Tag Archives: games

Lil Red Loves: Game Night

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Lil Red Loves: Game Night

Hello! Prior to the pandemic, you could usually catch Johnny and I hanging out at our favorite bar called the Zephyr on a Friday or Saturday night. Now, I can’t tell you the last time we have been to a bar so it is all about nights in when we want to hang out with our friends. Johnny and I have always been avid gamers and we have a huge collection of board games and a variety of gaming systems including a Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii. With this expansive collection, game nights are now the move for our weekend activities.

While you don’t need much to make a game night a success, here are a few tips that I have found effective to make your evening even better:

Ready The Room:

Prior to hosting a game night, please do a deep clean of your space! Lol, this should go without saying but it is so true. You want your space to be the perfect set up for people to relax and have fun which means clearing clutter, taking out the trash, and doing the dreaded cleaning of your bathroom. Have fresh hand towels at the ready, light some candles or fairy lights, and prep your space to be the ultimate chill zone. (Keep in mind that if you are partaking in dranks, a guest room and comfy couches are a must so no one risks the safety of themselves and others to drive home.)

Location Is Everything:

Normally, Johnny and I will alternate which home we are having our game night at and this always works out well for us. However, if you are having multiple people over, a small apartment like mine might not cut it so that’s something to think about. If you are having guests from several different areas over, it’s best to choose a home that is it at the center of all of yours so no one has to drive super far.

Food & Drinks:

I absolutely love cooking for people so for mine and Johnny’s game nights, our friends will alternate between who is cooking dinner. This doesn’t need to be a fancy five star meal but just something tasty that everyone can enjoy. For example, I made a big pot of homemade mac n’ cheese for one of our game nights while our guests brought sides of salad and garlic bread. That being said, there is nothing wrong with ordering Chinese takeout or pizza if you want a quick and easy meal! (Also, make sure you are attentive to any of your guests with dietary needs or preferences. Last game night, our friends brought veggie burgers for their favorite Lil Red vegetarian!)

If your game night is one that tends to run longer, don’t forget the snacks. You can get creative with themed snacks like decorated cookies or cupcakes that look like the mushrooms in Mario games but a bowl of chips will also be just fine. Fruit salad, a sundae bar, and a Chex or trail mix station can also be a big hit.

For drinks, it is important to think about all of your guests because some might not drink alcohol. Always have your Britta pitcher full or water bottles at the ready as well as a variety of different sodas and juices. If you are partaking in dranks, there is nothing wrong with a good old fashioned White Claw lol but you can also play bartender and make a signature drink. How about a pitcher of Sangria or white wine spritzers? Every game night house could have a different signature drink!

Playlist Perfect:

Any good game night will have some music playing in the background. For this, Johnny and I have our record player but we also have a Bluetooth speaker which we love. Remember, you don’t want the music to be too loud to disturb your neighbors or that you have to yell to talk to your friends. Just something quiet that everyone can agree on to add to the party ambiance.

Games Galore:

Now, most importantly, are the games! Are you having video gamers over? Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. will be a huge success. Board game lovers? How about a night based off of classics like Monopoly and Sorry or a co op game to solve together? Word game fans? Scrabble or Catch Phrase will go over well! Card game aficionados? Try a Magic The Gathering tournament or a casino night.

You know your guests best so it is up to you to choose the perfect selection of games to keep your evening rolling. A good rule of thumb is to avoid overly involved games that are difficult to explain or have a ton of rules. You want to play things that are easy to catch on to for maximum enjoyment for everyone. There are also some party games that can truly become annoying if you are playing with a group of people who have a ton of inside jokes that everyone might not be in on, so definitely be mindful of that.

With the tips above and your own special take on a game filled evening, your game nights will turn into an event that your friends will spend the week looking forward to. Play well and have fun!

What are your favorite games? What are your tips for hosting game nights? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & Games: It’s A Snap Pt. 2

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Fun & Games: It’s A Snap Pt. 2

Hi!!! Johnny and I love to play video games together and I look forward to every weekend when we stay up late, play games, and listen to music. One of my favorite recent releases for the Nintendo Switch is, easily, Pokemon Snap and I have been loving it since it came out in April. Despite having played every course in the game too many times to count, I always seem to discover something new and that’s what makes the game so exciting.

While every course to explore in Pokemon Snap is insanely fun, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for an update of the game every day since Johnny and I beat the main story line. And, finally, on August third my thoughts and prayers were answered with an update that made the game feel brand new again. With more settings to explore, more Pokemon, and new features to the Neo-One this update was everything I wanted it to be AND MORE.

Johnny and I spent a solid two hours this past Friday evening playing the new levels which includes a day and nighttime course of a rushing river, a desert setting, and my favorite: The inside of a tree trunk! That’s right, the Neo-One can now shrink into the size of a toy car making all of the Pokemon huge and providing for amazing photo ops. This allowed me to get new pictures of old Pokemon – some of which were four star (a-thank you!) – and update my Pokedex with brand new Pokemon like Shroomish and the adorable Foongus. 😀

The inside of the tree in the Florio Nature Park definitely took the cake for me and Johnny was partial to the river. We both agree that our favorite addition to the game was being able to photograph Psyduck because he is so goofy! Every time we hit him with a fluff fruit we were in stitches!

When I learned that Pokemon Snap would be receiving an update, I assumed a few new Pokemon would be added to levels that already existed. This exceeded what I had in mind completely and all I can think about as I write this is how I want to play some more. All I can say is bravo, brava, and bring on the next update baby!

What is your favorite course in Pokemon Snap? What is your favorite Pokemon? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have We Been Up To?

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What Have We Been Up To?

Hello! When we’re not making preparations for our wedding, Johnny and I have been enjoying lots of new games and TV shows in our downtime. Once we are both home from work and dinner is made, we like to spend our evenings with video games or laughing hysterically to old and new favorite shows. We’ve been super into the following:

Stupid Deaths:

Johnny and I purchased the party game Stupid Deaths on one of our date days and I finally had the chance to play it with a lot of people when my brother and his family visited from Georgia. It was so much fun and super easy. The point of the game is to vote on if a unique death read from a card actually happened or not and to avoid the Grim Reaper on the board. Stupid Deaths was a hit with my whole family and, despite Johnny and I being downright awful at it, it was a blast and is sure to be a hit for your next game night. I want to buy Stupid Criminals next!

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe:

Johnny recently purchased Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch and it quickly became our new favorite video game to play together. The race tracks are awesome, the character and car selection is massive, and the battle games are a hoot too! I consider myself to be highly proficient at Mario Kart 64 and Double Dash but Johnny gives me a run for my money every time we play Deluxe. It’s fun to get competitive and the first time we played it, we raced for four hours straight without even realizing it. Time flies when you’re having fun. 😀

The Promised Neverland:

While I am still looking forward to seeing the Demon Slayer movie in theaters, my attention has turned to a new anime as per my brother’s suggestion called The Promised Neverland. I just started season two and it is EXCELLENT. I can’t say much about it without giving the major surprise of the first episode away but it is a dark, fast paced show that is both gorgeous and exciting to watch. I have never seen anything like it and I just adore the kids whom the show revolves around. I have to laugh because, for the most part, I can’t stand child actors but anime children are just fine by me lol!

Schitt’s Creek:

My brother, Peter, and his wife, Megan, highly recommend Schitt’s Creek when they visited so Johnny and I decided to give it a try and I am so glad we did. It is absolutely hilarious and we were in stitches minutes into the first episode. We have only watched three episodes so far and I am itching for more. Eugene Levy and his son Daniel as well as the incomparable Catherine O’Hara are a match made in comedy heaven and it’s a trip to watch an uber rich family gone broke try to make it in the not so glamorous real world.

Ever since Daniel Levy’s amazing Saturday Night Live debut, Johnny and I have been interested in watching Schitt’s Creek. Peter and Megan’s recommendation was just the push we needed to begin watching what I have a feeling will be our new favorite comedy.

What have you been watching recently? How do you like to spend your evenings? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Date Day Purchases

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Date Day Purchases

Hello! Prior to our engagement outing and day date this past weekend, Johnny and I have not been out in public together since the beginning of October of last year. So, needless to say, they were both very exciting days for us! Prior to the pandemic, Johnny and I were out and about in downtown Kent constantly. Whether it was for games or trivia night, dinner dates, or when Johnny’s band was playing a show – we always seemed to have plans.

Last weekend when Johnny suggested we go to Off The Wagon, a specialty toy shop in Kent, I thought it was a great idea. He recently had a huge haul of board games from there and wanted to pick some more out with me. Not only did we get to run into some of our friends who I haven’t seen since last year but we also picked out a new party and word game. I have a feeling we will be the hosts with the most when it is safe enough to have a game night again! Check it out:

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Unfortunately, when purchasing these games we both didn’t quite realize that they were meant to be played with more than two people. Lol, WHOOPS! But that’s okay because I think they are going to be a hit among our friend group. Johnny and I played a few rounds of Stupid Deaths together and it’s a party game where you decide if a unique manner of death actually happened or not, all while avoiding the Grim Reaper on the board. The deaths cover a vast period of time and some were well known while others I genuinely had no idea if it was true or false. It was really fun even with just me and Johnny and we want to get the game Stupid Criminals by the same company next!

Concept is a word game that you play on teams. You have to use tiles with pictures of different adjectives to create a clue of whatever word or phrase you have for your partner. Johnny and I are both very fond of word games, however, we probably wouldn’t have bought this one had we read the box better and realized that it was a team game! I can definitely picture playing this with my siblings and their partners, though, so no harm no foul.

The next game we have our eyes on is a cooperative adventure game based off of Stephen King’s The Shining. We would have purchased this one without a question but you need at least three players. Trust and believe we will be buying it as soon as we’re comfortable with game nights again!

What is your favorite board game? How about your favorite party game? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

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Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

Howdy! The warm weather brings us the exciting promise of seeing friends more safely in an outdoor setting. However, it is still so important that we maintain a social distance because COVID-19 and variants of the virus are still a very real threat. Today, we’re going to look at a few outdoors activities that can be done from a social distance and are a lot of fun too. Try incorporating the following into your next outing with friends:

Paint A Masterpiece:

Pre-COVID, paint nights were insanely popular and for good reason – they’re a blast! And now, they can make a comeback because having a painting party outside is a possibility. For a project, you could all find something different to try your hand at painting or even hire a local artist to walk you through a summer landscape. Set up blankets six feet apart from each other with some snacks, drinks, and art supplies on each one. You could host the party in your own backyard or at a local park. No matter how your masterpiece turns out, it will be so nice to create with your friends in the fresh air.

Food Wars:

Everyone who likes to grill more than likely thinks they are the best at it lol so put the skills of those in your friend group to the test with a good old fashioned cook off. Every week you could have different categories like appetizers, main dishes, and desserts so the less grill savvy can participate and keep track of how everyone is faring on score cards. By the end of summer, you will find out who is the master chef!

Gardening Group:

Gardening is such a rewarding hobby and can be done from a social distance. Perhaps you and your friends could start a garden together that you can all help tend to so everyone can have fresh veggies and flowers all summer long. Of course, it doesn’t have to end there! Look up recipes that utilize the veggies you are growing and host a garden party to showcase your hard work.

Games Tournament:

Work hard play hard, amiright? But seriously, there are so many fun outdoor games that can be played from a social distance so why not put together a backyard tournament for your friends? Cornhole, bocce ball, croquet, and horseshoes are all great places to start. Don’t forget that there are huge outdoor versions of classic games like Jenga, chess, checkers, and Connect 4. If anyone has children, you could all work together to create an outdoor Candy Land board for them to enjoy.

For bonus categories in your tournament you could include best sidewalk chalk art, best bubble soap, most Pogo Stick jumps, and the like for even more fun in the sun.

Backyard Water Park:

Okay, stay with me here but how cool would a backyard water park that you and your friends put together be? I have been thinking about this so much because the pool at my apartment community won’t be open again this summer and it would be nice to have somewhere to cool off! Now, when I say water park, I don’t mean huge slides and a wave pool. No, I’m talking an ultimate Slip n’ Slide, sprinklers, water balloons, a kiddie pool to soak your feet, a sand castle building set up, and an area to work on your tan. And, of course, an endless supply of concession stand style snacks and lemonade. I think that would just be the best!

I feel like people hear the phrase “social distance” and they instantly think “less fun” but that isn’t the case at all. You just have to get a little creative, like with the ideas above, and you will safely enjoy each other’s company in the great outdoors all while having a ball. 😀

What are you looking forward to this summer? How do you plan on seeing your friends social distance style? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

More Fun & Games

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More Fun & Games

Hello! A few weeks ago, Johnny surprised me with a bunch of board games for us to play together and the last one in his haul arrived in the mail earlier this week. We have been having such a good time playing something other than Diablo III nonstop and are especially partial to the adventure board game, Horrified. Clearly, we enjoy more intense gaming options but that doesn’t mean we don’t like silly games too – and the latest addition to our board game collection definitely falls under that category! Check it out:

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Johnny and I are both huge Seinfeld fans and after purchasing Seinfeld Clue, he couldn’t not get the Festivus board game! Lol, Johnny and I were both in stitches just from the box and the directions. We have yet to play it because we think it would be better with more people but are excited to try it out during future game nights with our friends. As the box states several times, it really is a Festivus miracle and has inspired Johnny and I to get our own Festivus pole come the holiday season.

When we’re not saving our village from movie monsters in Horrified, Johnny has just started helping me with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I spent my childhood watching my siblings play Zelda games and while I have tried playing a few, I have never beaten one. Johnny, on the other hand, has beat them all several times and promised me he would guide me through Ocarina of Time when we inherited our friend’s Nintendo 64 and all of his old games. I’m still getting the hang of it and I am so glad to have Johnny’s expertise every step of the way.

Finally, I just beat Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door which Johnny got me for Valentine’s Day. In my youth, I rented this game from the video store but couldn’t beat the final boss so I was thrilled to reign supreme well over a decade later lol. The Thousand Year Door was such fun to play and I can’t wait to get the N64 Paper Mario so I can have the complete collection!

What is your favorite board game? How about your favorite video game? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Fun & (Board) Games

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Fun & (Board) Games

Hello! Johnny and I spent this past winter hibernating with our video games and streaming services and while we will never tire of playing Diablo III together, we both agreed it would be nice to have more variety. While we love video gaming, we both enjoy playing board games, classic card games, and Magic The Gathering too. In total, we have five different video game systems so we were never hurting in that department. However, we were definitely lacking when it comes to board games. Until Johnny made some surprise purchases a few weeks ago, that is.

The day before Johnny proposed, he was running some errands and ended up at Off The Wagon – a toy store in Kent. There, he got us three new board games as well as a fourth one from Walmart and we have played at least one round of something every day since. Check it out:

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^^^ Johnny bought Horrified, Scrabble, and Seinfeld Clue from Off The Wagon and Betrayal At House On The Hill from Walmart.

My fiance is, hands down, the most thoughtful person I have ever met and his board game haul is another shining example of that. We had been talking about doing some board game shopping a few days before he made his purchases and I was delighted when he showed me his buys because, had I been there, I probably would have bought the exact same things.

Scrabble was a must because we both love word games (I will always like playing Scrabble with my mom best, though!). Seinfeld Clue was another obvious choice because that is our favorite show and we are in stitches every time we try to figure out whodoneit. We need three players for Betrayal At House On The Hill so we have yet to play but it looks like a lot of fun! Which brings us to Johnny’s last pick and, easily, our favorite of the lot: Horrified.

Horrified is an adventure cooperative game with the purpose of saving a town from classic movie monsters like Dracula, The Invisible Man, and Frankenstein and his Bride. You and your teammates work together to solve puzzles, save villagers, and slay monsters while avoiding getting attacked yourself. At first, Johnny and I were a bit intimidated by Horrified because it seemed awfully complicated. However, it was way less complex than we originally thought and got the hang of it really quickly.

We both have never played anything like Horrified before and it is so much fun that we have already began looking for similar games. Johnny and I are both huge horror fans and going face to face with characters like The Wolfman and Mummy is exciting. Horrified will never be played the same way twice and sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. No matter the outcome, we are always glad to have played and I highly recommend it!

Wanna play Horrified too? Shop with my Like To Know link: https://rstyle.me/+lsmDlYXzRvabGV3ZDjSg3w

What is your favorite board game? Do you have any cooperative game recommendations for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Warm Weather Projects For Your Property

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Warm Weather Projects For Your Property

There’s just something about the combination of spring cleaning and the improved weather that turns the “curl up and relax” mentality of winter completely on its head. When the sun comes out, it puts a renewed pep in our step and I’m sure many of us have been thinking about home improvement projects both big and small that can be worked on during the warm weather.

If you’re experiencing the “get up and go” attitude of spring but nothing immediately comes to mind, consider the following projects:

Windows & Doors:

Replacing old windows and doors will give a welcome facelift to both the interior and exterior of your home. A bold front door is a must and if you get new replacement windows, then it is all the better to let the sunshine in with. New windows and doors are also an instant curb appeal booster so it will raise your property value! If you’d like to take this idea one step further, you could even turn one of the rooms into a sun room with floor length windows. A bright, sunny room will be a nice change of pace after the darkness of winter.

Backyard Fun:

It’s safe to say that absolutely everyone will be outside as often as they can in the warm weather so make sure your backyard is well equipped. This could mean arranging a patio area or a deck for social distanced hang outs or preparing your barbecue pit for the season. If you enjoy woodworking you might want to try your hand at making and decorating cornhole boards for tournaments. Don’t forget a net for volleyball and badminton!

Of course, if you want your backyard to be the ultimate place to hang out this summer, you will want it to look its best. Flowers, gardens, soft green grass to play on, and solar lights and other decor are all great places to start. Remember, a well kept outer property will only help boost your curb appeal so don’t be afraid to go all out with your gardening.

Nature Window:

Creating a nature window ties the two ideas above together for an activity you can enjoy inside. Outside of a large window place bird feeders, baths, and houses, hummingbird and butterfly feeders, butterfly bushes, and insect condos. Basically, anything that will help attract local wildlife. You will have the perfect view of all of the birds flying in and out and all from the comfort of the air conditioning! Not to mention that all of the animals will thank you. 🙂

Don’t let your get up and go energy get up and leave! Try out some of the projects above to welcome back the warm weather.

Hosting The Perfect Game Night

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Hosting The Perfect Game Night

When your favorite sports team sets the date for an important game, hosting a party with your fellow supporters is one of the best ideas you can indulge in. Organizing an amazing games night needn’t be as difficult as you might expect, as there are a few key tips and tricks that you can make the most of today:

Decorate The Space:

Whether you’ve booked out a venue or you’re just hosting your games night in the comfort of your living room, decorating the space in preparation for your fellow supporters arrival is an essential step to take. Prepping your venue to make it fun and inviting will add to the atmosphere dramatically, setting the scene for a brilliant game night that’s full of laughter and excitement! You can start off by sourcing a few balloons that match your team’s colors, as this is the most affordable option to upgrade your space. Investing in personalized banners or posters that show your support for your team can be a more flashy choice.

Don’t forget, if you’re hosting at home, it might be a good idea to prepare for mess – putting any fragile, breakable decor away is recommended, as you don’t want a happy celebration to turn into an apologetic embarrassment.

Provide Food & Drink:

Having some tasty snacks and a few delicious drinks to wash them down with will add a whole new level to your game night, and your guests will go home happy with full tummies no matter what the score ends up being! A finger food buffet of easy-to-eat no-mess options is going to be your best bet, as you don’t want to have to sit down and eat with a fork and plate when celebrations can occur at any moment. Sliders, fries, pastries, crisps and dip, cupcakes, and similar options are usually great crowd pleasers! If you’re stuck on what to create, take a look around online to find a wide variety of game night recipes that you can whip up in record time to impress your fellow supporters.

Souvenirs:

Purchasing some personalized team shirts or scarves from a uniform store will give your guests something to take home with them and use again, and they’ll remember the game night night every time they see it! Make sure that you find a reputable provider from whom you can place an order with confidence, as you don’t want to waste money or time with poor quality souvenir options.

Hosting the best game night for you and your fellow supporters to enjoy has never been so simple with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Gift Ideas For Warm Weather Birthdays

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Gift Ideas For Warm Weather Birthdays

Hi! In my family, there are eight spring and summer birthdays that I have to shop for so I am never lacking in gift ideas for warm weather birthdays. Shopping for birthdays that take place when the weather is nice is a great opportunity to purchase outdoor activity based gifts. Activity gifts always go over well but will be an even bigger hit this year since we are all itching to get outside and enjoy the weather. Let’s go over some of my favorite ideas:

Gardening Supplies/Outdoor Decor:

Spring and summer are, of course, the prime gardening times so if your giftee has a green thumb, then you can’t go wrong with gardening supplies. From raised planters and pots to seeds, tools, and insect hotels – any garden improvement supplies are sure to be appreciated. You could even offer your help weekly to tend to the garden since that is an activity that can be achieved from a social distance.

If your giftee is not so gifted in the garden, outdoor decor can really help enhance their space. Bird baths, houses, and feeders, wind chimes, decorative solar lights, and benches are all great places to start. Setting up a bird feeding station in your giftee’s backyard will allow them to enjoy nature without having to get their hands dirty.

Outdoor Games:

At this point, I’m sure everyone is bored of board games so anything that can be played outside is sure to please. Bocce ball, cornhole, croquet, and horseshoes can all be played from a social distance. There are even huge outdoor versions of classic games like checkers, chess, Connect 4, and Jenga. Outdoor games are such fun and can be used year after year so they are perfect for friends who love to entertain when the weather permits.

Summertime Treats:

What is the warm weather without popsicles, smoothies, snow cones, and ice cream? Nothing, I tell you! All of the treats that I just mentioned to help cool you down on a hot day can be made from home so you could gift the appliance or supplies needed to make them. Don’t forget a recipe book so they have plenty of ideas to work with and your gift doesn’t become just a one time use item. Perfect for the person on your list with a sweet tooth.

Warm weather is also a great time to enjoy spritzers and cocktails so if you are shopping for an amateur bartender, the ingredients for light and refreshing drinks would make a nice addition to the home bar.

Painting Supplies:

Paint nights are insanely popular and are fun for the artistic and not so much alike. They can also be done in the great outdoors so how about preparing a paint night kit for your giftee? Find inspiration for a painting project on Pinterest, get the necessary supplies, a blanket to sit on, and a picnic basket to hold everything. You could even double the order to make it work for a date night for your giftee and their significant other! Whomever it is you are shopping for will love getting in touch with their creative side while enjoying the weather and will be touched by how thoughtful the gift is too. 🙂

Get started on your warm weather birthday shopping with the ideas above that will keep your giftee smiling in the sunshine for as long as the weather allows!

What season is your birthday in? What is your favorite outdoor activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah