An Afternoon Adventure with DASANI Sparkling

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #DASANISparkling #FlavorContest #CollectiveBias It’s been a blah few weeks weatherwise. Add to that a busy high school swim and speech team schedule and loads of homework and I could tell my daughter was dragging. How can that be fixed? By creating an adventure! Although I’d love to do something really exciting like the winner of the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival contest will get to do, for the time I had allotted, we’d have to do something much simpler! Before I go into details on our adventures, I want to share a fantastic opportunity for a chance to WIN an experiential trip to Albuquerque, NM for the 2019 Hot Air Balloon Festival.  It’s super easy to enter. From October 1st through November 15th, simply: Take a picture of your favorite flavor of DASANI® Sparkling, and Post it to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #DasaniSparkling AND #FlavorContest The grand prize winner will receive a trip to the 2019 Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival in October of 2019 for the winner plus 3 guests! How cool is that? The prize package consists of round trip, coach-class air transportation for 4 from a major airport near the winners home; 3 nights’ accommodations; rental car; 2 Gondola Club passes (2-day passes) to the Festival; a hot air balloon ride for the winner and 1 guest; $1000 spending money; and travel agent service. Now THAT’s an adventure! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of certain U.S. state and D.C., 18 years or older. Ends 11/15/18. For rules,...
A Perfect Day Exploring Westfield

A Perfect Day Exploring Westfield

As I mentioned in the newsletter this week, Monday was a vacation day for me. Just me. I always seem to end up with extra days towards the end of the year so I like to take a few “mental health” days in November and December. My plan was to check out a new coffee shop/ store north of Noblesville and a few new stores in Cicero (another small town). However, I didn’t take into account that Monday is the day lots of places were closed … Luckily I wasn’t deterred, so once I realized my original plan was out,  I decided to see if I could find enough to do to fill a day in Westfield, Indiana. Westfield is another city next to where I live and although we go to dinner there often and Urban Vines is there which I love and recently shared about in my Five Fun Fall Adventures in Hamilton County post,  I hadn’t spent an entire day exploring before. I started the day off at Titus Bakery for fresh, hot coffee and a delicious donut. Yum! This is a fairly new location and their donuts were perfection. Interesting flavors, freshly baked and tasty. Great way to start the day.   I headed over to the downtown area to see what I could find. Westfield’s downtown is tiny. There are a few stores and one stoplight. However, quite a bit is packed into the small area. In addition to the main street, there is a new “restaurant row” just a few blocks south – which contains some of our favorite restaurants – I’ll have to...
What to pack to make your vacation better

What to pack to make your vacation better

All over the internet, I see packing lists, packing hacks, ways to pack your bag smarter, etc. I’m not going to rehash those posts – what I want to share with you are some of the more unusual items I always pack that make my vacations better: Diffuser and essential oils. There have been times I’ve been tempted to leave this at home (it does take up valuable space that could be used for another pair of shoes), but somehow I always squeeze it in. And I’m always so glad to have it. I love coming back to a hotel room that smells delicious instead of stale, and my eyes are never as dry in the morning if I’ve had it running by my bed all night. Curious about which oils I pack? I did a whole post on Essential Oils on Vacation. Rice sock and/or Thera Cane Max: Trigger Point Massager (Blue). Hotel beds can be lumpy. Car and airline travel can make for very sore backs. These two items help with those issues immensely! If I know there will be a microwave available I pack my rice sock. This is simply a sock filled with white rice. Heat it up in the microwave for a minute and enjoy the delicious warmth on sore muscles. My Thera Cane Max: Trigger Point Massager (Blue) was purchased on the advice of my massage therapist and it is a lifesaver for those sticky spots on your back that you can’t reach to rub out. The one I have breaks down for convenient travel and I’ve never had it turned down going through...
Find the Hidden Gems in Cincinnati

Find the Hidden Gems in Cincinnati

A few weeks ago I asked for advice on Facebook – I was looking for different things to do in Cincinnati, some of the hidden gems. We’ve been there dozens of times as it’s a quick hour and a half from Indianapolis, and it seems like there are at least a few soccer tournaments there each year. Sure enough, mid-October meant a weekend in Cincinnati for Fall Ball. As it was also our fall break, we headed up early Friday morning ready to discover a new side of the city. Thanks to all your suggestions, we did just that! We actually started our day just over the river in Hebron, KY at the Gap Clearance Center. This is to my knowledge the only one of it’s kind and it’s not an outlet mall, but a true clearance center. There are racks and racks of clothing from Athleta, Gap, Old Navy, and the Banana Republic. There are amazing deals to be had, but you have to be willing to dig. The boys got tired pretty quickly and went to the car, but my daughter and I scored some bargains. For example, I ended up with a black v-neck t-shirt, two sweaters (one of them Athleta) and an Athleta dress for $35. Yep, only $35. Pretty good shopping, right? After such a win, we headed to downtown Cincinnati to check out CAC – the Contemporary Arts Center. If you like contemporary art, you’ll enjoy this. Of the four of us, I thought it was terrific, but I was in the minority. Really, though, check it out! Best of all it’s FREE!...
Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award

Thanks so much for this nomination from Junell at MissAdventures in Adulting!  I have seen this award around but have never been nominated before, so this is very exciting. I’ve been blogging for years on health and fitness but recently switched my focus to travel and lifestyle. It has been so much fun! I love sharing inspiration and ideas for other busy moms to create an adventurous life wherever they are. In case you are reading this and aren’t quite sure what this award is, the Sunshine Blogger Award is given to new bloggers striving to be a positive and inspiring part of the blogging community. Award Rules Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and links back to their blog. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog. So here are my answers to the questions Junell asked me: If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? The beach – I’m in need of some sun and sand. What are your blogging goals for the rest of the year, and 5 years from now? I’d like to continue to inspire more busy families to create everyday adventures for their lives! In 5 years I’d love to be doing this full-time. When and where do you do your best work? Sitting outside a coffee shop. Preferably on a sunny day! What is one random talent you have? I’m a...

Check out The Willard on the Yums!

Do you like restaurant reviews? Ready for a comfortable visit? Along with delicious food? That’s what I share about in my latest article posted on The Yums. In this article, I share about a wonderful restaurant called The Willard found in Franklin, Indiana. You’ll learn a little history of the place, what to order and why it’s a great choice. If you love good food, and a fun atmosphere, check it out!...
Halloween Fun at ZooBoo

Halloween Fun at ZooBoo

Just one more weekend of Halloween inspired fun left this month! As one of my favorite times of the year, this makes me a little sad, but there is still time to create your own Halloween themed everyday adventure! If you are looking for something in the Indianapolis area, check out ZooBoo at the Indianapolis Zoo.  When the kids were younger, I always had a family membership to the zoo. It was a great option for a fun morning or afternoon with the kids. Even if the weather isn’t the best, some of the most interesting exhibits at the zoo (pet a shark anyone?) are indoors, so it is definitely a year-round option. One event we got to every year was ZooBoo. The kids loved the trick-or-treating, I loved being outside and we all loved watching the animals. However, as sports started taking over our lives, we have missed the last few years of ZooBoo. Each year, I’d try to fit in a visit and it just didn’t happen. This year we finally made it back! I couldn’t believe how much ZooBoo has grown in the past few years. The old standbys were there – the pumpkin bowling, trick or treating on the plains and the carousel riding backward, but we also found some fun new additions. Check out the mirror maze – I loved that the employee working held each group back a bit so we weren’t just following the person in front of us. Made for a much better experience. The section of the zoo where most of the activities were held is much fancier than the white...
A full day of fun in Kokomo, Indiana

A full day of fun in Kokomo, Indiana

I have to admit that even though I’ve lived in our current area for over twenty years, and driven through Kokomo dozens of times, I’ve never stopped to explore this charming Indiana town that’s only 30 minutes from my home. Thank goodness I finally came to my senses and we decided to check it out. Kokomo, Indiana has some wonderful adventures to offer! We started our day in Kokomo with a tour of the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory. This tour was phenomenal. Kokomo Opalescent Glass is 1 of only 4 factories left in the US that specialize in art glass. They are the oldest having begun operation in 1888 – that makes them 130 years old this November. During the tour, we got to walk through the entire factory and learn the process of making art glass from start to finish. I’ve never been on a factory tour where we were able to get so close to the action. Our first stop was the ovens where they melt the glass – look at this! These ovens last about 25 years and run continuously at over 2000 degrees. Needless to say, it was HOT in this room. We got to watch the employees running the molten glass to a machine where another employee mixed it and pushed it through to be flattened. Then it goes through a cooling process and you’ll end up with a beautiful sheet of glass. It was really amazing. Here’s a short clip where you can see a tiny bit of how it’s done: After watching that, we walked through the rest of the factory including...
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...

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