with your furnace you’ll need to call in the professionals. It’s especially important to do this if you notice a burning smell from furnace.

Protect your pipes:

During cold weather, it’s not uncommon for our water pipes to freeze and burst. To prevent this from happening, there are several things you can do to protect your pipes:

  • Use Insulation: To protect your pipes you can purchase pipe insulation, which is usually made from fiberglass, foam, or polyethylene. Some of the best eco-friendly insulation materials include aerogel, denim, or sheep’s wool.
  • Run the faucets: If you leave one tap trickling a small amount, this can ensure that your pipes don’t freeze.

Clean out your gutters:

Now is the perfect time to clean out your gutters. If there’s a build-up of debris, this could cause problems with drainage and cause your roof to leak. If you can’t get on the roof yourself, you can call gutter cleaning services to do this for you. Ensure that there are no cracks in your roof or any shingles that need replacing.

Fertilize your lawn:

If you want a beautiful lawn, then you should definitely fertilize it in the fall. Applying a fertilizer will give your lawn the nutrients it needs and the grassroots will multiply before going dormant. During the winter the roots will store food and you’ll find that you’ll have a lush lawn by the springtime.

Preparing your home for the fall will help you to stay safe, warm, and relaxed. Once you’ve got those chores out of the way you might like to work on your interior design. Fall time is the perfect season to paint in warm colors and add bright accessories. From home maintenance to DIY projects, there are so many ways to create a beautiful home.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Literally Falling For Fall Update

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Literally Falling For Fall Update

Hello! If you have been following lifewithlilred for a while, then you have been with me through all kinds of ouches like when Johnny and I got in a car accident and I was hospitalized and an oral surgery gone dreadfully wrong. My most recent “whoopsy daisy” of taking a tumble on the wet, leaf strewn wooden walkway to my apartment was nowhere near as severe but, gotDAMN did it hurt and I’ve got a hell of a bruise to prove it. Check it out:

Now, this is not a post to get sympathy for this deep purple monstrosity. Rather, it is a reminder to be careful!! Coincidentally, my Johnny took a spill mere hours before me when he was taking out the trash that day and we have since been taking our time making the walk to our apartment on the wet, rainy fall days that Ohio has been plagued with.

Johnny has actually been so sweet because, most days, he gets home from work before me and he’ll text me to remind me that it’s really slick so I don’t take another spill. Falls, tumbles, accidents, oopsies, boo boos, or whatever you call it can be so painful and even fatal for some so this is just your Lil Red reminder to take your time while walking (And driving!) during this slippery weather so you don’t end up with a major bruise on your side too!

What is the fall weather like in your neck of the woods? What are some of your safety tips for bad weather? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Literally Falling For Fall

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Literally Falling For Fall

Hello! Have you ever had a day where you feel like you’re constantly running into stuff, tripping over your own feet, or dropping something? Because SAME – especially last week. Despite many ouches, profanity, and bruises my day ended in an up kind of way so I thought I’d tell you all about it.

My morning started with a fine how do you do of stepping on the plug of my hair straightener and spilling my bottle of serum all over the floor when regaining my balance. I was so pissed about my favorite serum loosing half of its contents onto my bath mat and the plug going into the soft sole of my feet hurt like a mother.

After that incident, I thought my day could only go up from there and my time at work was fairly average. Once I finished driving home in the rain, I was looking forward to having a glass of wine and relaxing but life decided to throw me a few more curve balls.

My apartment complex is located in a wooded area and there are countless trees all over the property. Countless trees equals countless leaves, of course, and my goodness are they slick after it rains. As I was walking towards the stairs to get to my second floor apartment, I tread over a particularly slippery patch of wet leaves. I lost my balance, landed hard on my side, and everything I had in my hands came flying out.

As someone who has figure skated a majority of her life, you would think I would be exempt from slippery falls off ice but that just is not the case. Lol, it hurt SO bad and left a nasty bruise on my leg. After the initial shock and pain of falling, I kind of forgot what I had in my hands and just wanted to get into my apartment. I collected everything I saw immediately on the ground and headed upstairs to tell Johnny my tale of woe.

Johnny and I spent our evening watching a TV show called Slasher and we were in the middle of an episode when we heard a knock on our door around eight. I had no idea who it could be and was shocked to see some neighbors I vaguely recognized in my doorway. They held out my apartment keys to me and said they found them when they were walking up to their own place.

I was SO shocked by the fact that I had essentially lost my keys for an entire evening without knowing it. However, I was more shocked by the kindness of the strangers who returned my missing keys to me – I have no idea what I would have done the following morning when I left for work and realized they weren’t there!

Despite major boo boos, my day ended on a huge high note from my guardian angels who found my keys. I am so thankful to them (and their wonderful eye sight) for locating the keys on the ground, in the dark, while it was raining, and with leaves everywhere. Amazing looking out! ❤

Have you ever lost your keys before? How did you end up finding them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bath & Body Works Online Haul

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Bath & Body Works Online Haul

Hi! Both Johnny and myself freaking love the foaming hand soaps from Bath & Body Works. We have an excellent system in place where we switch off on who’s paying when we need more but the treat is that even when Johnny is paying, he still lets me pick out which scents we get. 🙂

This past week, our soap shipment arrived and, overall, I am pretty pleased with the fragrances I chose. It’s hard to pick which scents you want when you can’t smell them so I tend to stick with things we’re both more than likely going to enjoy. A trip to B&BW is a lot harder than you would think when your county is in a threat level red for COVID. -_-

Anyways, take a look at these soaps and I’ll let you know which ones I love and would leave if you are ordering online too:

Love Or Leave?

  • Beautiful Day: LOVE
  • Don’t Stop Be-Leafing: LEAVE
  • Cranberry Peach: LOVE
  • Peach Bellini: LOVE
  • Afternoon Apple Picking: LEAVE
  • All About Fall Y’all: LOVE

Lol, a lot of these picks should be no surprise to all of you! Everyone knows I love my peach and apple scents. So why did I not care for the Afternoon Apple Picking soap? Cinnamon, cinnamon, cinnamon. I HATE cinnamon. This soap has all of the scents of juicy apple and pear but, unfortunately, it is laced with cinnamon and I just can’t get down with it. It makes me feel like I am washing my hands with Big Red gum and I definitely wouldn’t have purchased it if I read its description a little better!

The Don’t Stop Be-Leafing scent of orange vanilla swirl is also one that I could do without. Originally, I thought a creamsicle fragrance would be nice and light but, unfortunately, this one is heavy to the point that it’s almost musky. When it comes to hand soaps, both Johnny and I detest a perfume-like heaviness so this is one that I will also not be buying again.

Despite two duds, I had four successes and that isn’t too bad when it comes to online soap shopping! Bath & Body Works is almost always running a six for twenty-six dollar deal on their foaming hand soaps so do be sure to get some delicious smell goods of your own. 🙂

What is your favorite B&BW scent? What is your favorite fall fragrance? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Quarantine Weekends

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Quarantine Weekends

Hello! Going from being out and about every weekend with Johnny at the beginning of this year is a far cry from what we do now. With COVID and the fact that my county is now in a threat level red, our weekends have went from full and busy to full of binge watching in the blink of an eye. The worst part? The weekend still ends quickly even though we’re not doing much of anything, lol!

Johnny and I have a pretty standard weekend format that goes a little something like this: Video games, movies, and TV. I am currently obsessed with the video games he gifted me for our anniversary so I have been playing a lot of Paper Mario and Diablo III. We also take turns picking movies to watch in between our viewings of The Last Kingdom and SuperStore – both of which I highly recommend.

Does it sound boring yet? I know it does but it actually isn’t all that bad. For the first time literally since I started working at sixteen, I have weekends that are completely agenda free. All I have to do is sit on the couch and stay safe and I’m confident that Johnny and I can keep doing that.

One of the best parts of our weekends is actually thanks to the change in weather. Because fall temperatures are upon us, it has cooled down our apartment significantly. Believe it or not, I find myself telling Johnny “I’m cold” more often than not now. This makes being stuck in the apartment much more tolerable and there is nothing better than bundling up in hoodies and blankets while it’s nice and crisp in and outdoors!

Speaking of cooling down outdoors, I can’t wait to start taking hikes and doing all of the Halloween themed activities soon. Have fun and keep on staying safe. ❤

How do you spend weekends in quarantine? What is the weather like in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Getting Your Home In Shape For Cold Weather

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Getting Your Home In Shape For Cold Weather

We’re fast approaching the autumnal and winter months and many of us can’t wait! This season goes hand in hand with all sorts of things that many of us love, including cozy nights in, hot drinks, seasonal festivities, and more. But it’s important to remember that this is a time of year that can prove much harsher on your home and outdoor space.

There are harsher elements to deal with and colder temperatures that could cause potential damage too. So, to help your property make it through these seasons unscathed, it’s important to put a little work in now during the lead up to them. Here are a few areas to focus on that will help you to protect and maintain your property and space as best possible:

Make Sure Your Windows are Double Glazed:

Chances are you’ve been told this time and time again, but by now, every home should have double glazing. If you don’t, you risk all of the heat you’re generating in your home escaping easily. Not only is this a huge waste of money and resources, but it is also likely to leave your property cold, which creates an unpleasant living environment for you and anyone else who lives in the house.

While new builds tend to have double glazing built in as standard, older properties in particular tend to have single glazing. If you’re unsure whether you have double glazing or not, you can always have a professional come in and check. They will then be able to fit double glazing if you don’t have it, helping your home to contain energy a lot better. You may even need Replacement Windows fitted for the best of the best.

Carry Out General Maintenance Tasks:

There are a few general maintenance tasks that are advised in the lead up to autumn and winter every year. Here are a few that you should fit into your schedule:

Clearing Gutters: The gutters outside your property help to catch rainwater from the roof and ensure that it is transported straight into a drain rather than flooding the ground around your property. However, autumn sees more leaves fall, which can clog up your gutters, along with other debris, making it so they can’t do their job properly. Make sure to have your gutters professionally cleaned during this time of year. This will prevent dripping and potential flooding when it rains heavily.

Have the Chimney Cleaned: If you have a chimney and plan to use it throughout the colder months, now is the time to hire a professional chimney sweep.

Taking Care of Your Garden:

Use Mulch: One of the areas of your garden that is most likely to be impacted by colder temperatures, lots of rain, and frost is your flower beds. To maintain these in spite of harsher elements, you should look into using mulch. Bad weather can see your flower beds become extremely prone to frost and over watering, which can freeze or clog roots in any hardier plants that you have and cause them to struggle or die. Laying down mulch provides a protective barrier against these elements and can also prevent water logging, which can give your plants and trees a much better chance of surviving the autumn and winter.

Plant Hardy Plants: If you’d still like some sort of greenery in your outdoor space during the colder months of the year, it may be a good idea to invest in and plant some more hardy plants. Any plants with petals are likely to wither or die during winter months (even if they’ll regenerate when the weather improves a little), which can leave your garden feeling empty and bare. You can avoid a barren looking garden by adding a touch of greenery in the form of evergreen trees. These are widely available and will keep their leaves year-round. Firs tend to be the most popular option, so browse local garden centers and fir specialists to find the perfect specific species for your space.

Invest in a Greenhouse: Some of us want to maintain growing fruit, vegetables, and other plants year round. This isn’t a hobby we just want to carry out in the summertime. If this sounds familiar to you, you may want to consider investing in a greenhouse. A greenhouse is a secure glass building where you can maintain a constant temperature and controlled atmosphere for your plants to thrive in. This is a particularly effective option if you’re planning on growing things like strawberries, tomatoes, and other plants that can easily be ruined by frost.

These are just a few different areas of home maintenance and improvement that you might want to consider in the lead up to the colder months of the year. Each holds its unique benefits and could prove to be something that makes you a lot happier and more comfortable throughout the autumn and winter until spring arrives again! So, why not give them a go?

Featured Image By: Elle Decor

Social Distanced Halloween Fun

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Social Distanced Halloween Fun

Hi! One of my favorite times of the year is Halloween. I love the spooky atmosphere, the weather, and all of the promises of scary fun activities. The best part of Halloween for me, though? Haunted houses, of course! I told Johnny I wanted to go to a new one every year and he was game, however, with COVID it will be impossible to attend one this year.

After making the disheartening discovery of no haunted houses, I just had to start brainstorming for new ways to enjoy the Halloween season safely. I came up with the following:

Pumpkin Patches:

Going to a pumpkin patch and picking out the perfect pumpkins to decorate, carve, or paint is something that can easily be done social distanced style. Many pumpkin patches often have other attractions like hay rides, corn mazes, petting zoos, and specialty shops to participate in too.

Making an afternoon at the pumpkin patch and then going home to get your jack-o-lantern on sounds like a great way to spend a weekend day. Get creative and competitive and see who in your friend group can carve the best pumpkin!

Apple Orchards:

I freaking LOVE going apple picking, as does my entire family, so I am sure we will end up at an apple orchard this fall. My favorite one in Ohio also doubles as an ice cream parlor as well as a novelty shop with all apple everything. There is nothing better than filling up a bagful of crisp apples and grabbing a dish of ice cream as a treat. And, can you say social distanced?!

At Home Trick Or Treat:

Trick or treating is probably the last thing on everyone’s mind right now but the little ones love it. Dress up as a family and hide candies all around your house and yard. Dim the lights for some added spookiness and give hints and clues as necessary. Wrap up the activity with a fun Halloween movie like Casper or Hocus Pocus and have a piece of candy… or ten. 😉

Scary Movie Marathon:

Johnny and I have already decided that a scary movie marathon is how we are going to celebrate Halloween. We will be watching everything from the classics and foreign films to our present day favorites. I plan on having caramel apples (My favorite!), candy, and popcorn handy. I also would like to make some spiked apple cider with salted caramel vodka for a delicious hot or cold drink to sip on. Yum!

Halloween is definitely not going to be the same this year but it can still be fun! Use the ideas above to help get you started. 🙂

What is your favorite Halloween activity? How do you plan on safely celebrating? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah