Goat Yoga and Dining Downtown

Goat Yoga and Dining Downtown

What a fun day we had in Franklin, IN.  After a restful night’s sleep, we got a jump start on the day by hitting up the local Farmer’s Market.  Most towns have a weekly Farmer’s Market (often on Saturday), so when we travel I always do a little research ahead of time to scout them out.  It’s a fun way to meet the locals (and ask for recommendations!) and if we are staying at a location with a kitchen, it’s the perfect time to stock up on fresh food.  Franklin’s Farmer’s Market runs from 8 – 12 on Saturdays and has a dedicated spot right on the edge of downtown.  We enjoyed checking it out and picked up some tasty kombucha while we were there. I loved these little red wagons that you could use to load up  your goodies (or maybe your kids!): Next on the agenda was Farm Animal Yoga.  Yep, you read that right.  It’s the next iteration of Goat Yoga.  Which is also a real thing.  This may have been my favorite part of the weekend (although the Artcraft was a close second).  Tagalong Farms has been doing goat yoga for a while now and decided to improve upon the experience by once in a while offering a more interesting cast of animals.  Lucky for me, the weekend we were there was one of the farm animal weekends.  It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  You get to do yoga outside with a bunch of farm animals running around.  It was awesome.   Yes, that’s a pig in front of my yoga mat.  We...

The Willard “Where Friends Meet”

Saturday night while visiting Franklin, IN, we were treated to a tasty dinner at The Willard.  The building where The Willard is located was built in 1860, so it has a lot of beautiful historic details.  In 1922, it was sold to Mrs. Willard along with her niece and nephew for only $11k – isn’t that interesting – I can’t imagine what it would go for today. From then on, it became known as The Willard Hotel.  I LOVE this sign near the bar in the main dining room that pays homage to the Willard Hotel era: In recent years, The Willard has been operating as a local restaurant – their tagline says it all “Where Friends Meet.” The night we dined at The Willard, it was very busy, but luckily there were still a few tables available.  As soon as you enter, there is a sign alerting guests to seat themselves.  According to the manager, Ashley, that’s on purpose – to help guests feel at home. Love it! Although there is a lot of attractive outside seating, it was a hot day so we chose to dine inside.  Our server, Mallory greeted us quickly and walked us through the menu.  The Willard offers many choices – everything from pizza and wings, to burgers, sandwiches, appetizers and so on.  There is also an extensive list of beers (many of them local) and a full bar.  Plenty to choose from.  With all these options, we decided to ask Mallory what The Willard is known for – we figured we couldn’t go wrong that way! She suggested their Long Island as a drink,...

Real Food on a Budget?

When we are traveling, one of our favorite things to do is find local restaurants and try them out.  Although we are all very adventurous eaters, we do try to eat as healthy as possible, even while on the road.  You’ll often find us enjoying vegetarian dishes, beans & rice, salads and fresh fruit.  Not to say that we don’t tend to indulge a little more when away from home, we just try to keep what we eat as close to real food (food that isn’t heavily processed, has simple, whole food ingredients, and isn’t high in sugar) as possible. Because we aren’t as strict when traveling, when we are at home, it’s super important for me to create meals that are as healthy as possible.  That way I can ensure we are following my 80/20 rule of 80% healthy eating and 20% not quite as healthy.  I do love to cook, but with a full-time job, kids in two different schools, and year-round sports it can be challenging to get a real food meal on the table. One of my favorite tricks is to find cookbooks I love that have pages full of delicious real food recipes.  Then I’ll plan the weekly menu using just that one cookbook – it’s fun for me, easy as I’m not looking up recipes all over the place, and if I like the author, I find I’m happy with the meals. Lisa Leake’s cookbooks are some of my favorites.  I’ve been using 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous: The Easy and Delicious Way to Cut Out Processed Food and 100 Days...
Clean Sweep – Week Two

Clean Sweep – Week Two

Did you get through the whole house last week?  Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t, just move on to step two for what you DID accomplish.  Hey, one or two rooms is better than no rooms!  If you did anything at all, you are ahead of where you started.  A bonus to this week is that you might be able to make a little cash to help fund your next vacation!  Or at least a fun night out. Step two might take you longer than step one – it really depends upon your current level of clutter and disorganization.  I like to do this type of process a few times a year, so it’s very doable for me to continue on with my one or two rooms a day process.  If you’ve never taken the time to do a whole house sweep, you might want to just pick one or two of the rooms that need de-cluttered and organized the most and focus on those rooms this week. Let’s get started. This week you will need your notebook, pencil, and three large containers.  One will be for trash (you’ll be amazed that there is new trash just a week later, but there will be some), one container is for things you will donate or sell and the third is for items that belong elsewhere in the house.  If you’ve ever organized your closet you’ve probably used this method before.  Simply start at one spot in the room and go through EVERYTHING.  For each item, ask yourself three simple questions: Do I love it? Do I use it? Do...
Friday Night Fun in Franklin

Friday Night Fun in Franklin

What a fun night in Franklin, IN!  Brick oven pizza and classic films.  How can you go wrong?  Right? During a recent weekend trip to Franklin, IN we enjoyed a wonderful evening in the darling downtown.  Franklin has a beautiful courthouse surrounded by shops, restaurants, and businesses.  A true traditional small town square. Thanks to our favorite resource Yelp, we began the evening with dinner at Richard’s Brick Oven Pizza.  The outside was simple and unassuming, but inside was warm and inviting. The pizza oven was front and center, the decor was eclectic (lots of fun artwork, a small stage for live music, etc.). There is even a patio out back for outside seating. Our server, Dominic was friendly and attentive.  If you eat at Richard’s, ask for him! He knew the menu inside and out and was able to make recommendations.  In fact, for the calzone, we asked him just to make one that would be amazing, and he came up with the following: roasted red peppers, cajun sausage, goat cheese, bacon and homemade alfredo sauce on the side.  Yum!  For the vegetarians in our family, we split a Greek/Margarita pizza and an absolutely amazing Caprese salad.  The tomatoes in the salad were fresh from the local Farmer’s Market.  My kind of salad!  Sodas were all homemade with no fake flavoring, and the soda was also used in the mixed drinks.  I indulged in a Hoosier Donkey – love that name!  It was basically a Moscow Mule but made with Indiana vodka and Richard’s homemade ginger beer.  Tasty. Richard’s is absolutely a place I’d go back to next time we...
Last Day in Vegas

Last Day in Vegas

Hard to believe this trip is almost over.  Time certainly flies when you are having fun! To start the day off on a light note, we decided to create a challenge.  This isn’t new for us, but the rules do change every year as we think up new ideas. This year, we started at the Cosmopolitan and worked our way up to Excaliber.  We each had $20 to gamble at every casino and either spent it until we won or lost as much as we were comfortable with losing.  Then we met back up and compared notes.  The winner for that round (casino) got 1 point, second place 2 points, and so on.  At the end of the walk, we compared scores for the winner.  The winner got bragging rights the rest of the day. These challenges are a fun way to do something a little different in the casinos – and helps your money go further!  It’s fun too  – we are all competitive and like to win.  Do you ever create challenges like this when traveling?  What do you do? Late afternoon, my friend and I went to see Menopause the Musical.  It was hilarious and the theater at Harrah’s was a great place to see it – small and so any seat was great.  The boys spent their time watching baseball in the sports book.  For some reason, they weren’t interested in seeing this show … We ended the day with a bit more gambling and wandering the strip.  Then, at about 10:00 it started raining!  I’m not sure I’ve ever been to Vegas in the...
Clean Sweep – Week One

Clean Sweep – Week One

August is the one month of the year we rarely have any exciting trips planned.  As my kids are on a balanced calendar, school starts August 1st, so we are in the midst of getting back on a regular schedule.  Homework is beginning, sports are heating up – it’s just not a good time to travel. I do find it IS a good time to do a clean sweep of the house.  A clutter-free and clean house means that if a fun opportunity comes along, we can take off without any guilt.  It also means less time is spent cleaning, which means more free time can be spent planning our next vacation!  If I can’t take a trip, at least I can be planning one! For the next three weeks, I’ll take you through a fantastic clean sweep process.  It’s based heavily off of Lisa Bryne’s whole house sweep.  Week one is all about assessing where you are, clearing out the old and planning for the new. I like to do one or two rooms of the house each day – so it takes me about a week to get through this process.  Monday I start with the bedrooms; Tuesday is the living area; Wednesday is the bathrooms; Thursday is the kitchen, and Friday is my office and the laundry room.  One room at a time feels less stressful and it typically takes less than an hour to accomplish. Ready to begin? Grab a notebook, a pencil, a trash bag and a laundry basket.  Walk into the room(s) you are working on and immediately put any trash in the...
Las Vegas 2018 – Days 3 & 4

Las Vegas 2018 – Days 3 & 4

We were back at it early in the morning on our third day!   With the time change we tend to wake up at 6 so we are often out and about by 7:00 – definitely not the crazy late nights of our youth! Since it’s World Cup time we decided to find a fun bar to have lunch at and enjoy the Russia vs. Croatia game.  We ended up (thanks to Yelp) at Pub 1842 in MGM, which was perfect.  The food was great, there was a good selection of drinks and a TV right in front of us!!!  It was so much fun to watch the game – if any of you watched it, it was CRAZY. After sitting for such a long time, we spent the rest of the day slowing wandering back to our hotel, stopping many times along the way. The 4th day was another pool day!  We ran over to Starbucks for coffee and then ordered a delicious avocado toast from the pool bar for breakfast.  There may also have been a few pitchers of the Pink Flamingo drink ordered… YUM! Once we had enough sun we went upstairs to cool off and then took an Uber to SLS – it was restful and quiet – a nice change of pace from the strip.  After some time there, it was back to Paris to enjoy some cheese, bread and wine and then another show.  We had crepes after the show and then off to bed! Tomorrow is our last day in Vegas … it sure goes...
Think Local – Follow-Up

Think Local – Follow-Up

As I mentioned last week, without any big trips planned, we had to be creative with our fun.  That’s why we decided to Think Local.  It turned out to be a fantastic idea!  I tried a couple new things in my area and re-visited some old favorites.  If we had been on vacation somewhere, I would have been thrilled with the fun we had. Our first local event was Shakespeare in the Park.  As everyone knows, I love live shows and this is an annual event in Noblesville, IN. It wasn’t new to me, but it was still fun. I grabbed my daughter and one of her friends, we packed a bag of drinks and picked up breadsticks nearby and enjoyed a perfect evening watching The Tempest.  If you live in the Indianapolis area, this is going on for one more weekend (August 2nd – 4th) and is free.  It’s an annual event – a different show each year but always the last weekend in July and the first weekend in August. Next, we tried Frisbee Golf which was new to me.  There is a fun, very well maintained course just over a mile from our house.  This time, my daughter met a friend there and my son and I played together.  We had purchased some frisbees at Play it Again Sports for just $4 and the course was free, so it was a super affordable outing.  In fact, I kept the frisbees in the back of the van as this would be a great activity to do while on the road. After working up an appetite, we headed...
Las Vegas 2018

Las Vegas 2018

Every year my hubby and I take a “grown-up” trip to Las Vegas.  We go in the middle of the summer when it’s nice and hot!  It started out as a way to spend time together when the kids were little.  Now it’s just a fun habit!  It’s been so many years (at least ten), that we have a nice little routine – however, most years we do try to do a few different things.  The last few years it’s been adding shows to the mix – which as you all know I LOVE shows, so that’s been fun. We started this trip by leaving home at 6:40 AM and arriving at 7:30 AM (time changes are CRAZY).  That meant a late afternoon nap was a must!  Day one was spent checking out the changes on the strip, a little gambling, a slot tournament at Harrah’s (fun even if we didn’t win) and Happy Hour at the Yard House.  It was an early night thanks to that early start! Day two started with a morning at the pool.  There is nothing like laying by the pool with a good book, tasty drink and no responsibilities … The afternoon was spent walking down the strip, sushi for Happy Hour (see a trend here?) and then a very fun evening at Tape Face.  He was so funny – if you are in Vegas, definitely go see this show! We did a little more gambling after and then got a really good night’s sleep!  More fun coming … What is your favorite show in Vegas?  Do you go to shows when you...

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