Tag Archives: fun

Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

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Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

Hi! Lil Red may not be the craftiest gal in the bunch but, I’ll be damned if I don’t try my best with my clients when we’re creating something together. One of my pals had a plethora of Popsicle sticks so I figured we could try to do a Halloween craft with them by painting them into little ghosts. While my client opted for making names of his loved ones out of the sticks (So sweet!), I made the following for Johnny’s desk at work and something special for my crafting partner. Check it out:

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I started my crafting palooza with something easy by painting the Popsicle sticks white and making little ghost faces with Sharpie markers once the paint was dry. Simple, yes, but they turned out so cute I decided to try my hand at a few more designs even though they were going to be much harder for my non crafty self.

I thought a Frankenstein stick would look awesome and I knew Johnny would love it so I looked up a picture of ol’ Frank and did my best. While the green paint on the stick dried, I practiced drawing his face several times on paper before I Sharpied in the final effort and, frankly (lol), I couldn’t believe how good it turned out. In fact, it ended up being Johnny’s favorite creation.

After seeing my Frankenstein, my client asked me if I could make him a Barney one. I told him I’ll see what I can do and got to work on two Barney themed Popsicle sticks. In honor of the Barney Halloween episode that he loves, I painted a stick purple with green polka dots, just like the pumpkin Barney had in the show.

The real challenge, now, was going to be making Barney’s face because I can’t draw for crap. Lol, like with Frankenstein, I looked up a picture of Barney and practiced drawing his face while the purple base paint dried. Once I was satisfied, I Sharpied in the face of the friendly purple dinosaur and I thought it turned out great. I added a green tummy and his yellow toes and my client was so happy with what I made him, which is all that matters to me.

To wrap up our crafting, I made a Jack-O-Lantern stick to complete Johnny’s spooky set. Both my client and I had a blast with our arts and crafts hour and I was so happy to come up with something that was simple but we both enjoyed so much. Oh you crafty, huh?!

Would you consider yourself crafty? What is something that you have made that you are proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Sure Your Children Get The Best Education

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Making Sure Your Children Get The Best Education

The responsibilities you take on when you become a parent seems almost endless, and it can often be hard to keep up with their various needs and demands. One area which you may believe needs little intervention is their education, as many parents feel relief dropping their child off at school, knowing they’re in ‘good hands’. This isn’t always the case, and your child should not have to struggle through their education all alone with nowhere to turn for support or guidance besides their teachers, who are commonly too busy to help.

Ensuring your child can get the best education needn’t be difficult, as there are a few key areas in which you can focus your efforts to encourage them to thrive. So, if you would like to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best top tips and tricks that you can make the most of today to help your children thrive:

Make Things Fun:

One big issue that mainstream education can’t seem to overcome is the fact that learning must be fun. Children will never develop an interest in the topic that they are being taught unless they are somehow inspired by the process, as their imagination is at its peak during early school age and this should be taken into consideration. Turning learning into a game is such a great way to motivate your little ones to get more involved with schoolwork. Getting crafty is also a super immersive tool as well as just being a blast!

Create a kind of reward board for school homework and extracurricular activities that can fill up with gold stars as your children progress, as this is a great fun way to keep them interested and motivated. Rather than simply sitting around the table to complete homework on a sheet of paper, incorporate other materials into the mix which can help them to visualize – this is especially good for mathematics, as things like playtime building blocks can be a great representation for counting and other simple maths.

Explore Alternative Methods:

Many education facilities simply don’t provide their students with enough teachers and resources to inspire them to truly thrive, so it’s a good idea to explore a few alternative or additional methods that might be of benefit. There are many extracurricular activities that your child can explore, from exciting STEM clubs that take part in cool experiments to platforms which offer online resources that can be utilized by you at home! Alternative home schooling is constantly growing in popularity, and this added interest is allowing for continued investment into fun opportunities that your children can make the most of.

Help your children continue to blossom in their education with the tips above. You can maintain ultimate peace of mind that they are receiving all of the help they need and you will bond as you play a bigger role in their school experience.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Ballooning Around

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Ballooning Around

Hello! As of right now, there has been a sharp increase of COVID cases in Ohio. Myself and Johnny, both of our families, and all of my clients are hunkered down more than ever and the feeling of having “nothing to do” is particularly strong. As an independent provider for people with special needs, I am constantly trying to figure out ways to keep my clients entertained from the comfort of their home. This past month, I learned that something has simple as a balloon can be a whole lot of fun.

My most senior (and high risk) client’s brother celebrated a birthday in October, so we spent a lot of time making decorations and discussing birthdays of years’ past. The piece de resistance, however, was definitely when I blew up a ton of balloons the day before and the morning of the big day. My client loved selecting which color balloons he wanted and he wrote his brother’s name on every single one.

Once we had plenty of balloons ready, I asked my client if he wanted to hit it back and forth together and he was all for it. In fact, so much so that we have played “Balloon Bounce” pretty much every day that I’ve seen him since. This has been my “sneaky” way of incorporating a more, for lack of a better words, “active” activity into my client’s routine and he has so much fun that it doesn’t even feel like a little work out.

We have dubbed ourselves the Balloon Bounce International League and we have nicknames too! While we’re hitting the balloon, we always play our favorites tunes and it brings my client back to playing volleyball in the Special Olympics. My only rule? Placing items that could get hit throughout his room elsewhere so nothing breaks!

Balloon Bounce is one of the most simple past times I think I have ever come up with and it really is a blast. All it takes it a little creativity and imagination and even the smallest activities can become a new daily favorite. Hey, I’ll take it!

How do you get creative with activities at home? How did you celebrate any recent birthdays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Deeana Creates From Pexels

Spooky (And Safe!) Family Fun

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Spooky (And Safe!) Family Fun

Hello! Halloween is right around the corner and, unfortunately, it’s going to be very different than in 2019. No trick or treat for my niece, no big parties, no Halloween concerts with Johnny – just lots of scary movies and fond memories of when COVID didn’t exist. If you’re a huge fan of Halloween like me and Johnny, this might have you feeling down and out about the lack of activity going on. So, why not give these spooky and safe ideas a try?

Trunk Or Treat:

In my neck of the woods, they are doing a trunk or treat program for the little ones getting in the Halloween spirit. This involves picking up a treat bag at ten different, driveable locations and, afterwards, your name will be put in a drawing for more goodies. My family plans on piling up in Johnny’s mini van so we can all enjoy seeing our little niece dressed up in her Halloween’s best… And all from the comfort of our car! Nice. 😀

Shudder Screening:

Johnny and I have been watching nothing but scary movies this entire month and we have the streaming service, Shudder, to thank for that. In fact, we’ve had so much success that we plan on keeping the service beyond our free month long trial. From exclusive content just for Shudder, scary shows, movies, and the fact that they are constantly adding more programming I can’t believe we haven’t gotten this service sooner! The first show I recommend? Creepshow! It. Was. AWESOME.

Costume Contests:

If you’re used to having a yearly Halloween party with your friend group, how about hopping on Zoom to have a little reunion? Create costumes from what you already have at home and award a prize to the best look. Maybe that will be Cash app-ing some moolah or ordering a pizza for the top winner? Don’t forget “raspberry” prizes for the worst costume!

Spooky Scavenger Hunt:

A super fun way to celebrate Halloween night is with a spooky scavenger hunt. Limit yourselves just in your home and backyard and, once it gets dark, let the games begin. Fun for people of all ages, use clues and hints to help direct the participants to the items being collected. Mini pumpkins or ingredients to a “potion” perhaps? Once the hunt is complete, celebrate with candy, caramel apples, hot cider, and a movie.

Jack-O-Lantern Contest:

Jack-O-Lantern contests are a great way to get the whole neighborhood involved in some Halloween fun. Have everyone vote for the best pumpkins on your block and see who comes out on top. You can also have contests for best decorated house, cutest pet costumes – you name it! Then, everyone in your area can get in on the Halloween spirit, too. 🙂

How are you safely celebrating Halloween this year? What did you dress up as last year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Hair Selfies

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New Hair Selfies

Hi! A little under two months ago, my hair stylist transformed my hair into a candy apple red and dandelion yellow delight. I am so obsessed with how it turned out and I have never gotten so many compliments on my hair before in my life. I realize that I have not uploaded some decent selfies of my new do and, while my sister and I road tripped to Pittsburgh, I was finally able to snap some because she was driving! Lol, check it out:

^^^ Lol!!! ❤

Now, I realize that two months is a long time to go without taking selfies but, believe you me, I have an explanation: COVID-19. Haha, Johnny and I don’t go anywhere and my clients and I rarely go out when I am working so I haven’t really had the need or desire to get full on “ready” AKA makeup, hair, and a cute outfit.

A road trip with my sister seemed like the perfect opportunity to go all out and, as luck would have it, it was kind of overcast when we were driving which is perfect selfie conditions! Kristen was laughing because she says I always take selfies in her car and it’s true, lol, I never seem to be the passenger in a car so when I am, I have to seize the opportunity!

I think that these new pics show off my hair perfectly and I also am so pleased with the adorable Cynthia Rowley sweater I got during my TJMaxx Fall Haul. Kristen and I had a great day and I can’t wait till we can go back to Pittsburgh in December for our microblading touch ups so I can go “all out” when I get ready again. 😀

Do you do your makeup less now because of COVID? How often do you take selfies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

It’s A Walk In The Park

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It’s A Walk In The Park

Hello! A super nice thing about October other than all Halloween everything is that Johnny has every Friday off. I, on the other hand, always have Fridays off so it has been really fun having an extra day to spend with him on our weekends. Although we are always okay with staying at home with our video games and streaming services, we decided to have a little field trip this past Friday.

Johnny and I loaded into his mini van and went for a drive through the Cuyahoga Valley. We admired the changing leaves while enjoying the pleasant temperatures of an autumn day, all set to the tunes of Dire Straits which Johnny deemed appropriate driving music. Sadly, he passed on my offer to play some Cardi B but that’s neither here nor there.

Regardless of what our soundtrack was, it was exciting to be doing something with my boyfriend other than sitting in the apartment. He had just gotten his hair done and looked SO fine and driving around and talking and laughing had me falling in love all over again. :*)

We stopped off at one of the hiking trails before heading home and took an excursion around Indigo Lake. We explored train tracks and Johnny proved to be an excellent stone skipper. I proved to be… Anyways, it was a hoot. To be out in the public of nature together was refreshing for both of us because we don’t venture out often now, as safety is our primary concern.

Johnny and I were both kitted out in our fall Sunday’s Best but, as always, it was back in our comfy clothes as soon as we returned home. We settled in for an evening of weird comedies like Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories and The Mighty Boosh and it was a great day. ❤

If you’re feeling cooped up from being at home a lot now, don’t discount the benefits of spending some time outdoors. I think you’ll be glad you did. 🙂

How do you safely go out right now? Where is your favorite place to go hiking? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

October 2020 Funky Time Jams

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October 2020 Funky Time Jams

Hi! One of the big things that my clients and I do together now that we don’t really go anywhere is listen to music. I swear, we are constantly having concerts starring each other and honestly can make an afternoon of it. Sometimes I’m dancing the YMCA and other times I’m spitting bars to Cardi B! Lol, my job is never boring and it’s impossible to hear the following songs without thinking of the people I work with:

^^^ As always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!

This is such a random compilation of songs but each set of three are usually the first songs that come to mind when I think of a specific client. I really get a tour of different styles of music each week, going from girl power anthems to golden oldies all the way to rap and, yes, Marilyn Manson. (I got one of my guys hooked on him!)

Impromptu dance parties, sing alongs, and at home concerts have become primary sources of entertainment when I’m at work and my clients have a blast every time. In some way shape or form, I’m pretty sure we’ve developed some kind of hand movement routine or different melodies to all of my client’s top picks. We even make music videos of us singing our favorite songs together!

Coming up with enticing activities to do at home is the name of my work game now. Whether that be dancing the Hokey Pokey or the Electric Slide in someone’s kitchen to going for a drive with the windows down and music blasting, my brain is always working overtime to help my clients stay safe while still enjoying themselves. I love having “our songs” with each person I work with and nothing warms my heart more than when one of them hears a tune and says “this is our jam”. ❤

Is there a song that reminds you of someone whenever you hear it? What is your favorite song to dance to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Quarantine Routines

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Quarantine Routines

Hello! I’ll tell you what, ever since March 19th (The day bars and restaurants in Ohio temporarily shut down) my life has changed drastically. For my big girl job, I provide care in home for people with special needs and, now, more than ever it is my responsibility to continue staying healthy for those who need me.

Due to the nature of my job, going out for frivolity is the last thing on my mind. Back track to 2019 and it was the only thing on my mind, lol! Going to shows with Johnny, restaurants, movies, TJMAXX!!! Ugh, I miss all of that so much.

My “normal” routines of going here, there, and everywhere definitely seem to be a thing of the past. So, obviously, I had to fill up all of this newfound free time with other things. They are still fun for me, of course, but I don’t think any of these options trump my bimonthly TJMaxx shopping trips with my mom. Haha, check it out:

Reading:

I have read so many freaking books in the past six months, it is insane. My goal has been to try and finish at least two to three per month and I have achieved it every time. It has been fun to experiment with different authors like Lucy Foley and Ilaria Tuti. Both Johnny and I have also been enjoying our Audible subscription for books on tape, as well. We are always open to author and book suggestions so keep them coming!

Language Learning:

Yes, I currently am still learning French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, and German on Duolingo. I make an effort to try and practice each language four times per week, bare minimum, and so far so good. What I would really like to do in the next month or so is purchase the Duolingo Plus subscription so I never run out of hearts while practicing. This seems very necessary when learning five languages and, once I get Duo Plus, I’d like to start learning a sixth. Any ideas as to which one?

Online Shopping:

Maybe once or so per week, I will take ten to fifteen minutes to browse through some of my favorite online stores to window shop. Mainly TJMaxx, Unique Vintage, ModCloth, and Nasty Gal. It is definitely not the same as regular shopping but it somewhat satisfies that itch to go browse the aisles in person!

When I’m not aimlessly scrolling through websites and saying “oh that’s cute” about basically everything, I am trying to do some early Christmas shopping. With a long list of people to shop for, it is never too early to start the Xmas process and I am pleased with the slow and steady progress I’ve been making.

Movie Nights:

Johnny and I have decided to put a halt to finding something we can both agree on when it comes to movies. Now, we alternate whose pick it is for our movie nights and it has been great! Normally, Johnny will pick a war documentary or movie and I will choose a horror, psychological thriller, or foreign film. I love being able to see all of his favorites and it is exciting to rack my brain and browse through our streaming services to select my next pick!

Are these new routines the most exciting? Well… No. But they are as exciting as I choose to make them and I still always end up having an awesome and totally safe time at home. 🙂

What should Johnny and I watch next? How about a great new suggestion on Audible? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Quarantine Weekends

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Quarantine Weekends

Hello! Going from being out and about every weekend with Johnny at the beginning of this year is a far cry from what we do now. With COVID and the fact that my county is now in a threat level red, our weekends have went from full and busy to full of binge watching in the blink of an eye. The worst part? The weekend still ends quickly even though we’re not doing much of anything, lol!

Johnny and I have a pretty standard weekend format that goes a little something like this: Video games, movies, and TV. I am currently obsessed with the video games he gifted me for our anniversary so I have been playing a lot of Paper Mario and Diablo III. We also take turns picking movies to watch in between our viewings of The Last Kingdom and SuperStore – both of which I highly recommend.

Does it sound boring yet? I know it does but it actually isn’t all that bad. For the first time literally since I started working at sixteen, I have weekends that are completely agenda free. All I have to do is sit on the couch and stay safe and I’m confident that Johnny and I can keep doing that.

One of the best parts of our weekends is actually thanks to the change in weather. Because fall temperatures are upon us, it has cooled down our apartment significantly. Believe it or not, I find myself telling Johnny “I’m cold” more often than not now. This makes being stuck in the apartment much more tolerable and there is nothing better than bundling up in hoodies and blankets while it’s nice and crisp in and outdoors!

Speaking of cooling down outdoors, I can’t wait to start taking hikes and doing all of the Halloween themed activities soon. Have fun and keep on staying safe. ❤

How do you spend weekends in quarantine? What is the weather like in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Guilty Pleasure: Dancing With The Stars Edition

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Guilty Pleasure: Dancing With The Stars Edition

Hi! I have plenty of guilty pleasure TV shows that I am always eager to put on when I have the apartment to myself on Wednesday evenings. Johnny has band practice so when I get home from work I plop myself in front of the TV and binge to my heart’s content. We’re talking America’s Next Top Model, My 600 Lb. Life, Dr. Pimple Popper, and most recently: Dancing With The Stars.

I used to be a HUGE DWTS fan back in the day and would tune in season after season with my parents. This bonding time was officially dubbed “Middle Aged Monday” and I lived for it. Despite such fond memories of watching the show, I became uninterested after a while. I was so sick of all of the crappy reality stars and D list celebrities that the show just fell by the wayside.

However, when I learned that one of my favorite figure skaters, Johnny Weir, is competing this season, I snapped back like a rubber band and turned my free Wednesday evening into DWTS time. Because I haven’t been watching in forever and also COVID, I didn’t realize how much the show has changed.

Not only is Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews not hosting but Len Goodman is also not a judge, replaced by Derek Hough. Len will be popping in from time to time this season via video chat as it is not safe for him to travel from England at the moment. This switch is fine because I adore the Hough siblings. But if Tom and Erin aren’t hosting, then who is? Tyra Banks, of course.

Now, normally, when I hear “Tyra Banks”, I am stoked. I love her often times more than I love myself and I was ready to see her in action. Unfortunately, she was so GOTDAMN annoying I was almost ready to fast forward her talking. All she did was speak about herself, try to relate dancing to modeling, and give meaningless commentary. By the end of the episode, I had a Tom and Erin sized hole in my heart and felt completely unimpressed by this swap.

Despite not being a huge fan of the new hostess, I forgot how much fun DWTS is. The costumes, the fantastic music, excellent judges, uber talented pros, and (occasionally) enticing celebrities makes for TV heaven for me. I so enjoyed seeing stars like Johnny Weir, Nelly, AJ McLean, Skai Jackson, and Nev Schulman take the floor and all it made me want to do was take up ballroom dancing myself.

Dancing With The Stars is a perfect show for me to put on after work because I can still get chores done and make my dinner during celebrities I don’t care about. I’m already ready for them to “trim the fat” by eliminating the people who don’t have a change in hell of winning. But, for now, I am okay with sitting back and watching the spectacle. 🙂

Do you watch Dancing With The Stars? Who do you think is going to win this season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah