Tag Archives: proud

Is It Worth It? Let Me Work Out Pt. 2

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Is It Worth It? Let Me Work Out Pt. 2

Hi! Last month, I posted about how I began doing a small daily work out to strengthen my upper body and thought I would do a follow up on my gains. When it comes to upper body strength, let’s just say that it would qualify under “needs improvement” my entire life because I have little to none, lol. This was further exasperated by the nerve damage in my arms from a car accident that Johnny and I were in in September of 2019 which left me hospitalized with an injury to my cervical spine.

I have never been overly concerned with working out as I mentioned in my original post and I’m not sure what inspired me to start but I am glad that I did. In April, I began doing twenty-five push ups and arm circles every day. At first, the push ups were a bit much but I am proud to say that I can now do fifty in a row! I doubled where I started from and I feel awesome about that.

While I can’t say that I notice any physical differences in my upper body, my arms feel stronger. On a normal work day, my arms are completely aching by the time I go to bed because of the nerve damage. It can be incredibly painful and on a day when I am typing a lot, my arms are sometimes out of commission by the afternoon. Since starting my daily work out, I have noticed that the nerve pain in my arms has gone down considerably and I am really thankful for that. I also feel like I have so much more energy in the evening now because I am not struggling through intense pain to complete any tasks.

After Johnny and I got our second COVID vaccine, we were both hit hard by the side effects and I took a break from my work outs as I recovered. However, trust and believe that as soon as I felt better, I began my routine again. I am looking forward to seeing and feeling more gains in my upper body strength and I am proud of what I have accomplished already! 😀

What are some good upper body work outs? What is your favorite form of exercise? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Vaccine Team Pt. 2

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Vaccine Team Pt. 2

Hi! I am so pleased to announce that as of April 29th, Johnny and I are fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine. When we got our first shot, we drove to the location in white out snow conditions and this time around, it was like driving in a monsoon! Rain, snow, and hail were not going to stop us from getting vaccinated and I am very thankful that we made it to both appointments safe and sound.

Similar to when we got our first shot, Johnny and I were in and out in about a half hour and were feeling good for most of the evening. Then, five or so hours later, we both took a turn for the worst with really sore arms, headaches, and what felt like a fever for me and chills for Johnny. We were SO miserable that night and the following day and we both just couldn’t get any relief. There was, honestly, a part when I started crying because everything hurt so bad.

Johnny had to keep reminding us both that what we were experiencing was better than getting COVID and while that didn’t make me feel any better at the time, he is most certainly right. Being fully vaccinated despite all of the aches, pains, and restless nights makes it all one hundred million percent worth it.

Although the second vaccine shot was no joke whatsoever, I still highly encourage everyone to get themselves scheduled for their vaccination. I feel so happy and proud to do my part to keep my loved ones and complete strangers safe and am incredibly thankful to begin feeling safer around others and have people feel protected around me too. Please join me and Johnny on the Vaccine Team!

What was your COVID vaccine experience like? Which side effects did you have? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

175 Day Duolingo Streak!

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175 Day Duolingo Streak!

Hello! The last time I gave an update on my Duolingo progress, I had just achieved a one hundred day streak and I finally received my badge for adding seventy-five more days to it. I am so pleased with my progress and am proud of myself for continuing to practice five different languages every day for close to half a year. I am leaving previous goals in the dust and I feel like my skills in French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech are improving tenfold.

Thanks to Johnny gifting me Duolingo Plus for Christmas, practicing every day has become an exciting thing rather than an inconvenience because Plus gives you unlimited life. This is so handy on especially tough lessons and I don’t think I would have made it to a one hundred seventy-five day streak without it. I will most definitely be renewing my Plus subscription at the end of the year and highly recommend it.

Other than writing, learning languages is my favorite hobby and I feel good about committing myself even more to it. Similarly to how I feel after I finish a blog post for the day, I feel accomplished every time I complete my language lessons and it has really helped me shake away the pandemic boredom blahs. It’s hard to feel like there is “nothing” to do when I can go on Duolingo and learn brand new words and phrases in multiple different languages!

While I am over the moon with my one seventy-five day streak, I am nowhere close to being done yet because I will not be satisfied until I have a full year’s worth of days on my streak counter. I am almost halfway there and cannot wait to see the results of my hard work after one full year of practicing five languages. Great success!

Have you made progress on your pandemic hobbies? What is your favorite hobby? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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