may in indiana*

I grew up 2.5 miles west of Lucas Oil Raceway and 10 miles west of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, famous for the Indy 500! I was never interested in watching cars race in circles, even on the TV. Living so close to the tracks, you knew summer had started when you can hear the race cars practicing. It was a good sound, it reminded you school was almost over and the best weather was approaching. Living in California I lived right next to Highway 5 and the noise was a comfort to me. As I drove downtown today to take my finals I was reminded how much I love Indiana. Speedway was in full bloom with spectators camping out. The weather was sunny and just the right warm in the higher 70s.

Indiana has been in the news regarding the Anti LBT Religious Freedom Act, but my friends and all of our friends are very accepting to respecting others for their choices. Our generation is full of acceptance and enjoying life! Indiana has so much to offer! My friends and I have done the Handlebar Indy a few times to get some exercise and to enjoy this great city!

Where else in the world can you find a theme park based off the major holidays in a town called Santa Claus? Indiana of course! Holiday World has my favorite water park in Indiana. Please put visiting Indiana on your bucket list. As a person who has many to a few places and lived away for 3 years. I have came back and plan on staying. Indiana is full of wholesome people and a relaxed way of living. It’s a great place to put down roots

Holiday World Theme Park

Indianapolis Skyline

*adopting Paddington

On Saturday my husband and I went to see the new Paddington Bear movie. I don’t recall reading the books when I was little, but I knew who Paddington was. He is definitely iconic.

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I wanted to see the movie because it looked very cute, as well as relive our London adventure!

The movie had a lot of deeper meanings, but my favorite was how adopting a pet can bring your family together! The mother in the story wasn’t afraid to walk up to Paddington and ask him where he was staying. She of course had to convince the husband to let them take him home for the night. A bear, or any animal of course is a curious creature, like any of our pets, Paddington made a huge mess shortly after entering their home. Of course he didn’t do it on purpose, but it made the father angry. The next morning the mother was supposed to take him to the authorities, but of course couldn’t because she interested in Paddington’s history. Paddington quickly turns into a hero, even for their teenage daughter. The mother could see the family was starting to change, and the father was starting to enjoy the adventure. After a bad guy gets Paddington into trouble, with the father extremely angry, Paddington runs away! The family then has to join together to find the one who could keep them together!

This story of course reminded my husband and I about adopting Bruce Wayne (our dog). He was such a hassle the first few days, he cried at night and explored into places he shouldn’t have. Over the years he still is a trouble maker, getting himself hurt, eating chocolate, chewing on clothes. But again, it is just his nature. Bruce Wayne has made so many of our friends and family smile and laugh. When you get home from a hard day at work and see his excitement, you can’t help but smile. The love of a pet brings families together. That’s what Paddington did for his adopted family! Please give your family the joy of having a pet! They can make your life so much more rewarding!

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“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” ~ Karen Davison

*good luck to the colts

I’m not a big sports fan, nor am I an athlete, but when it comes to cheering on an Indiana team, I’m all for it! The Colts were doing very well during my high school school years. Thanks to my friend, Andrew S, I was able to attend a game in row 14! I prefer attending games, I love all the excitement. But I am very scared of heights. One season I received free tickets in the new Lucas Oil Stadium at the end zone on an upper level, but it was still way too high.

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I’ve been cheering on the Colts with my family as long as I can remember. When Daniel and I started dating we enjoyed watching Colts games together. His dad was a season ticket holder. The seats were too high for me, but still an exciting time.

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In 2007 we watched the Colts win the Super Bowl at his brother’s house!

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Today we are watching the Colts play against verses the Patriots at our friends house! If the Colts win they will be going to the Super Bowl! When a sports team wins, they win for their city. It brings great publicity, which Indiana could really use! So good luck, Luck, make Indiana proud!

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” ~ Vince Lombardi

*saturday dinner & games

I’m getting excited that a few of our couple friends are coming over Saturday for some dinner and games! We have got together 2 other times since moving back to Indiana. I plan on serving baked brie, homemade chili, and apple cobbler!

I’ve known Jared since first grade and he married his high school sweetheart, Kirsten. Daniel has known Steven since junior high, they were best friends for the longest time. Steven is married to his high school sweetheart, Cyndi. I didn’t start hanging out with Cyndi until the end of our junior year, and she set behind me in 1st period the fall of our senior year. They are expecting their first child in June and it’s a boy! Then you have Fred and his wife Laura. Daniel and I knew Fred through band and the same friends in high school. He met Laura during college at Indiana University! She fits in so well the group!

In August we had everyone over for the first time. We played Cash n’ Guns, a game where you get to point fake guns at your friends and spouse. I think we had a little too much fun with that! (from the lower left- Steven, Kirsten, Daniel, Jared,  & Fred). And even with the lovely meal I prepared for them the killed me first! I call them my friends?!?

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(Above Cyndi pointing a gun on her hubby)

We have also played the Resistance and One Night Werewolf. We tried playing the Newlywed game, but the questions were either confusing or way to personal. Don’t worry Daniel and I won that game!

I’m not sure what games we will play this weekend. Steven is the gamer of the group! I just bake the goodies!

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and share of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” ~Khalil Gibran

*been a week

I’m sorry it’s been a week since my last post! I have so many ideas that I want to write about, but I have no where to start. For the ones I have started, I don’t know how to finish. I’ve only been with this blog for a couple of months, so I can’t give up on this project like I do on so many.

I’m also struggling how not to be a Debby Downer. Classes have started and I already feel overwhelmed in math. I’m also already tired of Indiana’s below freezing temperatures. And although I was just in London two weeks ago I’m already researching where to go next!

I started this blog to remind all of us that we have to look at the positives in this one life we are given. And of course I am getting the winter blues!

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Stay tuned…

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers; the believers and thinkers; but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” ~Edmund Lee

*naturally real food

On the goal of living a more natural life, I have been trying to eat out less. The first year Daniel and I were married we ate out all of the time. In September of 2013 we did the 10 Day Real Food Pledge through 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake. Daniel and I did our best and finished without any complications, but staying with it was going to be far too challenging. A few pictures of our meals those 10 days…

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Since moving back to Indiana we have 95% of our meals each week homemade. I make dinner almost every night and we actually sit at our dinning table without the tv on! I’ve been loving making fish dishes. My favorite meal lately has been Cooking Classy’s Baked Lemon Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce. But we also have meat/fish as the main entree with a vegetable and starch side. Of course we have our days were we don’t feel like cooking so we get pizza, Taco Bell, or Steak ‘n Shake, mostely because it is cheap.

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I’ve started hating eating at large franchises like Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Outback Steakhouse, etc. Actually I can’t remember the last time I ate at those places. I prefer small local restaurants. In California I had a lot more options. There was Euro Cafe, they had the best tuna sandwiches. When Daniel and I craved Mexican food we would go to the Chili Pepper in Orange. They also finished your meal with an apple dessert (pictured below is the fruit place the give you to start the meal on the weekends)!

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Being on the west side of Indianapolis we are a little more limited. In Danville, the best place for breakfast is the Bread Basket! You must try their Cinnamon Roll French Toast if you are in the mood for something sweet. Their omelets are excellent as well! For Italian we have Frank’s Place, also in Danville, seems to make everything from fresh! Below is my family eating there on my mom’s birthday!

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If you live on the south side of Indianapolis, or don’t mind a little drive, you have to eat at Gray’s Brothers Cafeteria! Come hungry! They make everything fresh daily, even their pies! Beware the line goes out the door! I always get their roast beef with a side of green beans and mac n cheese.

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There are a lot of local Indianapolis restaurants I want to try, but I also feel like I can make some of the dishes just as well, for half the cost!

In the absence of the truth, all of us stand helpless to defend ourselves, our families and our health, which is the greatest gift we have. Robyn O’Brien’s courageous pursuit is an example of how we can all do our parts to protect the health of our families.” ~Erin Brockovich

*natural products i love

So it’s hard to completely go all natural in the 2015. I have found a few products that I love and trust, that make life a little less complicated!

When a news report came out saying the “sparkle” in tooth paste was really plastic, I got rid of my Crest toothpaste! Since then I have been using Tom’s of Maine, toothpaste. I love the way my teeth feel after brushing, almost as good as getting my teeth cleaned by the dentist!

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I also love the Yes To products! I have face wipes, shampoos, cleansers, scrub, shower gel, and chapstick (with SPF). I started with their face wipes, tried the shower gel, and most recently the shampoo and conditioner!

I would love to found a good company that sells natural makeup. So if you have any recommendations, that won’t break the bank, please share!

“YES TO makes you smile (read our packaging!) We want to inspire people to take ordinary life moments and make them extraordinary by doing two things:
a) smiling more (let’s see it!)
b) saying YES at least once a day!”- Mission Statement of Yes To