Tag Archives: covid-19

Happy Thanksgiving!

Standard
Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Compliments of COVID, the 2020 holiday season is going to be a lot different. Family get togethers might be taking place over Zoom rather than in person or the celebrations could be pushed back until everyone can participate without crippling anxiety. No matter how you spend your day, I urge all of you to do it as safely as possible so all of your loved ones will be around to celebrate a *hopefully* normal Thanksgiving and Christmas next year.

2020 has been a wild ride and the craziness just reminds me of how thankful I am for all of the wonderful things about my life. A beautiful family, loving relationship, rewarding job, and fabulous friends both in person and online in the blogosphere are certainly nothing to sneeze at!

Thank you all so much for sharing in lifewithlilred with me because each and every one of you help keep me motivated to write each and every day. I am so proud of the sense of community that I feel on my page and I wish nothing but health, safety, and all of the good things for you and yours. ❤

Happy Thanksgiving!

At Home Concerts Pt. 2

Standard
At Home Concerts Pt. 2

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, my “big girl” job is as an independent provider for adults with special needs. Pre-COVID, community integration was my specialty and I was always finding exciting activities and events for my clients to participate in that they might not have had access to before.

One of my favorite haunts “back in the day” with a client who is a music lover was a vinyl record club at the library where a group of our now good friends would sit around, eat pizza, listen to music, and talk about anything and everything. It was such fun and we both miss it a lot so, naturally, at home concerts had to happen when record club was no longer an option.

At home concerts are one of my favorite activities to do with clients now because it’s fun, safe, and I love singing and dancing with my pals! If you remember my original At Home Concerts post, you will know I taught one of my friends how to use YouTube and we are still going strong on watching his favorite golden oldies artists perform.

My other client has a much different taste in music, though. He loves rap! And so do I so at home concerts with him are an absolute trip. In fact, he was the one who introduced me to Cardi B and she’s one of my faves now! Every week we alternate who is going to pick the album and we spend the entire time dancing on opposite ends of the room, laughing, and talking about everything from the important to the downright silly.

Pre-COVID, at home concerts were the last thing on my mind when I could take my clients to all kinds of wonderful events where live music was played. Post-COVID, I find at home concerts to be an inspired idea and it has become my new favorite part about my job.

Exploring different genres of music, hearing songs I’ve never listened to before, and seeing my clients have fun is a high point of my day when we feel like listening to some tunes. We all consider our at home concerts to be an exciting event and it could be for you and your friends/family too!

Dress as your favorite artists, celebrate a different theme or genre, or even learn the different dances of the times so you can better groove to the music. An at home concert can turn a blah day into something really awesome – all it takes is a little creativity. 🙂

What are some of your favorite at home activities? Do you have any suggestions for what my clients and I should listen to next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Unusual Benefits Of Learning From Home For Kids

Standard
4 Unusual Benefits Of Learning From Home For Kids

Earlier in the year, schools around the world closed their doors for many months. At the same time, teaching still moved forward and kids still learned. It was all done at home, and there’s every chance we’ll see this again in the future. Nobody really knows what will happen with COVID in the next few months/years, but you could also look ahead to the distant future. Who knows, learning from home might be the common thing in ten years!

Anyway, you might worry about kids not being in school, but there are actually a few benefits of learning from home like the following:

You get to monitor their work:

When your child is in school, you have to assume they’re paying attention in lessons. You put blind faith in the idea that they are working hard at all times. Realistically, this could be far from the truth and they might mess around a lot. But, if they learn from home, you can monitor their progress. You can check that they’re paying attention and being a good student. Effectively, you make sure they do the school work and actually learn while in class!

They develop better computer skills:

All schools will have a system in place where children can speak to teachers as they learn from home. Typically, this is some kind of cloud based teaching software. As such, your children spend a lot of time working on a computer and using different applications. In this day and age, that can be extremely beneficial. They develop better computer skills, setting them up for better job prospects. You pretty much need to be a computer expert if you want a job in the next decade or so. So, while face-to-face learning may be better in some aspects, studying via a computer doesn’t come without its strengths.

Much better school lunches:

Let’s be honest, school lunches are terrible. They might be good in some schools, but they generally reach a very low standard. By learning from home, your child will have access to the entire kitchen – and your cooking. Therefore, you can make them a much better and more nutritious school lunch. This will definitely help fuel them for the rest of the day.

Fewer distractions and more help:

Your child has fewer distractions when they’re learning from home. This is mainly because they have no classmates causing disruptions. As a consequence, they might be able to focus and get through their work a lot quicker. Plus, the other benefit of not being in a classroom is that they can get more help. If they struggle with something, they can ask you for assistance. There’s no need to wait for the teacher to help twenty other kids before eventually getting to them!

See, learning from home isn’t as bad as you might think. So, you shouldn’t worry if schools close again, and your child is back in this situation. Like everything in life, it’s all about finding the positives out of a negative situation. 

Featured Image By: Pexels

Lil Red COVID-19 PSA

Standard
Lil Red COVID-19 PSA

Howdy!! Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still causing a lot of grief for everyone. Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take to better protect yourselves and your loved ones. Like some of the following:

Mask Up:

Whether you’re rocking a surgical mask or a homemade cloth one, it is so important to wear a mask if you are out in public. Yes, some people find them uncomfortable. But, you know what’s more uncomfortable? People getting sick and dying. Wearing a mask is a sign of respect to those around you, for yourself, and for your loved ones. It is the absolute least we can all do.

Social Distance:

If you are out in public, be sure to follow proper social distancing protocols by standing at least six feet apart from those around you. Many stores have handy markers on the ground to help keep everyone the appropriate space apart. Be aware of them, use them, and don’t be that person who is up in everyone’s space despite the PANDEMIC going on. Also, while in public, make sure you are using Purell or your preferred brand of hand sanitizer often.

Just Stay In:

As someone who works with very high risk people, I have been hunkered down since March to better protect myself and my clients. Would it be nice to continue to go here, there, and everywhere as if things were normal right now? Yes. But things aren’t normal right now and most outings like restaurants, bars, or large get togethers are completely unnecessary.

Order take out, have a wine night at home, or Zoom everybody in for a hang sesh in the evening. It has been so difficult for me to give things up that I love like ice skating weekly, seeing my friends, and in store shopping trips. However, I value everyone’s health and safety far more than all of my favorite activities combined.

If You’re Bored…

And, if you’re super bored, you are always welcome here on lifewithlilred as a guest blogger! Fill up some ample free time by emailing me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com and we can arrange for you to be my featured blogger of the day. The best part? lifewithlilred is about creating a family in the blogosphere and all of my previous guest bloggers will always have a home on my page when they want to have their work featured again. Stay in for an afternoon and become part of my ever growing blogging family! ❤

How do you stay safe in COVID times? What is something that you miss doing the most? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Blogging Through 2020

Standard
Blogging Through 2020

Hello! For over six years, lifewithlilred has been going strong on the blogosphere and, unless there are some crazy circumstances, I write each and every day. You all have been with me through a lot from graduating college, break ups, car accidents and everything in between. With that in mind, there has never been a lack of anything for me to write about because it always felt like something new was happening.

Then, COVID-19 came around in 2020 and said “hold my beer”. As someone who works with extremely high risk families every day, all of my previous favorite activities fell by the wayside to not only protect me but all of my clients and loved ones. This meant no more shopping in store, no movies, no restaurants, no bars – no nothing, really.

This change from a constant on the go career as well as bopping around here, there, and everywhere with Johnny as his band played shows to a mostly sedentary lifestyle in my apartment was a huge shock. I have never had a lack of things to talk about on my blog but now, some days, I just don’t feel like I have anything to say!

But, we all know that Lil Red having nothing to say is impossible and I still have managed to write every day of 2020 despite the constant ups and downs. This is something that I am really proud of myself for because I have had to get so creative with my content to keep new posts coming, which can be uber difficult when you barely leave the house, lol.

Blogging through 2020 has taught me about finding inspiration in unlikely places and being more forthright in my own opinions and beliefs. I am so thankful that all of my beloved readers have stuck with me through such crazy times and it makes me that much more motivated to get up early every morning and write before I have to head to work.

Honestly, I have always been my toughest critic and it’s sometimes hard for me to come up with nice things to say about myself. It feels so good to see the fruits of my labor every day with a new post on lifewithlilred and having such a sense of pride in my work has increased my self esteem tenfold.

Times are hard right now and everyone’s situation is different. But, in Lil Red’s world, we’re all in this together so thank you for continuing to share in this crazy journey with me! ❤

Has it been difficult for you to blog during 2020? What do you do when you have writer’s block? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Up To?

Standard
What Have I Been Up To?

Howdy! I will always be the first to say how much I miss pre-COVID life. I miss going on dates with Johnny, seeing all of our friends, and not worrying my head off every time I’m in public. And, as someone who works with very high risk families, nonessential outings just seem unimportant to me. So what in the heck have I been up to, then, if I don’t do much of anything in public any more? A whole lot of the following:

Reading:

I love, love, love to read and always have so ample at home time has meant finishing beaucoup books. I try to read at least two chapters or thirty or so pages depending on the book daily. Right now, I am finishing up the prequel to The Hunger Games called The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes and it is excellent! I have such a hankering now to go back and read the entire series and watch all of the movies, of course. 😀

The Sleeping Nymph by Ilaria Tuti is what’s on deck after my Hunger Games book. I am also always open to suggestions of your favorite books so be sure to let me know in the comments!

Duolingo:

Like reading, I try to practice all five of the languages I’m learning daily on Duolingo. I am currently on a twenty day streak of studying French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech and that is huge for me. The last time I had a streak that long was when I was recovering for a month from my oral surgery gone wrong.

I am very motivated to keep that streak going and I am so excited for Johnny to get me Duolingo Plus for Christmas so I no longer have to worry about having enough hearts to complete each practice session. I also plan on adding Swedish, Latin, or Greek into the mix next!

Video Chats:

My ultimate BFF, Lea, and I still see each other about once a month to have a social distanced drink at either one of our homesteads. Other than that, I do a lot of FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom to “see” all of the rest of my pals in my friend group. I love setting aside an hour block or so on the weekend to catch up with friends both near and far and it definitely helps keep me sane to chat even if it isn’t face to face.

Video Games:

Johnny and I are both in love with our Nintendo Switch and when I have some free time, I enjoy playing Animal Crossing. It is so relaxing and fun and I am always excited when the game updates so that you can catch new fish and bugs and participate in different activities like growing pumpkins or foraging mushrooms. I cannot wait to see what our island looks like for Christmas!

I also just beat Paper Mario: The Origami King last week and it was an absolute blast. Johnny got it for me for our one year anniversary and it felt so good to finally beat it. The game was insanely entertaining, visually beautiful, and it was challenging without ever being too too hard. I plan on buying a new Mario game for the Switch soon so if anyone has any favorites, please let me know. 🙂

Online Shopping:

Finally, there is nothing like a little bit of online shopping to help perk me up. I have so enjoyed all of my early Christmas shopping and I am very pleased to say that I am almost done buying for everyone on my gift list. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t pick out a little something something for myself too – especially since I haven’t gone shopping in person since February.

I love ordering small pick me ups like face masks to pamper myself with and, when I really feel like splurging, I never say no to a new pair of shoes!

Are the activities I listed above the most exciting? Not by a long shot. But I value my safety and those around me much more than needing to be out and about right now. So, in the end, it’s not all that bad. ❤

What are your favorite at home activities? What do you miss the most from pre-COVID times? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

2020 Approved Christmas Gift Ideas

Standard
2020 Approved Christmas Gift Ideas

Hello! 2020 has been a crazy year, to say the least. And, until the COVID-19 pandemic gets under control, things are going to remain crazy. The coronavirus may have put a damper on your upcoming holiday plans. However, you can still be the best gifter of the bunch with these totally approved for 2020 gift ideas. Check it out:

Streaming Subscription:

If one of your giftees doesn’t have a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Shudder, or Amazon Prime, then this would be the perfect time to introduce them. Buy a subscription for them for a couple of months or, heck, the entire year! The gift of entertainment will certainly go a long way right now and it will give you someone new to talk about all of your favorite shows with.

Gift Cards:

To some, gift cards might feel like a cop out gift. I have never been under that impression and am never opposed to gift cards – especially right now! Gift cards are great because you can use them during online shopping so no visits to the store are required and your giftee can pick out exactly what they want. Safe, smart, and so simple.

Date Night In:

Staying in is the best thing you can do right now so why not create a date night in for your favorite couple? Try sending them a box from Blue Apron or Hello Fresh so that they can prepare a meal together and a new board game for the evening’s entertainment. The wine is optional but would not go unappreciated… For me, at least! 😀

Craft Kits:

Another fun idea for creating entertainment at home for your giftee is assembling a craft kit for them. Whether that be a wooden bird box and some paint for a nature lover, beautiful beads for a friend who makes jewelry, or a sketch pad and colored pencils for your favorite artist a craft kit is thoughtful and sure to be a success for your artistically inclined giftees.

2020 Care Package:

Honestly, everyone can use some help right now and a 2020 care package could be the biggest crowd pleaser of all. Fill a basket with hand made cloth masks from a local business, Purell, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies. Is it the most fun? No. Is it the most useful? Absolutely! It’s just like getting socks for Christmas – no one necessarily loves it but they are always needed! 🙂

If you are struggling with coming up with gifts for everyone on your list, use the tips above for the ultimate 2020 approved ideas!

Are you all done holiday shopping? What are some of your best gift ideas for 2020? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

Standard
Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

Hello!! Normally, the holiday season is an uber exciting time to get together with the people you love most and celebrate. However, with COVID-19 still on the up and up, these next few holidays might feel more daunting than anything. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be different this year but different doesn’t mean bad so try getting more into the holiday spirit with these ideas:

Host A Food Drive:

It’s nice to remember how fortunate we are during the holiday season but it’s even better to think about those who have less than you. So, how about hosting a food drive with your friend group or family? Choose some of your local food banks or homeless shelters to help support and see how big your donation haul can get. Offer a small reward to the person who collected the most goods and turn a collection drive into a yearly tradition.

Mystery Gifts:

Due to COVID, it is much easier and safer to online shop for holiday gifts instead of going into the store. A fun way to recognize this would be to send mystery gifts to your friends or family. No names, no cards – just a Zoom meeting after all of the gifts are received to see if anyone can guess who sent them theirs. Set your own rules like a spending limit or if hints can be given and see how well all of you know each other by sending off surprise gifts!

Arts & Crafts:

Having an abundance of time at home is perfect for trying your hand at some holiday themed crafts. Whether that be creating hand print turkeys with your little ones or having a boozy Christmas ornament decorating sesh with the girls, a craft night is a perfect way to get together and try something new. Have a Zoom meeting all together or social distance appropriately and, who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite hobby.

Countdown Memories:

Sadly, a lot of families will not be able to get together this holiday season and that sucks – for lack of a better word. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in one of the most loved holiday activities – reminiscing on holidays of past. Create a slideshow or presentation of your top holiday memories complete with pictures, videos, or goofy memes to help better describe your favorite times. Send them off to those you hold dear and enjoy hearing about everyone else’s most treasured holiday memories.

Sponsor A Family:

The holiday season should, ideally, be a magical time for everyone but, unfortunately, that is not the case. If there is a family in your community that you know is struggling, lend a helping hand. Leave a surprise donation of toys, gift cards, food, and anything else that you think they would need to better enjoy their day. You might be able to make it the best holiday yet for someone who needs it the most.

How do you get into the holiday spirit? What are some of your favorite holiday memories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Ways To Keep Your Workers Safe & Healthy

Standard
4 Ways To Keep Your Workers Safe & Healthy

Your employees are the backbone of your company. They keep it up and running and help you reach your goals. Therefore, it’s wise to implement ways to keep your workers safe and healthy.

The following advice will help you maintain a productive and satisfactory workplace so everyone is happy and stays well. It’s your responsibility as the business owner and boss to ensure your work environment keeps your employee’s safe and that they feel comfortable coming into the office each day. You’ll find that you will deal with fewer accidents or mishaps and that your workers won’t be out sick as much when you follow through with these suggestions:

Clean & Disinfect Often:

If you want to continue to operate and serve your clients during these trying times, then you must be prepared to maintain a clean and sanitary workspace. It’s a reality that many business owners like yourself have to deal with and manage daily. Keep your workers safe and healthy by cleaning and disinfecting the work environment, surfaces, and your building often. Consider hiring a professional restoration services team that specializes in deep cleaning to protect against the coronavirus and other illnesses.

Document & Communicate Policies & Procedures:

Another way to keep your workers safe and healthy is to document and communicate policies and procedures. Put it in writing, so there is less confusion among your workers. You must set expectations early on and have rules in place that help keep them protected and out of harm’s way. Circulate these documents and provide copies to your employees so they can review them and ask any questions they have. These guidelines will help you to maintain a safe and healthy working environment.

Encourage A Culture Of Work/Life Balance:

It’s also wise to encourage a culture of work-life balance at your office. Keep your workers safe and healthy by letting them know the importance of them taking care of themselves and that they have your full support in doing so. They’ll have more energy and get better sleep this way and, in turn, will be more productive and content at work. Ensure each person has an amount of work they can realistically handle and have others jump in and help whenever necessary. You might also want to obtain an employee discount to a local gym and implement half-day Fridays during the summertime to show that you’re committed to this initiative. 

Train Your Employees:

You can also prevent injuries and keep your workers safe and healthy by training them. Make sure that they know how to work special equipment or handle toxic chemicals if applicable in your work environment. You want to do all that’s in your power to ensure your employees can do their jobs correctly while at the same time remaining safe and protected. You’re also showing that you’re invested in your workers by making sure they are properly trained and that you’re committed to them performing well on the job.

Implement the tips above and keep those in your company safe during the coronavirus pandemic!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Ill Fitting Face Mask? Try This Quick Tip!

Standard
Ill Fitting Face Mask? Try This Quick Tip!

Hello! It is so important to wear a face mask right now to help with the spread of COVID-19. It is also so important that your face mask fits well and that there are no gaps anywhere that leave parts of your face exposed. I love my cloth masks, myself, because I find that they fit much better than the surgical masks, which are very loose on me.

My mom is a very petite lady and has the cutest little face. But that means that some cloth masks can be really big on her. This past week, she told me her secret for improving the fit of her masks and it is so simple and smart that I just had to share it with all of you:

E904F490-838A-42CA-B4C4-7F542A237264BCCCE1A0-E737-4DC9-A29A-254CF8664A01

If the top half of your cloth mask slides past your nose and can open up to expose the inside, then all you need is a bag of coffee grounds for the solution. Actually, all you need is the silver safety seal on a bag of coffee grounds to help keep it fresh.

Once your seal has been acquired, all you need to do is slide it up to the top crease of your mask through the opening. This will then act as a clamp so that you can tighten the top half, much like the tops of the blue surgical masks.

This quick fix has improved my mom’s mask game tenfold and all it takes is a bag of coffee. So, grab your favorite blend, keep caffeinated, use this tip, and pass it along to anyone who might find it helpful! 🙂

What are some of your fixes for an ill fitting mask? Where do you find the cutest face masks? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah