First Day of Summer

Summer is officially upon us and the heat is not holding back. Maryland has a lovely climate that ranges from sweater weather to dripping with sweat within a weak. However, living in Maryland also means getting to eat blue crabs coated in old bay all summer long. This summer I am hoping to venture out of my comfort zone, aka couch and binging shows, to try new adventures.

St. Michaels Crabs

When my boyfriend and I first met we made a list of all the things we would like to do as we were becoming friends. A few things we never managed to do have made their way on to a short bucket list of things I would like to accomplish over the next few months before school starts back up again.

  • Trip to Eastern Shore
  • Going for a hike
  • Water tubing with friends
  • Visit Harry Potter World at the Universal Studios of Hollywood
  • Exercise 3 times a week
  • Trip to Virginia Beach
  • Read a decent chunk of my to be read list
  • S’mores!!!
  • Try a new recipe each week
  • July 4th BBQ
  • Finally ride a rollercoaster

We shall see how this goes, but hopefully well so that I can share these experiences.

Best,

Shannon

 

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Beauty and the Beast

If you sang the title in your head then we’re off to a great start. Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorites growing up and Belle was absolutely my favorite princess. She was also a book nerd and then to top it all off they cast EMMA WATSON to play her! I mean c’mon what could be better then the actress that played Hermione and showed girls everywhere you could be strong, smart, and beautiful. Now that the DVD is out it seems safe to assume most have seen it, but just in case below this is spoilers.

Beauty and the Beast

I will admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie. I can’t remember the last time I watched the animated version and I loved the live action Cinderella they did. Maleficent was also done beautifully. I had three favorite parts to the movie:

  1. Emma Watson: Her voice was gorgeous and the changes she brought to the character were subtle but appropriate for Belle’s character.
  2. Beast (Dan Stevens) singing Evermore: I will admit that I cried during this scene. His voice was gorgeous and the imagery as he sang was powerful.
  3. Ballroom Dance: Both of the dances were beautiful, but hearing them sing and go into the ballroom in her gorgeous yellow dress I gasped. Cinderella’s dress was breathtaking and they definitely did Belle’s justice. Also, Cinderella’s wedding dress at the end of the movie was breath taking and when Belle stepped out for the second ballroom scene I was in love with the flower detail on her dress.

What was your favorite part of the Beauty and the Beast movie?

Best,

Shannon

 

Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts

Buying gifts for guys is way harder than it should be. However, knowing them well can give you a few niche categories to buy from. Whether its buying birthday presents, or in this case a Father’s Day present, the men in my life would likely appreciate a gift found on many cultivated lists, but would prefer something else. Instead I thought back to his favorite things and activities and knew I could find a better gift that way. As a kid I always opted for something handmade or socks, since that was all he asked for. Recently, I have been opting to purchase him a hat from somewhere a visit or to represent my university. Here are my tips and tricks to buying a gift for any man in your life.

Orioles Game

Favorite Hobby

What is his favorite hobby? This one is easy, because there is always something they could want for their hobby. My Dad loves to cook or golf, which means I opt for a new kitchen tool or an addition to his golf bag. My Step-Dad really likes to read and while we have tons of books he still wants more so a gift card or a book are the perfect gift for him. My boyfriend plays a card game called Magic The Gathering, so I’m able to buy him packs of the cards for a present. His dad plays with him, but this year we opted to help him rebuild and revamp his garden in the backyard. These gifts are good if you want to give them something to enjoy by themselves. However, if you want to make it something for you two to enjoy together it is simple to alter them. I bought myself a deck of MTG cards once and played with my boyfriend as a present, I went out to a driving range with my dad, and I got a book for my step-dad and I to both read.

Favorite Entertainment

Entertainment is a good one, because it is something to enjoy as a group, just the two of you, or by themselves. This year my boyfriend and his brother took their dad to an Orioles game, because they love baseball and they were playing the Twins – first game he ever took them to see was Orioles vs. Twins. Sporting events are a solid choice, however if that isn’t their favorite form of entertainment there are some other options. Grab their favorite movie and make dinner in or head out to a restaurant and a movie as a nice night out. Maybe they prefer playing games (video or board), if so pick up a new game and work your way through it together or ask him to teach you how to play. This year a few things I considered were putt putt, bowling, or a trampoline park.

Life Appropriate

Where are they at in their life? Often times you see present lists based on the age someone is, but the point in life they are at is the best indicator for what to buy. Sometimes people need things to relax rather than to be professional or vice versa. Knowing what is going on in the life of the person you are buying for is key to getting a good gift. My dad just got a new apartment, so home goods would be a great gift. Something simple, such as spending time together, can be exactly what a person needs.

Also another tip is to get one bigger present and then wrap smaller presents that contain their favorite candy, food, cheep movie, game, etc. The best thing to do is give yourself a budget and act like your building a gift basket. How can you best capture their favorite things in one basket?

Have a wonderful Father’s Day!

Best,

Shannon