Tag Archives: practice makes perfect

How To Regain Your Confidence To Smile More 

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How To Regain Your Confidence To Smile More 

There are so many reasons to smile in life. From daily affection from your children to having some time to cook up a storm, there are daily occurrences that everyone experiences that should encourage you to smile. Smiling more will maintain a good mood and a positive attitude. Should you dislike your smile or not feel entirely confident when smiling, here is how to regain your confidence and fall back in love with your smile:

Get dental help:

Using dental services can get your smile in top condition so that you feel more confident and happy smiling. You can repair your teeth, transform them to better health, or reshape them so that you like your smile and the overall look of your teeth. Getting help with your teeth will help you achieve your desired outcome as well as the best oral health.

Practice in the mirror:

You might not like your smile because of a quick and unflattering picture. If so, remember that a picture does not always reflect what you look like. You could have been caught off guard yet remember that in your mind and use it as a reason not to smile. If this is the case, then practice smiling more in the mirror. Doing so will help you see how much better you look when you smile. It will also help you practice smiling for photos so that you can see how much nicer you look when you smile for the next pictures you take.

Smile more:

If you often find that you have a grumpy face yet feel happy, why not show off your happiness through smiling? There is no harm in walking around smiling or watching the TV and smiling. Smiling is the best way to feel happy. If you are not in the best mood and want to get out of your slump, then try smiling and notice how much better it makes you feel. You will soon smile more and more and regain your confidence to smile again.

Face the fear:

Everyone has their own unique phobia and if yours is smiling in photos or in public, then face those fears. It is the only way to overcome it. The more you practice smiling in photos and out in public, the more comfortable you will feel doing it. Soon enough, it will come naturally to you to smile in photos and you will look back and realize how far you have come by facing your fears.

Brush as much as you should:

Should you have poor teeth or gum health, it could be the reason that you are avoiding smiling. If so, then make sure to brush your teeth and gums as often as you should (at least twice a day) to maintain good oral health. Better oral health will encourage you to smile more and feel confident in doing so. If you can find time to brush after every meal, then you will be able to achieve optimal oral health.

You are never fully dressed without a smile! Use the tips above and soon you will be flashing your pearly whites all day. 🙂

Featured Image By: Anastasia Gepp from Pixabay

One Year Duolingo Streak!

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One Year Duolingo Streak!

Hi! This has been a year of very exciting milestones for yours truly. I recently achieved a 1,000 day streak of writing in a row on lifewithlilred and, today, I have reached one full year of daily practice on Duolingo! Every day, I have been working on my French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, and German and I am amazed at the progress that I have made in all of them. If you can’t tell, I am a woman who thrives with a routine and it is so exciting to see my hard work continue to pay off.

Because I have six years of experience of being taught French in high school and college, it will always be my best language in terms of speaking, reading, and comprehension. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure how speaking my other four languages would go because I haven’t had the opportunity to interact with anyone who speaks them – especially in COVID times because Johnny and I haven’t been able to travel for our honeymoon like we wanted.

That’s not to say that I haven’t noticed big improvements, though. I am always tickled when Johnny and I are watching a TV show or movie and one of my five languages is being spoken. More often than not, I can get the basic gist of what is being said and it makes me feel very proud of myself. Now, the next challenge will be figuring out which language to start learning next!

For the longest time, I have answered the “What would your super power be?” question with being fluent in every language. It has been a time consuming task to achieve this without being bitten by a radioactive spider but learning on Duolingo every day brings me one step closer to that dream. 🙂

Which language should I learn next? Which languages can you speak? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Off Ice Work Out OOTD

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Off Ice Work Out OOTD

Hi! In my youth, I figure skated competitively for about ten years and after calling it quits, I still loved going skating just for fun. Prior to the pandemic, I got back into having regular lessons again with my childhood coach and lived for my weekly skate sessions. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to skate for the past year and a half because of my job as I work with such high risk people.

I am so happy to say that this weekend, I will have my first skating lesson since the start of the pandemic and I can’t wait! To keep myself in skating mode, I have been doing off ice work outs so I don’t lose my edge. This past weekend during my exercise routine, I was able to sport the most amazing pair of shorts I have ever owned by Elite Sports and Born Tough. Take a look at some pics from my Off Ice Work Out OOTD and let’s discuss:

Who? What? Wear?

Working out in my small apartment can be pretty difficult because my husband and I don’t have a lot of free space. To remedy this, I cleared out a corner in my home office so I can continue on with my push up regimen and off ice training. Without the luxury of a home gym, it’s all about working with what I have and, let me tell you, moving my chaise lounge and all of my odds and ends in the office was a work out in itself!

When it comes to figure skating, it isn’t just about training on ice but off ice too. Every week, I try to set aside some time to work on my jumps, spins, and foot work on solid ground. I also really enjoy practicing in my friend’s pool or the one in my apartment community for some added resistance. While this is nowhere near as fun as being on the ice, I am proud of myself for keeping up with this routine and I know it will only help to make me an even better skater.

No work out is complete without the right clothes, of course, and that is why I am so in love with my new shorts by Born Tough. Not only do they look super cool with the visible compression layer but they feel it too as they are so lightweight. Breathable clothing for working out is an absolute must and it is especially important in my apartment because my air conditioning unit in the upstairs loft works minimally, at best. I am definitely looking forward to the cooler weather so I am not working out in my own personal sauna!  

Whether you’re working out at home, in the gym, or on the ice give it your all and put your best face forward. And, as always, put your best outfit forward too with the awesome athletic clothing from Born Tough!

Do you play any sports? What is your work out routine like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Force Of Habit

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A Force Of Habit

Hello! In case you haven’t realized by now, I am the type of gal who loves organizing, planning, check lists, and schedules. I thrive on structure. Meanwhile, Johnny is definitely more spontaneous so the combination balances out nicely! I run two businesses, which means that my days need to run like a fine tuned machine so that I can get everything done with time to relax in the evening.

While it takes an average of sixty-six days for a person to form a new habit, it probably takes me a week or less because I take a lot of pleasure in penciling things into my schedule. There is also nothing better than a super long streak of doing something daily! There are a handful of habits that I have formed that I truly don’t think I could live without now. In fact, it pains me to think of not doing the following every day:

Skin Care Routine:

My days start and end with a skin care routine that I have customized to best fit my skin type. With the stresses that sometimes come with being self employed, self care is extremely important to me. Sometimes, this takes form in trying out a new face mask but it mostly means using products on my face and body that make me feel good. This includes using a delicious smelling body wash from Bath & Body Works, a refreshing gel moisturizer, Vitamin C serum, and body lotion every day.

Writing:

Once I have completed my morning hygiene routine, it is time to write! My fast approaching 1,000 post streak of daily writing would probably not be possible if I didn’t get up extra early every day to complete this task before I need to leave for work. While I always enjoy adding new things to my schedule, I like checking them off of my mental to do list even more! I feel amazing every time I finish a new blog post and my countdown gets one day closer to 1,000.

Practice Learning Languages:

Other than reading, learning new languages is one of my favorite hobbies. I am currently on a three hundred day streak on Duolingo for practicing French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech every day. Whenever I get asked what I would want my super power to be if I had one, I always reply with being fluent in every language in the world. Unfortunately, I am not going to get bit by a super learned spider for this to happen automatically so I try to do it myself. It makes me proud to learn new words and phrases every day and I have made an insane amount of progress from practicing these five different languages daily.

Push Ups:

When Johnny and I first started dating almost two years ago, we were hit head on by a car. It was so scary and I actually ended up being hospitalized for injuries to my cervical spine. I was left with a lot of nerve damage in my upper body from the accident, which resulted in my arms and torso becoming weaker than it already was!

To help ease the nerve pain that I was experiencing at the end of every day, I began to do push ups to tone and strengthen my upper body several months ago. I started out with only doing twenty-five, which was really hard. However, I graduated to now doing fifty! If I’m feeling saucy, I sometimes do fifty more. These daily mini workouts have made a noticeable improvement in the upper body pain that I have to deal with and I am excited to continue increasing how many push ups I do. 🙂

All of the above have become a true force of habit for me and my day would not feel complete without doing them. Here’s to continuing to check all of them off my mental to do list every day!

What is something your day wouldn’t be complete without? How long does it take for something to become a habit for you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Rest Of Summer Goals

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Rest Of Summer Goals

Hi! Can you believe we are already in August? I feel like July flew by! When the month of August arrives, I always feel like summer is about to be over when, in reality, we still have a good month and a half left. There is still much I want to do in that time, including the following:

Let’s Go To The Movies:

The first movie I saw in theaters since several months prior to the start of the pandemic was Demon Slayer The Movie and it was excellent. Sadly, I haven’t been to a movie since seeing it in May and that definitely needs to change. When Johnny and I first started dating, we were always going on dates to the movies and there is plenty to pick from this summer – especially if you’re a horror fan like us. I am dying to see A Quiet Place 2, The Conjuring 3, and Don’t Breathe 2. A few weeks ago, Johnny and I watched Don’t Breathe because he had never seen it and it is just in time for the sequel’s release later this month. 😀

Fun In The Sun:

I love being able to use the pool at my apartment community and, despite making an effort to go weekly, it still doesn’t feel like enough! There is nothing better than taking a dip on a hot summer day and I just know I will regret not using the pool more often once it closes for the year. To remedy this, I plan on visiting the pool at least two times a week so I can make up for lost time when it wasn’t open last year.

More Pictures, Please:

One of my favorite types of posts to create for lifewithlilred are Outfit Of The Days. It is so much fun to me to style outfits, come up with an idea for a photo shoot, and selecting the perfect pics for my blog. It’s basically just me pretending to be on America’s Next Top Model and I live for it lol. It would be a shame to not take advantage of the beautiful weather and shoot some more summer looks so I am hoping to do another handful of photo shoots before the weather turns. Then, keep it posted for my all time favorite: FALL FASHION!!!

Every Day I’m Hustlin’:

I am on the verge of a 1,000 day writing streak on WordPress and am quickly approaching a year in a row of practicing five languages on Duolingo. I am incredibly proud of this and won’t stop even after I have reached these landmark achievements. It is so exciting to get one step closer to my goals every day and who knows? We just might have to do a 1,000th post extravaganza on lifewithlilred with a giveaway! What do you think? 🙂

Here’s to sunny days and lots of fun for all this August!!

What are your goals for the rest of the summer? Do you have any exciting plans? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Learning A New Hobby? Remember These Tips!

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Learning A New Hobby? Remember These Tips!

When bringing a new practice, hobby, or discipline into our lives, we can often go through the ‘honeymoon period’ where everything seems awesome and we’re excited to learn more and more. Of course, many of us find that starting out can sometimes be quite difficult, especially when we meet a challenge we’re not prepared to deal with, or if we have a long period of training that seems to be progressing slowly.

But that’s fine, after all, Rome isn’t built in a day, and we can’t expect to be perfect at our new practice within the span of a week. For that reason, it’s important to be prepared for this process and, instead, focus on what matters – setting up your passion as properly as we can. This can prevent us from getting bored and moving onto the next new thing, which often leaves us with endless practices that have been given up on which you might come to regret later.

If you’re getting into a new hobby or practice, focus on these three efforts to keep yourself grounded, too:

Keep Cultivating Your Inspiration:

Keep cultivating your inspiration if you can. It really does make a difference in the long run. For example, when hoping to play guitar, you might focus on listening to the great acoustic players such as Don Ross or Anton Dufour. This way, you can more easily feel a sense of kinship with the beauty of your craft, have an ideal to work towards, and more easily shrug off the difficulties on the journey to competence.

Focus On Your Possible Route Forward:

Focusing on your possible route forward can help you more readily stage your learning and practice habits. It’s better to give yourself a set amount of time to practice each day and set mini-goals for yourself rather than try to take too much on at once. This helps you to enjoy the process of learning rather than forcing yourself to become an expert at once and, unfortunately, too many people choose this latter option. Remember, the journey should be just as enjoyable as the destination.

Learn Practical Skills:

It’s good to focus on the actual craft of a hobby or skill rather than the simple image it provides. Of course, you don’t have to be absolutely perfect at learning perspective in order to paint well and to enjoy yourself doing it, but you will gain a lot from the practice, and learning techniques is fun in itself! You might spend time learning how to read piano sheet music in order to learn more quickly and benefit from this highly practical skill, richly rewarding your practice sessions and lessons from then on.

With this advice, we hope that you can get into learning and perfecting your new hobby with confidence. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Natural Ways For A Man To Keep Fit

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Natural Ways For A Man To Keep Fit

For natural ways to keep fit, there is nothing like a run in the country. However, the weather is not always that kind to us, neither is the time that we have when we have busy working lives that involve earning a living to support ourselves. So, we look to ways that are less time consuming to keep fit. In other words, exercises that can be done that do not take us too far away from home.

This could mean attending a local gym or making our home the gym. The exercises in a gym are still natural because they involve the natural movements of the body. All we are doing is recreating the same movements as if we were running, using an oar, or climbing a rock face. Then, to assist further in these activities, some people like to use a natural testosterone booster to enhance their workouts. These are healthy supplements which you can take that complement and improve our performance with activities.

This article will consider some of these gym exercises that we can do in conjunction with taking natural boosters to decide how they relate to actual activities:

Treadmill:

The treadmill is a popular piece of gym equipment because it replicates the action of running. Also, it can replicate, by changing its angle, the gradient, so it recreates the exertion required to run up a mountainside. Apart from being a cardio workout machine, the treadmill will also help you to lose weight. So, perfect for a healthy heart and profile. For more information on running machines, click here.

Rowing:

A rowing machine will provide the same activity as if rowing in a boat down the river. It is an exercise that will increase both stamina and fitness. Rowing machines can benefit a range of muscle groups, keeping them well balanced and strong. Regular rowing will also strengthen the shoulders, back muscles, and the arms. In addition, rowing will be good for your hamstrings and glutes. It is a muscle strengthening activity as much as it will tone core muscles.

As a very physical activity, rowing is also good for pumping the blood around the body and, therefore, promoting a healthy heart. Exercise is only of benefit when it involves much exertion and rowing can certainly be said to achieve that.

Dumbbells:

Lifting weights can be the same as doing a physical job that involves carrying heavy weights. Repetitions of the same activity, that is lifting the dumbbells, will strengthen and tone the muscles in the arms. The advantage of dumbbells is that you can have different weights and build up from light to heavy. In fact, this is recommended. Another benefit of dumbbells is that they are more portable than other pieces of gym equipment and would not take up so much room in your house.

In summary, there are three types of gym equipment that can keep our body functioning to its peak and help with muscle development and strengthening. In addition, there are health supplements that can be taken to aid these activities and muscle development. For instance, boron will develop and strengthen the muscles that we need for these activities in the first place, and then assist our body in carrying them out. Sports nutrition is a growing industry and anyone from any walk of life can obtain products to help with fitness and improve their body’s performance and health.

Featured Image By: Maksim Romashkin from Pexels

Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

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Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

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

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

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

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

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

Pandemic Worthy New Year’s Resolutions

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Pandemic Worthy New Year’s Resolutions

Hello! I, personally, never make New Year’s Resolutions. But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t help you come up with yours! I’m sure it feels difficult to set goals when leaving the house isn’t the best option so how about some ideas that you can accomplish from the comfort of home? Like the following:

Doing workout videos:

If losing weight is one of your goals, then there are a plethora of work out videos online that you can do from your living room. From yoga and Zumba to simple stretches, there is sure to be something that works for you. Maybe some of the trainers at your local gym even have classes recorded! Start with one or two classes a week and continue adding on from there once you feel ready. Hey, just one half hour class is an awesome achievement if it’s something you’re not used to. And Netflix isn’t going anywhere, I promise. 🙂

Caring for indoor plants:

If you want to improve on your green thumb, try caring for some indoor plants until it gets warm enough to garden outdoors. Not only will they beautify your space but they will help clean the air as well as give you something productive to do. Check out Pinterest and create a photo worthy succulent garden. Or grow some herbs indoors to use while you test out new recipes. It feels good to take care of a plant and help it grow and it will be exciting to track its progress every day.

Scheduled video chats:

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that family and friends do not get to see each other as often as before. If this is something that you have been down about, then pencil in scheduled video chats with those you miss. It is the next best thing to hanging out in real life and it feels nice to have something to look forward to marked in your calendar. I live for my FaceTime dates with my besties and this reminds me that I have to schedule some calls, myself!

Fostering/adopting a pet:

If you have always wanted a furry, scaley, or feathery friend to keep you company, then there is no better time than the present – especially if you are working from home. Do your research and visit a local animal shelter or rescue organization for your new best friend. If you are not ready for the full time commitment of a new pet, then fostering is also a great and much appreciated option.

If you love animals but cannot commit to having a pet, you can also help local shelters by providing old blankets or towels, food, and toys. Organize a community drive and help make a difference.

Work on a new/old hobby:

As always, the New Year is the best time to learn a new hobby or get reacquainted with an old one. Set aside a half hour every day or few days to work on a hobby that is fun for you. It’s impossible to be good at something overnight but the improvements that you will make with steady practice will help motivate you to keep working at it. Learn a new language, paint that picture from a tutorial, or try your hand at Photoshop. Practice makes perfect and by 2022 you will be amazed at how far you’ve come!

Get inspired with the tips above and carve out some time at home to begin working on your goals!

What are your resolutions for 2021? Have you been sticking to them so far? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Are You A Science Person?

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Are You A Science Person?

The power of narrative in our lives is quite extraordinary. For instance, have you ever heard somebody say that they’re not “a cat person?” On the face of it, it seems like they’re saying that they don’t like cats. But when you dig a little deeper, it turns out that they are trying to describe their minds to you. “Cat person” has all sorts of connotations that go well beyond traditional preferences.

The same goes for when people say that they’re “practical,” “analytical,” or “intellectual.” It’s more about their identity than any particular facts of the matter. But here’s an annoying truth: we’re all general-purpose thinking machines. A human can do an enormous variety of tasks, from change a nappy to write a symphony. And this suggests that we’re harder to typecast than we imagine.

It’s just not true, for instance, to say that certain people are “social people” or “spiritual people”. We all have these capacities so long as we allow ourselves to access them. Let’s take a look at another example:

Are you a science person?

Nowhere is this mode of thinking more evident than when people talk about the type of academic they are. From an early age, students get the sense that they are “artistic” or “scientific,” and then they tend to run with it for the rest of their lives.

How many times have you heard people say, “I was never good at science at school”? Usually, this isn’t just a statement of fact, but also one of mind. The person saying it genuinely believes that there is some defect in their brain that gets in the way of their understanding of the material, preventing them from ever exploring it fully.

There’s probably no fundamental reason why they couldn’t complete a master of science in engineering management or a foundational physics degree. It’s just that they have this belief that they can’t. It becomes a part of their identity.

These kinds of thoughts are painfully self-limiting. People who engage in them are denying themselves valuable experiences and education that they could have. For instance, learning about engineering could provide them with the skills to figure out whether a project is viable or not. Learning chemistry and biology could help you with environmental projects, like changing single-use plastics to biodegradable SciQuip gloves. Knowing about mathematics could allow them to understand scientific papers or other insights from the academic literature and so on and so forth.

Typecasting people is generally a bad idea. But doing it to yourself is arguably worse because you’re placing arbitrary limits on what you can do. If you don’t believe you can do science, you’ll never get into the science field, and you’ll never get to experience that aspect of life. And that’s a shame.

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Perhaps there are brain differences between people who are great at science and those who aren’t. Maybe Einstein really did have more grey matter between his ears to solve complex problems than the rest of us. But that doesn’t mean that the science parts of your mind are somehow atrophied compared to the norm. Just like everything in life, doing great science requires practice.

Featured Image By: Pexels