Tag Archives: hobby

How To Keep Your Aging Loved One Happy & Healthy

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How To Keep Your Aging Loved One Happy & Healthy

When it comes to aging loved ones, they tend to be the ones that face the most loneliness. It’s quite sad, but there is something that you can do about it. More specifically, there are ways that you can keep your aging loved one happy and healthy throughout the rest of their life. It’s not nearly as challenging as you may think so here is everything you need to know:

Encourage physical activities:

If your aging loved one is not getting adequate exercise, you should encourage them to be more active. Exercise helps strengthen muscles, improves balance, and helps reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It also promotes healthy aging. Many seniors are afraid of exercising, but they need to stay active to protect their health. Encourage your senior loved one to keep up with their physical activity by showing them the benefits of doing so.

Set boundaries around your caregiving relationship:

It can be challenging having to take care of your aging loved ones and it is important to set boundaries. This can sometimes be easier said than done! Some people find it difficult to say no to their parents. They may feel guilty and want to say yes to everything. The most important thing to remember when setting boundaries is to be clear. You do not want to be perceived as being a doormat or rude. Instead, be thoughtful and respectful. If you want to ensure your aging loved ones are happy and doing well, then you need to know it starts with you and how you feel. Boundaries will help keep both parties happy.

Encourage meaningful conversations:

Having those heart-to-heart conversations means a lot. Seniors’ minds are often a source of wisdom and experience. Sharing memories can be a fun and uplifting way to connect with them. You can ask them how they’re feeling or even try to take a trip down memory lane with them. Overall, it’s just so important to engage in these sorts of conversations; they’re very powerful and can help combat loneliness.

Make them feel safe:

Using the latest technologies, such as wireless alarm systems and sensors to detect falls, can give seniors the peace of mind they deserve. Other less obvious solutions include installing an intelligent alarm system, putting a lock on the front door, and removing items in the home that could be considered hazardous. If they’re living in a nursing home, you’re going to want to ensure that they’re staying safe there too. In cases like this, inform them of a nearby  Nursing Home Abuse Center for additional help.

Find a hobby or activity that they may enjoy:

Some common hobbies for seniors include bird watching, art, music, or even genealogy. These activities can provide a relaxing way for your senior to connect with the outdoors and enjoy nature. You can also consider joining a book club. The books in a book club can range from serious to light-hearted, but the club’s goal is to bring people together to discuss a topic. Another idea for a new hobby for your senior is to look online. Many online gaming communities and websites exist to offer people a wide variety of games and activities. There are also a number of apps available to help you get started.

Form a care team:

A family member like yourself may need extra help taking care of an aging parent or loved one. You shouldn’t do it all alone, which is why you need to have a care team. The best way to find a good fit is to talk to your family. You want to know what your aging parent’s wants and needs are. Your own goals are also important. This includes keeping your loved one safe and comfortable and providing emotional support. If you have the means, you can even hire a financial planner to protect your loved one’s assets, as this tends to be needed too. Overall, a care team and a large support system will definitely help out your aging loved one.

Help keep your loved one safe and happy with the tips above and continue to nurture your relationship every day!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone With These Tips

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Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone With These Tips

If you want to live your best life, then getting out of your comfort zone from time to time is a must. Not only does it expose you to new experiences, but it helps you to see that you are capable of much more than you think. Here are five ways to get out of your comfort zone right now:

Travel to a new place:

One of the best ways to get out of your comfort zone in life is to travel to a new place. It could be a different city, state, or even country. Being in a new environment with different cultures, customs, and languages will force you to adapt and step out of your comfort zone. It will also give you a fresh perspective and help you appreciate the things you take for granted in your normal setting.

Try a new hobby:

Another way to get out of your comfort zone is to try a new hobby. It could be something as simple as taking a dance class or as adventurous as skydiving. Trying new things will help you learn new skills, meet new people, and push yourself to do things you never thought you would.

Volunteer:

Volunteering will allow you to get out of your comfort zone and help others at the same time. It can be anything from helping out at a local soup kitchen to working on a community service project. Volunteering will expose you to new people and new environments, and it will give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Take a public speaking class:

Public speaking is a common fear for many people, but taking a class can help you overcome it. Public speaking classes will teach you how to present yourself confidently and communicate effectively. It will also give you the opportunity to practice speaking in front of a group, which will help you build confidence. It could also be useful in helping you to get a new job whether you want to be a PR manager, apply for diesel technician jobs, or become a teacher, so it is one form of getting out of your comfort zone that could really change your life if you let it.

Start a conversation with a stranger:

Starting a conversation with a stranger can be daunting, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. It will help you practice social skills and make new connections. By initiating conversations with strangers, you will also gain a new perspective and learn about different people and cultures.

Getting out of your comfort zone can be challenging but it is also necessary for growth and self-improvement. Remember to always be open to new experiences and opportunities, and don’t be afraid to take risks!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Lil Red’s Book Club: Joyland By Stephen King Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Joyland By Stephen King Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a super fun read by Stephen King called Joyland – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Set at the old fashioned amusement park, Joyland, in Heaven’s Bay, North Carolina, this book was completely charming. And, yes, I realize that Stephen King’s books don’t get described as that often but Joyland was such a far cry from his usual full fledged horror writing and I couldn’t put it down! Before we begin, I will be putting a trigger warning on Joyland for violence and murder. Now, let’s get to it:

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Summertime is approaching for twenty-one year old college student, Devin Jones, and he is in desperate need of a job. He is utterly heartbroken from his previous relationship, broke, and wants to be anywhere but cleaning up in the dining hall. On a whim, he decides to apply at Joyland as a general employee after seeing an ad in the classifieds. During his trip to the park in Heaven’s Bay, North Carolina for his interview, Devin decides that there are worse places to spend his summer and accepts the gig.

During his tour, Devin learns that Joyland is an old school amusement park with carny flare. There are a few big rides but the majority of attractions offered are for the entire family, making it an ideal summer destination. The games, rides, and vending stands are all ran by year round “carny from carny” folks, which is The Talk for a family of carnival workers. Don’t worry, you’ll get familiar with The Talk (Joyland’s secret lingo) soon enough! Joyland is in the business of selling fun but there is one ride that even the bravest employees don’t like to be around – the Horror House. A young woman, Linda Gray, was murdered on the ride and it is believed to be haunted. Oh yeah, and the murderer is still at large.

After a few short weeks, it’s time for Devin’s summertime job to begin and he enjoys it immensely. Kind employees like Lane, Fred, and Pop take him under their wings and show him the ropes about everything from operating rides to “wearing the fur”. AKA dressing up as the park’s mascot: Howie The Happy Hound. He has even managed to make a few friends, Tom and Erin, who live in the same boarding house as him and also work the park. Devin spends his days working hard and is eager to get a glimpse of the Horror House ghost and maybe even solve the mystery of her death.

As summer continues on, Devin becomes a staple in the lives of Annie and Mike Ross who live in a beautiful beach home that he walks by every day to and from work. Annie is a young mom and her son, Mike, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy which confines them to their home. And, let’s just say that Annie makes it a bit easier for Devin to forget his ex girlfriend! In fact, Devin decides to stay on as a full time employee at Joyland – half for the Rosses and half for Linda Gray.

Thanks to some research from Erin, who is now back at school, her findings show a pattern of other young ladies killed in a similar fashion. Linda Gray’s killer has murdered several girls and Devin is nowhere closer to solving the crime. But, there’s something about the photos that Erin shows him that bothers him. The pictures of the killer at the park with Linda has a familiarity to them that he can’t put his finger on. Perhaps, the killer has been under everyone’s noses the entire time. Will Devin be able to bring the killer forward and put Linda Gray’s ghost to rest? Read Joyland to find out!

I seriously loved everything about Joyland and my only regret is that it wasn’t longer. After I read the last page, I told Johnny that I wished there was more or that a TV series was made about it. It was just so good and, honestly, really cute. And, once again, it feels weird to me to describe a Stephen King book as such! King’s writing made you feel like you were walking along the Joyland boardwalks with Devin and the carny Talk that the employees used further enhanced the old time park vibes. It was such a fun read that I wanted to take a ride on the Carolina Spin and Delirium Shaker myself!

While this book was based around solving a murder, it was really not as gruesome as you could imagine for a King book. It almost seemed like an afterthought to the story of Devin growing into an adult. It was exciting to read about the unsolved crime but it was even better to read about Devin’s sweet relationship with Mike and the other characters that made Heaven’s Bay special. I enjoyed how character rather than plot driven Joyland was and I wanted to be friends with all of the people who graced the pages.

I will say that the grand reveal was very easy to solve and that’s okay. I think anything too convoluted would have taken away from the overall simplicity of the story. I actually wouldn’t mind reading it again from the perspective of knowing who the killer is because certain parts immediately popped out at me and I’d like to find more. If you like to play detective like me, just keep in mind that everyone puts on a mask when they are in the business of selling fun.

I am going to award Joyland with the coveted ten out of ten stars. Stephen King might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I think that everyone will be able to find something that they like about this book. I highly recommend it and plan on reading it again in the future!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Lil Red’s Book Club: Two Nights In Lisbon By Chris Pavone Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Two Nights In Lisbon By Chris Pavone Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we will be discussing a thriller called Two Nights In Lisbon by Chris Pavone – without giving any spoilers away, of course. This book was just okay for me. I liked the story line well enough but the writing style of Pavone didn’t do it for me and there were some parts that dragged on SO hard. I’ll let you be the judge of it if you read it! Before we begin, I will be placing a big fat trigger warning on Two Nights In Lisbon as it deals with sexual assault and violence. Now, let’s get to it:

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Ariel Pryce is nearing fifty and is newly married to John. He is handsome, successful, and ten years her junior. Ariel owns a small farm and local bookstore and is looking forward to her new life with her husband and tweenage son, George. Things seem picture perfect now but that hasn’t always been the case for Ariel. Her current life is a humble one, which is a far cry from her previous life as a New York City socialite with her ex-husband. Ariel paid a highly traumatizing price for her past wealth and fame at the hands of her ex’s business partner. She has been working hard on letting go of the worst time of her life and can’t wait to have a getaway with John in Lisbon, Portugal for one of his business trips.

Ariel and John’s first day in Portugal is amazing and filled with sight seeing, delicious food, and romance. Although Ariel was originally wary of this trip and leaving George with her mom, she realizes a little vacation might just be exactly what she needs. The newlyweds head to bed after a long day and fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Then, when Ariel wakes up the following morning, John is nowhere to be found.

At first, Ariel thinks that her husband went for a walk and will be back shortly. She calls him to confirm but his phone goes straight to voicemail and he hasn’t even bothered to leave a note. As the hours tick by, panic mode takes over Ariel and she starts fearing the worst. It’s hard not to when she’s in a foreign country, doesn’t speak the language, and she can’t find her husband. The logical place to go is the police. However, the two officers won’t report John missing yet since he has only been gone for a few hours. They also imply, much to Ariel’s distaste, that maybe she doesn’t know her husband as well as she thinks.

Refusing to simply wait around for word from John, Ariel next heads to the American embassy where she hears more of the same thing. It isn’t until a man on a motorcycle hands Ariel a burner phone demanding three million euros as a ransom for John that people start taking her seriously. Despite her husband’s success, they don’t have that kind of money and Ariel has no idea who to call to help. Well… She does. It’s just that she really doesn’t want to.

As the police and the CIA work the case, they have a vague idea of who it might be that Ariel called as well as extorted for the ransom. And, if it is who they think it is, then they have a major issue of national security on their plates because her call just proved that the future vice president of the United States can be extorted. Is John’s kidnapping a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or is it a carefully constructed plot to bring one of Ariel’s attackers to justice? Read Two Nights In Lisbon to find out!

For the first two hundred or so pages of Two Nights In Lisbon, I was really into it. This book moved at a fast pace and began with John being kidnapped right from the jump. It was nerve wracking to read as Ariel navigated through Lisbon and essentially tried to solve the crisis herself, knowing that law enforcement wasn’t completely on her side. Then, it started getting very convoluted very quickly. Between the local law enforcement, CIA, FBI, and journalists on the case, I found it difficult to keep track of everyone. Breaks in the case, new details, and new people all became muddled together and I was ready for the book to end about halfway through. 

I feel torn about this book because I actually really liked the story line and grand reveal. I also am all for the overall message that is being conveyed. I just wasn’t a huge fan of Chris Pavone’s writing. In this book, he was quite fond of going into paragraph long litanies that were essentially one big run on sentence. It drove me crazy! The wordiness bogged down the reading experience and I felt like so much of it could have been eliminated, which would have made for a smoother read. In fact, if it was a different author who wrote the book, I probably would have liked it way more.

One praise that I do have for Two Nights In Lisbon is Ariel’s character. She is a bonafied badass and even though I didn’t love how the book was written, I was still in her corner all the way till the end. Ariel is such a strong, brave heroine and I liked that she was both book and street smart. There were so many times throughout the book when I was thinking “good for her” and those were my thoughts once I read the final page too.

Overall, I am going to rate Two Nights In Lisbon with a five out of ten star rating. There was a lot about this book that I enjoyed and would have rated it much higher had I connected more with Pavone’s writing. I suppose I would recommend it simply for the fact that the grand reveal was pretty awesome. However, you’re not missing out on anything if you choose to skip this one!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Lil Red’s Book Club: Cell By Stephen King Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Cell By Stephen King Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! I have been on a huge Stephen King kick as of late and there was no better time than the present to reread one of my all time favorites – Cell. This is probably the sixth or seventh time that I have read this book and it truly never gets old. In fact, it has been several years since I have read it and some parts that I had somewhat forgotten left me SHOOK. As always, we will be discussing Cell with no spoilers and before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on this book for intense violence, disturbing content, and suicide. Now, let’s get to it:

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Clay Riddell is having a great day as he steps outside to a sunny Boston afternoon with his portfolio in hand. Actually, scratch that. He is having an excellent day because he just sold not one but two volumes of his graphic novel series, The Dark Wanderer. In his other hand he has bags of gifts for his wife, despite being separated at the time, and their beloved son, Johnny. Clay decides he could use a treat too and stops for an ice cream cone. Then, The Pulse begins.

In what feels like an eternity but is only a matter of minutes, the streets of Boston break out in extraordinary violence and the people committing the acts seem plain crazy. Havoc ensues with planes crashing, fires burning, and Duck Boats being driven into the streets. From Clay’s post at the ice cream truck, he notices that every single person going bonkers had just been using a cell phone. In his mind, Clay thanks his lucky stars that he refuses to own one and also knows that he needs to find shelter and fast.

As he tries to avoid the chaos from the murderous, frenzied phone-crazies, Clay runs into Tom. The two men seek sanctuary in Clay’s step above a fleabag hotel and watch from the windows as The Pulse continues. During this period, Clay and Tom also bring fifteen year old Alice who is being chased by a phone-crazy into the hotel. Little do they know that they will be forming a three person crew fighting against the end of the world.

Kind Tom, panicked Alice, and straight to the point Clay know that they need to make a move before Boston burns to the ground. As darkness falls and the streets clear of the crazies, they begin their trek to Vermont because Clay has bigger problems on his mind. His son owns a cell phone. But first, they decide to stop at Tom’s house for provisions. During their trip on foot, they notice that the phoners have all but disappeared at night and quickly become savvy that the day now belongs to them.

Once supplies are secured and weapons are acquired from Tom’s neighbor, they post up for the day in his home and begin to notice the flocking. Seemingly out of nowhere, the phoners begin to fill the streets and pack it like sardines in their strange, violent trance, always heading north. The crew can’t quite put their finger on it but the crazies are evolving somehow. For example, they are using items as a tool to open garden pumpkins to munch on. Clay, Tom, and Alice don’t like it one bit.

The weary wanderer’s nighttime travels bring them to Gaiten Academy where they link up with The Head and his very last pupil, Jordan. The relative safety of the academy seems to disappear before their very eyes when they learn that a massive flock of phoners have been sleeping on the soccer field. With nothing else to do but try, they develop a plan. They are going to destroy the flock. And they do – but not without repercussion.

In all of their dreams that night, they are visited by “The Raggedy Man” and are placed on pedestals while a crowd of phoners call them crazy. But not with their mouths – with their minds. Oh yes, they have telepathic powers and made it known by forcing The Head to kill himself. After burying The Head, the flock killers move onward with Jordan in tow and begin to notice spray painted signs on the street saying “KASHWAK = NO-FO”. And, it’s true. Kashwak is a dead zone.

Could the normies live peacefully there as the phoners rule the world? Will Clay find his son there? There’s only one way to find out. In their guts, they know it’s a bad idea to go to Kashwak and their dreams confirm it. It seems to be a conversion point where the remaining normies will be transformed to phone-crazies. However, they don’t have much of a choice when the telepathic force of the phoners continue to push them forward. Will any normies live to tell the tale? Read Cell to find out!

I don’t know what it is about Cell but it has never failed to blow my mind. This book is terrifying for the simple reason that almost every single person over the age of eight seems to have a cell phone nowadays. Stephen King targeted this item that no one really thinks about anymore and turned it into the ultimate weapon. This device that we always have in our pocket or purse could burn the world to the ground in King’s eyes and it’s so wild to read the story as it unfolds.

After reading this book countless times, the characters are so cherished by me and I love them all so much. They also showcase the humor that King incorporates into his books that I can’t get enough of. Wry Clay, sassy Tom, too cute Alice, and smart-alek Jordan all showcase different sides of King and the ragtag crew still manages to shine a bright light in so much darkness.

Feeling like I know each of these characters personally after reading their tale so many times only enhances the reading experience. The situation in Cell is crazy but reading it happen with the eyes of reading about old friends adds to the urgency and terror tenfold. Because of this, there were scenes that I was simply gutted by despite knowing what was going to happen in advance. In fact, I daresay it’s even better the seventh time around!

I am going to award Cell with the coveted ten out of ten star rating. This is hands down one of the best Stephen King books in my humble opinion and if you are a horror fan, I think you’ll like it just as much as me. If not, then you can definitely skip on Cell!

What is your favorite Stephen King book? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Dry By Jane Harper Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Dry By Jane Harper Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Without giving away any spoilers, as always, we will be discussing a thriller by Jane Harper called The Dry. This is a book that has been sitting on my shelf for several years when I got it FO FREE in a library’s give away box. I decided to finally read it because I haven’t been to the library in a while and I am glad I did. I wouldn’t say that it was my favorite book but it was still a really good read. Before we begin our discussion, I will be placing a trigger warning on The Dry for abuse, extreme violence, and murder. Now, let’s get to it:

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Aaron Falk has not been welcome in his hometown of Kiewarra, Australia since he was a teenager. After his friend, Ellie Deacon was found drowned in the river and a note with Aaron’s name was found in her bedroom, he and his best friend, Luke Hadler, became the prime suspects for her death. Aaron and his father were driven out of the small farming community after one too many threats from unfriendly neighbors, fled to Melbourne, and haven’t looked back since.

Now, close to two decades later, Aaron must return back to Kiewarra after learning that his childhood friend, Luke, his wife Karen, and son Billy were killed. Everyone suspects Luke of going off his rocker due to dire financial circumstances thanks to a two year drought. His parents, however, refuse to believe that Luke was capable of such a heinous crime and enlist Aaron’s help to put these rumors to rest. Aaron works with the police in Melbourne for financial crimes and figures looking over their finances is the least he can do. Plus, going through their banking statements means he doesn’t have to talk to anyone because he hasn’t encountered a friendly face since his arrival.

By sharing his findings with the local sheriff, Raco, a full on unofficial investigation begins because things just aren’t adding up. Sure, they have hunches over who might have committed the crime but with no solid evidence, fingers continue to point back to Luke. The death of Ellie has haunted Aaron throughout his life and, now, he begins to wonder if the triple murders were payback for her untimely demise. Ellie’s father and cousin make good candidates for the Hadler family murder but it could be anyone.

Tensions in Kiewarra are high because a drought means no money for the farms and Aaron and Raco poking around puts everyone on edge. With Aaron’s time in his hometown drawing to a close and his safety threatened with every turn of the page, the chances of solving the murders and shining a light on who killed Ellie are bleak. Will the Hadler family finally be able to rest in peace? Or will Aaron return back to Melbourne with his tail between his legs? Read The Dry to find out!

As I said before, The Dry was a great read. It wasn’t the best thing that I have ever read but it was extremely unique and I devoured it in four sittings. This book was unputdownable for several reasons, mainly because it wasn’t just about the Hadler family murder. While Aaron was working on the case, he was also trying to find out once and for all who drowned Ellie and it was interesting to read the similarities in two totally different circumstances. The people in Kiewarra were also unfriendly at best and threatening at worst and it made the danger that Aaron was in feel so much more imminent.

While the story line of The Dry was quite original, what I really enjoyed was the layout of the book. The chapters were always narrated by Aaron. However, there would be segments in the book that would take you back into the past as recalled by other characters. This was something that I had never seen done before and I loved it. As you all know, a multiple narrator book is my favorite and this was a similar set up but so different than what I am used to and kept me turning the page feverishly.

As far as characters go, it was easy to like and root for Aaron as well as Sheriff Raco. While Raco was an open book, Aaron complimented this by being difficult to read, even by people who know him best. In the beginning, this made it difficult to appreciate his subtleties. But, as his character developed throughout the book, I was fully invested in his well being – it just took some time to get warmed up to him.

Finally, in terms of grand reveals, the one in The Dry was alright. I had figured it out prior to it happening and I didn’t particularly care for it but I understood why it happened the way it did. If you’re like me and try to play amateur detective while reading, my advice is to not put your blinders up when reading The Dry. There were so many people who could have committed each crime but it’s not always what it seems!

Overall, I am going to give The Dry a seven out of ten star rating. The dire situations in the book and a format that was different than anything I have read before made for a good reading experience. I would definitely recommend this book and would happily read more by Jane Harper!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Maid By Nita Prose Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Maid By Nita Prose Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new month here on lifewithlilred! To kick start November, we will be discussing a delightfully charming read by Nita Prose called The Maid – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Both my mom and I read this book and we really enjoyed it. In fact, I liked it so much that I wouldn’t mind reading it again! Before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on The Maid as it deals with the death of a loved one and domestic violence. Now, let’s get to it:

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Molly simply loves her job as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. She loves her uniform, the routine, and returning each room to a state of perfection. Her self worth fully relies on her employment now that her beloved grandma is deceased. So much so that Molly would rather be at work than in the small apartment that they used to share.

Molly sees the world differently than her coworkers and falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. Since the passing of her grandma, her life went from vibrant and rich to incredibly lonely. She does have a few friends, however. Every day, Molly tends to Giselle Black’s room. She is the wife of a business mogul and she is just as lonely as Molly in her own ways. Through this shared bond, a friendship forms. Molly cleans the room and Giselle teaches her about makeup and explains the things that Molly doesn’t fully understand – like when a coworker is making fun of her.

Of course, not all of her coworkers are completely awful and Molly also enjoys her friendship with kindly Mr. Preston, Juan Manuel, and Rodney, whom she has a huge crush on. Rodney is the perfect man for her and surprises Molly through his “thoughtfulness”. For example, after entering one of the rooms she was scheduled to clean, Molly stumbles upon Rodney, Juan Manuel, and two intimidating looking strangers who she assumes are their friends. Rodney explains that Juan Manuel’s work permit has expired and he has no place to live. He asks Molly if she can give him a key card to an unoccupied room every night, stow his overnight bag, and clean up every morning. And she does.

Every day, Molly looks forward to her visits with Giselle and her friends until something awful happens. During her usual rounds in the Black’s suite, Molly finds Giselle’s husband dead in his bed. Originally, she wasn’t a suspect to a possible murder. But, after doing a few favors for some of her so called friends, Molly is arrested for murder, drug charges, and having an illegal firearm. Desperate to prove her innocence, Molly and the people who only wish the best for her rally to fight the charges. But, it’s going to take Molly being pushed out of her comfort zone to do it. Can they pull it off? Read The Maid to find out!

I wasn’t expecting to like The Maid as much as I did but I literally couldn’t put it down to save my own life. I devoured it in three days and wish that it wasn’t such a quick read! This book tapped into every emotion possible in barely two hundred and ninety pages. It was equal parts heartbreaking, hilarious, enraging, and inspiring. If you don’t find yourself rooting for Molly with every turn of the page, then there is a good chance that you don’t have a heart.

Not only did The Maid have me emotionally invested but the plot was great too. There were so many twists and turns cleverly interwoven into the mundane life of a hotel maid. It was so different than anything that I have read recently and that was exciting. Throughout the book, Molly prided herself on being an invisible cog in the hotel machine. Or rather, what her boss describes as a bee in a hive. Being able to watch Molly develop and be seen for the first time in so long was an absolute joy.

I am going to award The Maid with an eight out of ten stars. This was an original and fun read that will make you want to cry as you stay on the edge of your seat. Highly recommend!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Setting Up Your Home Music Studio

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Setting Up Your Home Music Studio

Do you have a passion for music? If so, then you likely know just how costly such a hobby can be. It’s fair to say that it’s often quite expensive to develop a love for music, as finding the cash to be able to afford to pay for professional studio time might cost a lot more than you have to spend. However, this doesn’t have to dampen your creative spirit. In fact, there’s an excellent solution: why not build your own home music studio? You’ll be able to record and edit your own tracks for a much smaller fee all in the comfort of your own home!

Having your own music studio can certainly take your music career to new heights, and it truly couldn’t be any simpler to begin designing and building your home studio today. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re ready to discover more, then check below to uncover some of the best tips and tricks that you can utilize to create the most amazing music studio before you know it:

First Things First: Prioritize Soundproofing:

The first and most important aspect of a home music studio is top quality soundproofing, as the last thing you want is angry neighbors knocking at your door. Having to deal with complaints day in and day out will certainly block your vibe and ruin your flow, so it’s a risk that just isn’t worth taking.

Investing in top quality soundproofing will help you to avoid this issue, as well as improve the end product of the tracks you record in your home music studio. Good soundproofing can easily block out any noises from outside of your recording space, so things like passing traffic won’t be heard in the background of any of your songs. Sourcing the correct soundproofing for your unique space is key, so take your time to look around for the best fit.

Find Quality Equipment:

When you’ve laid the foundations of your music studio with top soundproofing, it’s time to invest in a range of quality equipment that you can use to record and edit your tracks…

It’s fair to say that many artists start off with nothing more than a laptop and a pair of headphones, so if you have a limited budget then don’t worry about trying to splash out on anything more. Whenever you do have the funds, investing in a quality microphone and speaker set should be your next priority. If you wish to take your home music studio to a whole new level, then you can take the opportunity to source a variety of instruments, amps, and more to allow for all manner of musicians and artists to record in your space. Whenever you do decide to buy some instruments, make sure you get musical instrument insurance – just in case.

Once you have your soundproofing and key pieces of equipment, it is up to you to design and decorate your space. You can also add some color changing LED lights to your home music studio, as this can take the atmosphere to a whole new level!

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Trying Something New: Sports

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Trying Something New: Sports

It can be tough to begin a new hobby from scratch. This is especially true if we’re a little older and feel that the things we wanted to do, we’ve tried. But life is so much more than what we’ve had the good fortune to be near, it’s also what we choose to go out and explore. It’s never too late to start up a new hobby you care about or are at least curious in. In many cases, satiating that curiosity can help you grow as a person. That said, sometimes, it’s understandable to feel hesitant. Are you really going to join a five-a-side football team if you’ve barely kicked a ball before?

Where are you supposed to begin? It’s important to consider that. In this post, we’ll discuss a few methods you can get around that worry and play with vitality. After a few short weeks or months, you’ll most likely wonder what you were so worried about to begin with!

Go To An Amateur Game:

Seeing amateurs playing for the local team can be a great time. It helps you meet a community and may even let you see what local facilities are available, such as the local football pitches you might be able to practice on at classes there. Moreover, it will let you have fun viewing a sport, which is often the first step towards taking part in it or at least understanding its rules.

Look Up Online Advice & Take Part In The Community:

With amazing online advice, such as that offered by acevolleyball guide, you can more easily learn the basics of equipping yourself, the coherence of the game, and make use of a community should you find a good forum or social media group. Taking part is the most important thing, so don’t be afraid to step out and try it. Here you get to ask all of your silly questions as a beginner, learn how to properly stretch before and after a game, and will learn about the training classes that might take place near your home.

Try Training Classes With Someone You Trust:

A training class can be a great way to get started. Here you can learn beginner form, practice drills, learn teamwork, or just enjoying yourself in practice. Often learning the rules and principles behind a sport can be just as exciting as knowing the activity itself. Bringing along a friend can help you settle those basic nerves and also feels like a tremendously fun time to keep up with. Heading to a hockey class with a friend can help you make memories that will be long lasting.

It’s always nerve-wracking to try something new but it’s how we grow. If you’re interested in playing a sport, then go for it. It never hurts to try!

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Thinner By Stephen King Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Thinner By Stephen King Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, without giving any spoilers away, we will be discussing Thinner by Stephen King. There is never a bad time to read one of the kings of horror but it just hits differently during spooky season. I have been on a huge King kick as of late and have recently enjoyed Carrie and Fire-Starter. Thinner was a fun, quick read and before we get started, I will be placing a trigger warning on it for violence and disturbing content. Now, let’s get to it:

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Billy Halleck is a family man who is living the good life. He has a beautiful wife, beloved daughter, expensive home, and a great job as a lawyer. From this standpoint, he is the picture of success. Then, you look at the man who is being discussed and find out that he is very overweight and cruising dangerously to the heart attack zone. Constant binge eating has brought Billy’s weight to roughly two hundred and fifty pounds. Sure, he might say he’s on a diet but the empty snack wrappers and soda cans tell a totally different story.

Billy’s success in his small Connecticut town is a double edged sword. On one hand, he is making lots of money. On the other, his ins with judges and police officers helped sweep a crime that Billy is culpable of under the rug. Due to a bout of distracted driving, Billy ran over a wanderer whose caravan was camped in town. Instead of serving jail time, Billy got a slap on the wrist and his life went back to normal… So normal that he almost forgot about the ringleader of the fortune tellers and performers. His nose was suffering from necrosis and he touched Billy gently and whispered “thinner” to win justice for the victim.

Soon, Billy began to lose weight despite eating more than ever before. At first, it was nothing major and his scale stayed comfortably in the 240s. Then, the weight loss became rapid and within a few short weeks he lost forty pounds. Trips to the doctor and multiple tests confirmed that nothing was “wrong” with Billy medically. But, then again, a curse doesn’t show up on a blood test.

As Billy continues to go from dangerously overweight to dangerously thin, other strange phenomena is happening to the people involved in Billy’s courtroom coverup. The judge has inexplicably began growing scales and the chief of police has sprouted oozing, weeping pimples all over his body. They, too, were cursed by the caravan leader.

Time is running out and Billy has lost well over one hundred pounds in two months. He knows he will not find a cure at a medical facility that his wife insists on him checking into. So, he begins a road trip along the Northeast coast to track the wanderers down and get his curse lifted. Will he find them before the emaciation and arrhythmia in his heart kills him first? Read Thinner to find out!

Like Carrie and Fire-Starter, I had a great time reading Thinner. Was it my favorite Stephen King book that I have ever read? No. But, like all King books, it was a campy and fun page turner. I have always enjoyed King’s books not just for the horror but because of the humor! Stephen King has such a dry, silly sense of humor and so many lines in Thinner made me and Johnny laugh out loud.

Thinner wasn’t as much of a jump scare read as it was plain disturbing. “The Incredible Shrinking Man”, as Billy calls himself, is such a simple yet terrifying punishment. Most chapters in the book were marked by Billy’s new weight and reading his deterioration into a gaunt, skeletal man almost made me happy to have some areas of my body with extra padding lol. 

While I liked the story line, I didn’t care as much for Billy as a main character as I have in other King books. He seemed to play the blame game for his situation a lot instead of taking full responsibility for running a woman over. And, although he didn’t serve time in jail like he should have, he let the whole issue slip his mind almost completely rather than feel any guilt for it. Not a good look!

I am going to rate Thinner with a seven out of ten stars. This is a perfect and fast paced read to get you into the Halloween spirit. Although it wasn’t as groundbreaking as other King books, I still recommend it!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah