Tag Archives: experience

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

Standard
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

Improving Your Staff’s Work From Home Experience

Standard
Improving Your Staff’s Work From Home Experience

Working from home has become the new norm amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While some have taken to it like a fish to water, others are still struggling with not being at the office every day. If you are managing a staff that is working from home, it’s important to do what you can to keep their overall work experience a positive one. You could start with the following:

IT support:

Working from home can turn into a nightmare if one of the programs that you use crashes. Having the best IT support for your staff is a must so that your employee’s can get their tech problems solved quickly and stress free. It also might be a good idea to offer tutorial videos for new programs and updates for those who are not super tech savvy.

Checking in:

Remember the good old days when you could simply pop into an employee’s office to give them updates or shoot the breeze? It’s definitely not the same over email and instant messaging but it’s important to continue a rapport with each of your employees. They are looking to you for guidance during these unsettling times and it will be nice for them to know that they can still come to you for help or just a quick chat!

Offering for staff to continue to work from home:

So many of my friends would love to continue working from home post pandemic and I am sure that countless others feel the same way. A lot of employees have found that they are much more productive and comfortable when they are doing their job in their own space. If some of your staff is interested in continuing to work from home, giving them that option might be a good thing to consider.

A weekly just for fun meeting:

It is probably really difficult for some of your employees to not be around their coworkers when they are on break or have a spare minute. It’s a wonder what a little social time can do to improve your mood during a work day! Break up the day to day routine by offering a a fifteen or so minute Zoom meeting just for fun. Your employees will enjoy hearing updates from all of their work friends and will be in a much better mood for the rest of the day.

Hate it or love it, working from home is here to stay for a while longer. Use the tips above to continue to help your employees succeed and feel their best during these crazy times.

The Best Ways To Surprise Yourself

Standard
The Best Ways To Surprise Yourself

Life can get pretty stale sometimes. Most of the time, if we want to be surprised, we have to wait for someone else to do it by arranging a spontaneous trip or giving us a gift. But what if we didn’t wait? What if, when we wanted to be surprised, we did it ourselves? It might not sound possible since being surprised is all about not knowing what’s coming, but we think it can be done, and we think it should be done. Here are some of our ideas:

Join A Subscription Box:

A subscription box is definitely something you can surprise yourself with. You’ll be sent a new box each month, and you’ll never know what’s going to be inside it. So, although you organized the box to be delivered, and although you’re paying for it, it’s still going to be a surprise. At the same time, it’s something you can look forward to, and this is a scarce combination indeed.

The key to enjoying your subscription box is to pick something you know you’re going to love, whatever the box’s actual contents might be. You could choose a Me Time Box or something that delivers food or cooking ingredients. There are boxes of clothes, bath salts, perfumes, and books. There are subscription boxes for pretty much everything, so search around and you’re sure to find one you like.

Write Yourself Notes:

We might think we’ve got good memories, but the human brain doesn’t remember everything. It only keeps the most important things where they can easily be reached through memory, and everything else is stored away much deeper. These things can usually only be triggered by a certain smell, photographs, or perhaps stories from friends and relatives.

This is why writing notes to yourself can be a great surprise. Write some positive notes and leave them in places where you know you’ll find them later on – maybe months down the line. When you find them, it will be a pleasant surprise and something to make you feel good. Some examples of what you can write include:

  • Stay positive
  • You are beautiful
  • You are loved
  • I’m proud of you
  • Keep going

Place the notes into drawers, under cushions, in coat pockets, in books, or even in outside places that you’re going to return to time and again.

Say Yes:

When we are asked to do something or given any kind of opportunity, there are two responses. You’ll either say yes or no. It’s easier to say no. Saying no means that nothing has to change, and we don’t have to try anything new. So most of the time, that’s what we’ll say.

Why not surprise yourself and say yes, instead? This will give you the chance to try all kinds of new things. Some you will dislike, some you will enjoy, and others you might fall in love with, and your life might change (for the better) because of it. Unless you say yes and give yourself a surprise, you’ll never know. Staying in your comfort zone is not surprising and will only cause stress and anxiety over time. At the very least, you’ll be bored!

Say yes to the ideas above and give yourself a surprise today!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

4 Things To Consider If You’re Thinking About Going Back To School

Standard
4 Things To Consider If You’re Thinking About Going Back To School

Are you thinking of going back to school? Although it’s a very exciting endeavor, it’s also very daunting – especially if you’ve been out of education for several years. You need to make sure that you’re prepared for what’s coming your way. No matter the reason behind the decision – whether it’s to follow your interests or boost your career, you’ll want to research thoroughly into it beforehand.

Throughout the research process, it’s likely that you’ll have several main considerations about furthering your education, which might include the following:

What You’ll Specialize in:

What are you interested in studying? If you’re doing it as a way of enhancing your career, chances are this will be a subject that’s related to the job you’re doing now. For example, if you’re a lawyer, you might want to specialize in a particular type of law – like brain injury law, commercial law, or family law.

However, if you’re looking for something new that you’ve never done before, the selection process might be a bit trickier. This is why it’s a good idea to look at various colleges/universities/training programs, comparing and contrasting them based on what they include and what career you could get into in the future from completing it.

The Cost:

Unfortunately, studying doesn’t come cheaply. And with some universities across the country costing up to $70,000, it might feel out of reach. Before applying to further education, it’s important to look at how much it costs and whether there are any finance options available to you. This way, you’ll know that you can afford to take it on – without unbearable student debts in the future.

Online VS In Person:

Do you want to study online or in-person? This is a top consideration that will help to shape your final decision. This choice will depend on how you want your studying to fit around your lifestyle. For example, if you work part-time or full-time, online studying is likely to be the best choice for you as you can work on assignments in the evenings or on the weekend.

If you’re looking to focus full-time on studying and only take on some part-time work to help cover your monthly costs, in-person studying at the university or college may be more suitable.

Should You Gain Work Experience Instead?

Is there a way that you can gain work experience? Even though further education will give you another degree, diploma, or other accreditation, for some roles, work experience is preferred. Also, if you want to get an insight into that career but don’t want the cost or ties to a course, then perhaps trying to get work experience is the better option.

Through taking on an internship or placement, you’ll be able to see whether that type of career is right for you while showcasing to future employers your dedication to the profession.

These are four of the top things to consider if you’re thinking of going back to school. At the end of the day, of course, the decision is up to you. But by looking at the above and researching into the course and prospects it will offer you, you’ll be able to determine the best route to follow.

Featured Image By: Moose Photos from Pexels

Giving Gifts To Be Cherished

Standard
Giving Gifts To Be Cherished

Almost anything could constitute as a ‘gift’. That being said, we all know that gifting is a complex and often nuanced art. For instance, purchasing someone a new car, while amazing, does not necessarily make it better via expensive than something perfectly tailored to the person in question, thought of carefully, used as a means to illustrate a beautiful point. The gift’s worth is defined in presence of the particular giftee and gifter,  no matter the particulars.

Yet sometimes it can be that you hope to give a gift that will leave an excellent and positive mark upon the recipient, ensuring that they not only appreciate your generosity, but that they can return to the memory of said item as a truly beautiful thing to appreciate. To help you achieve that, we have some of the following advice:

Experiences:

It’s hard to shed the impression a wonderful experience can leave someone. Each of us only has a set amount of time on this Earth, and so spending that time within an experience that helps us learn, grow, and feel grateful can be truly fantastic. It might be that you bring a family member along for a cruise or that you head on a road trip with your friend to explore the best of what your coastline has to offer. What matters is spending time with those you most love and appreciate, as this generates memories all by itself.

Indulgences & Treats:

A small indulgence can make for a phenomenal gift, because not only are you giving them a wonderfully handcrafted treat from Eastern Standard Provisions, but you are granting them the chance to indulge in a treat they most enjoy. This also serves as the best approach to gifting, because it matters, and it provides them with that sense of comfort they may have been missing thus far. Small indulgences are not small, they are an example of the little things that make life worth living and plenty enjoyable.

A Particular Craft:

Crafting something yourself is perhaps one of the most interesting and satisfying measures you can enjoy. However, gifting said craft to someone you love or appreciate is a cherry on the cake. Don’t think this needs to be some otherwordly example of the craft makers art in order to be assured in this. Giving someone a small clay pot from a pottery course you took, a bouquet of flowers you have arranged yourself, a small knitted jumper for a nephew or niece, or even just a painting you have applied yourself to can all be wonderful. Don’t think that because you may not have spent hundreds acquiring said item that it’s worthless. Quite the contrary, it will have soul.

With this advice, you can leave your signature mark on what you gift your loved ones with in the future.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Perfect Valentine’s Day Gifts For Your Boyfriend

Standard
Perfect Valentine’s Day Gifts For Your Boyfriend

Hello! Yesterday, we went over some perfect Valentine’s Day gifts for the special ladies in your life and, now, it’s on to the fellas. I, myself, find Valentine’s Day particularly difficult to shop for when I’m in a relationship. I definitely don’t want to go overboard with presents, as we just finished the holiday season. But, I don’t want to purchase too little, either! It’s a fine balance and today we are going to look over a bunch of different gifts for your man for every budget. Let’s get to it:

The Classics:

Who says guys can’t get chocolate, too?! The classics for the girlfriend is often chocolate, flowers, and a bottle of wine. Give these ideas a masculine twist like a six pack of his favorite beer, chocolate with pieces of bacon in it, and beef jerky bouquets… Yes, they are a thing. Or, you could always go to Five Below and grab one of these hunky chocolate bars that I got for my beau:

A981823A-00E8-4C39-BEA1-434F1CC2BFBD

^^^ Lololol.

Dapper Dudes:

Does your man candy enjoy dressing up or have a unique personal style? Go with this and treat him to a new pair of shoes or a goofy T-shirt. Help him accessorize with tie clips, pocket squares, and cuff links for a suave touch to his OOTDs. Any apparel based gifts will make him think of you every time he wears it, which is the whole point! But, if you gift him with a hoodie it is partially yours, of course. 😉

Sports Fan:

If you’re in a relationship with a sports fan, an ultimate gift would be tickets to the next big game. Ballin on a budget? That’s okay! Plan a night in when the next game he’s interested in is on TV. Provide Super Bowl level snacks, cold drinks, and a positive attitude in case his team is losing!

Memorabilia:

My boyfriend is a music connoisseur and we both have an affliction for movies. So, this is always a safe route to go if your partner is the same way. Snag him a cool new band T-shirt, get a coffee mug with his favorite Star Wars character on it, your options are limitless! And remember, nothing beats a good old fashioned night at the movies, which would be a great choice if a flick he’s dying to see is playing.

From The Heart:

Guys appreciate heartfelt gifts just as much as girls and just might be better at not showing it. Frame some of your favorite pictures together, write a poem, or take him to dinner at the restaurant where you had your first date. There is nothing wrong with going the more romantic route and it could be his favorite gift to date.

Experiences:

Experience gifts often go very well for guys and you could go as big or as small as you wish. How about a weekend getaway in a cozy cabin? A winter hike with thermoses of warm spiced cider? Or maybe a trip to a local museum for your history buff? Either way, you will be sharing in a day together and that is the most special part about Valentine’s Day! ❤

And who says guys are hard to shop for with the tips above?!

What do you like to gift your guy for Valentine’s Day? How do you plan on celebrating this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

Standard
Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

Helloooo! There are some who holiday shop in the summer, there are those who wait until the last minute, and there might be a group of you who is getting their shopping done now, like myself. No matter what your shopping style, purchasing gifts for your loved ones can be a big task. No one wants to give a dud of a gift and this can be a huge stresser if you have someone on your list who’s difficult to shop for.

Lucky for all of you, Lil Red is an absolute pro at holiday shopping and I’m here to break down some of my favorite tips to make your experience much easier. Check it out:

Listen Up:

When trying to get inspired with gift ideas, I make an extra effort to put my listening ears on. For example, I purchased a gift for my mom this year because she flat out said in conversation that she would like this specific thing. Done. If you’re struggling for ideas, spark up a chat with the person you’re shopping for, because the answer might come a lot easier than you think. Discuss favorite things, favorite previous gifts or experiences, and the like and you should have a firm idea of what to purchase by the end of it.

Make A List:

I know that I put this suggestion in my shopping tips every year but that’s because it’s important. Keeping organized while completing your shopping is key because a jumbled mess just means extra stress. Write down everyone who you need to buy for, list some ideas of what you would like to gift them, and cross them off once the task is complete. This will also help you when you are making your rounds in store and online because it will give you a better idea of where to purchase what and you won’t end up back at the same place a million more times.

There’s No Shame In Gift Cards:

I always used to think that gift cards were a cop out but I have grown quite fond of purchasing them for gift giving occasions. Whether it be a ten dollar Starbucks gift card along with other goodies or treating the giftee to a night out for dinner and a movie – gift cards can go a long way. Gift cards are a great add on or full gift and it makes your shopping experience a lot easier if you are coming up short for ideas.

Give An Experience:

What do you give to the person who has it all? How about an experience! Take your favorite sports nut to a game. What about a spa day for your mom? Or take your favorite body modified blogger to the tattoo shop for the afternoon! Haha, either way, gifting experiences is a sure fire way to please even the most difficult person to shop for and you will both have happy memories to cherish afterwards.

And Remember…

Yes, holiday shopping can be stressful. But, it should be fun too! Being able to treat your loved ones to something special is a beautiful thing. Remember that, and your shopping experience will start feeling a whole lot better.

What are some of your tips and tricks for holiday shopping? Who is done with their shopping already? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

My Mary Kay Experience

Standard
My Mary Kay Experience

Hello, hello my darlings! The last time I was at Elysian Nails getting a fill, I entered a raffle for a free Mary Kay facial and ten dollar gift card and, surprisingly, my name was called! I legit never win anything, so I was pretty excited and had the woman who was running the contest and in the Mary Kay business come to my apartment for some pampering.

Now, this might sound rude but ninety-nine percent of the time, I find the whole self directed sales thing incredibly annoying, for lack of a better word. I can’t stand getting messages from girls I went to high school with and were probably mean to me pushing their It Works, Scentsy, or Arbonne products. So, silly me for being under the impression that this experience with Mary Kay was going to be any different.

Using the products was fine but they weren’t that great and they were way too expensive for my TJMaxx skin care taste. I just couldn’t get into the whole showmanship of it all. It turned into a forty-five minute session of why Mary Kay is the jam, why their products are the jam, and how life changing being in the company is. And, maybe that’s true for some people, but I was not interested in it let alone the pressure I was put on to purchase the products I was trying.

I worked retail for five years and there is definitely a right and a wrong way to push product and these self directed saleswomen are just plain pushy. Am I happy that this lady came to my apartment? I guess. Was it a waste of time on one of my evenings off? Most definitely. *massive eyeroll*

How do you feel about self directed sales? Are there any businesses like that that you purchase from? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Raconteurs Concert

Standard
The Raconteurs Concert

Hello hello my darlings! On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to be able to see my beloved Jack White for my second birthday concert in a row with The Raconteurs at Stage AE in Pittsburgh. As we all know, I love Jack White more than I love myself most days so when The Raconteurs came out with their first album in eleven years, Help Us Stranger, going to see them was an absolute necessity when they announced their tour.

As luck would have it, they ended up playing in one of my favorite cities (Pittsburgh), at one of my favorite venues (Stage AE) so my parents treated me to two tickets for my 25th birthday. For the past several years in a row, I have attended a concert with my sister for my birthday outing with her and it always ends up being one of the best nights of my life. I am so thankful to Kristen because even if she doesn’t like the band or is unfamiliar with them, she will go with me and words can’t describe how appreciative I am for that.

So, off to Pittsburgh we went to get re-antiquated with Stage AE, where we went to see Marilyn Manson two years ago and Jack White who we saw last year. Stage AE is such a fantastic venue because you can get so close to the stage, and we ended up being in the front row like how we were for Marilyn Manson. And, being that close to some of your favorite musicians is an experience that everyone should have.

Now, you’re probably wondering “where are the pictures?”. And, unfortunately, I have none. Jack White is quite strict about his “no phone” policy at concerts so Kristen and I just left ours in our car. However, the people who did bring theirs with them had to put them in a bag that was sealed with a security tag like they use at clothing stores and could only be removed by security after the show.

I understand this rule and I don’t. It is definitely nice to fully experience a concert without your phone in hand. However, not being able to snap a few pics or take a video is disappointing – especially since we were so close to the stage. I just feel lucky that when I saw Jack White at X-Fest last year, he was performing with other bands so the no phone rule didn’t apply and I was able to take pictures and videos to my heart’s content.

Speaking of other bands, Ex Hex opened for The Raconteurs and they were very good! The all female alt band really held their own nicely on stage and performed songs from their new album It’s Real. Ex Hex hasn’t been on my radar since my PacSun days so it was nice to see them evolve musically and I enjoyed their performance. They wouldn’t necessarily be who I would pick to open for The Raconteurs but it set a good vibe for the amazingness that was to come.

The Raconteurs came out swinging, opening with Bored and Razed and following up with a much loved favorite off of Broken Boy Soldiers, Level. They played a solid mix of nine songs off of Help Us Stranger with nine other tracks from Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers Of The Lonely peppered in for good measure.

I would have loved for them to throw in more of their heavy hitters from the albums, because a few of their choices were a bit too slow paced for my liking. This is especially due to the fact that a lot of their more mellow songs are sung by Brendan Benson with Jack White only accompanying on vocals. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the songs. But, Jack White has an undeniable presence and Benson just didn’t have that. It was also difficult to hear him throughout the concert.

It was awesome hearing a majority of the album Help Us Stranger, though, and their strong points were definitely with Don’t Bother Me and Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying). Shine The Light On Me was another especially powerful one off of their new album. The lighting was also very cool throughout the concert, going between green, red, and a lovely pale yellow which looked awesome on stage.

The highlights for me during the concert were when they brought back songs off of their first album, Broken Boy Soldiers. Their performance was really strong during these songs and it was amazing to hear them close with Broken Boy Soldier, because that’s my absolute favorite song by them. The instrumentals paired with the shocking green light made for an unforgettable version of it and that is what I immediately think of when replaying the night in my head.

Thankfully, they encored with SEVEN MORE SONGS because the first half of the show just wasn’t enough. And, it was a spectacular ending when they concluded with a long version of Blue Veins set to moody midnight lighting and, of course, ultimately bidding their farewells with Steady, As She Goes – as to be expected.

Despite some qualms with not having my phone and a few song choices I could have done without, it was an overall fantastic concert. The gentlemen in The Raconteurs play off of each other so well and are such a cohesive group that watching them put it all together was nothing short of mesmerizing. Although they sounded great, Jack White definitely carried the weight of the show on his shoulders. And, believe me, I am so okay with this. But, it would have been nice to have seen the other guys step up a little more because they are all extremely talented, in their own right.

My fourth concert experience in Pittsburgh was an absolute success and I am looking forward to attending more shows with the best sister a gal could ask for. Sadly, Jack White didn’t notice me pounding White Claws in the audience, but there’s always next time, right?

What concerts have you been to this year? Who else is a fan of The Raconteurs? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: NPR

Psychic Experience

Standard
Psychic Experience

Hiiii! Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I thought that it would be fun to go see a psychic. He has been to one before and I never have so we made a little afternoon of it. After searching for “the best psychics in Cleveland” for what felt like forever, we landed on a woman named Faye who had pretty solid reviews. Of course, all of the reviews for each place were a mixed bag with some people saying it was a scam and others claiming that it was the best reading of their life.

For cheapness’s sake, we decided to both do a palm reading and went on our merry way to meet Faye, who has a small business in downtown Cleveland. Her shop was very tiny with a sitting area in the front and an office style room in the back where she did her readings. As soon as we walked in, she decided that I would go first so I went back while my boyfriend waited up front.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely believe in the other wordly and spiritual powers. I do feel like Faye had it, but I also know when someone is just trying to upsell you and that’s exactly what she did to both me and my MAN. It was basically a case of “I can tell you more but you have to come back”. *Massive eye roll*

However, what she did tell me during the brief ten minute reading was all correct. She started off with the basic “you had a difficult childhood/teenage years blah, blah, blah” which I feel like isn’t that hard to tell by looking at me, lol. But, then she continued with being able to tell that I worked in the care profession, recently moved out, and had two specific people in my family that I worry about the most – which is all accurate. She also didn’t know my name so it’s not like she Facebooked me or read my blog beforehand.

I do wish that we could have talked longer, because I feel like she was holding back on everything that she told me so that she could pull the “but wait, there’s more” card. But, it was a really cool experience for what it was and it was even better that my boyfriend came up with such a unique date idea. Six out of ten, would go to Faye again. Twelve out of ten, would recommend this date to others!

Have you ever been to a psychic? What are your thoughts in favor or against practices like that? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah