Tag Archives: experience

Experience Gifts For The Holiday Season

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Experience Gifts For The Holiday Season

Hello! Are you bored with giving the standard holiday gifts? You know, lotions, candles, fleece blankets – all of the usual. Or, perhaps, you are shopping for the person who has everything? Regardless, maybe it’s time to switch gears and think about presents that you can’t wrap up and stick under the tree. We’re talking the gifts of experience! Shake things up this holiday season with these ideas and create lasting memories for your giftee in the new year:

Cooking Class:

Is your giftee gifted in the kitchen? Or can your giftee not cook at all lol? Either way, a cooking class would be such fun and something different. Whether it’s a class dedicated to delicious desserts or learning to cook Indian food, it will be a rewarding experience as well as a filling one because you can dig in afterwards! This is also a great gift to give to a couple for a unique date night.

Wine & Craft Class:

Wine or beer craft nights became wildly popular a few years ago and there’s a reason for that – they are a blast! Even if your giftee isn’t the crafty type, that’s okay! There will be a teacher to walk you through the entire process step by step and offer input to improve your project. Lots of different bars and restaurants host these events and I have seen everything from painting nights to woodworking and everything in between. You will also get the bonus of being able to display your creation in your home… Or tucked away in a closet depending on how it turns out. 😉

Girls Night In:

Do you and your bestie have some serious catching up to do? How about booking a hotel room for a night? You can gab, watch all of the HBO, and enjoy the indoor pool and hot tub. I don’t know about you guys, but I always want to go swimming in the winter! DoorDash some grub or order room service and indulge yourselves with the ultimate girls night in.

Event Tickets:

Does your giftee have a love for the theater? Or maybe they are an adrenaline junkie and frequents amusement parks in the summer? Sports fan? Easy. All you need to do is buy a couple of tickets! It can be as big as tickets to a concert or simply treating them to a movie night for the latest flick they have been dying to see. Whatever you choose for your giftee, it is sure to be a much appreciated present.

Take A Hike:

Do you have an outdoorsy giftee on your list? How about planning an excursion on a hiking trail or a camping trip? Take a drive, pack a picnic lunch, and enjoy each other’s company in the great outdoors. Of course, you might have to hold off until warmer weather but that’s totally fine! One of the points of experience gifts is to give the person something to look forward to. If your giftee has a green thumb, there are also lots of classes available to create your own succulent terrarium or potted plant display.

Animal Lovers:

Did you know that some zoos offer “Get Closer” experiences? This allows you to have one on one time with certain animals at the zoo. I actually did a Get Closer experience with my brother at the Akron Zoo to see the Galapagos Tortoises and it was amazing! We got to love on them, feed them treats, and learn about them from one of the employees. If you have an animal lover to shop for, this is a fantastic way to go!

The gift of experience is sure to please everyone on your list and it gives you the opportunity to get creative too. Use some of the ideas above or put your thinking cap on to come up with the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

Have you ever received an experience gift before? What kind of gifts do you like to give? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Libraries Rock!

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Libraries Rock!

Hello! I have had the absolute pleasure of taking my sweet niece, Val Gal, to a couple of story times at one of the many local libraries in our area. It is seriously the cutest thing on planet Earth and I love having some extra TT time! During story hour, the kids listen to stories (Obviously lol), sing songs, learn dances, and do a craft themed around their topic for the day. The teacher also peppers in tips for the parents or family to help improve language skills. I have never been to a library story hour before taking Val and I was SO impressed by the librarians running the program.

When I first started my job as an Independent Provider for people with special needs, I was working strictly in the evenings. Prior to this, I used to think that libraries were just for using the computers and getting books. However, they are so much more than that, which I learned from taking my clients to the numerous programs held at the libraries.

Every month, I would scour the Events pages for the libraries in the greater Akron area for programs my clients would enjoy. And, every time, I was blown away with what was being offered. We would attend vinyl record clubs, movie nights, crafts, an escape room, and even a murder mystery night! The best part? Everything was always free!

Libraries in my area offer everything from computer courses and sign language classes to cooking clubs and concerts. And, I’m sure that the libraries in your neck of the woods probably have a lot of similar experiences for your community. These places are, truly, a gift and I wanted to shine a light on it. Not only can you expand your knowledge but you can make friends in the process too. This is very evident every time Val meets a new pal at her story times. 🙂

If you are looking for activities to do with your children or with a group of friends as the weather gets colder, then head to your local library. You never know what amazing things you will find!

Have you ever attended any library programs before? What were they? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Boosted Up!

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Boosted Up!

Hello! This past Tuesday, I got my updated Moderna booster and flu shot in tandem. While I am SO happy to have received both to continue to do my part in keeping others safe, I will say that it was about a bitch lol. I reacted pretty poorly to both the second vaccine and the first booster so I’m not sure why I expected this one to be any different. I’m also not sure why I scheduled it smack dab in the middle of the work week SMH!

For about three days, I experienced a lot of fatigue, aching joints, and soreness at the injection site. It honestly felt like someone took a hammer to all of my joints, especially around my pelvic area. Not only did I deal with the aches and pains but, come evening time, I had the chills. Then, it would transform into a fever and I would sweat all night in my sleep. I have hair dye all over my pillows and sheets to prove it. Double SMH!!!!

When Johnny and I got our second vaccine, he had to keep reminding me that this was better than having Covid and I had to keep reminding myself of that this time around. While that’s easier said than done, it would do everyone well to think of it this way. After having a rough go of it post vaccine, I could not even comprehend having unvaccinated Covid. In fact, when Johnny and I did finally get it this past Christmas, we experienced no symptoms whatsoever because of our vaccines and boosters.

I have read several articles where the side effects from the boosters and vaccines are a huge deterrent from getting them. And coming from someone who has had such bad reactions, I truly get it. However, I’ll continue on with every additional installment because it’s important to do so. Johnny and I have so many high risk people that we love and we are terrified of getting them or complete strangers sick. This alone makes every two or three days of feeling downright awful worth it every time.

As the weather gets colder and gatherings move indoors, it is so important to get yourself vaccinated and boosted as well as following Covid protocols. If you are worried about it, you can take some comfort in the fact that you more than likely won’t experience as horrible side effects as yours truly. Let’s all continue to do our part to keep ourselves and others safe!

How did you react to your Covid vaccines and boosters? Are you team Moderna or Pfizer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Akron Zoo Get Closer Experience

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Akron Zoo Get Closer Experience

Hello!!! This past Friday was basically the coolest ever because my brother, Andrew, and I went to the Akron Zoo for a Get Closer Experience. This was a gift to him from my other brother and it allowed us to get up close and personal with the zoo’s two Galapagos Tortoises. It was AMAZING and I wish it could have lasted forever! Check it out:

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During our Get Closer Experience, we were able to feed and love on Pecos and Boxy who are my new best friends. They very much enjoyed their treats of bell pepper and collard greens and the neck and haunch rubs!! What was supposed to be a twenty or so minute time slot for TURTLE TIME ended up being the better part of an hour and Andrew and I loved every second of it.

It was a rainy day on Friday, which was fine because the “Galaps” (as their handler called them) have an indoor and outdoor exhibit. The inclement weather actually ended up working in our favor because the zoo was essentially empty so we had the whole area to ourselves. Had the weather been better, we would have been able to assist with Pecos and Boxy’s bath time. Andrew and I both agreed that what we got to do was even better, though, because we got to spend so much time with them just hanging out.

Boxy is a spring chicken at thirty-one years old and she was a feisty thing! She definitely had a bigger personality than Pecos and warmed up to Andrew and I instantly. Seventy year old Pecos was a bit shy but she came around after lots of hand fed veggies, which are apparently like eating dessert for a Galap. Both were absolute angels and I miss them terribly already!

The Akron Zoo offers other Get Closer Experiences but the Galapagos Tortoise one was, easily, the best because you could interact with them. That isn’t the case for the Red Panda and Grizzly Bear Experience for obvious reasons! If your zoo has something similar to the programs that Akron’s does, I can’t recommend treating yourself to one enough. It will make for an unforgettable time!!

What is your favorite animal? Have you ever done anything similar to this experience at your zoo? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Landing Your Dream Job

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Landing Your Dream Job

Unfortunately, many people never land their dream job, not because they are not capable of doing so but because they don’t think they can, so they don’t even try. If you want to be one of the ones who does end up doing a job you love for the rest of your life, here are some tips to help you achieve it:

Get the right qualifications:

Yes, there are tales of people who have been able to get their dream job with not even a high school diploma to help them along the way and, incidentally, if you’ve long since lost your high school diploma, Valid Grad can help you out. If you want to land your dream job, it is a good idea to work out what qualifications those in charge are looking for, and do your best to attain them too. Whether this is a certification, degree, or training courses any extra know how helps.

Gain experience:

If you want to land your dream job, you are going to have to work for it and that means getting relevant experience that you can put on your resume. For example, if you want to be a zookeeper, you could start by volunteering in a local animal shelter. This will be valuable experience and show employers that you have a caring nature and a love of animals, which will help to seal the deal. That’s just one example, of course, and what you need to do to prove yourself may be quite different, but you get the idea.

Become a presence online:

In 2022, one thing you can do to really set yourself apart from the competition and stand out in the best possible way is to establish a strong online presence in your chosen sector. If you want to be a film director, you could start by producing video shorts for YouTube or if you want to be a high end personal shopper, you could start your own fashion blog. People will see your stuff, make connections, and you will find that more opportunities will come your way.

Network:

On that note, it is fair to say that networking can do a lot of the hard work of landing your dream job. If you attend trade events, talks, and shows based on your dream sector or where people who work in your dream sector are likely to hang out, you can mingle with all the right people. When it comes to an opportunity, sometimes it really is about who you know so always put your best face forward.

Getting a dream job takes time and lots of hard work but it will be so worth it once you’re punching the clock at a job you love!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Helping Your Child Choose The Right College 

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Helping Your Child Choose The Right College 

Going to college can be one of the biggest and most exciting things for you and your child, but when it comes to choosing the right one? It can be a challenge, to say the least. College doesn’t suit everyone, and not every college will suit every person, either. Many colleges offer different clubs, opportunities, career pathways, and support. Scholarships, grants, and other funding will also vary from school to school.

So how can you make sure that your child finds the best place for them? Read on to find out more:

Career goals:

One of the most important things to know about the colleges in question is if it supports your child’s eventual career goals. While many colleges have prestigious reputations, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be the right place. Educational institutions like Rockford Career College often offer a clearer view of career prospects after graduation.

Applications:

After you have created your shortlist, it is time to apply. Make sure that you have all of the paperwork that will be required. The application packs should have all of the information you need about costs. It can also be a good idea to discuss if your child should stay at home while they study or how accommodation might look if the commute is too long.

Be sure to spread the application process over a few days so that you and your child don’t get tired. Each one needs to be as good as possible.

Visiting:

Traveling to visit all of the universities can be an expensive endeavor, but it is essential. This means that you and your child will have a good idea of how it is situated, the student body, and even speak to some teachers. It is vital to find somewhere that your child feels comfortable – it is often obvious where they feel the most at home and which establishment sparks the most joy.

Practical:

It is often our biggest hope that they will get into a prestigious school on a full scholarship and be happy. But this doesn’t always work out. It might be due to grades; it could be because of financial situations or distance. When you first start browsing all of the options, practical things are up for discussion too. It isn’t about quashing dreams but tackling some things on a reasonable level. Ensure that each application they send is somewhere that they will be happy to go and that it makes practical sense in terms of their situation.

When your child is getting ready to leave for college, it is a big thing for everyone. You might have some hesitations about them leaving the nest, but you must move into a supportive role. College is often one of the first times that older children are allowed to spread their wings and see what truly makes them happy.

Arming them with knowledge and support is a must, so here is a great post that can help: 3 Things All College Students Should Know | lifewithlilred.

Featured Image By: Rui Silvestre on Unsplash

4 Tips To Improve Your Customer’s Experience

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4 Tips To Improve Your Customer’s Experience

The comfort of your customers matters, this also goes for your targeted customers as well. Tending to the things that will improve the overall experience of your potential customers and clients will keep people returning to your business. Returning customers will help your business boom as they are also more likely to recommend you to others. Start with the following to make working with you the best experience possible:

Know your target audience:

In any business, it’s important to pick a niche because that’s where the money is at. You need to know exactly who your target audience is. Never try to be broad when targeting your audience. If you’re trying to sell something such as a joint case, then you need to know exactly the type of customer who will buy that. You don’t want to make people, even those who are not your target, uncomfortable as this can damper your business’s reputation. Know your target demographic, understand that niches are fine, and don’t be broad.

Have a professional website:

Maybe it’s high time that your business gets a website makeover. Every few years a business should get one in order to combat looking outdated and unused. Even in web design, trends change and it can be a good thing to try out those new ideas. Getting regular updates can also help with keeping your security on your website tight. Many scammers and hackers will target unprotected and even unprofessional websites to leak data or even put up malware.

Have a professional online appearance:

Just like you’ll want to have a professional looking website, you should also look into having a professional appearance online as well. This is going to include creating a LinkedIn account for yourself and your business, and regularly being active on it. This should go for other aspects of social media as well. If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your business, you should do that. The same can be said for Instagram and Twitter.

Just make sure that you keep the appearance strictly professional. This means not picking a fight with naysayers!

Be open to customer testimonials:

Customer reviews and testimonials are how many people will base whether they’ll buy from a business or not. So just make sure that you don’t have this closed off. Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions based on their own experiences. Plus, it’s going to look suspicious if you have nothing but perfect reviews.

Help your business reach its potential with the tips above. Making sure the customer experience is excellent is the best way to start.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

The Old Jail Tour Pt. 2

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The Old Jail Tour Pt. 2

Hello everyone and welcome to the second part of my experience at a tour of The Old Jail in Jim Thorpe, PA! To kick things off, check out some pictures and then we will discuss more:

To start our tour of The Old Jail, we watched a fifteen or so minute video which taught us about the plight of the Irish people during the Potato Famine and how they got to America. Despite being out of the country, Irish people still had a rough time because no one wanted to hire them for work. Other than the coal mines, that is. And it was a dangerous job, indeed.

Cue, the Molly Maguires. The Molly Maguires were a secret society who basically tried to improve everything about the coal mining industry for its workers. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, The Old Jail was where four accused Molly Maguires were hung at the gallows after multiple violent conflicts. After learning this, the tour of the jail itself began.

The tour of The Old Jail was really cool because after our guide gave us some history, we were allowed to move about freely to explore more. We began on the first floor, which is where the gallows were as well as some other unique features. If you look at the ninth picture down, the pictures on the floor were from magazine cutouts that one of the prisoners stuck to the ground with sugar water.

Of course, the most famous feature of The Old Jail is the hand print of one of the Molly Maguires. Before his hanging, he dirtied his hand and placed it on the wall of his cell declaring that it was the hand print of an innocent man. His hand print was attempted to be removed via scrubbing, chiseling, and painting but it still remains, clear as day, to this day. (To preserve the print, we were not allowed to take pictures of it.)

Once we were done on the first floor, we descended down the stairs into the dungeons where people in solitary confinement were kept. Back in the day, those in solitary were in shackles and in the pitch black twenty-four hours a day with nothing but a bucket and a sleeping mat in their cell. All of this is crazy uncomfortable, but add the three coal burning stoves that are located in the dungeons and it was pure misery.

After we saw the dungeons, the tour was pretty much over and we were able to poke around for a bit more before exiting the building. I don’t think any of us could shake the creeped out feeling the entire drive back to our lodging. Speaking of creeped out…

Later that evening, I began the process of going through the pictures that I took and emailing them to myself. I got to the halfway point where I was sending pictures of the dungeons and, all of a sudden, my phone screen went completely frozen and white. I closed out of my email and tried again but it was the same thing every time.

Finally, I decided to restart my phone and it worked perfectly. Was it nothing? Maybe. Or was it the fact that I had just spent time in a haunted location and was working on pictures where people were kept in solitary confinement? Maybe. I know how I feel about it but I’ll let you make your own conclusions!

The tour of The Old Jail was one of the neatest outings both Johnny and I have ever been on. We can’t wait to explore more places like it! 😀

Are there any haunted locations in your area? What are you afraid of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Giving Your Customers A Great Experience

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Giving Your Customers A Great Experience

A successful business relies on several key features. Ultimately, though, it is the customers who will determine whether it has a future or not. Consequently, it’s imperative that you learn how to keep them happy by delivering what they want. From the first interaction to long-term experiences, it’s vital that you keep the customer’s needs at the front of your mind. Focus on the following factors and you won’t go wrong:

A Connection:

All customers want to feel a connection to the brand. Therefore, creating marketing strategies and product packaging that resonates with them is vital. Many companies fall into the trap of being too generic rather than targeting their chief audience. The sooner that you learn it’s better to succeed in a small pond than fail in a big one, the better. There will still be opportunities to reach secondary markets without harming your hopes of success.

Value For Money:

Regardless of whether targeting the working classes or upper classes, people want a sense of value. Producing better quality products should always be the aim, but you should also aim to do it cheaply. Embracing 3D printing is one particularly useful option. Visit https://www.zdnet.com/article to learn about its potential influence. Whatever you do, try to create products that exceed expectations. Clients will then tell friends and family about them too.

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Fast Turnarounds:

There is no escaping the fact that we live in an era where people want things right away. So, you need to use the right equipment and partner with the best companies to make this happen. The benefits of a quick dye change system in manufacturing are plentiful. Visit https://universalengraving.com/lockup to find out for yourself. Production speeds can soar. Using automated tech for other aspects of manufacturing as well as order fulfillment will serve you well.

Clarity:

Customers want to know exactly what they are getting from a brand. They also need to know that any issues they encounter can be handled quickly so promoting better client care should be high on the agenda. Chatbots are a great feature. You can learn about them at https://medium.com/swlh. They’ll take communication to new heights.

Having fair returns policies will aid the cause further. Everything you do should be aimed at giving clients peace of mind. Not least because it can remove disputes.

Safety:

Finally, consumers are increasingly aware of the threats to their data. As such, they need to feel that they can trust your company. Protecting the business can be as crucial for client interactions as it is for the firm itself. The fact that it’ll also promote increased happiness from the workers should not be ignored, either. Prevention is the key to success. When digital precautions are combined with safer workplaces and stores, clients will be more satisfied.

Providing a comprehensive client experience means that you will be creating loyal customers to keep your business booming!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

 

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