Take Your Dog

Take Your Dog

In the mood to spend a day exploring but only have a few free hours?  Why? Because there is no one to let the dog out.  Ever happened to you? We love our dog, but he does cramp our style. When there have been weeks where it seems like he has been alone too much – or we just find ourselves with a full free day and want to run around without having to stop back home mid-day, we find a way to bring him along. It’s a little more work but can definitely lead to a fun and different way to spend the day. Luckily there are many places these days that allow dogs.  I’ve had good luck at local restaurants and breweries or wineries with outdoor seating, parks of course; ice cream shops, coffee shops, farmer’s markets, outdoor concerts and sometimes an outdoor tourist attraction (like a walking tour – self-guided or not). A few tips to make for an easy day: Call ahead to make sure your pup is allowed. Combine a variety of activities – some food, some walking, maybe just some hanging out Check the weather – nothing worse than a wet dog in the car! Be a good dog owner – bring along water and poop bags and pick up after your dog Ready for an example?  If you live in the Indianapolis area, here is a fun day with your dog: The day must start with coffee, right?  Luckily most coffee and bagel shops are happy to have your dog join you. Once everyone is fully charged, a little walking seemed like...
Make the Journey as Fun as the Destination

Make the Journey as Fun as the Destination

At least a few times a year we embark on long road trips. As neither my husband or I particularly like to drive, we had to come up with a way to make them bearable. Getting in the car and driving all night was not something we could do – the few times we tried it, we wound up exhausted the next day and essentially missed the first day of our trip. Talk about stressful! Luckily, I’ve found a way to make the trip enjoyable. So much so that my kids would prefer to drive than fly! How did we do it? Attitude. This is the most important part – by simply reminding ourselves that the journey can be as fun as the destination, we hit the road with the right mindset. We’ve come to look at a road trip as a chance to relax (versus work), see something new, and have some great conversations. Try new restaurants. It’s a rare trip that we don’t break out Yelp when we start to get hungry and search up local restaurants. Once everyone starts getting hungry, I open the app, switch it to map view and start searching for places twenty minutes ahead or so of our current route. We’ve discovered awesome dive bars, amazing breweries, old-school drive-ins and everything in-between. The rule is it can’t be more than ten minutes off the road we are traveling, and it can’t be a chain. Other than that, anything goes. Yes, it adds time to our trip, but we’ve created a fun memory, enjoyed much better food and had some fun while getting...
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...
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...

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,...
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...

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