Tag Archives: happy

Holiday Haul: Sister & Family Edition

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Holiday Haul: Sister & Family Edition

Hello!! My sister, Kristen, her SO, Ramon, and sweet daughter, Valerie, are my best friends and I love being their fourth wheel more than anything. Being able to share so many holidays with Kristen and Ramon and now their daughter is always going to be special to me and this past Christmas was no exception. Miss Val made out like an adorable little bandit this Christmas and she was even able to unwrap some of her own gifts this year! Her “TT” had quite the haul herself, though, and I am so excited about the gifts I received from Val and her amazing parents. Check it out:

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Kristen texted me earlier in December asking me what I would like for Christmas and I told her that some new face masks to try out would be much appreciated. She took this idea and ran with it, gifting me two face masks by Formula 10.0.6. I am eager to test both masks out – particularly the self-warming clay mask. I used to get a self-warming mask from The Body Shop back in the day and it was one of my favorites. Speaking of favorites, I also got an awesome GUDETAMA lip balm and he is my favorite, lazy egg in the whole world. Don’t believe me? Check out my Facebook posts where I am constantly replying to people with Gudetama themed stickers! 😀

When my sister texted me, I didn’t tell her that I would really like a new pair of Express leggings too but she knows me well enough to have gotten me a pair, anyways. Kristen gifted me with leggings from Express last year and they are simply the best. I am so happy to have another pair because I wear my old ones literally all the time and, although they are still in great condition, it will be nice to have the option to alternate.

Pre-COVID, going to my favorite bars with Johnny and Kristen was always a treat and nine times out of ten, you could catch me drinking a Moscow Mule. I love them! And, with new copper mugs from Kristen and her fam, I’ll be able to make them at home with my go to recipe and not have to put them in coffee mugs like usual, lol. Great success!

Now, you might be wondering why in the heck Kristen gave the game of Guess Who? to me and Johnny and I’ll tell you why. A few months ago, we were all at chez parents and Kristen happened to bring her copy of the game over. We had many rousing rounds with my brother, Andrew, and it was a hoot. I also love the much more culturally diverse update of Guess Who? too! I think Johnny and I will get a kick out of playing it when we are stuck in the doldrums of feeling like there is “nothing” to do. 🙂

Kristen and her family were so generous this Christmas and I really am touched because these gifts are absolutely perfect for me. My sister knows me like the back of her hand and knew that the majority of what she gave me were things that I would like but never buy for myself and that, in itself, is the best gift of all. ❤

Which store has the best leggings? How do you make drinks from the bar at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

If The Slipper Fits: Minnetonka Edition

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If The Slipper Fits: Minnetonka Edition

Hello! My adorable mom was a sneaky Santa, as she presented me with a “decoy” (As she called it) shoe box this Christmas before gifting me with the L’Artiste sandals that I had been drooling over. What was in my decoy box, you might ask? An oh so comfy pair of moccasin style slippers by Minnetonka! I’m not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed when I opened my slippers and they weren’t the sandals. But, after testing them out once I got home, I have practically lived in them and I can’t help but smile at my mom’s little prank every time I put them on. Lol, check it out:

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When I was a teenager, I got a pair of Minnetonka moccasins that I still own to this day. I can’t seem to throw them out, even though they are riddled with holes now because I would wear them literally all the time. But, with these new slippers, I definitely might be more inclined to pitch my waterlogged old faithfuls since I now have an upgrade. Despite them being house shoes, they still have a thick rubber sole so I know I can have them on when walking to take the trash out or going to the gas station drive thru.

I was a bit worried that the faux fur lining in the moccasins might be too warm for me but they are just right – especially in my cold apartment! I love my slippers because I have never owned a pair in my life and they are something that I wouldn’t have bought for myself. My mom is basically the cutest person ever and I just adore the fact that she knew exactly what my reaction would be when I opened my Minnetonkas but gifted them to me anyways because she also knew that I was going to warm up to them immediately. The Sneaky Santa award most definitely goes to her! ❤

Have you ever received a decoy gift? What was the decoy prezzie covering up? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Boyfriend Edition

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Holiday Haul: Boyfriend Edition

Hello! I am so happy that I got to celebrate another Christmas with my boyfriend, Johnny. He means the absolute world to me and I love him so much. After months of asking him if I could tell him what I got him for Christmas, we finally made a deal to open our presents to each other on the afternoon of the 24th. So, you could imagine my surprise when he came home from work on the 22nd and said we should open our gifts now!

Not only is he getting me a new game for the Nintendo Switch as well as a year’s subscription to Duolingo Plus, he also treated me to the following:

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As soon as I opened my guillotine earrings, I gasped because I have had my eye on them for forever. In fact, I have at least five screenshots saved to remind myself to purchase them whenever they show up on my Facebook newsfeed. The first thing that came out of my mouth was “how did you know?!” because I can’t remember ever telling Johnny how much I liked them. He told me when he saw it on his Facebook he knew that I would love them and that made this gift as well as the matching necklace even more special. He knows me like the back of his hand. ❤

I am so excited to pick out a new game to play on the Switch because I have already beaten the Paper Mario game that Johnny got me for our one year anniversary. I will have to do some browsing before I make my choice but I am definitely thinking more Mario! And, finally, the subscription to Duolingo Plus really takes the cake because for one full year I won’t have to worry about running out of hearts while I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech. It will be so handy and SO freaking appreciated and I plan on starting a new language to learn since I’ll have the extra cushion of unlimited hearts. I am currently debating between Swedish, Latin, or Greek!

My Johnny knows how to spoil me and I feel like the luckiest girl ever. Duolingo Plus is exactly what I wanted and a new game and jewelry are exactly what I needed even though I didn’t know it yet! Is he the best boyfriend ever or what? ❤

How do you and your SO celebrate the holidays? What is your favorite game for the Switch? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: BFF Edition

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Holiday Haul: BFF Edition

Hello! For as long as I can remember, my best friend of over twelve years, Lea, and I have had a Christmas gift exchange. Wine is poured, presents are unwrapped, and we spend the whole evening gabbing away about anything and everything. It is one of my favorite holiday traditions and I was so excited to see her during our hang out because, with the pandemic, we are lucky if we see each other once a month. Hanging out was a gift in itself but I am so in love with the thoughtful presents from my bestie. Check it out:

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For birthdays and Christmas, Lea and I always gift each other with a bottle of wine. We have a long standing joke of saying “I wonder what this could be” because there is no way to wrap up wine without it being totally obvious about what’s underneath the paper! Not only do I love a Pink Moscato but I absolutely adore the black and white striped safety seal on the bottle that Lea picked out. She told me right away that she knew that I would like that and, of course, she was right on the money!

Not only did I receive vino but I was also gifted with Bath & Body Works foaming hand soap – my favorite! Nothing beats the holiday scents from B&BW and presents from there are also a huge staple in mine and Lea’s gift giving arsenal because we both know that we will use their products happily. An adorable new glass to enjoy my wine with and some homemade hand soaps wrapped up my haul and I am so thankful for all of the sweet and incredibly useful gifts from my best friend.

Lea and I both revel in the gift giving process of the holidays and I love being able to share in the season with her. I felt so happy after seeing her because she is and always has been a breath of fresh air in my life. She brings me so much joy and I have absolutely NO idea what I would do without her. Here’s to a million more Christmas hang outs together! ❤

How do you and your BFF celebrate the holidays? Do you have any “staples” in your gift giving arsenal? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Surprise Gift Edition

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Holiday Haul: Surprise Gift Edition

Hello!! For those of you who don’t know, my “big girl” job is as an Independent Provider for people with special needs. I am proud to say that I have worked throughout the entirety of this pandemic and I am even prouder of my county’s board of Developmental Disabilities for taking such good care of all of their employees. From care packages filled with PPE as well as wonderful donations of games and crafting supplies to help keep our clients entertained, we have not been without during the pandemic and it is SO, so, so appreciated.

As if all of the supplies and encouraging emails weren’t enough, my county’s DD board provided us providers with a special gift for the holidays. I was so surprised by this generosity and I am in love with my prezzies picked out just for us. Check it out:

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For my surprise gift, I received a beautiful travel mug filled with caramel and chocolate covered popcorn. I also got the most comfortable pair of socks I have ever owned with “Making A Difference” on one foot and “It’s What I Do!” on the other. How awesome is that?! This gift absolutely touched me and not only did I feel appreciated for the work that I do but it put me in the best mood all day. I was so eager for Johnny to come home from work to show off my spoils and the discovery that my new socks are perfect for sliding around on our hard wood floors!

I love my job so much and would never expect anything in return and I think that’s why these presents mean so much to me. I can’t wait to fill up my travel mug with hot coffee in the morning because I already know it will put a smile on my face. How can the sweet messages printed on the front and back not?!

What makes you feel appreciated? How has your job changed throughout the pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Christmas Decor Sight Seeing Fun

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Christmas Decor Sight Seeing Fun

Hello!! Downtown Cuyahoga Falls is referred to as the Riverfront because it is directly along the Cuyahoga River. In the past several years, lots of upgrades have been made to bring small businesses back to this area and now it is booming with restaurants, specialty shops, and cute boutiques. This year, to help bring some holiday spirit into our neck of the woods, there will be free parking all along the Riverfront to help encourage people to shop locally. What’s more, local schools and organizations decorated each parking meter with a Christmas theme!

This past week, my brother and I went to check out the handiwork and creativity of our amazing community and it was a blast! I so enjoyed ogling at the masterpieces, discussing which ones we liked best, and seeing all of the masked up shoppers toting their parcels. These were some of my favorite decorated meters:

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As you can see, we have many talented holiday enthusiasts in the 330 and each parking meter was awesome in its own way. I am particularly fond of the Cousin Eddie meter from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, myself. However, I think the Mr. Grinch created by the owners of Harps & Thistles (A specialty shop for all of your knitting and crocheting needs) took the cake. I also love the tire snowman made by the Kiwanis Club Of Cuyahoga Falls. What a cute idea!

Despite this holiday season being so different than last year’s, I felt more in the Christmas spirit than ever after checking out the decor in downtown Cuyahoga Falls. Happy holidays to all!

How does your community celebrate the holidays? Do you have an area like downtown CFalls 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

Holiday Haul: My Friend Edition

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Holiday Haul: My Friend Edition

Hello! It is a very rare thing for me to take time off from work. Mainly because I love my job but also having no paid time off, lol. However, I have taken two weeks off so I can safely celebrate Christmas with my family. I have had such fun enjoying the holiday season with my clients. From online shopping for the perfect presents for each of them to decking out their homes with Christmas decor – it really doesn’t get much better than that!

On my last week of work before my holiday vacation, one of my dear friends who I have the joy of working with bestowed these beautiful gifts onto me. Check it out:

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My pal and I love to color together and I am tickled that he selected a coloring book and colored pencils just for me. I am so excited to bring the Buggie Buddies book with me the next time I watch my niece because she loves stickers and creating masterpieces with crayons. The Malley’s Chocolates are delicious and tastes like a fancy Heath Bar, which is perfect because that’s one of my favorite candies. I also love the Christmas card that came with my gifts – it is absolutely adorable!

Nothing is more special to me than the gifts that my sweet friends have chosen. Honestly, the selection above is already my favorite gift and it isn’t even Christmas yet. I know how much thought and care went into picking these gifts out – from the carefully wrapped package to the contents inside that are filled with such happy memories. I know my friend is going to love the present I got for him and I cannot wait to call him on Christmas day when he opens it! ❤

What is one of your favorite gifts that you have received? Is there a gift that you’re really excited about giving this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pet Care: Dos And Don’ts

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Pet Care: Dos And Don’ts

We love pets! Therefore, we always want to give them the healthiest, fullest lives while they’re with us. Unfortunately, in trying to give your pet the best, you may inadvertently harm them in the process. A National Pet Owners survey revealed that 85 million families in the US own pets and the majority of owners are concerned about their pet’s wellbeing. It’s essential to know the right way to care for your lovable animals. Here are three do’s and don’ts when taking care of pets:

Know what to feed them:

How often do you take time to read your pet’s dietary plan as well as what its food contains? These are the first steps in showing responsibility towards your pet. Many pet foods claim to be healthy but are not. In 2019, a lawsuit was filed against Kansas-based Hill’s Pet Nutrition over allegations of unhealthy foods that resulted in many dogs’ deaths. Did you know goldfish cannot take in food containing yeast as this is hazardous to their health? Click here to find out on what to feed your goldfish to be on the safe side. Additionally, always consult your veterinarian on ingredients you are unsure of. More so, avoid overfeeding your pets as this may cause them to exceed their daily calorie limits.

Regular visits to the vet:

It is critical to start your visits to the vet quite early with your pups and kittens. Your dogs and cats must be licensed and vaccinated against rabies when they are fourteen weeks old. At precisely one-year-old, they should also get a booster shot, depending on your state. For example, whereas California law strictly requires a dog to receive boosters annually, New York State law demands repeat shots every one to four years. However, some pet owners ignore booster shots for their pets and that puts families, strangers, and other animals in the home at risk. In extreme cases, others are not vaccinating their pets at all – known as anti-vax animal owners.

Rub them the right way:

After a long and stressful day, you look forward to getting home to show some affection to your furry buddy. You finally get to rub your pet but immediately get nicked or scratched. Do you know what you did wrong? You rubbed them wrongly! Experienced pet owners recommend rubbing your furry friends in the direction of fur growth and not against it. When this is not done, your pet may interpret this as an attack. You should avoid going directly to the top of their head as you show affection. Instead, approach from the side of the pet’s head while maintaining gentle strokes until you reach the upper part. While dogs love to be stroked in the neck and shoulder areas, cats prefer soft scratching under the chin. You should also look out for signs of a wagging tail and purrs. These indicate that you’re doing it right.

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Pixabay Image

Be sure to explore more tips on pet care. It requires a considerable amount of time, effort, and of course, money to care for your pets. It is all worth it, though, when you know your furry friend is healthy, happy, and safe.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Getting In The Holiday Spirit: Christmas Tree Decorating Edition

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Getting In The Holiday Spirit: Christmas Tree Decorating Edition

Hello! This past week, one of my clients and I continued on with our tradition of decorating the Christmas tree together. For the second year in a row, we were rockin’ around the Christmas tree, singing Christmas carols, and enjoying each other’s company. It hasn’t felt much like Christmas time considering the state of my state right now, as the coronavirus continues to run its course through Ohio. However, just like when my client and I decorated the Christmas tree last year, I felt much more like celebrating by the time we were done. 🙂

Check out our handiwork:

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My friend absolutely loves Christmas and has been excited for the upcoming holiday for months now. His joy for the season is contagious and it was so much fun to decorate the tree with him. Especially because I haven’t decorated the tree in my family home in years because we keep it up year round, lol! While all of his favorite tunes played, we debated the best placement for the ornaments and wondered out loud what would be waiting for us under the tree this year. I can’t wait for him to open his gift from me on Christmas day! 🙂

Everything feels so scary and different right now and it was really nice to spend a peaceful afternoon around the glowing lights on the tree. If you have the Blue Christmas blues right now, as I did, I highly recommend doing a little decorating, yourself. Whether that be hanging ornaments on the tree or placing Christmas village figurines on your mantel, a little holiday cheer can go a long way. I can attest to that firsthand. ❤

How do you get into the holiday spirit? Do you have a favorite holiday decoration? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Rita Rites

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Rita Rites

Hello!! I like to think that I got my knack for writing from my grandma. Not only was she a gifted musician but she loved to write too and had a monthly newsletter called “Rita Rites” that was distributed in her church and mailed to her friends. In fact, when I was younger, we would both sit by the computer and she would read her handwritten draft of Rita Rites out loud to me while I typed it. I would always look forward to receiving the end results of our handiwork in the mail! In a way, it was kind of like her own blog, filled with jokes, fun facts, stories, and charming insights.

I was proud to be able to help my grandma with her newsletter and even prouder when my mom accidentally called my blog my “Rita Rites” the other day. I considered it a high compliment! From a young age, I was exposed to all of the joys of writing and I definitely have my grandma to thank for that. Her creativity, dedication, and the fact that I can never recall her using the same blurb twice continues to inspire me to this day.

I loved being able to help my grandma with Rita Rites and I miss her terribly. But, thanks to my mom misnaming my blog, I have felt so close to my grandma every time I’ve sat down to write since. Fond memories of an afternoon with my grandma working on the newsletter and then sitting down to a delicious dinner with my whole family have flooded my thoughts and it makes me happy. I think my grandma would be extremely proud of my blog and that makes me happy too. 🙂

Even though everything pretty much sucks right now, writing has helped keep me sane. And, whenever I struggle to come up with a post for the day, I think of my grandma’s dedication to her craft and everything just kind of flows. Whether you just started writing or have been doing it for years, keep going! Great friends and some of the best memories will be around to greet you at every corner. I am so thankful to the support of the blogosphere and my loved ones when it comes to my blog and Lil Red will always be here to help support all of you too!

What inspired you to start blogging? How long have you been writing for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah