Tag Archives: enjoy

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

Sweet Surprises: Hot Chocolate Bomb Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Hot Chocolate Bomb Edition

Hi! My neighbor from my family home, Alice, is one of my best friends. She is so kind and thoughtful and is always leaving sweet surprises for me in the mail box. I don’t know what I would do without her constant encouragement and we really did hit the jackpot for the best neighbor! A few weeks ago, Alice surprised me with a couple of hot chocolate bombs and I was excited to use one because I didn’t even know that they were a thing. My immediate thought was “Do you put it in the bath tub?”

Lol, well it turns out you don’t! On the stove top in a cup and a half of milk is where I placed the hot chocolate bomb and it was the ultimate sweet treat that I didn’t even know I needed. Check it out:

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First of all, can we please talk about how the hot chocolate bomb looks like the Golden Snitch from Harry Potter? It was almost too pretty to let fizz away! It took a while for the hot chocolate bomb to do anything and I would be a liar if I said I didn’t start poking at it after a couple of minutes on the stove top. I was so impatient to see what would happen! 😀

After moving the hot chocolate bomb around for a bit, it finally opened up with glittering flecks of gold mixed into the chocolate and, to my delight, three big marshmallows popped out. My mind was blown. Watching the hot chocolate bomb work was fun but it was even better trying the end result, which was delicious. It was so rich and had a really bold chocolate taste without being too sweet. It has been years since I had hot chocolate and this was the best possible way to be reintroduced. I also loved using my sugar skull mug which was a “just because” gift from Johnny. ❤

Huge shout out to Alice for this awesome sweet surprise. It put a smile on my face and on my taste buds! 🙂

What is your favorite sweet treat? Have you received any sweet surprises lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Stepping Up Your Pampering At Home

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Stepping Up Your Pampering At Home

Howdy! I don’t know about all of you, but I freaking love pampering myself with beauty treatments at home. From face masks to body scrubs and skin care, I have always enjoyed trying new products, scents, and ingredients to enhance my pampering even more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am sure that many of us have turned to at home beauty treatments to minimize unnecessary exposure. And, due to the pandemic approaching its one year anniversary, you might be running out of ideas for your at home spa nights!

We all deserve to feel relaxed and pampered and if you are feeling blah with your current treatments, step them up by trying the following:

Make Your Own:

If you have exhausted all of the sheet and clay face masks at your local pharmacy or are sick of your bath and body care scents, why not try making your own beauty products? There are countless how to guides and recipes out there for face masks, hair and nail treatments, and lotion and you might just find your new favorite hobby. You will also be amazed at how many products you could make with ingredients that you already have in your own home like avocado, olive oil, sugar, and eggs. You could even have a Zoom spa night with your friends where you can all make and use a spa treatment together while catching up on the latest.

If you aren’t interested in making your own products but would like to try something new, then try supporting a local or small online business that specializes in beauty care. I love testing out products from local creators and often find that their products are even better than store bought brands!

Tend To Neglected Areas:

I recently just realized that I spend so much time with products for my face that I have lightweight neglected several opportunities for pampering. To emphasize that point, at almost twenty-seven years old I just started using hand lotion before bed regularly a month ago. If this sounds like you, spend some time during your next spa night getting acquainted with neglected areas like overgrown cuticles, dry elbows, and rough heels for a complete pampering experience.

Create A Relaxing Space:

There is absolutely nothing relaxing about sitting in your bathroom waiting for your face mask to dry, lol. Enhance your spa night by creating a relaxing space. You could draw a nice hot bath or you could carve out a little space in your home where you can lounge and read as your treatments settle in. Don’t forget that scented candles, oil burners, or incense as well as nature sounds and soothing music will help make your experience even better!

Lil Red Pro Tip:

I am definitely not perfect when it comes to my skin care and my recent bout with a super huge zit can attest to that! I also just got over a case of the literal worst dandruff ever about a month ago and all I can say if you are dealing with dandruff is: Olive oil. There was no Head & Shoulders at my place and after researching online, I learned that an olive oil treatment is really effective. I soaked my scalp with olive oil for about fifteen minutes, washed my hair twice to get it all out, and was blown away to see no more white flakes. See! Awesome beauty treatments can be found right in your own home. 🙂

Give how you pamper yourself a makeover with the tips above to spruce things up during your next spa night!

How do you pamper yourself at home? What is your favorite beauty treatment? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

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Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home so why not get better acquainted with it during your next family night as opposed to the usual movies or games. Kitchens are meant to be used and enjoyed and creating a meal with your family gives you the opportunity to work as a team in a different activity while still spending quality time together. Who knows, you might just have a secret chef in your home! Try the following during your next family night for some good food and good fun:

Agree On A Menu:

If you are going to prepare an entire dinner with your family, then it is best to agree on a menu beforehand so you can pick up all of the necessary ingredients and save you from any surprise trips to the store. Is there going to be a cuisine style that should be adhered to? Is each person going to make their own dish or will tasks be delegated? Will there be enough options for people with dietary needs? All of this should come into consideration while preparing the menu to ensure that everything goes smoothly while cooking your meal.

Don’t forget to read your recipes carefully for instructions that you must complete beforehand or a crazy long cooking time so you can plan accordingly. It also doesn’t hurt to assign stations for everyone to work in so no one gets their toes stepped on and remember to tend to any fridge repairs that need done so all of your leftovers can keep!

Baking & Decorating:

If you’d rather move right onto dessert than try your hand at cooking a whole meal as a family, then that’s okay too! Baking and decorating desserts is fun for children and adults alike. You could even incorporate a competition element to the evening by offering a small prize for the best tasting (or decorated) dessert. Classic desserts are sure to please but there are plenty of creative updates on old favorites that you can try like cake pops and hot chocolate bombs. Making your own chocolate is also a great activity for those with a sweet tooth. 😀

Smoothies:

Going out for a hike with the family in the afternoon and returning home to make some smoothies seems like the perfect way to spend a spring day. Encourage everyone to make their own concoctions with a wide assortment of fruits and low fat yogurts to pick from. Smoothies are also great for sneaking in some veggies like spinach, kale, or carrots.

Slime & Play Dough:

Perhaps, you’d rather use your family time in the kitchen to whip up a few batches of slime or play dough together. If so, there are countless recipes online that you can follow for some colorful, creative fun made with ingredients in your own house. Your kids are sure to have a blast!

Retire your living room for family night and head to the kitchen instead for a more hands on, interactive evening. Creating in the kitchen as a family will encourage team work and help introduce children to different concepts in math like fractions and units of measurement. It’s just as educational as it is wholesome fun.

4 Steps For The Perfect Movie Marathon

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4 Steps For The Perfect Movie Marathon

When you’re in lock down, you have to constantly think of new ways to entertain yourself. Many people have taken up new hobbies, such as baking, gardening, or arts and crafts. These are excellent ways to keep your creative juices flowing and take your mind away from the harsh realities of the global situation.

But if none of these activities appeals to you, nothing beats the simple pleasure of watching a good film. An excellent way to keep your household entertained in lock down is to throw a family movie night. A chance to recreate the currently inaccessible cinematic experience in your own home, watching film after film with the lights off and surrounded by endless buckets of popcorn.

Anyone can have a movie marathon; you don’t need a 75-inch TV screen or a home cinema. As long as you have a selection of films and something to watch them on, you’re all set. To get your night off to a good start, here are the four steps of planning the perfect movie marathon.

Figure out your set-up:

The very first thing you need to do is set up the technology required. What will you be using to watch the film? The bigger the screen you use, the better the experience will be, so opt for a TV over a laptop or tablet if possible. If you have the budget for it, you could enlist electrical contractor services to help you install a home entertainment system and surround-sound speakers, but it’s not essential. You can make do with what you have.

Pick the movies:

The crucial decision for your movie marathon is deciding what to watch. Although you can choose anything you like, the best movie marathons follow a theme: a common element linking each one of the movies you pick. This could be watching all the films in a series, such as the Lord Of The Rings movies or the Twilight saga. Alternatively, it could feature films by a single director. If you are watching with the whole family, it’s hard to find something for everyone, so you could keep all viewers happy by getting each person to pick one of the films.

Get some snacks:

It’s not a movie marathon without something to munch on while you watch. Popcorn is a must-have and you’ll need some fizzy drinks too. If you’re planning on going through the night, you might need some caffeinated beverages on standby! Make sure there is something for everyone and you’ve covered all dietary requirements. You should try to refrain from including noisy foods like potato chips, as these will distract from the film.

Make it comfortable:

The final step is to make the room as comfortable and atmospheric as possible. Turn the lights down low, set the heating or air conditioning to a cozy temperature, and turn off phones and other distractions. Make sure there are plenty of blankets and pillows for everyone to find a comfortable position but don’t make it too comfy or you might not stay awake to the end!

You can’t go wrong with a movie night to help shake the boredom blues. Turn your living room into the movie theater and enjoy!

Featured Image By: Pixabay