Tag Archives: hobby

One Year Duolingo Streak!

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One Year Duolingo Streak!

Hi! This has been a year of very exciting milestones for yours truly. I recently achieved a 1,000 day streak of writing in a row on lifewithlilred and, today, I have reached one full year of daily practice on Duolingo! Every day, I have been working on my French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, and German and I am amazed at the progress that I have made in all of them. If you can’t tell, I am a woman who thrives with a routine and it is so exciting to see my hard work continue to pay off.

Because I have six years of experience of being taught French in high school and college, it will always be my best language in terms of speaking, reading, and comprehension. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure how speaking my other four languages would go because I haven’t had the opportunity to interact with anyone who speaks them – especially in COVID times because Johnny and I haven’t been able to travel for our honeymoon like we wanted.

That’s not to say that I haven’t noticed big improvements, though. I am always tickled when Johnny and I are watching a TV show or movie and one of my five languages is being spoken. More often than not, I can get the basic gist of what is being said and it makes me feel very proud of myself. Now, the next challenge will be figuring out which language to start learning next!

For the longest time, I have answered the “What would your super power be?” question with being fluent in every language. It has been a time consuming task to achieve this without being bitten by a radioactive spider but learning on Duolingo every day brings me one step closer to that dream. πŸ™‚

Which language should I learn next? Which languages can you speak? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

LEGO Hogwarts Whomping Willow Set

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LEGO Hogwarts Whomping Willow Set

Hello! Johnny and I recently had a huge LEGO haul with three new sets to build. He also gifted me with an additional Harry Potter set for our two year anniversary when our haul arrived in the mail. You would think that we wouldn’t need more LEGO for a while but, on the contrary, we always need more LEGO!

This past week, I went on a Target run with my brother and mom and had to peak in the LEGO aisle to see what they had. I really didn’t plan on buying anything but when I saw the Whomping Willow set on sale, I just had to get it:

I have wanted this Harry Potter set for a while now because it serves as a connector to the Clock Tower and Great Hall which we already have. It is one that I have held off on buying since Johnny and I usually like to splurge on bigger sets but it has stayed in the back of my mind – just like the million other LEGO sets that we want!

I got my flu shot at Target and since the price was right on the Whomping Willow set, I decided that I deserved a treat. This purchase was the adult equivalent of a child receiving a sticker after a doctor’s appointment and I have no shame in admitting that lol. Too much LEGO ain’t enough LEGO as they say! And by they, I mean me.

Building LEGO with Johnny is one of my favorite things to do and I can’t wait to complete the three Harry Potter sets we have on deck together. This past weekend, we started working on our Attack on the Burrow set so be on the look out for pics of the end result once we finish it!

What do you like to build with LEGO? Which sets are on your wish list? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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LEGO Sailboat Adventure Set

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LEGO Sailboat Adventure Set

Hi! A few weeks ago, Johnny and I had a huge LEGO haul which included our Seinfeld set, a Harry Potter one, and a Sailboat Adventure set that we got FO FREE. After spending a certain amount, we got free shipping and the free set and it was a great deal. We definitely have enough LEGO to keep us occupied for a while but, of course, we are always thinking about the sets that we want next!

This past weekend, we built the Sailboat Adventure set together and it was a blast! It also turned out really good if I do say so myself:

Building LEGO sets with my husband is one of my favorite things in the world and we are so happy to add the little sailboat to our collection. There is nothing better than completing a set together and admiring our handiwork and on top of being tons of fun, it is so nice to work as a team to make something cool to have on display. If only we had a bigger place so we could make our completed sets the crown jewel that they deserve to be!

On deck, we have two Harry Potter LEGO sets to build: The Attack On The Burrow which Johnny got me for our two year anniversary and the Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets. Once those are done, I have my eye on the Hogwarts Astronomy Tower and Johnny would like a pirate ship set. While we are always looking to expand our Hogwarts castle, our Sailboat Adventure set inspired us to begin adding adventure themed sets to our collection. We are thinking pirate ships, islands, and castles. πŸ˜€

Although the Sailboat Adventure is the smallest set we own, we have big things in store for it with our plans for an adventure island. I can’t wait!

What do you like to build with LEGO? Who watched LEGO Masters this season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

LEGO Seinfeld Set

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LEGO Seinfeld Set

Hello! Johnny and I recently had a huge LEGO Haul that included some new Harry Potter sets and, most importantly, a set of Jerry’s apartment from Seinfeld. We are both huge fans of the show and we just had to buy it as a crowning jewel of our apartment!

When I returned home from work and an outing last week, I was so surprised to see that Johnny had completed the set while I was away as a surprise. Why didn’t we build it together, you might ask? Check out these pics and allow me to explain:

For my birthday last year, Johnny gifted me with the Clock Tower Harry Potter LEGO set. This was my first experience of building with LEGO in my entire life and, let’s just say it didn’t go very well at first. The entire beginning of this set involved incredibly small bricks and I just couldn’t put two and two together with my acrylics. I got so frustrated because I assumed that this was all LEGO was and what was the fun in that if I couldn’t do it?

I left Johnny to complete all of the small accessories and when bigger bricks finally came into play, I was elated to find that I could build with them with no problem. Now, whenever Johnny and I build with LEGO, I take care of all of the big parts of the build and he handles all of the small bricks and details. Our system works beautifully and it makes what was originally impossible for me to do a hobby that I can’t get enough of.

As you can see from the Seinfeld set, it is basically all small bricks and Johnny and I knew that it would be one that he would have to build on his own. Once I returned home from my day to see it in all of its glory on the coffee table, I was blown away because the set it absolutely perfect.

One of the things that Johnny and I love the most when it comes to LEGO are the small surprises that are included in each set. We were in hysterics over the LEGO pictures of The Kramer portrait and George’s boudoir shot and can’t get over the fact that Kramer has his own “Coffee Table Book”. The Festivus Pole in the left corner is also a nice touch and there is even a picture of a LEGO Larry David on the fridge! πŸ˜€

While there is nothing better than building a LEGO set with Johnny, I so appreciate that he spared me the frustration of attempting to help with the Seinfeld set, lol. Unfortunately, we have had no such luck in finding a house to rent. But, when we eventually do, we can’t wait to have more room to display our completed sets and, of course, build more! ❀

What is your favorite thing that you have built with LEGO? Does anyone watch LEGO Masters? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Self Care Hobbies That Can Be Done From Home

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Self Care Hobbies That Can Be Done From Home

Hobbies that can be done from home are so much more likely to be practiced often. And if they are much more likely to happen, then it can be such a good thing for your self care and mental health. Looking after yourself and finding something that you love to do, outside of work or school is important. So with that in mind, here are some hobbies that you can try from home to help you relax. Which are you going to try first?

Knitting:

Knitting is a wonderful hobby to try. The reason being, is that it is not only a mindful and relaxing activity, but it also gives you an end result. Want to create a scarf or make something for your friend’s new baby? Then get knitting. Seeing that you have created something by yourself can be a real confidence boost.

Painting:

Painting is something that can be really relaxing and mindful, and you don’t need very much equipment to get you started. You can go wherever your imagination takes you or take inspiration from your favorite artist or pieces of artwork. You could look here for some inspiration: https://davidhartgalleries.com.au/pro-hart/. You could choose paint, acrylics, watercolors, chalks, or other mediums, it is all about being creative and making it up as you go.

Baking Bread:

Another hobby that is practical, as you get something good to eat at the end of it, but that is calming and relaxing at the same time. Baking bread in a traditional way, such as by kneading the dough by hand and waiting for it to rise can be therapeutic and so, so rewarding. You can get creative with the types of bread and the flavors like sourdough, which will need a starter, as stated here: https://feastingathome.com/sourdough-starter/. So there are a lot of options for you to play around with.

Reading:

If you don’t think that you have much time for reading, then you might not have been putting as much emphasis on it as you have in the past. Reading can be pure escapism, as well as a way to learn new things. If you want to read more, then block out the time in your schedule and it will make sure that it happens.

LEGO:

Building with LEGO is not just for kids! You can get proper sets and kits to create something as it is meant to be or you can use what you have to create anything else that you can imagine. Some kits can take a while to build, so it can be a real labor of love. The perfect solution when you’re looking for something to do to relax at the end of the day.

Everyone needs a hobby to enjoy so why not try some of these ideas? Have fun!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Surprise LEGO Set!

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Surprise LEGO Set!

Hi! Johnny and I will be celebrating our two year anniversary of being in a “Facebook official” relationship on September first, which is super exciting! When it comes to buying presents for any occasion, I am notorious for purchasing way in advance and constantly asking if I can give the gifts early. I just can’t help myself!

For mine and Johnny’s two year, I came to terms with waiting until the day of so you could imagine my surprise when he wanted to do presents early. Take a look at what Johnny got for me:

As you all know from yesterday’s post, Johnny and I had a huge LEGO haul with a Harry Potter Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets set, a Seinfeld set, and a little boat set too. Once I returned home with all of the LEGO in tow, Johnny decided to gift me with one more so I guess the two year anniversary is the LEGO anniversary! πŸ˜€

For our two year, Johnny got me the Harry Potter Attack on the Burrow set, which I have wanted since it was released about a year ago. We are constantly talking about expanding our Hogwarts castle and grounds and while the Weasley house technically doesn’t belong on the Hogwarts grounds, it is still a welcome addition.

Our two year anniversary definitely qualifies under the “fun and games” category as I gifted him with a Legend of Zelda Monopoly and more Link Amiibos to add to his collection. We are so excited to play a rousing game of Monopoly together and build our four different LEGO sets. I think our LEGO additions will keep us occupied for about a week because once we start building we just can’t stop! ❀

What is your favorite board game? Have you gotten any new LEGO sets recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

LEGO Haul

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LEGO Haul

Hi! It has been a while since Johnny and I have purchased a LEGO set to build together but that has been resolved with this huge haul! One of our favorite weekly shows is LEGO Masters and after each episode we always name off which sets we want next. Recently, LEGO came out with a Seinfeld set of Jerry’s apartment and since we are such huge fans of the show, I couldn’t not get it! I also got a few more goodies too, thanks to a great promotion running on the LEGO website. Check it out:

When the massive box of LEGO finally arrived, I felt like a kid on Christmas day and couldn’t wait to bring the new sets home to Johnny. There was a promo running on the site for free shipping on fifty dollar plus purchases as well as receiving the boat set for free after spending a certain amount. I thought that this was a really good deal and knew that it never hurts to have more LEGO so I decided to go for it and purchased the Harry Potter Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets set too.

Although we haven’t bought new LEGO sets in months, Johnny and I already have quite an extensive collection of Harry Potter and Star Wars sets. The Seinfeld one was an absolute necessity and I can’t wait to build it with Johnny and am really eager to add onto our Hogwarts castle and grounds. Although the boat set is small, it is effective and inspired us to begin a nautical collection with pirate ships, islands, and adventure.

When it comes to building LEGO together, Johnny and I have it down to a science. Because of my acrylics, Johnny handles all of the small pieces and details while I build with the bigger bricks. We have spent countless hours building in our apartment while listening to music, laughing, and beaming with pride once our set is complete. ❀

I am dying to get started on these new sets and, like any LEGO enthusiast, we already know which ones we want to buy next. While we will never be at LEGO Master level, I do like to think that we are the best Brick Masters in our apartment! πŸ˜€

Do you like to build with LEGO? What is your favorite LEGO set? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Fun & Games: Seinfeld Edition

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Fun & Games: Seinfeld Edition

Hi! During a shopping outing with my mom and brother, I returned home with many a treat for Johnny and myself including a new game for us and a puzzle for me. FYE was running a buy one get one fifty percent off deal on their board games and puzzles and when I saw their options for Seinfeld related entertainment, I couldn’t pass it up! We already have two Seinfeld board games that include Clue and Festivus and I thought that one more couldn’t hurt. πŸ˜€ Check it out:

I love working on puzzles with my mom and brother and when I saw The Kramer portrait in puzzle form, I was sold instantly. I never work on puzzles at our apartment because we really don’t have a lot of free tabletop space. However, I can definitely make room for this one! Johnny doesn’t like doing puzzles too much so this will be nice for me to do to keep my hands busy while we’re watching our favorite programs. We plan on gluing and framing it once it’s complete. πŸ™‚

The Seinfeld party game looked like a hoot and I laughed out loud about having to fish for the Marble Rye to win! Our favorite thing is having game nights with our friends and family and I knew that it would be a hit the next time the occasion calls for some board games. While we already have Seinfeld Scene It Trivia, this tabletop game is nice because you don’t need to bother with the TV to play it. I think that all of the Seinfeld fans in our circle will get a huge kick out of this!

It has been a while since Johnny and I purchased some new board games and activities so I was really happy with these purchases and I can’t wait to get started on my puzzle! πŸ˜€

What is your favorite board game? What is the biggest puzzle you have ever completed? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Force Of Habit

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A Force Of Habit

Hello! In case you haven’t realized by now, I am the type of gal who loves organizing, planning, check lists, and schedules. I thrive on structure. Meanwhile, Johnny is definitely more spontaneous so the combination balances out nicely! I run two businesses, which means that my days need to run like a fine tuned machine so that I can get everything done with time to relax in the evening.

While it takes an average of sixty-six days for a person to form a new habit, it probably takes me a week or less because I take a lot of pleasure in penciling things into my schedule. There is also nothing better than a super long streak of doing something daily! There are a handful of habits that I have formed that I truly don’t think I could live without now. In fact, it pains me to think of not doing the following every day:

Skin Care Routine:

My days start and end with a skin care routine that I have customized to best fit my skin type. With the stresses that sometimes come with being self employed, self care is extremely important to me. Sometimes, this takes form in trying out a new face mask but it mostly means using products on my face and body that make me feel good. This includes using a delicious smelling body wash from Bath & Body Works, a refreshing gel moisturizer, Vitamin C serum, and body lotion every day.

Writing:

Once I have completed my morning hygiene routine, it is time to write! My fast approaching 1,000 post streak of daily writing would probably not be possible if I didn’t get up extra early every day to complete this task before I need to leave for work. While I always enjoy adding new things to my schedule, I like checking them off of my mental to do list even more! I feel amazing every time I finish a new blog post and my countdown gets one day closer to 1,000.

Practice Learning Languages:

Other than reading, learning new languages is one of my favorite hobbies. I am currently on a three hundred day streak on Duolingo for practicing French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech every day. Whenever I get asked what I would want my super power to be if I had one, I always reply with being fluent in every language in the world. Unfortunately, I am not going to get bit by a super learned spider for this to happen automatically so I try to do it myself. It makes me proud to learn new words and phrases every day and I have made an insane amount of progress from practicing these five different languages daily.

Push Ups:

When Johnny and I first started dating almost two years ago, we were hit head on by a car. It was so scary and I actually ended up being hospitalized for injuries to my cervical spine. I was left with a lot of nerve damage in my upper body from the accident, which resulted in my arms and torso becoming weaker than it already was!

To help ease the nerve pain that I was experiencing at the end of every day, I began to do push ups to tone and strengthen my upper body several months ago. I started out with only doing twenty-five, which was really hard. However, I graduated to now doing fifty! If I’m feeling saucy, I sometimes do fifty more. These daily mini workouts have made a noticeable improvement in the upper body pain that I have to deal with and I am excited to continue increasing how many push ups I do. πŸ™‚

All of the above have become a true force of habit for me and my day would not feel complete without doing them. Here’s to continuing to check all of them off my mental to do list every day!

What is something your day wouldn’t be complete without? How long does it take for something to become a habit for you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Get In The Writing Zone

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Get In The Writing Zone

Hi! I am quickly approaching a 1,000 post streak of writing on lifewithlilred and it is incredibly exciting! As promised, I will be sharing all of my favorite tips and tricks when it comes to writing as we continue on with the countdown to 1,000. The tips shared today and in the linked post have been essential in making such a long streak of daily writing possible and I am happy to fill all of you in on them. Let’s get started:

Stick To A Schedule:

I follow a very strict schedule when it comes to my writing and it is almost painful for me to stray from it! I wake up extra early before leaving for work to have time to write and get ready for my day. While I love being able to sleep in a little bit longer, I love being all done with my blogging so that I don’t have to do anything once I return home even more.

This is the schedule that works for me but it might not work for you and that’s okay. Figure out the best time to write for you whether it be before work, after, or even in the middle of the night and stick with it. Daily writing is so rewarding and despite almost 1,000 days straight of it, it still feels really good to check it off of my to do list!

Create A Writing Nook:

It’s important to have somewhere comfortable and distraction free to write so that you can keep your creative juices flowing. This is also why I like writing early in the morning because my husband has already left for work so it is just me and my laptop. Create a space in your home that is designated just for your writing. I, personally, thrive by having my own home office. However, if this is not possible for you, then a cozy spot on the couch, some space cleared on your kitchen table, or your favorite coffee shop will work just fine.

Play Some Tunes:

Although I don’t listen to music very often while writing anymore, I used to do it all of the time and it definitely served its purpose. Now, I tend to play some tunes if I am struggling with writer’s block. Some people work and focus better when they have a bit of background noise. If this sounds like you, then create a playlist to write to. Once the music is on and you’re in the zone, there is no stopping you!

Practice Makes Perfect:

Daily writing can seem like a daunting task but just like anything else, practice makes perfect. Writing every day will help you grow exponentially in your craft and you will be amazed at the difference in your posts compared to last years’ or even last months’. Like any new hobby, you might feel shaky in the beginning but continuing to try writing daily will help your confidence in your skill soar as you start to get the hang of it. πŸ™‚

As a seasoned blogger, it is exciting to me to enter the Writing Zone every day and the tips above have all played their part in getting me to that level. I hope they do the same for you! ❀

What are some of your writing tips and tricks? Do you have any questions for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah