Tag Archives: nature

Searching For The Sun In Quarantine

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Searching For The Sun In Quarantine

Hello! As the crazy times dealing with coronavirus continue, I have encouraged all of my readers to have a go at creating guest content for lifewithlilred. It gives you an afternoon of entertainment, publicity for your page, and it helps me keep daily content coming. Believe you me, it’s very hard under these stay at home circumstances!

Luckily, some very kind and talented guest bloggers have answered my call to action, including the lovely Sheryl Rose of Sheryl’s Light. She is literally the sweetest ever and her blog is filled with great content to get lost in for the evening. So, do be sure to check it out and give it some love. Now, find out how Sheryl keeps things on the sunny side during these trying times:

Searching For The Sun In Quarantine:

The last few days here in Vermont have been quite warm being in the ’60s. Growing up in California as a young girl and later on a young woman I loved to sunbath. Having a nationality of Black Irish and Cherokee Indian all the hours spent in the sun would result in a deep brown tan which I loved. As I grew older, I spent less and less time in the sun becoming more aware of skin cancer and harmful UVB rays. Plus, since moving and living on the East Coast, there is way less sun.

Since this COVID-19 started I had started counseling. I was feeling depressed because of how badly I missed my family and old friends. This was before the outbreak. I went to one session instantly bonding with my new counselor. He has a very kind face. I trusted him immediately. Shortly after, this nasty little virus came to light prompting stay at home orders. I was bummed that we couldn’t continue our meetings so he suggested video chat, instead. I was so happy. Trust me I’m getting to the point of this post.

Sure enough on Thursday at noon, I get the awaited phone call from John to let me know he sent me the link for our video chat. I click on it, put my name in the on-screen box, and presto, we were at my session. As we are chatting away I notice my little screen of myself in the corner and my face is what I think a deadly white skin tone. Yesterday, I went over to where the apartment complex storage area is and retrieved my lounge chair, bringing it upstairs. Then the clouds came suffocating that idea.

I spent some time on Amazon researching sun tanning equipment and aside from the cost, they weren’t quite what I was looking for. I looked at the spray tan kits that came with a six foot tall tent. Where would I put that?! I even looked at the tanning creams which, from experience, don’t work all that well with the streaking and darkened elbows and knees.

I decided that tanning for free with only the cost of baby oil (which I already have) was the way to go. Today looks pretty good so I’m going to give it another try outside. I took a big plastic bin out to the trash this morning so I know it’s already really warm and it’s only nine AM. I need color. REAL color and, if nothing else, getting outside will definitely be a big plus!

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This is not me, but reminds me of how I looked when I used to sunbath complete with painted toenails and anklet. Plus I dreadfully miss the beach.

About The Author:

Hello, my name is Sheryl Rose. I have three grown children, a husband of fifteen years all together who I met online, two grandsons ages three and four, and a baby hamster named Zoey. My husband and I live in Vermont. We have lived here for six years moving from Maine. I miss Maine, the seafood, and ocean. My children live out of state. One daughter in California, middle daughter lives in Florida with her life partner, and my son who is married to his wife and two sons live in Texas. My deal is, despite the trials and tribulations you can still come up smelling like a rose. Get it!? My vision is to share my journey helping others like me. Life is love. Life can smack you around but you still can rise above it all and be kind. Life is a lark, as I’m fond of saying. Let’s have some fun.

Thank you so much again to Sheryl for her charming guest post! How do you keep a positive attitude amidst uncertainty? Who always helps to cheer you up? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making The Most Of Spring When You’re Stuck Indoors

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Making The Most Of Spring When You’re Stuck Indoors

Hello! In an effort to keep everyone occupied, I have offered guest blogging opportunities on lifewithlilred during the lock down. Not only is it interesting and fun to hear from people all around the world but it also is a huge favor to me to keep content coming when there’s not much to write about!

In today’s post, you can find plenty of great tips to get you in touch with nature from your home from my friend, Helen, at The Feminist Gadabout. Her page is a wonderful treasure trove of cool content so do be sure to give it some love. Now, let’s get to it:

Making The Most Of Spring When You’re Stuck Indoors

With many of us around the world stuck indoors, the usually cheerful season of spring has taken on a frustrating note as we are unable to get outside and enjoy it. It is vitally important that we follow government advice about physical distancing, and do our best to avoid unnecessary contact with other people. But that doesn’t mean that we have to completely miss out on the joys of the season! Here are just a few ideas for how to make the most of spring, without having to leave your house:

Nature webcams:

Now is a time to take advantage of everything modern technology has to offer. From HouseParty to Zoom, we’re all even more reliant on our devices, and internet speed, than we were before. If you feel you’re missing out on your usual dose of nature because of the lock down, webcams are here to help! There are hundreds of different nature webcams to choose from all over the world. Yellowstone National Park, for instance, has its own full set of webcams, offering views of the Old Faithful Geyser, Mount Washburn, and Yellowstone Lake.

These are a great way to watch spring emerging in one of the US’s most stunning natural locations. For a close look at wildlife you can head over to the Explore website, where you can see everything from eagle chicks growing up in Iowa to a hummingbird nest in California. These cute little birds make remarkable parents! Watching nature go about its day is a nice way to feel in touch with the wild, even if you can’t get out in it.

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Grow Something:

Spring is the season of sprouting shoots and new leaves. Even if you don’t have access to a garden, you can still get in on the action. All you need is a bit of soil and a few dishes.  You can even use old toilet paper rolls or egg boxes to make pots! Growing plants from seeds is hugely therapeutic. It is a wonderfully positive reminder of the steady progress of life and the seasons when you see your first baby plants poking up through the compost. There are thousands of plants to choose from, but herbs like basil and cilantro are fun (and edible!) places to start. If you’re looking to add a little color to your indoor life, go for miniature sunflowers or sweet peas. Watching your little pants grow is enormously satisfying, and will provide you with interest for months to come.

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Nature Diary:

Lots of wildlife charities host annual animal and bird counts. All you have to do is note down what birds, animals, and sometimes butterflies and moths, you see in your local area in a given period. Having year-on-year information is really helpful for scientists and organizations tracking wildlife populations and the impact of human activity. You may think you’ll be left out of this is you live in an urban area, but it can be just as useful to know what creatures are thriving in our cities as in our countryside.

Sit out in the garden or at your window and take some time to chill out and watch the world – and all of its creatures – go by.  This is a great one to do with kids, as it offers a chance to teach them as you go. My grandfather used to tell me about the names and habits of all of the different birds, and gave me knowledge that I still cherish to this day.  So take a look at what your local groups are offering, and get involved! You may be surprised by the biodiversity of your area, and with spring progressing you’re sure to spot some cute baby birds and critters.

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Celebrate your personal growth:

Spring is all about renewal and rebirth. You don’t just have to turn to nature to get into this spirit. Spring offers an opportunity to look back and appreciate how far we’ve come, and think about where we want to go next. Why not try something as simple as taking a selfie of your lock down hairstyle, grow-out and all? Think about all you’ve managed to achieve, and thank yourself for your fortitude and perseverance. This is going to be a tough year for all of us, so why not indulge in a little springtime self-love, and take a moment to appreciate and celebrate yourself. We all deserve to be kind to ourselves, now more than ever.

Get Crafting:

Spring is a singularly creative season. The world is bursting with newness, all waiting to inspire you. Whether you craft all the time or rarely pick up a paintbrush, spring is a season for starting projects, and having a go at something new. There are lots of simple crafts, from origami and painting to crochet, which are easy to learn and require minimal equipment. The satisfaction of creating something new that you can proudly display in your home is its own reward, and you’ll also have mastered a new skill!

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What are you doing to keep busy and happy during these indoors spring days? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Helen runs The Feminist Gadabout, a culture, lifestyle, and travel blog that looks at the world through the lens of social awareness. It covers everything from product, film and book reviews, to social justice long-reads and travel recommendations. With the new indoor life tag there’s also plenty of material to help you stay healthy and happy indoors during lock down.

Thanks again to Helen of The Feminist Gadabout! If you are interested in guest posting on lifewithlilred, please email me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com !

Outdoor Activities In Self-Isolation

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Outdoor Activities In Self-Isolation

Hello! Although I have been enjoying my time inside during Ohio’s stay at home order, I, like many of you, am looking forward to being able to go out and about like I used to. Despite most stores and restaurants not being open at the moment, there is still plenty to do in the great outdoors. Today, we are going to look at a few of those options in case you’re coming down with a case of cabin fever:

Go On A Walk:

Duh! I know this is an obvious one but it needs to be said. Take a stroll around your neighborhood or go for a brisk hike at a Metro Park – you’ll be amazed at how good you feel after a little exercise and fresh air! Turn on your favorite tunes, give a friend a call, immerse yourself in some social distance chats with your neighbors, or just take in the scenery as you take your walk. I think you’ll feel much better. 🙂

Start A Garden:

My dad has been working in his yard like a mad man now that the weather in Ohio is beginning to improve. He is busy preparing his garden for cool weather crops and I know how much he enjoys getting his hands in the dirt and helping something grow. Not ready for a full on garden? Start with some potted plants or herbs and go from there!

Eat Outdoors:

If you have a patio set or simply a few lawn chairs and the weather is nice, try eating outside. It will feel like a little private picnic! Make your favorite sandwiches and a pitcher of lemonade, bring out a good book, and spend an afternoon in the sun instead of sitting on your couch. Don’t forget to take your jigsaw puzzles, word searches, or even just the level of Candy Crush you can’t beat onto your porch, too!

There’s nothing like opening the doors to let some fresh air into your house or apartment, either.

Start A Tradition:

In Ohio, a lot of families have put teddy bears in their windows so parents can take their children on walks to the tune of the nursery rhyme “Going On A Bear Hunt”. Create your own fun tradition to get your neighbors involved like Where’s Waldo windows or a neighborhood game of I Spy. It will be nice to hear excited children participating in the game and it will sure feel good to spread a bit of joy in your neck of the woods, to boot!

Try Some Crafts:

There are plenty of great crafts you can make outside or create with materials you found on a walk so give it a shot! Create a self portrait with side walk chalk, pick some flowers and make a crown, or try your hand at painting or building a birdhouse. There’s nothing like a fun craft to pass the time and it will feel even better to have made something beautiful in your own backyard.

If you’re feeling increasingly bored during your stint with a stay at home order, get outside and participate in the ideas above!

What do you enjoy doing outside? What is the weather like in your area? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Smile! Spring Flowers Are Blooming

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Smile! Spring Flowers Are Blooming

Hello! Although times are crazy and the norm is now staying hunkered down to help ease the coronavirus, it’s important to find joy in nature more than ever. I, myself, take delight in seeing the blooms of spring flowers poking up from the ground and a few crocuses have made their guest appearance in my parent’s yard. I was so tickled to see the sweet, small flowers in yellow, purple, and white that I just had to snap some pics:

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When I see a tiny flower’s presence among all of the dead leaves and dry grass, it instantly fills me with hope. One little bloom struggled to get enough sunshine, rain, and nutrition to sprout up and say hello but it pulled through and now looks so beautiful. One little pop of colorful flowers makes me instantly feel like spring is here and that makes me happy.

The winter blues have went away and now it’s time for sunshine, rainbows, and all of the glory that comes with spring. Despite the unease that we all feel right now in the midst of the coronavirus, be sure to take notice of all of the exciting things happening in nature the next time you take a walk. I’m sure it will quickly put a fresh spring in your step!

What is your favorite part about spring? What flowers are blooming in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pocket Park: 4 Strategies To Raise Funds In Your Area

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Pocket Park: 4 Strategies To Raise Funds In Your Area

People in areas with plenty of farmland may not need parks because they have lots of wide-open spaces and plenty of greenery. But if you live in the city, parks are important. That little bit of oasis can help you maintain your sanity in the middle of a fast-paced city.

Unfortunately, land does not come cheap. Reports show that Sydney, the most expensive city, has land prices to match – a square meter of land is $1000. And, while Perth is much cheaper compared to Sydney, the area will cost you $700 per square meter.

If you still want to create a park in a farming community, your location will determine how much you spend on land. Some farmlands are as cheap as $41 per hectare, while others can cost you as much as $21,999 per hectare.

But whenever the cost is a challenge, you need to think outside the box. One way to get the park of your dreams is by opting for a pocket-park design. Such a plan will enable you to create multiple park attractions within a limited amount of space. But what if you don’t have the funding? Read on to find out more:

Your local business community:

Members of your local business community may be willing to help you raise the funding that you need to see that pocket park design come to life. After all, they also live in the area. They and their loved ones would benefit from having a park nearby, too.

You can reach out to the local business community and ask them for financial support to help build a mini-park. Those who choose not to pay cash can provide the materials or labor required to create the park. What matters is that it gets made.

You can also think of providing free advertising opportunities for businesses that help you get the funding. It could be plaques or free marketing from professionals in the area who donate marketing services as their contribution to the park construction.

Your local media platforms:

Many media stations in your area may be willing to help you create awareness of your initiative if you reach out to them. It would be part of their corporate social responsibilities. The free marketing that they do as well as the influence they wield can get locals on board and inspire them to donate time, energy, and money towards building your pocket park.

Online fundraising:

The digital era has revolutionized fundraising. Platforms like Kickstarter allow you to raise monies for a cause by appealing to the online community. You can also sell branded merchandise as part of your strategy to raise money for your park.

Local NGOs:

Some NGOs may be willing to sponsor the construction of your park. But this depends on whether your goals are aligned to theirs. For example, if you would like to build a pocket park whose design is meant to provide playing and sensory therapy to kids with special kids, NGOs that work with children with disabilities may be willing to help you out financially.

The lack of space or funding should not deter you from realizing your dream of creating a pocket park. All you need to do is think outside the box and find creative ways of getting the funding that you need. Then your local community can enjoy the benefits of your park for a long time to come.

Combining Your Indoor And Outdoor Space Cohesively

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Combining Your Indoor And Outdoor Space Cohesively

Indoor-outdoor spaces have become much more popular in recent years. Homeowners have stopped seeing their interiors and exteriors as separate realms and now want to meld them together in a way that creates a sense of harmony.

Achieving this, however, is a little more complicated than you might think. It’s not just a matter of getting some sliding doors and removing the ledge (although that helps). You also have to consider a host of additional factors, many of which aren’t immediately apparent.

So what are the tricks for successfully linking your indoor and outdoor spaces in a way that makes sense? Read on to find out!

Keep The Same Flooring Inside And Out:

If you look at photographs of the homes that most successfully link their indoor and outdoor spaces, you immediately notice something – the flooring is the same. Choosing to use the same floors inside and out creates a sense of continuity that you don’t get if you have different options inside and outside the house. Ideally, you want the wall separating the two spaces to feel more like an optional screen than a barrier.

Add A Canopy:

When people think of outdoor spaces, they don’t necessarily mean areas where they go to expose themselves to wind and rain. Most of the time, they want somewhere that they can enjoy the outdoors but without any of the downsides.

Here is where a patio cover company can help. You can get a roof that keeps the sun and rain off of your head but, at the same time, allows you to feel more like a part of your outdoor space. After all, there’s no point letting your garden go to waste.

Get Rid Of The Wall:

Walls are barriers that separate your indoor and outdoor spaces irrevocably. When there’s a load of masonry in the way, no amount of matching flooring or canopies will bridge the gulf. Fortunately, while getting rid of the wall might sound like an extreme measure, it is actually quite achievable with modern approaches available today.

A lot of homeowners opt for bi-folding doors. These are doors that have several hinges and fold up against themselves as they fold away. When completely drawn, there is an ample space which connects the interior to the exterior, making the transition more seamless.

Of course, custom bi-folding doors connected to a steel surround are expensive, so you could choose French doors too. The trick here, though, is to raise your patio so that it is the same height as your interior floor AND get rid of any lip or threshold at the bottom of the door. When everything is the same height, it makes more visual sense and helps to bring the interior and exterior of your home together.

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Love this!

Design The Spaces As One:

When it comes to indoor-outdoor spaces, you want to banish the idea that they are separate right from the design phase. Creating a complex that spans both the interior and exterior of your home creates a mindset that allows you to generate greater integration automatically. When you use this method, the outcome is far more harmonious. Like in this Pixabay picture:

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Creating a cohesive transition from your indoor to outdoor space has never been easier with the tips above!

Super Fun Cold Weather Activities

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Super Fun Cold Weather Activities

Hi everyone! Despite the chilly temperatures outside, I always enjoy outdoor winter activities… and then warming up inside with hot chocolate! Depending on your area, there could be a ton of exciting options for you and, lucky for me, there are a lot to pick from in my neck of the woods. Some of my favorites include:

Winter Lights At The Zoo:

On Thanksgiving weekend, my parents, boyfriend, sister, niece, and I went to the Akron Zoo during the after hours to check out their amazing holiday lights display. The whole property was lit up with gorgeous color. Some of the lights blinked, others flashed, and the bigger ones were timed to light up to the beat of Christmas carols.

Of course, it’s always fun to see the animals at the zoo but the light displays were just spectacular. I loved all of the lights shaped like different animals, especially the elephant whose trunk moved! Definitely check out if any of the zoos in your area do any special winter displays because it’s a wonderful option for all ages.

Outdoor Skating Rinks:

During the winter, I try to hit up an outdoor rink at least once. As a skater girl, it is such a good time to hit the great outdoors and show off a bit for the general public! 😀 I love the rink at Lock 3 that we have in downtown Akron, which now includes bumper tubes and ice bikes, if skating isn’t your thing.

A lot of the outdoor rinks will feature other fun activities like sledding, Christmas crafts, and holiday markets. And, did I mention the always delicious hot chocolate stands? Skating at an outdoor rink makes for a great date or hang out with your friends but try and go during a less popular time (morning or early afternoon), if you aren’t the most confident skater.

Toboggan/Sled Rides:

There is a toboggan chute in my area that I have been dying to try out and I would love to give it a go this year. It can reach speeds of up to 50 MPH, which is awesome if you are a thrill seeker, like myself. If this sounds a bit too intense for you, sled riding is another fun option and is a good one to take your children or nieces and nephews to. I am definitely hoping we can take my little niece, Valerie, down a baby hill or two this year!

Hikes Are Nice:

I always enjoy taking at least one hike during the winter time at one of the many amazing Metro Parks in my area. I think that it is so much fun to bundle up, pull on my boots, and trudge around in the snow. Not only is it an excellent work out, but I especially love to see all of the gorgeous snow coating the trees and feeling myself warm up just a little bit more with every step.

Playing In The Snow:

Playing in the snow is not just for children anymore, especially because boozy hot chocolate is definitely a thing! Gather up your friends during a fresh snowfall and relive your childhood with snowmen, snowball fights, and snow angels. Finish out your snow session with a bonfire to warm you up!

When there’s so many fun options for outdoor winter activities, you can create a memorable and inexpensive afternoon with your favorite people. Keep the spirit of the day going with Christmas movies and warm drinks after!

What is your favorite winter activity? What is your favorite way to warm up after a cold day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah