Tag Archives: friends

Accessory Story: Homemade Cuff Edition

Standard
Accessory Story: Homemade Cuff Edition

Hi! For those of you who don’t know, my big girl job is as an independent provider for people with special needs. I have four clients who I see throughout the week and all of them bring so much joy into my life. Each of my clients has their own unique hobbies and I always like to encourage them, especially when there isn’t much else to do right now except hang out at home and perfect their crafts.

Speaking of crafts, one of my clients is very handy when it comes to making homemade jewelry and she created this cuff just for me. Check it out:

976AA58F-9C5D-4738-AAA9-E234833BB85B

Two of my clients enjoy playing music like the drums and piano and my other two love to craft. Sometimes we will make bracelets, color pictures, or make our own holiday cards. The creator of my new bracelet can often be found working on her dream journal or making jewelry for her loved ones and I was so tickled when she handed me her masterpiece the last time I was at work.

My friend is incredibly generous and she is always thinking about what she can do for others instead of herself. It’s such an admirable trait and she loves being the reason that someone smiles or their day has been “made”. I think everyone can take some notes out of her book and I am proud to have something that she put together with her little old provider in mind. ❤

What is a character trait that you admire? What is your favorite hobby? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: BFF Edition

Standard
Sweet Surprises: BFF Edition

Hello! My best friend of over twelve years, Lea, is going to be getting married at the end of October and I am one of her bridesmaids! Unfortunately, a pandemic isn’t the best time for a wedding celebration and because of having several high risk clients, I have had to opt out of a lot of the fun. It makes me sad that I can’t participate in good conscious in the different activities but Lea knows where I’m coming from and that’s the only important thing to me.

During our most recent hang out to have an early 26th birthday celebration for Lea (AKA drinks on my parent’s deck), I was expecting for her to be the only one receiving prezzies. But my darling bestie surprised me with the following:

91360F43-4CBC-49A6-8C0D-885643342299F62935F1-9345-4D2B-A830-2399B8B0BD93

Lea is honestly one of the sweetest people I have ever met in my life and it is so like her to bring something for me on a day that should be celebrating her. I am so in love with the comfy cozy “Bridesmaid” tee by Bella + Canvas (I’m wearing it right now!) and the customized glass is adorable enough that I don’t even want to drink out of it!

It has been hard being out of the metaphorical wedding loop right now for Lea because safety is my primary concern. So, these gifts were very special to me because it showed that Lea still thinks of me as one of her bridesmaids no matter what.

2020 has been such a crazy year and I am so sad that Lea’s wedding isn’t going to be everything that she dreamed of and then some. But, as her best friend and STILL her bridesmaid even though I hardly deserve a participation trophy, I will be doing everything I can in the meantime to keep her spirits way up high. I know she would do the exact same for me. ❤

Did you have an event that got cancelled this year? How do you stay safe during the pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Change Of Scenery

Standard
A Change Of Scenery

Hello! As you all know from yesterday’s post, Johnny and I went on our first date this past weekend since the beginning of all of this COVID business. It was insanely refreshing, to say the least, and we are both eager to get out and about a bit more under circumstances that we are comfortable with. We really did have the best time and the only thing that was different was that we were sitting outside with our drinks instead of in the bar – and social distanced from our friends, of course.

Although our excursion was edited slightly to fit the current times, it just felt good to get out of the house! If you are itching for a change of scenery, why not try the following:

Picnics:

In Ohio, downtown Kent has a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) where you can enjoy food and drinks on spread apart picnic benches. This is how Johnny spent our date night out and we loved it! It was so nice to be in a downtown area and seeing so many people who we’ve been missing since March.

If your neck of the woods doesn’t have a DORA program, pick your favorite Metro Park or even set up a blanket in your own backyard. Purchase take out or make your own meal, sit back, and enjoy the sunshine.

Hiking:

How about a trek through the woods to get you in some different scenery? One of my friends has a goal of hiking one hundred miles by October and he is well on his way to achieving it. If you prefer having company, there are plenty of local animal shelters with lots of dogs to walk along with you. Who knows, you might even end up adopting your new best friend!

Dinner Party:

The next time Johnny and I visit another couple who we are friends with in Kent, I plan on preparing dinner for us. Their house is one you can social distance at. Our apartment? Not so much because it’s so small! I’m bringing the ingredients and “borrowing” their kitchen and we will light a bonfire and eat outdoors. Johnny and I used to go on double dates with this couple often pre-COVID and it will be so fun to continue this tradition in a slightly altered way.

Fun & Games:

There are plenty of games that you can play all while being spread out from people. Video games, charades, Dungeons & Dragons, Bingo, and even silly story telling can all be part of a social distanced game night with your close friends or family. You could even have a paint night right from your own backyard! All it takes is a little creativity and I’m sure you can come up with plenty of social distanced activities, too.

Of course, things are not close to being “back to normal” yet. However, the last date night Johnny and I had was the most normal thing we’ve done in a while. Set up your safety plan so everyone feels comfortable and try out a change of scenery for yourself!

How do you safely see your friends in the COVID era? Where do you go when you need a change of scenery? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super Happy Fun Times

Standard
Super Happy Fun Times

Hi! This past weekend, Johnny and I went on a date for the first time since March. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A date? You and Johnny barely leave the house!” Believe me, I would be thinking the exact same thing. But, thanks to a little something called DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area), Johnny and I were able to enjoy some drinks from our favorite bar in Kent while sitting outside in the park!

We spent two hours eating takeout from Taco Tantos and drinking Moscow Mules from the Zephyr and we did it all completely social distanced. Granted, it was a lot different than back in 2019 when we all had no problem being on the Zephyr’s back patio playing games and hanging out. However, what we did was the next best thing! Some of our Kent friends even stopped by for a chat, which was great because we haven’t really seen anyone since March, either.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem sitting in my living room with Johnny day drinking and watching The Last Kingdom. But, there is absolutely nothing better than getting dressed up and going out with my boyfriend. Sitting on that park bench in Kent laughing and taking selfies was one of the most joyous moments I’ve had in weeks and I am going to treasure it for forever. It brought me back to our first date almost one year ago and it was kind of magical.

The best part? Now that we know that the open container areas in Kent are something that we feel comfortable with, we can go on dates again whenever we want! As soon as Johnny brought our drinks to our bench, the first thing we both said was “this is so nice” and we are already looking forward to our next date very soon! ❤

How do you do social distance hang outs? Does your downtown area have a DORA program? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Things I’m Missing

Standard
Things I’m Missing

Hello! Johnny and I have been living in a lock down style state since March 19th when the restaurants and bars in Ohio closed down. Since then, the only things I have left my apartment for other than work has been the grocery store, gas station, and my monthly nail appointment. And, on occasion, we might have a friend over for a drink through serious social distancing in my living room.

Despite being constantly surrounded at home by “entertainment” like the TV, streaming services, video games, books, and board games there are definitely some activities in the community that all of the America’s Next Top Model marathons in the world couldn’t replace. I eagerly await going to all of the following once it is safe to do so:

TJMaxx:

Lol, of course TJ’s was going to be the first on my list! You guys have no idea the amount of TJMaxx related memes that I have been sent by people who have genuinely been thinking of me during this pandemic for that reason alone! I miss going on my monthly shopping trips to TJMaxx with my mom more than anything but we have all been picking and choosing what we do very carefully. For example, my monthly “treat” outing is visiting the nail salon where I feel most comfortable. I know I wouldn’t feel safe in a store full of people so online shopping has been the move for months now.

But, trust and believe that as soon as I feel one hundred and fifty million percent okay, TJ’s will be the first place I visit. I have plenty of birthday gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and I intend on using them on a gigantic haul. It’s always nice to have something to look forward to, haha. 🙂

Restaurants/Bars:

It’s not like Johnny and I went out a ton pre-coronavirus but we would usually go to the bar or out to eat maybe once a week or so. These outings were the best last summer when we could have drinks on all of the outdoor patios in Kent. It was just such a nice way to spend an hour or two after work and I miss being able to unwind with our friends.

Most of all, however, I miss going to the bars where the band my boyfriend is in, The Outside Voices, would play. Going to their shows over the weekend was always something we really looked forward to and I know it has been so hard on him to not be doing anything musical. In fact, I think he misses performing just as much as I miss shopping at TJMaxx and that’s really saying something.

Guilt Free Hang Outs:

I have been able to Skype with and social distance hang out with a few of my friends on occasion. Of course, it’s always nice to see them whether that be on the laptop screen or at the opposite end of the room. But what I really miss is being able to hug them and interact more closely. For example, when Lea usually comes over we like to curl up on the couch and drink wine. Not so much anymore, lol.

I miss all of the little things that I never thought much of before. Big hugs goodbye, sitting on the same couch, or venturing out for random adventures – just for starters. A lot of thought goes into doing just about anything now and I miss the spontaneity that comes with guilt free hang outs with all of my besties.

What are the activities that you’re missing the most right now? Do you have a safe “treat” outing that you participate in? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday To Me Haul: BFF Edition

Standard
Happy Birthday To Me Haul: BFF Edition

Hello! Last Monday, I loved having my BFF of over ten years, Lea, over for a little birthday celebration. White Claw was drank and after four long hours of much needed catching up, we finally retired for the evening. It has felt like forever since I have seen Lea – probably since before the restaurants all closed in mid March. But, in true BFF fashion, we never miss a beat once we are reunited after time apart.

After over a decade of gifting each other for birthdays and Christmas, Lea and I have definitely began to recycle our ideas… Which is just fine by us because who doesn’t love wine, bath and body care, and candles?! Lol, check it out:

6162B29F-7EE6-44F0-950A-216954F544BFA081B53A-4B26-4303-8071-6FF019E78B81D302A46A-2BFE-4E6C-A717-DAF6E364F200

For my twenty-sixth, Lea treated me to a bottle of rose and wine stopper, a super delicious smelling salt soak, face mask, and bath bomb – AKA all of my favorite things. There is nothing quite like taking a bath using goodies that you would have never bought for yourself. This is why I love getting bath bombs! I freaking love them but they are also not something on my radar to buy when I like getting shoes so much. 😀

Lea provided me with all of the makings for a relaxing evening in and I plan on using my new treats ASAP. There will also be plenty of product reviews coming up so keep it posted. ❤

What is your favorite thing to be gifted with? How do you spoil your friends on special occasions? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Work Fam Edition

Standard
Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Work Fam Edition

Hello! June seventh was my twenty-sixth birthday and, in true Lil Red fashion, it has been drawn out a few days with individual hang outs with friends and family. I also end up celebrating with the families who I work with and have ended up becoming a part of in the past three years of doing my job. One of my client’s families always ends up super spoiling me and I received the following this past week:

36EAEA8A-E758-4CE6-B5CD-5DC7A8D4C42E6AD0BE3B-311B-48CF-81FA-3A61FB8B175A

As soon as I walked into work on Monday, “Happy Birthday” was sung and gifts were handed to me at an alarming rate. Each one I opened seemed to be more lovely than the next and “this is way too generous” was the catchphrase of the opening session. This was matched by each member of my work family assuring me that “you’re worth it” every single time.

Becoming a member of three different families wasn’t exactly what I was setting out to do when I began providing care for people with special needs. But, sometimes things just happen like that and, now, celebrations seem to happen constantly. Whether it be a holiday or a member of my “pseudo family’s” birthday, I am always a part of it and it feels good!

There is truly nothing better than walking into work Monday through Friday and stepping into a family environment. It has also been such a godsend during all of the craziness of COVID to have so many extra people to talk to! Work families are so important and I am so thankful for all of mine. ❤

Do you consider the people at your job a family? Are you an unofficial member of someone else’s fam? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Ways To Keep Busy During Lock Down

Standard
3 Ways To Keep Busy During Lock Down

As the days in lock down turn into weeks and the weeks roll into months, it can become increasingly difficult to know what else to do with all of this extra time on your hands. Well, most people always wished they had more time and now that it has come, we should put it to good use. Whether it’s spending more time with the children or learning something new, it’s safe to say that this opportunity will probably never become available again. Without a firm quarantine end date in sight, check out this list of three ways to keep busy during the lock down:

Learn a New Language:

The benefits of learning a new language go beyond being able to order food while on holiday. It also comes with both personal and professional advantages. On the personal side, it strengthens your IQ, and it is also a great workout for your brain. These cognitive benefits help to ward off dementia and enable you to be more decisive and focused on the task at hand. Did you know that learning a new language also sharpens your sensory perceptions in terms of touch, hearing, sight, speech, and movement? Not many other hobbies can attest to this claim.

On the professional side of things, having bilingual skills greatly opens up your job prospects and makes you more attractive to employers. For companies, it allows for a greater ability to reach new customers in new markets worldwide. Learning a foreign language also sharpens your communication skills making you a more rounded employee.

Take Up a New Hobby:

With most people working around the clock in today’s modern societies, not much time is left for extra-curricular activities and hobbies. Yet the advantages of having hobbies are priceless. For one thing, it keeps you present in that moment. A lot of time is spent regretting the past or planning for the future that most people never truly live in the ‘now’. Hobbies can be used for stress relief as it diverts your attention to something that creates pleasure. Hobbies help you connect with people or groups with similar interests. This encourages feelings of inclusion, support, and community, which is great for your mental health.

There are many hobbies that you can consider taking up, including writing, photography, cooking, and gardening. If you think that you have green fingers, why not get out of the house and into your backyard and try to grow something a bit different than the standard household vegetables. As summer is on the way, try growing some pineberries (white strawberries) or some achocha pods. If you’re really adventurous, you could look up how to grow a luffa gourd, then have the added benefits of organic sponges for your bath or kitchen. No matter what hobby you choose to take on, it will certainly help you while away the extra time on your hands.

112

Give gardening a go!

Catch Up on Family Time:

Spending more time with your family can be done in multiple ways thanks to the technological advances in video calling. If you don’t have immediate family around you, then you could link up with them via Zoom, WhatsApp, and many more similar programs. Family time is probably the most important use of our time, yet hardly any time is committed to it. Why not jump in and play some fun games online with your kids or video call your aunt or grandparents – you’ll certainly be glad you did!

Dedicating your time to worthwhile hobbies will make your quarantine much more enjoyable. Choose something you’re interested in and watch a day go by as you immerse yourself in something new!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Taking Advantage Of The Internet In Self-Isolation

Standard
Taking Advantage Of The Internet In Self-Isolation

Hello! Thank god for the internet while we’re all hunkered down at home, amiright? Personally, I would be going crazy without my access to social media and all of the entertainment streaming services that Johnny and I have. The internet is a wonderful tool to help fight the boredom blues and, amidst the stay at home orders, it is now being used for a lot more than aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. Bored? Try some of the following:

Take A Class:

Right now, there are so many free courses being offered online from reputable colleges to teachers hosting Zoom lectures. I have even seen that Yale is offering free admission to their course entitled “Happiness” or something of the like. I, myself, have been participating in an online American Sign Language class being taught via Zoom and have been having a blast. It feels great to learn something new and you can’t beat free!

Tour A Museum:

In the mood to travel? How about taking a virtual trip to one of the many museums offering tours online. Play some classical music, enjoy a glass of wine, and get a taste of the finer things as you admire art from around the world. Take a look and get inspired and then, who knows? Maybe you’ll be creating your own masterpieces afterwards.

Watch A Play:

Many theaters and opera houses are offering online streaming of their shows. I have seen advertising from everything from theaters in New York City to the Paris Opera House virtually opening their doors to the bored general public. I would love to watch a few operas in my free time and I am interested in checking out a viewing of the Phantom Of The Opera which I have seen advertised all over Facebook. So cool!

Connect With Friends:

Who says getting online has to be all about learning? Of course, connecting with friends is a given on social media. But, how about scheduling a chat over Zoom? You could play trivia, watch a show all together, have a paint night, or participate in a happy hour drink. Yes, it’s fun to catch up but actually doing an activity together will be a nice reminder of old times and could be a new weekly tradition to look forward to until real life meetings can happen.

Start A Club:

If you are trying to connect with like minded individuals, try hosting a virtual club. You could form a group based around anything from books and writing to movies and art. Schedule a weekly Zoom meeting to discuss the latest few chapters or the cliffhanger in the TV series you’re watching together. Intelligent conversations always perk me up when being plopped in front of the TV is the norm and everyone can benefit from that!

So many resources have made the internet even better than it already is during the coronavirus panic and these ideas are sure to entertain during those times when it feels like there is “nothing to do”. Enjoy!

Have you been doing anything similar to the tips above? How have you been using the internet to your advantage right now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Celebrating Special Occasions In Self-Isolation

Standard
Celebrating Special Occasions In Self-Isolation

Hello! Ohio has a stay at home order in place until the beginning of May – as for right now. Unfortunately, special occasions don’t just stop because we are practicing self isolation. So, if a loved one has a birthday coming up, it can certainly feel like a bit of a bust. Thankfully, there are still ways to keep communication alive from the comfort of your own home. Use some of the following tips if anyone you know is celebrating their big day:

Order Them Takeout:

If a friend or family member is celebrating a birthday, you could do the social distancing equivalent of a birthday dinner by sending them over some takeout. Pick out a delicious meal from their favorite restaurant and Door Dash it on over for a birthday surprise. And, how surprised and thankful your giftee will be when he or she finds out that they don’t have to cook dinner!

Special Delivery:

Online deliveries are, for the most part, still a thing. How about sending your giftee a quarantine kit to help keep them entertained? Assemble a care package filled with adult coloring books, board games, books, or movies with the promise of a game night/late celebration once the stay at home order has been lifted.

Have A Virtual Drink:

Virtual drinks and happy hours over video chat has become a new trend as of late and my boyfriend and I are so there for it. We have participated in a few rounds of virtual drinks with our friends and it is always a blast. Call up your friend or family member on FaceTime or Skype who is celebrating a big day and toast to them. And, of course, real life drinks at a later time goes without saying!

Plan Ahead:

If all of the virtual mumbo jumbo isn’t your style, send your loved one an email or some snail mail inviting them to a celebration hang out at a later time. Your giftee will be 1) tickled that you remembered and 2) excited to have a fun event to look forward to. Plan an itinerary for an afternoon or evening on the town with the person celebrating and don’t forget to mark it in the calendar!

Don’t let your loved one’s special day go uncelebrated with the tips above and happy happy days to those celebrating during a stay at home order! ❤

How have you celebrated a special occasion during self-isolation? Will your birthday take place during the stay at home order? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah