Tag Archives: niece

Sticker Surprise

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Sticker Surprise

Hi! This past Friday at work, I was having some coffee and thought that I had spilled some on my hoodie. Yes, it’s finally hoodie weather in Ohio and I am LOVING it!! When I looked down, I noticed what I thought was coffee but, to my surprise, it ended up being a sticker that my lil niece had stuck on there back in the springtime:

I couldn’t believe that this tiny butterfly (Her favorite!) sticker had stayed on for that long because it was barely hanging on by the time I noticed it. The sticker withstood me putting it on and running out into the cold and windy morning to my car. I am so glad that it did because this Sticker Surprise was just what I needed after a super long week at work.

I have been insanely busy on the ol’ blog and I had been getting up at 5:45 every morning last week to get things done before going to my other job. By the time Friday rolled around, I was completely exhausted! Looking down and seeing a sticker from my niece on my hoodie turned a normal day into something special. Despite being drop dead tired and all, I had a great day because I had the best pick me up in the morning.

Feeling down or worn out? Always look for your own personal butterflies to help turn things around! It’s the little things, right? ❤

What makes you smile? When do you normally get up for work? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Target Run

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Target Run

Hello! I have not been in a store just to browse since the beginning of the pandemic and you guys have no idea how much I have missed it. For a while, I was only going grocery shopping and I stopped doing that a few months ago, opting for curbside delivery instead. Now that I am fully vaccinated, I feel much more comfortable running errands so when my sister texted me last Saturday morning asking if I wanted to go on a Target Run, I couldn’t say no!

Kristen picked me up with my niece, Valerie, and I was so excited because Target is Val’s favorite store and I have never been there with her. Such good taste at just two years old! It seems so simple but that small outing that lasted a little over an hour was enough to make me insanely happy. It was, finally, a warm spring day in Ohio and driving in the car with Kristen and Val with the sun shining and music playing on the way to Target felt like the first semblance of normal I’ve had in a long time.

I am just as surprised as all of you that my first window shopping trip in over a year wasn’t to TJMaxx but Target is a close second and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We even ran into Jared’s really quickly after our Target trip so I could check on the progress of my wedding band and it is looking amazing. Kristen and I are planning on doing another shopping excursion soon because we are both in need of new summer clothes and I can’t wait. Here’s to many more safe outings all summer! ❤

What have you missed the most during the pandemic? Which store is your happy place? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Tiniest T-Shirt

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The Tiniest T-Shirt

Hello! Johnny and I had SO much fun online shopping for our wedding outfits and we cannot wait for our big day! Of course, our shopping wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t find a rock n’ roll inspired outfit for our niece and little flower girl, Valerie, and her TT went all out for it. Thanks to the Etsy shop, Pinehart, I was able to order her the tiniest Rolling Stones T-shirt which I was having a lot of difficulty finding. The Rolling Stones is Johnny’s favorite band and we had to have Miss Val represent! Check it out:

^^^ Is that not the cutest thing you’ve seen in your life?!

Pinehart had an amazing selection of shirts and patterns to pick from in sizes ranging from infants all the way up to men’s and women’s. In fact, Johnny is so jealous of his niece’s new shirt that I’m going to have to order one for him too! I was highly impressed with the quality of this little T-shirt as the material is thick and sturdy and I have no fear of the logo peeling off, either. It is printed on there so well and that was a concern of mine because we all have had an experience where a logo on a shirt seems to be crackly or flimsy enough that you could just take it off yourself.

I paid under twenty dollars for this tiny top and I considered it such a steal. Pinehart even sent me a coupon for ten percent off all of my future purchases which is so generous and much appreciated because I plan on being a repeat customer so Johnny can get another Rolling Stones T-shirt to add to his massive collection. I swear, he could wear a different Rolling Stones T every day of the week!

Prior to being engaged, I have never really shopped on Etsy before and have now made several purchases through the site. I have been blown away by the quality, prices, and fast shipping of all of my orders and am looking forward to finding even more favorite Etsy shops in the future. 😀

What is your favorite Etsy shop? If you have an Etsy shop, feel free to leave your link in the comments too. I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Best Day!

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The Best Day!

Hi! Although Johnny and I had a rough bout with side effects from the Moderna vaccine this past weekend, it was still a great one because my brother, sister in law, and their son traveled from Georgia for a visit. My family is fully vaccinated and it was such an amazing gift for all of us to be together for the first time since our family trip to Kentucky last summer. When my nausea subsided enough on Saturday, Johnny and I enjoyed a quick trip to the park with our nephew and it was so fun watching him run around and play. However, Sunday was the best day I have had in forever.

On Sunday, my entire family: Mom, dad, sister, brother, brother, brother in law, sister in law, niece, nephew, and fiance went to the Akron Zoo together. To visit the zoo according to their COVID standards, you purchase tickets for a time slot and a limited amount of people are allowed in the park. We got to view the Akron Zoo on a beautiful day and it wasn’t as crowded, which was really nice.

Of course, I love going to the zoo any time any day but it was the absolute best to be there with my whole family and see my little niece and nephew have fun. They both loved riding the carousal, seeing the Grizzly bears swim around in their exhibit, and each getting a stuffed bear from their TT at the gift shop. My only regret is how quickly our two hour time slot went by because I could have stayed there for hours with everyone if we could!

After our outing at the zoo, we had dinner on the patio of one of my family’s favorite Mexican restaurants, El Campesino. This was such a treat for me because Johnny and I haven’t been to a restaurant since the pandemic began. It was so special to share a big meal with every single one of us at the table and it was also so special to me to have my first Margarita in over a year lol! The food was delicious and just like our trip to the zoo, I was sad when it was over because I wish we could do family days like that all of the time.

Being surrounded by all of my loved ones on Sunday is a memory that I am going to cherish for forever. It was just awesome to see my brother, his wife, and my adorable nephew for the first time in so long and also a small miracle that we found a day that worked with everyone’s hectic schedule. I cannot wait for our next family event which can now happen more frequently since we are vaccinated and, until then, I’ll be replaying our joyous day on repeat in my head! ❤

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

Happy Birthday, Sister!!

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Happy Birthday, Sister!!

Hello!! The birthdays in my family just keep coming because today is my beautiful sister, Kristen’s, big day! My sister is my absolute best friend and I cannot even put into words how proud I am of her. She is a legit wonder woman and I am constantly amazed by her motherhood journey. Her and my brother in law’s daughter, Valerie, is a huge light for me and I have seriously never met a happier, more loved little girl in my life.

Not only is Kristen an incredible mom to her daughter but she is a pet parent and advocate, as well. She has two dogs and two cats and her newest passion is fostering senior dogs from One Of A Kind Pets, the shelter that she works at. Her empathy and love truly knows no bounds and she is so dedicated to giving the best life to the animals who haven’t had it easy. In fact, her most recent senior foster named Baby just got adopted into her Furever Home!

Kristen inspires everyone that she meets – myself especially. As my big sister, I have looked up to her my whole life and that is still the case to this day as twenty-somethings. A sister is a built in best friend and Kristen is always there for me whether I need a laugh, girl time, or to vent. Everything we do together is like an adventure to me – whether it be going to concerts, Taco Bell dates, or taking her daughter to the park to play. I am, honestly, the luckiest girl in the world to be able to not only call her my big sis but my BFF. 

Happy Birthday, Kristen!!

I love you!!!!!!!!! ❤

A Sunshiney Day

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A Sunshiney Day

Hi! I had a random day off this past week and it just so happened to be on the most glorious spring day with weather in the seventies. The only thing on my agenda other than writing was dropping off some laundry to my sister and, instead of going to her house, she suggested we meet at the park so my niece, Valerie, could play. This sounded like the perfect plan to me and I was counting down the hours until our meeting because I knew it would be fun!

In the greater Akron area in Ohio, there are countless places to enjoy the weather when it’s nice out like Metro Parks for hiking, lakes for swimming, and playgrounds for the little ones. My sister, Kristen, and I actually ended up taking Val Gal to one of the parks that we used to play at all the time when we were kids and it hit right in the nostalgia. With Valerie and Kristen’s senior foster dog, Baby, in tow we spent over an hour at the park running around, swinging, sliding, and teeter-tottering.

Being an aunt is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I treasure any time that I get to spend with my lil niece. I love watching my sister be the amazing mom that I knew she would be and we are both constantly in stitches together over Val and her “goofball” ways, as Kristen always says.

Just one hour in the park and sunshine with my sis, Val, and Baby put me in the best mood and it was such an awesome way to welcome the beautiful weather. Whenever I am feeling blue, I always remember that Val can say “Hi, TT” to me now and it instantly makes everything better. My sister and her daughter are my number one BFFs (And my mom, of course!) and I am so lucky to have them and am so thankful for the wonderful time we spent together at the park! ❤

How do you enjoy the outdoors in your area? What was your favorite thing on the playground when you were little? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Seahorses, Butterflies, & Toucans – Oh My!

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Seahorses, Butterflies, & Toucans – Oh My!

Howdy! Having a little niece and nephew is so fun and I love spoiling them both for birthdays and Christmas. My niece, Valerie, just turned two this past week and I had a blast online shopping with TJMaxx to purchase her prezzies. Among a Paw Patrol gardening kit and a sand castle table, I couldn’t resist buying my lil future fashionista some new summer dresses. Not only were the prices for these frocks cheaper than Target or Carter’s but they are, quite possibly, the cutest things that I have ever seen and I couldn’t not share them! Check it out:

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All I have to say when I clothes shop for Val Gal is “where was all of this stuff when I was a baby?!” because you know I stayed rockin that Osh Kosh B’Gosh twenty something years ago lol. I thought all of these dresses were so summery and sweet and Val loves animals big and small so the patterns will go over perfectly with her! In fact, one of her favorite things in the summer time is butterfly watching with her grandpa. 🙂

The denim blue butterfly dress by Nula Bug absolutely melted my heart when I saw it during my online shopping. The pink butterfly buttons?! Stop it! I also didn’t notice in the pictures of the dress online that it has pockets so my heart melted again as soon as it arrived in the mail.

I would never pay an extravagant price for clothes for my ever growing niece and nephew and felt comfortable with what I spent at TJs. Especially because I did all of this shopping during their winter clearance sale! Shopping during the transition of seasons is a sure fire way to save some money and TJMaxx updates their sale items frequently. This is always a good thing to keep in mind if you like to do birthday or holiday shopping early, like me.

Being an aunt is the best thing ever and the past two years have been so much brighter for me because of my niece and nephew. I sure wish time would slow down, though, it feels like just yesterday when they were both born! ❤

Which stores have the best seasonal clearance? Who is your favorite person to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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

Super Happy Fun Times

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Super Happy Fun Times

Hello!!! Last weekend was a wonderful one for me and, boy, did I need it. I had been feeling nothing short of blah for the past several weeks and now I know that the remedy for the blues is some snuggles, creating new holiday traditions, and Zoom dates to put a spring back in my step. Rinse and repeat for best results!

Last weekend, I was so happy because I got to babysit my sweet niece, Valerie, on Saturday night. I had been counting down the days because the last time I saw Val Gal was on Thanksgiving. Johnny and I were not able to participate in the holiday with my family and it was very hard seeing Val on the driveway and not being able to hold her. So, trust and believe, I was ready for all of the snugs.

Val and I had so much fun reading books, petting all of her animal friends (she loves their family pets!), playing Peek-A-Boo, and watching Trolls. Even though whenever I would sing along with the songs Val would go “NOOOOO” haha I didn’t realize I was that tone deaf! Being an aunt is the best thing ever and I am eagerly counting down the days until Christmas so I can spoil my niece and nephew rotten!

The weekend fun did not end there because on Sunday, I was able to Zoom with one of my dear friends, Scott. I have been a friend to him and his family for over six years now and I really miss being able to see them regularly and go out for coffee and lunch. Scott and I chatted for over an hour about anything and everything and it was so refreshing to gab, laugh, reminisce, and, of course, look forward to when it’s safe so we can all see each other again. ❤

Afterwards, Johnny and I ordered Pizza Hut pizza and settled in to watch his favorite holiday movie, The Muppets Christmas Carol. Believe it or not, I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen the full movie because when I was younger the part with Marley and Marley used to scare me SO bad (This humors Johnny to no end!). I am proud to say, I was able to get through that part without incident as an adult and we both enjoyed our afternoon viewing/pizza party so much. We decided that we should watch it every year along with Elf – even though Johnny fell asleep when we watched it!

It is so easy to be bummed out about the state of the world right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, sometimes, all it takes is a little holiday magic to get yourself back to baseline. I can attest to that firsthand. 🙂

What is your favorite holiday movie? How do you like to spoil your loved ones during the holiday season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: A Thanksgiving Stowaway Edition

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Sweet Surprises: A Thanksgiving Stowaway Edition

Hello!! Sadly, Johnny and I were not able to attend Thanksgiving with my family and it really, really sucked. It was so hard to visit my loved ones outside and not be able to hug them and enjoy the day together. It was especially difficult to not be able to hold my niece, Valerie, because she is my lil BFF and I have never not held her whenever I see her since she has been born.

My parents were nice enough to drop Thanksgiving dinner off on mine and Johnny’s doorstep and it wasn’t until the following day that I noticed a little stowaway on the bag they sent over:

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Valerie loves playing with stickers and her and my sister stuck this little guy from Trolls onto our to go bag. I didn’t notice it right away because it was on the backside of it and it made me so happy when I finally saw this “hi auntie” message from my niece.

The little things really do make the best sweet surprises. I wish I could have been there to hear Val say “uh oh” when one of her stickers ripped and I am so ready for Christmas so I can be there when her and her parents open all of her prezzies.

This Thanksgiving was straight up not a good time for me or Johnny and I am sharing these stories to help remind and encourage people to continue wearing their masks and social distance. The food, my sticker stowaway, and being with Johnny made the day not the worst but our Thanksgiving would have been so much better had we been able to celebrate traditionally.

Regardless, my sweet surprise from my niece and sister definitely helped perk me up. It is also a nice reminder that even the smallest gestures can have such a great impact. Be kind to everyone because you have no idea what they’re going through. Who knows, you might be helping make their bad day just that little bit better. 🙂

How did you safely celebrate Thanksgiving? What are you looking forward to as the year comes to a close? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah