Tag Archives: activities

What’s In My Skate Bag?

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What’s In My Skate Bag?

Hello!! As most of you know, I am an avid ice skater and love hitting the rink as often as I can for a lesson with my childhood coach. When I was younger, I can remember how all of the skaters at the rink had the coolest skate bags on wheels to tote their belongings back and forth. Myself, on the other hand, opted for a Betsey Johnson travel bag and I have been using it for close to two decades… Until now, that is!

I had been long overdue for a much needed upgrade and Elite Sports delivered with this gorgeous new sports bag. What do I keep inside it? Let’s find out:

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^^^ You can shop my new bag in a variety of colors here!

My Practice Necessities:

  • Skates (Of course!)
  • A rag to dry my skates after practice
  • Hard guards for walking off ice
  • My favorite travel mug
  • A snack to eat on the way to the rink

When I go skating, it is typically after work because I hate getting up for early Saturday morning sessions. This means that I need to have a good snack and my travel mug handy to keep my energy up because I’ll have a late dinner afterwards. My “Making A Difference” mug was a surprise gift from the Ohio Department Of Developmental Disabilities and I take it everywhere. It works like a dream and I never have to worry about my hot drinks cooling down or cool drinks warming up lol.

My go to snack on the way to skating are the Belvita breakfast bars. I freaking LOVE these things and I’ll often have one before going to work too. My favorite are the soft baked bars – especially the ones with dark chocolate in it – YUM! It almost makes me feel guilty eating them because they taste like dessert but they provide me with the boost I need for a great skate.

As I mentioned before, it took me the better part of almost twenty years since I upgraded my skate bag and my wipe down rag still hasn’t changed. What can I say, I am a woman of habit! I got what was once a nice towel from the Skater’s Edge (A skate shop in Ohio) from a competition forever ago and it hasn’t left my possession since. Call it nostalgia or whatever you will for holding onto something for so long but it still wipes my skates dry all the same. 😀

Like a majority of the necessities in my skate bag, my hard guards were bought when I got my first pair of skates lol. Hey, if it’s not broken… These are a must have for skaters to protect their blades for pre and post practice as well as all of those bathroom breaks from guzzling water throughout the session!

And, finally, I don’t get to use my new(ish) skates as often as I would like, especially with the craziness of just moving apartments. However, when I do get the chance to get back on the ice, it’s like I never left. I can’t wait for my next practice to break out my new Elite Sports bag! 😀

How long do you tend to hold onto things for? What is in your work out bag? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Accessory Story: Handmade Necklaces Edition

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Accessory Story: Handmade Necklaces Edition

Hello! A couple of weeks ago, my niece made my mom and dad the cutest necklaces with Blues Clues pendants on them. I’m not going to lie, Johnny and I were pretty jealous that we didn’t get one too. So, the next time we watched her we asked if she could make us some necklaces and she said yes! They are absolutely adorable and my mind is blown by how much necklace making technology has improved for children. Check it out:

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I loved making necklaces when I was little… Until it was time to tie the string together, that is. Without fail, my necklace would end up falling apart and always resulted in frustration. I had to share the necklaces my niece made because 1) How could I not? and 2) The rubbery necklace strand is literally fail proof.

When my niece gifted my parents with their new bling, my dad’s came off and it happened in slow motion when it fell to the floor. I was positive that the beads would be flying off and tears would start to fall. But that wasn’t the case! The end of the necklace strand has two thick posts with one being hollow to attach the sides together. This change in width catches the beads every time for hours of jewelry making fun without the possibility of a masterpiece being ruined.

The amount of options for toys, clothes, TV shows, and everything in between has grown exponentially since I was a kid. These necklace strands are definitely one thing that I wish had been invented in my youth! I can’t wait to rock my new Blues Clues necklace and this improvement to jewelry making will be a fun activity for your little ones come summer break. 🙂

What was your favorite activity as a child? How about your favorite childhood TV show? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Summer Activities Perfect For Animal Lovers

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Summer Activities Perfect For Animal Lovers

When the weather gets warm, it is the perfect opportunity to try something new! If you are an animal lover and ready for some fun activities to get you outside, try some of these:

Start with Horse Riding:

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love horses. Their size makes them intimidating, but they are among the most gentle creatures. Almost any animal lover would enjoy being around horses, and riding them is one of the most leisurely hobbies you can do. You don’t need to become a bet on Kentucky Derby 2022 by fast riding! You can enjoy the company of a horse in many ways. You can gently ride horses on rural trails or help at the stables until you are confident enough to begin riding. Many stables welcome new visitors with a genuine interest.

How About Some Baby Feeding?

It’s spring, and you know what that means. Baby animals! Is there anything cuter than a newborn lamb or a slowly emerging hedgehog? While you might be hard pushed to find a lamb out near your city center apartment, you can see them if you volunteer. With so many new baby animals in spring, it’s a hectic time for people involved in animal welfare. From farmers to dog and cat charities, they all need your help. No charity will turn down free support if you are passionate about animals.

Bird Watching:

Bird watching is a trendy hobby. In the UK alone, over 3 million people per year spend their spare time with binoculars in hand, waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite species of winged creatures. And the great news is that it is a very cheap hobby to pursue. All you really need is something to watch with, which you can get second-hand, and time. This makes bird watching the perfect hobby to start as the summer holidays approach and you might have more time off work or school.

Make Better Use of Your Phone with Pet Photography:

Smartphone cameras are excellent these days. Newer models, like Google’s phones, are even comparable to expensive DSLR cameras. In short, you can take professional looking photos with your phone camera. However, you will need to learn photographic principles first. But when you get good at it, you can take pictures of your pets, your friend’s pets, and even strangers. If you are good enough, the word might get around, and you could make some extra money. Everyone wants the perfect pics of their furry friends for their Insta account, right?

BONUS: Animal Hobbies that Can Make Money:

Pet photography is a great idea that will get you close to animals and make some money on the side. But it’s not the only one. Here are some animal hobbies that can make you some money:

  • Dog walking requires no training.
  • Grooming requires some training.
  • Pet transportation requires only a driving license.
  • Homemade pet accessories are great if you are crafty.
  • Blogging about animals can turn into a great online business.

Some of these hobbies are skill-dependent, but you can make extra money with any. Dog walking, for instance, requires no formal training. Just an affinity for dogs and super strong legs.

Beekeeping:

If you love insects, then beekeeping is a great way to study and learn about nature’s greatest allies. In addition, you get to keep the honey and you could even sell it for a profit. Just be aware that you will get stung. A lot. But once you become proficient at beekeeping, you can make a career out of it later. And your contribution will make a difference to the dying bee population.

Take a Dip in the Ocean:

You might be more interested in what lies beneath the ocean surface. If you love fish and marine life, summer is a great time to get into water related animal hobbies like snorkeling. The underwater world is quite spectacular and different from what you experience on dry land. Snorkeling could also lead to a developed recreation like deep-sea diving, where you can see amazing things and make it a career. You can make this hobby into a job by diving for treasure, documenting sea life, monitoring marine activity, or selling videos and photos.

Gardening:

Gardening has a massive impact on the animal world. The way you garden and landscape can either destroy habitats or improve them. You can make your garden a veritable paradise for local animals with proper landscaping methods. For example, suppose you live near a wooded area. In that case, you can encourage animals like rabbits, foxes, and deer onto your land by providing what they typically seek out. Create a wildlife window at home and watch as animals roam your property.

Consider Building a Farm Yard:

Of course, the ultimate hobby for animal lovers is to keep farmyard animals and livestock. However, you will need the land to do this. For instance, chickens alone need ten square feet each to be healthy. You can’t expect them to stay in the coop all day. If you are lucky enough to have land available, this is a rewarding hobby. You will get to look after animals every day and help raise their young. You significantly reduce our dependence on external food sources, lower your carbon footprint, and make your home more sustainable.

Animals and a love of the outdoors typically go hand in hand. Try one of these hobbies and enjoy yourself this summer!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Have Some Fun: Visit A Local Hangout

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Have Some Fun: Visit A Local Hangout

Lots of communities have a local hangout where everyone seems to gather for a big game, trivia nights, or the company. This might be a bar, restaurant, arcade, or in some cases all three of these things in one. If you are in the mood to meet some new people, places like these are great to go to. It also offers these benefits:

You Will Have Longer Conversations:

It has been noted through research on the topic of socializing at pubs that people who sit at a bar and talk to other people tend to talk longer. While being in this kind of social situation, a person is more inclined to get involved in conversations with multiple people allowing them to converse freely. Being able to hold up a conversation is a great skill that not only brings its own happiness, but also helps you in daily life.

In your professional life, being able to talk, network, and hold your own makes people want to interact with you more and get to know you better.

You Will Get Involved In Sports:

Most hangouts have a dartboard or pool table and people are always crowded around it. Getting involved with a sport like darts helps you with your concentration, hand-eye coordination, control, and patience. All of these skills can only make your life better. Being a part of a team also makes you have a sense of belonging and community, which is a win for your mental health.

Whether it’s watching sports on TV and being among like-minded fans or joining the local sponsored sports team and getting exercise, visiting your local gathering place can introduce you to this world and help you meet new friends.

You Get Out of Your House:

Getting out of the house on a weekend night and being among people of various age groups and backgrounds always makes a person happier. When we are home and tucked away from the social scene we can develop feelings of isolation and loneliness. When we are out in the world socializing, those feelings melt away.

Even if it is only for one drink or two, sitting down in public and interacting with other people also breaks up the day and makes you feel as if you are part of something greater. The best thing that comes out of this is that you make new friends and discover new things about yourself.

You May Learn Something New:

A lot of bars and restaurants hold trivia nights in order to get more patrons in the front door for something fun and interesting. The best part of playing trivia games: you become a smarter person. Research has found that people who go to pubs and participate in trivia games are going to learn something new.

This also allows a person to show off their intelligence and how much they know in a public setting which boosts confidence and makes a person feel better about themselves and their abilities.

You Learn to Let Your Guard Down:

When you are in a social situation where everyone is talking to each other and having a good time, you are more likely to want to join in too. In order to do this, you are going to have to let your guard down. When you get into the habit of opening yourself up and talking, you will not feel so insecure to speak up and ask questions at work or with your family and friends. This kind of confidence will help you take control of your life and improve it.

You Will Feel More Relaxed:

When you go out and have a good meal, perhaps a drink, and time with your friends, you are more likely to feel relaxed. An evening of getting yourself out there and enjoying yourself is the best cure after a stressful week. It gives you the opportunity to leave your job at the office and focus on having a blast, instead.

Exploring the local hangouts in your area will give you the chance to connect with people and unwind. Plan an outing somewhere new with your friends and enjoy!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Getting Outside & Getting Active!

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Getting Outside & Getting Active!

This decade started out with pretty intensive restrictions and many of us are far past due in reconnecting with nature. Getting outside and active again could be considered the pinnacle of self care, or at least a priority we should focus on now that spring is here. Let’s look at a few things that you can do to fully enjoy your time outdoors:

Consider Hiking Routes:

Hiking is a great way to exercise and get back out into nature. This is because the activity allows you to traverse nature trails at your own speed, with people you like, and in a relatively safe, well treaded environment. With enough hydration, nourishment, and the willingness to take breaks, you can see your surroundings through a lens that you might not have for a while. Speaking of lenses, this is also a fantastic means of taking up photography once more.

Revisit old trails or explore new ones and make a day of it. This is an ideal opportunity for picnicking with friends or enjoying quiet time with yourself in nature.

Try Your Hand At Archery:

Archery can be a cool activity to take up if you’re looking for something new and different. When you know how to buy a compound bow, you can work with friends to hit targets in a specialist center or perhaps on land that you have access to (in a direction safely oriented away from roads or footpaths). This kind of habit can get you out into nature, as well as strengthen your arm, neck, shoulder, back, and core muscles. And, let’s all admit that we all thought that archery looked like so much fun in summer camp movies!

Get Out On The Water:

There’s nothing quite as natural and awe-inspiring as the sea or large bodies of water. If you’re lucky enough to live near either, then spending time in that environment can be a welcome change. From joining a local sailing or rowing club to simply spending time in a rented kayak, a beautiful time connecting with water (or simply learning to gain your swimming strength once again as an adult), can be a tremendous activity. For strong swimmers, new advanced hobbies like scuba diving could be a fun and adventurous route to take.

Nice weather calls for enjoying the great outdoors so get active and have some fun!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Creating A Healthy & Active Lifestyle For Your Family

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Creating A Healthy & Active Lifestyle For Your Family

One of the most important things you can do for your family is foster a healthy and active lifestyle. This means making sure that everyone in the family has opportunities to be physically active and eat nutritious foods. It can be tough to make changes in your routine, but you can create healthy habits for your whole family with a bit of effort! In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for getting started:

Make physical activity a priority:

One of the best ways to get your family healthy is to prioritize physical activity. This means setting aside time each day for everyone to be active. You can go for walks, play tag, ride bikes, get active in your Feelnets, or do any other activity that gets everyone moving. If you make being active a regular part of your routine, it will become easier and more fun for your family over time. In addition to scheduled activities, try to be active as a family whenever possible. Take walks after dinner, play in the park, or go swimming. These spontaneous moments of activity will help get everyone moving and have some fun together!

Choose healthy foods:

Another vital part of fostering a healthy and active lifestyle for your family is choosing healthy foods. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. It can be tough to switch to healthier eating habits, but with time and effort, you can do it! One way to make things easier is to plan out your meals ahead of time. This will help you stay on track and ensure you have all of the ingredients you need for nutritious recipes.

Another great way to get your family excited about healthy eating is to involve them in cooking. Let them choose which fruits or vegetables they want to include in a meal or give them their kitchen tasks (such as chopping vegetables). By making healthy eating fun and interactive, you can encourage your family to make healthy choices when it comes to food.

Be a role model:

As parents, it is so important to be a good role model. This means setting a good example for your kids by being active and eating healthy yourself. If you make physical activity and healthy eating a part of your everyday life, your kids will likely follow suit. It’s also essential to be optimistic about being active and healthy. Avoid making comments like “I don’t have time to work out” or “I hate vegetables”. Instead, try to focus on the positives of being active and eating well. For example, say things like “I feel energized after I work out” or “I love how fresh fruits and vegetables make me feel”. By setting a positive example and emphasizing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, you can help your family live a healthier life.

Getting started with the tips above will make it easier than ever to create lasting healthy habits for your family!

Featured Image By: Alexandr Podvalny

Have Fun & Stay Active With Bowling

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Have Fun & Stay Active With Bowling

Did you know that bowling is one of the most popular activities out there? Most people don’t associate it with a sport, but it is. Just because you don’t need to be extremely athletic, doesn’t mean it isn’t a proper sporting activity. In fact, this makes it a perfect way for people to start exercising and being more active. If you’re new to the whole fitness thing, bowling is a brilliant way into the door. It gets you up and moving, but without loads of heavy impact or crazy strain on your body.

So, if you like the sound of this, how can you get started?

Buy the gear:

Another reason to take up bowling is that it doesn’t require a lot of gear. Usually, all you need are some bowling shoes, bowling gloves, and a bowling ball. Now, it’s important you understand what kind of bowling ball is best for you based on your ability and physical strength. It can be good to start with a lighter one and make your way up. Also, bowling alleys do supply all of these things for you anyway. So, when you’re just starting out, maybe don’t invest in the gear just yet. Play with what they provide, see if you enjoy bowling, and then commit to buying your own stuff.

Find somewhere to play:

You’ll be surprised at how many bowling alleys are close to where you live. It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that every city in the country should have at least one bowling alley. Look online for your closest one, see the reviews, and pay it a visit. It can be a good idea to go to multiple places before you decide on one to visit regularly.

Book your slots/buy a membership:

Some bowling alleys let you buy a membership that grants you unlimited access to the facility whenever you want. You still have to book a slot, but you don’t have to pay every single time. However, the majority of places will just make you pay every time you book a slot. Either way, figure out the best time to go bowling. If this is something you want to do on your own or just with a couple of friends, it can be best to book slots around the busy periods. Those of you that have free time during the day should book during weekdays as it means kids won’t be around. It can be harder to get slots after schools close because lots of kids love bowling.

From here, you’ll reap the health and fitness benefits of bowling, while also enjoying a very fun and sociable activity. Who knows, you might get good enough to go pro someday! 😀

Featured Image By: Pexels

Creating The Perfect Backyard Dining Area

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Creating The Perfect Backyard Dining Area

The optimists among us are already thinking about the end of winter and the start of the warmer months of the year. While there’s nothing wrong with curling up with some hot cocoa and looking at the snow or frost from inside your home, there’s something about enjoying your backyard that makes summer special.

If you want to transform your backyard into the perfect place for party hosting or outdoor dining, then now is the time to start planning. Here are some great ways to create a perfect place to eat together in the great outdoors.

Section Your Backyard:

If you have a large backyard, then you have plenty of options for creating a place to eat and hang out. Chances are, you won’t need the whole area for your dining needs but you at least need a place to sit and eat, and if you plan to grill your food, somewhere to cook it.

It’s also beneficial to plan an area for outdoor activities. If you’re inviting family and children, then the kids will want to run around and play. Leave a section of your lawn free for games, and consider adding a paddling pool for particularly hot days. This way, everyone can enjoy themselves while beating the heat.

Shelter and Foundation:

If you want to sit and eat, then you’ll need to think about your chosen dining area. A picnic is more flexible, as you can simply lay out a blanket on a flat part of your lawn and settle down. Most events, however, require more solid seating.

This means that you need to create flat and solid ground to comfortably eat. Stone tiles or a patio area is perfect for this, as the tiles won’t be damaged in the same way as your lawn. Some people also like wooden decking. This will also look attractive and make partitioning your backyard easier.

If you’re grilling outside, then make sure that the flat space is fire proof. Wooden decking is fine to sit on, but it can be a bit risky if you drop some hot charcoal onto it. Stick with stone or brick paving.

As well as a solid foundation, you should consider adding some shelter to your dining area. This gives sun shy guests a place to hide in the shade. A parasol can keep away the sun, but some more solid shelter will be better in difficult weather. Slidetrack blinds are even better, as they protect you from the sides as well. Even if the weather turns bad, you don’t have to cancel early.

Outdoor Furniture and Decor:

Eating outside is far more comfortable if you have a nice table set to eat from. A picnic blanket is a lot of fun, but it isn’t practical for everyone. It also makes it harder to serve your food. Outdoor furniture can also be attractive and stylish but you will want to find pieces that can withstand the climate outside. Don’t forget twinkle lights and solar light accents throughout the yard for some lovely ambiance as the sun sets.

Even though there’s snow on the ground, it’s never too early to think about summertime fun in your own backyard!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

LEGO Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets Completed Set

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LEGO Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets Completed Set

Hello! During our holiday break, Johnny and I completed the final set from our LEGO haul, which means that it’s time to buy more! We spent about three hours building the Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets from Harry Potter and it turned out great. With fun surprises everywhere you looked and awesome extras like Chocolate Frog cards, glow in the dark pieces, and a golden Voldemort, this might be one of my favorite builds yet! Check it out:

Johnny and I are frequent builders of LEGO and I can tell that our skills have improved. Considering the size of this set, it didn’t take us too too long to complete it. We were so pleased with our handiwork! Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets is one of my favorite books and movies in the series and this set definitely did it justice.

While the builds for Hogwarts in itself are always really neat, the Chamber Of Secrets gives it a wonderful contrast. I love how you can make the basilisk move in and out of the chamber just like in the movie. It also includes a slide for the Minifigs to go down and the snake adorned door to enter the depths of Hogwarts. I wish that there was a set just of the Chamber because I would be all over it. 😀

My favorite part of this set is, easily, the pictures of Gilderoy Lockhart and I laugh every time I look at them – they are so funny! Expertly placed Chocolate Frogs and Cornish Pixies are also much appreciated and I can’t wait for my niece to come over to see if she can find them all. She is our future LEGO Master!

Johnny and I are fresh out of LEGO now but I already know which sets I want next, as always. I have my eye on the Astronomy Tower and Hogsmeade Village and I can’t wait to get them!

What do you like to build with LEGO? Did anyone receive any LEGO sets for the holidays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Warm Up With These Indoor Winter Activities

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Warm Up With These Indoor Winter Activities

Hello! I love the way the snow makes everything look like a holiday greeting card… and that’s about it lol. Driving in it is for the birds and as someone who is constantly cold, I can do without the extra dose of brrrrrr. So, needless to say, I like to enjoy my winter activities from the great indoors! If you feel similarly, try out these ideas all from the comfort of being wrapped in your favorite blanket:

Present Wrapping Party:

I absolutely LOVE shopping for holiday gifts but wrapping them? Not so much! Of course, it is a necessary evil and making it more fun can make it, dare I say, pleasant? Invite your friends over for a present wrapping marathon complete with hot cocoa and holiday movies. You can even have a gift swap at the end as a little reward for a job well done.

All Aboard:

In my neck of the woods, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers all kinds of fun winter activities and you can peep the falling snow without being stuck in it! For the little ones, they offer the Polar Express and for adults, there tends to be a beer or wine tasting event as you ride the train. If there is something similar in your area, it could be a fun way to shake things up for a unique winter memory.

Craft Competitions:

There are so many winter baubles and trinkets that you can craft and you can up the ante by turning it into a competition. How about a gingerbread house bake off? Creating your own candles with festive scents? Or decorating ornaments for your tree or mantel? The prize could simply be bragging rights or a small gift to commemorate their victory.

Santa Hat Movie Viewing:

If you’re looking for a boozy time with friends or drinking a lot of hot chocolate, then have I got a game for you! Whether it’s a holiday movie or not, put a Santa hat on the corner of the TV and when any character ends up “wearing” it, take a drink. I promise that it will make the Hallmark movie marathon way more bearable! 😀

Winter Game Night:

Game nights are always fun and, this time, you can put a holiday twist on it. Try charades with famous holiday movie scenes to act out. Or, go around in a circle and each person will have to say the next word of a Christmas carol. Pin the ornaments on the tree? A holiday edition of Never Have I Ever? You could even make a photo booth set up for goofy holiday pictures… The possibilities are endless! Don’t forget a hot chocolate bar or trail mix station for your guests!

Don’t let it snow on your parade with the ideas above and stay comfy cozy all while achieving the ultimate holiday spirit! 😀

PS: Spread the joy by putting a “buy in” to each event you host by having your guests bring a canned good to donate to a local shelter. ❤

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