Tag Archives: work

Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

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Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

Hi! Lil Red may not be the craftiest gal in the bunch but, I’ll be damned if I don’t try my best with my clients when we’re creating something together. One of my pals had a plethora of Popsicle sticks so I figured we could try to do a Halloween craft with them by painting them into little ghosts. While my client opted for making names of his loved ones out of the sticks (So sweet!), I made the following for Johnny’s desk at work and something special for my crafting partner. Check it out:

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I started my crafting palooza with something easy by painting the Popsicle sticks white and making little ghost faces with Sharpie markers once the paint was dry. Simple, yes, but they turned out so cute I decided to try my hand at a few more designs even though they were going to be much harder for my non crafty self.

I thought a Frankenstein stick would look awesome and I knew Johnny would love it so I looked up a picture of ol’ Frank and did my best. While the green paint on the stick dried, I practiced drawing his face several times on paper before I Sharpied in the final effort and, frankly (lol), I couldn’t believe how good it turned out. In fact, it ended up being Johnny’s favorite creation.

After seeing my Frankenstein, my client asked me if I could make him a Barney one. I told him I’ll see what I can do and got to work on two Barney themed Popsicle sticks. In honor of the Barney Halloween episode that he loves, I painted a stick purple with green polka dots, just like the pumpkin Barney had in the show.

The real challenge, now, was going to be making Barney’s face because I can’t draw for crap. Lol, like with Frankenstein, I looked up a picture of Barney and practiced drawing his face while the purple base paint dried. Once I was satisfied, I Sharpied in the face of the friendly purple dinosaur and I thought it turned out great. I added a green tummy and his yellow toes and my client was so happy with what I made him, which is all that matters to me.

To wrap up our crafting, I made a Jack-O-Lantern stick to complete Johnny’s spooky set. Both my client and I had a blast with our arts and crafts hour and I was so happy to come up with something that was simple but we both enjoyed so much. Oh you crafty, huh?!

Would you consider yourself crafty? What is something that you have made that you are proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pumpkin Party

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Pumpkin Party

Hi! This past week, I thought I would bring the pumpkin patch to one of my clients so that we could paint them together. Painting pumpkins is one of my favorite activities to do with clients because for one: it’s a lot of fun and for two: I have never even carved a pumpkin before so I definitely don’t trust myself with that!

During the “pumpkin party”, we had Casper The Friendly Ghost playing on the TV while we worked on our masterpieces. We painted away until we were satisfied with our creations and then gave each other a grand reveal of the end results. They looked a little something like this:

While I opted for multicolored polka dots on my pumpkin, my client decided he wanted to make one with the likeness of yours truly. I’ve got to say, I can definitely see the similarities and I was so touched that that’s what he wanted to make with the pumpkin I brought him. We both gave each other the pumpkins we made at the end of the day and I have mine proudly displayed in my apartment.

Whether it be painting pumpkins, hand traced turkeys for Thanksgiving, or ornaments for the holiday season: Painting is a blast. Make an afternoon of your crafting by putting on a movie or music to fit the theme and get to stepping on your own handmade holiday decor. And, always remember, that fun times can still be had from the safety of your home – all it takes is a little creativity!

Do you have any holiday craft ideas? What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

7 Pandemic Proof Jobs You Could Try

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7 Pandemic Proof Jobs You Could Try

While COVID-19 has meant that many people have lost jobs, it has also highlighted those jobs which are needed more than ever. If you have been left unemployed or you are only just starting out in your career, then perhaps these jobs are something you should consider:

Teacher:

Parents have never appreciated teachers more now that they have had the experience of homeschooling their kids. Teachers are always going to be needed, and while a lot of teaching has or will move online, this will be an addition to the face to face learning meaning that there will be more jobs for teachers. Thanks to the use of video conferencing, it will be more commonplace to teach to people all over the world. So if teaching is something you have a passion for, then there are people who will always need you.

Skilled Tradespeople:

Plumbers and electricians, for example, can still do their jobs with little risk as they can social distance and wear PPE to protect themselves and their clients. You can also usually learn on the job with an apprenticeship such as this one here: https://www.abcksmo.org/training/plumbing-program/. Check it out and see if it’s right for you.

Healthcare Workers:

Again, healthcare workers have never been so important, and this will continue to be the case. While the world will be more prepared for a pandemic should one happen again, there will always be a need for more people to help people. Whether it’s those in a hospital or living in care homes, there are many vulnerable people who need health care.

Exercise Coaching:

While many gyms and exercise centers had to close due to the pandemic, exercise is still extremely important and very popular. A lot of personal trainers moved online, and this is something that will look to continue as people want to exercise from the safety of their own home but still want to learn and to be pushed by someone.

Delivery Drivers:

As more people order online, whether it be food or shopping, there is a higher demand for delivery drivers, and this doesn’t look set to change any time soon. You can start by working for somewhere like Amazon Flex or Deliveroo if you just want to make some money on the side.

IT Professionals:

We’ve also never been more reliant on technology and software engineers, web developers, and online security specialists are in demand. Digital skills are required in all industries, from e-commerce to automating processes in factories, so there is huge growth in this sector right now. There is also a lot of competition, but there’s no reason why you can’t beat that and be the one to get the job.

Cleaners:

Offices which are now open have to be extra vigilant with their cleaning, as do shops and services. Also, places like holiday homes need extra attention, so there is a greater need not just for more cleaners but for a deeper clean to eliminate the risk of COVID.

If you are on the hunt for a job, get inspired with the ideas above!

Featured Image By: 14995841 from Pixabay

Ballooning Around

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Ballooning Around

Hello! As of right now, there has been a sharp increase of COVID cases in Ohio. Myself and Johnny, both of our families, and all of my clients are hunkered down more than ever and the feeling of having “nothing to do” is particularly strong. As an independent provider for people with special needs, I am constantly trying to figure out ways to keep my clients entertained from the comfort of their home. This past month, I learned that something has simple as a balloon can be a whole lot of fun.

My most senior (and high risk) client’s brother celebrated a birthday in October, so we spent a lot of time making decorations and discussing birthdays of years’ past. The piece de resistance, however, was definitely when I blew up a ton of balloons the day before and the morning of the big day. My client loved selecting which color balloons he wanted and he wrote his brother’s name on every single one.

Once we had plenty of balloons ready, I asked my client if he wanted to hit it back and forth together and he was all for it. In fact, so much so that we have played “Balloon Bounce” pretty much every day that I’ve seen him since. This has been my “sneaky” way of incorporating a more, for lack of a better words, “active” activity into my client’s routine and he has so much fun that it doesn’t even feel like a little work out.

We have dubbed ourselves the Balloon Bounce International League and we have nicknames too! While we’re hitting the balloon, we always play our favorites tunes and it brings my client back to playing volleyball in the Special Olympics. My only rule? Placing items that could get hit throughout his room elsewhere so nothing breaks!

Balloon Bounce is one of the most simple past times I think I have ever come up with and it really is a blast. All it takes it a little creativity and imagination and even the smallest activities can become a new daily favorite. Hey, I’ll take it!

How do you get creative with activities at home? How did you celebrate any recent birthdays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Deeana Creates From Pexels

Working In The Care Profession During COVID Times

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Working In The Care Profession During COVID Times

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, I am an Independent Provider for people with special needs and I provide care in home and in the community. I have been an essential worker since the beginning of all of this COVID business in March and, I’ll be honest, sometimes I just want to crawl back in bed instead of go to work!

Because I work with some very high risk families, I have been essentially in my own state of lock down for the past seven months. Coffees with friends have turned into FaceTime dates and dinners out with Johnny just means Door Dashing something now. Of course, this is all A-okay, though, because I would never forgive myself if I ever brought this virus to any of my clients. It’s a lot of pressure but it’s just me doing my job.

I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be “going out” and Johnny has too, since we live together (Believe me, I wouldn’t want to. Just the thought of going to a bar or restaurant makes me cringe!). This has put us in very close acquaintance with our TV, Nintendo Switch, and each other literally every day, lol.

Although it can feel like a lot to be so limited to my apartment, I do still treat myself monthly to getting my nails done and it is my outing to look forward to. I know that many of those working in the care and health profession are doing everything that they can to keep their clients and patients safe and I applaud all of them because it’s not easy, that’s for sure.

I also encourage all of us who are hunkered down to participate in a “treat” to help lift your spirits. After a rough day at work or even just hearing the state of the world on the news, I never say no to a pick me up. Whether that be pampering myself with a face mask or maybe ordering something small online – it’s important for me to be in the best mood I can to continue being able to give the best care that I can to my clients every day.

I am very thankful to my clients and their families because they motivate me to be extra careful every day. I am also very thankful to everyone in the health and care profession as well as all employees right now who continue with their duties despite potentially being in harm’s way. We rock and I wish nothing but the best for all of you! ❤

How has your job been affected from COVID? How do you keep your spirits high right now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

October 2020 Funky Time Jams

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October 2020 Funky Time Jams

Hi! One of the big things that my clients and I do together now that we don’t really go anywhere is listen to music. I swear, we are constantly having concerts starring each other and honestly can make an afternoon of it. Sometimes I’m dancing the YMCA and other times I’m spitting bars to Cardi B! Lol, my job is never boring and it’s impossible to hear the following songs without thinking of the people I work with:

^^^ As always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!

This is such a random compilation of songs but each set of three are usually the first songs that come to mind when I think of a specific client. I really get a tour of different styles of music each week, going from girl power anthems to golden oldies all the way to rap and, yes, Marilyn Manson. (I got one of my guys hooked on him!)

Impromptu dance parties, sing alongs, and at home concerts have become primary sources of entertainment when I’m at work and my clients have a blast every time. In some way shape or form, I’m pretty sure we’ve developed some kind of hand movement routine or different melodies to all of my client’s top picks. We even make music videos of us singing our favorite songs together!

Coming up with enticing activities to do at home is the name of my work game now. Whether that be dancing the Hokey Pokey or the Electric Slide in someone’s kitchen to going for a drive with the windows down and music blasting, my brain is always working overtime to help my clients stay safe while still enjoying themselves. I love having “our songs” with each person I work with and nothing warms my heart more than when one of them hears a tune and says “this is our jam”. ❤

Is there a song that reminds you of someone whenever you hear it? What is your favorite song to dance to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Ways To Tell You’re Ready For A Career Change

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5 Ways To Tell You’re Ready For A Career Change

Many people aren’t actually doing what they want to do work wise or, unfortunately, only see their job as a means to an end. It’s common to feel a bit stagnant and decide to focus on furthering studies or learning something new. If you’re not feeling challenged anymore, it might be time to shake things up a bit with a career change. You’ll be more likely to be engaged and motivated at work, and will be able to start making realistic financial goals for your future. Here are five ways to tell you’re ready for a career change:

You don’t feel like your job makes a difference:

Many people opt for a career change because they want to do something more rewarding. This might mean a new job where you help make a difference in people’s lives. If you’re interested in this type of work, you could look into taking a course with an occupational therapy school. This is an example of a career where you can help people of all ages with any physical, developmental, and social challenges they may be facing.

You no longer feel challenged:

If you’ve been in the same job for a while, it’s easy to feel bored and in a rut. Often people are afraid to change careers because they don’t believe they can learn something new. This is not the solution, however, and it’s much more beneficial to seek out new challenges. This way, you’ll improve your skill set and have more opportunities in the future. It’s time to get focused and finally leave your comfort zone.

You would like to continue studying:

There are also many benefits to furthering your education. You’ll be a much more valuable member of staff to any employer, and you’ll be able to gain more experience and responsibility. Perhaps there’s a subject you’ve always wanted to study but haven’t got round to yet? It’s never too late to continue studying and if you don’t want to leave your current job you can opt for a part-time course online. Employers are generally on board with this idea, as it helps to motivate staff, so they might even offer to sponsor you.

You don’t feel financially compensated:

It’s also time for a career change if you don’t feel financially compensated. By focusing on gaining a new qualification you might be able to finally curb financial anxiety and get paid what you deserve. Money isn’t always the reason people decide on a career change, but it’s definitely a factor if you don’t feel valued at work.

Your priorities have changed:

Your priorities might have changed since you were younger. Whereas in your previous role you were more interested in travel or networking, for instance, you might now be looking for other challenges in order to progress. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for in the future, here are some tips on how to prioritize. Before you make the decision to change careers, you need to get your goals and priorities straight.

It’s never too late to try something new and, yes, that includes your career! Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

An Apple A Day

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An Apple A Day

Hello!! For those of you who don’t know, my big girl job is as an Independent Provider for people with special needs. I love my job always but in the summer and fall, I feel particularly thankful because I am constantly being spoiled with produce from gardens and apple orchards. Each family I work with does a garden every summer and, I swear, I never went a week without delicious, homegrown veggies in my apartment these past few months.

This past week, a client and his family visited an apple orchard and I had such fun hearing about his outing. Fast forward to when I was about to pull out of their yard to go home and his mom comes running out to stop me with a huge bag of apples. SO sweet!

All of the families I work with consider me an “honorary” member of their household and it is an honor for me. So, to come home with a bag of apples or veggies is special to me because it’s a reminder of how much we all care for each other. I would be so lonely without all of the wonderful families I get to help out and, god forbid one of us gets sick or goes on vacation, because we all end up missing each other like crazy!

Like I said, my client’s mom ran to my car with this beautiful bounty and it was like getting the most fantastic hug. Small and simple acts of kindness are often the best so be sure to offer an apple (pumpkin or gourd!) a day to someone you love if you visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch this fall. You have the Lil Red Guarantee that it will be oh so appreciated. ❤

What was the last random act of kindness you made? What do you like to grow in your garden? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Great Day

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A Great Day

Hi! It is always hard to go back to work after having any type of time off, whether that be from being sick, a vacation, or what have you. When I returned back to work after a stint with a sinus infection this month, I can’t say that I was thrilled lol but the ride to my client’s house with Cardi B bumping was enough to get me right back into work mode and it ended up being a great day.

I had to take my client to the eye doctor as well as help her pick out some glasses – it was definitely a long time coming for a new pair! I have always loved helping people pick out glasses and I take a lot of pride in picking out a lot of the pairs that my mom has had throughout the years, so I knew that we were both going to have some fun.

My client and I both decided that it was time for a totally new style of glasses as opposed to her old metal frames so we experimented with a lot of different styles. After finding a few “winners”, I took her outside so she could she what she looked like in a picture without her mask on. It’s hard to imagine a whole new look with more than half of your face covered!

Once we had a quick photo shoot, we both decided that a funky pair of deep purple square plastic frames were the way to go. And, I’ve got to say, they looked fabulous on her. The best part? She knew she looked awesome too and I could tell my client was feeling herself with her brand new look. My friend had such a sense of pride for trying something completely different and the frames working out perfectly was the cherry on top.

It may seem like a simple outing, but a quick trip to the eye doctor reminded me of how much I enjoy my job. I felt amazing because my client felt amazing and I had something to do with it. It made her day and it made my month! ❤

How has someone made your day recently? What was the last new thing you tried? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Having Trouble Focusing While Working From Home?

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Having Trouble Focusing While Working From Home?

Many of us have had to get used to the prospect of working from home over the past few months. While there are undeniable benefits to being able to take care of business in your own space, a lot of people have trouble adjusting to it, as well. If you’re having trouble getting productive, here are a few solutions that might help you get back on top of things:

You’re not making time for it:

With the flexibility that comes with working from home, it might feel tempting to simply do work whenever it suits you and not have any solid plans. However, this tends to end up wrecking your work-life balance. It’s a good idea to find what time you’re more productive and create a daily schedule around that, complete with strict starting and finishing times. This way, your life and work-life don’t start to bleed together to the point that you feel like you have to be half “on” whenever you’re in the home.

You’re surrounded by clutter:

It might sound like the difference would be minimal, but a neat and organized desk actually has a big impact on your mental condition while you’re working. Clutter has been shown to be a more significant cause of stress than we otherwise give it credit for. Maximizing closet space and making use of things like desk trays in the home office can ensure that you’re not surrounded by bits and bobs all day long. As such, you can work on what’s important free of most major distractions.

Your office doesn’t give the right vibe:

This point might sound nebulous, but getting yourself in the right headspace to work is vitally important. As such, investing in decor that can help you create a quirky but professional vibe is important. You want to make sure that you’re surrounded by imagery and designs that inspire and energize you while also ensuring that the workplace is subtle enough that it doesn’t serve as an ongoing distraction. For some people, it might be as simple as hanging a few pieces of art to give the room some life.

You’re physically uncomfortable:

Of course, even if your office gives the vibe you need and is organized to perfection, you’re going to have a hard time enjoying it if you’re dealing with a sore back. You might not notice the impacts of poor posture immediately, but if you start to feel some aches and pains in your back and joints towards the end of the day, that means it’s time to look at your chair and desk setup. Ergonomic furniture design can help support these achy parts of you, leading to a more comfortable working day while decreasing the chances that you might actually injure yourself.

It isn’t always easy to create a home office that feels right for your working needs. However, it’s worth taking the time to implement fixes and find what works for you rather than letting yourself start to hate the prospect of working at home entirely.

Featured Image By: Pexels