Five Fun Things to do in the Winter Near Pokagon State Park

Five Fun Things to do in the Winter Near Pokagon State Park

Visiting Pokagon State Park in the winter to enjoy the tobogganing? It’s certainly a wonderful way to spend a few hours, but if you are anything like our family you’ll want to discover all the other things to do in the area! Here are five fun things to do in the winter near Pokagon State Park. Find a great local restaurant. There are a number of interesting and delicious sounding restaurants in the area, so you’ll have no trouble finding one that appeals to you. We arrived around lunchtime and decided to try out 6 Autumns. It did not disappoint. My daughter and I split the salmon meal which came with two sides (we picked the vegan squash soup and some AMAZING homemade mac & cheese), while my husband and son enjoyed the fish and chips. It came with two sides also (fries and a salad). The portions were large, we had plenty of food even with splitting meals. Their beer list was fantastic. There are about a dozen beers on tap (mostly local), and another large list of bottles and cans. Definitely something for everyone. Located right off the interstate, 6 Autumns is in a building attached to the Ramada Inn – but don’t let that scare you. We didn’t and I’m glad. Excellent choice. 6 Autumns; 3855 N State Rd. 127, Angola, IN (260) 624-3644 Visit a winery. Near the park are several lovely wineries. I could definitely see this as a great girls weekend combining shopping, hanging out at the Inn and visiting wineries. As we had our kids in tow, we decided to just visit...
An Overnight Adventure at Pokagon State Park

An Overnight Adventure at Pokagon State Park

As I mentioned last week, one of my goals for 2019 is to travel monthly – at least a weekend trip. With a two week break from school and work,  the beginning of January seemed like the perfect time to start meeting that goal! A few days after ringing in the New Year, we went on a quick overnight adventure to Pokagon State Park in Northern Indiana. Pokagon is one of seven State Parks in Indiana that has an Inn on site, and we were lucky enough to get a room for the night during a very busy week! The location of the Inn is perfect – it’s close to the toboggan run, sits on beautiful Lake James and is minutes from outlet shopping, wineries, restaurants, and downtown Angola, Indiana. We arrived at the Potawatomi Inn just after lunch and were pleasantly surprised to find our room was ready. We were thrilled to stay in one of the patio rooms with a gorgeous view of Lake James. In fact, I woke up early the next day to get some beautiful morning shots of the still water. The room was large with a small fridge and microwave oven. The beds were comfy and clean and it was the ideal lodging for our quick trip. Our room was right across the hallway from the game room which contained a variety of video games, ping pong, air hockey and a new family favorite, Boccerball. None of us had ever heard of it before but we spent quite a bit of time playing – watch the short video below and you’ll get why...
Top 10 Travel Bloggers to Follow in 2019

Top 10 Travel Bloggers to Follow in 2019

*This post may contain affiliate links, but as always, opinions are 100% my own.* Do you love to travel as much as I do? When I’m not traveling or planning a trip or searching for a local adventure, I’m either dreaming of a vacation or reading a travel blog. I get so much inspiration as well as ideas for future trips for myself and my family and it’s fun to live vicariously through someone else’s travels. If you can relate, then you need to check out the following travel bloggers – these are my picks for the top 10 to follow in the upcoming year – if you aren’t following them now, you’ll want to check them out: It’s a Lovely Life  – The Reese family has made blogging their full-time job. They travel over 150 days a year with their three kids and go on all the adventures I’d like to go on someday! I love that their trips are so family oriented. It makes them very relatable to me. The blog also showcases a lot of videos which is very fun, AND if you are at all interested in blogging yourself, check out their FREE 5-Day Start a Money Making Blog Course. The Uncorked Librarian – I find this blog (and Christine) so entertaining yet FULL of useful info. She loves drinks and food just like I do, and her adventures sound very much like the ones we used to have pre-kids. Luckily, now that our kids are older we can drag them along again! Living in Florida, she shares lots of information about places we visit often,...
2019 Travel Blogging Goals

2019 Travel Blogging Goals

Raise your hand if you love setting goals? I hate to admit that I kinda geek out about it – I’m really a pro at setting good ones too. My issues tend to be around completion. Seems like I run out of steam or time before the year ends. Through the years I’ve probably tried just about every method of goal setting – and I’ve learned plenty from all of them. I’ve discovered that I’m most successful when I don’t set too many goals and when the goals I set are very concrete. I need to know exactly what completing a goal looks like. To hold myself accountable – and give me a place to come back each month and review my progress, I thought I’d share my 2019 travel blogging goals right here on my site: Publish at least one new post every week. Wouldn’t be much of a blog without new content, right? Take at least one trip a month. A weekend trip totally counts as although I do have a lot of vacation time, it isn’t enough for a week every month! Plus school, sports, the dog, etc. Publish at least one article each month somewhere other than my blog. I really want to expand my experience and reach, so finding new outlets is important. At least one sponsored post each month. This is fairly new to me. I did a few sponsored posts in November and December of 2018 and really enjoyed the experience (and the income!). Attend a blogging and/or travel writing event. I’ve never attended an event before even though I’ve been blogging...
Cold outside? Warm up at a conservatory

Cold outside? Warm up at a conservatory

I don’t know about you, but too many dreary days in a row start to really drag me down. Since my next warm weather trip isn’t planned until March, I began searching for local outings that could tide me over. One of the first places that came up was Garfield Park Conservatory. Many cities boast a conservatory (we have several options in the Indianapolis area), and that seemed like the perfect way to forget about the cold and rain for a while. Last week my Facebook Live tip was to try something or someplace new on your lunch hour – create a quick and easy everyday adventure. If you missed it, check it out here – it’s less than a minute: On this particular lunch hour, I drove down to Garfield Park Conservatory which is located just south of downtown Indianapolis. The park is a lovely way to warm up and spend some time enjoying GREEN plants and nature even in December. As a bonus, it’s beautifully decorated for Christmas right now, so there is a fascinating train track as well as a Christmas village in the entrance. The conservatory isn’t large, but there are many interesting and unique plants packed into the area along with various waterfalls and benches perfect for enjoying the flora. I also discovered a few ponds with koi lazily swimming along. Next time I’ll be sure to bring along a book and sit on one of those benches for a relaxing lunchtime break. Most kids aren’t into gardens, but Garfield Park Conservatory has a fun Scavenger Hunt with about twenty different items to look...
My Favorite Christmas Posts

My Favorite Christmas Posts

Merry Christmas! If are reading this on the day I post it, I’m sure Christmas is on your mind as it’s Christmas Eve! So, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite holiday or holiday related posts: Gift Guides:  From the Modern Mrs. Darcy:   The Minimalist’s Guide to Stocking Stuffers  My favorite gift ideas From MomAdvice.com 9 Great Gifts for Someone Living with Chronic Pain From Jessie on a Journey 28 Unique Gifts for Backpackers and Adventurers Helping Others/ Building Relationships: Spread some holiday cheer Random Acts of Kindness Website All-Fun No-Stress Holiday Connections Inexpensive Winter Activities – Get Fit for Less From Consistently Curious – 25 Date Night Ideas in Cincinnati – plan something for the new year now, some of these ideas could be done in places other than Cincinnati   Fun Projects: How about making something fun today as a family? The Perfect Hostess Gift – Flavored Butters Make Ice Cream from Hip2Save – Homemade Peppermint Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Rolled Paper Christmas Ornaments from Positively Splendid Make your own Sugar Scrub to share with everyone you know! From Make and Takes – Watercolor Bookmarks   Any other ideas to share? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! Want to remember these ideas? Pin for later:    ...
A Whole New Way to Look at Tea

A Whole New Way to Look at Tea

Recently I had the opportunity to check out a whole new way to enjoy tea. I’ve also found a great new alternative to the coffee shop when I need to get some work done! HoiTea ToiTea co-owner Alex is the self-proclaimed mad scientist of the tea game. And her store gives us something really different from the typical tea shop. Alex is a master at creating unique and delicious tea lattes and tea-infused cocktails. Yep, you heard that right, this tea shop serves cocktails! The store itself is lovely, comfortable and full of interesting and useful gift items in addition to the tea shop. Of course, you can also purchase your own teas to brew at home. The tea is all from Nelson’s Tea. Some of the tea blends are super interesting – rootbeer anyone? My visit was part of a local blog group trip, so we were lucky to have Alex share with us the history of the business, future plans and some of the fun classes offered. More on that in a minute. First, the food and drinks … We started the evening with a tea-infused beer and macaroon. Sadly, I couldn’t eat the macaroon (tree nut allergy) but I was assured it was amazing. For any beer lover out there, the beer was terrific. Still tasted like beer, just had a light extra flavor to it. Next up was what I thought would be my favorite by far. Sangria made with raspberry hibiscus tea, red wine, and mandarin oranges. So delicious. We enjoyed that yummy drink with lemon poppyseed scones made with lemon ginger tea served...

Stay healthy this winter and enjoy all the season has to offer!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., Abreva, Breathe Right, Clorox, Robitussin and Theraflu. All opinions are mine alone. #SoothesOfTheSeason #CollectiveBias  It may be cold outside, but as long as you are feeling healthy, you can still have fun! It’s a rough time of the year for colds, coughs and the flu – if you don’t have a bug, I bet you know someone who does. It can definitely be hard to keep your family healthy, but by stocking up now and being prepared, you can truly enjoy all the season has to offer. After all, the last thing you want to do is run out in the middle of the night or miss something fun because you’re feeling awful. Early in the season, I hit my local Noblesville Kroger to stock up on my list of cold, cough and flu must-haves including: Abreva® Pump Cold Sore and Fever Blister Treatment – easy to apply Abreva is not for temporary relief, but healing. As soon as you feel a cold sore coming on, apply it immediately for best results. Breathe® Right Extra Clear Nasal Strips – when colds settle in your nose, I love these strips to provide relief for congestion. I’m also a big fan of the fact that it’s drug-free and safe to use with any sleep medication. They have a flexible, “spring-like” band within each strip, and when you place them on your nose using the special adhesive, they gently lift the sides of the nose and open the nasal passages as the band tries to straighten back to its original shape. Pretty clever,...
McCords Candies – Make Your Own Candy Cane

McCords Candies – Make Your Own Candy Cane

Have you ever wondered how candy canes are made? Today, most of them are made in a factory, but that’s not the original method. While killing time during warm-ups at a swim meet last weekend, I spent a fun half an hour on a candy cane tour at McCords Candies in Lafayette, Indiana. Not only did I get to enjoy learning how candy canes were made and the meaning of the candy cane, but I also got to create my own. McCords Candies has been a Lafayette staple since 1912. They have been making their iconic candy canes using the same method since they opened. That’s 106 years! McCords Candies is also one of only a few stores left that make all their candy canes by hand – which is not only delicious but creates a candy cane that is 100% candy – the red stripes aren’t painted on like a machine made candy cane is, they are also part of the cane. The tour starts upstairs a good three stories above the retail shop. Tickets are a bargain price of $4 and the tour takes about a half an hour, but plan ahead as tours sell out quickly. I actually tried to go twice before I got on a tour so that my daughter could tag along but both days were sold out. I finally scored a coveted spot by purchasing a ticket several hours early and coming back just before the tour was scheduled to begin. The workshop is on the top floor of the historic building and much of the equipment is original. The owner of McCords took...
Visiting Purdue? Best Places to Eat

Visiting Purdue? Best Places to Eat

I love visiting college campuses and I also love to eat so I’m always looking for the best places to eat everywhere I go. Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana is a favorite of mine – not just for the campus but also some of my favorite local restaurants. Growing up in West Lafayette, some of these are also quite nostalgic for me and I love that they are still around so many years later. Triple XXX. If you visit Purdue, you must visit Triple XXX. Everyone will tell you to do it and it’s worth it for the kitsch alone. Triple XXX has been in West Lafayette (on the hill but on the level) since 1929 and been serving the area’s best rootbeer since the beginning. Take time to sit on a round stool at the counter that winds around the entire restaurant and soak in the atmosphere while enjoying a frosty mug. Breakfast is great (and served all day long), but my favorite order is a mug of root beer, fries, and a Barney Burger. Triple XXX is well known for some of the more unique burger combinations named after famous locals such as the Duane Purvis (with peanut butter) and the Drew Brees. Guy Fieri has also visited, so if you are a fan, check out episode 44, Knockout Burger Joints. 2 N. Salisbury, West Lafayette, IN; (765) 743-5373 Parthenon. I think we visited the Parthenon once a month for most of my childhood. Four generations of family members have been using their families Greek recipes to ensure that the food is always delicious. The service is...

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