Tag Archives: books

Lil Red Loves: Libraries

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Lil Red Loves: Libraries

Hi! Something that I’ve been fond of for as long as I can remember but, even more so this year, is the good ol’ local library. In my neck of the woods, there are plenty of different libraries to go to that have instilled in me a love for reading from story time as a youngin up until now as a twenty something. And, what I have learned this past year, is that libraries aren’t just for checking out books and movies.

Frequenting the libraries in the greater Akron area has become a staple in my day job, as they offer wonderful, educational, and fun programs that are all completely free. My clients and I love visiting different libraries and always end up reaping the benefits that the programs and events have to offer. From gaining knowledge and new hobbies to receiving totally free books like the ones below, the library is definitely the place to be.

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The libraries in my area offer everything from reading with therapy dogs to GED classes and murder mystery dinners. I have been to excellent music concerts with clients and showings of recently released movies in a huge auditorium. I’ve also attended yoga classes, escape rooms, and lessons in meditation all for the cost of absolutely FREE.

Just last week at North Hill Library’s meditation class, there were cardboard boxes full of free books for the taking. Mysteries, romances, fiction, and nonfiction alike were all there to be sorted through and there was no limit to what we could select. My client and I had a blast looking at all of the choices and I ended up picking out all of the above horror style murder mysteries (My favorite!) to take home with me. Will I like all of them? Maybe not, but that’s no harm done, because I can always donate it so that someone else can have what might be their new favorite page turner.

Lil Red will always support establishments that better the community and I am thankful that mine has so many excellent libraries to choose from, because they do just that. Libraries are inclusive to every single person in this world and there is much to be learned and a lot of fun to be had during your next visit to the neighborhood library!

Who else makes good use out of their local library? What type of programs does your library offer to the public? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Meditation Recommendations

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Meditation Recommendations

Hi everyone! Something that I really enjoy doing is going to a meditation class offered by my local library. The woman who runs it, Joann Xi, is the founder of the Center for Health, Happiness, and Chan. This organization promotes a mindful and contemplative lifestyle and teaches the art of meditation to those in the greater Akron area. During class this week, Joann gave us a paper listing some helpful books, apps, podcasts, and websites that she recommends and I thought that I would share it with all of you. And, if you are interested in seeing Joann in action, check out my blog post which features her YouTube videos. She’s amazing!

From Eastern Traditions:

Books:

  1. The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S.N. Goenka by William Hart
  2. Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
  3. True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
  4. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa
  5. Bringing Home the Dharma by Jack Kornfield
  6. The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron

Podcasts:

  1. Insight Hour Podcast with Joseph Goldstein
  2. Ram Dass Hear and Now
  3. Heart Wisdom Podcast with Jack Kornfield

Websites:

  1. https://www.secularbuddhism.org/
  2. https://www.lionsroar.com/

From Western Traditions:

Books:

  1. Invitation to Love by Thomas Keating
  2. Intimacy with God by Thomas Keating
  3. Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton
  4. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  5. Fully Present by Susan L Smalley and Diana Winston
  6. Mindful Work by David Gelles

Audio Books:

  1. Going on Being by Mark Epstein
  2. Going to Pieces without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein

Podcasts:

  1. 10% Happier with Dan Harris

Apps:

  1. Headspace (Westernized version of eastern meditation practices)

YouTube:

  1. Zen Den
  2. Cosmic Kids

Websites:

  1. https://www.cac.org/
  2. https://www.couragerenewal.org

Integration of East/West:

Books:

  1. Living Zen Loving God by Ruben L.F. Habito
  2. The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale
  3. The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

I hope that some of these wonderful options to help introduce you to meditation or further your practices prove to be beneficial to those who need it. Once a skeptic, I truly believe in the power of meditation and the amazing work that Joann is doing, so please enjoy!

Who else participates in meditation? What are some ways that help you to relax? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Yourself Entertained On Vaca

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Keeping Yourself Entertained On Vaca

Are you one of the lucky ones heading abroad on your vacation this year? Whether you’re on the road, in a hotel, or on a cruise, there can be moments, particularly after a long day of exploring, when all you want is to settle down and relax. An evening in the hotel with Netflix or a good book can be just what the doctor ordered after you’ve been on your feet all day sightseeing. But staying entertained and ensuring that you don’t run out of things to do while you’re abroad isn’t quite so easy as when you’re at home. Here are just a few ways that you can make sure that, even in your downtime, you’re fully fighting the boredom blahs:

Don’t Rely On Books: If you love to get a jump on your summer reading list while on vaca, books can become far too cumbersome. Whether you read while you travel, relax by the pool, or just as you go through life, it might be time to invest in a bit of a technological helper. Rather than packing a book a day into your luggage, a Kindle is a cheap, lightweight, and easily transportable alternative. With literally millions of books to choose from, all accessible online, you’ll never be caught short without a book again.

