Travel Adventure: Sandusky, OHIO

 Disclosure: I received discounted media rates on our hotel during this trip. 
Visit Ohio #travelblogger

When you think of Sandusky, Ohio, what do you think of? Cedar Point? Probably. However, we didn’t go to Sandusky to see Cedar Point (this time). We went to Ohio to set out on an adventure, to find what else lies just over the border of Michigan and to spend time as a family exploring.

Let me take just a quick second and share with you a little about my long term goals. Over the next year my goal is to travel throughout the entire USA and then hopefully abroad. In traveling the US, I want to find out what makes America great. Do we still have that “sparkle” that we used to or is that old fashioned amazement gone? During my travels I hope to see, taste and hear the tradition and culture of America. To find the hidden treasures on the back roads of Route 66 and taste a New Orleans beignet.

Last week, we took to the road to visit our neighboring state of Ohio. With only a few days away from work, we had to make our time count. (This is something we need to work on too, getting more TIME to travel.) In setting our long term goals, we have decided to use whatever time we can get away from work and schedules to hit the road as a family. During this trip we were looking for somewhere to go that would be fun for the kids, after all, being a good traveler is something that must be taught. We decided that just packing up the kids, throwing them in the van and heading across the state probably would end in me pulling my hair out and vowing never to travel again. So instead, we have decided to start to introduce travel to our kids as being something to enjoy and to teach them to live in the moment. To do this we are starting with shorter distance trips and are working our way up to the longer car rides that I am so desperately longing for.

Visit Ohio #travelblogger #GreatWolfLodge #Sandusky

Within the Sandusky area of Ohio we found a hotel that would meet all of our needs. It was a nice, clean place for us to rest after exploring and it gave the kids that much needed excitement that they craved. I don’t know if you’ve ever stayed at a Great Wolf Lodge before, but wow, they have everything! From absolutely amazing staff to children focused activities and meals, we were completely head over heels with our choice to stay there, as were the kids.

Visit Ohio #travelblogger #thegreatwolflodge #sandusky
Visit Ohio #travelblogger @Greatwolflodge #sandusky
Within the hotel you will find an amazing water-park complete with slides, a lazy river, waterfalls and kiddie pools. 

#ad Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky Ohio
Visit Ohio #travelblogger

It truly was great fun for the entire family. The kind of fun that will make a kid once again out of you.

#greatwolflodge #food #travelblogger

The Great Wolf Lodge also have several in-house restaurants serving everything from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to tasty desserts. My favorite of the week was the room delivery pizza. Just call downstairs to place your order and you can enjoy an extremely tasty pizza in the comfort of your room while you take a break and relax. (Because seriously, with two young kids, sometimes you just need to relax while you eat. . especially once they get tired and cranky.)

Visit Ohio #greatwolflodge #travelblogger

Another fun aspect of our The Great Wolf Lodge was their arcade, the cub club and the creation station. When you check into your room, pick up the Pup Pass at the front desk. This deal will allow your kids to experience many of the fun activities around the lodge during your stay and save you tons of money over buying everything at the stations individually. We bought one for each kid and it gave us just the right amount of fun for the time we were there. Included in our pass was a “build a bear” style animal at the Creation Station, a glitz glitter tattoo in the waterpark, a color your own item at the Cub Club (t-shirt or pillowcase), a small ice cream at the Bear Paw Sweets & Treats plus a cup of self serve Mike & Ikes in the gift shop.

visit ohio #travelblogger #Sandusky #ohio

Once the kids had had their fun and got the wiggles out from the car ride, we set out to explore the surrounding area. In the spirit of adventure, we simply headed out to see what we could find, following street signs and turning down roads just because they looked cool. During our drive we found ourselves on the beach of Lake Erie. Across the water we could see the silhouette of Cedar Point. We rested for awhile enjoying the smell of the water, the bright sunshine and the sound of the seagulls overhead. From here you can walk downtown to find eclectic shops and unique places to eat plus a handful of historic buildings.

Visit Ohio #ghostlymanor #travelblogger #sandusky

Along our journey we came across a building that cant help but catch your eye. Out of the front of this building a large dragon was being released. Once we arrived closer to the building it sparked a memory in my mind. I could remember seeing this building on the Travel Channel as one of the best haunted houses around! We just had to go in! Once inside we opted for a nice game of glow in the dark putt putt. I would have liked to experience the haunted house, but didn’t think it was appropriate for my two little’s. Maybe next time.  (But that ok because the putt putt was super awesome too.)

Visit Ohio #Ghostlymanor #travelblogger

On the last day of our trip we were rained out, which was a huge bummer because I had found several other places that I wanted to visit before heading home. And while we didn’t get to visit them this time, I am hoping that we can make it back again in the future and check them out.

If you are visiting Ohio, here is a list of the best places to visit as a family.

Places we visited: 

The Great Wolf Lodge – Sandusky, OHIO
Ghostly Manor 
Downtown Sandusky

Other cool looking attractions: 

African Safari Wildlife Park – Port Clinton
Air Boat Rides
Put-In-Bay
Cedar Point
Edison’s Birthplace
Historic Lyme Village
Kelly’s Island
Perry’s Cave
The Toledo Zoo
Glacial Grooves

If you know of any others please let us know! You can also post your reviews of the places we’ve listed here to help other families start out on a grande adventure of their own.

Be A Hero, Help A Cause, Join the Run! @thesuperrun

The giveaway below has been provided by The Super Run

Do you fancy yourself to be a superhero? Being one may be easier than you think. So what is a superhero? A superhero is someone who cares about the well being of others, someone who stands up for someone when they cant stand up for themselves. Being a superhero is about having heart. If you’ve got heart, then you will want to check out a new multi-charity event that is all about giving back and having tons of fun.

Originating in Detroit, MI, this family centered event brings together tons of local charities making it easier for superhero’s like you to help even more of them. On September 6th the Super Run will be making it’s debut in Ann Arbor, MI. Super Hero’s (participants) can sign up to run either a 1K or 5K race to help benefit their favorite charities. Along with the race, there will be family centered activities such as moonbounces, face painting, DJ’s, magicians, and other goodies such as stickers and bubbles for the kids.

Check out this short video to learn more about this event and how/why it was started:

You can learn even more about this event and sign up to attend the Super Run on their website at http://www.superrun.com. You can also check to see when the Super Run is coming to a city near you! 
Want to join the fun and help support your favorite charities at the same time? Raising Dick and Jane along with The Super Run Event are giving away a free adult registration & a custom designed cape from www.superflykids.com. The registration is good for the September 6th event in Gallup Park. So mark your calendars and enter to win below!
Ready to transform yourself with your own custom cape? Use coupon code SUPERRUNFAN at Superflykids.com and receive 20% off your purchase.

A Sweet Deal on Little Passports Subscriptions

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.
#affiliate Little Passports



I’ve talked about Little Passports before and it’s something that my family still loves receiving every month in the mail. Right now we are working our way through the international set, but we are planning on traveling through the USA next. Whichever plan you choose, I know your going to love it. 

For 3 days only, get 15% off on all new Little Passports subscriptions with code: COOL15. Let your kids have fun while gearing up for the new school year with Little Passports!

If you’ve tried Little Passports in the past, or are a current subscriber, tell us what you think too. Do you love taking a virtual trip with your kids each month? Do you enjoy watching them find love in learning and a thirst for adventure? Share your thoughts. 

#ad Vintage Inspired Toys are Making a Come Back

Disclosure: This product was provided to me free of charge via myfbm for review purposes. 

Do you remember spending hours creating friendship bracelets for your friends back in grade school? I sure do. I think I used to try and peddle my work off on unsuspecting grown up for a quarter a piece too. It was my first experience with being creative and my first taste of crafting for profit. I never really ever did stop creating after those days. It all started with these bracelets and I am super excited to announce that they are starting to make a comeback. 

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The other day a package arrived on my doorstep (one of my favorite things about blogging) and inside I found the cutest friendship bracelet maker I’ve ever seen. WAY much better than the string and safety pin I used to use. 🙂 Come on, who else remembers pinning your bracelets to your pant legs to work on them? Either way, my daughter and I were thrilled. She was thrilled to have a new craft project (cuz she gets it from her mama) and I was thrilled to be able to teach her something that was such a big part of my childhood. 

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This little guitar shaped craft kit was excellent and had everything we needed to get started making bracelets together. It even has a drawer to hold the cord while your not using it.

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After a little bit of trial and error, with mom thinking she could still do this with her eyes closed, we finally were able to create several friendship bracelets to share with eachother, little brother and dad. My daughter was so proud of her creations that I may have started a lifetime love of crafting in her. That wouldn’t be too bad though. 🙂 I turned out ok. . well, maybe. 

#ad My Chord myfbm.com

You can check out this fun retro throwback toy by clicking here or by visiting myfbm.com. 

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Today we are giving you the chance to win your very own My Chord bracelet maker! Share your memories of crafting with someone you love and enter below:

Do you remember making friendship bracelets as a kid? What other toys or crafts do you think should make a come back? Tell us your thoughts.

5 Ways to Make Your Daily Chores Suck Less

We all have tasks or “chores” that we must complete on a daily basis. We all know that these “chores” suck. Most of the time I find myself rushing to throw in a load of laundry before I run out the door or quickly throwing my sink full of dishes into the automatic washer before company comes over. While these modern appliances are helpful, I have found that in my life when I simplify my everyday tasks and stop rushing, that I enjoy them more. Seriously? Enjoy housework? No way! 🙂

Way! By simplifying my tasks I mean by going back to the way things used to be done, when there was no rush and no quick fix. I must say that there is something fulfilling about doing work with my hands. While, yes, I do use my hands to toss dishes into the automatic washer it’s just not the same. I used to loathe these chores, the dishes go in, the dishes come out, the dishes get put into the cupboard. Its systematic, but put me in front of my sink with an open window in front of me, a cool breeze and a moment with my thoughts and suddenly I don’t hate it anymore. There is just something about simplifying my everyday tasks that I love.

After finding that I actually enjoy doing things “old school” so much better, I started looking for other ways to de-modernize my life. Each time I ditched a modern appliance and did things the way they used to be done, I found myself creating joy. Here are several of the ways I have changed my chores from mundane tasks into something I actually enjoy.

Line dried laundry – I mean, seriously, have you ever had line dried sheets on your bed? Mmm. The smell of the fresh air embedded in them is amazing. This year I had my husband build for me my very first clothes line and I am so glad he did. I love standing in the sun to hang up our clothes while the kids get a chance to play outside as I work. Plus, the kids have found out the joy of running and hiding between the hanging sheets. It is wonderful to have them laughing and playing with me as I get things around the house done. Line drying my clothing gives me a chance to appreciate being outdoors and use more of what nature has to offer. (Not to mention is saves in energy bills!)

Hand washing– After finding my enjoyment with line drying my clothes, I decided to start hand washing more of our clothing as well. While I still use the machine to wash heavily soiled items and things like jeans, I now have a separate basket for the things I’d like hand washed. One or twice a week I set aside time to get my hands sudsy. You can even take this outdoors and wash clothes in the sunshine with a large tub and a garden hose.

Grocery shopping at home– Growing food in a home garden is something that I started doing a couple of years ago and am still enamored with. Not only do I love watching our food take shape from a seed into something we can sit down and eat, but my kids are learning so much more about nutrition and good food by us doing this. Growing our own food teaches us patience, diligence, responsibility and more about the wonders of nature (plus, its better for us). Also, if you slow down and appreciate your garden you can actually find relaxation and meditation while weeding and caring for it. My garden is my therapy most days.

Preserving food for winter– I would still consider myself a novice at this. Last summer I made enough refrigerator pickles to feed an entire army (because that was all I knew how to make), but canning food is a learning experience and gives you such a sense of accomplishment when you are done. It’s hard to explain, but its empowering.

Slow cooking is another daily task that I have grown to love. By slow cooking I don’t mean using my crockpot, I mean cooking and baking with real ingredients and from basic ingredients. You know using things like, eggs, butter, milk and fresh from the garden ingredients. By slowing down in the kitchen I am enjoying the process of cooking so much more. My meals have also improved, I’ve opened myself up to being more adventurous and I’ve taught myself several new culinary skills. However, the best reward from slow cooking is being able to teach my children how to be affluent in the kitchen with me. It is a great bonding time that we share.

Going back and doing these things in a basic manner has allowed me to slow down, breathe deeper and calm my spirit all while my tasks are getting done. Sometimes I cant help but feel like all of these modern appliances are actually removing the joy out of life. It’s all about getting things done, rushing on to the next thing and while we always find ourselves in a hurry with so much to do, we never actually feel like we’ve gotten anything done. It’s time to slow down and appreciate the small things in our lives.

I know what you might be thinking “I don’t have time for that”. Well, I don’t really either. I work two jobs (one outside of the home) and I am responsible for the housework and family meals at the same time. I have a lot going on, all of the time. However, my busy schedule may actually be the reason why I enjoy slowing down with my chores so much. It has to be done anyways, right? Why not enjoy it.

What other daily tasks do you turn away from modern appliances with? Do you have something that you’d much rather put your elbow grease into instead of use modern technology? Tell me about it. 

Tie Dye Kit {Flash Giveaway} #ad #tiedyeyoursummer

Disclosure: I received the products in this giveaway from a previous sponsored post 

Since I love all of my friends so much, I wanted to take this opportunity and give something back to you. When the sponsor from my last feature sent me products to use, they sent me more than I needed for my article. I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to share. I hope you have fun and be sure to let me know how you choose to #tiedyeyoursummer!

Simply click on “ENTER ME” to put your name in the drawing. Easy Peasy. Plus, if your a Facebook fan you get a special extra entry just for being awesome. 🙂

Here’s what you can win!
1- 3 piece tie dye kit
4- large white t-shirts
#ad #flashgiveaway #tiedyeyoursummer

GOOD LUCK!! 
xoxo

No Sew Tie Dye Couch Pillows #tiedyeyoursummer with @ilovetocreate #ad

Disclosure: This post was written in conjunction with Blue Print Social and Tulip Brand. All opinions are my own. #tiedyeyoursummer
#ad #tiedyeyoursummer @ilovetocreate Tie Dye Pillowcases

Oh my gosh! I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love tie dye. The colors. The design. The memories! Tie dye just screams out SUMMERTIME to me and today we are going to talk about how to tie dye your summer with Tulip brand tie dye.

I think my passion for tie dye was born during the time I spent as a camp counselor. Those summer days spent deep in the woods with daily campfires, songs, friendships, romances and of course, lots of tie dye. 

I remember those days fondly and think that my time at that camp was a poster child for how summers should be spent. There was a certain level of freedom or free spirit vibe during those days. Anything was possible and nothing really mattered. We were all just there to have the absolute best time that we could.

Now here I sit, 13 years later, and I still hold those memories close to my heart. So today I decided to bring back that ol’ summer feeling with my kids and make a pair of tie dye couch pillows and of course some new additions to the whole families wardrobe while I am at it! Times have definitely changed, but my love for tie dye has not! 🙂

#ad #tiedyeyoursummer @ilovetocreate Tie Dye Pillowcases

No Sew Tie Dye Couch Pillows

Materials: 

2 pack of zippered cotton pillow covers
hem tape
Tulip Tie Dye pack
rubber bands
plastic gloves
Ziploc bag – gallon sized

#ad #tiedyeyoursummer @ilovetocreate Tie Dye Pillowcases
Tip: These cotton protectors did not hold the ink as well as a regular pillow case did. 

Directions: 

I began by washing my pillow covers and leaving them damp. (Just wrung out) They need to be slightly wet when the paint is applied.

Next, I mixed up my tie dye according to the instruction provided in the kit. (Be sure to wear gloves when you do this. It stains.)

#ad #tiedyeyoursummer @ilovetocreate Tie Dye Pillowcases

I then laid my pillow covers out on a flat surface and pinched a spot on the cover. I began to twist the pinched area, allowing the rest of the cover to follow into a swirl pattern. I ended up with a circle.

#ad #tiedyeyoursummer @ilovetocreate Tie Dye Pillowcases

Without picking up the cover, slide a rubber band around the cover to help hold it in place. Repeat this step with one more band creating an X in the center of the circle.

Using the easy pour bottles from Tulip, I began to add a different color to each section (the place between the rubber bands). I only used three colors (red, blue and yellow) and allowed them to overlap to create secondary colors as well (purple, orange and green).

#ad #tiedyeyoursummer @ilovetocreate Tie Dye Pillowcases

Once I covered one side in dye, I repeated the same process on the other side. Be sure to put the color in the same sections as before.

#ad #tiedyeyoursummer @ilovetocreate Tie Dye Pillowcases

Next, I dropped my fully tie dyed cover into a zippered bag (still bound by rubber bands) and closed it up. Finally I waited at least 8 hours before rinsing it out.

After 8 hours or more has past, I removed the cover from the bag, unbinded the rubber bands and rinsed with water. Be sure to wear protective gloves again and I recommend doing this outdoors with the hose. Its messy.

#ad #tiedyeyoursummer @ilovetocreate Tie Dye Pillowcases

I let the hose rinse the covers until the water ran clear, then I hung them up to dry outside.

Once the cover dried, I needed to make mine smaller to fit my couch pillows, so I cut the opposite end from the zipper off and closed the opening with hem tape. Now I can easily remove the pillows using the zipper when they need washed and replace them without a problem.

I am so excited that I am making new tie dye summer memories with my family and rockin’ it with the home fashion! Tie dying is seriously a blast!

#ad #tiedyeyoursummer @ilovetocreate Tie Dye Pillowcases

I even wore my new shirt to the 4th of July celebration. Everyone loved it. 🙂 

What is your favorite tie dye memory? 

For more information on the products we used today visit: 


Facebook: facebook.com/lovetocreate
Twitter: twitter.com/ilovetocreate
Pinterest: pinterest.com/ilovetocreate
Blog: http://ilovetocreateblog.blogspot.com

For more great Tie Dye ideas check out these featured blog posts:

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Frankenmuth, MI {Where There is a Party Everyday}

Have you ever been to Frankenmuth, MI? Chances are that when you visited this Bavarian themed city there was a parade or festival of some sort, right? It sure seems that way every time we go, and truthfully, I absolutely love that.

Frankenmuth is a small tourist town off the beaten path in Michigan that certainly knows what it is doing. It is not necessarily something you would just “happen” across, yet every time I step foot onto their streets I find them to be packed with people from all over the world. I believe that this happens because what little Bavaria is offering is much more than just a place to visit. Frankenmuth, MI is offering visitors a sense of community, family enrichment, great food and spectacular sights and sounds. Along with all of these every day enticements, they also put on one (or in this case, many) fabulous festivals throughout the year.

Here is a list of what’s coming up this summer in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Keepsake Collections Art & Craft Shows: July 25-27; Aug. 22-24; Sept. 5-7; Sept. 19-21
 – Come shop handmade art throughout the city.

Cass River Colonial Encampment: July 19-20, 2014

Michigan Bier Celebration: July 19, 2014
 – Enjoy beer samplings from one of their many breweries!

Antique Fire Muster: July 26, 2014
 – Fire trucks on display. 

Bavarian Inn Triathlon: August 2, 2014

Summer Music Fest: August 7-9 ; 14-16 2014

Autofest: Sept. 5-7, 2014
– Come and look at vintage cars and hot rods. (One of my favorites)

Oktoberfest: Sept. 18-21, 2014

View more info on these great festivals by clicking here.

So if your considering visiting, any day is usually a good day to visit. There is bound to be something going on and if there’s not, you will still find lots to do and see!

Other great things to do in Frankenmuth:

Eat at one of the world famous restaurants.
Shop at the eclectic stores and visit the outdoor mall.
Sample fudge from one of the fudge shops (and watch them make it too!)
Sip beers at one of the cities many breweries.
Take a ride on the Bavarian Belle Riverboat.
Visit the Adventurepark (an outdoor aerial course)
Take a ride on a horse drawn carriage.
Put yourself in the holiday mood by visiting a year round Christmas store!

My family and I love to make the trip into Frankenmuth whenever we can. This fun city sure packs a BIG punch! Check it out.

If you have been to Frankenmuth before, share you favorite places to go with us! We’d love to hear your recommendations too.

Learn more about Frankenmuth, MI by visiting their website at http://www.frankenmuth.org

Day Trip to The Detroit Zoo

I must still be a kid at heart because I still love going to the zoo. I love the sights, the sounds and (yes) even the smells. If you’ve ever been to a good zoo, you will know that there is so much more to see than just the animals. Zoo curators actually put a lot of time and effort into the scenery, architecture and foliage of their exhibits. So look around. Look up and look down. What you will notice in the details is nothing short of spectacular.

Yesterday the kids and I went to one of our favorite zoo’s: The Detroit Zoo. I love this zoo for so many reasons, but one of those reasons is because of its natural beauty. Seriously, you could spend an entire day just moseying through the nature trails, relaxing on the boardwalk or having a picnic in  one of their many parks. There is just so much to do at the Detroit Zoo even after you have visited with all of the animals!

But let’s say you really just wanted to see the animals, well they’ve got them too. Most of the exhibits are open air exhibits without cage boundaries so it feels like you can get up close and personal with the animals.

During our visit with the bears we got to see them playing. They would stand up on their hind legs and hit each other in the face, then run, play and jump on each other. It was beautiful, magnificent and funny all at the same time.

The beauty and enjoyment at this zoo is what keeps us coming back time and time again. For more information on visiting the Detroit Zoo, check out their website: http://www.detroitzoo.org/

Do you have a favorite zoo or know of a place we should visit? Share it in the comments!