Category Archives: Friends

Celebrating Special Occasions In Self-Isolation

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Celebrating Special Occasions In Self-Isolation

Hello! Ohio has a stay at home order in place until the beginning of May – as for right now. Unfortunately, special occasions don’t just stop because we are practicing self isolation. So, if a loved one has a birthday coming up, it can certainly feel like a bit of a bust. Thankfully, there are still ways to keep communication alive from the comfort of your own home. Use some of the following tips if anyone you know is celebrating their big day:

Order Them Takeout:

If a friend or family member is celebrating a birthday, you could do the social distancing equivalent of a birthday dinner by sending them over some takeout. Pick out a delicious meal from their favorite restaurant and Door Dash it on over for a birthday surprise. And, how surprised and thankful your giftee will be when he or she finds out that they don’t have to cook dinner!

Special Delivery:

Online deliveries are, for the most part, still a thing. How about sending your giftee a quarantine kit to help keep them entertained? Assemble a care package filled with adult coloring books, board games, books, or movies with the promise of a game night/late celebration once the stay at home order has been lifted.

Have A Virtual Drink:

Virtual drinks and happy hours over video chat has become a new trend as of late and my boyfriend and I are so there for it. We have participated in a few rounds of virtual drinks with our friends and it is always a blast. Call up your friend or family member on FaceTime or Skype who is celebrating a big day and toast to them. And, of course, real life drinks at a later time goes without saying!

Plan Ahead:

If all of the virtual mumbo jumbo isn’t your style, send your loved one an email or some snail mail inviting them to a celebration hang out at a later time. Your giftee will be 1) tickled that you remembered and 2) excited to have a fun event to look forward to. Plan an itinerary for an afternoon or evening on the town with the person celebrating and don’t forget to mark it in the calendar!

Don’t let your loved one’s special day go uncelebrated with the tips above and happy happy days to those celebrating during a stay at home order! ❤

How have you celebrated a special occasion during self-isolation? Will your birthday take place during the stay at home order? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & Fresh Gift Ideas For Men

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Fun & Fresh Gift Ideas For Men

It’s not always easy to buy gifts for men. In fact, it can be really difficult and even more so now that we are unable to go shopping for gifts. So if you want to buy some unique and interesting gifts this year, take a little look at this mini guide to see what could work for your next birthday purchase for a special guy in your life:

Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets:

Most men love gadgets and at any time of the year too! A lot of companies launch new products at this time of year and there are usually special offers at certain times of the year. There are so many different types of gadget on offer, and this can make it tough to decide what to buy. You can buy everything from virtual reality gaming headsets to self-stirring mugs. Think about what your partner or your brother has already got and what kinds of gadgets would entertain them or make their life easier. You could go for something practical if they like specific things to do with DIY or art for example or if they just love playing with toy cars and helicopters!

Clothing and accessories:

Buying clothing isn’t a necessity at the moment but it will be again at some point and although this doesn’t sound like the most original idea, it can have a twist put on it. Why not add a personal touch to one of their fashion accessories? Nowadays, you can customize everything from trainers and football boots to caps and this may really impress some of the men in your family. If this idea sounds appealing, do some research online. You could add their name or a special date, for example to remember their anniversary or other occasion.

Sporting gifts:

If you live with a sports fan, the options are endless. Indulge their passion with a stadium tour, match tickets, or a private lesson. Buy books, DVDs, or novelty golf balls as stocking fillers. Research signed shirts or retro football online. If you’re married to a gym bunny, read up on the best wearable gadgets or order a personalized gym bag. There are gifts out there to suit every budget and for lovers of every sport – you could certainly look at tested paddles too so when the time comes to enjoy some Pickleball, they’re prepared!

Manly hampers? Sounds fun enough!

If you’re searching for unique presents for him, look no further than a bespoke manly hamper. You can order a hamper online or buy your basket and fill it with ingredients yourself, depending on what they like. Maybe they love Thai food, so you could make a Thai themed hamper! This is a great idea for friends and relatives who love to eat and drink.

Popular items include alcohol miniatures, chocolates, cheese, nuts, and more. If you make your own, you can put all of your loved one’s favorite things inside which will impress them and show that you know them too. You can add shower and shave gel, candles, soap, and beard oil if you don’t want to go down the food route. The options are really endless and it’s time to start thinking outside the box!

Use the ideas above to help get you inspired for gifting the guy in your life with the best present ever!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Having A Virtual Drink

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Having A Virtual Drink

Hi! It’s so crazy to think that just a few weeks ago, Johnny and I were participating in game nights with our friends over the weekend. Now, we are safely tucked away in my apartment after work and on the weekends due to Ohio’s stay at home order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

We have a pretty close knit group of friends and we miss them. So, over the weekend we had a virtual drink over FaceTime with a couple we are friends with named Kevin and Christine. It was so nice to chat with and “see” someone other than ourselves and I just had to tell all of you about it in case you are missing the homies, too.

Try scheduling a virtual drink with your besties while hunkering down is the name of the game. You will seriously feel so much better after you have a conversation with a friend that isn’t over text message and it can create a pleasant evening or afternoon if you are having difficulties figuring out ways to occupy yourself. Pour a glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy. *Virtual cheers to you* 🙂

How have you been keeping in touch with friends in self-isolation? What is the coronavirus status where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Five Rules For The Perfect Game Night

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Five Rules For The Perfect Game Night

If there is one thing that you should be doing at least once a month, it’s hosting a game night. You can switch off with your friends so that you all take turns, but you have to host at least once every single month so that you can enjoy an evening with your friends on your terms. Some people like to make game night an evening thing, with a game of cards and takeout. Others like to make games night one of board game and chips ‘n’ dip.

No matter how you do it, game night needs to be something you’re all going to enjoy and you need to plan it to perfection for that to happen. Game night is all about your friendships, laughter, camaraderie, and total enjoyment of each other’s company. If it’s your turn to host game night, try adhering to the following rules:

Enough Space:

The first thing that you need for game night to go smoothly is the right space. You need enough room for all of you to sit down and if you want to have Pictionary, you need room to be able to get up and draw! Charades requires some moving space, so clear the floor of a room and throw around some beanbags for seating.

Games:

Games night requires games. Break out the board games, pens, and paper for writing things down and a good Word Unscrambler. You need to be able to choose five or six games to play with friends to make your night a successful one.

Snacks & Drinks:

Whether you decide to have your game night outside or inside, you need food and drinks to keep the night flowing. You can choose to make a meal for people to pick at, like a vat of chili and a basket of hot dogs to add, or you can go with the chips ‘n’ dip route. It’s entirely up to you which way you do it. Add drinks – cold and hot, soft and alcoholic – it’s good to have options!

Music:

You need a good playlist for music in the background. You should consider a karaoke machine for when things get a little silly later in the night. You need to think about ensuring that the playlist is a palatable one for all, and keep it low for background music and not blasting through the night.

Prizes:

Not many people do this for game night, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t! You need to think about offering a prize pot for your winners, and you can make it cheap. You can put together prizes from the local dollar stores or you can have a prize pot of cash for the overall winner of the night. If everyone puts in ten dollars, you could have a great prize pot at the end of the night.

Games night: It comes with rules and it’s going to be great!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Thoughtful Ways To Honor A Friend Who Passed Away

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Thoughtful Ways To Honor A Friend Who Passed Away

When a friend passes away, it can take a massive toll on your mental health and well being. You go through various stages of grief and loss that last for months. Honoring friends who pass away is a great way to cherish the memories that you have and somehow “give back,” even if you didn’t get the chance in life. You can do so with the following ideas:

Visit Their Favorite Vacation Spot Annually:

If your friend had a favorite place that they liked to go, then it can be an excellent idea to visit that spot with your other friends in honor of their memory. It could be a relaxing trip to the beach or a tour of a city destination – it depends on what they enjoyed. Here, you’ll have a chance to reminisce about the times that you shared and continue to enjoy the things that they liked before they passed away.

Get A Tattoo:

When somebody passes away, a lot of people like to create some sort of permanent reminder that reminds them of the time that they spent with them. Getting a tattoo related to that person can be a gesture that ensures that they remain a permanent fixture on your body.

You have a lot of freedom over the type of tattoo that you get. Some people ask the tattoo artist to recreate their likeness on their skin. Others will enshrine the date of their death or the time that they first met them. Or it could be something as simple as a line from a poem that they liked.

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Pixabay Image

Plant A Tree:

The beautiful thing about life is that no matter how many people pass away, new life will always emerge. Many people grieving because of the death of a friend, therefore, plant trees.

Trees are a fantastic way to cherish a memory. If you plant an oak, it could stand tall for a thousand years or more, paying permanent homage to your loved one. What’s more, you can visit the tree regularly, and it’ll always be there to pay respects to the person you lost.

Buy A Special Necklace:

A lot of people now wear an urn cremation necklace in memory of a person who has passed away. The idea is simple. You collect some of their ashes and then use them to fill a pendant that you wear around your neck. It’s a way of ensuring that a part of their spirit remains close to you at all times. Urn necklaces last forever and ensure that you never forget the person you lost. For this reason, they can provide comfort.

Donate To Charity In Their Honor:

If you had a friend who had a passion for a particular cause, you might want to donate to a related charity in their honor. Part of paying respects to the passing of a dear friend is continuing to do things that they would have done to make the world a better place. Had they lived, they may have donated to animal shelters or water aid charities. You can help maintain their legacy by making donations of your own.

Create A Memory Journal:

If you have a load of photos of your friend lying around, why not create a memory journal? The concept is pretty simple. You just create a set of themes – like your friend being silly or enjoying a holiday – and then glue photos to the pages of a notebook. Everyone can then refer to the journal whenever they want to think more about the person they’ve lost, creating a permanent homage to their life.

Learn A New Skill:

If your friend was a whizz on computers or loved to play the piano, then you might want to learn that skill and continue it in their stead. Learning a new skill is a great way to deal with the grieving process. It allows you to direct your energy into something positive. The last thing you want is to wallow in misery. You want to be able to move on with your life. That’s what your friend would have wanted too.

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Try learning the piano!

Create A Memorial In Your Home:

For some people, creating a memorial in their home can help a lot with the grieving process. A permanent memorial is a way to allow their memory to live on, even if the person isn’t here anymore. When creating a memorial, you don’t have to do anything complicated. Something as simple as a picture on the wall or a bunch of flowers in a vase can be all you need. You can be more extravagant if you want, but there’s usually no need.

Keep the memory of your friend alive with the tips above. ❤

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Sweet Surprises: Valentine’s Day Bouquet Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Valentine’s Day Bouquet Edition

Hi! One of my clients, a freshly turned sixty year old with Down Syndrome has a love for all holidays. He revels in decorating for and celebrating each calendar holiday and Valentine’s Day was no exception. From mid January on, it was all about paper hearts, stickers, and Valentine’s Day themed episodes of his favorite old TV shows.

While shopping at Walmart for the finishing touches on the valentines he was going to mail out, he surprised me with a bouquet of a dozen colorful roses. It was quite possibly the sweetest thing in the world and I just had to share how beautiful they are with all of  you:

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While browsing through the Valentine’s Day decor at Walmart, my client “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed” at everything he found appealing. So, I told him to pick out a small treat for me to purchase for him as a little V-Day gift. He selected his items – some more heart decor and a pair of heart shaped glasses and we continued to make our rounds in the store.

Once we came across Walmart’s aisle way of bouquets, without missing a beat, my friend plucked a colorful arrangement and placed it in his cart. “I get these for you” he said and my heart literally melted. I have never met someone with such a joy for each individual holiday and sharing that enthusiasm with all of his loved ones. It’s simply beautiful and all I need do is think about him to get a smile on my face.

As soon as I got home, I grabbed my spooky vases (Also from Walmart!) and began arranging my flowers. I have them proudly displayed on my coffee table and plan on keeping them there even after they have dried out as a sweet reminder of my friend and his joie de vivre. ❤

What is your favorite kind of flower? What were you treated to on Valentine’s Day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In

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Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In

Hi! The recent drop in temperatures in my neck of the woods has left me feeling like doing anything but heading outside and braving the cold. In fact, I’m perfectly content in my living room bubble! However, you can’t watch America’s Next Top Model alone all of the time… Even though you totally can. 😉 So, today, we’re going to talk about Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In for the next time it’s too frigid in your area to remove even one layer of fleece blankets! Let’s get to it:

Create A Theme:

If you are hosting a girls night in at your place, then activities must be agreed upon before the party shows up. The easiest way to plan activities for the night is to come up with a theme to base them around. Having a wine and paint night? The answer is in the question! How about a chick flick marathon? Mani/pedis, face masks, and chocolate for all!

Planned activities help keep the night moving at a fun pace and will also prevent any of those awkward pauses that come after everyone has caught up with each other. Of course, every waking minute doesn’t have to be accounted for in a Task Journal, so save some time for spontaneity, too. 😀

Food & Drinks:

To some of the girls attending your little shindig, the refreshments are the most important part! I often find ordering in to be the best way to go, especially because I’m sure not every gal will feel like cooking for a potluck style meal (I never do!). Everyone could pop for pizza or just DoorDash whatever sounds the best to them to their heart’s content.

If this will be a boozy event, encourage each girl to bring a bottle of their favorite wine. If your ladies aren’t the biggest drinkers, create some delicious mocktails or ice cream sodas for a sweet treat to enjoy.

Encourage A Rotation:

A girls night in could become a monthly or however frequently you want it event with your besties. Create a rotation of which house you will be posting up in for the night and that girl will become the master of ceremonies for the evening. This will allow for each girl to participate in the favorite activities of all of their friends. It will be a blast seeing what each friend comes up with and how creative they can get for the evening’s entertainment.

Still Pressed For Activity Ideas?

If your turn to host girls night in is fast approaching and you are pressed for activity ideas, feel free to use any of the following:

  • Game night
  • Cake/cookie decorating
  • Arts and crafts (Pinterest party, anyone?!)
  • Clothing swap
  • Pampering party
  • Dinner party

Get ready, get set, and girls night in with the tips above!

How would you spend a girls night in with your BFFs? What is your favorite snack to bring to a party? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Planning The Ultimate Game Night With Your Friends

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Planning The Ultimate Game Night With Your Friends

Hi! The weather in Akron, Ohio is currently snowy and freezing which ultimately makes going out a real drag. Believe me, I love nothing more than being out and about with my boyfriend and friends. However, it’s a hard pass when I need thirteen layers on to stay warm! This cold existence has left all of us stranded in our homes, riddled with the desire to still do something while remaining on the couch the whole time.

Cue: A game night

This past month, I have participated in so many game nights, I have lost track. Am I mad about it? No! Quite the opposite, actually. You know why? Because I prefer something like this to going to the bar any day of the week. In this post, we’re going to discuss the makings of a perfect game night for you and your friends to enjoy:

Location:

The host of the game night should reside in a good central location from all of the guests if they have enough room for such tom foolery. You might not want to be Keeper Of The Games in your studio apartment! Make sure there is enough space for everyone to spread out comfortably and I do mean comfortably because no one wants to sit on a threadbare couch!

Snacks:

Snacks are a crucial part of the game night and the responsibility can be divided up pretty evenly among your group. Everyone could throw in money for pizza, share a snack of their own, or a potluck style meal could be what suits you guys best. Either way, it shouldn’t be up to one person to provide all of the snacks for your evening.

Drinks:

Does your group of friends enjoy drinking? Great. Everyone can bring some beer or a bottle of wine. Does your group of friends not enjoy drinking? Great. Everyone can bring some pop, juice, or you can make mocktails. All I know is, you can’t be snacking on salty treats without something to wash it down with!

Games:

The games for the event is definitely something that should be discussed beforehand amongst your group. Is it a video gaming night? Classic board games? How about a murder mystery night? This is all important to know ahead of time so everyone knows what to bring or how they should dress.

Normally, my game nights include a little bit of everything from video games and cards to trivial pursuit and dice. You can stick with a theme and alternate weekly or draw different games from a hat. Just make sure that everyone who has a game that they would like to play gets that opportunity at some point.

Game nights are an amazing way to spend time with your friends while saving money that would otherwise be spent at the bar or restaurant. Make your events a weekly or monthly thing and watch your friend group grow even more tight-knit through the bond of good old fashioned fun!

What are your favorite games to play? What are some of your tips for the ultimate game night? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Mean Muggin’ Pt. 2

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Mean Muggin’ Pt. 2

Hello! A simple gift that I really love to receive are coffee mugs. I don’t know why, but I am always so tickled when I am presented with them and I have quite the collection from many years of exchanging during gift giving occasions with my BFF. I enjoy selecting from my mug shelf for the perfect cup to put my morning coffee in and every one reminds me of a special time or person in my life. It always starts my morning off with a smile and this new one will more than likely start my day with a laugh… If I’m not too hungover, that is. 😉 Check it out and you’ll see what I mean:

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While shopping at Target with one of my girlfriends so she could spend some Christmas gift cards, I pointed my “hungover” mug out to her because I thought it was hilarious. It was the last one on the shelf and I told her that I loved it. Without even missing a beat, my friend plucked the mug from its spot and placed it in her cart. I was so taken aback, because it was such an unexpected but pleasant surprise and I had to double check with her like a million times to make sure she was okay with the extra purchase.

Not only do I get a kick out of the funny saying on the mug, but I think the pretty flowers against the stark white background are beautiful and the sentiment behind it makes it even better. There is nothing like a sweet and simple gift to turn your day around completely and I am so thankful to my friend for her generosity. I don’t think I’ll ever not feel a warmness in my heart every time I select this mug from the cabinet! ❤

What is a simple gift that you love to receive? What does your favorite coffee mug look like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Sweet Friends Edition

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Holiday Haul: Sweet Friends Edition

Hello hello! This Christmas, I was so touched to receive some lovely gifts from two of my dear friends. One of which is my neighbor, Alice, at my family home who has been one of my besties for years now. What started out as me dog sitting her pups has turned into weekly coffee dates and hang outs and I treasure our time together so much.

Another was from my skating coach, Sarah, who I’ve known since I was at least eight years old. I love our weekly skating seshes and am so happy to have her in my life again since I rekindled my passion for figure skating. Check it out:

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Alice provided the prezzies on the left and she truly does know me so well because she got me all of my favorite things: Anything dog related, candles, and gift cards to Starbucks and TJMaxx! Alice and I always spoil each other during gift giving occasions and I definitely view her as a second mom while she sees me as the daughter she never had as a mom of three boys! We had such a lovely morning of coffee and chit chat during our gift exchange and I feel so incredibly lucky to have her as one of my best friends.

My skating coach, Sarah, gifted me with an adorable pencil pouch filled with goodies to utilize in my skating binder, which she writes notes in during our practices. It included chapstick and tons of great office supplies that will come in handy on and off the rink! I was so tickled by this thoughtful gift because it’s something that I will be putting to good use and I have already made quite a dent in the delicious sugar plum scented lip chap!

I am so thankful for having such sweet friends to share holiday cheer with and am blessed to have two wonderful women looking out for me. ❤

Do you have a second mom in your life? Have you rekindled an old passion recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah