Tag Archives: cold weather

Get Winter Ready With These Ideas

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Get Winter Ready With These Ideas

Winter is nearly here and preparations need to be done to keep you and yours comfy cozy all season long. From wardrobe updates to weatherproofing and everything in between, here are some steps to get you winter ready:

Update Your Wardrobe:

With winter coming you will want to make sure that you are changing into warmer clothes to beat the frigid temps. One of the best things you can do to save money is to go through all of the winter clothes you have, see what still fits and what you would still wear and then get anything you don’t have. With kids in the house and how quickly they grow, they might need a whole new wardrobe as their winter clothes from the previous year may not fit anymore.

Weatherproof Your Home:

Winter brings a lot of harsh weather and in some areas extremely harsh weather. Different weather can have different effects on your home so there are some things you need to add to your to-do list before it sets in. One of the things you will need to do is to clear out the gutters. You will also want to make sure you bleed your radiators, service your boiler, get a furnace tune-up, and check your doors and windows for drafts. You don’t want the cold weather coming in, especially with the rise in heating costs.

Declutter And Organize:

You most likely will have done a spring clean but a winter clean is also something to be done. One of the things you need to do is organize and declutter what you can. A big area to focus on is toys if you have children. With Christmas coming you want to make sure you have somewhere to put all of the new prezzies. Having an organized and clear home can also help your mental health which can often take a downward turn during the winter.

Car Checks:

The bad weather can affect your car too. You can help prevent issues by getting it checked, checking tire pressure, and making sure your heaters work. If there are any other issues, get them sorted so you aren’t stranded in the snow with a car that won’t work. You will also want to make sure your window wipers work properly to make it safe for you to see in bad weather.

Eating Healthy:

Winter and Christmas bring a lot of goodies and treats and with the darker and colder nights coming it is easy to indulge. During the winter, a lot of bugs and illnesses go around so you want to make sure you are filling your body with goodness and nutrients so your body can fight off the bugs effectively. A good way to make sure you are caring for yourself is by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. If you are having eggs for breakfast why not add some tomatoes and mushrooms to fill it out? If you are having pasta for dinner, you can add a whole variety of different vegetables or salad to the meal.

Stay Active:

During the winter months, it is very easy to want to be at home more and snuggled up watching TV. A lot of people normally reduce the amount of exercise they do in winter. You don’t have to go to the gym to work out, you can still do it in the comfort of your own home. There are hundreds of thousands of videos online of different workouts for different levels. You can also make use of the sunlight you have in the mornings and go for a walk or run around your local park. Staying active is beneficial for your health and well-being as when you exercise your body gives you a chemical which makes you feel happy, so exercise is great for improving a blah mood too.

Be in a sunny state of mind all winter long with the tips above. Make necessary preparations now to enjoy a stress free holiday season!

Featured Image By: Pexels

3 Ways To Save On Your Heating Bill

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3 Ways To Save On Your Heating Bill

Staying comfortable and warm in the winter doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are several tips and tricks to keep your energy bill as low as the winter temperatures outside! Here are a few ways to keep you cozy and snug all season without ruining your holiday shopping budget:

Consider How You Use Your Heating:

Prices go up and down because the oil market isn’t stable. This hurts many people who heat their homes with gas in the winter. Even though it’s feasible that rates will go down if the oil price goes down, it’s much more likely that they will go up. So, making the switch to electricity could save you money right away.

If you want to make big changes to your heating, you will need to buy a lot of new equipment. But saving money over time is a financial benefit that more than makes up for the cost at first. Electric radiator prices vary from shop to shop and don’t forget to add in how much it will cost to have a professional install them. Find out how to heat your house in the most efficient way. It may be tempting to choose a smaller heater because it costs less, but will it actually heat the whole room? Each size of the radiator can only heat a certain size of the room, so radiators for bigger rooms need to be bigger.

Looking After The System:

People who use gas furnaces or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems need to have them checked and fixed regularly. Making an appointment with your heating company every fall is the best thing to do. Technicians carefully check the equipment to make sure it is running as well as it can. Normal wear and tear is fixed, along with any basic maintenance problems that come up. This keeps them from getting worse and making future repairs more expensive. Make sure you call a company to arrange hvac maintenance before winter hits.

When you take better care of your heating system in advance, it will work when the first cooler fronts come. So, you won’t have to pay more for power stations because your hardware is broken or not working. Don’t wait until winter to try out your heating system because heating companies will be hectic and it might take a while to get a service call scheduled.

Check The Insulation:

To keep your heating bill as affordable as possible, it’s crucial to keep warm air inside and stop cold air from coming in. When there is too much airflow between the interior and exterior of your home, your heating system has to work harder to maintain the temperature. If the house has good insulation, this might not happen. A lot of energy can be saved when the roof and walls of a house are insulated. A professional installer can save you several hundred dollars on your energy bills when you use your heating or cooling system.

You can also keep your house warm with cost free fixes. First, make sure all of the doors and windows close tightly. Repairing cracks in the roof will also be most helpful. Glass also helps heat through so on sunny days, people should open their curtains and drapes to let heat into their homes. Close the curtains and drapes at night to keep warm air from escaping through the windows.

Keep your house warm with the tips above and save big when the dreaded bill comes every month!

Featured Image By: Mikhail Nilov at Pexels

Must Have Fall Wardrobe Staples

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Must Have Fall Wardrobe Staples

For many, myself included, fall is the most beloved season of all. The weather, holidays, activities, and changing leaves make for a beautiful and fun time of the year. And, oh yeah, the fashion isn’t bad either! Fall fashion is a blast and provides an opportunity for a killer OOTD every time you walk out the door. Layering pieces and cold weather accessories are all must haves in a solid fall wardrobe arsenal. Here are a few that will keep you OOTD ready all season long:

Statement Jacket:

When it comes to fall clothing, priority number one should be a fantastic statement jacket. A good coat or jacket can turn the most basic outfit into something blog worthy by simply slipping it on. There is a coat for every style and occasion and it is one of my favorite pieces to indulge in when shopping. Feeling edgy? Try a moto jacket! Classically cute? A topper jacket or trench coat is your new best friend. Comfy cozy? A soft cardigan jacket will be perfect for wrapping yourself in.

For layering purposes, remember to follow this golden rule: You never want to layer two bulky or tight articles of clothing on top of each other. If you have a looser fitting coat, a thick sweater underneath is fine. On the other hand, a tight fitting moto jacket should be paired with a thinner top or sweater underneath to keep the proportions of the outfit in check.

Boots, Baby:

Put your summer sandals and wedges away because boot season is in full swing! Like a good jacket, a bold pair of shoes can instantly transform an outfit. Look for heeled boots to wear during an outing and some cool combat boots to sport during a fall hike. To add some extra visual interest, you can try patterns like snakeskin, cheetah print, or floral. Hardware embellished boots with chains or studs are also sure to be a hit!

Cold Weather Accessories:

There are three must have cold weather accessories to not only keep you nice and warm but oh so fashionable: Scarves, hats, and gloves. These pieces will help tie your fall OOTDs together and are a great way to spice up your wardrobe without breaking the bank. When it comes to these accessories, the possibilities are endless! Do you want mittens or fingerless gloves? An infinity scarf or a pashmina? How about a floppy or cloche hat? Regardless of what you choose, you will be toasty and always ready for a photo op.

Cardigans/Sweaters:

For maximum comfort, warmth, and style, a gorgeous cardigan or sweater is the way to go! You can keep things simple with a plain one in fall hues like burnt orange, mustard yellow, and forest green. Or you can take things to the next level with patterns like polka dots, Halloween themes, or thick stripes. For many a fall OOTD, comfy cozy is the name of the game. Snap a pic in your fall sweater or cardi with a Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand and you just broke Instagram!

It doesn’t take much to revamp your fall wardrobe – just a few of the pieces above will suffice. Now, go werk those fall fits and hit the apple orchard!

What is your favorite piece of fall clothing? How do you upgrade your wardrobe as the seasons change? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Autumn Awesome OOTD Pt. 2

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Autumn Awesome OOTD Pt. 2

Howdy and welcome to some bonus pics from my Autumn Awesome OOTD! There is something about the arrival of fall that just feels exciting. One primary reason for me is that I despise summer weather lol. I love when the shift of hot AF to comfortable AF happens and I can wrap myself up in all of my cozy fall clothes! I think I will be living in my new Rachel Zoe sweater all autumn long:

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^^^ Note the Peter Grimm hat worn on my back instead of my head and don’t note my roots too much!!

As I mentioned yesterday, the weather still fell under the category of “hot AF” during this photo shoot despite my fall ready outfit. I was sweating by the time Johnny and I were ready to leave and put on a pair of shorts and T-shirt as soon as we got home lol. The long awaited temperature change, clearly, hadn’t happened yet but I was very much mentally in fall mode!

During the summertime, I could truly care less about what I’m wearing and if my hair and makeup is done. I already know that I’ll be sweating profusely so what’s the point?! Johnny and I are cold weather creatures and would much rather spend our time in the AC than out and about! When fall arrives, however, it’s like a flip switches and all we want is to be outside doing all of the things. It’s when we thrive. 😀

There is nothing better than taking a hike, visiting a craft fair, or the pumpkin patch and being comfortable while doing so. My summer long hibernation ends and that means that I have to show out no matter the activity or occasion. My wardrobe skews heavily towards fall clothing and I need to seize every opportunity I can to break out all of my favorite pieces. Yet another reason why I freaking LOVE fall.

I don’t know about all of you, but this is the time of year for me when I begin thinking about all of the cold weather holidays. I am daydreaming of Halloween, Thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas. In fact, I have already began my shopping! Fall brings about all kinds of amazing changes and I am ready to live my best life all autumn long. And also my best dressed life too!

What is your favorite type of weather? Have you started any holiday shopping already? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Snowy Saturday OOTD Bonus Pictures

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Snowy Saturday OOTD Bonus Pictures

Hello everyone and welcome to some bonus pics from my Snowy Saturday OOTD! This was probably my speediest photo shoot to date because it was freaking freezing outside! It also took my hands several minutes to thaw out afterwards from throwing snowballs… Anything in the name of fashion lol.

My Johnny was such a trooper to snap these pics and, needless to say, the rest of the day was spent hibernating after just five minutes in the cold. I think this is enough winter for me! Check out these extra shots and you might want to sip some hot chocolate while doing so to keep warm:

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As I’ve mentioned before, the past several winters in Ohio have been insanely mild and, although we all knew a massive snow storm was coming, it still took everyone by surprise. In fact, Johnny and I can’t even remember the last time it snowed like this because in one night, Akron was covered in sixteen inches of snow. The winter wonderland is visually beautiful but I am so ready for spring!

While winter has never really bothered me before, that did a complete one eighty with the pandemic. Since Johnny and I have been laying low for the entirety of COVID-19, our activities are severely stunted once the cold weather hits. No hanging out in the fresh air means that most of our days are spent with our programs, board games, video games, and record player. It’s not the most awful thing ever but I have been craving an outdoor date day in the worst way.

Not many outings means no dressing up, either, which is something that I miss desperately. So, when I do brave the outdoors, I have to put my best OOTDs forward. Naturally, my coffee date with a girlfriend fell on the coldest morning ever but fashion called and I just had to pick up the phone! I love the outfit that I came up with but am hoping that the next time I bust it out, it’s at least ten degrees warmer!

What has your winter been like? How do you spend snowy days? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Snowy Saturday OOTD

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Snowy Saturday OOTD

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new OOTD here on lifewithlilred! This past Saturday, I got all dolled up for a coffee date with one of my best girlfriends, Danielle. Upon returning home, my darling husband braved the bitter cold to snap some pics of yours truly. Best blog husband EVER! While Johnny was sporting his cheetah print robe and his moto jacket for a speedy photo shoot, I was wearing this:

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Who? What? Wear?

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^^^ Lol

After a massive snow storm last week, it finally felt like winter in good ol’ Akron, Ohio. While I can’t stand the snow, I have to admit that I am just a little bit happy that I finally get to break out all of my warm jackets that have been sitting sentinel in my closet! Morning coffee with my fellow fashionista, Danielle, meant that I just had to show out in my cold weather best and I love what I came up with.

Prior to my coffee date, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to wear as I had been dying to break out my new Wit & Wisdom snakeskin print jeans. The easy route would have been to wear black on top to match with the patterned jeans but where is the fun in that?! For much needed warmth and texture, I went with my teddy bear soft faux fur jacket by Sanctuary, which complimented the touches of taupe on the jeans. This jacket was a sweet surprise from my mom and I seriously could not stop touching it because it is So. Freaking. Soft!

With the base of my outfit taken care of, it was time to accessorize because the neutral palette of my OOTD needed some brightening up. To rectify this, I chose my silk BCBG scarf in a darling Popsicle print. With temperatures in the teens, the cold treat pattern is pretty ironic but it was just what this outfit needed to add more visual interest. And, of course, my all time favorite fingerless gloves by Steve Madden gave a fun pop of color.

Shockingly, the shoes were what I struggled with when it came to this Snowy Saturday OOTD, which is something that I never thought that I would say! Boots were out of the question because it would break up the sleek lines that I was working with. I knew I needed heels, but which ones? Most of my heeled booties have a pattern, which would also be a no go with the patterned jeans.

After scouring my shoe collection, I found the winner with my heeled booties from Target that costed me a whole ten dollars. It was the perfect choice as it provided some extra length and looked just right with the rest of my look. They might not have been the best to trudge through the snow with but I will do anything in the name of fashion!

Once my photo shoot with Johnny was done, we had a long laugh about my Step Brothers T-shirt underneath such a chic coat. This Snowy Saturday OOTD would not be complete without a little dose of Dale and Brennan! 😀

What is your favorite season to dress for? Do you have a favorite silly T-shirt? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Snow Day!

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Snow Day!

Hello! We have had an incredibly mild winter here in good ol’ Akron, Ohio with abnormally high temps and barely any snow. Thanks, global warming. That all changed this past Sunday, however, when we had a massive snow storm. It snowed all evening, night, and the following morning on Martin Luther King Day, leaving me and Johnny, as well as pretty much everyone in my apartment community snowed in. Check it out:

Johnny and I spent our Snow Day tucked inside watching movies and our programs. We had a viewing of Wentworth, the original Jumanji (Which I had never seen!), and The Fundamentals Of Caring (It was very good!). While we hibernated, I made some boozy hot chocolate for us to enjoy compliments of Christmas Bailey’s from one of my best friends – it was delicious!

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Our snow day wasn’t all fun and warm alcoholic beverages, though, because we knew that we would have to at least make an effort to shovel out our cars for work the following day. Although we didn’t have a shovel, I drew inspiration from a neighbor I spotted earlier clearing out her parking spot with a frying pan. Major props for creativity. 😀

Armed with baking sheets, Johnny and I spent a good half hour “shoveling” around my car. Unfortunately, all of that snow had to go somewhere, and ended up barricading Johnny’s car even more. On the plus side, he did get another snow day out of it! Basically everyone in my complex was out shoveling while we were and the sense of community I felt from our collective complaining was a beautiful thing. We even helped get a car unstuck that was struggling up the hill out of the complex. Great success!

Our snow day was a lot of play and a little bit of work that ended up being a great work out too lol. If you are shovelless this winter, I am also here to tell you that cooking gear works just as well! 😀

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

*Super Yummy* Vegetarian Chili Recipe

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*Super Yummy* Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Hello! One of my best girlfriends, Danielle, was kind enough to bring Johnny and I some of her amazing homemade vegetarian chili this past holiday week. She is one of my favorite people in the world and concocted this recipe all by herself. It was SO good that I just had to share it with all of you to get warmed up during those chilly (See what I did there!) winter evenings. Let’s get to it:

Ingredients:

  • 6 to 8 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 cans of beans (kidney, pinto, or navy)
  • 1 package of vegetarian crumblers
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 2 Tbs cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne powder (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 to 5 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 C water

Prep (About 10 minutes):

Dice onion and poblano
“top” and halve the tomatoes
Peel and halve the garlic

Cook (Between 45 and 60 minutes):

Heat oil in a sauce pan (4 Qt or larger) and add onions, garlic, and poblano. Cook 5 minutes
or so, then add water followed by the tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat to just above medium,
and let simmer for 5 minutes. Continue to cook, but at this point the tomato skins can be
easily peeled from the tomatoes, so using a pair of tongs remove the skins and squish the
tomatoes as they cook. (Throw away the skins.)

Continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes are completely cooked. Using
tongs remove any of the hard cores that might remain. Put the tomato liquid into a blender and add the spices. Blend on low at first, then high until the mixture is a smooth liquid; about 5 minutes.

Return the liquid to the sauce pan, add beans and crumblers. Heat over low heat for 15 to 30
minutes. (This lets the crumblers heat through and allows the spices to really take over.)

Options:

If I want to have some extra heat I’ll dice two or three jalapenos and add them with the
poblano and onions. You can always add more Cayenne pepper too.

Before adding the beans and crumblers the sauce is a good burrito topping. I’ve also used a
cup or two of crumblers to make taco filling.

Of course, you can always add in extra chunky things (onion, peppers, etc) to the sauce if you
like some “crunch.”

* I prefer a can of kidney or pinto and a can of navy beans. I’ve also used chick peas in a
pinch.

** I like Boca crumblers (keeps it vegan) and have used Morningstar Farms and impossible
crumblers all of which work well.

Not only is Danielle one of my A-1s but she is, obviously, a master chef too! I cannot wait to make her recipe and hope that all of you enjoy it as much as I did. ❤

What is your favorite cold weather food? How about warm weather? 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. Whether your furnace check is strictly maintenance or perhaps getting a new one, this is such an important task to complete come cold weather. Local professionals in your area or furnace installation in Denver will be able to assist in keeping your home nice and warm all winter long.

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

Prepping Your Home For Winter

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Prepping Your Home For Winter

When the cold weather comes around, there is nothing better than cozying up on the couch with a good book or your favorite show while the snow falls. However, there is much to be done to prepare your home for winter before you can sit back and enjoy. Let’s discuss a few key things that must be done so you can stay warm, comfortable, and safe all winter long:

Check Your Heating System:

Right now is the best time to have a routine maintenance check on your heating system. The longer you wait, the more booked up your local professionals are going to be and you want to make sure your heating is in check well before the super cold weather hits. Schedule a check up ASAP so that any potential problems can be solved quickly and you and your family can stay nice and toasty this winter.

Make Roof Repairs:

One of the most critical things that you can do is get roof rejuvenation before winter. If you are handy, you can examine your roof yourself and check for leaks, cracks, and weak spots. If not, that’s okay too and you can hire a professional team to get everything back in order. You could have the best heating system in the world but that means nothing when all of that glorious warm air is escaping through your rooftop!

Pest Control:

Just as we want to retreat into the warmth when the cold weather strikes, animals do too. There are countless DIY projects that you can undertake to keep your home pest free this winter. Start by looking for entry points in and around your house that little critters can get in through and patch them up accordingly. Mice can squeeze through even the smallest spaces so you must look things over with a fine toothed comb. And, as always, if you are unsure of anything, it is best to call in the local professionals so you can rest easily and safely this winter.

All Of The Extras:

The bitter cold and snow is enough to keep anyone inside during the wintertime so make sure you have plenty to do in your home to keep you occupied! Games, books, streaming services, and literally all of the soup recipes can go a long way on a snow day!

Prepare your home for the winter now so you can hibernate with the best of them until spring!