Tag Archives: video chat

Virtual Game Night: Planning The Ultimate Night In

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Virtual Game Night: Planning The Ultimate Night In

Right now, with the state of the world and the pandemic that continues to rage around us, it’s not possible to see our friends and family as much as we might like. Life is complicated, things are complex, and it’s difficult to spend as much time with those we care about the most, which can leave you craving social interaction in a normal way. Enter Zoom, FaceTime, and every other video chat app that’s taken the world by storm.

These video chatting apps have made virtual get togethers with friends and loved ones doable, and have meant that while we cannot be physically close, we can still spend time with those who mean the most to us, which is amazing. If you’re getting bored of virtual quizzes, then perhaps you might like to plan a virtual game night for you and a group of your friends. The great thing about virtual game nights is that they’re fairly easy to organize and can be a lot of fun for everyone involved.

Wondering what it takes to plan the perfect virtual game night? Below are a few tips and ideas for how you can get started:

Do your research:

A great way to make planning a virtual games night a little easier is to take the time to do your research to make your night a success. You don’t want your event to be stale or boring so that everyone has a great time from start to finish. Resources like Pinterest have lots of ideas available, so it might be worth taking the time to have a browse of those for inspiration as well as finding out everyone’s favorite games to possibly incorporate.

Send out kits to everyone:

Don’t just rely on technology to make your game night amazing, get creative with the games that you play. Yes, utilizing resources like Jackbox TV which can be played via smartphones is a great idea, as there are various digital games to choose from, but it’s always fun to try something different. If you plan on organizing a more traditional game, make sure to send out kits along with dice from skullsplitterdice.com for everyone to use during the evening. Make the kits fun and exciting; you could even opt to theme them if you’re having a themed games night, such as a murder mystery event. The more creative you can be, the better.

Incorporate drinks and snacks:

Don’t forget to incorporate drinks and snacks into your games night, just like you would have on a face-to-face hang out. Send off snack packs to all of your guests and if you really want to go all out, incorporate the ingredients to a signature cocktail for everyone to enjoy.

Seeing your friends and family over the computer screen is not the same as real life but it’s sure better than not seeing them at all! A weekly or monthly virtual game night will be the perfect way to keep in touch until it’s safer to meet in person.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Pandemic Worthy New Year’s Resolutions

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Pandemic Worthy New Year’s Resolutions

Hello! I, personally, never make New Year’s Resolutions. But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t help you come up with yours! I’m sure it feels difficult to set goals when leaving the house isn’t the best option so how about some ideas that you can accomplish from the comfort of home? Like the following:

Doing workout videos:

If losing weight is one of your goals, then there are a plethora of work out videos online that you can do from your living room. From yoga and Zumba to simple stretches, there is sure to be something that works for you. Maybe some of the trainers at your local gym even have classes recorded! Start with one or two classes a week and continue adding on from there once you feel ready. Hey, just one half hour class is an awesome achievement if it’s something you’re not used to. And Netflix isn’t going anywhere, I promise. 🙂

Caring for indoor plants:

If you want to improve on your green thumb, try caring for some indoor plants until it gets warm enough to garden outdoors. Not only will they beautify your space but they will help clean the air as well as give you something productive to do. Check out Pinterest and create a photo worthy succulent garden. Or grow some herbs indoors to use while you test out new recipes. It feels good to take care of a plant and help it grow and it will be exciting to track its progress every day.

Scheduled video chats:

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that family and friends do not get to see each other as often as before. If this is something that you have been down about, then pencil in scheduled video chats with those you miss. It is the next best thing to hanging out in real life and it feels nice to have something to look forward to marked in your calendar. I live for my FaceTime dates with my besties and this reminds me that I have to schedule some calls, myself!

Fostering/adopting a pet:

If you have always wanted a furry, scaley, or feathery friend to keep you company, then there is no better time than the present – especially if you are working from home. Do your research and visit a local animal shelter or rescue organization for your new best friend. If you are not ready for the full time commitment of a new pet, then fostering is also a great and much appreciated option.

If you love animals but cannot commit to having a pet, you can also help local shelters by providing old blankets or towels, food, and toys. Organize a community drive and help make a difference.

Work on a new/old hobby:

As always, the New Year is the best time to learn a new hobby or get reacquainted with an old one. Set aside a half hour every day or few days to work on a hobby that is fun for you. It’s impossible to be good at something overnight but the improvements that you will make with steady practice will help motivate you to keep working at it. Learn a new language, paint that picture from a tutorial, or try your hand at Photoshop. Practice makes perfect and by 2022 you will be amazed at how far you’ve come!

Get inspired with the tips above and carve out some time at home to begin working on your goals!

What are your resolutions for 2021? Have you been sticking to them so far? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Gemini Twin Edition

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Holiday Haul: Gemini Twin Edition

Hellooo everyone! I hope all of you enjoyed happiness and safety throughout this holiday season and it has been a crazy one, hasn’t it? In fact, it has just been a crazy ass year in general, lol. A lot of people had to get used to video chatting in 2020 but my sweet best friend, Kate (Genius author of Live In The Nautical), and I have been hip to it for a good long while. As we both live in different states, all of our hang outs for the past several years (aside from one real life meeting) have taken place on video chat.

On a normal year, I would go crazy without Kate. But, in 2020, I know that I would have gone certifiably insane! I absolutely live for when we can spend an evening gabbing away and it is so refreshing to have that time with her, especially since I have been limited to my apartment and work since March. Kate and I met through the blogosphere and became fast friends through our passions of writing, figure skating, fashion, and Harry Potter! I simply could not imagine my life and enjoying our very close June birthdays without her.

Birthdays and Christmas with Kate as a friend is quite possibly the most exciting thing ever. I thought that I was a great gift giver but DAMN, lol Kate knocked it out of the park this year with the literal BEST gift that I have ever received. Check it out:

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Kate is the queen of customized gifts and I feel spoiled rotten. I have never once opened a gift that was so perfectly tailored to yours truly. The beautiful ice skate adorned card was a delight in itself and I love that she treated me to my own mini bottle of vino because, more often than not, I always have a glass handy when we are video chatting. How can you have girl talk without it?!

Just when I thought that things couldn’t get any better, I unwrapped the painting and coffee mug with my likeness and clutched my pearls. The first thing I thought about when I saw the painting was when Kate and I ice skated together at Rockefeller Center. The second thing I thought was that I looked FIRE! Haha, both of these customized pieces capture a different part of my personality from glam skater girl to constantly needs to be caffeinated blogger. And each with the poise of a Disney Princess, no less.

I feel so incredibly thankful to have received the most amazing gifts from the most amazing friend. These presents made me feel known, understood, and so loved. Thank you, Kate. You are an angel! ❤

What is the best gift that you have ever received? How do you personalize presents? 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

FaceTime Fun

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FaceTime Fun

Hi! This seems like a resounding theme on all of my posts but in my neck of the woods, we are currently in threat level PURPLE for COVID-19. Not to be confused with Threat Level: Midnight from The Office. Those of us that get the severity of COVID and are taking it extremely seriously are hunkered down hardcore right now. Johnny and I have not seen any of our friends in at least a month at this point and it’s lonely and it sucks. I think I would honestly go crazy if I didn’t have my Johnny with me and, thankfully, I’ve had technology on my side too.

I have become a FaceTime/Skype/Zoom/phone call addict so that I can still keep in touch with my nearest and dearest. I love having scheduled chit chat “dates” and it gives me something to look forward to. Being able to “see” my friends even through the computer or phone screen helps put a renewed pep in my step and it’s the next best thing I have right now to actually hanging out. I have wholeheartedly embraced this form of contact and I highly recommend that my readers/social media friends follow suit… Especially if COVID is as bad in your area as it is in mine.

A very special bestie in my life has added an extra ray of sunshine to my blah quarantine existence by our weekly or biweekly FaceTime chats. For those of you who don’t know, Johnny and I chose to sit out on Thanksgiving with our family this year. So, believe me when I say, I was completely touched when my darling Kate of Live In The Nautical suggested that we FaceTime on Thanksgiving day.

Kate has been one of my best friends since lifewithlilred began. It’s crazy, because we’ve only met each other in real life once but I feel like I can tell her absolutely anything through our constant back and forth via our blogs, social media, texting, and FaceTime. I am so thankful to her because she knew how shitty I was feeling on Thanksgiving and she took time out of her celebrations to talk to me. It meant so much and I really do treasure the times that we have to see each other and catch up.

I wish that I could see my friends right now and I know that a lot of you do too. Is a video chat the most ideal way to see them? In normal times, no. But things are far from normal right now so I’d say video chatting is friggen perfect. It’s hard to feel so isolated but Johnny and I have been doing our damnedest to stay safe since March. FaceTiming has helped with the loneliness and if you are feeling down, then schedule a chat with one of your besties. It can only help and I think you will feel much better after. I know I did. 🙂 ❤

How do you keep in touch with loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic? What do you miss the most about “normal” life? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Having A Virtual Drink

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Having A Virtual Drink

Hi! It’s so crazy to think that just a few weeks ago, Johnny and I were participating in game nights with our friends over the weekend. Now, we are safely tucked away in my apartment after work and on the weekends due to Ohio’s stay at home order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

We have a pretty close knit group of friends and we miss them. So, over the weekend we had a virtual drink over FaceTime with a couple we are friends with named Kevin and Christine. It was so nice to chat with and “see” someone other than ourselves and I just had to tell all of you about it in case you are missing the homies, too.

Try scheduling a virtual drink with your besties while hunkering down is the name of the game. You will seriously feel so much better after you have a conversation with a friend that isn’t over text message and it can create a pleasant evening or afternoon if you are having difficulties figuring out ways to occupy yourself. Pour a glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy. *Virtual cheers to you* 🙂

How have you been keeping in touch with friends in self-isolation? What is the coronavirus status where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah