Tag Archives: changes

A Change Of Scenery

Standard
A Change Of Scenery

Hello! As you all know from yesterday’s post, Johnny and I went on our first date this past weekend since the beginning of all of this COVID business. It was insanely refreshing, to say the least, and we are both eager to get out and about a bit more under circumstances that we are comfortable with. We really did have the best time and the only thing that was different was that we were sitting outside with our drinks instead of in the bar – and social distanced from our friends, of course.

Although our excursion was edited slightly to fit the current times, it just felt good to get out of the house! If you are itching for a change of scenery, why not try the following:

Picnics:

In Ohio, downtown Kent has a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) where you can enjoy food and drinks on spread apart picnic benches. This is how Johnny spent our date night out and we loved it! It was so nice to be in a downtown area and seeing so many people who we’ve been missing since March.

If your neck of the woods doesn’t have a DORA program, pick your favorite Metro Park or even set up a blanket in your own backyard. Purchase take out or make your own meal, sit back, and enjoy the sunshine.

Hiking:

How about a trek through the woods to get you in some different scenery? One of my friends has a goal of hiking one hundred miles by October and he is well on his way to achieving it. If you prefer having company, there are plenty of local animal shelters with lots of dogs to walk along with you. Who knows, you might even end up adopting your new best friend!

Dinner Party:

The next time Johnny and I visit another couple who we are friends with in Kent, I plan on preparing dinner for us. Their house is one you can social distance at. Our apartment? Not so much because it’s so small! I’m bringing the ingredients and “borrowing” their kitchen and we will light a bonfire and eat outdoors. Johnny and I used to go on double dates with this couple often pre-COVID and it will be so fun to continue this tradition in a slightly altered way.

Fun & Games:

There are plenty of games that you can play all while being spread out from people. Video games, charades, Dungeons & Dragons, Bingo, and even silly story telling can all be part of a social distanced game night with your close friends or family. You could even have a paint night right from your own backyard! All it takes is a little creativity and I’m sure you can come up with plenty of social distanced activities, too.

Of course, things are not close to being “back to normal” yet. However, the last date night Johnny and I had was the most normal thing we’ve done in a while. Set up your safety plan so everyone feels comfortable and try out a change of scenery for yourself!

How do you safely see your friends in the COVID era? Where do you go when you need a change of scenery? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Embracing Change & LOVING It

Standard
Embracing Change & LOVING It

Hello! One of the unique things about lifewithlilred is my fondness for featuring guest bloggers. I love interacting with the blogging community and this has proven to be an amazing way to do it. In the almost six years since lifewithlilred has been live, I have became very close to many of the lovelies who have starred on my page before.

All of these friendships are very special to me and I am always looking to extend my lifewithlilred family. So, obviously, I was thrilled when the darling Sheryl of Sheryl’s Light reached out to me. I have so enjoyed our exchanges and any gal who can rock purple hair is a friend of mine. Check it out:

Embracing Change & LOVING It

I have been waiting for the perfect guest post for my young friend Sarah AKA Lil Red. I told her when we first met through blogging that she reminded me of myself at her age. They say the proof is in the pudding or the color is in the hair dye and that’s what I did. I dyed my hair purple and I love the color. I’ve been wanting this for a very long time!

When trying to dye my hair a few months ago, I discovered after applying the dye that the look wasn’t what I wanted. Plus, when I went over the directions the hair dye company recommended two boxes for long hair, which I have. Taking a deep breath and pinning a towel around my neck and shoulders, I mixed the dye and applied it to the top part of my hair. The second bottle covered the bottom. I occupied the half-hour with taking photos out of my daughter’s albums for scanning so the time flew. I also love the conditioners that come with hair dye! I didn’t realize this was on my bucket list so check that one off! Remember you are never too old to try something new.

sherylsheryl1sheryl2

Lifewithlilred is a page that celebrates all of the differences that makes people special. And, I am so proud that it is a place where Sheryl can show off her fabulous new look! You go, girl. ❤

Is anyone planning a personal appearance change? Haircuts and color, tattoos, piercings, etc.? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How You Can Feel Your Best, Every Single Day

Standard
How You Can Feel Your Best, Every Single Day

There are some days when we wake up and we’re just raring to go. Then, there are the days when we wake up, and bleh, not today. At some periods, it feels like more or less like every morning fits into the latter category, when we really want the former feeling. While there will always be times when life isn’t all that enjoyable, there are things you can do that’ll help to nudge things in the right direction. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some tried and tested tips that’ll hopefully have you feeling your best, every single day:

Limit the Vices:

There are some things that are socially accepted but aren’t all that good for us. Take alcohol, for example. It’s so commonplace in society, yet it can have a negative effect on our overall well being. If you’re continually waking up feeling a little lackluster and without energy, then you may want to look at your alcohol intake. A couple of beers or glasses of wine a night might not sound like a lot, but they can have an accumulative effect. Try giving it up for a few weeks and notice the increase in your energy.

Start the Day Right:

You should start as you mean to go on, is what they say. If you’re starting your day chaotically, then it’ll be little wonder if you’re not feeling so great throughout the day, will it? While it can be tempting to get as much sleep as possible, there are benefits to rising early. If you have an additional hour each morning, then you can go for a run, prepare a nice breakfast, read, and leave the house feeling like you’ve already had some goodness in your life. It can be tough to make this transition (that is, to get out of bed), but after a few days, you’ll know that you’re onto something good, and will keep it part of your routine.

Handle Any Problems:

While we’d like to hope that our days will be filled with nothing but good times, this just isn’t the case, not always. There’ll be times when problems present themselves. It’s not the problems that’ll dictate the day, however, but how you respond to them. There’s a solution for everything! It’s all about being prepared. If you have the right medication with you, then you’ll be able to wrestle back control from the things that threaten to derail your day. So make sure you’re prepared. You can get chlamydia treatments online, buy some aspirin, and have anything else in your bag that you think will make your day more comfortable. When those problems present themselves, you’ll have the remedy that’ll have you back on track in no time. 

Moments of Joy:

You won’t be feeling your best if all you’re doing is going through the grind, and doing all the things that you have to do. They should be taken care of, of course, but they’re not the only things that should make up your day! There are always ways to incorporate moments of joy into your day, even when you’re just going to the office. For example, could you park a little further away from the office, and take a pleasant stroll before work? Could you treat yourself to something nice on your lunch break? These small joys might not seem like much, but adding them to your day can shift your life in a more positive direction. 

Work up a Sweat:

Sometimes, we think that all we want to do is curl up on the couch and watch Netflix. And sometimes, that is the case. But if it’s becoming the default way for you to spend your day, then it might not be doing all that much good for you. Our bodies feel good when we use them. If you’re ever feeling a little low of energy and uninspired, then one of the best things you can do is put on some running shoes and go for a jog. Fifteen minutes is enough, so long as you’re working up a sweat. You’ll feel great once you’re back and showered!

Meditation and Slowing Down:

Finally, take some time to slow down. Life can be chaotic, and if you’re not taking steps to protect yourself, then you’ll only get caught up in the chaos. Meditation is perhaps the best way to keep a sense of calm and serenity. Give it a try, and you’ll see. 

Use the tips above to keep you feeling tip top every day!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Positive Changes In Quarantine

Standard
Positive Changes In Quarantine

Hello! Although different businesses are beginning to open in Ohio, my boyfriend and I plan on staying in until we are comfortable going back out. At least once per day, whether I’m at home or at work, being bored is acknowledged. And, yes, it’s a boring time. But, I’ve made some positive changes that I’m proud of during this time indoors so it can’t be all bad, right?

… It’s still pretty bad. But I am happy about the following:

Preparing Food At Home:

My boyfriend, Johnny, and I have been eating at home like nobody’s business. Which is a vast improvement health wise and financially to when we were eating out once or twice a week. Of course, we still treat ourselves to Taco Bell every now and then but we have been doing much better about going grocery shopping, preparing meals, and eating leftovers. I could get used to this!

Worthwhile Hobbies:

At the beginning of the quarantine, you couldn’t visit any webpage without being encouraged to take up a new hobby. And, as redundant as that was, it’s true. During my time at home, I have been practicing all of my languages (French, Czech, German, Spanish, and Italian) and I have also began learning American Sign Language. Not only that, but I have read a few books and wrote a ton.

I have enjoyed being able to practice all of my favorite hobbies as well as picking up a new one and it has made my time in quarantine much more pleasant. Although I am normally pretty good at practicing at least a few times a week, I would like to continue moving with the huge amount of momentum I have gained within the past month.

More Regular Sleep:

During the quarantine, I have gotten myself on a pretty solid sleeping schedule that I am very happy with. My new “bed time” of about ten thirty and then waking up for work at seven has made my body feel so much more… regular. Lol, seriously. I feel well rested, I can wake up for work without hitting the snooze, and I have been falling asleep more quickly. I definitely think that I can keep up with that!

More Financially Responsible:

Although I have succumbed to a few online shopping purchases, I have to say, I have been so much more financially responsible since this quarantine. Of course, there’s nowhere to go to spend money BUT I think all of this time off from impulse buys and drinks at the bar is going to make me think twice about how easily I spend money sometimes. Is it the most fun change? No. But, learning how to say no to things isn’t such a bad thing, either!

Yes, the quarantine is boring. However, there are silver linings to the situation everywhere if you know how to look!

Have you made any positive changes in quarantine? How do you feel about stay at home orders being lifted? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Preparing Your Home For The Seasonal Shift

Standard
Preparing Your Home For The Seasonal Shift

While it seems as though seasonal shifts are less predictable than ever in how weather conditions will be felt, it’s important to recognize that preparing our homes for the seasonal shift is worth thinking about. Of course, this is hardly the only responsibility we have around this time. Outfitting ourselves with some new pieces for our seasonal wardrobe, taking care of our health (and skin!), and coping with renewed driving conditions are a handful enough, let alone careful home maintenance.

Thankfully, you needn’t think of this as some kind of chore, rather a relaxed measure of ensuring that you are protected from the weather, that certain maintenance issues do not grow to be worse than they should be, and that you feel safe and secure within your home. Personal changes, upgrades, or developments of your own volition can be applied outside of the guidance below, but the following advice can serve as a good set of markers if you’re struggling to consider what priorities are most important:

Pest Control Preparations:

The Pest Authority is well known for a range of excellent preventative measures to help protect your property against all manner of pests, which can be essential as the seasons shift, as this usually causes the migration of many small creatures far and wide. Being able to ensure that homes with a crawlspace, garage, basement, or other areas that need attending to is fully protected can be an absolute lifesaver. Deterrents can even protect the outside of your property, if necessary.

Insulation Checks:

Insulation checks can be a great idea to carry out ahead of time, as this gives you the chance to fully ensure the thawing of the outside world does not give rise to property damage or damp. Ensuring your window sealants are still very much in place after a harsh winter, that your roofing felt is still in good condition and able to prevent heat from rising up and out of your property (to a wasteful degree, at least), and preparing for the offset of moisture that always comes in the springtime through clearing gutters (so that insulation is not overworked) can be a worthwhile idea.

Driveway Maintenance:

Not all driveways will encounter issues, but in colder climates (such as in Canada) you’ve likely had to shovel snow and grit your driveway for some intensive amount of time. The freezing and thawing regular effect weather conditions can have on your driveway may cause damage and cracks or may allow for smaller peeling to be felt at the sides where the material connects with the small guidance walls.

This is where having your driveway inspected (after you give it a once over) comes in handy. The last thing you need is to deal with a flooded or breakaway driveway due to its inability to handle moisture or thawing correctly, as a flawed installation will often make itself known at this time of year.

Exterior Care:

Caring for the rest of your exterior is often conducted for the same seasonal reasons as your driveway, but it’s important to recognize just how much work you may have to put forth here. For instance, mowing your lawn after the intensive winter period may be tricky, and also require the use of weed-killing formulas in some problem areas.

Removing debris from the garden, filling in molehills, and inspecting the covered garden furniture can be important, as it may need to be cleaned. Power washing the garden path and your decking can also help remove grime that may have built up over the colder months. Simple cleaning habits, such as using disinfectants on your shed or greenhouse windows to prevent molds can be a great idea.

All gardens are different in their own way, and so it may be clearing fallen branches for one person or clearing the gutters out for another. Doing the latter isn’t always a straightforward process – luckily Clean Pro Gutter Cleaning Little Rock and other companies hold lots of information on their websites that should help you tackle it with confidence. This may not always need doing though, based on your surroundings, but if you do have a garden and you have experienced winter, odds are you’re not going to get away with minimal care over your green space. Every effort helps.

With this advice, we hope you can better prepare your home for the seasonal shift!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Beautiful Yet Simple Additions To Your Home

Standard
Beautiful Yet Simple Additions To Your Home

A home is not a finished piece. It is always something that is dynamic, that can change, that can be improved depending on your tastes and practical needs. This seems quite obvious to most of us, but it can often be hard to figure out which is the best way forward, and what action might help us towards the best result. Thankfully, these measures are more than possible to consider when we’re reminded of the potential we have available to us.

This is the eternal issue with home renovation – there are simply too many options! Without design cohesion as a careful application, it’s incredibly easy to forget everything and make each room look as though it’s part of an entirely different house. In a home, less is often more. That being said, let us consider how you might better your rooms with a simple addition, speaking of the three most important rooms in the house:

Letting The Outside In:

Often, the best home changes are those that are fundamental to how you view things there. For example, lighting and nature. Painting the walls a lighter shade, bringing in a nice warm light to cover an area of the room, and perhaps placing a potted plant or two can help the room feel much more airy, light, and natural.

Letting the outside in, then, is a natural extension from this. You may decide that the use of sliding doors will help you keep your living room open in the summer, allowing you seamless access to your garden or patio. This can be a perfect means to help you entertain more comfortably or to simply sit within your living area while reading books on cool summer evenings, watching the sunset as it slowly starts to descend. It’s hard to think of anything more peaceful than this.

A Front Door Arch:

There are some who have large pillars outside the front of their house, a grand water feature, or perhaps a huge driveway with trees lining either side to give the home a grand sense of appeal. However, all of this, while impressive, is not necessary for you to upgrade how your home exterior looks. In fact, something as simple as a new front door arch can be a great idea.

Using brickwork to trace the arch pattern, you may fill the heightened gap with stained glass or something else adhering to your tastes. Not only can this arch look incredibly beautiful, but said extra lighting can bring some true vibrancy to your entrance corridor. It’s a simple measure that can often look quite incredible, as well as replacing the front door to a heavy, potentially even custom wooden design to keep you safe and secure always.

Faux Ceiling Beams:

If you have high ceilings in your property, it can look as if there’s plenty of blank space high up there with no decoration to show. But, fear not, because there are measures of giving this large blank space a bit of personality and a whole load of texture. Faux ceiling beams can be a part of this. Installation, professionally done, can help a room gain so much more character and look as if the exposed wooden construction of your home is more handcrafted and a little less formulaic than it might be compared to homes on your street.

The Fireplace:

A fireplace can turn a cold and unwelcoming room into a space that invites you in to lounge on the rug with your pets. It’s quite the stark difference, particularly in the winter and in the larger rooms. Of course, a fireplace is dictated by where the ventilation such as a chimney is located in your home. However, these days it’s not uncommon for fireplaces to be blocked up and snuffed in order to prevent water build up or issues with the weather.

But what if you chose to improve this space the best way you know how? By reinventing the fireplace bringing in a new wood-burning stove, or even a false unit that provides heat depending on your home setup and desires? A fireplace can help you enjoy a lovely sense of comfort – and it can really tie a room together.

Decluttering:

Sometimes, the best addition is a subtraction. Decluttering your home is a great means of helping it gain some renewed life. For example, do you have plates on your wall, hung as decorations? If this is just to fill space, then why keep it? Do you have a floor rug that you almost trip on every time? How about a spinning wheel in the corner of the room that is always being knocked over by your kids? Of course, we’re not here to dictate your tastes at all, nor to make you feel that you have to somehow prove yourself in order to decorate how you want. And yet, simply feeling okay with throwing something out, storing it, or selling it on can help you avoid cluttering your home for no reason.

Keeping things simple is the name of the game. Administer these changes and be amazed at the fresh new take it will have on your home!

Featured Image By: Pexels – CC0 License

Picking The Best Location For Your Move

Standard
Picking The Best Location For Your Move

Moving house is stressful enough without then discovering that you have made a terrible mistake with the location you have chosen. With the expense of the move, you will have two choices; either stay put and try to make the most of an uncomfortable situation or put the house up for sale (or contact your letting agent if renting) and start the moving process again.

Of course, we need to clarify what we mean by making a terrible mistake. As examples, you might have moved next door to awful neighbors. The neighborhood could be deemed unsafe because of the local crime rate. And you might discover the location is impractical for your needs. So, if you’re currently thinking about moving, check our previous article on the subject; https://lifewithlilred.com/2017/11/03/looking-for-a-house-savvy-tips-for-your-search/, and then consider the following tips to help you choose the right location.

Commit to research online:

Be specific in your Google search, and try to learn as much information as you can about the location you are considering. Type in ‘things to know about living in (location),’ and you should come up with websites such as this one, https://onthegomoving.com/10-things-to-know-about-living-in-ballard/. In this example, you can find out information on the housing market, cost of living, and many more details on the location in question, so look for the same when you’re searching for info on the area you are considering.

Look at local news sites for the area too, as you will learn a lot this way about crime rates, social problems, community activities, and more. You should also search for crime rates. By visiting sites such as https://www.crimereports.com/, you can quickly and easily look up crime statistics for the various neighborhoods in the location you are thinking about moving into.

Then, use Google maps or similar, and get an up close and personal look at the neighborhoods in the area. Providing they are up to date; you will get an understanding of the facilities in the area, the cleanliness of the streets, and get an idea of the distance between certain locations, such as the house you are considering and the local shopping mall.

Explore the area on foot and by car:

You can learn a lot of information online, but the best way to discover more about the location is to visit it. Using your car, you can get an overview of what it might be like to live in the neighborhood by driving around the locale. You can also monitor how long it might take to get to your place of work, your children’s school, and any other places of interest.

You should also spend some of your time on foot. Without appearing like a prowler, casually spend time near the house you are considering. Listen for any noise from the next door neighbor, such as shouting, music, and barking dogs. Check the state of their property too, as well as that of surrounding properties, as you will get an idea of who lives there by the general upkeep of their houses.

And, look for signs of crime as you’re walking. If you spot a lot of graffiti and other signs of vandalism, you might assume that the area isn’t particularly desirable. Pop into the local police station too and get their professional opinion of the area.

Finally:

When moving home, the location is just as important as the property you will be moving into, so follow our tips when you’re looking to move. Hopefully, you will then make the right choice, and consequently, be very happy for many more years to come.

Featured Image By: Pixnio

Coping With The Stress Of An Unexpected Situation

Standard
Coping With The Stress Of An Unexpected Situation

Studies have shown that most of us feel stressed out at least some of the time in our typical day to day lives. We get stressed about work issues. We worry about our family and our relationships. We panic about financial problems. We’re stressed out by constantly being connected to social media and our emails. We worry that we’re eating too much or not enough of the right things. We know we should be exercising more, but we just can’t find the time. We work long, hard hours, we rarely give ourselves a break and when we do we use it to scroll through Instagram feeling envious of other people’s perfect lives.

That’s when things are going well. Our stress levels often reach their peak when something unexpected happens. Unfortunately, unexpected situations can’t always be avoided. Things break down and need repairing. People lose jobs or get sick. We find ourselves facing legal issues or problems with our children. You can’t prepare for them, but you can learn how to cope with the stress that they bring, allowing you to deal with them better.

cope1

Just breathe!

Research:

When something unexpected happens, it’s the unknown that causes us stress. Not knowing what’s going on, or why, or what will happen next causes undue concern, sleepless nights, and panic. Research your situation, employ the right people to help you, look for a lawyer and real time court reporters if you need to. Learn as much as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask for help understanding if you need it.

Speak to Someone:

You’ve probably heard the saying “a problem shared is a problem halved”. Well, it’s often true. We’re frightened and stressed out because of a lack of knowledge, but we almost talk ourselves into getting more stressed out if we deal with it in our own heads.

Speak to someone about your worries and concerns. This might be a professional that can offer you help or it could just be a close friend. Either one will give you a soundboard to get things off of your chest and offer you advice. Sometimes just vocalizing our problems makes them seem smaller.

Look At Your Options:

We often get stressed out because we feel trapped. Something unexpected happens, and we can’t see a way out. We panic, we focus on the negatives, and all we can see is the worst possible outcome. But, chances are, you have got options. Speaking to someone and learning more about your situation will help you to see them. Don’t be too proud to ask for help from the people that love you. They’ll need your help too one day, and you’d hate to think that they wouldn’t ask for it.

Concentrate On What You Can Change:

We can’t change everything. If something has happened, it’s happened. You can’t change it, and you can’t fix the past. So stop worrying about it. Focus your energies on the future, the things that you can change, and you’ll feel much better.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

New (Short!) Glitter & Black Nails

Standard
New (Short!) Glitter & Black Nails

Hiiii everyone! After a disastrous trip to LT Nails last month, I changed salons to Elysian Nails and had a most pampering few hours getting my nails worked on. And *gasp* they’re short! It was due time to give them a cut down and begin the growing out process again so now I have cutesy tiny daggers instead of my normal long claws. Annnnd, my new nail tech, Sam, convinced me to change my color palette up so check out my New (Short!) Glitter & Black Nails:

short

Ahhh! So crazy, right?! Originally, I was just going to do a glitter nail for the accent color and my normal all black everything for the rest. But, Sam (Who is such a doll!) encouraged me to try something new. We both agreed that the glittery white is perfect for an Ohio winter, especially since it was snowing fairly hard out while we were tucked away in the salon. And, for good measure, Sam let me have a black accent nail on a different finger, no less! Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

Elysian Nails definitely proved to be worth the hype, because it got amazing reviews on Facebook and every opinion giving platform that I could find. The salon was decorated beautifully, it was spacious, and all of the nail techs were as nice as can be. The prices were good, the service was fabulous, and I can’t wait to go back next month. 🙂

What color of nail polish do you have on right now? How do you deck your nails out for the holidays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Boosting Your Career Through Life Long Learning

Standard
Boosting Your Career Through Life Long Learning

After finishing school or university, the thought of picking up a book and learning something else can be the furthest thing from your mind. It’s understandable – you’ve done what you need to do to make it in the working world, so why continue learning? But, life long learning can offer a lot of benefits, and could be essential if you want to reach the top of your career. Need some further convincing? Here’s how life long learning can benefit your career:

Turns informal training formal:

Many careers begin by learning on the job, which can be a great way to gain skills and practical experience. However, the job market continues to be competitive, and even if you have years and years of experience – some employers will want to see some formal qualifications. Explore the different ways that you can validate your skills – an Experienced Worker Practical Assessment is extremely valuable in the construction industry, while a formal qualification in a language can look great on a CV. Getting that validation of your skills can be a major achievement and will help you a lot when it comes to trying for new opportunities.

Keeps your mind and skills sharp:

You might know everything there is to know about your profession now, but you can never predict when changes might happen. Take marketing professionals, for example. Fifteen years ago they barely did anything online and now everyone is finding themselves needing to know about Facebook and digital marketing in order to do their job. Regular training will help keep your mind and skills sharp to help you stay relevant in your field. Keep an eye on upcoming training courses and make sure you continue to learn as you progress in your career.

Leads to new opportunities:

Training and development is an important part of your career, and they’re often linked. If you’re interested in improving your career development, then undertaking some training courses can show that you’re passionate, committed, and interested in building your experience. Most employers have workplace training programs, so discuss it with your manager or HR department to find out what’s available to you.

Could help you switch careers:

Even if you love what you do right now, there’s no guarantee that you’ll still love it in five or ten years’ time. Having some additional strings to your bow isn’t a bad thing – your other skills and talents could be used to run a great side hustle or even help you move within departments at work. Taking on additional learning can help you find out where your interests really lie to help you do more of what you love – on a formal or informal basis. Make sure you’ve considered your options carefully before deciding on a career switch to ensure that you’re ready to take the leap.

Learning throughout your career is a great way to stay interested in what you do and stops things from becoming stale. Whether you choose to learn a new skill, a new language, or something else altogether, find ways to embrace learning throughout your working life and enjoy all of the benefits it brings.

Featured Image By: Unsplash