Do you have 5 minutes to increase your energy?

Do you have 5 minutes to increase your energy?

I want to have plenty of energy for any adventures we find. Just last week I was playing an energetic game of Archery Tag – I don’t want to have to miss out on fun experiences like that because I’m out of shape. Or how about enjoying a walk on the beach? Or a hike in the woods. If I don’t take care of myself, I either miss out or am miserable when given these opportunities. That’s why I make a conscious effort to exercise every day. Usually, I hit the treadmill and do a little pilates or yoga, but sometimes I’m really crunched for time or I want to mix things up. That’s when I pull out my Erin Stutland workouts. I love them, and she is about to begin her biggest FREE challenge of the year. I participate every time it’s available and it’s just the kickstart I need to get really motivated again. Best of all, it takes 5 minutes a day. Really. Do you have the best intentions about working out, but it never seems to happen? Maybe you say these things to yourself: I’m too busy. I’m too tired. I’m weak. I’m just not good at it. I don’t like it. Now just for a moment, imagine something different. Imagine you could do something really good for your body–and your mind–in just 5 minutes. You’ve got 5 minutes, don’t you? And what if you were done with that 5-minute workout, instead of feeling sad and tired, you actually felt empowered and excited and even a little giddy? THIS is what you experience when working...
Afternoon Adventures at Crown Haven Center

Afternoon Adventures at Crown Haven Center

Ever ridden in one of these? Until last week, I hadn’t either. It’s a M923 A2 Military logistics vehicle, and let me tell you, it is BIG. Last week we were lucky enough to spend an afternoon of adventuring at Crown Haven Center. It’s just outside Kokomo, Indiana about 40 minutes North of the Indianapolis area. Crown Haven Center would be a perfect day trip – the setting is beautiful and there is so much to do! Our first adventure was heading off road in that mammoth vehicle – it went right through streams, brush and up and down hills like they were nothing. On the ride, we also got to see a small bit of the property and it is gorgeous. We drove by a campfire – perfect for Scouting or other groups to enjoy while camping, a gun range if your group is interested in shooting, and lots of nooks and crannies where wildlife lives. In October, Crown Haven Center offers a unique outing on Friday/Saturday and Sunday nights. You’ll load up in the vehicle, equipped with paintball guns and head out to shoot zombies. Sounds fun, right? If we can squeeze it in, you can bet we’ll be trying that out!!! After that first adventure, we headed inside to give Archery Tag a try. Every tried it? It’s an absolute blast and a terrific family activity – would also be a big hit for a birthday party. Bryce Barnes, who owns Crown Haven (and comes up with all these creative and fun adventures), gave us a short lesson in how to use the bows and arrows...
Animals and Antiques in Lowell, Indiana

Animals and Antiques in Lowell, Indiana

Heavy rain was expected Saturday, so we got up early to get as much fun into our day as possible. After enjoying a delicious and relaxing breakfast at our hotel, we loaded up the car and headed a little bit south to Lowell, Indiana. Our first stop was Buckley Homestead. Buckley Homestead is described as a living history farm. It’s spread out over quite a few acres but is very walkable and so interesting that you cover quite a bit of ground without realizing it. The grounds are open from 7 AM to dusk daily, and the buildings are open from noon to 4 PM on the weekends in September and October. They do charge an admission to go inside the buildings and there are a variety of special events from time to time – check their website for updated information on what’s happening at the homestead. We started at the Visitors Center and walked across the street to the farmhouse. There was a small path with a variety of well-labeled apple and pear trees, and a hen house with pens that contained geese, chickens, a rooster, etc. They were loud! The closer we got, the more they complained – I made a short video as they were cracking us up: We crossed another street to find the large barn area – this was definitely our favorite part as we poked around in the dusty old barn and visited with lots of animals. There were cows, sheep, horses and lots of barn cats. Living in the suburbs we don’t get the chance to see farm animals up close very often, so my...
Treats for Everyone in Northern Indiana

Treats for Everyone in Northern Indiana

Candy for the kids and beer for the adults – what could be a better start to a weekend in Northern Indiana, right? When planning a quick overnight with the whole family, it’s important to look for a variety of activities that everyone will enjoy. Our first night did just that! We began our trip to Northern Indiana with a visit to the Albanese Candy Factory located in Merriville. Factory tours are a unique addition to any vacation – it’s interesting to learn something new so we always search them out. Through the years, we’ve seen everything from potato chips to Harley Davidson’s made. If you are a fan of gummies, Albanese is the place to go. The candy is made right on site, and there are large glass windows where you can watch the process. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the factory, but I did get some of the store connected to it – look at all that candy!!! There is a three-part video series that explains how several Albanese products are made – the sour worms, gummy frogs and their chocolate products. The videos were short, entertaining and educational. The factory is covered in cornstarch – everything has a white coating on it which looks crazy, but by watching the videos you’ll learn why – it was very interesting. We stocked up on some goodies like the $6 bags of gummi goof-ups. These are gummies that taste great but don’t look perfect. They are fun to eat because they are so crazy and so we bought a few bags. In addition to gummies, you’ll find so...
Circle Your Hometown

Circle Your Hometown

Fall Break is coming up quickly and although we don’t have any big plans (thanks to sports!!!!), we will take advantage of the fabulous fall weather here in Indiana with lots of day trips. Instead of checking out the same places we go every year, we have decided to find some NEW everyday adventures. However, without a dog sitter, we can’t go far … so our challenge is to find plenty of fun things to do within about an hour’s radius of where we live. Instead of just guessing or going to the cities we’ve heard of, I decided to literally circle our hometown. On a map.   Look at all those towns within the circle – pretty amazing when you see it on paper! Now that I have a list of potential places we can check out, the research begins. I recently shared with you how I do this in my post Search Out the Unusual, and that is exactly the process I am following. So what are our plans? So far I’ve found an opalescent glass factory tour, a health bar (kombucha, smoothies, etc.), a cultural center & museum and quite a few Halloween themed events. Plus a Fall Out Boy concert, new brewery, and an apple picking farm! Even without a big trip planned, we will have plenty of fun. Keep an eye out the next few weeks as I share our adventures. In the meantime, do you want to be ready for an adventure of your own? I have a bag in the back of my car that I keep stocked with adventure essentials –...
Five Fun Fall Adventures in Hamilton County Indiana

Five Fun Fall Adventures in Hamilton County Indiana

With sunshine and a slight breeze, Saturday was the perfect weather to enjoy a day full of everyday adventures in Hamilton County Indiana. Hamilton County is a northern suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana and boasts some wonderful towns, lots of interesting things to do and a family-friendly atmosphere. We started our day as every morning should begin with a delicious cup of coffee. Indie Coffee Roasters is a local coffee shop at the edge of Main Street in Carmel with a fun, industrial vibe, friendly baristas, and rich, bold coffee. The shop is located in a converted house with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. We enjoyed sipping our coffee on the large patio as the temperature was perfect for our cappuccino’s and latte’s – crisp air but warm sunshine. I have plans to go back there and work in the near future – it’ll be a nice change of pace from my normal coffee shop! Indie Coffee Roasters also has kombucha on tap as well as decadent hot chocolate for the non-coffee drinkers. This was an excellent way to begin our day of exploring. The shop is open Monday – Saturday from 7 AM – 6 PM and is closed on Sunday. Once we were fueled up, we walked through the Carmel Farmer’s Market to pick up some fresh tomatoes and zucchini for the week. Yum! Our next stop was to pick a pumpkin at Russell Farms in Noblesville, IN. If you are looking for family-friendly fall fun, Russell Farms has you covered. Not only did we find the perfect pumpkin, but we also found a lot of fun!...
Find A Festival

Find A Festival

Fall is Festival season in Indiana.  There are easily a dozen festivals around the state every weekend.  Which means there is always something fun to do. If we can’t get away for a full weekend, spending a few hours at a festival can really feel like a little getaway.  We have our favorites of course that we try to get to each year, but it’s also fun to find new ones.  Although I’ll share in this post a little more about how to find festivals, I have to admit I love it when we stumble across one – especially when traveling – so fun! However, if you have limited time, you can’t just assume you’ll find something.  You need to know what’s out there.  Here are some tips: Use the visitors’ bureau website.  There is almost always an event calendar so click on that, pick the dates you are free and see what’s happening.  I always do this while traveling too – you never know what might be going on while you are vacationing. Request a brochure.  Many states have guides that specifically list festivals by season.  Indiana has an amazing one that shares all the festivals throughout the entire state by month for the full year.  I keep a copy on my desk and on Thursday or Friday morning I’ll thumb through it and see what’s nearby. Ask around.  Ask your friends, families, and co-workers if they know of any fun festivals.  They might not know of an upcoming one, but they probably have a favorite or two, so you can look up the info and put them...
Essential Oils on Vacation

Essential Oils on Vacation

I love my essential oils and use them regularly. Due to their small size, essential oils are very easy to pack so even when we travel I can have what I need at my fingertips. This has come in handy on multiple vacations! Which ones do I swear by for traveling? Lavender. I use lavender oil every day with my moisturizer to keep my skin looking great. It’s also wonderful to have on hand for bug bites, burns, and general itchiness. Frankincense. Every evening I put a few drops of this oil in my night cream – soothing and also great for my skin. Deep Relief roll-on. Love this oil for travel aches and pains. Since it’s a roll-on it’s easy to apply and keep on hand. After sitting in a car all day if my shoulder aches, a little Deep Relief can feel wonderful! DiGize. This one has been a lifesaver on multiple occasions when I ate too much greasy food or am just feeling a little queasy. It’s the oil that sold me on Young Living. Thieves and Cinnamon Bark. This combo always goes in my travel diffuser (yep, I bring that with me on every trip too). Not only can they help ward off sickness, but your hotel room will smell amazing! If I remember, I rub a little Thieves on the bottom of our feet before bed too – a little extra reinforcement never hurt anyone. Eucalyptus. If someone starts getting stuffy, I’ll use this in the diffuser to help them sleep better at night. R.C. – also great for stuffiness. A little on the chest...
Search Out the Unusual

Search Out the Unusual

I love to travel. I also love to try new things, and I’ve discovered that there are interesting things to do just about everywhere! It’s amazing and wonderful. In the last few months, I’ve tried Farm Animal Yoga, spent time relaxing in a salt cave and sipped coffee in a cat cafe. All experiences within a few hours drive of where I live and none of which I’d tried before. Pretty cool, right? Today I want to share with you how I find these unique experiences. It’s not that hard or time-consuming, and you can apply the same techniques where you live or where you plan to travel. This is what I do before every trip we take: Google. I always start with Google. Just type in the location and “things to do”. You’ll almost always get at least a Trip Advisor link. Yelp. Great for finding local restaurants and shops. Facebook. Sometimes I ask for suggestions in a general post or Facebook group, sometimes I look under events to see if anything is going on while we will be in town. Map. I have an old Atlas that I keep in my office and before we go somewhere, I look up the city. Often there are other cities nearby that are close enough to check out – this can really widen your search, especially if you are going to a less “touristy” area. If you find something, go back to Google and do a search on that city too. CVB. This is my secret weapon. A week or so before we go on a trip, I email the Convention...

Listen to Your Engine

I’m in the middle of reading an advance copy of Jennifer Dukes Lee’s latest book “It’s All Under Control,” and I have to say it is wonderful. Just what I need at this busy time of life. Today I want to share an excerpt from the book along with some practical advice on how to incorporate more rest into your life, and make sure to scroll down to the bottom for a special giveaway!   Jennifer’s words: Let’s stop should-ing ourselves and start replenishing ourselves. We need to listen to our bodies instead of pushing them. What if, when we heard our bodies begging, Go into a lower gear, we actually paid attention? As an example, let me introduce you to my first car. It was a red Volkswagen Beetle with a clutch and stick shift. It always reeked of fuel, which meant that I smelled like a gas station. My Slug Bug died an untimely death in 1989 when it started on fire on an Iowa highway. I rescued my French horn from the backseat and walked down the deserted highway, crying under a half-moon sky, waiting for someone to let me hitch a ride. The car had been my first major purchase, bought with my lifeguarding paychecks. I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift at first but learned by listening to the sounds it made. In its own way, the car had a “voice.” When the car was in too low of a gear, it made a high revving sound. That was my cue to shift to a higher gear. As I continued to accelerate,...

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