Tag Archives: summer

Altar’d State Haul

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Altar’d State Haul

Hello everyone!! During my first trip to Summit Mall in a good two years, I had a wildly successful clothing haul at a new to me store called Altar’d State. I am seriously so obsessed with all of my purchases and I have been very eager to show all of you. I am just slightly more eager to wear all of them out and about! In Altar’d State, I tried on clothes that I never pictured myself wearing before. The kerchief top that you are about to see is, perhaps, the farthest stretch from something that I would normally wear and I felt proud of myself for even trying it on. The best part? I fell in love with the top immediately! Check it out:

While browsing in Altar’d State, I noticed a dress in the gingham and floral pattern of my new top and wasn’t crazy about it because it was just too much. I really wasn’t expecting to want to try the kerchief top on when I saw it tucked away on a hanging rack but I thought that it would be nice and cool in the summer and I loved the tie back. I don’t get to show off the tattoos on my back very often and I knew this top would display all of them nicely so I added it to my try on pile.

Originally, I didn’t have high hopes for my new top because I feared that I would be too exposed in it, especially as I have a larger bust. I was truly surprised when I liked it so much but there are so many reasons why this top works so well. Let’s start with the front of the shirt and its fit. The length of the material in the front actually shows no part of your stomach to leave a little something to the imagination! I was worried that the fabric might cling in an unflattering way but it hugged my body without feeling tight and that made me feel really comfortable, even as a bustier gal.

Another fear that I had, despite wanting to display my tattoos on my back, is if the tie back would leave me feeling too bare. However, the ties are long enough that you can make a nice, big bow which covered up the middle of my back almost completely, only leaving the top and bottom of my back exposed. After realizing everything that my kerchief top had working for it, all of my worries dissipated and I knew that it was coming home with me.

Like I said, I was proud of myself for even giving this top a try and the confidence boost that it gave me in the fitting room is how all clothing should make you feel. I loved the way that I looked in my top and it was exciting to have something so different work so perfectly. I couldn’t wait to get home to show it to Johnny and I am itching to wear my purchase during our next date day!

What is a piece of clothing that makes you feel confident? How are you upgrading your summer wardrobe? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Altar’d State Haul

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Altar’d State Haul

Hi!! I had to run to Summit Mall this past week to pick up a few odds and ends, which was my first visit to the mall since before the pandemic. I finally upped my summer wardrobe game and I would say my outing was hugely successful – primarily in the new(ish) store, Altar’d State. I really had no intention of stopping in the store, but the window displays were just so cute that I had to pop in and see what I could find.

The question is, what didn’t I find? I walked out of Altar’d State with a new dress, two tops, and two skirts and I have every intention of shopping there again. If not in store, then definitely online as I now know my sizes there. I can’t wait to show all of you the purchases from my haul and there is no better place to start than with my favorite find. Let’s get to it:

Upon entering Altar’d State, the first thing that I noticed was this adorable lavender skirt and top set and I just had to try it on. I am usually not one for matching sets but this one spoke to me and I thought it would be so sweet whether paired or mixed and matched this summer. Originally, I only tried the skirt on because I wasn’t sure about the color but as soon as I slipped it on, I had to ask one of the darling employees to bring me the top too because I fell in love immediately. 

What I like the most about this matching set is that, despite it being form fitting, it manages to not look overly sexy because of the pastel hue and floral pattern. The skirt also sat high enough on my waist that not a lot of stomach could be seen even with the cropped top. This made me feel completely comfortable as only my arms and legs from the knee down were exposed and I have never felt more like Cher from Clueless than in the dressing room of Altar’d State!

I know for a fact that this set will be one of my go to summer outfits and it felt awesome to try and buy something that I had never worn anything like before. As soon as I left the mall, I called my sister asking when she can go back to Summit Mall with me because I could have stayed there shopping all day. I have been looking forward to shopping for so long throughout the pandemic and being able to treat myself to lots of pretty new clothes made the long wait one hundred and fifty percent worth it. ❤

What are your summer wardrobe must haves? How do you rock a paired set outfit? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Summertime Q & A

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Summertime Q & A

Hi! In Akron, Ohio it has been nonstop rain day after day and I am so over it! The grey, chilly days have left me yearning for summertime weather and fun – especially after my family enjoyed a beautiful preview of what could be when we all went to the zoo together two weekends ago. To put myself into a sunny state of mind as the rain pours down on my apartment skylight, I decided to do a little summertime Q & A so let’s get to it:

What is your ideal weather in the summer? Although I am really looking forward to summertime, I absolutely hate super hot weather. In Lil Red’s perfect world, it would be seventy or so degrees and sunny all season long with a couple of eighty degree days peppered in for swimming.

What are you most looking forward to this summer? My wedding, of course! And Johnny and I share June birthdays exactly one week apart from each other so it’s fun to have combined celebrations for our big days. While there are, obviously, major events that I am looking forward to, I also can’t wait to be more active in the community again now that Johnny and I are both fully vaccinated. His band will begin playing their first outdoor shows in well over a year, which is so exciting!

Where is your dream summer vacation destination? As mentioned before, really hot weather is not my bag at all so a location where it’s a bit cooler would be ideal for me. I would skip the sandy beaches and head for New England. I loved the mild temperatures and the scenic terrain when my family visited Vermont and New Hampshire in my youth.

You won a contest to select three headliners for a music festival. Who are you picking? Well, my whole family was supposed to see the Rolling Stones last year so they would definitely be on the list so Johnny could finally see them live. Then, I would pick Cardi B to keep the party going followed by AFI so we could all have a good cry afterwards.

Do you have a summertime wardrobe staple? Can we all just agree that shaving our legs constantly is such a hassle? Lol, that’s why I love maxi skirts and dresses during the warm weather! They are cute, cool, and cover up my legs when I am too lazy to shave. 😀

Favorite warm weather outdoor activities? Let’s see, I enjoy going for hikes. I like farmers markets and outdoor shopping centers. Zoos and swimming are also always fun. One of the things I love the best during the warm weather is playing outside with my niece with bubbles and sidewalk chalk. There are also a lot of wonderful parks in my area for her to explore too!

Favorite summer memory? One of the best family vacations that we ever took was, easily, Universal Studios in Florida and I often think back to that trip and how much fun we had. I would love to go back!!

How would you answer any of the above questions? Do you have any exciting plans this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Smile!

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Smile!

Hi!! Johnny and I have a lot to smile about and I am so excited for all of our upcoming adventures. We recently got fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine and are looking forward to a much more active summer than last year! We also recently got engaged and have really been enjoying planning our nuptials. Our wedding will be short, sweet, and small so the ceremony didn’t need much thought but our outfits most definitely did! We have even begun making plans for our honeymoon, hopefully, next year. 😀

Getting vaccinated has lifted our cloud of constant anxiety significantly and while we will always err on the side of caution, it has felt so good to do things we never would have considered at the start of the pandemic. For example, when my brother and his family came to visit from Georgia, we all went to the zoo and ate at a restaurant. That was mine and Johnny’s first big outing since March nineteenth of last year and it was a blast. Spending time in public with my whole family is what I have been waiting for for so long and not experiencing crippling fear the whole time was the cherry on top!

Returning to some semblance of normal has felt like coming home after a long vacation. What never will be normal, however, is my fiance’s process when it comes to taking selfies with me! Lol, I swear getting a regular, smiling picture with Johnny can be like pulling teeth but it always makes me laugh until we snap just the right pic:

^^^ He loves me! 😀

Every day with Johnny is the best day and I feel so thankful for all of the wonderful things we have to smile about. ❤

What are you looking forward to this summer? What can always make you smile? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Great Ways To Make The Most Of A ‘Hopefully More Free’ Summer

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Great Ways To Make The Most Of A ‘Hopefully More Free’ Summer

We need not begin with the regular preamble speaking about how tough and strange the last year has been, and how excited many of us are to receive a semblance of normal, touch wood, this upcoming summer. You already know every viewpoint on the topic, and have likely expressed some yourself.

However, what we can suggest is a few great ways to make the most of this summer provided you have the space and the freedom to do so. Many of us are dying to see our friends again, and simply cannot wait to blow off some steam and socialize as we really need to. It’s as simple as that. But how can we make sure we make the most of it without feeling like a child in a candy store? After all, when we go from being able to do almost nothing to having every opportunity open up again, choosing one thing, by implication, prevents us from choosing everything else.

That can leave us anxious.

In this guide, we’ll discuss a few measures that you can take to make the most of this summer at your own worthwhile pace. Let’s get started:

Join A Summer Sports Team:

A summer sports team can provide a fun challenge for obvious reasons, but they can also help us feel more connected to other people and meet new folks alike. For this reason, volunteering for a team in your local community, donning rugby training wear to help you curate your own team, or simply spending time joining a new martial arts club could be a good idea, and may even help you connect with a new discipline you never knew you needed.

Try A New Cuisine:

Trying a new cuisine may seem like something you can do any time, and it can. However, there’s nothing quite like the blossoming of the warmer seasons to get food ‘in season’ and to support the return of local businesses opening with confidence. Perhaps you could order authentic ingredients that help you make the most of this cuisine type too or you could spend some time going on a restaurant tour with a friend. There’s nothing better for bonding than eating with someone, particularly after a long absence from one another.

Start Documenting Your Travels:

Documenting your travels can be an excellent way of inspiring you to go further afield, try something new, or to simply note down your thoughts about being allowed to travel around the world again (or within your country’s borders). Documenting your travels in this nature could be aided by recording your days with your mobile phone, writing a blog on a website, or in simply making a scrapbook or journal of your thoughts throughout the day. Little efforts like this help you take some time for you and may even help you come to insights you weren’t expecting.

With this advice, we hope you can make the most of a free summer and, most importantly, to enjoy it through and through.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Do Right By Your Dog This Summer

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Do Right By Your Dog This Summer

The summer is approaching and it’s time for you and your dog to head out and find some new horizons to explore. It’s important, however, to look after your dog while you do this and don’t waste the chance to teach them new things. Below is some advice on how to do right by your dog this summer:

Keep your dog cool:

In some places the summer can get very warm. It can even cause tarmac to melt so imagine how it must feel on your dog’s paws! Add to this the warm furry coat your dog has and there is a recipe for an uncomfortable and potentially hazardous time. You need to look after your dog in the summer so they don’t overheat. Time their walks so they aren’t in the heat of the day and provide them with plenty of water and shade through the afternoon.

Look after their health:

During the hot weather your dog’s eyes might dry out and become irritated. This can happen when they lay in the sun for long periods, perhaps in the backyard or the park. Eye irritation will cause your dog some discomfort and they might whine. To remedy this, try some eye drops for dogs or cats, these are made with distilled water and colloidal silver to flush out your dog’s eyes and give them a clearness and ease that was missing before. Using these eye drops through the summer will keep their eyes moist and them comfortable.

Make your garden dog friendly:

During the summer, your dog will enjoy going to new places for walks. They will love running around at the beach and exploring the forest. Equally, they will want to explore your back garden and make it their home territory over the summer months. Make sure it’s dog friendly. The first thing to do is to check that all of your fences are secure. Also inspect your dog for fleas and mites regularly. Check your plants, as well, to make sure none of them are poisonous to dogs.

Teach them new things:

The summer is an ideal opportunity to teach your dog some new tricks or some new manners. You will be going to new and exciting places for your dog and they will want to explore, but you need to make sure they don’t interrupt other people and are friendly to other dogs. Teach your dog new things such as recall, walking nicely on the lead, and how to meet other dogs. If your dog is in a playful mood why not teach them a new trick or two?

Enrich their life:

Some dogs are smarter than others but all of them have some level of intelligence and a need for mental stimulation as well as physical. The summer is an excellent time to stimulate your dog’s mind with new activities and new training. Try to vary the walks you take your dogs on, otherwise they will start to get bored. Your dog needs new smells and stimulation to keep them active and happy.

Make the dog days of summer the best ever for you and your pup with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Freepik

The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

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The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

It feels like it’s been a long and cold winter. Indeed, it probably feels even longer and colder than it has been because fun and good times have been in short supply thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and other global issues. However, if there’s one thing that we should all remember, it’s that winter doesn’t last forever. In the not too distant future, we’ll all be able to enjoy all of the pleasures that can come from spending time in the sunshine with friends and family.

And what’s the best way to enjoy these moments? By having a BBQ! In this post, we’ll run through some tried and tested tips that will make you the host with the most:

Prepare‌ ‌the‌ ‌Yard‌:

The food will take center stage, but it’s important to remember that the yard will provide the backdrop for the BBQ. As such, it’s worthwhile getting it into shape beforehand. There are numerous ways to do this. A little bit of landscaping will go a long way, so there’s no need to go overboard and create an oasis (unless you want to). The most important aspect will be to have plenty of comfortable seating options and, if possible, to make the yard feel private.

Simple‌ ‌and‌ ‌Delicious‌ ‌Recipes‌:

People are going to judge the quality of the BBQ by the overall atmosphere of the day, but there’s no avoiding the fact that the quality of the food is important, too. The good thing about BBQs is that even the simple classics will do the trick. Hamburgers and hot dogs are the way to go! Just make sure that it’s high-quality meat. Don’t forget dessert, too; there are plenty of easy fruit salad recipes that are perfect for summer afternoons. If you don’t want to be responsible for all the food, then you can ask your guests to bring some with them – if everyone brings something small, then everyone will eat well.

Remember the Drinks:

What’s a BBQ without drinks? All meals should have drinks by their side, but it becomes even more important for BBQs since it’s usually so hot out. While you can provide the basics, such as soda, beer, and wine, it’s also fun to push the boat out a little. Could you make some homemade lemonade or create a cocktail station where people can make their own colorful and delicious drinks?

Bring the Music:

BBQs are all about sinking into all of the good times that summer can bring. So do your best to create a fun and light atmosphere, one that allows people to escape the worries of everyday life. The best ways to do this are to play a killer summer playlist and to provide some games. If you’ve got some reggae or otherwise good-vibe music on the stereo, and people can play twister or other fun yard games, then your BBQ will be a hit.

Enjoy the weather, food, and good company with the tips above to make your BBQ the best on the block!

Featured Image By: Pexels

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

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.

Updating Your Skin Care Routine For Summer

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Updating Your Skin Care Routine For Summer

Hello! Just like your wardrobe needs updated come the warm weather, your skin care routine will need a few changes too to keep you looking your best. Heavy products for dry skin in the winter can cause oiliness and breakouts when it’s really hot out so light but effective products are the name of the game when it comes to summer skin care. Today, we are going to look at a few simple changes you can make to your routine for radiant skin all summer long:

Products With SPF:

Skin care products with SPF in it should be used all year round but it is especially important in the summer time – of course! There are plenty of moisturizers, serums, lotions, and chapsticks with SPF that will help protect your skin in the sunshine. Incorporating SPF into your skin care routine is also a great hack if, like me, you hate putting on sunscreen. While we all are excited to soak up the sun after a long winter, we must do so safely and using SPF products will better protect you from harmful UV rays that can cause burns and cancer.

Lighter Moisturizer:

As mentioned above, you will want to switch to a lighter moisturizer during the warm weather to prevent oiliness and clogged pores. We all know how uncomfortable it is when a product just feels greasy in the summer so opt for a gel moisturizer, instead. A gel moisturizer absorbs quickly while still being super hydrating which will keep your skin from feeling weighed down by heavy products.

Don’t forget to switch out any cream based cleansers too! Rather, go for a gel base again. I, personally, love the Clean & Clear Hydrating Facial Cleanser. It’s invigorating, smells amazing, oil free, and leaves my skin feeling so clean without the dried out sensation.

Facial Scrub:

I am sure we all plan on being outside as often as we can to enjoy the warm weather and while it will be wonderful, there is so much that can clog up your pores in the summer. Dirt, grime, and sweat can all lead to clogged pores which, in turn, can cause breakouts. During the summer, I highly recommend incorporating a facial scrub into your skin care routine to use a few times throughout the week. Not only will it help rid yourself of any remaining dry winter skin but it will also clear up the gunk that gathers in your pores.

Making the above changes in your skin care routine will keep your skin clear and healthy all summer long. You can’t go wrong with lighter products that offer SPF!

How does your skin care routine change with the seasons? What is your favorite skin care brand? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah