Tag Archives: enjoy

What I’m Looking Forward To This Summer

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What I’m Looking Forward To This Summer

Hello! June has been a GREAT SUCCESS of a month so far due to my recent nuptials, double birthday with my husband, and bestie’s birthday and I have a feeling that this summer is only going to get better. Last summer was a wash for everyone because of the pandemic and now that Johnny and I are fully vaccinated, we plan on making the most of the season. While I can’t wait for weekend trips with Johnny and soaking up the sun for about ten minutes before I start to burn, I am especially looking forward to the following:

Swimming:

Even though I refuse to get my hair wet, that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy time in the pool! One of my clients has a pool and we try to utilize it at least once a week. The pool in my apartment community is also open for the summer and I’m really excited to go swimming with my niece and sister. I haven’t been able to use the community pool since the summer of 2019 when I moved in as it was closed last summer, which makes me even more eager for a swimming outing ASAP!

Shopping:

As you all know, Lil Red loves to shop and in late May I had my first non grocery related shopping trip since before the pandemic at Summit Mall. I had a huge haul at Altar’d State and American Eagle and the shopping bug has been biting ever since. I am very much looking forward to spending my birthday gift cards at TJMaxx, outings to the mall, and maybe even a day trip to my favorite outdoor mall, Crocker Park.

Shopping has always been very therapeutic to me and even if I walk away with nothing, I still have a blast. There is nothing better to me than spending an afternoon browsing and seeing what’s new in fashion. During the pandemic, I only did online shopping so being able to visit all of my favorite haunts in person this summer will be tons of fun and I definitely feel a mother/daughter trip to TJMaxx in my near future. 😀

Concerts:

My Johnny is a musician and his band, The Outside Voices, hasn’t played since early March of 2020. This is the longest he has gone without playing live music in over a decade and I know he is just dying to perform again. And I am just dying to watch! We are both counting down the days till their first show this summer and are equally excited to see other bands too. In fact, we just went to our first concert together in Marietta this past weekend and had an awesome time seeing our friends in Jake Dunn & The Blackbirds perform. Long live local music!

Happy summer to all!

What are you looking forward to this summer? What is your favorite warm weather activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Brunch Babes

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Brunch Babes

Hello!! Johnny enjoyed a three day weekend for Memorial Day and we had the most fabulous date day on Sunday. Any time with my beau is my favorite but it is especially wonderful to go out and about together after over a year stuck in our apartment. Now that we are both fully vaccinated, we feel much more comfortable with seeing friends, outdoor dining, and small outings. So we spent Saturday afternoon hanging out in Lakewood with our two friends, Jeff and Jeff, and had the best brunch with the best company.

Lakewood is a very cool area and I actually used to figure skate at the rink a few minutes away from where we brunched pre-pandemic. While I was in school, I would also make the small trek up there from campus to have dinner with friends. There is amazing shopping, bars, and unique restaurants and although it is only about forty-five minutes from me and Johnny, our afternoon felt like a mini day trip.

For brunch, the Jeffs, Johnny, and I went to the Buckeye Beer Engine and had a delicious meal. The garden quesadilla I ordered was the perfect vegetarian option that included eggs, peppers, onions, and mushrooms in a spinach tortilla topped with sour cream and pico de gallo. The food was awesome but, I have to say, the mimosas were even better!

The Buckeye Beer Engine had so many mimosa flavors to choose from and I went with Peach and Blood Orange while Johnny had a Pineapple and a Cranberry drink. They were the first mimosas we have had since before the pandemic when we would have breakfast dates and it was nice to reminisce on that as we clinked our glasses in celebration with the Jeffs. The weather was ideal for an outdoor meal and it is definitely true what they say… Brunch is always a good idea.

Once we returned home from our time in Lakewood, we were visited by our friend Corey for a quick video game session. While Johnny and Corey are both incredibly skilled in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., I am pleased to say that I kicked their butts! The video game extravaganza continued long after Corey left and Johnny and I spent hours playing Mario Party, Mario Tennis, Pod Racing, and Medal Of Honor. We also just had to pepper in a few episodes of our latest obsession: Family Matters lol.

No matter what Johnny and I do together, we are sure to have a blast and it feels so good to finally be more active in the community with him again. In fact, it kind of feels like going on first dates all over again because of how long it has been since we could do anything even close to having brunch with friends. Getting all dressed up to go out with my fiance on Sunday was simply the best and I can’t wait for a lifetime of dates with him! ❤

What is your favorite meal of the day? What is your preferred brunch drink? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & Games: It’s A Snap!

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Fun & Games: It’s A Snap!

Hello! Johnny and I are both avid video gamers and have been looking forward to the release of Pokemon Snap on the Nintendo Switch for months. In fact, Johnny, myself, and my brother were literally counting down the days as the release date grew closer! I am about to age myself significantly, but I can remember renting Pokemon Snap for the Nintendo 64 from Blockbuster in my youth and have fond memories of playing it with my siblings.

Pokemon Snap for the Switch came out a few weeks ago on April thirtieth and it took me a while to finally play it. Johnny and I got the second shot of the Moderna vaccine on the twenty-ninth and we were both hit hard with side effects the following day. While Johnny played it for an hour or so, the nausea I was experiencing would not have sat well with the forward motion of the game as you cruise through different landscapes.

I was so eager to play our new game and trust and believe that as soon as I felt better it was ON! Johnny and I have already played Pokemon Snap for hours on end and are close to beating the main story line. In Pokemon Snap, you are basically a wildlife photographer for Pokemon and can make them pose and interact by playing music or throwing fruit and Pokeballs. As you gain experience and take more pictures, different levels and landscapes are unlocked and you never will play a course the same way twice.

Every time Johnny and I get to a good stopping point, it seems like we discover something new and it makes Snap so hard to put down because it’s exciting to see what will happen next. There is an abundance of courses to explore ranging from jungles and parks to caves, the beach, and snowy mountains as well as the opportunity to photograph during the day or nighttime. I am partial to the beach and jungle, myself, but each course is equally fun and unique in its own way.

The new landscapes to explore are, of course, insanely cool but my favorite part of the game is how the Pokemon activity changes as you level up. The higher your level gets in a location, the more Pokemon will appear to photograph as well as the option to take your vehicle on different routes. There’s nothing better than exploring a brand new location or level and seeing all of the new Pokemon to snap pics of for the first time. However, it can be a bit overwhelming because I always want to see absolutely everything in one go!

As soon as Johnny and I get home from work and have dinner, we have been playing Pokemon Snap until we wind down with a TV show and go to bed. We pass the controller off once the course is complete and for the entire level, we our constantly exclaiming our signature Snap catchphrases of “Woahhhhh!”, “That was a good one!”, and “Did you see that?!”

Pokemon Snap will hit you right in the nostalgia and it is both relaxing and extremely exciting at the same time. I can’t wait till my shift is over today so I can play more! 😀

What do you think of the new Pokemon Snap? What is your favorite Pokemon? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have We Been Up To?

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What Have We Been Up To?

Hello! When we’re not making preparations for our wedding, Johnny and I have been enjoying lots of new games and TV shows in our downtime. Once we are both home from work and dinner is made, we like to spend our evenings with video games or laughing hysterically to old and new favorite shows. We’ve been super into the following:

Stupid Deaths:

Johnny and I purchased the party game Stupid Deaths on one of our date days and I finally had the chance to play it with a lot of people when my brother and his family visited from Georgia. It was so much fun and super easy. The point of the game is to vote on if a unique death read from a card actually happened or not and to avoid the Grim Reaper on the board. Stupid Deaths was a hit with my whole family and, despite Johnny and I being downright awful at it, it was a blast and is sure to be a hit for your next game night. I want to buy Stupid Criminals next!

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe:

Johnny recently purchased Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch and it quickly became our new favorite video game to play together. The race tracks are awesome, the character and car selection is massive, and the battle games are a hoot too! I consider myself to be highly proficient at Mario Kart 64 and Double Dash but Johnny gives me a run for my money every time we play Deluxe. It’s fun to get competitive and the first time we played it, we raced for four hours straight without even realizing it. Time flies when you’re having fun. 😀

The Promised Neverland:

While I am still looking forward to seeing the Demon Slayer movie in theaters, my attention has turned to a new anime as per my brother’s suggestion called The Promised Neverland. I just started season two and it is EXCELLENT. I can’t say much about it without giving the major surprise of the first episode away but it is a dark, fast paced show that is both gorgeous and exciting to watch. I have never seen anything like it and I just adore the kids whom the show revolves around. I have to laugh because, for the most part, I can’t stand child actors but anime children are just fine by me lol!

Schitt’s Creek:

My brother, Peter, and his wife, Megan, highly recommend Schitt’s Creek when they visited so Johnny and I decided to give it a try and I am so glad we did. It is absolutely hilarious and we were in stitches minutes into the first episode. We have only watched three episodes so far and I am itching for more. Eugene Levy and his son Daniel as well as the incomparable Catherine O’Hara are a match made in comedy heaven and it’s a trip to watch an uber rich family gone broke try to make it in the not so glamorous real world.

Ever since Daniel Levy’s amazing Saturday Night Live debut, Johnny and I have been interested in watching Schitt’s Creek. Peter and Megan’s recommendation was just the push we needed to begin watching what I have a feeling will be our new favorite comedy.

What have you been watching recently? How do you like to spend your evenings? 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: Every Vow You Break By Peter Swanson Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Every Vow You Break By Peter Swanson Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller by Peter Swanson called Every Vow You Break – without giving any spoilers away, of course. It took me a while to finish this book as I have been pretty busy lately but I really enjoyed it and I did not see the grand reveal coming at all. Every Vow You Break was suspenseful and downright scary at times and I am looking forward to reading more from Peter Swanson. Now, let’s get to it:

After several failed relationships, Abigail has seemingly hit the jackpot with Bruce. He is kind, handsome, and filthy rich. However, despite all of the good times that they have shared, Abigail often feels the overwhelming sensation that she is marrying a complete stranger. During her bachelorette party at a vineyard, Abigail’s reservations skyrocket while she chats with a handsome man on the patio and ends up having a one night stand days before her wedding.

What could possibly be worse than that? Literally everything that follows. Despite the infidelity, Abigail gets married to Bruce anyways and plans on taking her secret to the grave. Unfortunately for her, that is going to be a lot easier said than done when the man she cheated on Bruce with ends up at the exclusive resort that they are honeymooning at called Camp Passamaquoddy or the “Quoddy” for short.

The Quoddy is located on Heart Pond Island and is designed for people who work with technology to take a break from the screens and enjoy nature. There is no cell phone reception or internet, rather, lots of alcohol, lush furnishings, and gourmet meals. And, oh yeah, Bruce just happens to be a partial owner. Abigail can deal with the lack of communication to the outside world but what really creeps her out is the fact that she is the only other woman staying at the resort. Needless to say, Bruce’s choice for the honeymoon wasn’t exactly what she expected but she tries to make the best of it.

The Quoddy is, essentially, a boy’s club so of course Abigail seeks out the company of the woman from the other couple honeymooning on the island named Jill. Over drinks, Jill tells Abigail that her ex-fiance is on the island as well and shakes it off as a strange coincidence. But is it really? Because the man who Abigail had an affair with is on the island too.

Abigail decides to tell her new friend her story the following day for a lunch date but Jill never shows up. She does see Jill later that night, however, running frenzied through the woods and bleeding. What is going on at the Quoddy? And is Abigail next? Read Every Vow You Break to find out!

Despite it taking me longer than usual to finish this book, I was kind of glad to stretch it out because it was that good. I, truly, had no idea what was going to happen with the turn of each page and felt disappointed every time I had to wrap up my reading sesh. Every Vow You Break is basically everyone’s nightmare and the eerie Quoddy resort provided the perfect backdrop for that awful moment when you realize the person you thought you loved is not who they said they were at all.

I cannot give any hints about the grand reveal because it would completely ruin it. Just know, that my stomach dropped when I read it and that doesn’t happen very often. The situation also felt even more desperate because I really liked Abigail. I thought she was such a strong, resourceful heroine and, like me, you will find yourself rooting for her the entire time.

I highly recommend Every Vow You Break and, although it is not quite a ten star rank book to me, it comes damn close. I am going to reward it with eight out of ten stars for its gripping plot, jaw dropping grand reveal, and characters that draw you in. Honestly, my only regret is that it wasn’t longer and I would have really liked to have read more about the aftermath of the honeymoon from hell.

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

Great Ways To Make The Most Of A ‘Hopefully More Free’ Summer

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Great Ways To Make The Most Of A ‘Hopefully More Free’ Summer

We need not begin with the regular preamble speaking about how tough and strange the last year has been, and how excited many of us are to receive a semblance of normal, touch wood, this upcoming summer. You already know every viewpoint on the topic, and have likely expressed some yourself.

However, what we can suggest is a few great ways to make the most of this summer provided you have the space and the freedom to do so. Many of us are dying to see our friends again, and simply cannot wait to blow off some steam and socialize as we really need to. It’s as simple as that. But how can we make sure we make the most of it without feeling like a child in a candy store? After all, when we go from being able to do almost nothing to having every opportunity open up again, choosing one thing, by implication, prevents us from choosing everything else.

That can leave us anxious.

In this guide, we’ll discuss a few measures that you can take to make the most of this summer at your own worthwhile pace. Let’s get started:

Join A Summer Sports Team:

A summer sports team can provide a fun challenge for obvious reasons, but they can also help us feel more connected to other people and meet new folks alike. For this reason, volunteering for a team in your local community, donning rugby training wear to help you curate your own team, or simply spending time joining a new martial arts club could be a good idea, and may even help you connect with a new discipline you never knew you needed.

Try A New Cuisine:

Trying a new cuisine may seem like something you can do any time, and it can. However, there’s nothing quite like the blossoming of the warmer seasons to get food ‘in season’ and to support the return of local businesses opening with confidence. Perhaps you could order authentic ingredients that help you make the most of this cuisine type too or you could spend some time going on a restaurant tour with a friend. There’s nothing better for bonding than eating with someone, particularly after a long absence from one another.

Start Documenting Your Travels:

Documenting your travels can be an excellent way of inspiring you to go further afield, try something new, or to simply note down your thoughts about being allowed to travel around the world again (or within your country’s borders). Documenting your travels in this nature could be aided by recording your days with your mobile phone, writing a blog on a website, or in simply making a scrapbook or journal of your thoughts throughout the day. Little efforts like this help you take some time for you and may even help you come to insights you weren’t expecting.

With this advice, we hope you can make the most of a free summer and, most importantly, to enjoy it through and through.

Featured Image By: Pexels

The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

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The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

It feels like it’s been a long and cold winter. Indeed, it probably feels even longer and colder than it has been because fun and good times have been in short supply thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and other global issues. However, if there’s one thing that we should all remember, it’s that winter doesn’t last forever. In the not too distant future, we’ll all be able to enjoy all of the pleasures that can come from spending time in the sunshine with friends and family.

And what’s the best way to enjoy these moments? By having a BBQ! In this post, we’ll run through some tried and tested tips that will make you the host with the most:

Prepare‌ ‌the‌ ‌Yard‌:

The food will take center stage, but it’s important to remember that the yard will provide the backdrop for the BBQ. As such, it’s worthwhile getting it into shape beforehand. There are numerous ways to do this. A little bit of landscaping will go a long way, so there’s no need to go overboard and create an oasis (unless you want to). The most important aspect will be to have plenty of comfortable seating options and, if possible, to make the yard feel private.

Simple‌ ‌and‌ ‌Delicious‌ ‌Recipes‌:

People are going to judge the quality of the BBQ by the overall atmosphere of the day, but there’s no avoiding the fact that the quality of the food is important, too. The good thing about BBQs is that even the simple classics will do the trick. Hamburgers and hot dogs are the way to go! Just make sure that it’s high-quality meat. Don’t forget dessert, too; there are plenty of easy fruit salad recipes that are perfect for summer afternoons. If you don’t want to be responsible for all the food, then you can ask your guests to bring some with them – if everyone brings something small, then everyone will eat well.

Remember the Drinks:

What’s a BBQ without drinks? All meals should have drinks by their side, but it becomes even more important for BBQs since it’s usually so hot out. While you can provide the basics, such as soda, beer, and wine, it’s also fun to push the boat out a little. Could you make some homemade lemonade or create a cocktail station where people can make their own colorful and delicious drinks?

Bring the Music:

BBQs are all about sinking into all of the good times that summer can bring. So do your best to create a fun and light atmosphere, one that allows people to escape the worries of everyday life. The best ways to do this are to play a killer summer playlist and to provide some games. If you’ve got some reggae or otherwise good-vibe music on the stereo, and people can play twister or other fun yard games, then your BBQ will be a hit.

Enjoy the weather, food, and good company with the tips above to make your BBQ the best on the block!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Everything’s Coming Up Daffodils

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Everything’s Coming Up Daffodils

Hello! The last time I went to my mom and dad’s house, I was completely amazed by all of the lovely yellow daffodils lining their driveway. I had been there two days ago and there wasn’t a single bloom – then, out of nowhere, there was color everywhere. Yellow flowers always put a smile on my face because they remind me of my grandma and the daffodil surprise felt like a special hello from her. Check it out:

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The Daffodil Day was, indeed, a glorious one with temperatures in the seventies and it put me in a hopeful, happy mood. I have been enjoying my time outside so much after being cooped up all winter and have already been making the most of the nice weather with photo shoots with Johnny, going on walks with my brother, and playing at the park with my niece and sister. All of the beautiful flowers blooming is an added bonus. 🙂

I hope all of you are experiencing mild temps and flowers and here’s to a wonderful and safe spring!

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

Fun & (Board) Games

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Fun & (Board) Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hosting The Perfect Game Night

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Hosting The Perfect Game Night

When your favorite sports team sets the date for an important game, hosting a party with your fellow supporters is one of the best ideas you can indulge in. Organizing an amazing games night needn’t be as difficult as you might expect, as there are a few key tips and tricks that you can make the most of today:

Decorate The Space:

Whether you’ve booked out a venue or you’re just hosting your games night in the comfort of your living room, decorating the space in preparation for your fellow supporters arrival is an essential step to take. Prepping your venue to make it fun and inviting will add to the atmosphere dramatically, setting the scene for a brilliant game night that’s full of laughter and excitement! You can start off by sourcing a few balloons that match your team’s colors, as this is the most affordable option to upgrade your space. Investing in personalized banners or posters that show your support for your team can be a more flashy choice.

Don’t forget, if you’re hosting at home, it might be a good idea to prepare for mess – putting any fragile, breakable decor away is recommended, as you don’t want a happy celebration to turn into an apologetic embarrassment.

Provide Food & Drink:

Having some tasty snacks and a few delicious drinks to wash them down with will add a whole new level to your game night, and your guests will go home happy with full tummies no matter what the score ends up being! A finger food buffet of easy-to-eat no-mess options is going to be your best bet, as you don’t want to have to sit down and eat with a fork and plate when celebrations can occur at any moment. Sliders, fries, pastries, crisps and dip, cupcakes, and similar options are usually great crowd pleasers! If you’re stuck on what to create, take a look around online to find a wide variety of game night recipes that you can whip up in record time to impress your fellow supporters.

Souvenirs:

Purchasing some personalized team shirts or scarves from a uniform store will give your guests something to take home with them and use again, and they’ll remember the game night night every time they see it! Make sure that you find a reputable provider from whom you can place an order with confidence, as you don’t want to waste money or time with poor quality souvenir options.

Hosting the best game night for you and your fellow supporters to enjoy has never been so simple with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pexels