Tag Archives: duolingo

On Fire!

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On Fire!

Hi! Once I give myself a goal, I try my darnedest to stick to it – especially when it comes to my blog and practicing five different languages on Duolingo. I am proud to say that I have accomplished a two hundred and twenty day streak on Duolingo since my last update and I cannot wait until I hit one full year of daily practicing. I also reached a major milestone on WordPress, when a notification let me know that I am on an eight hundred and ninety day streak for posting on lifewithlilred. Woah!!!

When I am on the Duolingo app, the streak counter updates every day once I complete one lesson, so I always know where I stand. However, I have never received a notification for days of writing on WordPress and was blown away when my writing streak was announced. I never really thought about how many days straight I had been blogging on lifewithlilred and felt so proud of myself when I was able to put an actual number to it – which amounts to two years and a hundred and sixty days.

For eight hundred and ninety days, I have wrote before work and on the weekend and have been true to my goal of daily blogging. And, since the pandemic, I have made good on practicing with Duo every day too! These habits have become so ingrained in me and, now, I can’t imagine a day without my morning writing sessions and language learning. Writing and trying my hand at different languages have always been my favorite hobbies and it feels so good to accomplish such big milestones on the things that I am most passionate about.

I am very much looking forward to hitting a one year streak on Duo and a one thousand day streak on WordPress and I don’t plan on stopping there! Here’s to countless more days for all of us to reach our goals – I know we can do it. ❤

Do you have any goals for yourself? How do you stay motivated to achieve your goals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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175 Day Duolingo Streak!

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175 Day Duolingo Streak!

Hello! The last time I gave an update on my Duolingo progress, I had just achieved a one hundred day streak and I finally received my badge for adding seventy-five more days to it. I am so pleased with my progress and am proud of myself for continuing to practice five different languages every day for close to half a year. I am leaving previous goals in the dust and I feel like my skills in French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech are improving tenfold.

Thanks to Johnny gifting me Duolingo Plus for Christmas, practicing every day has become an exciting thing rather than an inconvenience because Plus gives you unlimited life. This is so handy on especially tough lessons and I don’t think I would have made it to a one hundred seventy-five day streak without it. I will most definitely be renewing my Plus subscription at the end of the year and highly recommend it.

Other than writing, learning languages is my favorite hobby and I feel good about committing myself even more to it. Similarly to how I feel after I finish a blog post for the day, I feel accomplished every time I complete my language lessons and it has really helped me shake away the pandemic boredom blahs. It’s hard to feel like there is “nothing” to do when I can go on Duolingo and learn brand new words and phrases in multiple different languages!

While I am over the moon with my one seventy-five day streak, I am nowhere close to being done yet because I will not be satisfied until I have a full year’s worth of days on my streak counter. I am almost halfway there and cannot wait to see the results of my hard work after one full year of practicing five languages. Great success!

Have you made progress on your pandemic hobbies? What is your favorite hobby? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

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Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

Hello! One of my favorite hobbies is learning new languages and I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech on Duolingo. Pre-pandemic, I was lucky if I could get a four or five day streak of practice going with a busy work and social schedule. Now, I am proud to say that I am on an over ONE HUNDRED day streak of practicing all five languages and I am honestly blown away by it. I also don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

For the past one hundred plus days, I have been dedicated to doing one to two lessons per language daily with Duo and it’s exciting for me because I can definitely tell that I have made great improvements. I consider myself to be quite fluent in French (I took it throughout high school and college) and I think I have made huge gains, as I can understand a majority of the French shows and movies I watch without subtitles now. I have found that my Spanish and Italian is much smoother and my vocabulary in both German and Czech has made good progress too.

I know people have talked about their hobbies to NO END during the COVID-19 pandemic but it is just so cool to me to notice substantial gains from just one hundred days of practicing for a half hour. Everything from work to social lives seems to be on a stand still right now with not much to look forward to. However, I look forward to working on my languages every day now so my skill set can continue to blossom.

Learning a different language opens up a whole new world. New friendships, new skills, new entertainment, new dream locations to travel to. Duolingo is a free app and if you find yourself overwhelmed by all of the free time we now have, then I highly recommend giving it a download. You can even treat yourself to Duolingo Plus, which will give you unlimited hearts! Learning something new is exhilarating and incorporating Duolingo into your life could be just what you need to shake some blahs away until things get back to normal. ❤

Do you know a different language? How do you practice? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Things That Keep Me Sane

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3 Things That Keep Me Sane

Hello! Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnny and I have essentially just been in our apartment other than work and groceries. No one is saying that it is not monotonous AF but it is for the best and we will continue doing our part in keeping ourselves and loved ones safe. With continuous days at home, it can be hard to work up the motivation to do much of anything. But, setting goals has always helped me move forward with what I want to accomplish and completing these three tasks every day has kept me from going totally stir crazy:

Writing Every Morning:

Whether it be on a work day or the weekend, as soon as I take my morning shower and ready myself for the day, I sit at the computer and prepare a scheduled post to publish. I never thought that I would be able to keep daily content coming when there is literally nothing to do. I have surprised myself and think that I am even better at my craft now because I have learned to draw inspiration from all of the little things that now make up my day.

I feel a great sense of accomplishment every time I complete a post during this pandemic because it really can be difficult. However, lifewithlilred has been dedicated to creating daily content for the past several years and not even COVID-19 can stop that! Starting my morning off with a goal already checked off of my to do list makes me feel ready to take on the rest of the day and keeps me motivated to do it again tomorrow.

Practice Languages:

One of my favorite hobbies is learning new languages and every day I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech on Duolingo. In fact, I am on an over eighty day streak of daily practicing and I have never even come close to that before. This Christmas, Johnny got me Duolingo Plus to help me continue practicing my languages in a more efficient way and it has been awesome. No adds and unlimited hearts, baby!

I like to set aside at least an hour every day to work on learning new languages and I feel proud of the huge steps that I have taken in each one that I practice. I definitely feel like I have gotten better in all of them – particularly German and Czech and I never thought that would happen! I feel excited to learn more each day and I can’t wait to get to a one hundred day streak!

Read:

The last thing that I like to do every day is read. I have always been an avid reader and I enjoy it even more now because I feel like I can escape my apartment and join the characters from the book in their world. I try to read at least thirty to forty pages plus in whatever book I am working on each day. I love the feeling of excitement I get every time I crack a book open because I know I am going to be transported on an adventure. However, I love the sense of accomplishment I feel after finishing a book and starting a new one even more. 😀

I am currently reading a delightful book called Miss Benson’s Beetle by one of my favorite authors, Rachel Joyce. It has been a nice palette cleanser from the psychological thrillers that I have been reading so definitely be on the lookout for a Lil Red’s Book Club review of it soon!

Once I complete these three tasks every day, I give myself permission to play all of the video games or watch all of the Netflix that I want. Hey, everyone deserves a treat after accomplishing their daily goals, right? 🙂

Do you set daily goals for yourself? Have you improved on one of your hobbies during the pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Boyfriend Edition

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Holiday Haul: Boyfriend Edition

Hello! I am so happy that I got to celebrate another Christmas with my boyfriend, Johnny. He means the absolute world to me and I love him so much. After months of asking him if I could tell him what I got him for Christmas, we finally made a deal to open our presents to each other on the afternoon of the 24th. So, you could imagine my surprise when he came home from work on the 22nd and said we should open our gifts now!

Not only is he getting me a new game for the Nintendo Switch as well as a year’s subscription to Duolingo Plus, he also treated me to the following:

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As soon as I opened my guillotine earrings, I gasped because I have had my eye on them for forever. In fact, I have at least five screenshots saved to remind myself to purchase them whenever they show up on my Facebook newsfeed. The first thing that came out of my mouth was “how did you know?!” because I can’t remember ever telling Johnny how much I liked them. He told me when he saw it on his Facebook he knew that I would love them and that made this gift as well as the matching necklace even more special. He knows me like the back of his hand. ❤

I am so excited to pick out a new game to play on the Switch because I have already beaten the Paper Mario game that Johnny got me for our one year anniversary. I will have to do some browsing before I make my choice but I am definitely thinking more Mario! And, finally, the subscription to Duolingo Plus really takes the cake because for one full year I won’t have to worry about running out of hearts while I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech. It will be so handy and SO freaking appreciated and I plan on starting a new language to learn since I’ll have the extra cushion of unlimited hearts. I am currently debating between Swedish, Latin, or Greek!

My Johnny knows how to spoil me and I feel like the luckiest girl ever. Duolingo Plus is exactly what I wanted and a new game and jewelry are exactly what I needed even though I didn’t know it yet! Is he the best boyfriend ever or what? ❤

How do you and your SO celebrate the holidays? What is your favorite game for the Switch? 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?

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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

Quarantine Routines

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Quarantine Routines

Hello! I’ll tell you what, ever since March 19th (The day bars and restaurants in Ohio temporarily shut down) my life has changed drastically. For my big girl job, I provide care in home for people with special needs and, now, more than ever it is my responsibility to continue staying healthy for those who need me.

Due to the nature of my job, going out for frivolity is the last thing on my mind. Back track to 2019 and it was the only thing on my mind, lol! Going to shows with Johnny, restaurants, movies, TJMAXX!!! Ugh, I miss all of that so much.

My “normal” routines of going here, there, and everywhere definitely seem to be a thing of the past. So, obviously, I had to fill up all of this newfound free time with other things. They are still fun for me, of course, but I don’t think any of these options trump my bimonthly TJMaxx shopping trips with my mom. Haha, check it out:

Reading:

I have read so many freaking books in the past six months, it is insane. My goal has been to try and finish at least two to three per month and I have achieved it every time. It has been fun to experiment with different authors like Lucy Foley and Ilaria Tuti. Both Johnny and I have also been enjoying our Audible subscription for books on tape, as well. We are always open to author and book suggestions so keep them coming!

Language Learning:

Yes, I currently am still learning French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, and German on Duolingo. I make an effort to try and practice each language four times per week, bare minimum, and so far so good. What I would really like to do in the next month or so is purchase the Duolingo Plus subscription so I never run out of hearts while practicing. This seems very necessary when learning five languages and, once I get Duo Plus, I’d like to start learning a sixth. Any ideas as to which one?

Online Shopping:

Maybe once or so per week, I will take ten to fifteen minutes to browse through some of my favorite online stores to window shop. Mainly TJMaxx, Unique Vintage, ModCloth, and Nasty Gal. It is definitely not the same as regular shopping but it somewhat satisfies that itch to go browse the aisles in person!

When I’m not aimlessly scrolling through websites and saying “oh that’s cute” about basically everything, I am trying to do some early Christmas shopping. With a long list of people to shop for, it is never too early to start the Xmas process and I am pleased with the slow and steady progress I’ve been making.

Movie Nights:

Johnny and I have decided to put a halt to finding something we can both agree on when it comes to movies. Now, we alternate whose pick it is for our movie nights and it has been great! Normally, Johnny will pick a war documentary or movie and I will choose a horror, psychological thriller, or foreign film. I love being able to see all of his favorites and it is exciting to rack my brain and browse through our streaming services to select my next pick!

Are these new routines the most exciting? Well… No. But they are as exciting as I choose to make them and I still always end up having an awesome and totally safe time at home. 🙂

What should Johnny and I watch next? How about a great new suggestion on Audible? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Enjoying Improving

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Enjoying Improving

Hi! During quarantine, I have been enjoying getting to practice all of the different languages that I have been learning. I have much more time to do so and have noticed how much I’ve improved thanks to the almost daily practice sessions. On Duolingo, I am taking French, Spanish, Czech, German, and Italian. I also have been LOVING practicing American Sign Language through YouTube videos.

Recently, I began taking an online ASL Zoom class taught by the fabulous Doctor Jen. Unfortunately, she stopped doing her weekly teaches and I was left high, dry, and disappointed because I have been wanting to learn ASL for forever. Especially since teaching myself a little from books was nothing in comparison to watching someone teach you.

It was important to me to find another source to continue learning ASL with because I was doing way better than I expected. And, luckily, I landed on ten twenty minute lessons of basic sign language from a guy who looks like Steve Martin AND the one guy from Whose Line Is It Anyway? You’ll see what I mean, I promise:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to this video!

Although I loved learning ASL under Doctor Jen, it’s nice to continue learning even if it is with someone different. And, thankfully, Doctor Byron Bridges is a close second! Born deaf to deaf parents, Doctor Bridges has degrees from numerous different schools and is dedicated to teaching his craft.

Not only is he brilliant, but it’s impossible to not grin from ear to ear when you see how animated and in he gets to each lesson. If you’re looking for something to help pass the time, why not give a few of these ASL classes a try? You’ll be glad you did!

Where else offers ASL classes online? Which languages do you know? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Self-Isolation Check In

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Self-Isolation Check In

Hi! Towards the third week of March, Ohio issued a stay home order that put a name to the suggested self-isolation constantly being recommended. This means that the only times you should be out in the general public is if your work is deemed “essential” or you are shopping at an essential business like the grocery store, pharmacy, or are stopping at the gas station.

This hasn’t been too bad, because all of the nonessential businesses and restaurants have already been closed for a while so it’s not like a bunch of fun stuff instantly got taken away. Both my boyfriend and I work in fields that are considered “essential” so we are lucky enough to still be able to go to work. But, trust and believe that as soon as we get off of work, we are hunkered down in my apartment for the rest of the day.

My time in self-isolation has proven to be pretty fruitful. I love spending time with my boyfriend playing video, card, and board games and watching all kinds of good movies and shows. Recently, we got into watching Lego Masters and that has been our latest obsession in quarantine.

I also have made good on my promise to read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and have been enjoying that greatly. And, as often as I can, I try to practice the languages that I am learning on Duolingo: French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Czech. It makes me feel good to exercise my brain after what feels like nonstop TV time and it also really helps to break up the boredom with something more mentally stimulating.

What I am most excited about during this stay at home order, however, is that the weather is finally nice enough to hike – which is still allowed! I am looking forward to being more active with walks as often as I can because I am in such a slump without being able to go to the skating rink. So, hopefully this will help decrease all of the energy I have in the evening from not doing much of anything for the past month! 😀

How have you been spending time in self-isolation? Did you set any goals for yourself to accomplish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Duolingo Update

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Duolingo Update

Yo! It has been a while since I gave an update on my language learning festivities, so here we are. This past month, I have added Czech to my trifecta of languages that I have been working on with French, Spanish, and Italian. And, let me tell you, it has been about a bitch. I decided to start Czech because of my halfsies heritage with my mom being one hundred percent Czechoslovakian. And, I plan on starting German in another month or so as my dad is almost one hundred percent in his nationality.

Being fluent in French made Spanish and Italian fairly easy to work on, since the Romance languages are pretty similar. I also took Spanish from kindergarten to eighth grade and some of that (But not much!) is definitely coming back. Italian has proven to be more challenging than I thought it would be, but I finally think I am getting a better grip on it after over three months of working on it.

The real difficulty lies in Czech because it sounds SO different than any of the other languages that I am familiar with. None of the words in Czech sound anything like English, which is so helpful in my Romance languages because you can make an educated guess even if it sounds vaguely like something you have heard before. I went into Czech blind or, deaf, I should say because aside from a few random words I’ve heard from my mom and grandma, I’ve never even heard it spoken before.

But, Lil Red never backs down from a challenge and I plan to continue working hard on Czech as well as the other three languages in my arsenal. In the meantime, does anyone have any tips on learning a new language? Czech in specific? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah