Are you Ready for the Weekend?

Are you Ready for the Weekend?

Is the weekend coming up and you have nothing planned?  Although I love it when this happens (with two kids in sport it’s rare), if I’m not careful, we’ll end up doing nothing interesting.  Sunday night comes and I feel like I “wasted” my free time. This ever happen to you? I’ve found that if I don’t have a few ideas in place BEFORE the weekend when it comes along I panic and can’t think of anything.  To head this off, on Wednesday or Thursday I start jotting down ideas in my daily planner.  I’ll often also look a few key places to see if anything is going on (festivals, live music, etc.). My favorite resources: Facebook – so many events are listed on Facebook these days in the Events section.  Open it up and filter on the date and/or type of event.  I just opened it up and there are at least 20 different events listed for Friday night alone. Yelp – I don’t use this as often for events, but I have found a few here and there that are interesting.  Do a search “Events this Weekend” and see what pops up. Tourist Websites – If you act like your city is a vacation spot and go look at the tourist websites, you can come up with many excellent ideas of fun things to do. Notes – I have a notes app on my phone with a tab labeled “Things to Do.”  Every time I think of something or the kids mention someplace they’d like to go, I jot it down.  Then when we are struggling with...
Take a Hike

Take a Hike

Summer is here and with it, more daylight along with extra free time.  The easy way to handle summer would be to let the kids sleep in, watch Netflix and live on their phones, but with just a little effort they can spend plenty of time outside too. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m a huge fan of the rails to trails initiatives popping up all over, but if you live in the Indianapolis, IN area, you should also check out the variety of excellent park trails. In Hamilton County alone (North of Indianapolis), there are over 500 miles of walking trails – plenty to keep you busy this summer!  My goal is to eventually check them all out, but when I’m not in the mood to try something new, I enjoy one of my three favorites: Potter’s Bridge.   This trail runs along the White River, so the views are beautiful year-round.  At the trailhead there is a lovely old covered bridge – great for pictures and exploration.  When the river isn’t too high, it’s also fun to take a few of the little paths down to the water to skip rocks and get your feet wet.  The trail itself is paved and flat so an excellent choice for strollers or even biking.  There are markers every 1/4 mile to help you keep track of how far you walk.  19401 Allisonville Road, Noblesville, IN   MacGregor Park.  On dry days this park is a favorite.  At first glance it appears that it’s just a large (and fun) playground, but if you drive a bit further back you’ll...

Summer Entertaining

It’s finally warm enough here in the Midwest to have dinner outside.   My screened-in porch is one of my favorite places to be when the weather is nice, and it’s definitely my favorite place to enjoy meals and have fun with friends. If you struggle with entertaining, summer entertaining might be just what turns things around.  Summer entertaining is expected to be way less elaborate because if the weather is nice, aside from serving a bit of food, there isn’t much more you need to do. No need to deep clean the house, just set up a table and some chairs outside, turn on some music and enjoy a much more casual atmosphere than a standard dinner party. I also love impromptu summer entertaining – which happens often around our house.  We’ll be off doing whatever we do on the weekends – at the soccer field, a swim meet, farmer’s market, etc. and we run into friends.  It feels natural to invite them to come over afterwards for a drink or game of cards.  Right? Spending time with others is the BEST way to deepen relationships, and it can be tons of fun too.  Strong relationships are a key to a happier and healthier life. Here are a few of my favorite outdoor/summer entertaining tips:  Keep it simple. Throw together a cheese and cracker plate with whatever is in the fridge and pantry.  Add a few fresh veggies, pickles or even fruit and it can be lovely and tasty. Bring your own.  Not sure if you have enough drinks on hand?  Enjoy tastings with friends where everyone brings a...
The Best Hidden Resource!

The Best Hidden Resource!

Today I’m singing praises about a resource most of us have access to, and few people ever use.  It makes my life easier, brings me daily enjoyment and costs NOTHING.  What is it? The local library. Seriously – if you don’t use your local library, you really need to check it out.  Libraries are so much more than dusty old shelves of books (although if you love to read, you’ll appreciate that too).  Ready for some examples of why the library is such a great resource? It’s free.  Unless you habitually forget to turn in your books, the library will cost you nothing. The library contains more than books.  Most libraries have DVD’s, audio books, music and magazines.  Mine also has board games and get this –  museum passes!  Yep, on our recent Spring Break we were able to check out family passes for two state museums and visit them for free.  This easily saved us $100. If your library doesn’t carry what you want, you can request it.  The library doesn’t have a book you want to read?  Ask them to purchase it or see if they can get it on loan from another library.  Most libraries are continually buying new material and they appreciate it when members tell them what they’d like to see. The programs can be terrific.  When my kids were little, we were regulars at story time – it was a fun, free activity we could do together.  Now they always enjoy participating in the summer reading program. Our library offers a program or two almost every day of the week – truly something...

Early Mornings Make Me Happy

That first sip of hot coffee, a cuddly blanket with a warm kitty curled up at my feet.  Add in my current reading material, and THAT is the perfect way to start my day.  Once I have a few moments of easing into the day in that manner, I am ready to do some yoga or pilates, work on a personal project and get ready with plenty of time to spare. How I love a great start to the day. Getting up early to enable such a perfect morning routine is a struggle for me, but the days I am successful are ALWAYS better days.  I’m more productive, less stressed and just plain enjoy life more. And since enjoying life and creating a healthier and happier life is exactly what I promote here, I thought I’d share one of my favorite resources to help you create a better start to YOUR day: I’ve taken the online course myself and gleaned quite a bit of useful information.  This time around, Crystal is doing a live version – for extra motivation.  The class starts April 9th and registration ends then, so if you think you need a little push in improving YOUR mornings, sign up soon!  I’ll be participating and I’d love to have you join me!  Go check it out HERE. What makes up the perfect morning for you?  I’d love for you to share in the comments!...

Twist for Your Gut

Twist for your gut – what???? Hopefully you’ve been faithfully enjoying some fermented foods and/or including a probiotic since last week.  Today I’m going to share another super simple tip for helping aide digestion and it doesn’t have to cost a dime. Twisted yoga poses Not a yoga fan?  Don’t stop reading.  Traditional twisted poses are fantastic for stimulating the organs in your digestive system.  They do this by creating movement in and around our organs.  So doing these types of poses can truly start things moving if your body is “stuck.” For those of you familiar with yoga, a simple spinal twist while reclined or seated is a great place to start.  If you don’t know anything about yoga, you could begin with Day 2 of the video A.M. Yoga for Your Week (which is in general a great beginning yoga video).  Whenever I feel the need to do yoga twists, I pop in this DVD and enjoy the series of poses.  It’s also a great sequence for back or shoulder pain.  The entire workout takes less than 25 minutes, so it fits well into your day in the early morning, lunch time or even evening. Another great resource if you aren’t ready to invest in a DVD is to check out this series suggested by Yoga Journal:  8 poses for better digestion. If you don’t have a regular yoga practice, I’d recommend starting out with 2 or 3 days a week and seeing how it goes from there.  Once the moves become second nature, you could easily start or end each day with 5 to 10 minutes of twists.  You’ll help your...

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