Keep Some Entertainment Downloaded: Sometimes WiFi is obscenely slow, and sometimes *gasp* you just can’t connect at all. The worst thing in these situations is to have no backup plan. Keeping a few shows downloaded onto whatever device you’re using can be a real lifesaver in moments of boredom. Netflix has options to download now, as do many other video hosting sites. And be sure to double check that your Spotify Premium account is up to date before you set off so that you can still access all of your favorite music, even when WiFi isn’t an option.

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Netflix Is Your BFF: When you need some reassuring familiarity and an evening to yourself, it’s all about Netflix. Whether you’re entertaining young ones or just chilling on your own, being able to get a few of your favorite shows online is essential. While Netflix, ordinarily, won’t work abroad, using a VPN enables you to bypass that. Check out securethoughts to find out exactly how to do it. Then, all of your favorite shows are just a button-push away.

Portable Chargers Are Everything: We rely so heavily on electronic devices in this day and age, from smartphones to laptops and tablets to Kindles, that it’s not surprising that portable charging devices are growing in popularity. When you’re in an airport or hotel room, chances are that you’ll have access to power, but when you’re on the road, public transport, or walking around the city, it could be a bit more tricky. Keep a fully charged portable power supply in your handbag all of the time, and you’ll never find yourself caught with the power out again.

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Is your device fully charged??

Traveling the world doesn’t mean that you don’t want a few moments of R&R every now and then, and if they take the form of your favorite books or TV shows, it’s always best to be prepared. Happy traveling!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Tattoo Update!!

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Tattoo Update!!

Hi everyone and happy Monday! So on Saturday I got my new tattoo, which you can see the inspiration for in this post. It went swimmingly BUT there is still some work to be done on it – a few add ons and touch ups because some of it was done in white. SO I won’t be posting a picture of the finished product until next week when it is officially “all done”. Rest assured that I am absolutely in love with my Little Prince themed ink so far and I can’t wait for all of you to see it soon!

Until I post pictures of my new tattoo baby, enjoy this picture of me talking on my good ol’ trap phone, instead!

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^^^ AYYY!

(And if you use your powers of observation, you’ll notice my Little Prince shirt underneath my favorite moto jacket!)

How was everyone’s weekend? Who else has gotten some new body mods done recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Summer Fun Checklist

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Summer Fun Checklist

It may not always seem like it, but the time of year that it is can make a huge difference in a person’s life. Winter and autumn can be difficult sometimes because of things like seasonal effective disorder. How early the sun rises and sets is enough to have an effect on people’s moods (I know it does for me!). As another example, people look at the New Year as something of a new start, and it is a time when they try to grasp that opportunity.

Summer is no different. If you are in college, especially, the break from the academic year represents an opportunity to improve yourself (or simply to bask in laziness for a few weeks). That may mean that you go traveling and experience the wonders of another culture or you may decide, instead, to stay closer to home and participate in some volunteering or work experience to better prepare you for your post-graduation job search. For people who work, it is a chance to go on holiday. However, you may just want to stay at home and relax. For some people, the perfect summer day is taking a book to a local park and sitting under a tree until it gets too dark to read.

If you are thinking of making the most of the summer this year, you will need to start preparing now since it is so nearly upon us. Here are five things that you need to make sure of before you set off on whatever plans that you’ve made:

  1. If you are hoping to leave the country, you should book your flights exactly eighteen weeks before you intend to travel. Research has shown that airline websites offer the cheapest prices at those times. Otherwise, you need to check that your passport is still valid. And do not forget your visa! There is nothing worse than getting somewhere only to be sent back again right away.
  2. Depending on where you’re going, you will need to make sure that your wardrobe matches. If you are heading to some tropical paradise, you’ll need a bikini or swimming trunks. Do not forget your sunglasses and the most important thing of all: sun tan lotion. Nothing ruins a vacation quite like a nasty sunburn.
  3. Personal grooming is crucial, too. If you are looking for the best razor for the bikini area, you need to make sure that you get one with which you are comfortable. Otherwise, you should remember that in different climates you will need to have products for your hair and skin. If you are not used to hot weather all year round, you may quickly find that your lips crack or your skin becomes a little dry. Thinking ahead and packing precautionary lotions or ointments is the smartest thing to do when you’re jetsetting to a new place.
  4. You should always take a book with you just in case for surprise waits before appointments or lunch dates, but it is never more important than when you are on holiday. They are not called ‘beach reads’ for nothing!
  5. No one forgets a camera anymore since they do not forget their phone but to get the best pictures, you should think about a camera with film. It costs more but the photos are better. Also, why not take a notebook along so that you can better remember the holiday when you get back?

Nothing makes pre-vacation planning easier than a good old fashioned checklist. Make yours, check it twice, and you’re off!

Featured Image By: Pexels

New Tattoo Excitement!!

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New Tattoo Excitement!!

Heyyy everyone and happy Hump Day! So I am wicked excited for Saturday the 20th at 1 o’clock in the afternoon because I have a tattoo appointment!! I was planning to get a new tattoo for my birthday in June, but I saw that the artist who I am going to is running a percentage off special in May so I figured that I might as well get it now and save some money on it. It has been literal years since my last tattoo. Jeez Louise, I think it might have been back in 2014. Yikes!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t want more tattoos because I want a bunch. But, when I started college in 2014, I didn’t exactly have money to just throw around on extra things like body mods, clothes, and accessories because they were just extra and text books are no joke. But, now that I’ve been graduated since the end of 2016 and am actually making money instead of constantly spending it on college related fees, I feel pretty okay about getting a TREAT YOSELF/early birthday tattoo!

So what am I gonna get, you might ask? Take a looksee:

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If you aren’t familiar with the book The Little Prince, then you are missing out because that’s where these drawings are from! I plan on getting the first image of him flying with the birds on my side but I want him dressed in the clothing from the second image. The birds are going to go up onto my back and probably end close to my bra line. Then at some point, I’ll work in a quote en francais as well as the horizon line at the end of the book. AHHHH!!

For those of you who don’t already know, The Little Prince is one of my all time favorite books. It just is. I could read it every day until I die and never tire of it. I think that it is so beautiful and every time I read it (which is quite frequently), I fall even more in love with the words and imagery scattered like petals throughout the pages. I am super excited to get my undying adoration for this book commemorated in tattoo form and it has been a long time coming because I’ve wanted this done for five-ever.

May 20th can’t come soon enough and I have a feeling that I will be in the tattoo chair quite a lot this year! How’s that for some New Tattoo Excitement?! Who plans on getting a new piercing or tattoo soon? What is your favorite tattoo or piercing that you have? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Is There a ‘Best Way’ to Read?

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Is There a ‘Best Way’ to Read?

Reading is one of life’s great pleasures. This is probably something that you already know; that’s why you’re on this blog! But, is it true that there are right and wrong ways to do it? This probably isn’t so true when it comes to fiction, especially as fiction reading culminates in a very subjective experience. But when it comes to reading nonfiction, there’s certainly a strong argument to be made that there are good ways to read it and bad ways to read it.

How is this possible? Well, it’s worth remembering that nonfiction – aside from the likes of self-help books and autobiographies – exist in order to educate the reader. And there are ways of reading that will help you absorb and retain more information. Most people seem to forget the majority of what they read – which isn’t great if you’re reading non-fiction for a class, right?

We’re going to take a quick look at the best ways to read a nonfiction book!

O.M.G!

Skimming: Some of you may be wondering why the heck “skimming” would be suggested! Isn’t that precisely what you’re supposed to avoid? Well, if you’re skimming the entire book instead of reading it properly, then yes. But if you skim a chapter of a book first, and then read it properly, then you’re giving your brain a head start with the information. Your brain will retain a lot of the basic information and themes from a quicker glance than you might expect.

Never Read Without a Pencil: Don’t be so particular about your books that you’re afraid to take notes in them! You should take the time to write notes about the material in the margin, as well as underline (or draw a line in the margins next to) sections that you feel are especially important. This can also help you take note of parts of the book that you want to investigate further, in case you initially find it a little confusing or even doubt the veracity of the claim.

A million dollars to whoever knows what book that is! 😉

Make an Effort to Memorize: In general, reading is fantastic for exercising your memory. That’s just one of the top 10 reasons why reading is important. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t actually put work into committing something that you read to memory. The simple fact that you’re reading isn’t going to mean that you’ll automatically remember it in the future! The best way to do this is to take what makes memory tick and apply that to reading. Psychologists believe that memory is built from three components: impression, association, and repetition. Apply these to your reading and see how it helps.

#knowledgeispower

Recite or Read Out Loud: Finally, one of the best ways to recall what you’ve read is to speak that information. You could try introducing someone else to that information by telling them about what you’ve read in conversation. Just make sure that you’re with someone with an interest in the given subject! Something else that you can try is simply reading passages out loud. This may seem time-consuming, but it’s effective. You may even want to record yourself reading out loud and listen to the sound file repeatedly instead of listening to music during your reading break.

Featured Image By: Pixabay