Tag Archives: life

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!

 

Living With Anxiety? Here’s How To Make Coping Easier

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Living With Anxiety? Here’s How To Make Coping Easier

You know that feeling, where your heart starts to pound and your breathing quickens in response to a stressful or worrying situation? Or maybe you’re familiar with the feeling of having sweaty, clammy palms when you have an overwhelming or stressful situation to deal with? These feelings are both anxiety, which is the body’s response to feelings of stress and being overwhelmed.

Having a little anxiety on a semi-regular basis is fairly normal. However, it’s when anxiety begins to take over your life that there can be a problem, and it is something that is worth looking further into. While realising that you have anxiety can be stressful, don’t panic – there are plenty of ways that you can make managing living with anxiety easier.

It’s important to remember when it comes to anxiety that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to anxiety management; what works for one person may not work for another. The key to successfully being able to manage anxiety is making sure that you find the right approach for you and your needs. Bearing that in mind, below is a guide to a selection of anxiety coping and management strategies that you might find helpful. Have a read, take note, and determine which options work best for you:

Identify your triggers:

One of the most important steps that you can take when it comes to managing anxiety is identifying what triggers it in the first place. For some people, anxiety is triggered by experiences like starting a new job, meeting a partner’s family or friends, having to give a presentation at work, or attending a health appointment. For others, anxiety isn’t about experiences, it’s simply linked to stress and overthinking different things.

The fact is, that everyone has their own anxiety triggers; what triggers a friend with anxiety to become anxious may not trigger you, and vice versa. Often, anxiety is linked to a previous experience or situation, and things that are linked to those situations and experiences can, therefore, cause anxiety.

For example, say you got stuck in a lift and it took a while to be rescued. This may result in anxiety around using lifts or of being in confined spaces. Or, perhaps you had a loved one pass away in traumatic circumstances, you may find that you start to become anxious about other loved ones and the traumatic circumstance that caused the death, such as being involved in a road traffic accident.

By identifying what your triggers are, you can help make managing your anxiety a little easier. Because once you know what causes you to become anxious, you can begin to work out strategies for dealing with those feelings.

Decide the best strategies for coping:

When it comes to living with anxiety, it is no easy task. For some people, anxiety can be a minor annoyance and for others, anxiety can be completely and utterly debilitating. But by putting coping strategies in place, you can make managing your anxiety simpler and easier. The key here is to decide what the best coping strategies are for you and your anxiety.

Focused deep breathing is one anxiety management strategy that a lot of people find helpful. If you feel that you are becoming overly anxious, you might find that focused, deep breathing could help. You can either try and utilize this technique on your own or you can opt to use an app like the Calm app to help you manage the process of deep breathing to calm your anxiety.

Some people find that getting out and about and being active helps to make them feel less stressed out. Sometimes, simply taking the time to get out of the house and go for a short walk can be all it takes to relieve some of the stresses and strains that you might be struggling with. Or, if you don’t fancy heading out of the house, you might find that yoga can help you to feel a little calmer, and can help to reduce some of your feelings of anxiety.

Other anxiety sufferers find that sourcing certain treatments, such as Neurofeedback anxiety support can help them to make managing their anxiety and its associated symptoms a little easier to navigate. It’s always worth taking the time to look into new treatment options and therapies to see if they might work for you.

Keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings can also be helpful when it comes to managing anxiety. Writing down what is making you feel anxious helps to get that concern out of your head and can make dealing with it less daunting and stressful.

Talking is another useful way to help make living with anxiety easier too. When you talk and share how you are feeling, you start to feel less pressure and less stress as a result. Whether you find talking with a friend or family member, speaking to a therapist, or talking to other anxiety sufferers helpful, talking can be a fantastic tool for reducing feelings of anxiety.

You may also want to consider joining some anxiety support groups, as it’s often helpful to have other people to talk to who understand what it is that you are going through and are able to offer support by sharing their own experiences.

Managing anxiety is no simple or straightforward task but the ideas above can help minimize those feelings and get you moving in the right direction.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Don’t Know Which Company To Work For? Read This!

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Don’t Know Which Company To Work For? Read This!

In life, it is often that you’ll find yourself at a crossroad. Going one direction will lead to one set of results, and going another will lead to an entirely different outcome. Unfortunately, you can never clearly see both outcomes. You know that they will be different, but you have no idea how things will work out in the end.

Conundrums like this can come up when looking for an internship or a job at different companies. Before you make a choice, you can go in either direction. But ultimately, you have to make a decision, narrow your focus, pick a path, and run with it. We can’t offer any direct advice on the choice you should make in this article. But what we can do is give you a way of thinking that will make it easier for you to navigate this difficult juncture in your life. Here’s what to do:

Get Comfortable With Making Provisional Choices:

Let’s say that you have a choice between doing an internship at a big bank or a small startup. Which should you choose? Both are going to give you experience, but the kind of things you’ll learn will vary depending on the firm you pick. At the corporate enterprise, you’ll learn how large organizations work and the types of roles that people perform. And at small fledgling brands, you’ll find out about the raw realities of business and how challenging it can be for some entrepreneurs.

When you go into a decision like this, try to see it as provisional. By taking an internship at one place or another, you’re not locking yourself into anything. You don’t even have to remain with the company for the duration of the internship if a better offer comes along. It’s all in a state of flux. If things aren’t working out or you’re failing to make gains from the experience, then it is time to move on.

Choose A General Discipline:

Not sure what sector you should work in? Then study a generic discipline that applies across the business world. Perhaps the best example of a generic skill is marketing. It doesn’t take a long time to learn the basics. And once you’re up to speed with it, you can help practically any company with their content. Find a marketing MBA guide and learn what’s involved and what you have to do. The more you can learn before you begin your career, the more valuable you’ll become when you finally step up to the plate and take a full-time role.

Deal With Life’s Uncertainties:

Dealing with life’s uncertainties is one of the greatest challenges people face. We want to think that our existence will follow a well-defined path and that we will eventually “make it”. But when you look at the world around you, you rarely find that kind of thing happening in practice. That’s not how it works. Instead, people arrive at their destinations via circuitous routes.

We should, ideally, embrace the uncertainty in our lives. If we knew exactly how things were going to play out, there would be no future and no fun in being alive. Everything would be set in stone, never deviating from the course that we set ourselves. That might feel reassuring to begin with, but you’d eventually get bored. You’d want to play the game again: you’d miss it.

When choosing a company to work for, try taking this attitude. It would be dull if you knew how everything was going to work out in the end. Living in a world of chance and probability is much more interesting.

Try Shadowing:

You can usually get a good sense of what it’s like to work for a company by shadowing somebody as they go about their work. Being an observer can reveal things you don’t get when you are doing an internship. Shadowing is usually easy, especially if you’re doing a related educational course. Most companies are keen on the idea because there is no expectation that they should provide you with a job at the end of it. It’s easy to float from one shadow role to another, gathering as much data as you can from the people who work in your organization.

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Keep Your Options Open:

You don’t have to commit to any particular company. In fact, doing so is probably bad for your long-term career prospects. Instead, when choosing between various companies, try to keep your options open. The more choice you have, the less leverage any particular firm has over you.

Keeping your options open requires two things. First, it involves maintaining a network with people in positions of authority who understand that value that you offer. And second, it means having some sort of valuable skill that people find it hard to find elsewhere.

Keeping your options open is actually a lot easier than many people imagine. Often firms will keep your name on “file” if they believe that you have something valuable to offer them. Remember, you can use career choices and internships to build your skills and then include these on your CV to convince future employers that you’re the person they should hire for a role.

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Start Saving:

If you’re still not sure what company you should work for (or even what career path you should pursue), then start saving. It sounds like a strange thing to say, but savings are what provide you with options. You might not know what you want to do right now. But that doesn’t matter. Working in a regular job and saving money, gives you the option to take time off and retrain later on when you finally figure out what direction your life should take.

Remember, you don’t have to know which company you want to work for right from the jump. Use the tips above and make your decision wisely.

Featured Image By: Pexels

6 Creative Careers You Should Research Now

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6 Creative Careers You Should Research Now

If you have an artistic personality, you’re going to understand the struggle when it comes to being hemmed into the nine to five working day. Everyone is expected to hold down a job and if there is no creative outlet, the suffocation of that job is very real. You need to be able to be creative and think outside of the box. You have to get your artistic muscles warmed up and ready to go and you should consider indulging in a creative career to make it happen. So, with that in mind, here are six creative careers you should consider today:

Tattoo Artist:

Do you love to draw? Some people choose to unleash their art on other people, especially those people who love to interact with others at the same time. With the right needles, ink, and tattoo gloves, you can get your drawing on and impress the masses with your skills. Tattoos are a creative outlet for others, too, so you’re going to be helping others to express themselves by implementing your skills.

Hairdressing:

Styling, coloring and cutting hair is a form of artistic expression. You can go to school to learn how to get your clients looking their absolute best and be a part of ensuring that they feel great at the same time. You will gain so much joy when you interact with other people, too, as this is a very sociable position to be in.

Art Director:

Bringing your creative vision to life is a big part of choosing to work in a creative role. Art directors are in charge of creating and executing what they envision with the help of a team around them. This could be the perfect job for you if you want to see the pictures in your mind brought to life properly!

Graphic Design:

Graphic designers have a big role and for those who love technology and art, this is the ultimate mishmash of skills. Producing graphics, from stickers to posters and more, will allow you to make a huge contribution to the workplace. Everyone is going digital, which means that graphic designers are a needed part of today’s society.

Landscaping:

Putting together nature with art allows you to be outdoors and show off your creative side in the way that you coordinate colors and shapes. It could be the perfect remedy for those who feel cooped up in their tiny office.

Makeup Artist:

Many creative people love to work with faces, and you can too! To change and enhance the features of another is a skill that not many possess. However, you can watch your subject blossom as a result under your practiced and capable hands.

If you have a creative personality, then a career in design, art, or making is the way to go. You can watch your skills come to life and you get the satisfaction that you need in your job. Welcome to a much more rewarding future!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Feeling Down? Treat Yoself!

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Feeling Down? Treat Yoself!

Hellooo!! The coronavirus pandemic can induce a plethora of feelings like exhaustion, stress, depression, and anxiety. I have definitely experienced all of these and if you’re taking the virus seriously, then I’m sure you have too. It is hard to get yourself back to baseline when you are feeling so down but there is nothing like a little treat to lift yourself up. How about brushing off the blues with some of the following?

Your favorite drink:

Nothing perks me up literally and metaphorically like my favorite coffee drinks from Starbucks. I live for the holiday season when I can get my Peppermint Mocha fix and the warm fuzzies I feel with a steaming, fragrant cup in my hands. For even more feel good power, pay it forward for the person behind you and see if you can get a chain started. Then, you can make someone else’s day too!

Pizza party:

This past weekend, Johnny and I ordered a pizza and watched Christmas movies together and it was a blast! Our food was delicious and it was so nice to just settle in for the afternoon without worrying about what to make for dinner. It was also a relief to have some entertainment that wasn’t stress inducing with violence or triggering story lines. I highly recommend a viewing of Elf, Jingle All The Way, or The Muppets Christmas Carol to get yourself in the holiday spirit as well as to put a smile on your face. 🙂

Smell goods:

There is nothing better than sinking into a nice, warm bath filled with lush bubbles in your favorite scent. Have a shopping trip online to your favorite bath and body care supplier and order some pampering treats for yourself. How about some bath bombs from Lush? Or some uber lathering body wash and a few candles from Bath & Body Works? My favorite scents of vanilla, orange, and apple always help to relax me – combine that with a long soak in the tub and it is heaven!

A new book:

Take a step away from the craziness of the real world and tuck into a good book. Grab something from the library or Barnes & Noble and settle in for the afternoon in a totally different world. I love to read and I always feel infinitely more relaxed after I knock back a couple of chapters in whatever book I am working on finishing. If you’re not the biggest fan of reading, try a subscription to Audible for some book tapes that you can play while driving or cooking. My Johnny loves having Audible and I definitely recommend it too.

New home decor:

This is not to say to remodel your living room entirely but you could always purchase some new wall art or a cute knick knack that you can’t live without. Seeing something daily that you find visually appealing is a sure fire way to make you smile. You could also always skip the purchasing process and DIY some decor with your bestie. Every time you see it, you will think of the sweet memory of a craft night – no matter how your art work turns out. 😀

Treating yoself doesn’t have to break your bank. Use the tips above and get the spring back in your step!

How do you like to treat yoself? What makes you smile? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Simple Tips When Caring For Elderly Relatives

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Simple Tips When Caring For Elderly Relatives

Looking after the people you care about is always a priority in life. Whether young or old, you want to make sure that your family is in a good position, and there are plenty of ways to achieve this goal. As the people in your family get older, the types of care they might need will become clearer. This can create challenges, especially if your loved ones need permanent care, but there are tips that you can follow to make this easier for yourself. Let’s take a look at some of your options to get you started:

Emergency alarms:

Having an emergency alarm to use when they desperately need help can make caring for your loved ones much easier. This will take away the stress of checking on them all the time, giving them the freedom they want while enabling you to maintain a normal life. Tools like this can prove life-saving in certain circumstances, with just about every care facility in the world providing them. You can buy special pendants that can either connect to your phone or a special operator that will be available at all times.

Walk-in baths:

Being able to clean themselves is a key element of your family member’s independence. Having a wet room can be perfect if they are disabled, making it easier for them to clean themselves and for carers to do parts of the job for them. Walk-in tubs are better for those with more mobility, but who would still like to be able to get into the bath or shower without assistance. Walk-in bath tub installation isn’t too expensive, especially when you consider the difference it can make.

Ramps:

Even when you’re not dealing with someone with a disability, you’d be surprised at how useful ramps can be when used in the right circumstances. Small steps can get harder and harder to climb as someone gets older, but ramps ease this process, giving your loved ones the chance to make their own way into their homes. Stair lifts can be good for full sets of stairs, though this can be quite pricey if you want an option that will last for a long time.

Key safes:

Being able to access the home of your loved one is crucial if you want to be able to look after them. Key safes are a great way to be able to give access to a group of people without having to have loads of keys to keep track of. If you need a doctor to visit when you’re not there, for example, you can have them use the key safe to let themselves in if there isn’t an answer at the door. Like an alarm, this can prove to be invaluable.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to make your life caring for your loved ones a little bit simpler. There are more options out there to help with this, making it well worth doing your research before you decide which you will choose.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Have You Lost Weight?

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Have You Lost Weight?

Trigger Warning – This post discusses eating disorders!

Hi everyone! Have you ever received a compliment that made you a little upset? As a recovering bulimic, I admit that I still worry about my weight a lot even though I haven’t purged in several years. So, when I was asked twice in one work day if I lost weight it definitely had me feeling some type of way – even though I don’t really do anything to work out except for a couple of short walks once or twice a week.

I genuinely hate being asked if I lost weight because the thoughts that instantly form in my mind go along the lines of “was I overweight before?” and “challenge accepted, I’ll lose more”. It is extremely triggering for me and, although I have much better coping skills now, I still have to deal with those thoughts and I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t still thinking about it.

A lot of people think that asking someone if they have lost weight could be a compliment but I know firsthand that it is anything but. I encourage all of you to really think before you ask someone that and would advise to only ask it if you know for a fact that the person is actively trying to lose weight for a healthier lifestyle. You have no idea if the person you’re asking has or had an eating disorder, an illness, or tons of stress that has attributed to their recent weight loss. What you think is a compliment could actually be harmful and has the power to hurt feelings and exasperate issues that people are currently struggling or used to struggle with.

If you genuinely want to compliment someone in regards to their weight, I would recommend just telling them that they look good. “Hey, you look nice today” has a lot less of a negative connotation than straight up asking if they lost weight. Some people might roll their eyes when they read this post as they are sick of having to “monitor” what they say. But, as writers, we all know that words have power and effect everyone differently.

I know all of the statements in this post to be true for me personally and I just wanted to open everyone’s eyes to a comment that they might not even think about before they make it. Choose your words carefully and don’t use them to cause anyone any additional stress – with the state of the world right now, I promise that we all have a lot more important things to deal with than racing thoughts about if you lost a couple of pounds. Just something to think about!

What is a “compliment” that you hate receiving? What is a compliment that you like to give to people? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Sweet Surprises: Starbucks Drive Thru Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Starbucks Drive Thru Edition

Hellooooo! Once Starbucks busts out their seasonal drinks during the holidays, I have to stop by at least once or twice (or ten times) to get a Peppermint Mocha. It is my absolute favorite drink from there that isn’t iced coffee and I can feel myself getting more into the holiday spirit with each sip of essentially caffeinated hot chocolate.

About five years ago, a Starbucks opened up right down the street from me and it was pretty much the best thing that ever happened in my neck of the woods. The convenience is, obviously, amazing. But, what I love most of all are the delightful employees that work there. I have made many friends via the neighborhood Starbucks and I think it’s safe to say that I just made a new one during my last stop at the drive thru. Check it out:

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When I was younger and to this day, I love running errands with my mom. One of the big things that I can remember in my youth is how my mom made an effort to talk to the employees that were helping us. Whether it be chatting about their day or offering a compliment, I could always tell that the workers felt happy after talking to my mom and that inspired me to follow in her footsteps. Why not make someone’s day with a few encouraging words? When I worked retail, I was so appreciative of the customers who would go out of their way to talk to me so I know first hand how good it feels to have someone be kind while I was on the clock.

The past few times I went to the Starbucks drive thru, the same guy took my order and he was so nice – not just to me but to all of the customers. When he asked about my day, I could tell he was genuinely interested and it was like a breath of fresh air. I couldn’t not say anything and I let him know that he has made my day every time I stop by and that I really appreciate it. When I received my drink at the window, I was informed that there was a little note on my cup:

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How sweet is that?!

Whenever you want to say something nice to someone, just say it. You have no idea what that person could be going through and it might help turn their entire day around. I was in a great mood all day from just one kind gesture and I think my new friend had a better day for it, too. The world needs more positivity right now so spread it in any way you can. As you can see, even the smallest things are super effective! ❤

What was the last Random Act Of Kindness you made? How do you like to make someone’s day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

2020 Writing Tips

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2020 Writing Tips

Hello! lifewithlilred is known for having fresh new content every day and, other than a few rare occasions, I can say that I have posted something daily for the past six plus years of my blog’s existence. Mind you, this is no easy task and even I suffer from writer’s block – especially in 2020.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to come up with content when there really isn’t anything to do safely, compliments of COVID. That hasn’t stopped me, though, and it shouldn’t prevent you from creating, either. If you’re struggling to post new content, take a look at some of the tricks that I use daily for a little inspiration:

Your posts do not have to be “groundbreaking”:

Just because it feels like you have nothing to write about doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to write about. Your posts don’t always have to be deep or profound. They can be goofy, short, and simple and people will still like it just the same. I find that my readers are happy to hear from me daily even if some of my posts are just a couple of paragraphs long.

Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to come up with content that could go viral or spark a huge discussion. All this will do is make you second guess the ideas that you have that aren’t as grand. We are all struggling through 2020 together and your readers aren’t going to like you any less if your content isn’t up to your usual standards. I promise, we all get it. ❤

Find inspiration in small things:

Johnny and I have been pretty much confined to our small apartment since March. Of course, it’s difficult to come up with posts when we are no longer going here, there, and everywhere. However, this has taught me to find inspiration in all of the little things to write about.

Did you watch a great new series on Netflix? How was your Zoom game night with your friends? Did you wrap any holiday presents recently? I promise that your small victories, struggles, or hilarious mishaps are all post-worthy. Big or small, your readers want to know what you’re up to. Don’t be so hard on yourself!

Have FUN:

I know this sounds lame but writing should be fun so have a ball with it! I love writing to music and once I’m jamming and getting into a good groove, I feel like I can’t stop writing even if I want to. Being a blogger is as fun as you make it and that should be encouraged on your page.

Host a question and answer session. Try a holiday giveaway. Do a top ten countdown of your favorite posts. There are plenty of ways to get feel good vibes on your blog but it starts with you. Don’t get discouraged – just put on your favorite songs and see what you can come up with. 🙂

I have been asked countless times throughout the COVID pandemic how I am still writing every day and I tend to answer with a combination of the tips above. I can’t wait to see what all of you come up with on the blogosphere!

How do you find inspiration for your posts? What do you do when you have writer’s block? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: A Thanksgiving Stowaway Edition

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Sweet Surprises: A Thanksgiving Stowaway Edition

Hello!! Sadly, Johnny and I were not able to attend Thanksgiving with my family and it really, really sucked. It was so hard to visit my loved ones outside and not be able to hug them and enjoy the day together. It was especially difficult to not be able to hold my niece, Valerie, because she is my lil BFF and I have never not held her whenever I see her since she has been born.

My parents were nice enough to drop Thanksgiving dinner off on mine and Johnny’s doorstep and it wasn’t until the following day that I noticed a little stowaway on the bag they sent over:

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Valerie loves playing with stickers and her and my sister stuck this little guy from Trolls onto our to go bag. I didn’t notice it right away because it was on the backside of it and it made me so happy when I finally saw this “hi auntie” message from my niece.

The little things really do make the best sweet surprises. I wish I could have been there to hear Val say “uh oh” when one of her stickers ripped and I am so ready for Christmas so I can be there when her and her parents open all of her prezzies.

This Thanksgiving was straight up not a good time for me or Johnny and I am sharing these stories to help remind and encourage people to continue wearing their masks and social distance. The food, my sticker stowaway, and being with Johnny made the day not the worst but our Thanksgiving would have been so much better had we been able to celebrate traditionally.

Regardless, my sweet surprise from my niece and sister definitely helped perk me up. It is also a nice reminder that even the smallest gestures can have such a great impact. Be kind to everyone because you have no idea what they’re going through. Who knows, you might be helping make their bad day just that little bit better. 🙂

How did you safely celebrate Thanksgiving? What are you looking forward to as the year comes to a close? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah