Ready or Not – Chicago Here I Come

Disclosure: I am headed out on this adventure as a #stonyfieldblogger [ad]

#EWR15 #stonyfieldblogger #RDJtravels


 Back when I decided to take this journey – of writing my own blog – I told myself up front that I would never know it all – nor should I ever expect to, but that shouldn’t stop me from always trying to improve. I decided from the very start that the destination was not what really mattered to me, it was more about the journey. It was a deep desire that I had to learn, grow and discover more and more each day. You see, this whole thing started with a passion that became an obsession and while I wish I could say that one day my drive will be fulfilled – I am afraid that I can’t. At least for me, the road just keeps on going because there is always more to learn, to see and to do. And even though sometimes it is unnerving to step off one path or turn down another street, I have found that when you do sometimes you find the most amazing things waiting for you. 

In just a few short days I will be heading out on a new adventure: to learn about food creation, writing and photography in the heart of Chicago – thanks to my ambassadorship with Stonyfield. This is something that I am super excited about but I am also a little bit nervous – so I hope you will join me! You can follow along with my adventures by following #RDJTravels and #stonyfieldblogger on both twitter and Instagram.  Come on – you might get a laugh out of my lack of foodie knowledge and who know’s we both might just learn a thing or two too. 

Follow me now on Instagram

Follow me now on Twitter


You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t loose it. – Robin Williams

Homemade Rainbow Smore’s Ice Cream #ShareFunshine

  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareFunshine #CollectiveBias

For me, summer is all about bright colors, fun in the sun and smore’s. That is after all the definition of summer, isn’t it? Even if it’s not – it should be. What could be better than these three things? Glad you asked. Check out this recipe for homemade rainbow smore’s ice cream! It combines all of my summer time favorites. Psst. There is also a best part! I made it with my mixer – no ice cream maker needed! Yeah! Now we can ALL scream for ice cream!

Homemade Rainbow Smore's Ice Cream #ad #ShareFunshine #cbias

During the summer months I tend to find myself at my local Sam’s Club much more frequently. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that it takes a lot to feed a family – especially a family who is now home with me everyday. Plus, during the summer, our days are usually filled with road trips and small get-together’s – which I need to either pack snacks or bring a dish to pass to. So even though I am happy to spend some of my time in the kitchen preparing homemade treats for family and friends, I am going to be a little bit selfish and say that I don’t want to spend my summer in a grocery store. Nope, I would much rather spend my time enjoying the sunshine outside with my family and friends.

XXL Bags of M&M's at Sam's Club #ad #ShareFunshine #cbias

On my last trip to Sam’s Club, I came across these XXL bags of M&M’s® in all of my favorite flavors:  M&M’s® CrispyM&M’s® Original, M&M’s® Peanut. Ok, so I “might” be a little bit of an M&M’s® fan. But seriously, they are so versatile! During the summer I can use them to whip up M&M’s® cookies to take to a cookout or prepare a trail mix to take on the road with us for a quick snack. Plus with the resealable top, I can use only what I need for a recipe and then easily put the rest back for another time. I can also use them to make this homemade rainbow smore’s ice cream – which my family adores as a once in awhile special summer time treat.

How to Make Homemade Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Machine #ad #ShareFunshine #cbias

We used to make our homemade ice cream using an ice cream maker, but it took so long that we just stopped doing it – then I found this super easy way to make ice cream using a stand mixer. We’ve been hooked. The taste is much creamier than standard ice cream and we love that we can easily create our own flavors – in only minutes!

Check out how easy it was for us to create this recipe:

Homemade Rainbow Smore’s Ice Cream

Ingredients

2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 Tablespoon Vanilla
Dash Salt
1 Cup M&M’s® Original
1/2 Cup Mini Marshmallows

Toppings

Crushed Graham Crackers
Marshmallow Creme
Waffle Cone Bowl

Directions

  1. Begin by adding all of the heavy whipping creme to a mixer bowl – beat on medium speed until the mixture starts to thicken. 
  2. Add can of sweetened condensed milk, salt and vanilla to the thickened whipping creme and continue to beat on medium speed until stiff peaks are formed. 
  3. Toss in the M&M’s® and mini marshmallows and beat on slow speed just to mix. 
  4. Transfer the mixture to a freezer safe dish and freeze for 4-6 hours. 
  5. Serve in a waffle cone bowl and top with marshmallow creme and crushed graham crackers. 

Rainbow Smore's Ice Cream Recipe #ad #ShareFunshine #cbias

Like this idea and want to PIN IT for later? Simply hoover over this photo and click on the Pinterest symbol when it appears in the lower left hand corner. 

Rainbow Smore's Ice Cream Recipe #ad #ShareFunshine #collectivebias

What other fun recipe or craft idea’s do you have for using M&M’s®? Share them with us in the comments. 

#ShareFunshine #ad #cbias

Summer Events at The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village

Just when I thought I couldn’t adore the Henry Ford Museum any more, they went and added a summer full of retro fun! Check out this exciting line up and be sure to come back and check out my own personal experiences as these events take place. I will be tweeting, periscoping and more directly from the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village all summer long. For full disclosure – I have been provided with media passes so I can get the inside scoop for you!  

#ad The Henry Ford Summer Activities
Roadside America – Through the Lens of John Margolies – shared by the Henry Ford

 Motor Muster 

This weekend, June 20-21, Greenfield Village will be filled with over 850 cars from 1930s to 1970s!
Plus, Saturday night you can dance the night away at a retro sock hop! This event is fun for the entire family! Kids especially will love driving reproduction pedal cars at Junior Driver’s Ed and building, decorating, and racing their very own derby cars with Pine Car Enthusiasts. 

Historic Baseball Games

Watch a historic baseball game every Saturday and Sunday at Greenfield Village. These exciting games are played by 1867 rules and feature live music! 

Roadside America

Also opening this weekend, running June 20 – January 24, Roadside America takes guests through a photography tour of some of the fun and weird sights found across the U.S.A.. I am very excited to check this one out! 


#ad Retro Fun at the Henry Ford Museum


Plus, as always the museum and village are full of their traditional fun and entertainment. I hope to see you there! 


Read more about the Henry Ford, along with great places to eat and stay during your trip here. 

Roadside Attraction: Worlds Biggest Bat – Louisville, KY

In the 1950’s when the interstate was developed many roadside attractions were abandoned and left to be forgotten. However, if you are like me, you haven’t forgotten them – instead you crave them. To me they symbolize a break from the fast pace life of the interstate – an era of joy, adventure and freedom. They offer an opportunity to search out new towns and cities – an excuse to take a different road or turn down that path that you wouldn’t otherwise take. Join with me today as we discover one of my favorites – the #worldslargest baseball bat in Louisville, Kentucky. 

worlds largest baseball bat in Louisville Kentucky

On my latest trip to Louisville, Kentucky I excitedly searched out the worlds largest bat – which sits propped up against the Louisville Slugger Museum. This bat, which reaches 120 feet tall and weighs 68,000 pounds, is an exact replica of Babe Ruth’s 34″ Louisville Slugger. Because of it’s size and the placement between buildings, it is hard to capture in a single frame photograph. However, believe me – it is a spectacular sight.

Where to find this attraction

800 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202

While most roadside attractions have been long abandoned, this one has not. It is well taken care of and located within a bustling city full of great food, sights and adventures. Plus, after gazing in awe of the worlds largest baseball bat, you can take a tour inside the museum and see how Louisville Slugger baseball bats are made or buy a souvenir in the attached gift shop. There is also a retro memorabilia exhibit available to tour pass holders from March 14 through October 4, 2015. Tickets into the museum are : Adults $12, Seniors (60+) $11, Kids (6-12) $7, Kids 5 & under Free. *Ticket prices may change. See website for seasonal hours. 

Must See Rating: 5
* 1= poor / 5=excellent

fun roadside attractions

Like roadside attractions as much as we do? Join us on Instagram or Twitter and share your favorites with us by tagging @raisingdickjane. We’d love to see them. 

Dinosaurs at the Detroit Zoo

The dinosaurs are back! You can visit them now at the Detroit Zoo plus get a chance to win Jurassic World screening passes and promotional items. All of the details are below.

Disclosure: We were given free tickets to this event, so be sure to watch for a full review soon!

Anybody else have a dino-obsessed four year old? I know I am not alone here. I can’t be. Now how many of you were raised on the movie Jurassic Park? Go ahead, raise your hand – parenting was a lot different back when we were growing up. I was ten when the first movie was released and I remember watching it and being scared out of my mind (Thanks Dad). Even today, when my son plays with his dinosaur figurines, parts of the movie replay back to me in my mind. I don’t think I will ever forget it. My husband, on the other hand, loved the first movie and couldn’t be more excited about the release of Jurassic World on June 12, 2015. Anyone want to go with him? Cuz it certainly isn’t going to be me!

Even though I don’t feel brave enough to see the new release of the Jurassic World movie, I do love the nostalgia of one of my childhood movies coming back to the big screen. While I wont be sharing the actually movie with my kids until they are significantly older than they are now, we will be attending the Jurassic World Day on June 6th at the Detroit Zoo. Here are a few reasons why.

What’s so cool about Jurassic World Day at the Detroit Zoo?

  • Guests who visit the Detroit Zoo and stop by the Dinosauria exhibit on June 6th between 10 am – 2 pm have a chance to win fun Jurassic World prizes such as screening passes and promotional items. While supplies last. 
  • The dinosauria exhibit has forty life-like animatronic dinosaurs! 
  • See the dinosaurs outside in a realistic prehistoric environment. 
  • Download the Dinosauria Augmented Reality App on your smart phone and watch the dinosaurs come to life while you visit the exhibit. You can also use this app to gain more information about each species.
Not only is this exhibit something my whole family will love, but it is also a great way for my husband to share his excitement of the Jurassic World release with us – in a non threatening way. Plus, my four year old who adores dinosaurs – this is going to be the bees kness to him! I promise to share photos. 🙂 
You can find out more information about the Dinosauria exhibit at the Detroit Zoo or click to purchase tickets here
So tell me, who watched the first Jurassic Park movie back in 1993? Are you planning to go see Jurassic World on June 12th? Why or why not. Join the conversation happening in the comments. 

Why Father’s Day is Special – Plus a Car Themed Gift Idea for Dad

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TheGiftOfClean #CollectiveBias

 #TheGiftOfClean #Ad Car Themed Gift Idea for Dad #cbias

Do you ever wonder where peoples’ passions come from? What draws someone to one thing over another or gives them that instant joy at the simple hint of it? I believe that many of our passions and forms of happiness stem from memories – special bonds that we have formed with someone else. For instance, when I gave birth to my first child, someone sent a lovely bouquet of lilies to my hospital room. The fragrance was so intense, and I remember it so vividly, that now whenever I get a whiff of that scent I am instantly taken back to that moment of joy in my life and for no other reason than a simple memory I instantly find myself smiling ear to ear. I just love how the brain works, don’t you? Memories can be tied to fragrances, sights, objects – really anything, even the feeling of a cool spring breeze catching me through my open window has from time to time shared a special memory with me.

 #TheGiftOfClean #Ad

For my husband, his cars are that special memory. Whenever he is near them, driving in them or taking care of them, I can see his happiness shining through. You see, my husbands cars remind him of a special bond he has with his father. This bond that was formed from the moment he was born. Don’t believe me? Just ask his mother, she has plenty of photos to prove it and I’m sure she would be happy to show them to you. Photos of him no older than two, sitting in the drivers seat and pretending to drive. And as he reached his teenage years, that bond only grew. I imagine my husband during those awkward and angry years when he didn’t know where to turn, heading into his dad’s garage and the two of them spending hours wrenching on their cars together. Neither one of them needed to say a word – they just worked out their feelings while they worked on their cars. When he graduated high school, his cars were there. And it continues, the family photo albums are full of photo’s such as these. To him, these cars represent his family, his childhood, overcome obstacles and something he feels joy in sharing with others. When my husband and I were married, I was drawn into that family bond of car shows and culture. While I don’t have the exact same passion that my husband has, I do enjoy them and I love what they represent to him.

 #TheGiftOfClean #Ad

Now that my husband and I have our own children, I find it fun to watch him try to share that bond with them. He wants them to feel the same joy that he and his father created together during those summer days in the garage or times spent cruising around together. I think that it is beautiful. What is even more beautiful is that he gives full heartedly that joy to both of our children. Both my son and my daughter adore their special moments of going for a special ride in the cars with their daddy and I know it warms his heart to share his happiness with them in this very special way. As their mother, I look forward to the years when they are old enough the work their frustrations out in the garage with their daddy because it a wonderful feeling to have someone be there for you. Someone who is there, even when words can’t be shared. I hope that my children come to adore the same bond that my husband and his father had. And one day when they are old enough to drive, may they rev up that engine and smile.

#ad #TheGiftofClean #cbias ArmorAll Gift Pack Walmart

This Father’s Day, I wanted to help my children give their daddy a present that would not only bring him joy but also be very useful. So of course, we looked for something that he could use with his cars. Together we decided to purchase the Armor All car care gift pack 10 piece bucket from Walmart. This bucket contains many of the products that he already uses to help preserve the value and appearance of his cars so they may last for many more years to come. I know preserving his cars is important to him because he already talks about the day when he can pass his cars on down to his children. We also purchased a bucket for my husbands father because I knew that if my husband liked it, his father probably would as well. After checking out our present, we decided that we didn’t want to just hand him a bucket. We decided that it need to be wrapped – mostly my daughter decided that it needed to be wrapped. However, this bucket is surprisingly really hard to wrap!  So I got crafty and decided to fashion our own gift box out of cheap shipping boxes to give him a gift that represented who he is. With a little bit of paint, cardboard and tape we were able to create a gift box that looked like the trunk of his hot rod. All he needed to do to get to his present was lift up the “trunk”.

 #TheGiftOfClean #Ad Handmade Car Themed Gift Box

Supplies

2 – 10x10x12 shipping boxes
Scissors or utility knife
Tape
Paint
Paint Pen

Directions

Begin by opening up the box and securing the bottom flaps – leave the top flaps open.
Carefully make a cut along the two side flaps that start from the top and curve downward towards the front. This is going to make the slope of the trunk.
Remove the front flap all together and stand the back three flaps up to meet. Tape them into place.
Using the second box, cut all of the flaps off and detach the box along the seal – so it makes one long strip of cardboard. This piece will form the hood.
Find the best fit for the hood piece so that it covers the opening on the top of the first box and tape it into place (it needs to create a hinge on the back of the box.) Remember, this part needs to open – so only tape the one edge.
Next, we covered our box in colored tape, but painting it would also work. We also used the leftover cardboard to form a license plate, tail lights and handle. We attached these using rolled up pieces of tape. After decorating the box, the Armor All car care bucket could be easily slide inside the “trunk” for a very special gift for dad.

 #TheGiftOfClean #Ad Car themed gift box #Cbias

The gift was a hit and the boys wasted no time getting to work sparkling up their tires. I’ll be honest, I did consider cleaning up the cars ahead of time as an added special gift to them, but then I went and bought myself a coffee instead. It was a nice thought.

 #TheGiftOfClean #Ad Armor All Car Care

Do you think your dad or a dad you know would love to receive this special gift? We’ve included a $2 off coupon that is available while supplies last. 

If you have a special memory either with your cars, or something else – please share it with us. We’d love to hear about what created a passion in your own life. So go ahead, join the convo happening in the comments.