Tag Archives: language

175 Day Duolingo Streak!

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175 Day Duolingo Streak!

Hello! The last time I gave an update on my Duolingo progress, I had just achieved a one hundred day streak and I finally received my badge for adding seventy-five more days to it. I am so pleased with my progress and am proud of myself for continuing to practice five different languages every day for close to half a year. I am leaving previous goals in the dust and I feel like my skills in French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech are improving tenfold.

Thanks to Johnny gifting me Duolingo Plus for Christmas, practicing every day has become an exciting thing rather than an inconvenience because Plus gives you unlimited life. This is so handy on especially tough lessons and I don’t think I would have made it to a one hundred seventy-five day streak without it. I will most definitely be renewing my Plus subscription at the end of the year and highly recommend it.

Other than writing, learning languages is my favorite hobby and I feel good about committing myself even more to it. Similarly to how I feel after I finish a blog post for the day, I feel accomplished every time I complete my language lessons and it has really helped me shake away the pandemic boredom blahs. It’s hard to feel like there is “nothing” to do when I can go on Duolingo and learn brand new words and phrases in multiple different languages!

While I am over the moon with my one seventy-five day streak, I am nowhere close to being done yet because I will not be satisfied until I have a full year’s worth of days on my streak counter. I am almost halfway there and cannot wait to see the results of my hard work after one full year of practicing five languages. Great success!

Have you made progress on your pandemic hobbies? What is your favorite hobby? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Projects To Work On As A Family

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Projects To Work On As A Family

A project that you work on as a family is a wonderful bonding experience that encourages team work and improving communication skills. Projects can bring siblings closer together and help teach new things to your children. In this post, we are going to look at a few projects both big and small that will create lasting memories with your loved ones. Let’s get started:

Make Something Grow:

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about a family gardening project. It will get you out into the sunshine after a long winter indoors and you will get to enjoy the fruits (and veggies!) of your labor all spring and summer long. If you can’t all agree on what should get planted or not, each family member could be assigned with their own plot of the garden to grow what they would like.

Build A Home:

One of the ultimate family projects would have to be building a home. It is not only an exciting project but will be a great exercise in learning how to compromise when planning out each room because everyone is going to have an opinion. When you have a solid idea of what you want your build to turn out like, consult with Toronto home builders or the experts in your area to turn your dream home into a reality.

Plan A Trip:

When it’s safer to travel again, a vacation or weekend getaway will be like the light at the end of the tunnel of this pandemic for your family. Once you agree on a location, things like restaurants and activities will have to be determined. Have each of your family members plan their ideal vacation day and enjoy some well deserved time off.

Art Projects:

You don’t have to be good at art to have fun doing it and a family paint or craft night will help get you in touch with your creative sides. Paint along with Bob Ross or look for inspiration for canvas art on Pinterest. Or, maybe you could all learn a skill together like macrame, woodworking, or pottery. Creating some artwork as a family could even turn into a home decorating project next!

Learn A New Language:

Learning a different language is so beneficial and it’s a cool project to work on as a family because you will always have someone to practice with. Sign up for some classes at the library or your local community center. You can also practice on Duolingo together. Foreign film movie nights and trying to cook some of the food that is traditional to the language you are learning is a must too.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet and the ideas above will give you something exciting and meaningful to do together as a family. Have fun!

Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

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Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

Hello! One of my favorite hobbies is learning new languages and I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech on Duolingo. Pre-pandemic, I was lucky if I could get a four or five day streak of practice going with a busy work and social schedule. Now, I am proud to say that I am on an over ONE HUNDRED day streak of practicing all five languages and I am honestly blown away by it. I also don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

For the past one hundred plus days, I have been dedicated to doing one to two lessons per language daily with Duo and it’s exciting for me because I can definitely tell that I have made great improvements. I consider myself to be quite fluent in French (I took it throughout high school and college) and I think I have made huge gains, as I can understand a majority of the French shows and movies I watch without subtitles now. I have found that my Spanish and Italian is much smoother and my vocabulary in both German and Czech has made good progress too.

I know people have talked about their hobbies to NO END during the COVID-19 pandemic but it is just so cool to me to notice substantial gains from just one hundred days of practicing for a half hour. Everything from work to social lives seems to be on a stand still right now with not much to look forward to. However, I look forward to working on my languages every day now so my skill set can continue to blossom.

Learning a different language opens up a whole new world. New friendships, new skills, new entertainment, new dream locations to travel to. Duolingo is a free app and if you find yourself overwhelmed by all of the free time we now have, then I highly recommend giving it a download. You can even treat yourself to Duolingo Plus, which will give you unlimited hearts! Learning something new is exhilarating and incorporating Duolingo into your life could be just what you need to shake some blahs away until things get back to normal. ❤

Do you know a different language? How do you practice? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Quarantine Routines

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Quarantine Routines

Hello! I’ll tell you what, ever since March 19th (The day bars and restaurants in Ohio temporarily shut down) my life has changed drastically. For my big girl job, I provide care in home for people with special needs and, now, more than ever it is my responsibility to continue staying healthy for those who need me.

Due to the nature of my job, going out for frivolity is the last thing on my mind. Back track to 2019 and it was the only thing on my mind, lol! Going to shows with Johnny, restaurants, movies, TJMAXX!!! Ugh, I miss all of that so much.

My “normal” routines of going here, there, and everywhere definitely seem to be a thing of the past. So, obviously, I had to fill up all of this newfound free time with other things. They are still fun for me, of course, but I don’t think any of these options trump my bimonthly TJMaxx shopping trips with my mom. Haha, check it out:

Reading:

I have read so many freaking books in the past six months, it is insane. My goal has been to try and finish at least two to three per month and I have achieved it every time. It has been fun to experiment with different authors like Lucy Foley and Ilaria Tuti. Both Johnny and I have also been enjoying our Audible subscription for books on tape, as well. We are always open to author and book suggestions so keep them coming!

Language Learning:

Yes, I currently am still learning French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, and German on Duolingo. I make an effort to try and practice each language four times per week, bare minimum, and so far so good. What I would really like to do in the next month or so is purchase the Duolingo Plus subscription so I never run out of hearts while practicing. This seems very necessary when learning five languages and, once I get Duo Plus, I’d like to start learning a sixth. Any ideas as to which one?

Online Shopping:

Maybe once or so per week, I will take ten to fifteen minutes to browse through some of my favorite online stores to window shop. Mainly TJMaxx, Unique Vintage, ModCloth, and Nasty Gal. It is definitely not the same as regular shopping but it somewhat satisfies that itch to go browse the aisles in person!

When I’m not aimlessly scrolling through websites and saying “oh that’s cute” about basically everything, I am trying to do some early Christmas shopping. With a long list of people to shop for, it is never too early to start the Xmas process and I am pleased with the slow and steady progress I’ve been making.

Movie Nights:

Johnny and I have decided to put a halt to finding something we can both agree on when it comes to movies. Now, we alternate whose pick it is for our movie nights and it has been great! Normally, Johnny will pick a war documentary or movie and I will choose a horror, psychological thriller, or foreign film. I love being able to see all of his favorites and it is exciting to rack my brain and browse through our streaming services to select my next pick!

Are these new routines the most exciting? Well… No. But they are as exciting as I choose to make them and I still always end up having an awesome and totally safe time at home. 🙂

What should Johnny and I watch next? How about a great new suggestion on Audible? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 3

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What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 3

Hello! As the old saying goes “When in quarantine, do as those who are quarantined do”… Or however it goes. But, we all know that this means watching ample amounts of TV. And I mean AMPLE. We’re talking one new series a week or you’re doing it wrong. Haha, well maybe not that extreme but you get the point.

Johnny and I are both huge fans of the entertainment world. We love movies, TV, music, and video games so we never have a lack of things to do. We also have four different streaming services so the options are endless. As soon as I get home from work or am off on the weekends, we immediately watch some of the following:

Hannibal:

Johnny’s mind was completely blown that I had never seen The Silence Of The Lambs before. Believe you me, I understand how crazy it is that I haven’t seen it either since I am a horror fan. But, my logic was that I’ve gone this long without seeing it, so why start now? I have to say, I loved the movie and can’t wait to watch it again.

In fact, I loved the movie so much that we began watching the TV series called Hannibal, who is played by the incomparable Mads Mikkelson. Long story short, this is all of the cat and mouse drama between Hannibal Lector and the FBI before he gets caught. Every episode leaves me gasping, freaking out, and at the edge of my seat. And, of course, we always have to watch a few!

Hannibal is a show that is absolutely NOT for the faint of heart because every trigger warning imaginable is in it. But, if you can stomach all of the high fashion horror that takes place, then you’re in for a wild ride.

The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks & Rec:

After all of the intensity of Hannibal, Johnny and I will usually end our days with shows that make us laugh. Something lighthearted and pure fun. Cue The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or Parks & Rec. We have both seen The Office and Parks more times than we can count and typically just end up quoting each episode verbatim.

We have never watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine before and are just about done with it. 9-9 follows the 99th detective precinct in Brooklyn, obvi, and the cast is led by the hilarious Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, Andre Braugher, and my absolute favorite: Stephanie Beatriz (She’s a badass!).

I don’t know if we’ll watch 9-9 again like The Office and Parks & Rec but it certainly has provided us with a lot of laughs. I’ll be the first to admit that it kind of slows down towards the last few seasons but I am looking forward to finishing it. 😀

Le Manoir:

As all of you know, learning languages is one of my favorite hobbies so I love watching foreign films in my free time. This past week, I watched a dreadfully funny French horror comedy called Le Manoir. It was basically a spoof on your classic horror movie thread of staying in an old school castle or mansion and having all of your friends die off, one by one.

A scary plot, yes. But, the cast of twenty-somethings who were such caricatures (social media queen, wannabe actor, etc.) brought so much humor into it. The plot twist ended up shocking me and there were some parts that had me just rolling with laughter. I got to practice French and I was thoroughly entertained. I can definitely see myself watching Le Manoir again!

Blind Date:

Now, I’m sure all of you know by now that Lil Red is not a romantic comedy type of gal. However, I LOVE French romantic comedies and Blind Date was simply adorable. I just feel like the characters in French romcoms are so much more like regular people than anything made in America and it keeps me interested.

There was really no fluff to Blind Date because the man and woman in a very peculiar relationship started out the flick as enemies! I can’t tell you the nature of their relationship because that would destroy the movie. But, if you enjoy foreign films and are looking for a cheeky and very real romcom, then do yourself a favor and watch Blind Date. Similar to Le Manoir, I plan on watching it again ASAP.

Now you know all of my recommendations and I want to hear about yours! What have you been binging on? Which streaming service is your fave? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Enjoying Improving

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Enjoying Improving

Hi! During quarantine, I have been enjoying getting to practice all of the different languages that I have been learning. I have much more time to do so and have noticed how much I’ve improved thanks to the almost daily practice sessions. On Duolingo, I am taking French, Spanish, Czech, German, and Italian. I also have been LOVING practicing American Sign Language through YouTube videos.

Recently, I began taking an online ASL Zoom class taught by the fabulous Doctor Jen. Unfortunately, she stopped doing her weekly teaches and I was left high, dry, and disappointed because I have been wanting to learn ASL for forever. Especially since teaching myself a little from books was nothing in comparison to watching someone teach you.

It was important to me to find another source to continue learning ASL with because I was doing way better than I expected. And, luckily, I landed on ten twenty minute lessons of basic sign language from a guy who looks like Steve Martin AND the one guy from Whose Line Is It Anyway? You’ll see what I mean, I promise:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to this video!

Although I loved learning ASL under Doctor Jen, it’s nice to continue learning even if it is with someone different. And, thankfully, Doctor Byron Bridges is a close second! Born deaf to deaf parents, Doctor Bridges has degrees from numerous different schools and is dedicated to teaching his craft.

Not only is he brilliant, but it’s impossible to not grin from ear to ear when you see how animated and in he gets to each lesson. If you’re looking for something to help pass the time, why not give a few of these ASL classes a try? You’ll be glad you did!

Where else offers ASL classes online? Which languages do you know? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Ways To Keep Busy During Lock Down

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3 Ways To Keep Busy During Lock Down

As the days in lock down turn into weeks and the weeks roll into months, it can become increasingly difficult to know what else to do with all of this extra time on your hands. Well, most people always wished they had more time and now that it has come, we should put it to good use. Whether it’s spending more time with the children or learning something new, it’s safe to say that this opportunity will probably never become available again. Without a firm quarantine end date in sight, check out this list of three ways to keep busy during the lock down:

Learn a New Language:

The benefits of learning a new language go beyond being able to order food while on holiday. It also comes with both personal and professional advantages. On the personal side, it strengthens your IQ, and it is also a great workout for your brain. These cognitive benefits help to ward off dementia and enable you to be more decisive and focused on the task at hand. Did you know that learning a new language also sharpens your sensory perceptions in terms of touch, hearing, sight, speech, and movement? Not many other hobbies can attest to this claim.

On the professional side of things, having bilingual skills greatly opens up your job prospects and makes you more attractive to employers. For companies, it allows for a greater ability to reach new customers in new markets worldwide. Learning a foreign language also sharpens your communication skills making you a more rounded employee.

Take Up a New Hobby:

With most people working around the clock in today’s modern societies, not much time is left for extra-curricular activities and hobbies. Yet the advantages of having hobbies are priceless. For one thing, it keeps you present in that moment. A lot of time is spent regretting the past or planning for the future that most people never truly live in the ‘now’. Hobbies can be used for stress relief as it diverts your attention to something that creates pleasure. Hobbies help you connect with people or groups with similar interests. This encourages feelings of inclusion, support, and community, which is great for your mental health.

There are many hobbies that you can consider taking up, including writing, photography, cooking, and gardening. If you think that you have green fingers, why not get out of the house and into your backyard and try to grow something a bit different than the standard household vegetables. As summer is on the way, try growing some pineberries (white strawberries) or some achocha pods. If you’re really adventurous, you could look up how to grow a luffa gourd, then have the added benefits of organic sponges for your bath or kitchen. No matter what hobby you choose to take on, it will certainly help you while away the extra time on your hands.

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Give gardening a go!

Catch Up on Family Time:

Spending more time with your family can be done in multiple ways thanks to the technological advances in video calling. If you don’t have immediate family around you, then you could link up with them via Zoom, WhatsApp, and many more similar programs. Family time is probably the most important use of our time, yet hardly any time is committed to it. Why not jump in and play some fun games online with your kids or video call your aunt or grandparents – you’ll certainly be glad you did!

Dedicating your time to worthwhile hobbies will make your quarantine much more enjoyable. Choose something you’re interested in and watch a day go by as you immerse yourself in something new!

Featured Image By: Pexels

What To Ask Yourself Before You Emigrate

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What To Ask Yourself Before You Emigrate

Ah, to move abroad. Some people have the nerve to do it, while others prefer to stay in their hometown. Both decisions are absolutely fine, but if emigrating elsewhere is your biggest itch to scratch, then you have a lot of decisions to make. It’s not just about where you go, but why. There are also plenty of questions you should ask yourself, which are detailed below.

Emigrating to a new country is not a small thing to do; it’s huge. There is so much that you should be getting on with and it’s important that you get these decisions right the first time. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at those questions you should be asking before you jump into emigrating:

Where?

The big one. Where do you want to go? Where is your heart calling you to? The location you want to live in really does matter, as you will find that the further you go, the more it costs. Location counts when you want quotes from local moving services, for your travel time and tickets and when it comes to finding work. You could want to go to the remotest place in the world but there wouldn’t be any way for you to work and you’d struggle. So, get your destination right and the rest should fall into place.

Why?

What is pushing this move for you? There’s always a reason, whether it’s simply that you want to, or you have better job prospects. This is a big move, so you want to seek out things that make sense for you. Some people want to move purely for sunshine more than they want rain – and that’s okay! The key is to know your “why”.

Can You Speak The Language?

Most people tend to emigrate to places that speak the same way that they do, but not everyone thinks the same. Choose to start learning the language for the country you want to move to if you don’t know it and you’ll be set once you arrive. This is a big deal; learning the language will help!

Who?

Who is going with you? A big thing is to work out who will be traveling with you as you will need to financially plan for their visas and plane tickets, too. Make sure that you have support around you: emigrating is a huge deal and the more people that you have backing your corner, the more help you’ll have with packing once the time comes!

When?

So, when do you want this whole thing to happen? Are you planning for the long term or are you wanting to make an immediate change? Your future’s in your hands and you should give yourself time to make this happen. You may need to gain extra qualifications or spend some time saving your money. Either way, you need to make sure you have a plan mapped out in your mind for a big move.

Moving to a different country is an exciting adventure. Use the tips above to plan for the best new location for you!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Learning Something New

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Learning Something New

Hello! As many of you know, I am extremely passionate about learning new languages. It is one of my favorite hobbies and I currently practice French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech on Duolingo. This past week, however, I added a sixth language to my arsenal: American Sign Language.

Maybe you remember a few years ago when I was teaching myself ASL through different books. It proved to be a lot harder than I thought and I eventually fell out of it, promising myself I’d take a class at the soonest opportunity. That never happened, either. Until the fateful day I saw an article on Facebook about a Doctor Jennifer Delora teaching ASL for free on Zoom during the stay at home order.

I was instantly intrigued and saved the article for later use and was so happy I did after watching the first Zoom class with Doctor Jen. In the first lesson, we went over the alphabet, numbers one through ten, greetings, pronouns, and other simple signs. It was a thorough lesson and I finished it feeling proud of what I had learned and eager to do the next one.

Not only is Doctor Jen hilarious but she is absolutely brilliant and teaches ASL in a way that anyone of any skill level could learn. She’s down to earth, amazing at what she does, and I felt like I absorbed everything she said like a sponge. You can find Doctor Jen’s videos on YouTube and I highly recommend giving them a try. Heck, even if you just learn the alphabet, that’s a wonderful first step. Catch you all at the next class!

Which languages do you know? Are you learning any new languages? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Self-Isolation Check In

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Self-Isolation Check In

Hi! Towards the third week of March, Ohio issued a stay home order that put a name to the suggested self-isolation constantly being recommended. This means that the only times you should be out in the general public is if your work is deemed “essential” or you are shopping at an essential business like the grocery store, pharmacy, or are stopping at the gas station.

This hasn’t been too bad, because all of the nonessential businesses and restaurants have already been closed for a while so it’s not like a bunch of fun stuff instantly got taken away. Both my boyfriend and I work in fields that are considered “essential” so we are lucky enough to still be able to go to work. But, trust and believe that as soon as we get off of work, we are hunkered down in my apartment for the rest of the day.

My time in self-isolation has proven to be pretty fruitful. I love spending time with my boyfriend playing video, card, and board games and watching all kinds of good movies and shows. Recently, we got into watching Lego Masters and that has been our latest obsession in quarantine.

I also have made good on my promise to read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and have been enjoying that greatly. And, as often as I can, I try to practice the languages that I am learning on Duolingo: French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Czech. It makes me feel good to exercise my brain after what feels like nonstop TV time and it also really helps to break up the boredom with something more mentally stimulating.

What I am most excited about during this stay at home order, however, is that the weather is finally nice enough to hike – which is still allowed! I am looking forward to being more active with walks as often as I can because I am in such a slump without being able to go to the skating rink. So, hopefully this will help decrease all of the energy I have in the evening from not doing much of anything for the past month! 😀

How have you been spending time in self-isolation? Did you set any goals for yourself to accomplish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah