• Headless Horseman 2019
    Adventures,  Indiana,  Indianapolis with Kids,  Midwest

    Headless Horseman 2019

    Conner Prairie’s Headless Horseman is probably our number one favorite Indianapolis with kids events. Harp and Indy have been talking about it since the first spring leaves sprouted. One part fall festival, one part spookfest, there is something for all my kids to enjoy, regardless of their age or interest in being totally creeped out. Harper would prefer we skip anything mildly scary. She gets the heebie jeebies walking through the Halloween section of Home Depot. Indy on the other hand, well he’s more than happy to talk about spiders and gross stuff all day long. And Hank is still unphased by most things but I’m not sure if that’s…

  • grain free dog treats
    Pet Treats,  Recipes

    Homemade Pumpkin Parsley Dog Biscuits

    Our animals are spoiled. The guinea pigs live in a cage large enough to be considered a full on chateau. The dogs sleep in our bed. Sadie at the foot and Scout up on my pillow around my head like a night cap. We treat them as best we can and part of that is minding the food they eat. While, I can’t always keep Hank from dropping 90% of the food we give him on the floor or get to it before the dogs, we try to make sure Sadie doesn’t end up with wheat or corn anything because she’s allergic to them. They are on a special diet…

  • meal planning on a budget
    Budgeting and Saving Money,  Meal Planning,  Recipe Roundup

    Feeding a Family of 5 on a Budget

    When we moved to Indiana, one of our main goals was to get back into the black. After years of not quite making ends meet and living paycheck to paycheck, we had and still have a lot to pay off. Keeping those goals in mind, our monthly budget for groceries for a family of five, plus two dogs and two guinea pigs is $400. That’s including all the breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and treats we eat in a month along with stuff like cleaning supplies, dog food, critter supplies, deodorant, shampoo. You get what I’m saying. All our food and household items. When people hear we eat well on less…

  • chocolate chip coconut cookie
    Cookies,  Dessert,  Recipes

    Almond Joy Cookies

    When I can’t sleep you’ll probably find me clanking around the kitchen at midnight, washing up mixing bowls and spoons waiting to see how the first batch of a new recipe comes out. I’m a stress baker. When my life feels hectic and overwhelming (and I’ve already added too many animals to the family to get a pass from Guy) , I make pies and cakes so I can eat my feelings from scratch. These chocolate coconut cookies are another late night discovery that’s become a favorite in our house. The coconut adds a really unique chewy texture and the almonds provide a satisfying crunch. This page contains affiliate links.…

  • brown county state park
    Adventures,  Indiana,  Midwest

    Brown County State Park Camping

    Indiana has this weird habit of stealing city names from all over. There’s a Columbus and a Brazil, an Atlanta and a Long Beach. And a Nashville, Indiana which is where we spent a surprisingly temperate summer weekend camping at Brown County State Park to celebrate a-not-so little girl’s 9th spin around the sun. We packed my mom car to the brim with as many of the essentials as we could fit and headed south, not before stopping at Portillo’s for Chicago dogs and a free slice of chocolate birthday cake for Harper. Nashville is about two hours south of our home on the North end of Indianapolis and our…

  • Rainbow Baby's First Birthday
    Infertility and Pregnancy Loss,  Milestones

    Hank is One

    Oh Hank,My sweet baby boy. When you were born, I let out a breath I’d been holding in tight for over a year. I hadn’t even noticed until it came out in one big whoosh as the doctor called “it’s a boy!” from behind the drape. I was so sure, I would never meet you. Never sit, blinking away my exhaustion, and trace your delicate features in the muted glow of a 3am night light. I spent most of my pregnancy mourning all the things I’d never watch you do and then like a miracle, you were here, on the outside with a little cry. Seven pounds, nine ounces. Perfect…

  • Crock Pot Pork Roast
    Pork,  Recipes,  Slow Cooker

    Slow Cooker Red Wine and Herb Pork Roast

    With school back in session, most weeknights are just a mad dash from grabbing Harper off the school bus to bedtime with a lot of math problems, spelling words, and mini melt-downs from the boys in between. On really busy nights we rely heavily on the slow cooker because it’s easier to spend a feel minutes prepping in the morning than it is to cook a whole meal when three kids all need something from me at the end of a long day. This particular slow cooker pork roast recipe makes me feel better about embracing my crock pot because I don’t have to trade in sophisticated, complicated flavors that…

  • Mounds State Park Anderson Indiana
    Adventures,  Indiana,  Indianapolis with Kids,  Midwest

    An Afternoon at Mounds State Park

    When the weather is nice, it’s rare to find us indoors. My middle kid is feral and when he’s stuck inside he acts like the caged animal he is. This summer we spent nearly every weekend somewhere new. Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana is less than half an hour from our house so we skipped over for park barbecue and some hiking on a warm Sunday afternoon. The park is just over 250 acres of woods, trails, a campground, swimming pool, and river access, along with the prehistoric structures that give the park it’s name. Nature Center Whenever we visit a new park we make a bee line for…

  • Indiana State Fair Pig
    Adventures,  Indiana,  Indianapolis with Kids,  Midwest

    A Day at the Indiana State Fair

    When we lived in California we were nine hours from the Sacramento, the state capital, and by extension the state fair. In the 24 years I lived there I never went. Now we live just outside of Indianapolis and somehow the proximity to the fairgrounds where the Indiana State Fair is held compels me to go. Last year, we went on an outlandishly hot day while I was ridiculously pregnant. For reference Hank was born less than a month later. I was not impressed. Maybe I was over the heat and lugging around 50 extra pounds of bouncing baby boy (and belly) with me at every turn. Anyway, we thought…

  • Fall In Indiana
    Insights and Anecdotes,  Midwest Living

    A Flash of Fall

    Yesterday was our first little glimpse into the coming fall. Of course we are still nearly a month out from the season’s official start but yesterday was the first truly crisp morning. The first time I turned back in to grab a sweatshirt from the coat rack. Fall in Indiana doesn’t come all at once. It’s gradual, so soft-footed I often don’t realize it’s settled in until I find myself reaching for the clothes that have slowly migrated to the far back of the closet thanks to the hot, damp days July and August bring. It sort of starts with one technicolor tree. Color catching and jumping down the road,…

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