Tag Archives: inspiration

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Midnight Library By Matt Haig Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Midnight Library By Matt Haig Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, without giving any spoilers away, we are going to be talking about the super popular The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. A month or so ago, I felt like I was constantly getting recommendations to read this book and, obviously, I caved since we are discussing it now! Multiple people told me it was “one of the best books” they have ever read and I was definitely interested in seeing if it lived up to the hype.

While I can certainly understand why people really enjoyed this book, I didn’t think it was the best thing I have read by any means. I was into it for the first two hundred pages or so but it dragged out quite a bit and I was ready for it to be over. Let’s discuss further but before doing so I will put a trigger warning in place as The Midnight Library deals with suicide.

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Nora has had a bad day and, according to her, an all around bad life filled with regrets and what ifs. She had the potential to be an Olympic athlete or a rock star but now she lives alone in a shabby apartment and just got fired from her job at a music shop. Broken family relationships and friendships leave her feeling even more alone and her cat died. Her life feels unaccomplished and meaningless and she wants it to end. So she takes an overdose.

But, just when Nora thinks her life is over, she wakes up in a library that is filled with an infinite number of books and is overseen by the librarian at Nora’s high school twenty years ago, Mrs. Elm. This place is called The Midnight Library and it is where people who are hovering between life and death might find themselves. It looks different to everyone but the idea is the same: You can try out any kind of life you would like and if you find one that makes you especially happy, you can stay there.

Before Nora gets to take a different life for a test spin, she must face her own personal Book Of Regrets. As you can guess, its pages are filled with all of the things Nora wanted to do but didn’t. By confronting these regrets, she is able to narrow down the lives she might like to try, like if she really did become an Olympian or a glaciologist. However, despite all of these different lives, Nora always ends up back in the library because something about it didn’t make her completely happy.

Nora can’t stay in The Midnight Library forever and she is quickly running out of time but none of the lives have fully restored her will to live. She is in a place where people are either born or die so what will she end up choosing? Read The Midnight Library to find out!

Now, let me start off by saying that I absolutely LOVED the idea of The Midnight Library and the possibility to live a multitude of different choices, careers, and lifestyles all around the world. I also deeply appreciated the resounding theme of the book that true happiness can be found within yourself and your perspective. Happiness doesn’t come from what you did or failed to do but how you are best living in this one moment because each one opens up a new universe. Like Nora, I struggle with mental health issues and and this was a powerful and inspiring message to me.

Overall, I liked The Midnight Library a lot but it lost a lot of its initial momentum at the halfway mark. The first few times Nora was transported to a new life it was exciting but then there was another, and another, and another… And it just felt like it was never going to end. There was so much build up for an ending that was very easy to be predicted and all of the extra life hopping and parallel universe theories seemed unnecessary and, frankly, it got to be a little boring.

Despite being too drawn out for my taste, this book kind of had a Mitch Albom The Five People You Meet In Heaven vibe and it was a good read. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve read recently but it wasn’t the worst, either. I am going to rate it with a seven out of ten stars. I enjoyed the story line and the hopeful message. It is also a great reminder to always be kind because you never know what someone is going through. I recommend giving it a read!

What are you currently reading? What did you think about The Midnight Library? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Always Meant To Wear OOTD

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Always Meant To Wear OOTD

Hello everyone and welcome to a new OOTD compliments of my Reimagine Your Wardrobe series! About two times a year, I try to do a closet purge and I am, usually, pretty good about donating items that haven’t been worn or have sizing issues. However, I’d be a liar if I didn’t say that I definitely have a few pieces in my wardrobe that I have hung onto despite qualifying to be donated because I’ve always meant to wear it!

The Reimagine Your Wardrobe series is all about making your clothing feel brand new again and the dress that my OOTD is centered around is actually brand new – I have never worn it! That is not for a lack of wanting to, though. Take a look at my Always Meant To Wear OOTD and find out more:

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^^^ Johnny insisted that a small fraction of our record collection be featured in a picture because of my retro inspired outfit!

Who? What? Wear?

I am ashamed to say that this dress has been sitting unworn in my closet since 2018 because every time I wanted to wear it, it just didn’t fit quite right because I had gained some weight since purchasing it. Even though it is a golden rule of closet maintenance to donate items that don’t fit you well, I just couldn’t part with my BCBG dress because I knew in my heart of hearts that some day I would wear it and it would be magnificent!

As soon as I formed my idea for the Reimagine Your Wardrobe OOTD series, this is actually the first outfit that came to mind – provided the dress fit, of course. I have always loved this dress and it fit the criteria of incorporating my older clothing into my current outfits perfectly. I was so nervous to try it on for the first time in over a year due to the pandemic and I was really happy that it fit even better than it did when I first bought it. It looked and felt exactly how I imagined it to when I added it into my shopping cart and it was an amazing confidence boost.

My Always Meant To Wear OOTD was inspired not only by my new fashion series but the documentary on the history of rock n’ roll that Johnny and I watched recently. Johnny is a musician and we are constantly talking and learning about as well as listening to music in our apartment. The documentary we finished was incredibly entertaining and informative and I enjoyed seeing all of the different fashions of each decade.

In fact, this OOTD has been styled in my head for over a month already because I came up with it in the middle of one of the documentary episodes we were watching. The shape of this dress is super 1960s while the floral built in button down offers 70s vibes and colors. Then, I fast forwarded it into modern day with my “Who Cares?” speech bubble heels, big hoop earrings, and a mauve matte lip.

Although it will be a while until I have an occasion to rock this OOTD in public with because pandemic, I am so glad to know that it is now a viable option. My self confidence was sky high even though I was just hanging out in my apartment and it was so fun, as always, to have Johnny’s help taking my pictures. He is the absolute best and is such a good sport about snapping a million shots for me! ❤

What is your favorite decade for music? How about for fashion? I want to hear from all about you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Stressed? Let’s Change That!

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Feeling Stressed? Let’s Change That!

We all experience stress every once in a while. That’s a given. At the end of the day, stress is a natural response to dangerous or potentially harmful situations that we have evolved to benefit ourselves. But when you experience stress on a regular basis, it can become a problem. Stress can result in detrimental effects on your overall health and well being, from physical harm to emotional harm, mental harm, and even resultant behavioral changes.

Unfortunately, right now, many of us are stressed and have been stressed for a long time. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in all sorts of unwanted changes in our day to day lives, from health concerns to worries for loved ones, job loss, financial troubles, social isolation, loneliness, and more. Stress is a logical response. However, you should, where possible, be doing everything you can to minimize your experience and symptoms of stress. Here’s some more information and a few suggestions to help you along the way:

Identifying Stress:

Stress is pretty simple to identify. Here are some of the warning signs:

Physical Impact:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems

Emotional Impact:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Sadness
  • Procrastination or lack of Motivation

Behavioral Impact:

  • Emotional Outbursts
  • Undereating
  • Overeating
  • Withdrawal from Social Situations

Reducing Stress:

There are many healthy stress reduction methods out there. Here are some you may want to discuss with your doctor and try out:

  • Meditation and Mindfulness: Meditation and mindfulness are calming practices that can help. Try following tutorials and apps.
  • Getting Enough Rest: Sleep is an important process for your body to rest, resolve trauma or injury and illness. Make sure to get your recommended eight hours a night.
  • CBD: Some studies have found that CBD can reduce stress symptoms. So, why not try out some CBD candies and see how they work for you?
  • Getting Organized: Sometimes stress can stem from a lack of organization. Try organizing your life, tackling issues and concerns, and giving everything more structure.
  • Massage: While spas may be closed, you could try out some massage at home using foam rollers, massage balls, and more. This can release tension.

Know When to Ask for Help:

Of course,  stress can also be a symptom of underlying mental health conditions. So, if you are ever feeling overwhelmed, that you can’t cope, or that you are experiencing excessive or unnecessary stress, make sure to reach out to your doctor. They’ll be able to identify and diagnose any conditions and recommend the best course of treatment for you. There are also support groups, helplines, and mental health charities who can help too!

Most of us are bound to feel stressed right now. What’s important is that you don’t simply accept stress as a given part of day to day life. This is something that can be managed, handled, and even overcame. Hopefully, some of the above information will help you get started out on the right foot when it comes to managing your stress properly and effectively.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Desire Mapping For 2021 With The Goddess Attainable

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Desire Mapping For 2021 With The Goddess Attainable

Hello everyone and welcome to a guest post written by my new friend, Libby, of The Goddess Attainable! I am so happy for Libby’s work to be featured on lifewithlilred for the first time, thanks to her answering my call to action for New Year’s guest bloggers. Today, you are in for a treat because Libby is going to teach us all about her process for Desire Mapping. Libby is such a delightful writer and this post is both inspiring and incredibly insightful. Enjoy:

Desire Mapping For 2021 With The Goddess Attainable

[This article is not an advertisement for Danielle LaPorte, and I am not sponsored by her or anyone. However, her Desire Mapping process is integral to my recent experiences with regards to my desires for 2021, so I will share details about her program throughout this article.]

My first experience with Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Mapping was back in 2014, spending time with my twin sister, in her living room, with two other acquaintances. At the time, none of us knew, but this initial one-day experience would be the foundation that later formed our tribe (spiritual friend group).

My twin sister was the glue that initially merged this delicate synergy of humans, and it was she who initiated this Desire Mapping exercise, surrounded by delicious food, cozy blankets, and four loving beings. One other precious tribe member would join us one year later and would also become my best friend in the whole world. Our tribe now consists of five talented, gifted, intuitive, sensitive, powerful, authentic, individual people, all trusting and sharing our lives with one another on a regular basis. It’s a true gift to have found a group like this, and our first Desire Mapping experience in 2014 was the beginning of this miraculous union of souls.

LaPorte’s Desire Mapping program is essentially a powerful workbook that invites you to brainstorm about your deepest soul desires. Page by page, question by question, you move through the workbook until you have zeroed in on your deepest “Core Desired Feelings” or “CDFs,” and have compressed these feelings into three to five power words. If you approach this map work with an open heart and a genuine desire to uncover your deepest Core Desired Feelings, these buzz words will make you feel goose bumps when you say them, and will ultimately resonate with your soul.

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The Goddess Attainable’s Desire Mapping workbook ca. 2014. Core Desired Feelings: Kindredness, Shakti-Shiva, Precious Pearl, and Dripping Beauty. At the time, I didn’t even really know what these words meant, but they felt magical when I said them, and I knew I just wanted more of whatever was promised within them.

Your Core Desired Feelings are your own and there is no wrong way to do this, as long as you are being honest with yourself. This exercise can be done individually or in a group, but I have personally found that sharing these precious words with other trusting souls is much more powerful. It’s important to have witnesses to your experience, and to support and witness others’ experiences as well.

Desire Mapping 2.0:

By 2020, our tribe had begun to meet regularly, once a year for a weekend getaway. However, due to the pandemic, our most recent Tribal Council was held virtually. My twin sister had the brilliant idea of revisiting our Desire Maps and re-doing the workbook with fresher eyes and more expanded souls. Also, our fifth and final tribe member had never experienced the initial magic, so we were excited to include him on this journey.

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Left: Virtual setup for Tribal Council 2020. Right: The Goddess Attainable finding her happy place before a day of electronic overload.

Our tribe had all gone through the workbook before meeting this time, and our plan was to share bits and pieces of our brainstorming process, and conclude by sharing our individual, newly revamped, updated 2020 CDFs with each other. However, things did not go according to plan.

It turns out that doing lots of spiritual work, sharing deep and vulnerable feelings with one another, in a safe and cozy setting with blankets and tea is super powerful and also super fun! However, trying to do this virtually is a bit more life-sucking, draining, and is ultimately, quite overwhelming. Our tribe ran out of steam before we were ever able to share our CDFs with one another, and the group voted to table this whole exercise for another time.

I waited patiently for months and months until the group as a whole decided it was ready to re-open this Mapping dance. I was so excited about my new CDFs and dying to share them with my tribe members. I felt like my power words couldn’t come alive until I shared them out loud, and keeping them to myself was like being asked to sit on my hands indefinitely with my body covered in mosquito bites. Okay, it wasn’t quite that bad, but I was impatient to say the least.

I eventually let go of the whole struggle and began to truly trust that if the group was not ready to share in this way, there must be a more divine reason for this. And my trusting paid off, because one of our tribe members finally suggested, kind of out of nowhere, that we all share our CDFs as a way to celebrate the New Year. What a brilliant idea, and much better timing than sharing them when we were all exhausted and spiritually spent from our Tribal Council months earlier.

Our tribe met around 4 PM on New Year’s Eve, 2020, and we shared our CDFs with one another. It was a beautiful and divine experience for all, as always.

After any kind of spiritual gathering, of course, it’s always good to ground yourself with some chocolate, so I made sure to do that…

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New Year’s Eve, 2020

The Goddess Attainable’s 2021 Core Desired Feelings:

  • GODDESS
  • FLOW
  • ENCHANTMENT
  • DEVOTION

How The Universe Manifests Our Desires:

I have found in life, that often when I ask for something, it comes to me when the time is right, and in the form The Universe deems most appropriate. Dreams and desires do not manifest in the way I always imagine, or even want, and they almost never just land in my lap.

For instance, say I desire more love in my life. If I put my wish out there into the world, it may come in the form of a challenge at work. Perhaps I experience a situation where I am called to stand up for myself with a colleague. This may be the gift, the miracle, the desire manifested, even though at the time, I may easily feel victimized and hurt by an experience like this. However, me standing up for myself at work is a form of self-love, and love arrives in all forms. It may not have been a puppy dog wrapped in blankets, left in a cuddly basket on my doorstep, but rather, it came in the form of an experience or incident that invited me to choose love in that moment.

Manifestation is a divine collaboration. When we ask for something, we really do need to meet The Universe halfway. It’s not about punishment, or even earning our desires. It’s just the way the Universe works. If we want to truly feel love in our bodies, we need to experience it in our bones; and navigating real-life, un-planned situations, is one of the most effective ways to absorb new and higher energy from The Universe. We work our manifested desires into our lives, piece by piece, one experience at a time, until they finally become part of us. This is the reality of manifestation, and it truly works, if we know how to work it.

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I always think of this when I think about the idea of meeting The Universe halfway. The Creation of Adam, detail, Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel

Ever since I shared my CDFs with my tribe, I have been noticing their presence showing up in my life in some rather blatant ways. This past week, FLOW, one of my Core Desired Feelings, made multiple appearances, but not in the way I had hoped or imagined.

Let me explain a bit about my desire for more FLOW in life. I am a controlling person. I like things neat and orderly. I am an anal-retentive Virgo and like when things go according to plan. I am not a go-with-the-FLOW person. Contained within this word are all of my desires to achieve more FLOW in my life. I want to go with the FLOW of events and circumstances. I want to jump in the river of life and see where the FLOW takes me. I want to FLOW within my body and feel more relaxed states of energy, as I open my stiff joints and release all of the tightness and tension. I want to shrug my shoulders when things go wrong and just move on in a relaxed and FLOW-forward kind of way.

This week, I was given challenges that were seemingly tailor-made for me, in an effort to integrate some more FLOW into my life. The Universe found the most open and vulnerable (maybe even fragile) parts of me, where there were some cracks in the surface, and infiltrated at just the right moment.

Light enters most efficiently through the cracks in our armor, and our job is to simply let the light in.

I shared my desires with The Universe (and my beloved tribe), and The Universe responded in kind. I could have chosen to believe I was a victim of the following circumstances, but instead, I chose to recognize the gift of FLOW that I was being invited to receive.

The Toilet:

I won’t get into the gruesome details with this one, and I will certainly spare you the pictures (I didn’t take any). Needless to say, I am a very clean person, and I hate when my bathroom and/or my toilet are not perfectly clean and functioning properly. Hate it. But during this week, the toilet was not working or functioning properly, and I was unable to get it working in a timely manner.

My partner took time away from his clients (he is a therapist and works from home) to come down and try to assist. He spent a good thirty minutes attempting to rectify the situation, and it soon became clear to us both, that this situation was unrectifyable (I often make up words as I go, but all of my word inventions are words that I think should already exist).

Just to give you an idea of how difficult this was for me, while my partner was in the bathroom, trying his best to fix the problem, I was out in the living room, lying on the floor, curled up in a ball, trying not to vomit. Not kidding. There was utter trauma coursing through my veins, and I was doing my best not to lose it. Yeah, that’s how I get when it comes to this kind of thing.

However, something within me decided to handle things differently this time. Just before my partner emerged from the bathroom, I unfurled myself from my trauma ball and rose feebly to my feet, bracing myself for bad news. He let me know that he had to return to work and told me that he would not be available to help for another few hours. I was stuck and left on my own to try to fix the issue, and more importantly, I needed to use the bathroom…SOON! But I was determined to do things differently this time.

WAYS IN WHICH I WENT WITH THE FLOW DURING THIS ENTIRE DRAMA:

  1. When my partner came out of the bathroom to let me know that he was unable to fix the problem and had to return to work, I said, “Okay, I’ll figure it out, thank you for trying.” Whaaa????!!! Never in a million years would I typically respond this way, but I did.
  2. During this time, I must note, that I was actually incorporating another one of my CDF’s into the whole situation, and was truly asking in every moment, “What would a GODDESS do?” A goddess would not have a tantrum, that’s for sure.
  3. Remember, I had to use the bathroom at this point, so that was my most pressing concern. I contemplated going to a convenience store, but not my favorite option. Instead, I contacted a friend who lives near me, asked to use her bathroom, and took her up on her offer to lend me her toilet auger. During the whole drive, I remained calm and just continued to tell myself, “Tomorrow will be better.”
  4. On the way home, I took it upon myself to make a pit stop at Home Depot to pick up something that might be helpful and contribute to the solution.
  5. I got home and thought I could sit around and wait for my partner to finish work and then have him take care of the issue (just being in the bathroom at this point, still made me kind of nauseous), or I could try to tackle this problem myself, like a badass GODDESS who knows how to go with the FLOW.
  6. I called my brother-in-law, who just happens to know everything about plumbing, and asked him how to use the tools I was attempting to use.
  7. Within a few disgusting, traumatic, horror-filled, yet relatively calm minutes, I had fixed the toilet, all by myself, and I didn’t even vomit in my mouth!

After some reflection on the situation, I even recognized the uncanny combination of events. I literally and metaphorically had unstuck a blocked FLOW within myself and my home. Again, this is the way The Universe works. I want more FLOW in my life, right? Well, FLOW doesn’t just come to me in an instant, like a flash of lightening. I have to experience it in my body by being given opportunities to flex that atrophied FLOW muscle. I experienced more FLOW by being presented with a challenge to bring about this quality within me.

Next challenge (AKA invitation to receive)…

The Blender:

For the last several weeks, I have been attempting to DETOX FROM THE HOLIDAYS, and it’s been going swimmingly. An integral part of my detox efforts has been a blender that I bought for myself as a Christmas present. I have needed a blender for so long and can’t believe I have lived this long without one. I have been making soups and smoothies galore, and it has been a super fun part of my strict detox regimen.

That all ended several days ago…

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There’s no explanation. The blender glass was wet and it slipped off the counter when my back was turned, and I was powerless over its destruction. In those moments, what can one do?

I could have cried. I could have pouted. I could have cursed (okay, I definitely cursed). But I didn’t cry and I didn’t pout. I went with the FLOW. It’s a blender. It happens. Things break. Things that I just bought and that I really love just break. It sucks, but what was I going to do? I cleaned up the broken pieces of glass and went on with my day.

I considered going out and buying a brand new blender, but that seemed silly to me. I just bought this! And I don’t need a blender, I just need the glass. I looked online to see if I could order replacement glass for the blender, and the exact kind of glass I need is on back order with no estimated date of arrival. Another invitation to FLOW. Again, what can I do? What would a GODDESS do? She would pivot. She would adjust. So that’s what I did. And it made for a more FLOW-y existence.

I decided, “Whelp, I have all this fruit in my refrigerator that I planned to make for daily smoothies. I guess I will just have a bowl of fruit salad, instead. Every day. Indefinitely. Until my elusive blender glass arrives someday. Just go with it. It’s no biggie.”

Relaxation:

My final invitation to FLOW this week was initiated by moi, and beginning Friday afternoon when I had completed my work tasks for the day, I made a point to just veg out on the couch, give myself a break, and relax. I often feel pressure to produce, produce, produce. Creative people struggle with this often, and I am constantly dancing between my urges to feed the fires of desire within my belly, and my intuitive understanding of my need for rest.

Ultimately, I heeded my body. At the end of this long, challenging, and educational week, I simply enjoyed the FLOW of spreading my limbs out on my couch while mindlessly watching the Kardashians and their Los Angeles shenanigans.

In Conclusion:

For most of my life, I have always wished for love. Not puppy love or self-love, although those kinds of loves are great, but rather, true love. In 2018, I was blessed with finding this special true love, and over the last two and a half years, I have found myself in a position of needing new things to desire.

It’s an amazing thing when our wishes come true, but the party doesn’t stop there. Dreams and desires are what keep us moving as humans. New desires keep coming once we achieve our goals. That doesn’t make us greedy or selfish, it just makes us participants in life. One of the best ways to remind us that we are alive, is to check in with ourselves on a regular basis and revisit our desires. This keeps them present and active, and keeps us aligned with our authentic selves.

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At the strong urging of two of my tribe members who were already hooked on this Desire Map Planner, I caved and finally bought one for myself this year.

I resisted this planner for a long time because there is something a bit burdensome about carrying my desires around with me all of the time. If I never desire anything, I never have to be let down, right? However, if I never dare to dream, I may never reach my life’s full potential.

Living my dreams doesn’t have to be scary or profound. Living out my dream today looks like smashed blender glass on the kitchen floor. It looks like a stopped-up toilet. And finding my true love didn’t look like a romantic comedy, but rather a really nice date with a really nice guy who had beautiful eyes and a smile that lit up the entire restaurant.

Living our dreams just kind of looks like life. But we can truly be the ruler of our lives if we can just muster up the courage to admit that we do have a bit of an idea of how we might like our lives to go, and what we might want to feel like along the way. We aren’t allowed to dictate how those dreams arrive, but we can certainly make ourselves available to The Universe’s wisdom, and open ourselves to receive The Universe’s offerings. Our dream lives will follow. We all deserve this right, and we are all capable of walking this path.

I wish you so much luck, love, and happiness on your journey, and want to thank you so much for allowing me to share just a piece of mine with you. XO!

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Libby Saylor is an artist, living and working in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and writes The Goddess Attainable Blog.

You can continue learning about Libby at:

Thank you so much to Libby for creating this post special for lifewithlilred’s readers and for sharing her truth with us! Please make sure to visit her pages and give them some love, too. And, if you are interested in guest blogging for lifewithlilred, then shoot me an email at sarah.mush6794@gmail.com ! Much love. -Sarah

Have Some Writing Prompts!

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Have Some Writing Prompts!

Hello everyone and happy February! Can you believe that we are already one month into 2021? I, personally, am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that we are quickly approaching the one year mark of when the bars, restaurants, and salons first shut down in Ohio on March 19th, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Time really seems to be flying and dragging on at the exact same time.

This pandemic has done us writers literally no favors and I understand how hard it is to come up with daily content better than anyone. And, as we approach the one year anniversary (worst anniversary ever) of the coronavirus, writing can seem even more daunting as this limbo we are all stuck in feels never ending. If you are struggling to come up with content on your page, fear not! Lil Red is here to help with some writing prompts and I can’t wait to see what all of you come up with:

  • How have you adjusted to life during a pandemic?
  • What has been your favorite memory during the past year?
  • Valentine’s Day is almost here! Do you have any ideas for at home dates and gifts?
  • The pandemic has put many big events on hold. Did you miss out on any concerts or plays?
  • It’s never too early to start your spring cleaning! Any tips on the best ways to deep clean your place?
  • How has your personal style changed since the pandemic?
  • Working from home? What are the pros and cons, in your opinion?
  • Do any of your friends run a small business? Now is the time to support them by giving a shout out on your page!
  • What is the most binge worthy series you watched during the pandemic?
  • What is the most unputdownable book you’ve read this past year?
  • Where do you turn for inspiration when you are writing?
  • Describe a typical day in your pandemic life.

Believe it or not, this post is as much for me as it is for all of you because I will be using some of these prompts, myself! If you plan on using any of the above, let me know so I can check your post out. 🙂 Happy writing!

What do you do when you have writer’s block? What are you most looking forward to post pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Year’s Resolution Check In

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New Year’s Resolution Check In

Hello! We are already getting close to wrapping up the first month of 2021 and if you made New Year’s Resolutions, then now might be a good time to reflect on these past few weeks and see how you have been faring. Consider the following and make adjustments accordingly so you can achieve all of your goals this year:

How often are you working on your goal?

If you have been dedicated to working towards your goal several times a week, you might want to buff up the time you’re spending by an extra five to ten minutes. However, if you’re struggling to work on your goal during your set scheduled times – don’t fret! There is no need to be hard on yourself. Rather, make a schedule that you know you can accomplish and then add more time to it gradually. Remember, a resolution is supposed to last you until the next New Year so it’s important to not let yourself get discouraged or burned out.

Is your resolution something you want to do?

It’s all well and good to say resolutions that sound well and good like losing weight or taking a class for your own enrichment. But, if you’re not one hundred percent dedicated to what you’re saying, then what’s the point? If there is something that you’d like to accomplish but it doesn’t fit in with a traditional New Year’s resolution, then it’s time to change things up while it’s still early in 2021.

Think carefully about all of the goals you have in the back of your mind, big or small. You are sure to feel an “Aha!” sensation about something and that means you are on the right track. And, don’t let anyone else’s goals intimidate you because resolutions are about bettering yourself. Start small and work your way up to big moves.

Are you feeling different?

Achieving goals feels awesome and if you’ve been steadily working on your resolutions, then you might already be feeling the benefits of small gains. Feeling discouraged is a totally different story, though, and that’s the polar opposite of what making New Year’s resolutions is all about. It’s impossible to start something new and be an instant expert because good things take time. If you’re feeling a little glum, take a break for a day or two and come back to your goals with a clearer head so you don’t completely turn yourself off to the process. Everyone needs time to relax and, if that’s the case for you, then it is one hundred and fifty million percent okay.

January has been flying by and that can make New Year’s Resolutions feel even more intimidating. I hope everyone is making huge wins in their goals and I, for one, am very proud of all of your successes big or small. Keep your chin up no matter where you’re at in achieving your resolutions and you are sure to accomplish everything you set your mind to! ❤

What is one of your New Year’s resolutions? How are you faring so far? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

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Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

Hey! I don’t know about all of you but, some days, I just feel totally blah. The weather is gloomy, COVID-19 makes me so worried, and the state of the world is very stressful. It’s also easy to feel even more down and out when all of your normal activities with friends, families, and clubs have been postponed until safer times. I’m sure that all of us are itching for a big change and, until that happens, it’s up to us to keep ourselves positive and motivated. Small changes that you can accomplish, despite everything going on, can really help perk you up. So, how about trying the following:

Your Furniture Layout:

If you’re getting sick of being in the exact same living room or home office that you have been confined to for months, switch it up! Rearrange the furniture, hang up some new art work, or create a photo collage with all of the pictures that you’ve been meaning to get developed. It won’t be as nice as a complete change of scenery like going to the beach but it will make the space you’ve been stuck in different and that’s all that matters.

Your Hair:

Perhaps you’re not bored with your location but your appearance. I know that I desperately miss getting all dressed up but, since there’s nowhere to be, the concept of “looking nice” has been long forgotten. If you are interested in changing up how you look, then now is the perfect time to try that new hair style or color that you have always had in the back of your mind. If it doesn’t turn out exactly how you want, it’s no matter – your hair will be back to normal by the time it’s safer to be in public.

Your Perspective:

Whenever I am feeling blue, I try and think about all of the good things that happened to me even though I am at home. For example, last week I went grocery shopping and I told Johnny that despite everything going on I’m thankful that I have him, a fridge and pantry full of food, and a roof over our heads. It’s important to still remember all of the positive things that you have no matter how small they are. If nothing else, be thankful that you are safe at home and preventing your loved ones and perfect strangers from becoming sick.

Your Hobbies:

I think that all of us can agree that watching Netflix or your preferred streaming service is a universal favorite hobby right now. But, getting lost in TV every day is doing your mind and body no favors. Dedicate at least an hour per day to work on your mental and physical wellness. Take a walk around the neighborhood, meditate, or call a friend. I know everything is so monotonous right now but you have the tools to help break that cycle if you choose to use them.

Your Goals:

Creating new goals for yourself can be an exciting way to fill free time and it’s even better when you begin accomplishing them. Make yourself a dream board with all of the things that you want to achieve in the next year or so and work on making it happen. Once you have an idea and a plan, all that needs done is for you to carry it out. What will you be putting on your dream board?

Changes big or small always help me shake away the blahs and I hope that some of the ideas above help make you feel better too!

What do you do when you have a case of the blahs? What are you thankful for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Your Life Running Smoothly Mid Pandemic

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Keeping Your Life Running Smoothly Mid Pandemic

2020 has been a true testament to events happening that feel completely out of your control, which can make life seem so overwhelming. But, it’s good to remember that there are plenty of things that are one hundred percent up to you despite all of the craziness that happened in 2020 and still continues. If you are feeling a bit lost right now, anchor yourself with doing the following to get you back on track and keep you there:

Get things done:

Time does not stand still and nor can you. It’s important to take care of problems as they arise instead of brushing them off. Get any appliance repairs that need done fixed immediately, get your oil in your car changed, have your computer looked at if it runs slowly when you are working from home. Holding off on essential fixes will just give you even more stress in the future.

Create a daily to do list:

So much free time and a lack of a set schedule is enough to make a lot of people feel anxious. If this sounds like you, then map out your day with a to do list. Having an idea of what you’re going to do each day can be a lot less stressful than making it up as you go along. Be sure to pencil in some time each day for self improvement through exercise or a hobby. There is also nothing wrong with scheduling in TV time once all of your tasks are complete, either!

Talk it out:

Is there someone in your life who you feel immediately comforted by when you speak? Sometimes, all you need is to hear the caring voice of a friend or family member to get yourself centered. Have a weekly phone call with that person and catch up as well as confide about anything that’s bothering you. Your mood will be improved by the time you hang up and you won’t feel as hung up about previous stressors.

Add variety:

Every day might be feeling exactly like the last and it can feel like you’re never going to get out of the cycle of work, Netflix, repeat. So, it’s up to you to add variety into your life. Try your hand at cooking something brand new for dinner with ingredients you have never tried, watch a film in a foreign language, explore a different hiking trail, or read a book outside of your favorite genre. It might not seem like much but changing up small things can make a really big difference.

Keep yourself going in the right direction with the advice above because smooth and steady wins the race… Or however that saying goes!

 

Rita Rites

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Rita Rites

Hello!! I like to think that I got my knack for writing from my grandma. Not only was she a gifted musician but she loved to write too and had a monthly newsletter called “Rita Rites” that was distributed in her church and mailed to her friends. In fact, when I was younger, we would both sit by the computer and she would read her handwritten draft of Rita Rites out loud to me while I typed it. I would always look forward to receiving the end results of our handiwork in the mail! In a way, it was kind of like her own blog, filled with jokes, fun facts, stories, and charming insights.

I was proud to be able to help my grandma with her newsletter and even prouder when my mom accidentally called my blog my “Rita Rites” the other day. I considered it a high compliment! From a young age, I was exposed to all of the joys of writing and I definitely have my grandma to thank for that. Her creativity, dedication, and the fact that I can never recall her using the same blurb twice continues to inspire me to this day.

I loved being able to help my grandma with Rita Rites and I miss her terribly. But, thanks to my mom misnaming my blog, I have felt so close to my grandma every time I’ve sat down to write since. Fond memories of an afternoon with my grandma working on the newsletter and then sitting down to a delicious dinner with my whole family have flooded my thoughts and it makes me happy. I think my grandma would be extremely proud of my blog and that makes me happy too. 🙂

Even though everything pretty much sucks right now, writing has helped keep me sane. And, whenever I struggle to come up with a post for the day, I think of my grandma’s dedication to her craft and everything just kind of flows. Whether you just started writing or have been doing it for years, keep going! Great friends and some of the best memories will be around to greet you at every corner. I am so thankful to the support of the blogosphere and my loved ones when it comes to my blog and Lil Red will always be here to help support all of you too!

What inspired you to start blogging? How long have you been writing for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Season Writing Prompts

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Holiday Season Writing Prompts

Howdy! In case you haven’t noticed, I am most sympathetic to bloggers that are struggling to create content during the COVID-19 pandemic. Writing is an amazing outlet and I think that I would go crazy if I didn’t keep with my routine of daily blogging. It saddens me that there are people in the blogosphere who feel like they have nothing to say right now and I want to help. I have posted several dozen writing prompts throughout this year and I don’t plan on stopping now!

If you need some inspiration to get a post going, try writing about the following:

  • Holiday gift guides (Best gifts for him, her, parents, children, etc.)
  • Safety tips for celebrating this holiday season
  • Stories behind any of your favorite holiday decor
  • Special holiday memories
  • Favorite recipes for cold weather
  • A favorite gift you have received or given
  • What your holiday will look like this year in comparison to last
  • Sweet treats! Cookie decorating, chocolate making, etc.
  • What winter weather is like in your neck of the woods
  • A holiday themed OOTD or MOTD
  • Holiday traditions in your family
  • Pro tips for perfectly wrapped presents
  • Favorite cold weather activities
  • What the holiday season means to you

The list could go on and on…

If you’re still having a rough go of creating content and find these posts helpful, let me know because I can always make more. Questions or concerns? Write a comment or email me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com ❤

Has blogging in 2020 been hard for you? What are you excited to do when it’s safer to do so? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah