Better Early Than Never!

Standard
Better Early Than Never!

Hello!!! Question: How early is too early to be thinking about Christmas?! If the answer is the first week of September, then WHOOPS because I have already started my Christmas shopping lol. With over fifteen people that I need to buy prezzies for, I always like to get a jump on my shopping so I am not stuck with one huge bill come December. It is also so nice to be done with holiday shopping early because then I can just sit back and enjoy the season. 🙂

Are you looking to get a head start on your holiday shopping too? Then follow these tips:

Make A List:

I always suggest this but it is so true! I would be nowhere without my “to buy” list and have a Word document that I consult while I online shop. On my list, I name off everyone to shop for with multiple gift ideas per person. Once I have bought the presents for someone on my list, I simply delete their space and there is nothing more satisfying than that! Not only does my list keep me organized but it also assists me with budgeting to help me stay in my comfort zone.

Better Early Than Never:

This is probably the earliest I have ever began my shopping and I’m glad for it. Due to the pandemic, there is no telling how long certain items will take to ship and I like knowing that I will have everything ready to go come Christmas day. There is nothing worse than the anxiety of if something will show up before the holiday and early shopping helps nip that fear in the bud.

If you are planning a customized or commissioned present for someone, I can’t recommend consulting with the business now enough. Local artists and Etsy shops are going to be slammed during the holiday season and they might not have the time to create your gift if you wait too long.

Get Inspired:

When I lack inspiration for gift ideas, I like to think back to what hobbies the person has and what they might need to enjoy it even more. For example, one of my giftees is a grill master so I purchased a wood smoking kit for him to experiment with. Do you know someone with a green thumb? A raised planter box is a great idea so they have even more space to garden with. Is there a coffee enthusiast in your life? How about a customized mug?

I love giving hobby specific gifts because I know that my giftee is going to be able to use it. Once you start thinking in terms of what they like to do in their free time, the present possibilities are endless!

Plan Accordingly:

Getting your holiday shopping done early is great. However, it is smart to look into the return and exchange policies of where you are buying from. If your giftee happens to not like their present, you might not be able to do anything about it once the holiday is over. If the website you’re purchasing from has a return policy that won’t work a couple of months away, try finding the item in store instead. Create a back up plan too in case you can’t find it in store and it gets sold out online.

Also, don’t forget to keep your receipts and gift receipts in a safe space and especially don’t forget where you put them! 😀

It’s not even close to Halloween yet but that doesn’t mean that you can’t think a couple of holidays ahead! Follow the tips above to get an awesome head start on your holiday shopping. 🙂

Are you an early or last minute holiday shopper? What is your favorite holiday? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pikin’ & Grinnin’

Standard
Pikin’ & Grinnin’

Hello! First of all, major props to whomever got the Hee Haw reference of this post title! Second of all, I have been absolutely loving the waterpik that I purchased after my visit to the periodontist last week. During my appointment, I was so pleased to learn that my dental problems had remained stable during my long stint of no check ups thanks to the pandemic. To continue improving the issues, I bought a waterpik as soon as I got home as per the recommendations of the professionals:

I am still getting used to using my new waterpik and literally every review I have read on them was right – it is very messy at first! I have had to resort to laying a bath towel around the sink because the water just gets everywhere. I know that these mini flash floods in my bathroom will come to a halt once I get better at using the waterpik, though, so that is not a deterrent in the slightest.

I also read on the reviews for the waterpik that I bought that it was incredibly noisy but I haven’t found that to be true at all. It has the noise you would expect from a product like this – nothing more, nothing less. Even if it were obnoxiously loud, you can’t beat the price of this waterpik (about seventy dollars) for how well it works and all of the different accessories that comes with it.

This waterpik included five different tips which will help in different ways:

  • Plaque seeker tip: This one needs no further explanation
  • Toothbrush tip: Neither does this one
  • Tongue cleaner tip: Or this one
  • Orthodontic tip: This one is good for people with braces
  • Pik pocket tip: This is the one that I use as it gets deep into the periodontal pockets for an intense clean

I have been using my waterpik with the pik pocket tip every morning and night and my gums have already started to feel better. They are not as tender and I feel them getting healthier with every use. Dare I say it, I am almost looking forward to my next appointments with my dentist and periodontist because this is going to improve my oral hygiene tenfold and I think that they are going to be proud! 😀

Do you use a waterpik? How do you feel about going to the dentist? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & Games: Legend Of Zelda Monopoly Edition

Standard
Fun & Games: Legend Of Zelda Monopoly Edition

Hi! My husband and I celebrated two years of being together on the first of the month and it was definitely the “fun and games” anniversary. I was gifted with a new Harry Potter LEGO set and I gave Johnny the Legend Of Zelda Monopoly and two new Link Amiibos. Johnny and I are avid gamers and we love to play board, video, and card games together. While we have a massive board game collection, Monopoly was one we didn’t have and it made for the perfect gift:

At least one night per weekend, Johnny and I turn it into our gaming time and will stay up late playing, talking, and listening to music. This past weekend, we broke out the Legend Of Zelda Monopoly and it was an absolute hoot. If you couldn’t tell by now, that is my Johnny’s favorite series of games so he was over the moon over this gift. I was so happy that he loved it and I loved beating his butt at it! 😀

During our game night, we also played the Seinfeld Party Game About Nothing and it was such a fun take on classic trivia. The first player to get to seventy-five points by answering a variety of different questions wins… And, yes, I beat Johnny at that too!! Whether we are having an at home game night or one with friends, both of these games are sure to be a hit and I can’t wait to play them again. 🙂

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

Jean Queen

Standard
Jean Queen

Hi! This past weekend, Johnny and I had a super cute day date to the mall because I needed new jeans in a bad way. While I am partial to clothes shopping at TJMaxx, the jeans and shorts from American Eagle are simply the best so heading to Summit Mall was the move.

I love AEO for their pants selection because they tend to always have a regular rise option, which is ideal for me because I am not a fan of high waisted anything. Naturally, this time they didn’t have one regular rise pair of jeans so I had to step out of my comfort zone with a “super high rise” skinny:

Now, you might find yourselves asking why I went with a super high rise pair if I hate high waisted so much and, honestly, I didn’t even plan on trying these on. I’m glad I gave them a shot, though, because they weren’t that bad. The rise on AEO’s super high rise hit about an inch below my belly button and I can live with that. Anything higher would have been a definite no go because it is not the most flattering style on me.

Mine and Johnny’s motto is that you can never have enough black skinny jeans and that is literally all we wear! I went with a nondistressed pair, which will be great for work. But, I am most excited for the distressed pair I purchased with rips all the way up to the mid thigh. Shockingly enough, I can’t say that I have ever owned a distressed pair of jeans before because I have never found an option that I liked enough. I have a feeling that I will be wearing them all of the time… In fact, I have them on right now! 😀

Super high or regular rise, American Eagle is the most when it comes to jeans. They also had some fabulous fall clothes for all of you back to school shoppers out there!

What is your preferred jean rise? Which store has the best jean selection? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Buying A Fixer-Upper? Fix These Essentials First!   

Standard
Buying A Fixer-Upper? Fix These Essentials First!   

For some people, one of the low-cost ways into becoming a home owner is by purchasing a property that needs some remodeling: a “fixer-upper”. As you can appreciate, such houses are cheap because they often need extensive repairs and updates to become habitable again. You’re probably thinking of buying a fixer-upper as your first property project. If that’s the case, make sure you fix these essential items first:

Roof:

The first thing you need to do is have the roof inspected. If there are broken or missing roof tiles, for example, rainwater can cause a lot of damage to internal ceilings and walls. You may need some minor repairs or it might transpire that you need a new roof. The only way you will know whether the roof is okay or not and the extent of any required repairs is by having a professional go up and inspect everything.

Plumbing:

The roof isn’t the only part of your fixer-upper that you need to check and repair. You’ll also need to find out whether there are any issues with the plumbing in your property. Do any water pipes leak, especially near faucets or underneath wooden flooring? Are the waste pipes intact and clear of obstructions from the bathroom and kitchen? What about the pipes going to heating radiators and the radiators themselves?

You’ll also need to check that the main water can enter without any problem and, similarly, that wastewater goes to sewage pipes without any blockages, leaks, or other issues.

Heating System:

Whether you plan to live in the house or want to fix it and sell it for profit, you need to make sure that the heating system in the property is working. For example, you’ll need a heating engineer or plumber to check that your furnace is operating as expected. If the house has a combined HVAC system, you’ll need an expert to check that it’s fully operational. In an old, dilapidated home, it’s probably cheaper to have a new HVAC system installed instead of trying to fix the existing one.

Electrical Wiring:

The trouble with electrical wiring, irrespective of whether it gets fitted to a domestic or commercial property, is that it degrades over time. The plastic insulation on wires can break down or even melt in some cases. Old switches and sockets can be challenging to operate and might easily break due to their age. If you doubt that the electrical wiring in your fixer-upper isn’t safe and reliable, you need to have an electrician inspect all of the wiring, switches, and sockets.

Again, it can sometimes be more cost-effective to have an upgrade instead of trying to repair what’s already in place. Note that you may need to plaster walls and ceilings if you have a full rewire at your property.

Windows and Doors:

Lastly, you want to ensure that the house you are buying keeps warm air inside and cold air outdoors. Plus, you want it to be safe and secure when there is no one at home. With that in mind, you should check if the windows and doors need repairing or replacing.

Once you’ve completed the above essential checks and repairs, you can then concentrate on other areas like decorating. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Back On The Ice!

Standard
Back On The Ice!

Hi! About a year and a half prior to the start of the pandemic, I got back into ice skating regularly and having lessons with my childhood coach. I looked forward to my weekly lessons so much and I had a blast working on all of my old jumps, spins, and footwork as well as learning how to ice dance. It felt so good to be back on the ice and it did wonders for both my mental and physical health.

Needless to say, I was simply devastated when the pandemic hit and I could no longer skate. Not only did I miss my weekend me time but I was making such good progress which I knew would be lost without hitting the ice. I would do off ice workouts to keep myself sharp but there is nothing better than actually skating!

Now that I am fully vaccinated and settled with my new job, I am so happy to report that I had my first skating lesson this past weekend. It was my first time back on the ice since January of 2020 and it was the absolute best.

Stepping back on the ice after so long was a wonderful feeling and, although I completely forgot all of my ice dances, I was able to pick up right where I left off with everything else. Chalk it up to muscle memory but my coach and I were both incredibly surprised that I was nailing my different jumps and spins on the first go! This made me feel so proud of myself and even more motivated to continue to improve.

By the end of my hour session, I was completely exhausted. Off ice workouts are great but it pales in comparison to the real thing! If I could, I would go skating every single day and even though I was worn out from my session, I wanted to go back on the ice again after a much deserved break!

I cannot wait for my next practice and am so eager to learn new things, improve the old, and relearn all of my ice dances! ❤

Do you play any sports? What is your favorite way to workout? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pearly Whites

Standard
Pearly Whites

Hi! Ever since I had an oral surgery gone wrong close to three years ago, I have had a HUGE fear of the dentist. But, let’s be real, I’ve always been kind of afraid of it and instead of facing my fears, I just wouldn’t go. In the beginning of February 2020, I finally worked up the courage to see a periodontist and had a handful of appointments with him. Then, the worst of the pandemic hit and I hadn’t been back since.

Although I hadn’t been to see the periodontist, I worked hard to keep up my oral hygiene with an electric toothbrush and tried my best to at least keep my problems stable. However, going so long without having any type of check up brought me back to my ambivalence of ever returning. Which is why I am proud to say that I actually had my first appointment with my periodontist since the pandemic this past week! 😀

You guys have no idea how nervous I was for this appointment because of my phobia in general and I was extremely worried that my issues had worsened. Which is why I am even prouder to say that thanks to my improved oral hygiene, the problems that I went in for had remained stable!! My worst nightmare would have been hearing the professionals say “What happened?!” so to hear that I had been doing as good as I could have been was such a big relief.

While the issues with my gums are by no means great, I am so motivated to continue making it better after this appointment. I have cleanings scheduled with my regular dentist and my periodontist. I also purchased a waterpik as per their recommendation as soon as I returned home. I like to think that even if the appointment didn’t go well, I still would have done all of that but it would definitely have made it much scarier.

I was all but traumatized after my surgery gone wrong and I think anyone would have been if they couldn’t eat for a month. I still can’t look at a bottle of Ensure without having flashbacks! But I am so happy that I am on the right track to keep improving and I plan to stay on it, no matter what my fears are.

I think I will always be somewhat afraid to go to a dentist or periodontist but this is a great first step in, at least, lessening my phobia a little bit. In fact, I might even be a little excited to keep going back and I feel hopeful that I will continue to make improvements. GOOD FOR ME! 🙂

What are you afraid of? How do you face your fears? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Last Thing He Told Me By Laura Dave Edition

Standard
Lil Red’s Book Club: The Last Thing He Told Me By Laura Dave Edition

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller by Laura Dave called The Last Thing He Told Me – without giving any spoilers away, of course. This book kept me on the edge of my seat with twists and turns on every page and an ending that almost made my cry. I simply could not put it down and devoured it in less than a week! Now, let’s get to it:

Hannah and Owen have been married for about a year and everything is going picture perfect. They live in a charming houseboat with Owen’s teenage daughter, Bailey, in Sausalito, California and Hannah constantly wonders how she got so lucky. Even though Bailey is not particularly thrilled over the relationship!

Hannah thinks that she knows everything there is to know about Owen until he doesn’t return home from work. Instead of calling, he has a note delivered to their front door with the simple message of “Protect her.” on it. Shortly after Hannah receives the note, we learn that the CEO of the tech company that her husband works for has been indited for major fraud and embezzlement. Fast forward a few days later and Owen has seemingly disappeared without a trace… That is, except for the huge bag of cash he left in Bailey’s locker at school.

As if Hannah didn’t have enough to stress about, the FBI and U.S. Marshals are hot on her trail and she knows that she needs to act fast to save herself, her step daughter, and husband. With the unlikely help of Bailey, they begin to uncover dark secrets of Owen’s past that could put all of them in unspeakable danger. This begs the question of if Hannah and Bailey really even knew him at all.

The Last Thing He Told Me was a fast paced, urgent read because every twist that occurred put everyone closer to being in harm’s way. This is why I couldn’t stop reading if I tried and it was definitely a nice change of pace from the lackluster Such A Quiet Place, which I finished recently. The Last Thing He Told Me also offered a story line that was incredibly unique which made trying to figure out the grand reveal pretty difficult. There were some things I got right and others that I missed and that made it even better.

What I liked the most about The Last Thing He Told Me were all of the different emotions that I felt while reading. Hannah and Bailey’s anxiety was palpable and they were both so easy to root for as they were thrown into such a life altering situation. I felt bad that Hannah’s fairy tale was cut short and awful that the only parent Bailey has left had disappeared off the face of the Earth. This made all of their discoveries and final heart wrenching sentence even more triumphant to the point that I was almost moved to tears.

I really can’t go into detail about Owen’s past because it would ruin the point of reading this book. I can tell you, however, that if you like a good thriller, then The Last Thing He Told Me is definitely worth the read. I am going to award it with an eight out of ten star rating. Laura Dave delivered with flawed but insanely likeable characters and a book that will keep you guessing until the very end. I highly recommend it!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

 

Bath & Body Works September Freebie

Standard
Bath & Body Works September Freebie

Hi! Treating myself to my favorite bath and body care is one of my favorite things to do, which is why I love shopping with Bath & Body Works. When you shop their sales or their amazing semi annual sale, you can score the best deals and I always look forward to replenishing my beauty care hoard with them. What’s more, they are constantly sending coupons in the mail for freebies and percentages off your purchase. This past week, I picked up this super handy September freebie:

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no better freebie than a pocket sized hand sanitizer! When it came to picking out which scent I wanted for my hand sani, it was important to me to find one with a fairly neutral scent. The last hand sanitizer by B&BW that I picked out years ago was a fall fragrance but it was so overly pungent that I never wanted to use it. While there were more exciting scents to choose from, I ended up with Be A Good Human, which is a simple citrus fragrance.

This pocket sized hand sanitizer is ideal for being on the go since it fits so comfortably on your person or in your purse. Although it was an inexpensive freebie, I was so happy with it and thought that it was a great idea on B&BW’s part. I will definitely be using my Be A Good Human sanitizer often and plan on purchasing it again once I run out!

What is your favorite Bath & Body Works scent? Which store offers the best freebies and promotions? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fall Is In The Air

Standard
Fall Is In The Air

Hi! I am not the biggest coffee drinker any more and prefer my morning Diet Coke to give me a caffeine jolt before my work day. However, when Starbucks introduces their fall flavors back on the menu, I always just have to treat myself to at least one of them per year! I can take or leave their Pumpkin Spice Latte because apple is my all time favorite fall flavor. So, when I learned that there was an Apple Crisp Iced Macchiato available I couldn’t wait to give it a shot:

Nothing feels more fall than a seasonal drink from Starbucks and I decided to have my yearly fall beverage during my break at work. I was ready for all things caramel apple but, unfortunately, I wasn’t too blown away by the Apple Crisp Macchiato. It was tasty, yes. Sadly, it just wasn’t apple-y enough! I think I talked it up so much in my head and with my sister that anything less than a super apple coffee drink just wouldn’t cut it. -_-

I will say, though, that the last few sips of the drink were magnificent because it tasted exactly like my favorite fall candy – the caramel apple suckers. It was just getting to that point that was the problem, lol! I am also going to be the first one to admit that I definitely could have done with getting a Grande sized drink rather than the Venti. All of that caffeine made me so jittery and HOT at work and I am normally freezing all of the time. Such a rookie mistake!

Was this my favorite drink ever? No. But it was pretty good. Now, I will just be eagerly awaiting my yearly Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks during the Christmas season. 😀

What is your favorite drink from Starbucks? What is your favorite seasonal flavor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah