Tag Archives: fall

5 Tips For Creating The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern

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5 Tips For Creating The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern

Before we visit a pumpkin patch or farm, we might want to brush up on our pumpkin decorating skills. A well decorated front yard for Halloween is a joy for children and adults alike so why not go all out? If you are looking for an activity that extends beyond choosing a pumpkin and decorating it, which will happen too, then click here. Let’s get started:

Select the Right Pumpkin:

A thorough inspection of the pumpkin should include checking for soft spots. This is to make sure that you do not end up choosing a pumpkin that has already begun to spoil. Also avoid pumpkins with deep ridges and go for a smooth-surfaced one. At pumpkin farms, there will be plenty of choices as opposed to you trying to pick the best among limited options within a grocery store, when customers have already bought the best ones.

The design that you have in mind should also dictate the pumpkin that you choose. In other words, do you need a short and round pumpkin or one that is skinnier and taller in terms of its shape? Know in advance what you are looking for.

Prepare Your Design Before Applying to the Pumpkin:

Draw out your design and then use tracing paper to transfer it onto the pumpkin. This can be a design that you have approved yourself or that has been checked with someone else first. However, it is nice to surprise people by not showing them your design until it is carved on your finished pumpkin.

With your design, think beyond just a traditional triangular face and consider creating other Halloween symbols such as bats, stars, or moons. More adventurous still, you could attempt a graveyard scene or a spooky forest. If designing your pumpkin further down the line, perhaps at Thanksgiving in November, then think about alternative creations of say puppies, cats, or rabbits. Children tend to prefer animals because of their familiarity and the cute factor.

Know How to Hold Your Pumpkin:

It is a good idea to hold the pumpkin in your lap as you are carving it. This is the most supportive and safest way to carve a pumpkin. Have the right equipment of a serrated kitchen knife for the main carving and a small saw for the more intricate parts of the design.

Consider Shaving:

We are not talking shaving your legs or facial hair, but the alternative of not cutting right through the pumpkin with every stroke. Instead, sometimes deciding to just scrape pieces of pumpkin away to allow just enough light to glow through your open-design creations. It is always important to be patient when creating any pumpkin design. The best designs have taken much thought and a good deal of carving, and your other technique of shaving should make for a design that is more dynamic than it might otherwise have been.

Incorporating Scraps Within the Design:

Do not waste anything because you can incorporate your scraps or discarded pieces of pumpkin within your design. The ones that you do not intend to cook, that is. For example, you could make hair, a tongue, a pipe, or a chimney from these spare pieces. This will make your pumpkin into more of a character with a personality, a more sophisticated structure, or make it more three dimensional in form. You can be as artistic as you like, creating something for your pumpkin that merely started as a basic idea on paper. Think as creatively about your scraps as you do about the main part of your creation.

Turn your ordinary pumpkin into something extraordinary with the tips above and you will delight your whole neighborhood with your creation!

Zempertoopa Skeleton Sweater

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Zempertoopa Skeleton Sweater

Hello! From band Ts to straight up silly ones, Johnny and I have a decent amount of matching T-shirts. I always joke that our matching tops will prevent us from getting lost when we are out and about! And, now, we can be twinsies in sweaters too during the cold weather because he bought a skeleton one off of Amazon that didn’t fit and had to order a size up. It was no harm no foul though because it’s mine now! Haha check it out:

For most people, the winter holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. For me and Johnny, however, it is the entire month of October – AKA spooky season! We live for Halloween and prefer to stay in the spooky spirit all year round. Our new sweaters will definitely help the cause of living every day like it’s Halloween. 😀

Johnny has wanted a skeleton style sweater for forever so he was very disappointed when this one didn’t fit. Myself, on the other hand, was more disappointed that he didn’t order me one too so I guess things all worked out in the end lol. This will be the perfect sweater for snuggling up and watching scary movies or going out and about to do fall activities with.

The next outing on our agenda is to hit the pumpkin patch but it won’t be to pick out the perfect Jack-o-lantern pumpkin. We have literally no room in our apartment to carve pumpkins so our plan is to purchase some anyways and go to a wooded area to break them open for all of our animal friends. Pumpkins are a delicious treat for woodland animals and I encourage all of you to do the same when you’re clearing out your Halloween decor. 🙂

Skeletons, pumpkins, and apple orchards – oh my! Your favorite resident emo couple is living their best life right now and I hope the same is true for you too. ❤

Do you like carving pumpkins? What are you going to dress up as for Halloween? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

All Aboard!

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All Aboard!

Hi! During our family vacation to the Poconos, we took a charming ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. The ride was a perfect length at forty-five minutes and we got to see some amazing sights including an old train tunnel carved into a mountain, the beautiful changing leaves, and a waterfall. We all enjoyed ourselves so much! Check it out:

Our experience on the train ride was wonderful and we almost had an entire cart just for us which was awesome. There was also a super cool employee on our cart who filled us in on all kinds of fun facts about everything we were seeing. She also let Johnny and I know about the paranormal activity that takes place in the area which we were extremely interested in.

The train ride was a perfect excuse to break out my new Stella Luce snake print jacket because it was a bit chilly out. Wherever we go, Johnny and I love getting all dolled up and strutting our stuff and the train trip was no exception. All aboard the fashion express – CHOO CHOO! 😀

What is your preferred form of transportation? What is fall like in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Fall OOTD

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Feeling Fall OOTD

Howdy!! Fall is my favorite season for many reasons. I love the weather, the activities that come with it, Halloween, and the clothes! Fall fashion is the absolute best and if Ohio weather permitted it, I would be dressing for fall all year round. Today, we are going to check out an OOTD that had me Feeling Fall in nothing short of a spiritual way. Let’s get to it and be sure to tune back in tomorrow for bonus pictures from this shoot:

Who? What? Wear?

This OOTD is one of my favorite looks that I have styled in a while because I feel like it captures the fall season perfectly. The floral skirt by Originality is one of my most recent purchases and I couldn’t wait to wear it. There was no better time than on our family vacation to the Poconos to break it out and I felt so fabulous the entire day in this look. I have a feeling that I will be rewearing it a lot!

What I love the most about the Originality bodycon skirt is its versatility. As I mentioned in the New Skirt Alert post, it comes with countless styling options as you can match a top to any of the colors of the flowers for a cohesive look. I chose to pair this skirt with a Rachel Zoe tank top tucked in to make it look more like a dress. Then, I went with my Knitted Dove cardigan which paired beautifully as the cream base and burgundy accents were just right with the floral skirt.

To complete my Feeling Fall OOTD, I went with an adorable pair of Nine West Kitten Heels to add a little bling and some length. These heels were an ideal choice for the outfit because there are no straps on them to break up the leg line, making for a long and sleek silhouette. (Also this is the first time I spelled that word correctly on the first try so kudos to me lol!)

In my humble opinion, this OOTD is simply charming. From the mixing of textures and the matching of colors to the sparkly surprise on the shoes, this is an amazing look for fall. I am already looking forward to wearing it again! 😀

What is your favorite fall color? How about your favorite fall activity? 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.

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

Fall Haul: Ruby Moon Cardigan Edition

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Fall Haul: Ruby Moon Cardigan Edition

Hi! This past weekend I had a trip to my favorite place in the world (TJMaxx) with my favorite guy in the world (Johnny) and it was the best!! This was my first TJMaxx trip with my husband and it was a great success for me and him too. I walked away with lots of new fall and business casual clothes and Johnny got three new Halloween themed button downs. They are awesome! Let’s get started with my Fall Haul by checking out this cheetah print cardigan by Ruby Moon:

For my new job, I work at an actual center and wanted to branch out with more business casual clothes that are still a lot of fun. Both Johnny and I love animal print and when I saw this cardi, I knew right away that it was going to be a keeper. Printed cardigans are a great way to spice up your work wardrobe and I think that I will be living in this one because I am always freezing at the center!

Despite its length, this Ruby Moon cardigan still has a really flattering fit as it is tighter in the arms and torso. As someone who is barely over five foot one, this is important because it is not chunky enough to be overwhelming and offers some shape to it. I can picture myself wearing it for work or play and I like that because I want my clothing to be worn everywhere and not just on the job.

Dressing for fall is all about layering and cardigans or flannels are the best way to accomplish that. Fall outfits are my absolute favorite and I can’t wait to wear this cardi with my new skinny jeans, a basic cami top, and heeled ankle booties! 😀

How do you upgrade your wardrobe during the season change? How do you dress for work? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Fall Is In The Air

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Fall Is In The Air

Hi! I am not the biggest coffee drinker any more and prefer my morning Diet Coke to give me a caffeine jolt before my work day. However, when Starbucks introduces their fall flavors back on the menu, I always just have to treat myself to at least one of them per year! I can take or leave their Pumpkin Spice Latte because apple is my all time favorite fall flavor. So, when I learned that there was an Apple Crisp Iced Macchiato available I couldn’t wait to give it a shot:

Nothing feels more fall than a seasonal drink from Starbucks and I decided to have my yearly fall beverage during my break at work. I was ready for all things caramel apple but, unfortunately, I wasn’t too blown away by the Apple Crisp Macchiato. It was tasty, yes. Sadly, it just wasn’t apple-y enough! I think I talked it up so much in my head and with my sister that anything less than a super apple coffee drink just wouldn’t cut it. -_-

I will say, though, that the last few sips of the drink were magnificent because it tasted exactly like my favorite fall candy – the caramel apple suckers. It was just getting to that point that was the problem, lol! I am also going to be the first one to admit that I definitely could have done with getting a Grande sized drink rather than the Venti. All of that caffeine made me so jittery and HOT at work and I am normally freezing all of the time. Such a rookie mistake!

Was this my favorite drink ever? No. But it was pretty good. Now, I will just be eagerly awaiting my yearly Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks during the Christmas season. 😀

What is your favorite drink from Starbucks? What is your favorite seasonal flavor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Eating For The Season

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Eating For The Season

As summer is starting to come to an end, so is the harvesting of all our summer vegetables. Finding joy in eating seasonally is something that your family can experience – all it takes is a little creativity at dinner time! As fall begins, explore the following in your meals:

Root vegetables:

Root vegetables are coming into the season, which means an abundance of potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. All the good stodgy veggies that are best stewed or cooked into wholesome foods. There are so many lovely recipes out there for the autumn and winter months that allow you to just sink into and enjoy.

We all live a busy life and finding the time to cook those proper homely meals can seem like an inconvenience after a full day at work. So, what’s a better time than to dust off the old slow cooker and put it to good use.

Pumpkins:

Lots of cuisines use pumpkin because of the sweetness so to add a kick of it to your curries why not add pumpkin? A tasty Japanese alternative is pumpkin Kuroki, which is a pumpkin patty covered in panko breadcrumbs and fried. It’s delicious. However, you can just put pumpkin in your stews, it’s a healthy colorful vegetable that can’t be forgotten about. You can pick pumpkins up everywhere in the autumn and for extremely low prices… so when you are pumpkin picking don’t forget to eat the inside before you carve the outside!

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Butternut Squash:

Butternut squash is such an underrated vegetable. It is packed with vitamins and antioxidants and is a great source of nutrients. This funny-looking vegetable is so versatile. It can be used in the same way as a pumpkin but has become much more popular in soups and curries.

Butternut squash and apple soup is one to try this season, the contrasting flavors of the savory and sweet makes the perfect warming meal. Butternut squash can also be used as a lower carb option for spaghetti in pasta dishes as its form stays solid when spiraling it. It can also be added to stews but is equally as good as the main star of a meal.

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Potatoes:

The king of root vegetables, the potato is one of the worlds’ favorite foods due to its versatility. There are hundreds of ways to cook potatoes that are warming and hearty and just make you feel good. Jacket potatoes with beans and cheese or cold fillings are a quick meal. You can cook a jacket potato in the oven or microwave and you can add whatever toppings you like. This is a staple food for the whole family in the autumn.

Have you ever thought about widening your repertoire of cooking potatoes? What about crispy roast potatoes, where you parboil them and then shake the pan to fluff them up before roasting. Or creating dauphinoise potatoes, which can be achieved very quickly. Hasselback potatoes, with lots of cuts on one side with spices and fillings melted into the slots? There are so many ways to use potatoes through the autumn and winter months to create gorgeous additions to your recipes.

Carrots:

The only real way to eat carrots at this time of year is roasted with honey. They are divine and, of course, that is not the only way to eat carrots, but they certainly should become a household staple. Honey glazed carrots with any meal is a sweet addition to offset any savory flavors. The color adds a pop to what can be an otherwise muted plate of food. During the autumn and winter months, if you are eating seasonally, there isn’t usually a lot of colors to foods so carrots are a great way to brighten your plate.

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There are far too many recipes to list in one simple blog post so it is great to research and find some different recipes to spice up your autumn/winter menus for the family. Bon Appetit!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Literally Falling For Fall Update

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Literally Falling For Fall Update

Hello! If you have been following lifewithlilred for a while, then you have been with me through all kinds of ouches like when Johnny and I got in a car accident and I was hospitalized and an oral surgery gone dreadfully wrong. My most recent “whoopsy daisy” of taking a tumble on the wet, leaf strewn wooden walkway to my apartment was nowhere near as severe but, gotDAMN did it hurt and I’ve got a hell of a bruise to prove it. Check it out:

Now, this is not a post to get sympathy for this deep purple monstrosity. Rather, it is a reminder to be careful!! Coincidentally, my Johnny took a spill mere hours before me when he was taking out the trash that day and we have since been taking our time making the walk to our apartment on the wet, rainy fall days that Ohio has been plagued with.

Johnny has actually been so sweet because, most days, he gets home from work before me and he’ll text me to remind me that it’s really slick so I don’t take another spill. Falls, tumbles, accidents, oopsies, boo boos, or whatever you call it can be so painful and even fatal for some so this is just your Lil Red reminder to take your time while walking (And driving!) during this slippery weather so you don’t end up with a major bruise on your side too!

What is the fall weather like in your neck of the woods? What are some of your safety tips for bad weather? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Literally Falling For Fall

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Literally Falling For Fall

Hello! Have you ever had a day where you feel like you’re constantly running into stuff, tripping over your own feet, or dropping something? Because SAME – especially last week. Despite many ouches, profanity, and bruises my day ended in an up kind of way so I thought I’d tell you all about it.

My morning started with a fine how do you do of stepping on the plug of my hair straightener and spilling my bottle of serum all over the floor when regaining my balance. I was so pissed about my favorite serum loosing half of its contents onto my bath mat and the plug going into the soft sole of my feet hurt like a mother.

After that incident, I thought my day could only go up from there and my time at work was fairly average. Once I finished driving home in the rain, I was looking forward to having a glass of wine and relaxing but life decided to throw me a few more curve balls.

My apartment complex is located in a wooded area and there are countless trees all over the property. Countless trees equals countless leaves, of course, and my goodness are they slick after it rains. As I was walking towards the stairs to get to my second floor apartment, I tread over a particularly slippery patch of wet leaves. I lost my balance, landed hard on my side, and everything I had in my hands came flying out.

As someone who has figure skated a majority of her life, you would think I would be exempt from slippery falls off ice but that just is not the case. Lol, it hurt SO bad and left a nasty bruise on my leg. After the initial shock and pain of falling, I kind of forgot what I had in my hands and just wanted to get into my apartment. I collected everything I saw immediately on the ground and headed upstairs to tell Johnny my tale of woe.

Johnny and I spent our evening watching a TV show called Slasher and we were in the middle of an episode when we heard a knock on our door around eight. I had no idea who it could be and was shocked to see some neighbors I vaguely recognized in my doorway. They held out my apartment keys to me and said they found them when they were walking up to their own place.

I was SO shocked by the fact that I had essentially lost my keys for an entire evening without knowing it. However, I was more shocked by the kindness of the strangers who returned my missing keys to me – I have no idea what I would have done the following morning when I left for work and realized they weren’t there!

Despite major boo boos, my day ended on a huge high note from my guardian angels who found my keys. I am so thankful to them (and their wonderful eye sight) for locating the keys on the ground, in the dark, while it was raining, and with leaves everywhere. Amazing looking out! ❤

Have you ever lost your keys before? How did you end up finding them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah