Tag Archives: travel

Kingwood Center Gardens Pics Pt. 2

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Kingwood Center Gardens Pics Pt. 2

Hello! Today, we are going to take a look at my last bunch of pictures from the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, Ohio. The estate and botanical gardens of Charles Kelley King was an absolute delight to explore with my family and I am itching to go back. I am also looking forward to going to the Cleveland botanical gardens with my husband since he had to work the day we went to Kingwood. πŸ™‚ Let’s get to it:

While it was so fun to walk through the grounds of the Kelley estate with my family, my favorite part of the day actually happened indoors. About halfway through the botanical gardens is an expertly placed children’s play center so the little ones can cool off and have quiet time after a lot of walking. We took a pit stop there with my nephew and I had the best time playing with stacking blocks and stuffed frogs with him. Due to the pandemic, it was hard to see my brother and his family who live out of state so I I really cherished getting to have some TT time with him. ❀

Another cool part of the botanical gardens is the Storybook Trail. Every twenty feet or so on this wooded path, there is a display of a page from a children’s book. As we walked the trail, my brother and I took turns reading about a baby bat named Chiro and that was also special to me since I have never got to read a story to my lil nephew before. Even though he won’t remember our day at the Kingwood Center Gardens, I will for forever. It was the best. πŸ™‚

Are there any botanical gardens in your area? 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

Kingwood Center Gardens Pics Pt. 1

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Kingwood Center Gardens Pics Pt. 1

Hi! This past Friday, my family and I enjoyed exploring the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, Ohio. I had no idea that this beautiful property existed and it definitely didn’t feel like I was in Ohio when I was there – more like a magic fairy garden! The greenery, flowers, and fountains at the botanical gardens were simply stunning and now that I know it’s only a mere hour away from me, I have a feeling I’ll be going back there again really soon.

The pictures below don’t do any justice to the beauty of the Kingwood Center Gardens but here they are! Check back in tomorrow for the rest. πŸ˜€

We were surprised by rain showers when visiting the gardens and, normally, I hate to get caught in the rain. But, in this case, the rain didn’t put a damper on my family outing at all. In fact, I think it made it even better! Seeing the raindrops dance over the flowers and leaves only added to the storybook vibes the property gave me. I also loved being able to see my nephew splash in the puddles. ❀

Ironically, the sun came out just as we were all getting in our cars to go home but I wouldn’t trade our rainy day at the Kingwood Center Gardens for anything. Rain or shine, I can’t wait to go back again!

What is your favorite fairy tale? Do you have a favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Weekend Road Trip

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Weekend Road Trip

Hello! Given the pandemic, if you would have told me half a year ago that this past weekend Johnny and I would finally get to see some live music, I would have said “no way”. But, thanks to being fully vaccinated, we had that opportunity and took a road trip to Marietta to see our friends in Jake Dunn & The Blackbirds perform. This was our first big outing since we were in Marietta for Valentine’s Day a month prior to the pandemic striking in 2020 and it couldn’t have been better.

When Johnny asked if we could make this weekend road trip happen, I jumped on the opportunity. We had such an awesome time in Marietta for Valentine’s Day and I was eager to go back – hell, go anywhere with my husband. After fueling up with Taco Bell and candy, we hit the road and arrived just in time on Saturday for Jake Dunn & The Blackbirds to perform in an outdoor show. As per ushe, they were fabulous and we actually saw them play the last time we were in the area. Not to mention how fun it was to all hang out again!

Once their show was over, we headed to the Adelphia which is a hotel and music venue to see a honky tonk band play. It was an absolute blast and it felt just like when Johnny and I first started dating and were at different shows almost every weekend. Reuniting with old friends and meeting new ones all to the tune of live music made for a perfect day and I can’t wait for a whole lot more of that in the future. ❀

Have you been on a road trip recently? Where did you go? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Clothing Items Every Packing List Needs

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4 Clothing Items Every Packing List Needs

Everybody enjoys a good trip. However, selecting the ideal clothing items to take on your vaca without filling up several suitcases can be a daunting task. Although the pieces of clothing you pack for a trip are determined by the location and the season in which you travel, there are a few must-haves that you should include in your suitcase every time you are packing for a getaway:

Tops:

It is essential to include a couple of casual shirts for effortless outfits, despite your destination. Personalized t shirts work well with both skirts and pants, and they are unlikely to take up a lot of space in your suitcase.

Another travel must-have is a lightweight sweater. They are versatile because they can work well from day to night, ensuring that you are warm enough in cold conditions and comfortable when the weather gets hot. Make sure that you also throw in a couple of versatile blouses that you can wear on a special occasion during the trip, such as late-night rooftop drinks or an evening out.

Shoes:

The shoes you bring while traveling can determine your ability to explore the location of your trip. It is, therefore, essential to select wisely while packing. Carry a pair of chic sneakers when you travel to a destination where you are likely to walk a lot. Sporty sandals are a great alternative if you are exploring a warm area. Although they are currently not the trendiest item, they look good with anything from dresses, jeans or midi skirts, and are ridiculously comfortable.

If you plan on having a few dinners or brunches during your trip, it is advisable to carry a pair of walkable and comfortable block heels to pair with your sundress or some low wedges. Consider selecting the shoes in nude for additional versatility.

Bottoms:

Jeans can always work well as the ideal bottoms wherever you go. Carry a lightweight stretchy piece for optimal comfort and versatility. Remember that you might be sitting and walking a lot as you travel, and non-stretch jeans might make your experience more tiring and less enjoyable.

A great alternative to jeans is a chic midi skirt which you can wear with sneakers during the day or sandals, boots, or heels at night. It is also easy to layer to make it suitable for all seasons. Select a neutral color that can work well with various colors and prints of tops.

Another excellent option for bottoms is leggings, especially if your trip involves a lot of activity. Pack ones with a sleek look and comfortable material. Black leggings can allow for more versatility, and they are great to wear when you are traveling by air.

Some Comfortable Underwear:

While some lace panties or thongs may be the everyday preference that makes you feel confident and sexy, it is advisable to opt for cotton underwear as you travel. Cotton is a soft and highly absorbent material that can easily absorb sweat in warm conditions and keep you warm enough when it is cold. Carry enough pieces to sustain you throughout the trip so you don’t run out!

Packing for a trip can be exciting yet daunting. Include the above essential clothing items before you throw in some of your wardrobe favorites for the trip!

Featured Image By: Pexels

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

Dry Ice Drinks

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Dry Ice Drinks

Hi! This past Saturday, Johnny and I had a little date day and it was so much fun! We visited a few local specialty game shops to add to our growing board game collection, had drinks in our own section of the patio at the Cashmere Cricket, and then returned home and sat on our balcony while Johnny played guitar and sang. It was an absolute blast and actually reminded me so much of our engagement day. In fact, I asked Johnny when we were walking to the patio of the Cricket if we were going to get engaged again!

The Cashmere Cricket is, in my opinion, the best bar in my neck of the woods. It is my absolute favorite and is where Johnny and I had our first date and also where we went to celebrate after we got engaged. When our post proposal drinks arrived, we were shocked and amazed because they were bubbling and smoking like a potion and we learned that on Saturdays, the Cricket makes their drinks with dry ice in them.

Needless to say, we were very excited for “Dry Ice Saturday” as the bartender called it and it was so nice to enjoy the beautiful spring weather during a safe outing with my fiance! Check out our Dry Ice Drinks and tell me that isn’t the coolest thing you’ve ever seen:

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Now, normally, I am not one to post about alcohol but I just had to showcase this specialty from the Cashmere Cricket because it is so unique. Johnny had a drink called The Roosevelt while I got my second favorite cocktail called Lavender Fizz. My ultimate favorite will always be their Strawberry Lemon Drop martini, though! Our drinks were absolutely delicious and, although the prices are a bit steep there, it is well worth it for the quality of the beverages, the excellent service, pleasant atmosphere, and COVID safety standards. Not to mention that on Saturdays, your drinks will put on a show lol.Β 

When I think about how I would plan a day for a visiting friend who has never been to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio it goes as follows: Mani/pedis at Elysian Nails, shopping at TJMaxx, Taco Bell for dinner, and ending with cocktails at the Cashmere Cricket. That sounds like the perfect day to me and I stand by this statement even more after mine and Johnny’s past two outings on the Cricket patio. All of the bartenders were so sweet to remember our engagement and it was fun to show them my newly resized ring that was practically falling off two weeks ago!

Dry Ice Saturday was another huge success and I honestly had butterflies being there with Johnny again. Johnny and I were at the Cashmere Cricket on two of the happiest days of my life and it is always going to be special to us. If you are ever in the area, I cannot recommend this cool little bar enough – I think you’ll be just as smitten with it as I am.

What is your favorite local bar or restaurant like? Where is a special place for you and your significant other? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Enjoying A Taste Of Travel While Stuck At Home

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Enjoying A Taste Of Travel While Stuck At Home

Most of us haven’t seen much beyond our own four walls since last March; and keeping ourselves occupied at home can be a real challenge after all this time. If you are itching to travel the world once more and explore your favorite destinations, consider trying some of these simple ways to get a taste of travel even when you are stuck at home in lock down:

Change your TV screen:

One super simple way to bring a taste of the tropics to your home is to change the screensaver on your TV or go into YouTube and search tropical beaches. If you have a large TV mounted on the wall; you can change the background to a beautiful scene and then have a family night with food and drink while feeling like you are somewhere else.

Have a themed game night:

Game nights are the best way to pass the time during lock down – and today we want to show you how to make your game night travel themed. You can buy a jigsaw puzzle of Washington, a monopoly board of a far off land, and consider a quiz that is travel themed. Bring all of your favorite destinations into your home through games and activities and enjoy time with your family this weekend.

Make some exotic cocktails:

If you long to be able to drink a Pina Colada on the beach once more; you can still make this happen at home. Bring a taste of your favorite holiday back home by making tropical cocktails this weekend. There are so many fun combinations to try and you can even create your own signature drink!

Enjoy cooking different cuisines:

Cooking different cuisines can be a brilliant way to transport your taste buds across the world and make you feel like you are back in that Greek restaurant or street cart in Thailand once more. Consider your favorite dishes from holidays in the past and find recipes for them online. Cook these dishes at home and enjoy taking your taste buds on a journey across the world for a little while. You can even decorate the table and the house to suit your theme and have a little dinner party with your family.

“Travel” on a virtual tour:

One great way to enjoy travel without traveling is to join a virtual tour of a city or landscape that you love. A lot of places are offering virtual tours at the moment instead of real visitors and it will allow you to immerse yourself in another place. Many museums and zoos are also offering this service and it will allow you to have some virtual days out with your family while tucked safely away at home.

Use these ideas to take yourself on a getaway this weekend – all from the comfort of your home!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Lil Red’s Book Club: Miss Benson’s Beetle By Rachel Joyce Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Miss Benson’s Beetle By Rachel Joyce Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing the newest book by Rachel Joyce called Miss Benson’s Beetle. I am a huge fan of Rachel Joyce, as she authored one of my favorite books, The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry, so I was very excited to read Miss Benson’s Beetle. Like Harold Fry, it was nothing short of delightful and told the tale of an unlikely duo going on a big adventure. So, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

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Marjory Benson is a homely woman living in 1950s Britain with a large stature, no remaining family, or any meaningful relationships. She is a teacher of domestic sciences and, more often than not, is the subject of cruel jokes from her students. One day, after a particularly nasty cartoon rendition of her was passed throughout her class, she had enough and marched (Rather, limped) right out of the school. It was a “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment and she was ready for an adventure.

As a child and young adult, Marjory had a fascination with collecting beetles, which sprang from looking through a book of undiscovered creatures with her father. This book included the Golden Beetle that is supposedly found in New Caledonia and it has never left the back of her mind since. Now unemployed, Marjory decides that this is her time to travel across the world, find the beetle, and name it after her father.

Of course, this will be no easy feat and Marjory decided that she needed an assistant to accompany her on her search. Her interviews with potential candidates left a lot to be desired and, in the end, Marjory was stuck with the last option she wanted to go with – a young, flashy woman by the name of Enid Pretty. Enid is everything that Marjory isn’t. She’s talkative, outgoing, fashion forward, and an instant annoyance to Marjory. Despite their differences, Marjory needs an assistant and Enid joins her on the extensive traveling from Britain all the way to the Pacific island of New Caledonia.

Little does Marjory know, her assistant is bringing a lot of baggage along with her and I’m not talking about the traveling kind. Well, that too, actually, considering Enid brought countless suitcases with her! Enid is a woman on the run and a trip across the world is her perfect getaway. Later, in their journey, Enid is named one of Britain’s Most Wanted Criminals with Marjory wanted for association. Can the women continue to evade the law, find the beetle, and salvage some form of friendship? Read Miss Benson’s Beetle and find out!

It has been a long while since I read a book that I would consider “light” as I am drawn to mysteries and psychological thrillers and Miss Benson’s Beetle was like a breath of fresh air. It was such fun to join the odd couple of Marjory and Enid on their adventure and I felt eager to read it every day. From their travels on boats, trains, and a stolen Jeep to them trekking through the New Caledonia rain forests for an undiscovered beetle, I felt like I was with them every step of the way. I laughed when Enid said something silly, cried for their hardships, and felt my heart pounding every time they came in contact with the police.

I loved this book because, at the end of the day, it was a testament to the power of friendship no matter how unlikely. It also gave Marjory Benson, a woman who spent her life wishing she was invisible, a chance in the spotlight. All she needed was the help of Enid to coax her shine out of her. Watching Marjory transform into a confident woman while Enid matured through Marjory’s guidance was a joy. I was rooting for their success the whole time and I just know that you will too.

Miss Benson’s Beetle was one of the best feel good books I’ve read in years and I can’t recommend it enough. I am going to rate it with the prestigious ten out of ten stars for brilliant characters, a unique story line, and the wonderfully descriptive writing of Rachel Joyce. I enjoyed it so much that I wouldn’t mind reading it again and I literally just finished it!

What are you currently reading? Which book should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

DoorDash Deliciousness

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DoorDash Deliciousness

Hello! Sometimes, you just need a treat and, with the stress of my job, I know that better than most. Whether this be stopping at Starbucks on your way to work, ordering a little something online, or taking a luxurious bubble bath, it’s important to do what you can to help put the pep back in your step. In my case, I decided to order myself dinner from my favorite Indian restaurant, The Saffron Patch.

Johnny has absolutely no desire to try Indian food while I, on the other hand, LOVE it. And, as a strict vegetarian it is so nice to have tons of options on The Saffron Patch’s menu. Thanks to DoorDash, I was able to indulge my never ending craving for Indian food and I got a great deal for it, to boot! Check it out:

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DoorDash is awesome because you get free deliveries for your first month of using the service. Not only that, but I also got twenty percent off of my order and, in total, I saved close to eight dollars. For forty dollars, I was able to get my favorite dishes of Vegetable Biryani with cucumber Raita, Malai Kofta with saffron rice, and garlic Naan as well as provide a healthy tip. I thought this was a steal, especially since the servings are huge because it is family style.

I always say that if I had a visit from someone who has never been to good ol’ Akron, Ohio that we would go to TJMaxx and The Saffron Patch and I still stand by that statement. It has been ages since I ordered from my favorite restaurant and it was even better than I remember it being. The Biryani was completely loaded with huge pieces of carrots, potatoes, peppers, and cauliflower while the sauce in the Malai Kofta was rich and the balls of lentils and veggies were tender. The Naan was buttery and had SO. Much. Garlic. – Just how I like it!

Like I said, it had been a long while since I had Indian food and I normally order a level three for spiciness which would be considered Medium Hot. I decided to just order a level two of Medium to be safe since I was having the food delivered and I’m glad I did because it was hot! This was no matter, though, because the cucumber Raita helped dissipate the spiciness and it was so delicious when mixed with all of my dishes.

I couldn’t have asked for a better meal if I tried. Or, should I say meals? Lol, since Johnny doesn’t eat Indian food, I had all of the leftovers to myself and it lasted me a good five days. So not complaining!! πŸ˜€

What is your favorite restaurant? How do you treat yourself? 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