Tag Archives: social distance

COVID Precautions I’ll Be Keeping

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COVID Precautions I’ll Be Keeping

Hello! We are all eager for the COVID-19 pandemic to be over and done with and while there is a huge light at the end of the tunnel, we still have a ways to go. It is exciting to think of what our lives will be like after the pandemic but it is important to not throw caution to the wind and act haphazardly with the health of yourself and those around you. I, for one, plan on keeping these precautions in place post pandemic:

Masking Up:

Thinking back to pre-pandemic times, it’s hard to understand why you wouldn’t wear a face mask if you aren’t feeling well and need to be out in public. I have always been good about staying home if I am feeling under the weather but I will continue to be keeping face masks handy in case I need to go to the doctor or the pharmacy. I also plan on wearing face masks even after the mandate is lifted in crowded areas like grocery stores and shopping centers. You can just never be too safe after living through a global pandemic!

Social Distancing:

I don’t know about you guys but I actually love the social distancing in public. I value my personal space and it has been nice to not have people all up in my business while running errands. Protecting my personal bubble while I am out and about will continue to be a priority for me because it really has made me feel so much more comfortable while in public.

Contact Free Grocery Shopping:

A few months ago, Johnny and I began doing contact free grocery shopping to help limit our exposure and have both agreed that we could never go back to doing in store shopping again. At our local grocery store, Giant Eagle, the curbside grocery pickup is free and incredibly convenient. Our shopping gets delivered right to the car by an employee and it has completely changed our grocery game. The curbside pickup has been an option at Giant Eagle even before the pandemic began and we will definitely keep on making the most of it.

Mental Health Breaks:

Working in the care field during a pandemic has easily been one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to do and my mental health was really suffering. I have to take care of myself, first and foremost, before I can adequately provide care for others and began being more lenient with myself about taking a day off every once in a while. My mental health breaks allowed me to chill out in the safety of my home and regroup and I would return back to work feeling refreshed and capable.

Post-pandemic, I am going to be much better about listening to my body and what it needs and if that means a day off to get myself together, then that is okay. It is really hard for me to take time away from my clients because I miss them so much even if it is just one day but occasional mental health breaks will allow for me to be the best provider I can for them and it is well worth it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been insane, for lack of a better word. However, it taught me a lot of best practices that I plan on using long term to better protect myself, loved ones, and strangers. ❤

Which COVID precautions do you plan on keeping? What are you most looking forward to post pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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

Warm Weather Projects For Your Property

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Warm Weather Projects For Your Property

There’s just something about the combination of spring cleaning and the improved weather that turns the “curl up and relax” mentality of winter completely on its head. When the sun comes out, it puts a renewed pep in our step and I’m sure many of us have been thinking about home improvement projects both big and small that can be worked on during the warm weather.

If you’re experiencing the “get up and go” attitude of spring but nothing immediately comes to mind, consider the following projects:

Windows & Doors:

Replacing old windows and doors will give a welcome facelift to both the interior and exterior of your home. A bold front door is a must and if you get new replacement windows, then it is all the better to let the sunshine in with. New windows and doors are also an instant curb appeal booster so it will raise your property value! If you’d like to take this idea one step further, you could even turn one of the rooms into a sun room with floor length windows. A bright, sunny room will be a nice change of pace after the darkness of winter.

Backyard Fun:

It’s safe to say that absolutely everyone will be outside as often as they can in the warm weather so make sure your backyard is well equipped. This could mean arranging a patio area or a deck for social distanced hang outs or preparing your barbecue pit for the season. If you enjoy woodworking you might want to try your hand at making and decorating cornhole boards for tournaments. Don’t forget a net for volleyball and badminton!

Of course, if you want your backyard to be the ultimate place to hang out this summer, you will want it to look its best. Flowers, gardens, soft green grass to play on, and solar lights and other decor are all great places to start. Remember, a well kept outer property will only help boost your curb appeal so don’t be afraid to go all out with your gardening.

Nature Window:

Creating a nature window ties the two ideas above together for an activity you can enjoy inside. Outside of a large window place bird feeders, baths, and houses, hummingbird and butterfly feeders, butterfly bushes, and insect condos. Basically, anything that will help attract local wildlife. You will have the perfect view of all of the birds flying in and out and all from the comfort of the air conditioning! Not to mention that all of the animals will thank you. 🙂

Don’t let your get up and go energy get up and leave! Try out some of the projects above to welcome back the warm weather.

Whole Lotta Nothing

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Whole Lotta Nothing

Hi everyone!! Valentine’s Day has come and past and, now, I am eagerly awaiting the warm weather and (hopefully) lack of snow that comes with the spring time. It is exciting to think of the possibilities that come with spring amidst the COVID-19 pandemic because warmer weather means the opportunity to social distance with friends outside. Unfortunately, we are not quite there yet as Ohio has been getting hit with a fair amount of snow, which means a few more months of a whole lotta nothing.

Johnny and I will have been hunkered down for an entire year on March 19th and we will continue doing so until it’s considered safe. However, I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t getting a little impatient waiting for it! The excitement of the holiday season has been long gone and, while it has been nice hibernating, it will be even nicer to enjoy the sunshine and see people in person (while following all safety regulations) as opposed to on the screen of my laptop.

Despite having a whole lotta nothing going on, I still feel insanely lucky because boring is good right now. Being tucked safely into the apartment with Johnny watching our shows, listening to music, or playing games is the best thing that we can both be doing for ourselves and loved ones and I am proud of our dedication for the past year. The pandemic is a scary thing but knowing that we are both doing everything we can to protect people is really comforting to me.

If the cabin fever is starting to kick in more intensely for you in your lock down lifestyle, I get it completely. But, in a few short weeks, the sun will be shining and being outdoors with friends will be possible and I encourage all of you to keep holding on until then! Being able to say that you’re doing a whole lotta nothing during a pandemic is something to be grateful for, no matter how boring it is. Sink into the couch, start that new series on Netflix, and let the countdown till spring and better times begin!

What is your lock down lifestyle like? What are you looking forward to come spring? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red COVID-19 PSA

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Lil Red COVID-19 PSA

Howdy!! Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still causing a lot of grief for everyone. Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take to better protect yourselves and your loved ones. Like some of the following:

Mask Up:

Whether you’re rocking a surgical mask or a homemade cloth one, it is so important to wear a mask if you are out in public. Yes, some people find them uncomfortable. But, you know what’s more uncomfortable? People getting sick and dying. Wearing a mask is a sign of respect to those around you, for yourself, and for your loved ones. It is the absolute least we can all do.

Social Distance:

If you are out in public, be sure to follow proper social distancing protocols by standing at least six feet apart from those around you. Many stores have handy markers on the ground to help keep everyone the appropriate space apart. Be aware of them, use them, and don’t be that person who is up in everyone’s space despite the PANDEMIC going on. Also, while in public, make sure you are using Purell or your preferred brand of hand sanitizer often.

Just Stay In:

As someone who works with very high risk people, I have been hunkered down since March to better protect myself and my clients. Would it be nice to continue to go here, there, and everywhere as if things were normal right now? Yes. But things aren’t normal right now and most outings like restaurants, bars, or large get togethers are completely unnecessary.

Order take out, have a wine night at home, or Zoom everybody in for a hang sesh in the evening. It has been so difficult for me to give things up that I love like ice skating weekly, seeing my friends, and in store shopping trips. However, I value everyone’s health and safety far more than all of my favorite activities combined.

If You’re Bored…

And, if you’re super bored, you are always welcome here on lifewithlilred as a guest blogger! Fill up some ample free time by emailing me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com and we can arrange for you to be my featured blogger of the day. The best part? lifewithlilred is about creating a family in the blogosphere and all of my previous guest bloggers will always have a home on my page when they want to have their work featured again. Stay in for an afternoon and become part of my ever growing blogging family! ❤

How do you stay safe in COVID times? What is something that you miss doing the most? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

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Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

Hello!! Normally, the holiday season is an uber exciting time to get together with the people you love most and celebrate. However, with COVID-19 still on the up and up, these next few holidays might feel more daunting than anything. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be different this year but different doesn’t mean bad so try getting more into the holiday spirit with these ideas:

Host A Food Drive:

It’s nice to remember how fortunate we are during the holiday season but it’s even better to think about those who have less than you. So, how about hosting a food drive with your friend group or family? Choose some of your local food banks or homeless shelters to help support and see how big your donation haul can get. Offer a small reward to the person who collected the most goods and turn a collection drive into a yearly tradition.

Mystery Gifts:

Due to COVID, it is much easier and safer to online shop for holiday gifts instead of going into the store. A fun way to recognize this would be to send mystery gifts to your friends or family. No names, no cards – just a Zoom meeting after all of the gifts are received to see if anyone can guess who sent them theirs. Set your own rules like a spending limit or if hints can be given and see how well all of you know each other by sending off surprise gifts!

Arts & Crafts:

Having an abundance of time at home is perfect for trying your hand at some holiday themed crafts. Whether that be creating hand print turkeys with your little ones or having a boozy Christmas ornament decorating sesh with the girls, a craft night is a perfect way to get together and try something new. Have a Zoom meeting all together or social distance appropriately and, who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite hobby.

Countdown Memories:

Sadly, a lot of families will not be able to get together this holiday season and that sucks – for lack of a better word. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in one of the most loved holiday activities – reminiscing on holidays of past. Create a slideshow or presentation of your top holiday memories complete with pictures, videos, or goofy memes to help better describe your favorite times. Send them off to those you hold dear and enjoy hearing about everyone else’s most treasured holiday memories.

Sponsor A Family:

The holiday season should, ideally, be a magical time for everyone but, unfortunately, that is not the case. If there is a family in your community that you know is struggling, lend a helping hand. Leave a surprise donation of toys, gift cards, food, and anything else that you think they would need to better enjoy their day. You might be able to make it the best holiday yet for someone who needs it the most.

How do you get into the holiday spirit? What are some of your favorite holiday memories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Social Distanced Halloween Fun

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Social Distanced Halloween Fun

Hi! One of my favorite times of the year is Halloween. I love the spooky atmosphere, the weather, and all of the promises of scary fun activities. The best part of Halloween for me, though? Haunted houses, of course! I told Johnny I wanted to go to a new one every year and he was game, however, with COVID it will be impossible to attend one this year.

After making the disheartening discovery of no haunted houses, I just had to start brainstorming for new ways to enjoy the Halloween season safely. I came up with the following:

Pumpkin Patches:

Going to a pumpkin patch and picking out the perfect pumpkins to decorate, carve, or paint is something that can easily be done social distanced style. Many pumpkin patches often have other attractions like hay rides, corn mazes, petting zoos, and specialty shops to participate in too.

Making an afternoon at the pumpkin patch and then going home to get your jack-o-lantern on sounds like a great way to spend a weekend day. Get creative and competitive and see who in your friend group can carve the best pumpkin!

Apple Orchards:

I freaking LOVE going apple picking, as does my entire family, so I am sure we will end up at an apple orchard this fall. My favorite one in Ohio also doubles as an ice cream parlor as well as a novelty shop with all apple everything. There is nothing better than filling up a bagful of crisp apples and grabbing a dish of ice cream as a treat. And, can you say social distanced?!

At Home Trick Or Treat:

Trick or treating is probably the last thing on everyone’s mind right now but the little ones love it. Dress up as a family and hide candies all around your house and yard. Dim the lights for some added spookiness and give hints and clues as necessary. Wrap up the activity with a fun Halloween movie like Casper or Hocus Pocus and have a piece of candy… or ten. 😉

Scary Movie Marathon:

Johnny and I have already decided that a scary movie marathon is how we are going to celebrate Halloween. We will be watching everything from the classics and foreign films to our present day favorites. I plan on having caramel apples (My favorite!), candy, and popcorn handy. I also would like to make some spiked apple cider with salted caramel vodka for a delicious hot or cold drink to sip on. Yum!

Halloween is definitely not going to be the same this year but it can still be fun! Use the ideas above to help get you started. 🙂

What is your favorite Halloween activity? How do you plan on safely celebrating? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Change Of Scenery

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A Change Of Scenery

Hello! As you all know from yesterday’s post, Johnny and I went on our first date this past weekend since the beginning of all of this COVID business. It was insanely refreshing, to say the least, and we are both eager to get out and about a bit more under circumstances that we are comfortable with. We really did have the best time and the only thing that was different was that we were sitting outside with our drinks instead of in the bar – and social distanced from our friends, of course.

Although our excursion was edited slightly to fit the current times, it just felt good to get out of the house! If you are itching for a change of scenery, why not try the following:

Picnics:

In Ohio, downtown Kent has a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) where you can enjoy food and drinks on spread apart picnic benches. This is how Johnny spent our date night out and we loved it! It was so nice to be in a downtown area and seeing so many people who we’ve been missing since March.

If your neck of the woods doesn’t have a DORA program, pick your favorite Metro Park or even set up a blanket in your own backyard. Purchase take out or make your own meal, sit back, and enjoy the sunshine.

Hiking:

How about a trek through the woods to get you in some different scenery? One of my friends has a goal of hiking one hundred miles by October and he is well on his way to achieving it. If you prefer having company, there are plenty of local animal shelters with lots of dogs to walk along with you. Who knows, you might even end up adopting your new best friend!

Dinner Party:

The next time Johnny and I visit another couple who we are friends with in Kent, I plan on preparing dinner for us. Their house is one you can social distance at. Our apartment? Not so much because it’s so small! I’m bringing the ingredients and “borrowing” their kitchen and we will light a bonfire and eat outdoors. Johnny and I used to go on double dates with this couple often pre-COVID and it will be so fun to continue this tradition in a slightly altered way.

Fun & Games:

There are plenty of games that you can play all while being spread out from people. Video games, charades, Dungeons & Dragons, Bingo, and even silly story telling can all be part of a social distanced game night with your close friends or family. You could even have a paint night right from your own backyard! All it takes is a little creativity and I’m sure you can come up with plenty of social distanced activities, too.

Of course, things are not close to being “back to normal” yet. However, the last date night Johnny and I had was the most normal thing we’ve done in a while. Set up your safety plan so everyone feels comfortable and try out a change of scenery for yourself!

How do you safely see your friends in the COVID era? Where do you go when you need a change of scenery? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super Happy Fun Times

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Super Happy Fun Times

Hi! This past weekend, Johnny and I went on a date for the first time since March. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A date? You and Johnny barely leave the house!” Believe me, I would be thinking the exact same thing. But, thanks to a little something called DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area), Johnny and I were able to enjoy some drinks from our favorite bar in Kent while sitting outside in the park!

We spent two hours eating takeout from Taco Tantos and drinking Moscow Mules from the Zephyr and we did it all completely social distanced. Granted, it was a lot different than back in 2019 when we all had no problem being on the Zephyr’s back patio playing games and hanging out. However, what we did was the next best thing! Some of our Kent friends even stopped by for a chat, which was great because we haven’t really seen anyone since March, either.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem sitting in my living room with Johnny day drinking and watching The Last Kingdom. But, there is absolutely nothing better than getting dressed up and going out with my boyfriend. Sitting on that park bench in Kent laughing and taking selfies was one of the most joyous moments I’ve had in weeks and I am going to treasure it for forever. It brought me back to our first date almost one year ago and it was kind of magical.

The best part? Now that we know that the open container areas in Kent are something that we feel comfortable with, we can go on dates again whenever we want! As soon as Johnny brought our drinks to our bench, the first thing we both said was “this is so nice” and we are already looking forward to our next date very soon! ❤

How do you do social distance hang outs? Does your downtown area have a DORA program? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah