Tag Archives: friends

Overcome Your Fear Of Going To College

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Overcome Your Fear Of Going To College

A lot of people fear starting college. After all, it might be the first time that you are away from your friends and family in eighteen plus years. And living with a bunch of strangers can be nerve wracking. However, there are lots of benefits to going to college. As well as getting a degree in your favorite subject, you will make friends for life. And you will pick up lots of new skills that you can take with you in the future. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, so here are some ways that you can overcome your fear of going to college:

Talk to People Who Have Graduated: It’s always a good idea when you are nervous about something to talk to someone who has done it before. And when it comes to going to college, you might have friends and family who have done it before you. They can give you tips and advice as well as ease any worries that you might have. If you don’t know anyone who has completed college in your inner circle, you can talk to people online about their college experiences. In fact, there are many blogs out there which talk frankly about college life. And reading these can give you a boost before you have to go to college on your own.

Make Friends With Roommates Before You Start: You should be assigned a room in a specific dorm before you start school. And once you know these details, you can look on the forums for your college, there is sure to be a lot of freshmen who will be talking about their rooms and you should be able to hunt down your roommates before you even start your classes. To lessen your fear of having to live with strangers, you can talk to them and get to know them before the big day. You might even want to arrange for a day out with them to get to know them better. And if you still feel fearful of living with strangers, keep some safety must-haves in your room. You can buy some items from sites similar to TBOTECH which will help if someone did try and come into your room. And always get a good lock so that you won’t be disturbed by drunk roommates!

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Take Some Home Comforts With You: It’s always unnerving being away from home for the first time. In fact, over 69% of students admitted to being homesick during their first year at college. But, there are some ways that you can make it easier. For one thing, you should take some home comforts with you. For example, an old favorite teddy would be great to help you feel more at home. And a blanket or favorite pair of PJs can also do the trick. You should also take some pictures from home which you can put on the wall. That way, you will feel like you are surrounded by your nearest and dearest even if you are the other side of the country!

A fuzzy blanket is a must!

And remember, there is always a college counselor that you can talk to if you are finding it hard to settle. They can support and reassure you while you get accustomed to the craziness that sometimes is college life.

Featured Image By: Flickr

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In The Right Place: The Things You Should Prioritize When Relocating Your Family

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In The Right Place: The Things You Should Prioritize When Relocating Your Family

Moving can be incredibly hard for one person, not to mention a whole family. There are a variety of reasons as to why someone might like to move their family elsewhere, from dissatisfaction with the local schools, to affordability, or simply just needing more space, sometimes it’s best to take the plunge and start drawing up an ideal new life for your closest and most loved.

This can feel like a gargantuan task. If you don’t have an area in mind for a career or other family members, how do you choose the best area out of a seemingly endless list? There are a few items to consider before fully making that choice:

Transport: This is a big one. Not only do you have to assess if you’re going to have a convenient time traveling outside of your new nest, but you need to plan ahead. Imagine your children are five or even ten years older than they are now. Can they access their friends with relative ease? Are they able to make it to town to have a reasonable chance of earning money at a part time job? Try and look back to your childhood, what was important to you at that point in your life? In that self-searching exercise, you might find things that surprise you.

A good way to reassure yourself that this point is taken care of is scheduling a practice run around the area where you go to view your potential new house. Driving around and figuring out where everything is can give you a valuable understanding that can save you future headaches. If you have the funds and the time, consider allocating a few days to explore the new area while staying at a hotel or B&B.

Additionally, how easy is it to move your belongings there? Getting a quote from moving companies can also be worthwhile at this stage.

Opportunities: This is the second half of the earlier point about imagining your children’s future. Do they have ease of access to jobs? How are the schools rated in the local educational authorities inspection reports? If you’re going somewhere to relocate for a career, this still needs to be kept in mind. Adding a few miles to your commute could be worth getting into a better school’s catchment area in the long run!

Locals: This is a less measurable resource, but figuring out how the locals interact with each other can be quite important. Perhaps going to a cafe and getting a fix on how you’re greeted and how people interact can be enlightening. Of course, take this with a pinch of salt, you never know who’s had a bad day. Try striking up a conversation with a few people at the market in town and see if anyone’s receptive. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised!

Crime Rate: You can find the crime rate of a local area online. This is important for your peace of mind and overall safety of the family.

Price: Last but arguably the most important is the price. How affluent is the area? What are the surrounding houses like? Can you expect your house value to improve? Is a higher startup cost worth the surroundings? This is a highly subjective value that will be different for everyone who moves, so take the time to weigh the pros and cons, while offsetting them against the price.

Best of luck to anyone moving house! This is an exciting time for you to redefine how your future will be. Make the most of it! 🙂

Featured Image By: Flickr

The Ultimate Dinner Party Guide

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The Ultimate Dinner Party Guide

From tableware to menus and seating arrangements, throwing a dinner party is never easy. Not only do you have to create the perfect ambient setting to enjoy a meal, but you also have to plan, prepare, cook, and serve the food! It can sound like more trouble than it’s worth but don’t be put off. Dinner parties are an amazing way to get family and friends together.

If you struggle to find the time to catch up with loved ones individually it can be a great way to get everyone in the room for a wonderful evening. It’s also a good test of your organizational skills and hosting abilities! Above everything else, it’s a lot of fun. As long as you have a plan in place, the evening will be a huge success. This dinner party guide takes you from the menu planning process to the dinner table decors, all the way to puddings and party favors:

The Guest List: The first thing that you need to decide is who you’re inviting. If you’re co-hosting the dinner party with a friend, partner, or family member, sit down together and work out a list. You need to work out what you want out of the dinner party. A big celebration with friends, intimate family meal, or perhaps an open-to-all buffet style event. Whatever the occasion is, this will indicate who you should invite.

Of course, the amount of space you have around the table will also dictate the number of guests. If you’re inviting more than eight people, a sit-down meal might not be the best idea. First of all, who has a table big enough for over eight? Also, you might want to consider a more fluid set up. For large numbers open up the garden and kitchen to guests, too. That way people can mingle without feeling cramped and confined to one room.

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Partayyy

Creating The Menu: If you’re having a sit-down soiree you’ll need to prepare a menu. If you’re having six people or under round for dinner you can probably cook individual courses. If you’re having more than six people or over, sharer style dishes and one-pot recipes are the way to go. If you’re having a huge gathering, then a buffet station set up in the garden or kitchen for food is best. You’ll have to determine whether any of the guests have allergies or intolerances before you come up with a menu. Also come up with some vegetarian and vegan options, too.

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     YUM

     For Smaller Groups:

Get your prep done before guests arrive, this goes for all group sizes. If you’re hosting for a smaller group of people you can afford to have more attention to detail and more ambitious dishes. Prawns are a good starter because they’re easy to prepare in advance. Buy prawns which have been cooked, cleaned, and peeled already. This will save time. There are so many different ways to serve prawns. A fail-safe option is a simple grilled prawn with a pre-prepared sauce. Get some char on your prawns to increase the smokey flavors in the dish. This goes particularly well with a romesco sauce.

For the main course, food preferences permitted, herb crusted lamb is a real show stopper. To make the crust, combine breadcrumbs, parsley, mint, and oil. Smear some mustard over the fatty side of the lamb and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Be sure to brown your lamb before cooking. www.StoneFryingPans.com/the-best-stainless-steel-cookware has some great stainless steel cookware, perfect for searing and deglazing to make a jus for the lamb. Finally, make sure you leave your lamb to rest for at least 10 minutes. This will ensure that the meat is nice and tender and the juices won’t leak onto the plate. Dessert needs to be something that can be prepared in advance and left to chill. Cheesecake is a good idea, because you can make one large one and portion it before serving. It’s also a great ‘blank canvas’ dessert, so you can add your own preferences, too. Lemon, chocolate, hazelnut, berries, and basically any topping ever work well with a cheesecake.

     For Larger Groups:

Cooking for larger groups needn’t be challenging, you’ll just need to tweak the menu accordingly. Choose some large platters or boards and arrange some cured meats and cheeses on them. Serve olives over ice and sourdough bread, too. Balsamic vinegar and oil make a great dip to go alongside this sharing starter, as does tapenade. For the main dish, consider doing a one-pot wonder. A homemade curry or a big paella served straight from the pan works really well for larger groups. You can stick these on and leave them to cook with minimal effort, apart from stirring. Serve curries with homemade flatbreads, onion salad, and a yogurt dip. For dessert opt for an easy crowd pleaser like ice cream or mousse. This can also be made ahead of time and left to chill.

     For Vegetarians:

Buy some spelt pasta from a health food store and use this as the base of your dish. Blend spinach and basil in a blender with some oil, seasoning, and pine nuts. This will create a pesto to use as a sauce over your pasta. Cook some courgettes and asparagus, too. Toss the pesto through the pasta and top with the cooked courgettes and asparagus.

Which Drinks To Serve: Setting up a drinks tray is the best idea. Nobody wants to have to make drinks all night for their guests. Prepare a table in the living room or kitchen with a variety of soft drinks and alcohol for guest to pick and choose. Another good idea is to make one signature drink. Making jugs of cocktails is an especially good idea if it’s a summer party which spills out into the garden.

To make a mojito simply mix lime juice, mint, and sugar in a large jug or bowl. Mash these gently to let the flavors start to seep out and sugar dissolve. Top with rum, soda, and plenty of ice. Put slices of mint and lime to garnish in little bowls next to the jug.

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My kind of party!

Setting The Scene: Whenever you go to a great dinner party, the atmosphere is one of the things that makes it so special. Creating the perfect atmosphere is partly down to planning. If you are having a sit-down meal you’ll need to dress the table. It can be tempting to go overboard with accessories and cram the table but try to avoid this. Guests want to be able to talk, share food, and relax without having to navigate lots of decorative pieces. A few tea light candles with lantern-style covers are a pared back but sophisticated touch. Fresh flowers are also a great centerpiece, but if you have a small table don’t clutter it. Station a drinks table with an ice bucket nearby so that you don’t have to keep rushing backward and forwards.

A seating plan shouldn’t be necessary and can feel a bit too formal. Adding a little gift for each person is a nice touch, too. They don’t have to be expensive, in fact, the more whimsical the better. Masks or joke shop presents are a great idea for a group of friends. Family members may appreciate birthstones or small bags of truffles. These tokens will help to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, plus they’ll lift your guest’s mood!

After Party? Some dinner parties can continue long into the night and become a party as well as dinner. Make it clear to guests on the invite whether you’re open to that. There’s nothing worse than wanting to go to bed but still having a few guests. If you’re having people stay over, set up the guest bedroom early on in the day. By the end of the night, you won’t feel like changing bed linen and arranging flowers!

Nobody wants to clean up after a party, either, but facing all the debris in the morning is probably worse. Compromise and go around with a bin liner and chuck in any bottles or plastic cups. Wash up your plates and cutlery and leave them to dry. Leave larger pans to soak overnight, and head to bed. That way there will be a manageable amount to tackle in the morning.

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Cheers!!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Let’s Get Personal With These 6 Gift Ideas

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Let’s Get Personal With These 6 Gift Ideas

We give gifts on so many occasions throughout the year that it can be difficult to feel like you’re being original with your present ideas. Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries are only some of the occasions a gift is required and as we all get older, it gets harder to shop for what our loved ones want. Cash gifts always feel so impersonal, as do vouchers, and unless specifically asked for, kitchen items can be a relationship killer. Rather than go for another jumper, tie, or set of slippers, you can do one better with something more sentimental.

So, how can you make gift-giving far more exciting? The best gifts out there are personalized ones, as they always mean something a little extra to the recipient. Everyone can see that a mug is a generic item, but when you plaster a photo of the family on it with a witty phrase it becomes something to be treasured. With these gift ideas, you can get a little more creative and a lot more personal with your present shopping:

1 – Glasses and tankards are very popular gifts for big birthdays or even retirement, so making them more personal with a beautiful engraving and going for crystal, instead, makes for a stunning, personal present.

2 – Photo gifts go down well with people of all ages. Mothers will always love cushions or blankets with pictures of their children on them. A photo blanket for their bed or the couch is as personal as it can get. Go for a canvas collage for the wall for grandparents, where the faces of their loved ones are in full view always.

3 – For the career-minded friend, a gift for their desk with their initials engraved on them such as Parker Pens are always well received. Do one better for your partner by monogramming a brand new, leather briefcase so that they can carry something beautiful and personal to and from work.

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Snazzy stuff!

4 – Every girl loves jewelry, so personalized bracelets and necklaces are a gift that is     appreciated almost always. You can also inject some sentimentality to your jewelry gift by adding tiny photos to an engraved locket.

5 – If you have a teenager who has just got their first car, why not splash a little cash and buy them personalized license plates for their car? Car gifts can be a little boring for men but something that is unique and helps them to stand out can be exciting, while giving their first car an edge over the others on the road.

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Maybe not “GOOD” but you get the point!

6 – Everyone loves a baker and if your mother or grandmother is a keen pastry chef in the kitchen, get them a personalized chopping board like this one. Practical in its use, they’ll be able to see it at all times and will always be reminded of your generosity.

Giving gifts doesn’t have to be boring and it doesn’t have to be expensive, either. It takes some thought and creativity on your part to give an interesting and well received present. Go all out for your loved ones and you’ll get the satisfaction of their smile when they open your present.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Happy Easter!!

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Happy Easter!!

Hi everyone and happy weekend! I would like to take a minute to wish a very Happy Easter to those who celebrate and a very happy Sunday to those that don’t! No matter how you spend your day, I hope that everyone has a wonderful time with their family, friends, pets, or just hanging out solo dolo. Alright. That’s my spiel! Have a great day, everyone! Much love. -Sarah

Sarah & Lea’s Eggcelent Adventure

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Sarah & Lea’s Eggcelent Adventure

Hi everyone and TGIF! Yesterday was a HELLUVA day because someone t-boned the Little Red Love Machine, making this my second accident in four months that I’ve been in that was far from my fault. With twenty-five hundred dollars worth of damage to my car thanks to someone disregarding a stop sign, I was left feeling stressed, depressed, well dressed, and pissed off! BUT, thanks to a boozy BFF evening and carrying out a long time friendship tradition, I was left feeling infinitely better.

My best friend, Lea, and I are going on about ten years of friendship and in high school we began a tradition of coloring Easter eggs together every year. Last night just so happened to be our egg dying eggstravaganza, which was so needed after my car trauma earlier in the day. We had a dozen blown out eggs, two bottles of wine, and excellent company considering that Lea’s family is basically like my second family.

We created some crazy cool tie-dye eggs, which we learned how to do from a Facebook video that Lea’s mom showed us. Take a look at our finished product and then I’ll tell you how it’s done:

Caution: Your hands will get messy!

You Will Need:

  • EGGS. Either blown out or hard boiled (but don’t expect to eat the eggs if you use hard boiled because shaving cream)
  • Shaving cream
  • Plastic containers or something similar
  • Food coloring
  • Cooling rack
  • Paper towel

How To Guide:

  1. Take your containers and coat them with a healthy layer of shaving cream. Make sure that you spread it evenly.
  2. Choose two or more food dye colors and add them to your shaving cream. Then, use a knife and blend the colors. You can make as many color combinations as you want!
  3. Take an egg and then cover it with the colored shaving cream.
  4. Place your eggs on a cooling rack and let them sit for twenty minutes.
  5. After the color has set, take your paper towel and wipe the shaving cream away very gently!
  6. Clean up your work space and enjoy your new tie-dyed eggs!

Lea and I had SO much fun creating our shaving cream colored eggs. We had lots of wine, lots of laughs, and we will definitely remember this year’s eggstravaganza for many years to come! Of course, a best friend hangout wouldn’t be complete without some pictures so here we are looking mighty cute! Also featuring her twin brother, BILL!

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^^^ I LOVE US! And the second picture is one of my favorite ones ever, even though Lea doesn’t like it! Her brother was making us laugh when he was taking our pictures and obviously Lea was holding it together better than me!

So there you have it, Sarah & Lea’s Eggcelent Adventure! Who has traditions with their best friends? What is your preferred egg dying method? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Sister’s Birthday Celebration Edition

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Monday Update: Sister’s Birthday Celebration Edition

Heyyy everyone and happy Monday! This past weekend was SO much fun because it was my sister, Kristen’s, 25th birthday! We had such a wonderful time celebrating and I was really happy because I got to spend her entire birthday with her. Kristen is unbearably hard to shop for, so for her birthday I decided to keep it simple and snag her some gift cards so that we could make a day out of using them. Which is exactly what we did!

I got Kristen a gift card to Sephora and to the nail salon that we go to, so we spent the afternoon girling out with pedicures and makeup shopping. Although I didn’t get a pedi because balling on a budget, I got to soak my nasty feet and sit in a massage chair while Kristen got pampered and we had so much fun chit chatting and laughing with all of our favorite nail techies. Kristen got the Hello Kitty pink polish that I recently got on my nails on her toes and it looked so freaking cute! I can’t say that about my feet, but I’m glad that her toesies are on point just in time for flip flop season!

After pedicures, we went to the mall to ultimately spend what felt like forever in Sephora. I have actually never spent that much time in there before and it was surprisingly really fun. We tried on different lipsticks and browsed through the aisles pointing out ridiculous eyeshadow or lip colors and figuring out the best way for her to spend her gift card. Kristen ended up getting a gorgeous new lipstick and an eyebrow pencil as well as a birthday gift from the store (a blush and lip gloss) and some freebies that she got from cashing in the points on her reward card.

Although I tried on some okay-ish lipsticks, I just ended up going with a tube of the Better Than Sex mascara. Kristen got it for me for Christmas this year and since I’ve ran out, no other mascara can compare, so it was a must to get another one! I was really happy because the gift card that I got her covered everything that she wanted and she also got some super nice freebies, so she walked away with an awesome Sephora birthday haul.

Once we were done shopping, I treated Kristen to coffee and then dropped her off at her apartment so that she could get ready for the evening festivities. Our night was a boozy celebration of going to get margaritas with her friends and then hitting the bars afterwards for some more alcohol related fun. AND I also got to ride in my first Uber, so that was really exciting, lol. THE DRIVER WAS SO NICE!! #ubereverywhere

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(The lovely lady in the second photo, Kelsey, will be featured on lifewithlilred soon so keep your eyes peeled!)

The day after Kristen’s birthday was spent nursing a very worthwhile hangover and celebrating at home with the family. I know I had a blast and it felt really good knowing that Kristen did, too, and I like to think that I helped make that possible! Now, I’m just excited for my birthday to roll around in June so that she can return the favor!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Sister’s Birthday Celebration Edition! How did you celebrate your birthday this year? How did you spend your weekend? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah