Tag Archives: painting

Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

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Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

Howdy! The warm weather brings us the exciting promise of seeing friends more safely in an outdoor setting. However, it is still so important that we maintain a social distance because COVID-19 and variants of the virus are still a very real threat. Today, we’re going to look at a few outdoors activities that can be done from a social distance and are a lot of fun too. Try incorporating the following into your next outing with friends:

Paint A Masterpiece:

Pre-COVID, paint nights were insanely popular and for good reason – they’re a blast! And now, they can make a comeback because having a painting party outside is a possibility. For a project, you could all find something different to try your hand at painting or even hire a local artist to walk you through a summer landscape. Set up blankets six feet apart from each other with some snacks, drinks, and art supplies on each one. You could host the party in your own backyard or at a local park. No matter how your masterpiece turns out, it will be so nice to create with your friends in the fresh air.

Food Wars:

Everyone who likes to grill more than likely thinks they are the best at it lol so put the skills of those in your friend group to the test with a good old fashioned cook off. Every week you could have different categories like appetizers, main dishes, and desserts so the less grill savvy can participate and keep track of how everyone is faring on score cards. By the end of summer, you will find out who is the master chef!

Gardening Group:

Gardening is such a rewarding hobby and can be done from a social distance. Perhaps you and your friends could start a garden together that you can all help tend to so everyone can have fresh veggies and flowers all summer long. Of course, it doesn’t have to end there! Look up recipes that utilize the veggies you are growing and host a garden party to showcase your hard work.

Games Tournament:

Work hard play hard, amiright? But seriously, there are so many fun outdoor games that can be played from a social distance so why not put together a backyard tournament for your friends? Cornhole, bocce ball, croquet, and horseshoes are all great places to start. Don’t forget that there are huge outdoor versions of classic games like Jenga, chess, checkers, and Connect 4. If anyone has children, you could all work together to create an outdoor Candy Land board for them to enjoy.

For bonus categories in your tournament you could include best sidewalk chalk art, best bubble soap, most Pogo Stick jumps, and the like for even more fun in the sun.

Backyard Water Park:

Okay, stay with me here but how cool would a backyard water park that you and your friends put together be? I have been thinking about this so much because the pool at my apartment community won’t be open again this summer and it would be nice to have somewhere to cool off! Now, when I say water park, I don’t mean huge slides and a wave pool. No, I’m talking an ultimate Slip n’ Slide, sprinklers, water balloons, a kiddie pool to soak your feet, a sand castle building set up, and an area to work on your tan. And, of course, an endless supply of concession stand style snacks and lemonade. I think that would just be the best!

I feel like people hear the phrase “social distance” and they instantly think “less fun” but that isn’t the case at all. You just have to get a little creative, like with the ideas above, and you will safely enjoy each other’s company in the great outdoors all while having a ball. 😀

What are you looking forward to this summer? How do you plan on seeing your friends social distance style? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Gift Ideas For Warm Weather Birthdays

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Gift Ideas For Warm Weather Birthdays

Hi! In my family, there are eight spring and summer birthdays that I have to shop for so I am never lacking in gift ideas for warm weather birthdays. Shopping for birthdays that take place when the weather is nice is a great opportunity to purchase outdoor activity based gifts. Activity gifts always go over well but will be an even bigger hit this year since we are all itching to get outside and enjoy the weather. Let’s go over some of my favorite ideas:

Gardening Supplies/Outdoor Decor:

Spring and summer are, of course, the prime gardening times so if your giftee has a green thumb, then you can’t go wrong with gardening supplies. From raised planters and pots to seeds, tools, and insect hotels – any garden improvement supplies are sure to be appreciated. You could even offer your help weekly to tend to the garden since that is an activity that can be achieved from a social distance.

If your giftee is not so gifted in the garden, outdoor decor can really help enhance their space. Bird baths, houses, and feeders, wind chimes, decorative solar lights, and benches are all great places to start. Setting up a bird feeding station in your giftee’s backyard will allow them to enjoy nature without having to get their hands dirty.

Outdoor Games:

At this point, I’m sure everyone is bored of board games so anything that can be played outside is sure to please. Bocce ball, cornhole, croquet, and horseshoes can all be played from a social distance. There are even huge outdoor versions of classic games like checkers, chess, Connect 4, and Jenga. Outdoor games are such fun and can be used year after year so they are perfect for friends who love to entertain when the weather permits.

Summertime Treats:

What is the warm weather without popsicles, smoothies, snow cones, and ice cream? Nothing, I tell you! All of the treats that I just mentioned to help cool you down on a hot day can be made from home so you could gift the appliance or supplies needed to make them. Don’t forget a recipe book so they have plenty of ideas to work with and your gift doesn’t become just a one time use item. Perfect for the person on your list with a sweet tooth.

Warm weather is also a great time to enjoy spritzers and cocktails so if you are shopping for an amateur bartender, the ingredients for light and refreshing drinks would make a nice addition to the home bar.

Painting Supplies:

Paint nights are insanely popular and are fun for the artistic and not so much alike. They can also be done in the great outdoors so how about preparing a paint night kit for your giftee? Find inspiration for a painting project on Pinterest, get the necessary supplies, a blanket to sit on, and a picnic basket to hold everything. You could even double the order to make it work for a date night for your giftee and their significant other! Whomever it is you are shopping for will love getting in touch with their creative side while enjoying the weather and will be touched by how thoughtful the gift is too. 🙂

Get started on your warm weather birthday shopping with the ideas above that will keep your giftee smiling in the sunshine for as long as the weather allows!

What season is your birthday in? What is your favorite outdoor activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

How To Revamp Your Home’s Exterior

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How To Revamp Your Home’s Exterior

Whether you have a nondescript colonial house that needs a bit of a makeover or a cottage that you would like to improve its personality, it can always be tricky to decide on the changes to make. When it comes to exterior home makeovers, a straightforward trick of achieving a great look is to avoid forcing a particular style, especially unrelated to your home. However, with the best exterior enhancements, you stand a higher chance of improving your home’s overall appeal.

If you are not sure what aspects of the exterior of your home to change, here is a brief guide to help you:

Update the Front Door:

The front door of your house says a lot about it. There is a new trend where the focus is to create a meaningful sense of arrival by updating the door. Most traditional houses have asymmetrical windows, a front door that is not at the center, or even a jagged roof line. A bolt-on addition, such as a porch, would put the needed emphasis on the house’s entrance. Another way to update the front door for your home’s appeal would be to upgrade its hardware – change the door number and apply a new layer of color.

Add an Enclosed Entrance:

Including a cover overhead at the entryway would be a perfect way to make your home’s exterior stand out. An even better idea would be a covered entrance; it will go a long way to giving your home’s appearance a boost. If yours is a colonial-style home, opt for a minimalist portico with a pediment – it will define the entrance elegantly.

Even with the significance of such entrances, it is worth minding pests and other crawly creatures. Termites tend to hide in wooden structures similar to the ones used to create doorways. Find a pest control company near you to ensure that the right measures are in place; you don’t want a case where termites infest your entrance within a week of construction.

Work on the Roof:

Another significant way to boost your home’s appeal is by having an updated roof. You can do this in a variety of ways, including painting the existing roof or replacing it entirely. Whether to repaint or replace the roof depends on the roof’s condition, your budget, and aesthetics.

If the roof is in poor condition, repairing it might not be an option, especially if it nearing the end. In such a case, a replacement or an addition to the roof’s cover would give it a much better appearance. The new structure may be necessary, for safety and longevity reasons.

Replace the Old Windows:

How would your house look with a revamped door and new roof but old windows? Replacing the windows should be on your to do list to give your home’s exterior a facelift. You will have many options when it comes to window replacement – you can opt for powder-coated aluminum frames if you are a fan of contemporary styles or choose from PVCu, single-glazed, or period-style look windows.

Revamping your home’s exterior is something that you should occasionally do to keep it in perfect condition and align with the trends. Your focus should be on the yard, doors, windows, roofing, and perhaps the paint.

Featured Image By: Expect Best via Pexels

Dim Lighting In Your House? Brighten Things Up!

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Dim Lighting In Your House? Brighten Things Up!

There is absolutely nothing worse than settling in on the couch with a good book, only to realize that you don’t have adequate lighting to read with. Believe me, I know, because the lighting in my apartment is awful (There is only one usable window.) and reading during the evening and, honestly, sometimes during the day is next to impossible. If the lighting in your place is lackluster, then follow these tips to brighten your space up:

Installing Windows:

If the lighting in your living room or home office is too dim to get your work done efficiently, then how about installing a few windows to let the sunshine in? Not only will this brighten your space and improve your property value but the additional lighting will also make the room appear bigger! It’s a total win/win and you can shop with Model Space Designs for the finishing touches of shutters and drapery for your new installation.

Improving What You Have:

One of the most simple fixes that you can make when it comes to improving the brightness in your home is replacing your light bulbs with those of a higher wattage. Dimmer bulbs are nice, of course, when you are settling in for the evening. However, they are less than effective when you still have a whole work from home day ahead of you! Experiment with a few different light bulbs to find the one that works best for each space you would like to brighten.

Accessory Lighting:

Expertly placed table lamps, standing lamps, or fairy lights will not only assist in the brightening process but help to accessorize your space, as well. These are options that won’t break your bank, either. I have had great success at finding budget friendly but effective standing lamps at Target. I even have quite a few table lamps that I found at the Goodwill for a more unique fixture.

Change The Room’s Color Palette:

A room with dark paint on the walls and furniture to match is stylish, yes, but it will also make your room feel closed in and dim even with the lights on. Changing the color palette of the room will not only open up your space but will allow the light to bounce around, creating even more brightness. With spring just around the corner, now is a great time to reevaluate the color palette in the problem area.

From big fixes like installing windows to simple improvements like merely changing your light bulb wattage, you will no longer have to live in the Dark Age in your own home! Brighten things up, sink into your couch, and finally crack open that book you’ve been itching to read!

4 Stress-Busting Means Of Engaging Your Creativity

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4 Stress-Busting Means Of Engaging Your Creativity

To open this post, we need not speak about the difficulties of the last year, and just how life has changed. It’s a well-worn topic. However, it’s very true that the importance of self-care and the willingness to keep ourselves in check (and to check up on others) has never been so important. As such, figuring out a few methods for achieving exactly that is certainly worth our time. One method that is rarely spoken of when it comes to self care is that of practicing creativity.

Why is this? Well, sometimes, creativity can feel like work or practice. It’s not as if playing a piano is something we can all sit down and just learn by ear, it takes hard work and practice to get good before you can begin really flexing your creativity. The last thing you want to assign to someone having a stressful time is more work.

Or is that the case? Does creativity have to feel like work or could it feel like play? Perhaps it could be both. After all, most runners are all too familiar with the feeling we get when starting a run (feeling groggy, tired, irritable) and then how fun it gets once the endorphins are flowing and we feel like we could keep going for hours. Creativity can function in that way. It can also help us feel confident, relaxed, energized, inspired, productive, useful, and able to express ourselves. That has to be worth something quite important, to the point where we would totally recommend keeping on top of those considerations from now into the long term.

Let’s see what creative ambitions can fit within this worthwhile category:

Journaling:

People rarely feel that journaling is a creative hobby, but it truly is. Putting your thoughts, ideas, impressions, beliefs, or experiences down into written form can be very cathartic. Journaling can not only help you expel your ideas more readily, but it helps you understand exactly what you were thinking and why. This is doubled when you return to that which you’ve written and see just where you were at the time, and how you’ve grown. Giving yourself this kind of insight is not only a great practice for your mental health, but it can help you learn a new skill. Writing isn’t easy and it takes plenty of practice to get good at. A journal is a fantastic place to become more literate. It can also serve our next task:

Creative Writing:

People often think that creative writing needs to be strictly within a category. Either you’re writing poetry, a short story, a novel, or a travel log. That’s not true, of course. Writing is whatever you’d like it to be. Some of the best writing we have is when authors have the courage to break the rules, like the novel Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce, filled with difficult-to-decipher language that is both strange and very curated, almost poetic.

Creative writing helps us focus on our thoughts and what impressions we may wish to grant an audience, but it also helps us present a story line, write our thoughts for people to read, or perhaps veil our artistic insights in poetry or songwriting. Creative writing, like journaling, can be quite cathartic except the rules are much more open and freeing, giving you a sense of potential in every word you jot down. Why not try and write a page long stream of consciousness this week? It might inspire you to further expand your creativity.

Arts & Crafts:

Of course, many people prefer feeling like they have something tangible to offer, and arts and crafts can help us focus on actually making something rather than endlessly reflecting. That can be great to keep us focused and somewhat distracted, rather than ruminating on the tough times we’re going through.

For instance, you might find that putting together a wonderful mandala kit helps you create a beautiful decoration that you take pride in every time you see it. Arts and crafts can also serve a real purpose. You might use your seamstress skills to fix up some of your old clothes or reupholster your furniture by giving it a lick of paint and a varnish. Maybe you’ll just reclaim some wood and use a chisel and hammer to try your hand at amateur sculpture in your garage. Having a project like this on the go can feel very rewarding, as over time it takes form and you see your plans come to actual life.

Painting:

If you’re looking for some inspiration, there’s a special Twitch channel playing Bob Ross episodes 24/7, showcasing how even amateurs can enjoy painting and get something from it if they try. Why not gather some paints and give it a shot? You could mess around with watercolors and have fun with your teenage child. You might decide to do a self-portrait, something fun and whimsical or perhaps as realistic as you can try to make it. You can also experiment with the surfaces you paint on if you like, such as painting a beautiful family mural in your kitchen or corridor wall with images of your loved ones.

Don’t discount painting just because you may not have had time to enjoy it before. The process can be highly rewarding if you give it time, piece by piece, with a little verve and care.

With this advice, we hope you can more easily see the benefit in trying a new creative passion, even if you’ve never touched that process before. These suggested activities are cheap, fun, and can sustain you during difficult times. Best of luck!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Giving Your Living Room A Mini Makeover

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Giving Your Living Room A Mini Makeover

Considering that we have all spent the majority of this past year in our living rooms, I think we all deserve to give it a mini makeover! If you are as sick of your living room as I am at this point, then a mini makeover could be just what you need to brighten the space as we continue on through the COVID-19 pandemic. Mini makeovers are also great because we are not talking huge renovations here, rather, small improvements to make your space better. Try utilizing some of the following tips as you spruce up your living room:

Choose A Statement Piece:

Is your couch losing its stuffing? How about a wobbly coffee table? Or perhaps your favorite recliner’s cushions have sunken in? No matter the case, visit Modern Sense Furniture to find exactly what you need and make it a statement in your room. One new piece of furniture can instantly transform a space and it also might give you the inspiration to base your room around it if you are interested in making a bigger change. Remember, when choosing a statement piece, you not only want it to be unique and visually appealing but you still want it to function properly. Who wants to sit on a cool couch if it is really uncomfortable?

Make Your Space Cozy:

The living room is where we go to unwind after a long day in the home office, so fill it with things that are comforting to you. Whether it be a plush rug beneath your feet, candles, thick curtains, or pillows and soft throw blankets – treat yourself to a few new items that will soothe you. You can even turn your quest for comfort into a new hobby through candle making, knitting, or crochet. Just make sure your living room isn’t too comfy during the day if you like to work from home on the couch. We don’t want you falling asleep on the job!

Create An Accent Wall:

Accent walls are a relatively cheap and very effective way to make a room feel like new again. Just a few painted accent walls in my parent’s home completely changed each room’s atmosphere. Accent walls can not only be created with paint but can be achieved with decor or even interesting floating shelving. If you choose to make an accent wall with pieces of art or framed photographs, the trick is for it not to appear cluttered. Go with paintings or pictures with color palettes that compliment each other. A hectic display with clashing colors is definitely not conducive to your relaxation!

Once you finish your mini quick fixes in the living room, don’t stop there! Small, simple steps can be achieved room by room to transform your home without any major renovations.

Let’s Paint!

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Let’s Paint!

Hi! One of the things that I love about my neck of the woods is all of the wonderful libraries. Prior to the pandemic, I would always take my clients to the fun programs being offered at different library branches. We were particularly fond of vinyl record club, crafts, and movie showings. Now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the libraries in my area have turned all of their programs virtual and you can hop onto Zoom to join in.

The last time my dad was at the library to pick up some books for me and my mom, he also grabbed a craft kit complete with a mini canvas, paint, and brushes. Like so:

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Now, I am in no way shape or form an artist and I have absolutely no clue what to paint on my canvas. So, I am open to suggestions! I will make an attempt to paint the idea from the comments that I like the best and, what’s more, I will even send it your way if your comment was chosen so you can have a Lil Red Original. Who knows, maybe Johnny will even make a “celebrity” contribution to the painting too. Let’s see what happens!

What should I paint on my canvas? What kind of programs does your local library offer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Alina Vilchenko from Pexels

Boost Your Curb Appeal With These Ideas

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Boost Your Curb Appeal With These Ideas

You can only rearrange your furniture, redecorate, and clean so much inside until you have exhausted all of your ideas to change up your space. So turn your focus to the exterior of your house, instead! Spring is going to be here before we know it and with warmer weather, you can finally get started on outdoor projects. Not only will you love making big changes but they will definitely help boost your home’s curb appeal, to boot! Try out the following:

New windows and doors:

Installing new windows and doors can totally transform your home’s exterior. If you have been living at your place for several years now and are starting to feel blah with its appearance, this might be just the boost it needs. Don’t forget to have fun with your choices, too! A bright colored door can sure make a statement and it will set your house apart from the rest in your neighborhood.

Fresh paint:

If the paint on the outside of your home has seen better days, then perhaps a fresh coat is in order. Chipping paint and discoloration can really lower your curb appeal and makes your place seem less inviting. Fresh paint can fix this quickly and give your house a much needed face lift.

A deck or porch:

Having a place outside for your friends to sit this summer is so important so that you can finally socialize! Maybe your porch is just too small and could be expanded to accommodate company? Or if you have enough space in the back yard, you could go big and have a deck installed. There is nothing like enjoying the sunshine with your friends and a porch or deck will give you the opportunity to do so while boosting your curb appeal.

Repave your driveway:

The driveway might be one of the last things you think about but it is one of the first things that people see when they look at your yard. If winter weather has left your driveway cracked and damaged, then repaving it will definitely be in order as it will stick out like a sore thumb on an, otherwise, well taken care of property.

Expand your garage:

If you have a single garage and more than one car, your property can look a bit jumbled with multiple cars parked on the driveway. Not to mention that playing musical cars every morning when people are leaving is super annoying! Expanding your garage is always a good bet to boost your curb appeal and you will never have to go into a freezing cold or insanely hot car again.

We have had ample time to improve our home’s interior and now we can turn our focus outwards as we transition into spring!

5 Ways To Instantly Refresh Your Home

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5 Ways To Instantly Refresh Your Home

Even the best-designed house can become tired and worn looking without some maintenance now and then. Taking time to refresh the look of your home can help you fall in love with it all over again and give it a new lease of life. Here are five simple ways to help refresh the look of your home without breaking the bank:

Paint Touch Ups:

The daily wear and tear of life can be hard on your interior walls, especially if you have children or pets. Walls can easily become scuffed or scratched and the paint can suddenly look less appealing. Touching up paint does not mean to redo the whole wall. If you have paint leftover from a decoration, keep it in storage and when the wall inevitably becomes marked, use the paint to cover it up and make the wall feel brand new again. If you don’t have the right color paint for a wall, use a magic eraser. The erasers work by dissolving the paint slightly allowing you to use the surrounding paint to cover up the scuff. If the scuff or scratch is small, then an eraser can easily deal with them.

Replace Old Carpet:

If your carpet has been stained or threadbare, then it can make the whole room feel very worn out. Investing in high-quality flooring can make a room feel fresh without the need to completely redecorate. Millennium Hardwood Flooring is excellent if you want a high-quality finish installed by experts. Replacing carpet with hardwood can restore a room’s elegant feel and give it a classical, homely atmosphere. You will stand and walk on it every day, so good quality flooring is worth investing in.

Reposition The Furniture:

If your furniture has always had the same configuration since you moved in, then consider what other options you may have for laying out a room. In large rooms, bringing furniture away from the walls can help them feel cozier and zone off spaces. Smaller rooms can be made to feel bigger by bringing furniture away from the center of a room and allowing for a natural flow from one door to the next. Remember that furniture can always quickly be changed back, so have fun. Try out a new position and if you don’t like it, then rearrange it back to the way it was or go for something new again. You might discover a new configuration you would never have thought would work.

Exterior Painting:

If you don’t get the spark of joy you long for when you arrive home after a hard day’s work, then consider an exterior paint job. Painting your house different shades or even highlighting features like window sills and door frames can help give your home a new lease on life. Remember that external paint needs more protection. Buy paint suited to your walls such as masonry or specialist wood paint.

Declutter:

Finally, remember the easiest way to refresh your home is to declutter. It is easy for our homes to become filled with bits and pieces that we no longer need. Take time to clear out your cupboards every season. Decluttering frequently makes the task less onerous and allows you to enjoy your space free from mess.

Due to the pandemic, all of this extra time at home makes you notice the changes your place might need even more. Use your time well and refresh your house with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Holiday Haul: Gemini Twin Edition

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Holiday Haul: Gemini Twin Edition

Hellooo everyone! I hope all of you enjoyed happiness and safety throughout this holiday season and it has been a crazy one, hasn’t it? In fact, it has just been a crazy ass year in general, lol. A lot of people had to get used to video chatting in 2020 but my sweet best friend, Kate (Genius author of Live In The Nautical), and I have been hip to it for a good long while. As we both live in different states, all of our hang outs for the past several years (aside from one real life meeting) have taken place on video chat.

On a normal year, I would go crazy without Kate. But, in 2020, I know that I would have gone certifiably insane! I absolutely live for when we can spend an evening gabbing away and it is so refreshing to have that time with her, especially since I have been limited to my apartment and work since March. Kate and I met through the blogosphere and became fast friends through our passions of writing, figure skating, fashion, and Harry Potter! I simply could not imagine my life and enjoying our very close June birthdays without her.

Birthdays and Christmas with Kate as a friend is quite possibly the most exciting thing ever. I thought that I was a great gift giver but DAMN, lol Kate knocked it out of the park this year with the literal BEST gift that I have ever received. Check it out:

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Kate is the queen of customized gifts and I feel spoiled rotten. I have never once opened a gift that was so perfectly tailored to yours truly. The beautiful ice skate adorned card was a delight in itself and I love that she treated me to my own mini bottle of vino because, more often than not, I always have a glass handy when we are video chatting. How can you have girl talk without it?!

Just when I thought that things couldn’t get any better, I unwrapped the painting and coffee mug with my likeness and clutched my pearls. The first thing I thought about when I saw the painting was when Kate and I ice skated together at Rockefeller Center. The second thing I thought was that I looked FIRE! Haha, both of these customized pieces capture a different part of my personality from glam skater girl to constantly needs to be caffeinated blogger. And each with the poise of a Disney Princess, no less.

I feel so incredibly thankful to have received the most amazing gifts from the most amazing friend. These presents made me feel known, understood, and so loved. Thank you, Kate. You are an angel! ❤

What is the best gift that you have ever received? How do you personalize presents? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah