Tag Archives: community

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

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

Houndstooth, Honey OOTD Bonus Pictures

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Houndstooth, Honey OOTD Bonus Pictures

Hello everyone and welcome to some bonus pics from my Houndstooth, Honey OOTD! My Johnny is the ultimate blog husband who has improved leaps and bounds in taking pictures of yours truly. Originally, he would take five or so pictures at a time, then consult me. It worked, but it turned our photo shoots into a time consuming effort.

Now, he takes a million pictures at once, providing me with tons of options to pick from. This has slashed the amount of time for OOTD pics considerably and, in total, it takes about ten minutes to get things done. However, it takes me a lot of time to sort through all of the shots afterwards! That’s more than okay, though, because it gives me ample pics to share with all of you!

Today, we are going to look at some bonus pics from my shoot and tomorrow you can peep all of the blooper shots that Johnny captures. Let’s get to it:

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As mentioned yesterday, Johnny and I walked through Lock 3 in downtown Akron to take these pictures. Lock 3 is an Akron staple that boasts concerts, fireworks, and food festivals in the summertime and a skating rink and holiday market come winter. It is surrounded by fabulous eateries and bars and is the place to be during any time of the year for a fun outing.

Lock 3 is an amazing place for the community to come together and it features lots of cool sights to see. Of course, there is a lock, wonderful landscaping in the summer, and an industrial vibe from the brick apartments, towering fire escapes, and murals painted on the walls. It definitely makes for an awesome setting to take pictures at!

Akron isn’t just where it all began for our hometown hero of Lebron James – it is so much more than that. Small businesses, the Akron Civic Theater, Lock 3, and all of the amazing people who live there make our city so special. Not to mention our beautiful library and Akron Art Museum. A hop, skip, and a jump and you are in the middle of an exciting place to be and I loved spending time in the A-K-Rowdy with my husband! ❀

Who are some of your hometown heroes? Do you have an area similar to Lock 3 in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Giving A Boost To Your Boutique

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Giving A Boost To Your Boutique

Being a small business owner is exciting – especially during the holiday season as shoppers visit your local storefront. Your boutique is something that can always be improved to make the experience even better for your customers. Today, we are going to discuss a few ways to boost the aesthetic of your store to turn one time shoppers into repeat customers:

Utilize A Beverage Cart:

How nice would it be for customers to enjoy a hot coffee or cold soda during their shopping? A beverage cart is a simple solution that will definitely boost the experience of shopping in your store. Invest in a Keurig with a wide selection of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate pods. Or, you could have a mini fridge with water bottles and pop. Small touches like these will be much appreciated by your customers!

Shopping Incentives:

Everyone likes a good deal and it’s exciting to feel like you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. You could run a once per month promotion or give a coupon for the next purchase to provide incentive for customers to keep coming back. How often do you get coupons in the mail and feel a hankering to go to a store even if you might not need anything? Chances are, you’re going to walk away with more than you bargained for because it was a great deal.

Improve The Appearance:

The appearance of your boutique is always something that can be changed up for a whole new shopping experience. Potted plants, plush rugs, unique lighting fixtures, or artwork from local artists are all good places to start. Applying ceiling tiles to your business will make a big difference for customers. The same goes for things like an awesome playlist or even a fish tank! This is your chance to get even more creative so have fun with it.

Local Collaborations:

Local collaborations are a cool way to introduce new people to your store. Do you own a clothing boutique? Pair with a local jewelry maker to provide an outfit perfect with a hand crafted necklace. How about a coffee shop? Try an open mic night with local performers. Don’t forget to get in touch with bloggers and influencers! Collaborations are a win/win for everyone involved as it will get your names out there and bring in customers who might not even be aware that your storefront exists.

Local businesses are an important part of any community. Make yours one of the best with the tips above!

Flight Of Fancy OOTD Bonus Pictures

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Flight Of Fancy OOTD Bonus Pictures

Hello everyone and welcome to some bonus pictures from yesterday’s Flight Of Fancy OOTD! That Saturday was such a fun day of playing model with my husband, having a libation at our favorite bar, and enjoying a community holiday activity with my family. It was the perfect day immersed in holiday spirit and I loved every minute of it! Let’s get to it:

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Over the past several years, downtown Cuyahoga Falls has transformed itself into a happening little place. Prior to the renovations, this area had more closed down shops and restaurants than open. Now, every storefront is practically filled with unique eateries, boutiques, and novelty shops. Not to mention all of the amazing holiday activities and festivals that are hosted there throughout the year.

This past Saturday, downtown Cuyahoga Falls opened up its outdoor skating rink and had a Santa parade, fireworks, and tree lighting ceremony to celebrate. Johnny and I met up with my parents and niece for the festivities and had an absolute blast. Our niece got to see her TT skate for the first time and she also got to see Santa riding on a firetruck through the streets.

Not only was the area beautifully decorated for the holidays but it was also snowing which made for a scene fresh out of a Hallmark movie. There was music playing, people dancing in the streets, and an indoor area to warm up, sip hot chocolate, and have the little ones write their letters to Santa. So much fun! πŸ˜€

A wonderful time was had by all this past weekend and I am so appreciative to my hometown for hosting such awesome events to bring the community together. ❀

How does your neck of the woods get in the holiday spirit? Is there a similar area to downtown Cuyahoga Falls where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Reasons Why Being A Sports Fan Is Great For You

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4 Reasons Why Being A Sports Fan Is Great For You

Many of us have a love of sports and there is something so exciting about following your favorite team as they make their way to the championship. Whether it’s cheering on the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL or Liverpool in the premier league, watching your team achieve greatness is the best thing. In fact, there are many benefits to being a sports fan, and some studies show that being one has positive psychological, emotional, and social benefits like the following:

Sense of Community:

The sense of community is a key component to what makes sports so popular. It’s a way for people who might not have much in common or from different parts of the world to connect. In our society, sports have become a way for different people from various cultures and backgrounds to come together and share in the excitement. The power of cheering and support from other fans in the stadium is amazing. It’s great being part of a big community and sharing sports news through sites similar to https://sportnews.in/.

This sports fan community really is there when you think about it on a smaller scale too. How many times have you worn your favorite Steelers or Cronulla Sharks merchandise and then got engaged in conversation from a stranger? Whether it’s playful banter about whose team is better or which player is looking good this year, your sports merch is inviting a chat with anyone who loves the game. You might make a new friend from something as simple as wearing a team jersey!

Help To Deal With Stress:

Sports have always been a great way to relieve stress. Watching sports helps to relax, distracts you from your problems, and gives you something to talk about with other people. We all know that there is nothing better than watching your favorite team win. Watching your favorite player score a goal or make an awesome play is so inspirational. It’s easy to be transported when watching a big game and having something to focus on and cheer for is a perfect way to shake away stress.

Happiness:

When it comes to the team’s fans, they have their own set of reasons to cheer on the team. Some may have been born into sports fandom, some may be cheering for their favorite player, or they could just be cheering for the joy of being in a good mood. One study found that 50% of participants reported feeling more energetic when it comes to baseball games and 41% felt more relaxed after watching the game with happy spectators. Those numbers speak for themselves!

Increased Self Esteem:

Overall, sports fans not only get to reap the social benefits but also the psychological benefits as well. We often feel down on ourselves and forget about our accomplishments. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of life. But cheering for your favorite team has been found to boost self esteem and make you feel better about yourself.

When a sports fan cheers for a team, they are not only boosting their own self esteem but also supporting their hometown or country’s success. It’s a common trend for people to be more connected with the community when they are enjoying a game all together.

Featured Image By: Jimmy Conover on Unsplash

Christmas Decor Sight Seeing Fun

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Christmas Decor Sight Seeing Fun

Hello!! Downtown Cuyahoga Falls is referred to as the Riverfront because it is directly along the Cuyahoga River. In the past several years, lots of upgrades have been made to bring small businesses back to this area and now it is booming with restaurants, specialty shops, and cute boutiques. This year, to help bring some holiday spirit into our neck of the woods, there will be free parking all along the Riverfront to help encourage people to shop locally. What’s more, local schools and organizations decorated each parking meter with a Christmas theme!

This past week, my brother and I went to check out the handiwork and creativity of our amazing community and it was a blast! I so enjoyed ogling at the masterpieces, discussing which ones we liked best, and seeing all of the masked up shoppers toting their parcels. These were some of my favorite decorated meters:

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As you can see, we have many talented holiday enthusiasts in the 330 and each parking meter was awesome in its own way. I am particularly fond of the Cousin Eddie meter from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, myself. However, I think the Mr. Grinch created by the owners of Harps & Thistles (A specialty shop for all of your knitting and crocheting needs) took the cake. I also love the tire snowman made by the Kiwanis Club Of Cuyahoga Falls. What a cute idea!

Despite this holiday season being so different than last year’s, I felt more in the Christmas spirit than ever after checking out the decor in downtown Cuyahoga Falls. Happy holidays to all!

How does your community celebrate the holidays? Do you have an area like downtown CFalls in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

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Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

Hello!! Normally, the holiday season is an uber exciting time to get together with the people you love most and celebrate. However, with COVID-19 still on the up and up, these next few holidays might feel more daunting than anything. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be different this year but different doesn’t mean bad so try getting more into the holiday spirit with these ideas:

Host A Food Drive:

It’s nice to remember how fortunate we are during the holiday season but it’s even better to think about those who have less than you. So, how about hosting a food drive with your friend group or family? Choose some of your local food banks or homeless shelters to help support and see how big your donation haul can get. Offer a small reward to the person who collected the most goods and turn a collection drive into a yearly tradition.

Mystery Gifts:

Due to COVID, it is much easier and safer to online shop for holiday gifts instead of going into the store. A fun way to recognize this would be to send mystery gifts to your friends or family. No names, no cards – just a Zoom meeting after all of the gifts are received to see if anyone can guess who sent them theirs. Set your own rules like a spending limit or if hints can be given and see how well all of you know each other by sending off surprise gifts!

Arts & Crafts:

Having an abundance of time at home is perfect for trying your hand at some holiday themed crafts. Whether that be creating hand print turkeys with your little ones or having a boozy Christmas ornament decorating sesh with the girls, a craft night is a perfect way to get together and try something new. Have a Zoom meeting all together or social distance appropriately and, who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite hobby.

Countdown Memories:

Sadly, a lot of families will not be able to get together this holiday season and that sucks – for lack of a better word. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in one of the most loved holiday activities – reminiscing on holidays of past. Create a slideshow or presentation of your top holiday memories complete with pictures, videos, or goofy memes to help better describe your favorite times. Send them off to those you hold dear and enjoy hearing about everyone else’s most treasured holiday memories.

Sponsor A Family:

The holiday season should, ideally, be a magical time for everyone but, unfortunately, that is not the case. If there is a family in your community that you know is struggling, lend a helping hand. Leave a surprise donation of toys, gift cards, food, and anything else that you think they would need to better enjoy their day. You might be able to make it the best holiday yet for someone who needs it the most.

How do you get into the holiday spirit? What are some of your favorite holiday memories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Help Me Help You!

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Help Me Help You!

Hi friends! Now is the time to support the creative endeavors of our friends in the community more than ever. We’re talking our musicians, artists, cosmetologists, chefs, and everything in between. I love to feature guest posts on my page and, as always, you can email me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com if you would like to be on lifewithlilred.

Now, I am asking for all of you to shoot me an email or drop your ventures in the comments so I can post it on my page! Etsy shop? Send it my way! SoundCloud link? I want it! Stay at home orders are still in tact but let’s get your online businesses on here so everyone can shop with you from the comfort of your home.

For example, my friend, Stephanie, who is a Licensed Professional Counselor and would like a shout out on lifewithlilred can have all of her info found here and here. Stephanie is an absolute joy and if you are struggling with all of the extreme changes happening right now, I can’t recommend her enough! ❀

What are some of your business ventures? Would you like them featured on lifewithlilred? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Friendly Reminder!

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Friendly Reminder!

Hello! In Ohio, our stay at home order is still pretty well in place. Other than grocery stores and gas stations, the only things that have since opened up are doctors offices. But, in the meantime, that doesn’t mean that you still can’t support all of your favorite local businesses and artists. That’s right, we’re talking gift cards.

When the nonessential businesses closed, I reached out to all of my favorite hang outs of the tattoo shop and the hair and nail salon. It was important to me to try and help out all of the people who keep me beautiful as much as I can and if that meant paying early for the services I planned on getting anyway, I was happy to do it.

Unfortunately, in my area of Ohio, there are far more chain stores than anything locally owned. But, if that weren’t the case, trust and believe I would be getting gift cards to all of the cute boutiques too! Anything helps and if you are in a position to give a little more, then now is the time to do it. Believe me, the heartfelt thank yous make it two hundred fifty percent worth it! ❀

How have you been supporting the local businesses in your area? What have you been doing to help serve your community? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah