Category Archives: Fun

Date Day Purchases

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Date Day Purchases

Hello! Prior to our engagement outing and day date this past weekend, Johnny and I have not been out in public together since the beginning of October of last year. So, needless to say, they were both very exciting days for us! Prior to the pandemic, Johnny and I were out and about in downtown Kent constantly. Whether it was for games or trivia night, dinner dates, or when Johnny’s band was playing a show – we always seemed to have plans.

Last weekend when Johnny suggested we go to Off The Wagon, a specialty toy shop in Kent, I thought it was a great idea. He recently had a huge haul of board games from there and wanted to pick some more out with me. Not only did we get to run into some of our friends who I haven’t seen since last year but we also picked out a new party and word game. I have a feeling we will be the hosts with the most when it is safe enough to have a game night again! Check it out:

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Unfortunately, when purchasing these games we both didn’t quite realize that they were meant to be played with more than two people. Lol, WHOOPS! But that’s okay because I think they are going to be a hit among our friend group. Johnny and I played a few rounds of Stupid Deaths together and it’s a party game where you decide if a unique manner of death actually happened or not, all while avoiding the Grim Reaper on the board. The deaths cover a vast period of time and some were well known while others I genuinely had no idea if it was true or false. It was really fun even with just me and Johnny and we want to get the game Stupid Criminals by the same company next!

Concept is a word game that you play on teams. You have to use tiles with pictures of different adjectives to create a clue of whatever word or phrase you have for your partner. Johnny and I are both very fond of word games, however, we probably wouldn’t have bought this one had we read the box better and realized that it was a team game! I can definitely picture playing this with my siblings and their partners, though, so no harm no foul.

The next game we have our eyes on is a cooperative adventure game based off of Stephen King’s The Shining. We would have purchased this one without a question but you need at least three players. Trust and believe we will be buying it as soon as we’re comfortable with game nights again!

What is your favorite board game? How about your favorite party game? 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

Fun & (Board) Games

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Fun & (Board) Games

Hello! Johnny and I spent this past winter hibernating with our video games and streaming services and while we will never tire of playing Diablo III together, we both agreed it would be nice to have more variety. While we love video gaming, we both enjoy playing board games, classic card games, and Magic The Gathering too. In total, we have five different video game systems so we were never hurting in that department. However, we were definitely lacking when it comes to board games. Until Johnny made some surprise purchases a few weeks ago, that is.

The day before Johnny proposed, he was running some errands and ended up at Off The Wagon – a toy store in Kent. There, he got us three new board games as well as a fourth one from Walmart and we have played at least one round of something every day since. Check it out:

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^^^ Johnny bought Horrified, Scrabble, and Seinfeld Clue from Off The Wagon and Betrayal At House On The Hill from Walmart.

My fiance is, hands down, the most thoughtful person I have ever met and his board game haul is another shining example of that. We had been talking about doing some board game shopping a few days before he made his purchases and I was delighted when he showed me his buys because, had I been there, I probably would have bought the exact same things.

Scrabble was a must because we both love word games (I will always like playing Scrabble with my mom best, though!). Seinfeld Clue was another obvious choice because that is our favorite show and we are in stitches every time we try to figure out whodoneit. We need three players for Betrayal At House On The Hill so we have yet to play but it looks like a lot of fun! Which brings us to Johnny’s last pick and, easily, our favorite of the lot: Horrified.

Horrified is an adventure cooperative game with the purpose of saving a town from classic movie monsters like Dracula, The Invisible Man, and Frankenstein and his Bride. You and your teammates work together to solve puzzles, save villagers, and slay monsters while avoiding getting attacked yourself. At first, Johnny and I were a bit intimidated by Horrified because it seemed awfully complicated. However, it was way less complex than we originally thought and got the hang of it really quickly.

We both have never played anything like Horrified before and it is so much fun that we have already began looking for similar games. Johnny and I are both huge horror fans and going face to face with characters like The Wolfman and Mummy is exciting. Horrified will never be played the same way twice and sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. No matter the outcome, we are always glad to have played and I highly recommend it!

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

Gift Ideas For Warm Weather Birthdays

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Gift Ideas For Warm Weather Birthdays

Hi! In my family, there are eight spring and summer birthdays that I have to shop for so I am never lacking in gift ideas for warm weather birthdays. Shopping for birthdays that take place when the weather is nice is a great opportunity to purchase outdoor activity based gifts. Activity gifts always go over well but will be an even bigger hit this year since we are all itching to get outside and enjoy the weather. Let’s go over some of my favorite ideas:

Gardening Supplies/Outdoor Decor:

Spring and summer are, of course, the prime gardening times so if your giftee has a green thumb, then you can’t go wrong with gardening supplies. From raised planters and pots to seeds, tools, and insect hotels – any garden improvement supplies are sure to be appreciated. You could even offer your help weekly to tend to the garden since that is an activity that can be achieved from a social distance.

If your giftee is not so gifted in the garden, outdoor decor can really help enhance their space. Bird baths, houses, and feeders, wind chimes, decorative solar lights, and benches are all great places to start. Setting up a bird feeding station in your giftee’s backyard will allow them to enjoy nature without having to get their hands dirty.

Outdoor Games:

At this point, I’m sure everyone is bored of board games so anything that can be played outside is sure to please. Bocce ball, cornhole, croquet, and horseshoes can all be played from a social distance. There are even huge outdoor versions of classic games like checkers, chess, Connect 4, and Jenga. Outdoor games are such fun and can be used year after year so they are perfect for friends who love to entertain when the weather permits.

Summertime Treats:

What is the warm weather without popsicles, smoothies, snow cones, and ice cream? Nothing, I tell you! All of the treats that I just mentioned to help cool you down on a hot day can be made from home so you could gift the appliance or supplies needed to make them. Don’t forget a recipe book so they have plenty of ideas to work with and your gift doesn’t become just a one time use item. Perfect for the person on your list with a sweet tooth.

Warm weather is also a great time to enjoy spritzers and cocktails so if you are shopping for an amateur bartender, the ingredients for light and refreshing drinks would make a nice addition to the home bar.

Painting Supplies:

Paint nights are insanely popular and are fun for the artistic and not so much alike. They can also be done in the great outdoors so how about preparing a paint night kit for your giftee? Find inspiration for a painting project on Pinterest, get the necessary supplies, a blanket to sit on, and a picnic basket to hold everything. You could even double the order to make it work for a date night for your giftee and their significant other! Whomever it is you are shopping for will love getting in touch with their creative side while enjoying the weather and will be touched by how thoughtful the gift is too. 🙂

Get started on your warm weather birthday shopping with the ideas above that will keep your giftee smiling in the sunshine for as long as the weather allows!

What season is your birthday in? What is your favorite outdoor activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Fun & (Video) Games: Valentine’s Day Edition

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Fun & (Video) Games: Valentine’s Day Edition

Hello! Johnny and I are both avid gamers. In fact, we just got done playing about an hour and a half of Diablo III on the Switch before I sat down to write this, lol. My absolute favorite video game of 2020 has to be Paper Mario: The Origami King, which Johnny gifted me with for our one year anniversary this past September. When I first learned that there was a Paper Mario game for the Switch, I was so eager to play it and devoured it in about a month.

I was looking forward to that game so much because, way back in the day, I rented Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door from Block Buster (That just aged me so much!) and never forgot how much fun it was to play. I also never forgot the fact that I got to the final boss but was never able to beat it, smh. After enjoying The Origami King so much, I told Johnny that I would give anything to play The Thousand Year Door again for the GameCube. However, I knew this was unlikely because the GameCube is no longer made, therefore, the used games are uber expensive.

I had come to terms with the fact that I would probably never play my favorite childhood game again – Until Johnny gave me my Valentine’s Day present, that is. My darling boyfriend surprised me with The Thousand Year Door a week before V-Day!

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Johnny spent the Saturday afternoon prior to Valentine’s Day running errands, but he wouldn’t tell me where he was going. I knew he was going to be getting me my V-Day gift, though, through girlfriend instinct and I couldn’t wait for him to come home so I could maybe sneak a peak at what kind of bag it was in! I wasn’t expecting him to give me my gift when he walked in the door but he was so proud of visiting two different Exchanges to get the game that he just couldn’t wait. 🙂

After I gifted Johnny with his prezzie of the LEGO Architecture Paris skyline set, we spent the afternoon with him building our own mini Paris while I played my new game. It was absolutely perfect and The Thousand Year Door was just as fun and adorable as I remember it being. Whether Johnny and I are trying to beat an impossible seeming level of Mario Galaxy or slaying hell’s demons in Diablo III, I love our video game time together.

I am so blown away by Johnny’s gift and how thoughtful it was because it shows me that he listens when I tell him about my favorite things and that’s what means the most to me. Celebrating holidays with Johnny never gets old and I can’t wait for infinite more Valentine’s Days with him. ❤

What was your favorite childhood video game? What video game are you currently playing? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat!

LEGO Architecture Paris Skyline Set

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LEGO Architecture Paris Skyline Set

Hi! My boyfriend, Johnny, and I love building with LEGO and we have quite the collection of Harry Potter and Star Wars sets. For Valentine’s Day, Johnny and I never really go overboard with gifts for each other and one of the two things that I got him was the Paris skyline LEGO set from their Architecture collection. Paris is, easily, one of the most romantic places in the world and it is somewhere that I would love to go with Johnny.

Given the world’s current conditions, it will be a long time until we make it there so, for now, our own little Paris on our knick knack shelf will suffice! Check it out:

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When building with LEGO, Johnny and I have our process down to a science. He handles all of the little pieces and details while I build with the bigger bricks because putting the small ones together are impossible with my nails! As you can see, the Paris Architecture set is completely made up of teeny tiny bricks so Johnny built it in its entirety in a matter of an hour while we talked and listened to music. I was blown away by how quickly he got it done!

Our Paris set is the first one that we have gotten together that is not inspired from a movie and it was the perfect introduction to the LEGO Architecture collection. I am so looking forward to when Johnny and I can travel together because I would love to have a LEGO skyline set of the places that we visit. Each skyline set boasts the most recognizable landmarks in each city. For Paris, this included the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Tour Montparnasse, Grand Palais, Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysees.

Johnny really enjoyed building this set because it was so different than anything that we already have. I am so happy that my Valentine’s Day gift to him was a success and be sure to keep it posted to see what Johnny surprised me with!

Where would you love to travel to? Which LEGO sets do you have? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & (Video) Games Pt. 2

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Fun & (Video) Games Pt. 2

Hi! For one of my Christmas gifts, Johnny let me pick out a game on the Nintendo Switch store for myself since I haven’t had much to play since beating Paper Mario: The Origami King, which he got me for our one year anniversary. I have always enjoyed playing Mario games and ever since playing the new Paper Mario, I have been in a huge Mario mood. Let me just say Mario one more time… MARIO. 😀

Anyways, for my Christmas gift, I decided to go with a three pack of Mario games that included Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario Sunshine. I was most looking forward to playing Super Mario Sunshine, as I can remember always being excited to play it at the Target video game section while running errands with my mom whenever I was younger.

Unfortunately, Super Mario Sunshine was a complete bust and, despite having Johnny help me, we had trouble completing even the first few levels. The catch with Super Mario Sunshine is that there is no traditional jump and punch fighting – you are spraying everything with water! The controls were dodgy and the fact that it wasn’t like a classic Mario game in the slightest were definitely grounds to try a different game so I scrapped Sunshine and went with playing Super Mario Galaxy, instead. And, let me tell you, I am SO glad I did!

Super Mario Galaxy was an absolute blast and I finally beat it this past week. It was so much fun because it was such a completely different version of Mario thanks to the outer space setting. Because of gravity, not only could you explore the top part of the platforms but you could also run about on its bottom and sides without fear of falling off. It made each level thrilling because there was so much to do as there was a lot of space to cover.

In Galaxy, it always felt like something new was happening – a new galaxy or planet being discovered, a letter from Luigi, or the opportunity for different powers like turning into a bee or a bouncy spring. From scaling giant honey combs to exploring underwater caverns, no two levels were alike and it was impossible to beat one level without seeing which the next one (or two, or three) would be like.

The best part of playing Super Mario Galaxy, though, was when Johnny would help me beat the levels I was stuck on. There were a lot of tricky aspects to the game that involved motion, as it was originally for the Wii. Levels that involved rolling around on a ball or surfing on an eel always left me calling for him for help and he would drop whatever he was doing to give it a try. So sweet!

We delighted in beating levels together and even on the ones we couldn’t beat, it was still fun to keep trying until our lives ran out. After beating the game, I found out you could unlock a new world if you beat every single level and, unfortunately, that’s just not going to happen. Lol, so I plan on playing Super Mario 64 next!

What video game are you currently playing? What is your favorite Mario game? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

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Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

Hello! One of my favorite hobbies is learning new languages and I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech on Duolingo. Pre-pandemic, I was lucky if I could get a four or five day streak of practice going with a busy work and social schedule. Now, I am proud to say that I am on an over ONE HUNDRED day streak of practicing all five languages and I am honestly blown away by it. I also don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

For the past one hundred plus days, I have been dedicated to doing one to two lessons per language daily with Duo and it’s exciting for me because I can definitely tell that I have made great improvements. I consider myself to be quite fluent in French (I took it throughout high school and college) and I think I have made huge gains, as I can understand a majority of the French shows and movies I watch without subtitles now. I have found that my Spanish and Italian is much smoother and my vocabulary in both German and Czech has made good progress too.

I know people have talked about their hobbies to NO END during the COVID-19 pandemic but it is just so cool to me to notice substantial gains from just one hundred days of practicing for a half hour. Everything from work to social lives seems to be on a stand still right now with not much to look forward to. However, I look forward to working on my languages every day now so my skill set can continue to blossom.

Learning a different language opens up a whole new world. New friendships, new skills, new entertainment, new dream locations to travel to. Duolingo is a free app and if you find yourself overwhelmed by all of the free time we now have, then I highly recommend giving it a download. You can even treat yourself to Duolingo Plus, which will give you unlimited hearts! Learning something new is exhilarating and incorporating Duolingo into your life could be just what you need to shake some blahs away until things get back to normal. ❤

Do you know a different language? How do you practice? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Need A New Hobby? Try The Following!

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Need A New Hobby? Try The Following!

Hey! Hobbies, hobbies, hobbies. That’s all you hear about when people talk pandemic and, as it has been almost a year since the start of this craziness, you might have exhausted all of the options of things to keep you occupied. Believe you me, I feel it completely and have felt like I’ve been stuck in a never ending loop of work, video games, Netflix, and bed. It can be hard to break that cycle but maybe these ideas below will help inspire all of us to keep on trying new things, despite all of the boredom blues. Let’s get to it:

Library Programs:

If your local libraries are anything like the ones in Ohio, then the events calendar on their website should be full of virtual programs that you can enjoy. There are events for every age group to participate in from story time for children to concerts from local talent and craft nights on Zoom. Take a look at your library’s website, see what sparks your interest, and sign up. The best part? If you don’t like it, all you need to do is close out of the Zoom call!

Make Some Money:

I used to be a huge fan of garage sale style apps like LetGo and they can be a great tool when you are doing a big home clean out. Start your spring cleaning early and see if you have anything that you’d like to try your hand at selling. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say, and you could put your earnings towards a vacation fund when it is safer to travel. Plus: Clean house. It’s a total win/win.

Check Out Local Specialty Shops:

In my neck of the woods, there are plenty of small businesses that you can support and a lot of them have programs offered online. Perhaps your local game shop has an online Dungeons & Dragons community? Or maybe the craft store offers online tutorials on completing an art project from their employees. Not only will you help support their business but it will be a great way to meet new people and possibly develop a brand new hobby.

Fresh Spins On Old Favorites:

There is nothing wrong with sticking with the same old if it’s what you enjoy but how about putting a spin on it? Love pampering yourself in your free time? Try your hand at making your own soaps or lotion. Handy in the kitchen? Open your cook book to a random page and whip up something you never tried before. Book worm? Start your own book club with your friends over Zoom! Incorporating some new things into a hobby that is already your favorite will keep things exciting and you can become skilled in all areas of your craft.

We still have a long way to go before things go back to “normal”, which means we are going to be confined to our homes for a bit longer. Try the ideas above and, before you know it, nicer weather will be here and seeing friends safely outdoors will be possible! 😀

How do you spend your time in lock down? What is something new that you’d like to try? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Virtual Game Night: Planning The Ultimate Night In

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Virtual Game Night: Planning The Ultimate Night In

Right now, with the state of the world and the pandemic that continues to rage around us, it’s not possible to see our friends and family as much as we might like. Life is complicated, things are complex, and it’s difficult to spend as much time with those we care about the most, which can leave you craving social interaction in a normal way. Enter Zoom, FaceTime, and every other video chat app that’s taken the world by storm.

These video chatting apps have made virtual get togethers with friends and loved ones doable, and have meant that while we cannot be physically close, we can still spend time with those who mean the most to us, which is amazing. If you’re getting bored of virtual quizzes, then perhaps you might like to plan a virtual game night for you and a group of your friends. The great thing about virtual game nights is that they’re fairly easy to organize and can be a lot of fun for everyone involved.

Wondering what it takes to plan the perfect virtual game night? Below are a few tips and ideas for how you can get started:

Do your research:

A great way to make planning a virtual games night a little easier is to take the time to do your research to make your night a success. You don’t want your event to be stale or boring so that everyone has a great time from start to finish. Resources like Pinterest have lots of ideas available, so it might be worth taking the time to have a browse of those for inspiration as well as finding out everyone’s favorite games to possibly incorporate.

Send out kits to everyone:

Don’t just rely on technology to make your game night amazing, get creative with the games that you play. Yes, utilizing resources like Jackbox TV which can be played via smartphones is a great idea, as there are various digital games to choose from, but it’s always fun to try something different. If you plan on organizing a more traditional game, make sure to send out kits along with dice from skullsplitterdice.com for everyone to use during the evening. Make the kits fun and exciting; you could even opt to theme them if you’re having a themed games night, such as a murder mystery event. The more creative you can be, the better.

Incorporate drinks and snacks:

Don’t forget to incorporate drinks and snacks into your games night, just like you would have on a face-to-face hang out. Send off snack packs to all of your guests and if you really want to go all out, incorporate the ingredients to a signature cocktail for everyone to enjoy.

Seeing your friends and family over the computer screen is not the same as real life but it’s sure better than not seeing them at all! A weekly or monthly virtual game night will be the perfect way to keep in touch until it’s safer to meet in person.

Featured Image By: Pixabay