Tag Archives: lifestyle

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!

 

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

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

The Best & Easiest Ways To Go Green In 2021

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The Best & Easiest Ways To Go Green In 2021

The challenges faced in 2020 have given us all a new sense of perspective. As such, living a more eco-friendly lifestyle is likely to be one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions in 2021. Even if it’s not your main target for the year, you will probably want to implement change. The first step to success is to build a winning strategy.

Going green should be convenient and deliver noticeable benefits. Otherwise, you will struggle to find the motivation needed to maintain the improvements. Focus on the following ideas, and you can’t go wrong:

Become a green homeowner:

Given that you will spend more time at home than any other location, it makes sense to start the process here. Renewal by Andersen window replacement services can combat the threat of wasted heat energy. When added to the fact that this will boost the property value, you cannot ignore the benefits.

Further improvements can be made by adding efficient appliances to reduce water waste as well as learning to switch items off. Adding Smart tech to control various aspects of the property will allow you to stay on top of the situation in the immediate and long-term future. Better still, the positive moves should boost your financial health in the long run. Perfect.

Become a green beautician:

Unlocking a better appearance is a goal shared by millions. While plenty of lifestyle changes can be implemented to boost your look, we all need a little help to achieve the best results. My guide to eco-friendly beauty will put you on the path to success. It’s great for your health, looks, and environment.

Eco-friendly products and habits will spark improvements on a daily basis. Meanwhile, your choice of salon or spa for professional care can take the rewards to another level. Alongside beauty, you should also consider fashion choices. Backing brands that manufacture goods in a sustainable way will give you an extra source of smiles. The indirect impact on your carbon footprint is huge.

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Become a green socialite:

In addition to personal upgrades, your desire to lead a greener lifestyle can actively influence your friends and family. It is undoubtedly the best way to maximize the impact of your efforts, as well as the sense of satisfaction. Transparent discussions with those people will create a stronger message.

However, the key is to lead by example. This is something you can think about when planning your next vacation. Meanwhile, simply creating less waste in daily leisure activities can work wonders. With a little creativity, you can repurpose old clothes into unique fashion pieces. Living an eco-friendly lifestyle needn’t cause an impact on your sense of style and general aura. In fact, it could make you look better than ever.

Green living and healthy living are very closely linked. Southern Living’s easy Crock Pot recipes offer a great starting point. The stats show that food waste is one of the worst sources of environmental damage. Cooking and freezing extra portions reduces the threats while also saving valuable time.

Nutrition is one aspect, but you must also consider physical exercise. Running and cycling are among the best cardio aspects while free weights are ideal. Sure, you may still use machinery from time to time, but the use of electricity is unnecessary energy consumption. Travel to the gym or fitness club could increase your carbon footprint. Healthy lifestyles are great, but conscious decisions bring even better rewards.

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Become a green driver:

We make hundreds of decisions that impact our output each day. But some are more significant than others. Driving is the biggest cause of emissions by most. Switching to electric vehicles or hybrid cars will quickly reduce the damage you cause. If you drive a lot, it’s the single greatest upgrade you’ll make.

The right choice of vehicle is the biggest step towards greener driving by far. Still, you can support the process further by embracing new habits behind the wheel. Combining multiple journeys into one, organizing a car pool, and improving your usage of the brakes are all key steps.

If you genuinely have the motivation to lead a greener lifestyle, 2021 is the perfect time to make it happen. Now that you know how, there’s no excuse to ignore the process any longer. Ease yourself into the process throughout December, and you’ll never look back!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Lil Red’s Thanksgiving

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Lil Red’s Thanksgiving

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love sitting around the table with my family and enjoying the most delicious food that I have been waiting all year to eat, lol! Unfortunately, due to the nature of my job of working in several different homes throughout the course of this pandemic, Johnny and I deemed it unsafe for us to participate in the holiday with both of our families.

Making that decision was not easy and I honestly cried for at least three days about it. However, safety is and will always be my primary goal and anything I can do to protect my family, my clients, and myself is worth all of the hardships. As I’ve mentioned before, COVID-19 has been on a terrifying rise in Ohio and it has made doing anything other than work and grocery shopping damn near impossible for those who are taking the virus seriously.

On Thanksgiving, Johnny and I were able to visit with my family outside and my parents were nice enough to drop off our Thanksgiving meal to our apartment. It was not traditional in any sense of the word but we all felt good with that decision no matter how hard it was.

As someone who has worked in the health care field throughout this entire pandemic, it is safe to say that I am totally burned out. However, a bright ray of sunshine is on the horizon for me come Christmas. I have not taken any time off to recharge for the past nine months and I plan on taking two weeks off prior to Christmas so I can celebrate safely with my family.

It will feel so good to have that time to relax, breathe a little bit easier, and be able to watch my family open all of the gifts that I picked out special for them. Thanksgiving was a bust but I am going to make this Christmas the best one yet and I can’t wait!

How did you celebrate Thanksgiving this year? What is your favorite holiday? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: Thank those of us in the health care profession not just with your words but by wearing a mask and social distancing to help curb the spread of COVID-19. We are tired. We are exhausted. And we need your help!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Compliments of COVID, the 2020 holiday season is going to be a lot different. Family get togethers might be taking place over Zoom rather than in person or the celebrations could be pushed back until everyone can participate without crippling anxiety. No matter how you spend your day, I urge all of you to do it as safely as possible so all of your loved ones will be around to celebrate a *hopefully* normal Thanksgiving and Christmas next year.

2020 has been a wild ride and the craziness just reminds me of how thankful I am for all of the wonderful things about my life. A beautiful family, loving relationship, rewarding job, and fabulous friends both in person and online in the blogosphere are certainly nothing to sneeze at!

Thank you all so much for sharing in lifewithlilred with me because each and every one of you help keep me motivated to write each and every day. I am so proud of the sense of community that I feel on my page and I wish nothing but health, safety, and all of the good things for you and yours. ❤

Happy Thanksgiving!

Top Tips For Looking Your Best

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Top Tips For Looking Your Best

When you look great, you usually feel great, which is a recipe for success and joyfulness. You can’t help but have confidence in yourself and hold your head up high. The dilemma may be that you’re not taking good care of yourself and are letting your self-care slip because you’re busy.

Make yourself and your wellness and beauty a priority, and you’ll be much happier about your appearance. Review the following tips so you can look your best and get back to living life to the fullest with a smile on your face. Have fun with it and enjoy the transformation when you’re in a better place:

Get Enough Sleep:

One tip for looking your best is to get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Sleep not only gives you more natural energy, but it’ll ensure you don’t have dark circles under your eyes too. Your skin will glow and have fewer blemishes, and you’ll find it’s easier to maintain or lose weight. Sleep is essential to you feeling motivated to achieve your goals and tackle your to-do list.

Take Care of Your Smile:

Another tip for looking your best is to take care of your smile. Smiling makes you feel lively and will help you give off a friendly vibe to others. Visit your dentist regularly and brush your teeth and floss at home to maintain white and healthy teeth. If you’ve lost any teeth due to injury or illness, you may want to consider dental implants. After this procedure, you can smile confidently and will no longer feel self conscious when speaking and interacting with others.  

Do Your Hair & Makeup:

Wake up each day and take a shower and get ready so you can feel and look your best. Commit to doing your hair and applying makeup, which will make you feel ready to seize the day. You want to leave the house feeling good about yourself and the way you look. If you roll out of bed with messy hair and no makeup, you might feel tired and lousy all day. If you’re in a rush, then find quick up-dos you can use for your hair and, at the minimum, put on mascara and lip balm to add some color to your smile.

Exercise & Eat Well:

You’re going to look your best when you’re at a healthy weight and are free from stress and anxiety. Two ways you can reduce your worry and get into better shape is to exercise and eat well. Find physical activities you enjoy doing, and that allow you to burn calories and break a sweat. Get in the habit of cooking for yourself at home and carrying healthy snacks with you to eat throughout the day. When you combine healthy eating with regular exercise, you’ll be setting yourself up to love the way you look, and you’ll feel energized and content inside your mind and body, as well. 

It’s hard to feel good when times are so crazy but the tips above will help get some pep back in your step!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Blogging Through 2020

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Blogging Through 2020

Hello! For over six years, lifewithlilred has been going strong on the blogosphere and, unless there are some crazy circumstances, I write each and every day. You all have been with me through a lot from graduating college, break ups, car accidents and everything in between. With that in mind, there has never been a lack of anything for me to write about because it always felt like something new was happening.

Then, COVID-19 came around in 2020 and said “hold my beer”. As someone who works with extremely high risk families every day, all of my previous favorite activities fell by the wayside to not only protect me but all of my clients and loved ones. This meant no more shopping in store, no movies, no restaurants, no bars – no nothing, really.

This change from a constant on the go career as well as bopping around here, there, and everywhere with Johnny as his band played shows to a mostly sedentary lifestyle in my apartment was a huge shock. I have never had a lack of things to talk about on my blog but now, some days, I just don’t feel like I have anything to say!

But, we all know that Lil Red having nothing to say is impossible and I still have managed to write every day of 2020 despite the constant ups and downs. This is something that I am really proud of myself for because I have had to get so creative with my content to keep new posts coming, which can be uber difficult when you barely leave the house, lol.

Blogging through 2020 has taught me about finding inspiration in unlikely places and being more forthright in my own opinions and beliefs. I am so thankful that all of my beloved readers have stuck with me through such crazy times and it makes me that much more motivated to get up early every morning and write before I have to head to work.

Honestly, I have always been my toughest critic and it’s sometimes hard for me to come up with nice things to say about myself. It feels so good to see the fruits of my labor every day with a new post on lifewithlilred and having such a sense of pride in my work has increased my self esteem tenfold.

Times are hard right now and everyone’s situation is different. But, in Lil Red’s world, we’re all in this together so thank you for continuing to share in this crazy journey with me! ❤

Has it been difficult for you to blog during 2020? 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