Tag Archives: 330

All In Your Own Backyard

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All In Your Own Backyard

Hello!! When I first started working as an Independent Provider for people with special needs, I was mainly on the evening shift for purely social outings with my clients. For free and fun entertainment, we would often hit up the local libraries in the greater Akron area. Activities ranged from vinyl record clubs to art projects and murder mysteries and it was always a blast.

Now, I work in the mornings and afternoons and provide care under the umbrella of daily living skills. It has been a while since I scoured the library and community websites for outings and I, honestly, kind of forgot how amazing all of our local programs are until this summer. My family has certainly been making the most of them!

This past summer, people in my family have attended numerous events including a watercolor painting class and a Comicon style vendor fair. We have also loved taking my sweet niece to story time almost every week at the library. It is the most adorable little hour filled with books, songs, and crafts. My heart just melted when I took Val last week. ❀

Over last weekend, I experienced one of the best community events I have been to in a while with my dad and Val – the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival. It was held at the Goodyear Heights Metro Park and featured awesome performances by various dance groups. We got to watch a jazz and ballet troop as well as the dancers from ArtSparks, which is a dance group made up of people with special needs. It was SO cool!

The main event of the night was a performance by Pilobolus, a world famous troop. However, we didn’t get to watch them because it was getting close to Valerie’s bedtime. All of the dancers we did see were spectacular but the best part of the night was when the kids in the audience got to take the stage. Val had a blast learning different ballet and jazz moves. She also unintentionally stole the show when she was showing off her newfound skills during another performance lol it was so funny. πŸ˜€

After Val learned some dance steps, she said that she would like to take dance classes and that’s what is so wonderful about all of these community programs. Not only do you get to meet new people but you also get to try your hand at new things for free or close to it. Similarly, my mom and I now paint in our free time after the ten dollar watercolor class we took.

Children, teenagers, and adults alike can all benefit from local programs – you just need to know where to look. Library websites, newspapers, and community pages can all point you in the right direction. If you are searching for new activities with minimal funding, then this is the way to go. Explore your community and have fun!

What community events do you like to attend? Have you learned a new skill or hobby recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Funko Fandom Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Funko Fandom Edition

Hello! Johnny and I are constantly surprising each other with little gifts, favorite meals, and upgrades to our Halloween decor. It is always so nice for us to come home to a treat, especially with things being as stressful as they are in my life right now. This past weekend, Johnny went to a convention with my brother at the Akron library that featured all things anime, comics, super heroes, and various fandoms. These are the prezzies that I returned home to:

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Although mine and Johnny’s Funko Pop collection pales in comparison to my brother’s, we have our fair share too. Our Funko shelf includes characters from Seinfeld, Diablo, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, and the incomparable Bret Michaels from our days of obsessing over Rock Of Love. What a crazy time for TV that was!

The Elvira Funko that Johnny brought home is one that I get. She’s a goddess among mere mortals and everyone should feel lucky to share planet Earth with her. The Igor Karkaroff one, however, was a head scratcher lol. Johnny and I love the Harry Potter franchise but it’s not like Igor is our favorite character of all time. In fact, I feel like we have never even mentioned him in passing when watching the movies. I am so not mad about whatever urge Johnny felt to purchase it, though, because it was such a random funny thing when I walked in the apartment.

Not only did Johnny come home with new Funkos but he also got me a new sticker for my laptop. Lol at it being Hogwarts Castle as the White Castle logo! I adore the book marks he snagged for free from a local artist, Griffie – Kiss for him and movie monsters for me. This was so thoughtful because he noticed that I had an old receipt tucked in a book and thought that’s what I was using to mark the pages. Little did he know that was unintentional and it just happened when I had it in my work bag. Regardless, it was really sweet!

What a guy, am I right? Johnny is such an angel and these Sweet Surprises were just what I needed to put a smile on my face. ❀

What do you like to surprise people with? Which Funko Pops do you have in your collection? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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“Weird Al” Yankovic Concert

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“Weird Al” Yankovic Concert

Hello!! This past Wednesday, my dad, brother, Johnny, and I went to see “Weird Al” Yankovic in concert at the Goodyear Theater in Akron. My brother and I haven’t seen “Weird Al” since 2012 during his Mandatory Fun tour and we had an absolute blast! Although we all stayed up way too late on a school night, we would do it again in a heartbeat for two and a half hours of nonstop laughs. Let’s get to it:

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As you can see by the pictures, we didn’t have the best seats for The Unfortunate Return Of The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advised Vanity Tour. We were in the very last row of the balcony! However, this was actually fine by us because it was like having our own little private section and no one was breathing all over us lol. Despite the crappy pictures, we could still see everything perfectly… Except for when the stage lights were blinding us!

The show began with a set by comedian, Emo Phillips, and it was a riot. Him and “Weird Al” have been touring together for years now and he is also one of Johnny’s favorites so it was cool to see him live. He was SO damn funny and one of his jokes was one of the best parts of the night. Emo mentioned there were probably some liberals here and people cheered. Then, he said there were probably some conservatives here and some guy yelled “YEAH”. To which Emo replied with “Oh, okay. Don’t worry – I won’t talk about politics, religion, or science”. I think this guy was looking for some type of confirmation but he got completely MERKED and that’s always nice to see! πŸ˜€

After a rousing set by Emo, it was time for Yankovic to take the stage. The very long name of his tour meant that he was going to be performing some of his lesser known hits, which were primarily non-parody songs. He also told us stories about how each song came to be before playing them so it was neat to hear him just talking to us.

The opening number of the set was “CNR” and songs like “Lame Claim To Fame”, “Close But No Cigar”, “I’ll Sue Ya”, “Dog Eat Dog”, “First World Problems”, and “Skipper Dan” were all included. A moving coffee shop rendition of “Dare To Be Stupid” was also performed. We saw him play that during the Mandatory Fun tour and it was even funnier the second time around. That was definitely one of our favorite songs of the show!

To wrap things up before a lengthy encore, “Weird Al” told us about how his biopic “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” will be released in November. He said he didn’t know how to feel about it, though, because there’s already a song that tells his life story… ALBUQUERQUE!!!!! So, obviously, everyone lost their shit and he added all kinds of silly bits to it that included starting the song over from the beginning. It was the absolute best.

An amazing time was had by all at the concert and we must do our due diligence to protect “Weird Al” Yankovic at all costs. The man is a national treasure!! ❀

What is your favorite “Weird Al” song? Who else is excited for his biopic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hibachi Japan Double Date

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Hibachi Japan Double Date

Hello!! This past week, Johnny and I went on a double date to Hibachi Japan with my best friend Lea and her husband Brandon. We had the best time and the food was delicious!! I have not been to this restaurant in close to five years and out of the blue, I had a HUGE craving for it so I was really looking forward to this outing. πŸ˜€ Take a look:

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Hibachi Japan is such a fun date night restaurant to go to because the chef expertly prepares your food right in front of you. The random bursts of fire, patrons at the table trying to catch pieces of shrimp, and exciting atmosphere all make for a perfect evening out. The restaurant window shades also added a touch of ambiance and made the fire seem even brighter! The chef prepared meals are also great because it includes two appetizers and dessert, which is an awesome value!

To start off our meal, we ordered drinks and Johnny and I both got the signature cocktail called Purple Rain. It is basically a Long Island Iced Tea with raspberry and it is delightful but strong – I couldn’t finish mine! Then, along came the appetizers which consisted of soup and salad. Unfortunately, the soup uses beef broth so I was given two salads and that was fine by me because the peanut salad dressing is to die for. I actually had three salads because Johnny barely ate his. πŸ˜€

After appetizers, our chef came to begin cooking our entrees. I got the tofu and veggies with rice and the rest of our table ordered rice with chicken, steak, or shrimp. The portions were huge, as you can see, and no one could finish their entire plate! I am usually not the biggest fan of tofu but it just hits different at Hibachi. It is crispy on the outside and soft in the middle and I savored every bite.

In all honesty, we couldn’t have ate another bite but how can you say no to pineapple sorbet for dessert?! It was DIVINE. The bold pineapple flavor was complimented with the creamiest texture and I wish I could buy it by the gallon. It was also especially yummy with broken up pieces of fortune cookie on top.

Once we all officially couldn’t move, it was time to head home after a wonderful double date. A marvelous time was had by all and I will definitely not be waiting another five years to go back! πŸ˜€

What is your favorite restaurant? What do you love to order from there? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Date Day!

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Date Day!

Hello! At least every other week, Johnny and I like to have a date day over the weekend before our regularly scheduled game nights. Whether it be going out to lunch or dinner, having a drink at our favorite bar, or shopping around at some of our go to game stores, it’s just nice to be out and about. This past weekend, we decided to go middle class fancy and hit up the Red Lobster before a rousing game of Legend Of Zelda Monopoly:

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^^^ Lol, peep that Pablo Cruise shirt! πŸ˜€

Johnny and I have a very similar sense of humor and are constantly making each other laugh. When we first started dating, he told me a story about how he went to Red Lobster with a girlfriend and her dad and had a laugh attack about something that no one found funny. He was so tickled by the fake newspaper “The Daily Catch” that his fish and chips was wrapped in and he didn’t even receive a titter from anyone else. He got a huge belly laugh from me, though!

On Saturday, he must have been craving fish and chips something fierce and texted me when I was at my parents if I wanted to go to “The Lob” for lunch. I had no idea what he was talking about and thought it was a new restaurant that had opened so I said sure. When I was informed that it was Red Lobster, I couldn’t deny him his Daily Catch and he had also scoured the menu to make sure there was something that I could eat there as a vegetarian. Such an angel. ❀

We hit up The Lob and I was honestly so surprised by how much I enjoyed the food. The cheddar biscuits were out of this world and my pasta dish was delicious with a lemon and garlic sauce. The drinks weren’t bad, either, and I got a Margarita while Johnny went for a Bahama Mama. Unfortunately, his fish and chips didn’t feature The Daily Catch which was the whole point of going but we still had a blast.

In my area of Ohio, the majority of restaurants are chain ones like Red Lobster, Applebees, and TGIFridays. Our date day was such a typical Midwest middle class fancy outing and like everything, we could find the humor in it. Will we be dining at Red Lobster all of the time? Probably not. Will I be excited every time Johnny suggests The Lob now? Absolutely! πŸ˜€

What is your favorite chain restaurant? What is a middle class fancy outing for you like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Akron Zoo Get Closer Experience

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Akron Zoo Get Closer Experience

Hello!!! This past Friday was basically the coolest ever because my brother, Andrew, and I went to the Akron Zoo for a Get Closer Experience. This was a gift to him from my other brother and it allowed us to get up close and personal with the zoo’s two Galapagos Tortoises. It was AMAZING and I wish it could have lasted forever! Check it out:

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During our Get Closer Experience, we were able to feed and love on Pecos and Boxy who are my new best friends. They very much enjoyed their treats of bell pepper and collard greens and the neck and haunch rubs!! What was supposed to be a twenty or so minute time slot for TURTLE TIME ended up being the better part of an hour and Andrew and I loved every second of it.

It was a rainy day on Friday, which was fine because the “Galaps” (as their handler called them) have an indoor and outdoor exhibit. The inclement weather actually ended up working in our favor because the zoo was essentially empty so we had the whole area to ourselves. Had the weather been better, we would have been able to assist with Pecos and Boxy’s bath time. Andrew and I both agreed that what we got to do was even better, though, because we got to spend so much time with them just hanging out.

Boxy is a spring chicken at thirty-one years old and she was a feisty thing! She definitely had a bigger personality than Pecos and warmed up to Andrew and I instantly. Seventy year old Pecos was a bit shy but she came around after lots of hand fed veggies, which are apparently like eating dessert for a Galap. Both were absolute angels and I miss them terribly already!

The Akron Zoo offers other Get Closer Experiences but the Galapagos Tortoise one was, easily, the best because you could interact with them. That isn’t the case for the Red Panda and Grizzly Bear Experience for obvious reasons! If your zoo has something similar to the programs that Akron’s does, I can’t recommend treating yourself to one enough. It will make for an unforgettable time!!

What is your favorite animal? Have you ever done anything similar to this experience at your zoo? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

April Snow Still Brings Flowers!

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April Snow Still Brings Flowers!

Howdy! In good ol’ Akron, Ohio, it has been a wild mash up of seasons this April. We all know the saying “April showers bring May flowers” and, thankfully, so does April snow, freezing rain, chilly fall like days, and summer level hot. Like I said, Mother Nature has been having some massive mood swings! The best of spring is blooming, though, so all is right with the world:

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Every year, my dad’s yard hosts the most wonderful flowers and veggies and every year seems more spectacular than the last. I love seeing my favorites of daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses popping out come spring time and it never fails to make me smile. The piece de resistance, though, is the massive cherry blossom tree in the front yard. Watching it bloom and seeing the petals fall like snow is, honestly, nothing short of magical.

With the wonky weather, I feared the worst for the spring flowers and the fact that they’re all still going strong makes me appreciate them even more. Flowers are Mother Nature’s pop of color and they are also her favorite perfume too. Walking through my parent’s neighborhood last week, I saw bright bursts of yellow, purple, pink, and white and I could smell sweet blooms with every step. There is nothing better than a stroll on a day that actually feels like spring!

When the weather allows, take some time to take a walk and smell the roses (Or whatever flower is blooming!). It sounds cheesy but it will certainly put a spring in your step! ❀

What is spring time like where you live? What is your favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Spring!

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Happy Spring!

Hello everyone! I know I’m a little late to the party but Happy Spring! After what felt like an eternity of winter, I am so happy that spring is finally here. It feels so good to get into my car every day for work and not freeze my nads off and for that, I am thankful lol. I have already been enjoying the high sixties weather with trips to the park with my niece, coloring with chalk on the driveway with her, and helping my dad in the yard.

I know that spring is officially here when all of my dad’s flowers begin popping up:

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Throughout the pandemic, Johnny and I have stayed hunkered down to do our part in keeping ourselves and loved ones safe. Come springtime, it feels so good to be outdoors after spending so much time inside. Not to mention all of the delightful fashion options that comes with nice weather. Goodbye bulky winter coats and hello sweet sweaters, skirts, and dresses!

This spring, I am looking forward to outdoor drinks and dining with Johnny and our friends, pretty flowers, and running around the yard with my niece. Nothing is better than feeling sunshine on your face to kiss that seasonal depression goodbye until next winter lol. Despite never getting back the hour of sleep that we lost, which is the only downside of spring, I am so ready for bright, beautiful days ahead and I hope the same goes for all of you. ❀

Happy Spring!!

What are you most looking forward to this spring? 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

If You Were To Visit Me…

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If You Were To Visit Me…

Hello! When I was younger, I used to consider where I lived in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio to be somewhat boring. However, my opinion has changed with age and, while it isn’t the best, it’s definitely not the worst, either! There are many staples in the greater Akron area that I just love and if you were to visit me, we would most certainly be hitting up the following:

Elysian Nails:

Elysian Nails has been my preferred salon for several years now and it would be a must to go get some pampering there if you came to my neck of the woods. The salon is absolutely beautiful and the work there speaks for itself. At Elysian, you will enjoy the best company with their wonderful staff, a huge selection of treatments, and a wide variety of polish and gel colors. It is the perfect place to unwind after a long day!

The Shear Shop:

The Shear Shop is the hair salon that I have been going to for forever because the only person who I trust with my hair works there. A pampering day isn’t complete without a fresh cut and color, after all. The staff at The Shear Shop are insanely talented and I love the boutique feel of the salon, making the time spent there even more luxurious. As soon as my appointment is over, I am always already counting down the days until I head back. However, fair warning that you will fall in love with this place too and will need to come to Ohio every time your hair needs done. πŸ˜€

TJMaxx:

Okay, so everywhere has a TJMaxx but my local TJs holds a very special place in my heart. My dream day would be visiting every single TJMaxx in my area but the one in Cuyahoga Falls will do just fine. It is where I find shelter from the storm and the only place where the world makes sense lol. And, of course, a brand new outfit is a must after new hair and nails!

Lemongrass Grill & The Saffron Patch:

My two favorite restaurants in my neck of the woods has to be the Lemongrass Grill and The Saffron Patch. I love ethnic cuisine and, as a vegetarian, you can’t beat the variety of choices that Thai and Indian food offers. It’s nice to be the majority shareholder on the menu for once! I actually just had Thai food at the Lemongrass Grill with my sister and her family a few days ago and it was divine, as always. My only regret is that I didn’t order an extra helping to eat at home. πŸ˜€

Taco Bell:

The piece de resistance of visiting Lil Red would, obviously, be fine dining at the local Taco Bell. I honestly could eat there every day of my life and still not grow tired of it. TBell would be the ideal way to end a day of tomfoolery in the 330 and, while each one in my area has its own unique qualities, the one in Cuyahoga Falls just hits different. 20/10 would recommend. ❀

Are these the most exciting places to go to if you visited me in Ohio? Not necessarily. But, they are a major reason of why I love my stomping grounds. Wish you were here!

Where would you take someone if they visited you? What do you love about where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Snow Day!

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Snow Day!

Hello! We have had an incredibly mild winter here in good ol’ Akron, Ohio with abnormally high temps and barely any snow. Thanks, global warming. That all changed this past Sunday, however, when we had a massive snow storm. It snowed all evening, night, and the following morning on Martin Luther King Day, leaving me and Johnny, as well as pretty much everyone in my apartment community snowed in. Check it out:

Johnny and I spent our Snow Day tucked inside watching movies and our programs. We had a viewing of Wentworth, the original Jumanji (Which I had never seen!), and The Fundamentals Of Caring (It was very good!). While we hibernated, I made some boozy hot chocolate for us to enjoy compliments of Christmas Bailey’s from one of my best friends – it was delicious!

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Our snow day wasn’t all fun and warm alcoholic beverages, though, because we knew that we would have to at least make an effort to shovel out our cars for work the following day. Although we didn’t have a shovel, I drew inspiration from a neighbor I spotted earlier clearing out her parking spot with a frying pan. Major props for creativity. πŸ˜€

Armed with baking sheets, Johnny and I spent a good half hour “shoveling” around my car. Unfortunately, all of that snow had to go somewhere, and ended up barricading Johnny’s car even more. On the plus side, he did get another snow day out of it! Basically everyone in my complex was out shoveling while we were and the sense of community I felt from our collective complaining was a beautiful thing. We even helped get a car unstuck that was struggling up the hill out of the complex. Great success!

Our snow day was a lot of play and a little bit of work that ended up being a great work out too lol. If you are shovelless this winter, I am also here to tell you that cooking gear works just as well! πŸ˜€

What is winter weather like in your neck of the woods? How do you like to spend snowy days? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah