Tag Archives: proud

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

New Year’s Resolution Check In

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New Year’s Resolution Check In

Hello! We are already getting close to wrapping up the first month of 2021 and if you made New Year’s Resolutions, then now might be a good time to reflect on these past few weeks and see how you have been faring. Consider the following and make adjustments accordingly so you can achieve all of your goals this year:

How often are you working on your goal?

If you have been dedicated to working towards your goal several times a week, you might want to buff up the time you’re spending by an extra five to ten minutes. However, if you’re struggling to work on your goal during your set scheduled times – don’t fret! There is no need to be hard on yourself. Rather, make a schedule that you know you can accomplish and then add more time to it gradually. Remember, a resolution is supposed to last you until the next New Year so it’s important to not let yourself get discouraged or burned out.

Is your resolution something you want to do?

It’s all well and good to say resolutions that sound well and good like losing weight or taking a class for your own enrichment. But, if you’re not one hundred percent dedicated to what you’re saying, then what’s the point? If there is something that you’d like to accomplish but it doesn’t fit in with a traditional New Year’s resolution, then it’s time to change things up while it’s still early in 2021.

Think carefully about all of the goals you have in the back of your mind, big or small. You are sure to feel an “Aha!” sensation about something and that means you are on the right track. And, don’t let anyone else’s goals intimidate you because resolutions are about bettering yourself. Start small and work your way up to big moves.

Are you feeling different?

Achieving goals feels awesome and if you’ve been steadily working on your resolutions, then you might already be feeling the benefits of small gains. Feeling discouraged is a totally different story, though, and that’s the polar opposite of what making New Year’s resolutions is all about. It’s impossible to start something new and be an instant expert because good things take time. If you’re feeling a little glum, take a break for a day or two and come back to your goals with a clearer head so you don’t completely turn yourself off to the process. Everyone needs time to relax and, if that’s the case for you, then it is one hundred and fifty million percent okay.

January has been flying by and that can make New Year’s Resolutions feel even more intimidating. I hope everyone is making huge wins in their goals and I, for one, am very proud of all of your successes big or small. Keep your chin up no matter where you’re at in achieving your resolutions and you are sure to accomplish everything you set your mind to! ❤

What is one of your New Year’s resolutions? How are you faring so far? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Things That Keep Me Sane

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3 Things That Keep Me Sane

Hello! Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnny and I have essentially just been in our apartment other than work and groceries. No one is saying that it is not monotonous AF but it is for the best and we will continue doing our part in keeping ourselves and loved ones safe. With continuous days at home, it can be hard to work up the motivation to do much of anything. But, setting goals has always helped me move forward with what I want to accomplish and completing these three tasks every day has kept me from going totally stir crazy:

Writing Every Morning:

Whether it be on a work day or the weekend, as soon as I take my morning shower and ready myself for the day, I sit at the computer and prepare a scheduled post to publish. I never thought that I would be able to keep daily content coming when there is literally nothing to do. I have surprised myself and think that I am even better at my craft now because I have learned to draw inspiration from all of the little things that now make up my day.

I feel a great sense of accomplishment every time I complete a post during this pandemic because it really can be difficult. However, lifewithlilred has been dedicated to creating daily content for the past several years and not even COVID-19 can stop that! Starting my morning off with a goal already checked off of my to do list makes me feel ready to take on the rest of the day and keeps me motivated to do it again tomorrow.

Practice Languages:

One of my favorite hobbies is learning new languages and every day I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech on Duolingo. In fact, I am on an over eighty day streak of daily practicing and I have never even come close to that before. This Christmas, Johnny got me Duolingo Plus to help me continue practicing my languages in a more efficient way and it has been awesome. No adds and unlimited hearts, baby!

I like to set aside at least an hour every day to work on learning new languages and I feel proud of the huge steps that I have taken in each one that I practice. I definitely feel like I have gotten better in all of them – particularly German and Czech and I never thought that would happen! I feel excited to learn more each day and I can’t wait to get to a one hundred day streak!

Read:

The last thing that I like to do every day is read. I have always been an avid reader and I enjoy it even more now because I feel like I can escape my apartment and join the characters from the book in their world. I try to read at least thirty to forty pages plus in whatever book I am working on each day. I love the feeling of excitement I get every time I crack a book open because I know I am going to be transported on an adventure. However, I love the sense of accomplishment I feel after finishing a book and starting a new one even more. 😀

I am currently reading a delightful book called Miss Benson’s Beetle by one of my favorite authors, Rachel Joyce. It has been a nice palette cleanser from the psychological thrillers that I have been reading so definitely be on the lookout for a Lil Red’s Book Club review of it soon!

Once I complete these three tasks every day, I give myself permission to play all of the video games or watch all of the Netflix that I want. Hey, everyone deserves a treat after accomplishing their daily goals, right? 🙂

Do you set daily goals for yourself? Have you improved on one of your hobbies during the pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Christmas Present Pride

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Christmas Present Pride

Hello!!! This year sucked and I really wanted to spoil my Christmas giftees rotten because we have all diligently worked through these hardships together and I feel it was much deserved. I have so much fun picking out the perfect presents for the people on my list and was eager to get my Christmas shopping started all the way back in August! I love all of the gifts that I selected for everyone under the tree but I am particularly fond of a piece of decor I got for Johnny. I better be, because he hung it up as soon as he took it out of the box! Lol, check it out:

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My Johnny loves the Rolling Stones so much and we were actually going to see them this past June in Cleveland but the concert got cancelled due to COVID. I certainly hope that we can see the Rolling Stones in concert eventually, more for him than for me but it sure would be fun! For Christmas, I got Johnny a few shirts from his favorite online retailer, PHIX. But, when I saw this homemade neon sign on Amazon worthy of being in the coolest bar ever, I just couldn’t say no because I knew he would freaking love it.

I have been looking forward to giving Johnny his Christmas gifts since I purchased them and after we were done with our gift exchange, he could finally see why. I was so tickled that he wanted to find the perfect spot for his new decor immediately. We settled for in our living room but I can’t wait to get a bigger place soon so we can hang it up in a game room.

Hearing Johnny say how much he loved his gifts was a present in itself for me and I can’t look at the neon sign without smiling. The creator of the sign has a ton of really neat designs and I might just have to pick out a girly one for me too! 🙂

Do you have a favorite gift that you gave this year? Where do you find the most unique home decor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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!

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

There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

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There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

You know… I think the best ships are Auntships and yes I definitely made that up on the spot, lol. This past weekend, I had the absolute joy of watching my sweet niece Miss Valerie Jane. Val Gal is almost twenty months old and she is my sister, Kristen, and brother in law, Ramon’s, little girl. Valerie is honest to god my best friend and my life has been so much happier since she was born.

Despite having Blue’s Clues on in the background for the entire evening, Val and I had the best time playing, snacking, and enjoying a pajama party while her mom and dad were at work. Between her French lessons from her auntie, reading books, putting puzzles together, working on her flash cards, and cooking in her pretend kitchen we had a jam packed Saturday night!

I love being able to see Val’s happy and silly personality continue to develop every time I see her. I swear, she is always giggling, belly laughing, and on the move and I don’t know how her parents keep up with her. Especially considering that Kristen and Ramon have five pets, as well. Three dogs named Tydus, Winston, and Platinum and two cats called Mary and Gloria (All rescued). 🙂

I know I’m biased because Val is my niece but I am just so proud of her, Kristen, and Ramon because she’s legit the best kid on the planet. In fact, I tend to not like children that much to begin with but I wish I could see Valerie every day.

Being able to go to chez Kristen and Ramon’s for an evening and do nothing but make Val laugh hysterically from the “Where’s Val? I can’t find her anywhere” game was a high point of this entire year, lol. I was so tired after caring for a constantly on the move kiddo but all I have to do is think about our “auntie and me” time together and it never ceases to put a smile on my face.

Being an auntie to lil Valerie Jane is one of the best gifts I’ve ever had and I really do think the best ships are Auntships. ❤

Are you a proud aunt or uncle? Which TV shows are the kiddos in your life obsessed with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

lifewithlilred Domain Renewal!

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lifewithlilred Domain Renewal!

Hello!!! On August 21st, lifewithlilred’s domain of http://www.lifewithlilred.com has been renewed for its seventh year online. It feels like just yesterday when I started my blog and it’s hard to believe that it has already been going on for the better part of a decade. lifewithlilred originally started out as more of an online journal and ode to fashion and from such simple beginnings, I now have readers and friends in over one hundred and ninety different countries. Wow!

Since lifewithlilred’s conception, I have been writing every day. I get up early before work to get my blogging done and I can’t believe I still have stuff to talk about after all of this time! No one ever said blogging was easy and that is the truth – it takes a lot of dedication and perseverance to write Every. Single. Day. Luckily for me, such amazing friends tuning in makes this task a joy instead of a burden.

I want to thank literally everyone who has viewed lifewithlilred because all of you serve as my motivation to continue on with this blogging journey. So thank you all from the bottom of my heart and here’s to another lucky seven more years of lifewithlilred!! ❤

And, as a reminder, my blog is a safe place for everyone and if you are ever interested in guest blogging for me, then shoot me an email at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com 🙂

Breakfast Of Champions

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Breakfast Of Champions

*Trigger Warning: This post contains references to eating disorders.

Hellooo everyone! Eating “normally” has always been something that I’ve struggled with. From eating too much to not eating at all and a battle with bulimia, food turned into my best friend and worst enemy. I still struggle with occasional spurts of not wanting to eat or a strong desire to have a binge and purge sesh and do my damnedest to fight the urge. And, I have to say, I have been doing a great job and I am proud of that.

One thing that has helped me with my food related issues has been trying to create a normal schedule for myself of when to eat. And, for once, this includes breakfast – something that I would avoid until around May of this year when I was settled into my apartment. For some reason, there was nothing more satisfying to me than waking up in my own place, opening my refrigerator to examine the food that I bought by myself, and making something tasty to eat.

Now, mind you, it’s never like I’m making some super gourmet breakfast extravaganza. Rather, I usually opt for something easy like my favorites of eggie in a basket or a bagel with a sunny side up egg and a slice of cheese on it. I also will go for just eggs and toast or a bagel with cream cheese. As a vegetarian and not a vegan, I am very mindful of where my eggs come from and always choose the cage free/free roaming option and these are a staple you can find in my fridge more often than not along with bagels and a grainy loaf of bread.

Eating breakfast was never important to me until I started realizing the impact it had on my day. It made me drive to work without dreading it, I would feel satisfied but not bursting at the seams, and I wasn’t obsessively counting down the minutes until lunch. My attitude seemed to improve tenfold and by the time lunch rolled around, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to indulge in a huge meal.

Of course, I value my beauty sleep and don’t always have the time to cook something for myself in the morning. But, I like that I have made this positive and healthy change in my life and have been keeping up with it. And, guess what? Adding an extra meal didn’t effect my weight in any way shape or form, which was my main concern.

Living as an eating disorder survivor is a difficult thing, because it’s always going to be a nagging little thought in the back of your mind. Very much how it is with my self harm struggles. But, the harder I work at making healthy choices when it comes to food, the weaker those voices become. And, maybe some day, I won’t ever have to deal with them at all.

What do you like to eat for breakfast? How do you make healthy choices when it comes to food? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

NJOYing Myself

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NJOYing Myself

Helloooo everyone! So, it’s no secret that I love me a good cigarette. I have been a smoker for longer than I care to admit and I really had no intention of quitting any time soon. But, once I was introduced to the NJOY vape pen by one of my girlfriends, I decided to give it a try. Now, I’m well aware that vaping is not much better than good old fashioned cigarette smoking but, hey, it’s an improvement and I’ll take it! Check it out:

I have been using my NJOY for about three weeks now and haven’t had a cigarette since. I admit, the device in itself is pretty lame looking but it was only a dollar at the gas station and a pack of two liquid pods was ten bucks. I have enjoyed the watermelon and mint cartridges and, as opposed to smoking a whole cigarette, I can hit this once or twice and then go about my day.

It’s not like I was a pack a day smoker or anything, I had three maximum on a longer work day and none to one on a day off. But, my NJOY has saved me money and it’s nice to be able to do it anywhere without disturbing anyone or making the room or car smell smokey. I am also thankful that I’m not experiencing any of the withdrawal symptoms that I would get if I quit cold turkey right away. The last time I quit smoking, I gained weight, which is a really sensitive thing for me and it made me never want to quit again.

I don’t plan on using the NJOY for forever and I’m quite confident in being able to kick this habit, too. In fact, I’ve noticed that the longer I’ve had it, the less I’ve been using it throughout the day. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start and I’m happy with it!

How did you quit smoking? What is your favorite vape flavor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah