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Adulting Essentials

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Adulting Essentials
Hello everyone and TGIF! I hope all of you are having a fabulous day so far and have a bright and exciting weekend to look forward to. If there’s one thing that I know as a twenty-something, it’s that I constantly feel under-prepared. Everything up until the late teens and early twenties was great, right? A la-di-da world where the only thing that you needed to worry about was what to wear to school and your hours at your weekend job. Fast forward to the ripe age of 23. Freshly graduated from college, moving out of your dorm to your own apartment, and (sort of) ready to take on the world. This is basically what your teenage self has been dreaming about since forever. So why does it feel so stressful?!

The life of a twenty-something is a bumbling and haphazard mess 90% of the time. Job hunting, grad school, moving out of chez mom and dad. You’re stretched thin in all directions and all you want is some literal direction in your so called life. As the baby of the family, I’ve watched three older siblings do the growing up thing. And now, as the 23 year old baby of the family, I guess I have to do the whole growing up thing myself. Gross.

So what comes with growing up? A big girl job, your own place, squeezing some time in for fun between binge eating or binge studying – that all sounds about right. For a big girl job you’re armed with your education or experience. For having some fun, you have your high school or college BFFs to schedule a GNO with. But your own place? A place that you need to pay rent for, furnish, AND do your own laundry in? Well, you’re gonna need a few things:

1) Stationary: From calendars and notebooks to agendas and business cards, stationary is a total must. You know how the life of a twenty-something is a bumbling, haphazard mess 90% of the time? That, my dear readers, is what the planner is for. The calendar, the to do list, the agenda – whatever you call it, is a twenty-something essential. Doctors appointments? Job interview? Date night with the SO? Drinks with the girls? Yeah, there’s a planner for that. Hang your calendar with pride wherever you can see it and take a stab at sitting down with a glass of wine and organizing your week. You will be amazed at how your days will open up once you begin utilizing the free space that you have in between work till four and cardio at 7 on Monday and Wednesday.

2) The Perfect Mattress: The first thing that my sister did when she moved into her own apartment was buy herself a queen sized bed. Okay, girl. I see you. Now, I don’t usually say this, but she had the right idea. There is nothing better than tucking into bed with a good book and Enya on your iPod after a long day. Get comfy cozy in your boyfriend’s shirt, throw on an overnight face mask, and snuggle up on your new mattress compliments of Casper. Breathable, lush, plush, springy, and supportive, you’ll be traveling to the land of nod in no time as soon as you get curled up on the mattress of your dreams. Just make sure to put mattress shopping with Casper on your to do list before dozing off tonight! 😉

3) Business Casual Wardrobe: This isn’t necessarily an apartment essential as much as it is a life essential. I think that it is so important for twenty-somethings to begin investing in business casual wardrobe staples. Whether your ideal job setting is laid back or totally formal, you still need something to wear to the interview, right? Start supplying your closet with sharp, chic pieces that scream “boss lady” as soon as you walk in the door. I’m talking pencil skirts, crisp button downs, trench coats, blazers, cardigans, and a smart pair of trousers.

When I began shopping for my job with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (which is about as business cashe as it gets), I gradually began making an effort to instill a more professional feel into my wardrobe. I hit up stores like Loft and Express for clothes that were unquestionably cute, but still looked put together and work place appropriate. Look for simple, well tailored pieces and let your accessories or a funky patterned cardi showcase your personality. There is no rule stating that business casual means boring!

4) Culinary Cool: One of the things that comes with moving out is not having a delicious meal prepped for you every day by the rents. I, personally, am a firm believer that everyone should have a basic understanding of cooking and finding your way around a kitchen. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this mindset with me, so cooking on your own might be a rude awakening to burnt pizzas or blowing a fortune on takeout every night.

BUT IT’S OKAY!! I promise. I absolutely love cooking and baking and my golden rule is that if you can read, you can cook. Go to the library or bookstore, snag some cook books (even if it is Making Eggs For Dummies!), and practice. Hit up your local Aldi’s or Save A Lot for ingredients, follow the directions, and you’ll have a meal that you made all by yourself in no time. I swear that it is not as daunting as it might seem and, within time, you might find yourself actually enjoying your meal preparations in your kitchen.

But, of course, you can’t cook without the proper tools. You don’t need to go overboard, but do invest in some quality but not too costly gear to help you out. Spatulas, measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowls, and a sheet pan for your pizza rolls will go a long way. And, like any well stocked arsenal, it doesn’t become that way over night. Pick up odds and ends for your kitchen every so often when you’re out and about and you’ll have all of the necessities before you know it.

5) TREAT YOSELF: Adulting can sometimes really suck. Like a lot. Believe me, I get it. Full time job, college, bills? It’s like a whirlwind of misery. That is why I am all about incorporating a TREAT YOSELF attitude into my adult lifestyle. Seriously. Get out, have some fun, and let the destressing begin. This can range from going out to get your nails done after a long week in the office to buying that sassy dress from Target because it hugged your curves in all of the right places. Do things that make you feel good (within reason). Buy things that make you feel good (within your budget), and you’ll find yourself breezing through adulthood like the boss lady that you are. YOU GO, GIRL!
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Adulting can be unquestionably overwhelming, but you’ll be just fine with the right Essentials! What are your adulting must haves? How do you destress after a long day of being a grown up? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Featured Image By: ZootScoop
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Connecting Health & Self Esteem To Improve Both

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Connecting Health & Self Esteem To Improve Both

For one reason or another, we can all find ourselves in stressful circumstances in life. Sometimes, we can handle them. But sometimes, they stick – and that’s when it hits us hard. When you’re dealing with stress, not only can your health suffer, but your self-esteem can, too. At times like this, you feel like you’re never going to be able to make things work and feel good about yourself again. But you can. There are so many different ways that health and self-esteem are connected, you just need to find them.

You do have the option to tackle your health and self-esteem separately, but you might find that you enjoy it better if you create a connection between them both and hit them head on. When your health suffers, it can harm your energy levels, your mood, and then eventually your self-esteem. Likewise, when you’re suffering from low self-esteem, you may find that other areas of your physical and mental health start to deteriorate. So, you’re going to want to work on boosting your health and well-being in a range of different ways to improve how you feel in life:

It’s A Mental Thing: First of all, it’s going to help you to acknowledge that your current concerns about your self-esteem are a mental issue. Your worries may not be anything to worry about, but by acknowledging them, you’re going to get yourself one step closer to feeling better. When you ignore your thoughts and try to avoid them, you’re not solving them. To push past the negativity that you’re dealing with in your own mind, you need to be able to acknowledge it first and then work past it.

Trying Out Yoga: To work on boosting both your health and your self-esteem, you should seriously consider trying out yoga. It’s a great workout, of course, but it is also amazing for your mind. There are so many benefits to yoga, that you’ll definitely be working on improving things like your flexibility and posture, but you’ll also be clearing your mind and relaxing at the same time.

Drinking More Water: Our bodies are made up of a huge percentage of water, so we need to be able to stay on top of that in order to improve your health. When you do start to drink more water, your body will be able to function better and that, in turn, will boost your mind. You’ll notice that you have a bit more energy and the more energy you have, the more positive you’re likely to feel.

Eating A Balanced Diet: Next up, you’re going to want to start prioritizing your nutrition. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while, but when you eat a lot of junk food, you may find that it makes you feel worse. There’s a lot to say for mood food because what you eat does impact how you feel about yourself. When your body feels sluggish, you will feel sluggish. And who wants to do anything when they’re feeling lethargic? The answer is nobody.

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Yummmm

Getting More Fresh Air: When you’re cooped up inside all day or you find yourself always heading from the office to your house and back again, you’re probably exhausted. Your mind will always be running with the things that you have to do. So, take a break. Getting enough fresh air is always good for your mind and your body. Going for walks or just sitting outside to remove yourself from stress can really clear your mind and help to keep you calm.

Accepting & Improving: Sometimes, you won’t start to feel a change in the way you feel until you encourage that change to come about. You can do that in two ways. First, it’s to work on improving whatever it is that is getting you down. Whether you need to lose weight and decide to see a fitness expert to feel happier in yourself or you want to improve your teeth with professionals like the Harrell Dental Implant Center so that you can confidently smile again, take action. Your other option is to accept who you are and what you look like, and be happy in your own skin. Either way, accepting or improving will help you to take a huge step forwards.

Committing To Exercise: Exercise is a great way to boost your mood and get healthy. No matter what it is, whether it’s a fun dance class or running on the track, by doing something, you will start to do something about how you look and feel. When you work out, you will find that you have more energy and will start to feel more positive and confident in yourself.

Trying Out Mantras: When you struggle to accept the skin that you’re in, you may need to take an additional step towards making that happen. Even if the idea makes you feel silly, you should try out positive affirmations. They can often boost your self-esteem and even train you into positive thinking. Either way, you will find that the effects work in a positive way towards your general levels of health.

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Think she’s thinking her mantra?

Switch Off & Step Back: Sometimes, you might find that your obsession with being on all of the time is holding you back. It’s something that we all struggle with at some point or another. But, the negative effects of social media are real. They can change the way you feel about yourself and your life, and drastically lower your self-esteem. So take a step back and learn to switch off. A social media hiatus might be just what you need to start focusing on yourself instead of others.

Put Yourself First: And above all else, you’re going to need to learn to prioritize your health and happiness in order to feel better. Doing the right things to boost your health will be good for your mind. Vice versa, doing things for your mind will positively effect your body. So rekindle that love you once had with a hobby and allow yourself a slice of happiness – for your body and mind’s sake.

Happy Friday!!!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Exciting News!!

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Exciting News!!

Helloooo everyone and TGIF! So earlier this week, I got contacted by one of my former teachers inquiring about a consultation with yours truly for her humor based memoir. We had our first meeting today and it went absolutely swimmingly. I will be helping her out as far as editing/prompting/and adding on goes and it’s such a joy to learn more about someone who I considered one of my “favorites” in high school.

Because lifewithlilred is a platform for all voices, not just mine, some excerpts from her short stories will be featured on my page for your viewing pleasure. Feedback is an important part of the writing process, so it only makes sense to showcase her work to my darling readers so we can hear all of your thoughts! I am SO excited for what promises to be a fantastic partnership and am looking forward to sharing some of the works in progress with all of you! ❤

Who else has some exciting news to share? What are you up to this weekend? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Black & Navy Nails

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New Black & Navy Nails

Hello everyone and TGIF!! I hope everyone has super fabulous weekend plans on the horizon – I most certainly do! My boyfriend is up from North Carolina for my birthday so he has some weekend surprises in store! AHHH! So yes, I’m way excited and all of the girly things. And speaking of all of the girly things, I got my nails done yesterday and they look gorgeous so take a looksee and let’s discuss:

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^^^ Pretty! :*)

It wouldn’t be my birthday week without treating myself to getting my talons filled and sharpened. As always, my darling nail tech, Steve, did a beautiful job giving me the princess treatment. As we were chatting while he worked his magic, I told Steve that I don’t think I’m ever going to not get my nails painted black. I have enough anxiety picking out my accent nail color for two nails let alone all ten!

Black is my go to color for literally anything because I’m never going to not like it, lol. Like, I’m never going to be disappointed with the color black and it saves me the hassle of having to analyze outfit choices if I were ever to venture away from sweet sweet noire. Long story short, it’s the best. And, believe me, I totally am aware of how redundant these nail posts are considering they legit look the exact same EVERY THREE WEEKS but they’re so pretty that I just can’t help myself! :’)

So there you have it, my New Black & Navy Nails! What color do you have on your nails right now? What is your go to polish color? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Warby Parker – ROCI N’ Roll

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Warby Parker – ROCI N’ Roll

Hi everyone and TGIF! I hope all of you are having a fabulous day so far! So, if there’s one thing that Lil Red loves, its sunglasses. From my beloved and battered frames from when I worked at PacSun almost three years ago (yikes!) to my Chanel pair randomly given to me by my nail tech, I truly treasure my sunnies. I probably have over twenty pairs of shades for any given occasion and, yes, I’m totally aware that that’s a little excessive!

But, guys, hear me out: sunglasses are seriously the best accessory on the planet. Not only do they shield sensitive eyes (like mine!) from the harsh sun, but they instantly transform an outfit. Whether you’re covering your face with oversized frames because you decided not to wear makeup or you want something bright and fun to wear while lounging by the pool – there’s a pair of sunglasses for you. From “don’t look at me” diva shades to a pair of crisp aviators or even a cat eye if you’re feeling saucy, there is a sunnie style for you to fit your mood (or moods!) that day.

And guess what? Cute, chic, throw your face back at the sun you emblazoned goddess sunglasses can all be found if you shop with Warby Parker. Warby Parker, the little brand that could, developed from the brain blast of college students who were sick and tired of paying a pretty penny to replace their glasses and sunnies every time they got lost. Hey, I feel it – you know that your girl is constantly ballin on a budget!

Anyways, fast forward to present day, about seven years after the brand first launched and you will find that Warby Parker is up to a world of good. Did you know that one billion people worldwide lack access to prescription glasses? That’s why with every pair of Warby Parker frames sold, a pair goes out to someone in need, thanks to collaborations with non-profits like VisionSpring.

Oh. And did I mention that another part of Warby Parker’s world of good comes with the fact that their glasses and sunnies are seriously cute? Yeah. Let’s get to that. Warby Parker has just launched their summer collection and I am in love. We’re talking 1960’s mod inspired shapes with a bright but slightly sun faded color palette to give you dusky hues in an array of gorgeous shades. Hello, fun in the sun.

Along with Warby Parker’s summer collection comes a fabulous collaboration with artist, Robert Rauschenberg. A legendary artist, in his own right, Robert Rauschenberg is known for his creative spirit and a life dedicated to activism. He truly is the perfect person to pair up with Warby Parker for a limited edition collaboration. Drawing colors found in one of four paintings from Rauschenberg’s ROCI (Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange) project, the “there for a short time only” frame is available in four different colors. And the name of this stunning brand new collaboration, you might ask? ROCI, obvs! Take a look:

With stained sea glass hues sweetly contrasting from the frames to the sides, it’s no wonder why the ROCI collection is a major hit! The muted yet vivid tones of these frames will pop beautifully against a summer tan as you strut your stuff on the boardwalk or beach. Or, if you’re sporting the pasty pale look, like me, all summer, you can wear your new ROCIs while jamming in your car to AFI as you’re on your way to a sold out show at your favorite venue. House Of Blues, anyone? That’s how I ROCI N’ Roll.

It’s a no brainer to see why I simply adore the new ROCI collab with Warby Parker and Robert Rauschenberg. Art truly has met fashion with this limited edition collection, which is nothing short of inspiring. So, now, let me inspire you with some of my favorite frames from the Warby Parker summer collection so that you can start day dreaming about your next summer fun adventure:

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Seen From Top To Bottom:

  • Laurel in Espresso Tortoise
  • Clementine in Espresso Tortoise
  • Nancy in Coral

When I shop sunnies, I normally always opt for a darker colored frame. With bright red hair and red lips, a colorful pair of sunglasses can be, well – a bit much. That is why I am totally in love with the Espresso Tortoise hue seen above, particularly in the Clementine frame. Black, browns, and tortoise shades make up a majority of my sunnies collection and the Clementine frame just speaks to me as something that I love enough to want to wear on my face!

So, if I love dark colors on my sunglasses so much, why would I choose the Coral colored Nancy frames? Well surprise, surprise I actually really like that shade! Once long ago I had the most gorgeous circle shaped pair of sunnies from Aerie in almost the exact Coral color as the Nancy frames. I wore those sunglasses everywhere and I loved how chic and elegant they made me look. After years of wear and tear, my beloved shades finally fell apart and I miss them every day. The Nancy sunglasses from Warby Parker’s summer collection would be the perfect replacement for my fallen friend. Revel in this, because this is the only time I’ll admit to liking a color other than black!!

Are you drooling yet? I think it’s high time that you head over to Warby Parker’s website to start some shopping of your own! What is your favorite frame from their summer collection? How many sunglasses do you own? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

7 Steps To Maximizing The Profit Potential Of Your Home Business

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7 Steps To Maximizing The Profit Potential Of Your Home Business

Running a small business from home has become a very popular option for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. By removing the need for commercial offices, you can significantly reduce the overheads involved. In turn, this can remove a great deal of pressure and buy a little more time as you look to turn the operation into a profitable one.

Reducing the overheads is a positive starting place. However, it’s only worth doing when you couple it with maximized profits. Otherwise, those savings will be counterproductive. In turn, this will prevent the company from achieving its full potential. Thankfully, you can achieve those great results by mastering just seven key factors. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started:

#1. Learn: There’s nothing wrong with starting your business almost immediately. However, it’s equally important to appreciate the fact that you don’t know it all. While improvements will come with experience, you should also appreciate the need to learn as you earn. First and foremost, you should be open to the possibility of formal education. Many entrepreneurs feel that there is no need for this as they aren’t looking to boost their hopes of securing a better job. But knowledge is power and enhancing your wealth of business-related info will serve you well.

Meanwhile, it’s imperative that you conduct the necessary research into your business. From working out the costs to knowing what else is on the market, that knowledge will enable you to make far smarter decisions.

#2. Build A Work Space: The thought of working from home is a dream for many, especially when you remove the need for commuting. However, separating work from leisure is the hardest challenge facing any home-based worker. Fail to establish those boundaries, and any success will remain limited.

If you have a home office space, that’s great. If not, it’s probably time to transform a guest room or the garage. Either way, your home office should be built for business rather than just working. Given that you could be spending long periods in this area, choosing an ergonomic chair is essential. Meanwhile, it’s imperative that all internet facilities and tech items are reliable, too. Sadly, if they go wrong, you could be set for a nightmare.

Building this working environment isn’t only important for you. It’s equally crucial for your family. If you’re in the office, you’re working. If you’re not, then they’ll know that you’re ready for family time.

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So snazzy!

#3. Focus On Teamwork: All business owners require the support of a winning team. When running the operation from home, the chances are that you won’t have people actively working in your home. But that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the importance of embracing employees. The recruitment process will vary from the traditional ideas. However, hiring remote workers and freelancers can enable you to make your staffing budget work far harder. Meanwhile, you won’t need to worry about providing them with the necessary equipment. In turn, this can only send profitability through the roof.

Working from different locations shouldn’t be an excuse to ignore your responsibilities, though. Regular perks, good salaries, and a sense of empathy and understanding should be considered essential. After all, you need to trust that they’ll be working in the right manner.

#4. Think About Your Presence: Regardless of the industry, customer perceptions are imperative for success. Failure to make a good first impression will harm your hopes of achieving sales before you’ve even started. Unfortunately, some customers will be put off by the fact that you operate from a residential address. Acquiring a physical address in a prestigious location instantly provides a better company image. Meanwhile, it’s important that your website and other tools display contact details in a clear manner. Otherwise, it can give consumers a reason to feel that you’re hiding something.

A strong SEO game will boost your web visibility to further enhance the initial responses. That helps the company plant a seed of interest into the client’s mind, which can only bring positive impacts for future sales figures.

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Pixabay Image

#5. Do More: Ultimately, you need to show that your business is the best solution for the client. One of the best ways to do this is to offer something that your competitors don’t. If yours is a localized service, you could make it mobile by visiting clients in their homes. Whether it’s hairdressing, accounting, or selling clothes doesn’t matter. Removing some of the hassle will give them another reason to choose you over competitors. On a similar note, accepting more payment types can have a positive influence on proceedings. On the one hand, those gestures are made for the benefit of customers. On the other hand, though, you should have pride in offering the best service, anyways.

#6. Find A Great Marketing Strategy: Branding is a crucial element of any business, as it provides the company with an identity. Your home-based venture shouldn’t be any different. In addition to logos and slogans, you should think about attention-grabbing ad campaigns.

Given that you don’t have a store, embracing online opportunities is pivotal. In addition to strong SEO, you should look to blogging, video campaigns, and interactive tools. Not only are those ideas far more cost-effective than traditional methods, but they additionally encourage participation. And when the clients are actively interacting with the brand, they’ll be far more likely to respond in a positive manner.

Just remember that you must express your personality at all times. If they can relate to the people behind the brand, the customers will be far more likely to complete a purchase. Once again, it all comes down to that sense of trust.

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Stats n’ stuff

#7. Excel At Customer Care: Getting your business to the point where it generates regular sales is no mean feat. So when you do reach this stage, it’s crucial that you find ways to encourage long-term loyalty. When you have customers that keep coming back for more, sustained success is assured. Good communication is always a solid starting point. But you can go one step further with small gestures like promotional freebies and special promotions. Likewise, running loyalty schemes can be hugely beneficial. Above all else, you should go beyond the call of duty when dealing with customer issues.

Essentially, showing that your commitment to the client doesn’t end with the transaction is vital. In addition to boosting those direct relationships, it could encourage them to recruit friends and family, too.

Featured Image By: Maxpixel

Bath & Body Works May Freebie

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Bath & Body Works May Freebie

Hi everyone and TGIF! This past Wednesday, I went to the mall so that I could pick up a birthday gift for my brother and while I was there, I figured that I would grab my freebie from Bath & Body Works, too. I also thought that it would be a nice break for the people who work at the one that I usually go to, considering I always just get my free item and leave (smh!). For this freebie, I restocked a shower gel that I had just given to a friend as part of her birthday gift in one of my favorite scents. Check it out:

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My best friend gifted me with the lotion of French Lavender & Honey a while back and ever since then, I’ve been hooked. It seriously smells SO. GOOD. I legit can’t get enough of this scent, which is glaringly obvious because I feel like I write about it constantly! These past few months of freebies, I have taken to getting shower gels instead of lotions. I honest to god have a lotion hoard that could keep a family of ten moisturized for the year, so it didn’t make much sense to continue adding to this stockpile just for me!

I think the mini shower gels are great and I can’t wait to use them for travel purposes this summer. The shower gels also make a wonderful addition to a gift that you’re giving, especially if you match the scent of the gel and lotion together. That’s what I did for my friend’s birthday this past week and it added ten extra dollars value to the gift that I didn’t pay a dime for. Sounds like a sweet deal to me!

So there you have it, my May Bath & Body Works Freebie! Who else is guilty of gifting bath and body care items for your girlfriends? What is your favorite B&BW scent? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah