Beach Vacation Essentials

Beach Vacation Essentials

Are you lucky enough to be heading to the beach this Spring or Summer? We just finished a wonderful stay in Florida on the beach and plan on heading back to another Florida beach this summer. Although there are certain things I always pack wherever we travel, I’ve found that adding a few extra items specifically for beach vacations makes them much more enjoyable. Ready to pack your bags? Beach Basics. These are the no-brainers, yet somehow if I don’t have a list, I tend to forget them (there’s been more than one run to the store for bathing suits before …). Bathing suits, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, flip flops, beach towels. Even if you forget everything else, you can have a fun beach day with these essentials.   Fun Extras. Sand toys, beach chairs, a ball to kick or throw (volleyball, soccer ball and/or football), a beach umbrella, beach games (our friends brought EastPoint Sports Folding Disc Slam Spike Ball Game – Features Durable, Weather Resistant Material – Includes 2 Disc Slam Targets and 1 Flying Disc and washers and both were a big hit), rafts or noodles. If we are driving I’ll throw some or all of these extras in the car. If we fly, I’ve found that a quick trip to the dollar store can take care of this category for very little money. On our last day, we will give them to another family at the same resort or ask the resort if they’d like them for guests. Tasty snacks. Even if you are flying, consider packing a soft-sided cooler in your bag – I usually just...
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...
Guest Post: Several Families, One Fabulous Vacation

Guest Post: Several Families, One Fabulous Vacation

Since I’m off traveling today myself, I thought I’d bring you a special guest post from my good friend Tanya. If you are thinking of taking a trip with other families (and with  Spring Break coming up soon that might be a great idea) then this post will help you create a fun and memorable trip for everyone. We try to go on several vacations a year with either my SIL, parents or a good group of friends. With all that experience, I thought I knew everything there was to know about traveling with other families, but Tanya has some great tips that were new to me. Check it out below and then be sure to go over to her site for more fun and exciting trips and tips! I’m Traveling Tanya, and as you may have guessed…I love to travel! I am a busy mother and wife who works full time and takes on too many volunteer roles! But somehow I still find time to travel. And you can too! At www.travelingtanya.com I share my own travel experiences and tips with the goal of inspiring busy people to make travel a priority. I also love hearing about other people’s travel, and I get tons of inspiration from Pam’s everyday adventures. Today I’m delighted to be a guest on BeHealthyBeHappyWellness to share my tips for planning a fabulous vacation, not just for your own family, but for multiple families. Does the idea of planning a vacation with several other families sound like an amazing adventure…or a complete nightmare?! Planning a trip with numerous adults and children, all with different wants and...
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...

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...

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