How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

Are you looking for tips on how to pack the perfect picnic? Once the weather warms up, one of the first things I want to do is eat outside. Although I love sitting on a local restaurant’s patio, a picnic can be just as special and a lot more affordable! Plus, with limited seating at restaurants these days, it’s much easier to ensure a wonderful experience if you do it yourself. Here are my thoughts on what to bring on a picnic. Where to go on your picnic In order to pack the perfect picnic food, you’ll need to decide where you want to go on your picnic. Different venues lend themselves to a different list of picnic food items. Although there is always the traditional state park (which is an excellent option), there are other less common options: Local park. If you don’t want to make a day of it, this is an easy choice.Nearby lake or riverfront. This is especially fun if the lake has a beach or beautiful scenery.Local winery or brewery. Many local wineries and breweries don’t offer food and so you are welcome to bring your own – just make sure to call the location first to check.Park bench downtown. If you have a cute and safe downtown area, sitting on a park bench and people watching while enjoying a simple dinner can be a lovely break in the day.The beach. If you are lucky enough to live near the ocean, you should definitely pack a picnic and enjoy a day at the beach. These are just a few ideas that popped into my...
Restaurants offering more than carry-out

Restaurants offering more than carry-out

We are all eating at home a lot more than usual, and I know it can get pretty old. However, did you know that many of your local (and chain) restaurants are offering more than carry-out? Items like groceries, fresh bread, drinks, aged steaks, and more. What a fun way to create a special memory AND help support your local economy! How do you find them though? I used a few resources and found 6 great options near me. A simple Google search is always my first go-to. I also found some great resources on Yelp, a list of restaurants on my local tourism site, and a list on my local news website. After a five minute search, I had a bunch of options! Curious about what I found? Chain Restaurants offering more than carry-out Panera – Panera was one of the first chains to offer select groceries. And who doesn’t love freshly baked bread, right? You can order bread, bagels, some vegetables, milk, and more. Talk about upgrading your daily bread, right? Sullivan’s Steakhouse – If you are craving steak, why not order a perfectly aged steak from Sullivan’s? Yes, it’s going to be pricey, but WAY less expensive than actually eating at a fancy steakhouse. Add a bottle of wine from a local winery and you’ve got a pretty amazing meal. This would be ideal if you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary at home! Blaze Pizza – Blaze Pizza is offering DIY pizza kits. What a fun family activity! Why not order a few kits and make Friday night pizza an event versus just a normal...
Save Time and Money on Dinner

Save Time and Money on Dinner

Do you want to save time and money on dinner? Are you looking for new dinner ideas? Who isn’t, right? After all, as I often say, the more we save on time and money, the more time and money we have for taking vacations and finding everyday adventures. One of my favorite ways to save both time and money consistently is by menu planning. I know, I know, everyone who hates to cook and plan probably just groaned. But hear me out … Taking a few minutes early in the week to plan your menu for each day will easily save you 15 to 30 minutes every day. That’s several HOURS a week for a short investment of time. Not to mention all the money you’ll save by only purchasing what you need at the grocery AND only having to go once. Introducing Eat at Home However, even if the benefits of menu planning aren’t worth the effort to you, I’ve got a great resource that will do the work for you. Once you join Eat at Home, you’ll have a weekly menu (with a grocery list) already planned out for you. Not only is the planning work done, but the dinner recipes are also delicious and EASY. 15-minute Chipotle Chicken Nachos from Eat at Home’s Traditional Menu Plan April 2020 Each week, just log on to your membership and select the menu you want for the week. You can pick between four different meal plans: Traditional, Whole Food Plant-Based, Slow Cooker/ Instant Pot (perfect for REALLY busy weeks), and No Flour/No Sugar. Each week contains 5 or 6...
A Perfect Date Night

A Perfect Date Night

Date night doesn’t have to be your typical dinner & a movie (although you can make that special by visiting a unique theater!). Why not make this Valentine’s Day different by giving one of these three awesome date night ideas a try? Bonus if you schedule date nights for the next two weeks with the other two ideas! How about a Progressive Dinner? Idea #1: Create your own progressive dinner. We accidentally did this for our anniversary last year. Our first course was chips & guacamole and margarita’s during soccer practice and then we moved on to a much nicer restaurant for salads, wine, and dessert after we took our soccer player home. It was actually really fun and memorable so I decided to upgrade it this year for a unique night out. Start your evening with an appetizer or salad and a drink at one local restaurant, move on to another for entrees (or we did sushi since we aren’t big eaters) and finally end the night with coffee and dessert. If you have an area of town with several restaurants within walking distance of each other this can be a really fun experience! This works best with just two people because even if the restaurant is full you can often sit at the bar and be served pretty quickly at each stop. If you are on a tight budget this year, you could even do this with counter service restaurants – it’ll be a fun and inexpensive adventure. Get out and explore Idea #2: Skip the big night out and go exploring in a nearby town instead....
Create Your Own Donut Trail

Create Your Own Donut Trail

I’m sure you’ve heard of winery trails and brewery trails. They seem to be everywhere these days. However, recently I’ve started hearing about donut trails. Since we don’t have an official one near us, I thought it would be fun to create my own. So grab your travel mug of coffee and join me to create your own donut trail. Donut shops seem to be popping up left and right in our area. I think it’s because it’s a fun and affordable treat, and who doesn’t like a good donut, right? We have quite a few new ones nearby so if you like donuts, this would be the perfect way to spend a free day. Rebellion Doughnuts The first stop is Rebellion Doughnuts. It’s been on my radar as a place to check out since it opened less than a year ago. The restaurant is quite close to our house so it’s an ideal place to start this adventure. The interior has a funky industrial feel and in addition to fresh coffee, they have kombucha on tap. It’s perfect if you like a fizzy drink with your doughnuts. All the doughnuts are made fresh each morning and the flavors are interesting and unique. My son tried a bubble gum flavor (it really did taste like bubble gum and he loved the piece of gum to enjoy afterward) and I loved the lemon filled. Not only are the doughnuts delicious, but they are also pretty too – which is always a nice touch. I can easily see this becoming an addition to our weekly breakfast date. Jack’s Donuts Jack’s Donuts...
Foodies Flock to Fortville

Foodies Flock to Fortville

Why do foodies flock to Fortville? Fortville is a small town east of Indianapolis located in Hancock county. The population is just over 4000 and there is only one main street. However, it’s fast becoming a foodie destination for the surrounding counties. What a great place to add to my Explore Indiana adventures! With half a dozen delicious restaurants in downtown Fortville, there is a yummy meal perfect for any tastebuds. We’ve recently had the opportunity to check out three of them. Interested in Italian Food? Cortona’s Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar – Since Italian food is my daughter’s favorite, it was a no brainer for the two of us to check our Cortona’s on a recent lunch date. We arrived at an odd time (3:oo PM) for lunch, but the server warmly greeted us and seated us at a comfortable table for two. I have to admit I was a little leery of this one as the Yelp reviews weren’t as high as I normally like, but in the interest of this blog post, we went for it. Luckily, we LOVED the food. The menu was full of typical Italian dishes but with a creative twist. For example, I enjoyed the Ravioli di Simone & Beth which was butternut squash ravioli with arugula, prosciutto (on the side for me) in a Madera cream sauce. Serious yum. My daughter opted for the Spaghetti Allo Scoglio. The dish was full of fresh clams, mussels, calamari, and shrimp and sauteed in a white wine garlic sauce. It was light and flavorful. We split an order of Tiramisu for dessert. The service...

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