Midwest U.S. Summer Road Trips for Families

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoadTripTreats #CollectiveBias 
Summer Road Trip Treats

Sweepstakes!

Enter the ‘Summer Road Trip Sweeps’ for your chance to win over $3,400 in gift card prize packs!

Summer Vacation Ideas Midwest with Kids
During the summertime, I typically don’t do as much crafting, and spend more time creating memories with family and friends. Since my family is taking several road trips this summer, I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite attractions around the Midwest! From museums to beaches and water parks, there’s plenty of fun to be had for kids and adults within a few hours drive from our home in Indiana.

Kid-Friendly Road Trips in the Midwest

The Bean Chicago

1. Chicago, Illinois

Big cities are lots of fun for families, and Chicago is tops on our list. With free attractions like Millennium Park and “The Bean” interactive sculpture (pictured), a stellar children’s museum and deep-dish Chicago pizza all over the Windy city, it’s a win-win for everyone in the family! Be sure to visit the incredible Maggie Daley Park playground to let the kids burn off some energy, and take an architectural boat tour for a unique experience.

Train ride in Nelsonville, Ohio

2. Columbus, Ohio

This capital city has lots of offer families. An award-winning Columbus Zoo, the COSI science museum, lots of parks and playgrounds, and some great family-friendly restaurants. Take a mini road trip just an hour south to Nelsonville, Ohio to enjoy a historic train ride (pictured).
Saint Joseph, Michigan beach

3. Saint Joseph, Michigan

With access to beautiful Lake Michigan, this beach town offers visitors a quaint downtown with the popular Curious Kids Museum, Silver Beach Carousel, and some fun parks and splash pads. Get a taste of history with a trip to the Saint Joseph Lighthouse and enjoy some Silver Beach Pizza.

Largest underwear at The City Museum, Saint Louis, Missouri

4. Saint Louis, Missouri

The City Museum in Saint Louis is the oddest place we’ve ever seen, and we’re not sure “museum” is the best word to describe it. With the largest pair of underwear (pictured) and ten stories of tunnels and caves for kids and adults to climb, it’s a sight to behold! Don’t miss a visit to The Saint Louis Arch, the zoo, and Six Flags.
Cincinnati Zoo

5. Cincinnati, Ohio

The Cincinnati Zoo (pictured) is just one of the many draws to this vibrant, riverfront city. It’s just a short drive from Kings Island amusement park, and the Newport Aquarium at Newport on the Levee. Check out the Fire Museum downtown and catch a Reds game for some classic, American fun!
Breakfast at Milktooth, Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolils

6. Indianapolis, Indiana

Take the kids to Milktooth, a trendy brunch spot in hip Fountain Square (pictured), and leave time to visit the award-winning Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Stop at Broad Ripple Village for dinner and shopping, or catch an Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball game at Victory Field, with a walk along the scenic canal.
Summer Road Trip Snacks

Packing for a Summer Road Trip

Aside from comfy clothing for the car ride and activities like road trip bingo, I think it’s a good idea to take along some pillows in the car for kids to lounge on. Of course, we like to pack snacks the whole family will enjoy, to keep us from stopping at every gas station along the way. It’s a good idea to stash a big tote bag with some salty and sweet snacks, plus drinks for the road. We like to save money by buying these on our normal grocery run!

Crackers aisle

While shopping at Walmart, I stopped by the crackers and cookies aisle for some RITZ Crisp&Thins. They come in delicious flavors like bacon and salt & vinegar! I absolutely love salt & vinegar chips, but appreciate that these crackers are baked and not fried, for the ultimate crunch.

Soda display

One of my favorite ways to save money when preparing for a road trip is to pack a cooler of drinks, to avoid having to stop at convenience stores along the way. I found an end-cap display with 8-pack of 12oz. A&W® bottles, and they are perfect for family road trips! I also love that they are caffeine free, since I don’t drink it myself.

Candy aisle

Look for the Sour Patch Kids 1.9lb Bag in the Walmart candy aisle. This family-size bag is perfect for sharing and provides a pick-me-up during a long drive!

Summer Road Trip Snacks

Is your family headed on a summer road trip? What are your favorite tips for keeping adults and kids happy on a long car ride?

DIY Acoustic Speakers For Your Mobile Phone

iPhoneSpeakers_1

Audio has become increasingly important in mobile phones. A decade ago, when smartphones were just emerging, we didn’t expect much in this area. We could play songs out loud from phones (even before smartphones, in some cases), but we never really expected quality sound. That has gradually changed over the years, to the point that we’ve come to expect decent quality audio when we play music from our phones. And the improvement hasn’t reached a ceiling yet! According to early rumors, the iPhone 8 believed to be coming this fall will be upgrading its speakers for “dual speaker stereo sound.”

That’s a promising development, and is even more meaningful when you consider the fact that we no longer rely on mobile phone audio just for music. We also count on it for other forms of entertainment. Perhaps most importantly, we need good sound whenever we stream video content from our mobile phones without headphones, and this is an increasingly popular activity. Platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, and countless others all allow us to watch high quality video content from devices that fit in our palms. And it’s always best if the audio can match the video quality.

The same is increasingly true of gaming. While some games utilize only the most basic sound effects, others employ audio as a means of making experiences more immersive. Something like a poker or blackjack app can now go as far as providing live dealer feeds, so that users can actually visualize casino environments as they play. This experience is further improved through the addition of quality audio that helps to heighten this sense of reality. It’s only one example, but a good illustration of how audio content in gaming can be as important as it is in streaming content or music.

The improvement of mobile phone speakers is terrific news in relation to all these needs, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money for louder sound. You can still significantly enhance the sound of your phone with some creative DIY. This kind of solution is mostly useful for playing music, but can come in handy for video too. It even works for slower paced games like casino titles and puzzle games. The idea is to build an acoustic speaker that your phone can slot into, magnifying the sound for a truly impressive result.

Photo via Make It Love It

How is it done? There are all kinds of designs out there for homemade, acoustic mobile speakers. But somewhat surprisingly there’s actually a fairly standard design that’s emerged as the favorite, and all you need to build it are a few woodworking tools and 11 small pieces of wood.

Your first piece should be about 12″ x 6″, and about half an inch thick. Your third piece should be the same dimensions, but from the center on the top you should cut out a hole the size and shape of a little over half of your iPhone. Think of this hole like a dock, where your phone will be resting while it’s placed in the speaker. Cut out nine smaller pieces from the middle board, half an inch thick in all directions, to trace the border of your third piece, including around the hole you made for the phone. You should leave only a tiny gap at the base of that hole wherever your phone’s speaker is.

Once you’ve cut out all your wood, glue the smaller border pieces on top of the solid 12″ x 6″ board, in the exact shape of the identical board that you cut. The result should be a 12″ x 6″ base with a border protruding from it, so your phone can sit in the space you’ve allowed. Then you should take the remaining board (the one we called the third piece) and measure to the exact center of each side. There you should cut a 2″ hole on both sides. At that point you’re ready to glue this board on top of the border pieces you already attached to the 12″ baseboard – and once it dries you’re done!

You can find more detailed instructions here, but the basic project is pretty straightforward. And you’ll be stunned at how much the audio improves, whether you’re watching a movie, playing a casual mobile game, or just listening to some tunes.

Announcing the ‘Lazy-Ass Cats’ Blog Tour + Giveaway!

 

Lazy Ass Cats Bed Coloring Page

Dear Craft Buds readers:

I’m excited to tell you all about a project I began last year, which is now in print thanks to a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. It’s called Lazy-Ass Cats: A Coloring Book for Adults.

You can pick up Lazy-Ass Cats: A Coloring Books for Adults on Amazon.com and at Mascot Books, among other retailers.

LazyAssCats_Cover

Inside the book, you’ll find some fun coloring pages that are not overly detailed. This is my favorite kind of book to color, because it’s actually relaxing! Here’s what some fans of the book had to say:

 

  • I started adding up how many books I needed—one for my nephew, one for my sister, five for my dance friends, one for me. I quickly reached 10 because the coloring book fits everyone in my life! And I’m starting to think I might need a second order.” – Kate Hinson
  • “I showed my girlfriend this book, and it was love at first sight,” says Kickstarter backer Storm Casey, who picked up the book as an early Christmas present.
  • “Unlike other adult coloring books, the line drawings in this one are deliberately made to be simple—Conner wants people to feel free to add in their own doodles and details.” – DesignTAXI

 

Lazy Ass Cat Meow Coloring Page

I’m celebrating the release with a blog tour of some wonderful coloring book and cat-centric blogs, and there’s a book giveaway at the end of this post.

 

Join us on the Lazy-Ass Cats blog tour!

May 9: Adult Coloring 101

May 10: Mascot Books Blog

 May 11: Craft Buds

May 15: Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries & Meows

May 16: Portraits of Animals

May 17: That Cat Blog

May 18: Coloring Book Addict

Lazy-Ass Cats Blog Tour

Sale!

Through June 1, 2017, I’m offering 20% off all orders placed on LazyAssCats.com with the coupon code purr20. Coloring books make a great gift for cat lovers, people who love to color, and even those who don’t consider themselves to be creative. Save now.

 

Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of the Lazy-Ass Cats coloring book. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this blog post telling me something you love or something that annoys you about cats.

I can’t wait for you to color the book! You can pick up your copy at:

LazyAssCats.com

Amazon.com

Barnes + Noble

MascotBooks.com

A hard copy will be sent if the winner is located in the U.S., and a digital copy will be sent if the winner is outside of the U.S.

Retailers, would you like to sell Lazy-Ass Cats? E-mail Lindsay for wholesale info!

Wonder Woman Movie Release: DIY Popcorn Bags + Free Printable

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WonderfulMovieNight #WonderWoman
Dr Pepper and Orville Redenbachers

Are you excited for the new Wonder Woman movie? I have my calendar marked for the release date, June 2nd.  As far as summer blockbusters go, this is a film I can really get behind. Movies are the perfect excuse to get together with friends and reconnect with each other while letting loose and having a fun night out! And what’s a party without salty and sweet snacks?

Wonder Woman PromoKit

I was surprised with this special package the other day, with all kinds of fun stuff inside to help me get ready for Wonder Woman! It included:

  • An awesome Dr Pepper® and Wonder Woman radio with Bluetooth, so I can connect to my phone and stream music
  • Orville Redenbacher’s® Butter Pop-Up Bowl popcorn featuring Wonder Woman on the packaging
  • A Dr Pepper tote bag, perfect to grab and go, and a drink Koozie

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 12.34.44 PM

Of course, I had to pick up some of my favorite treats at Kroger to get ready for my girlfriends to come over. We thought we’d get the party started a little early with Dr Pepper and Orville Redenbacher’s® in DIY popcorn bags. Look for the special display in store featuring Dr Pepper and Orville Redenbacher’s® with limited-edition Wonder Woman packaging, or check the soda and popcorn aisles (sometimes by the nuts).

DIY Popcorn Bags and Dr Pepper Floats

Save $2.00 on Orville Redenbacher’s® Popcorn and Dr Pepper® Soda when you buy ONE (1) Orville Redenbacher® Popcorn, any variety (6pk) and ONE (1) Dr Pepper® Soda any variety (.5L 6 pk)  Expires 5/21/2017 Limited Time Offer; while supplies last

Download the digital coupon from Kroger.com (only available for a limited time!) and enter the “Who’s the Hero in your Life” contest!

#WonderfulMovieNight Sweepstakes

No Purchase Necessary, Twitter A/C Req’d.,50 US/DC only, 18+, Ends 5/21/17.  Rules: https://gleam.io/f6gdL/wonderfulmovienight-sweepstakes

 

DIY Popcorn Bags and Dr Pepper Floats

Being surrounded by my friends reminds me of all the strong women in my life who show their super strength by being heroes everyday… to their families, their friends, and the wider community. A film like Wonder Woman reminds me to look for greatness in the everyday, and to be a champion for others in my life! Their friendship is always worth celebrating!

Enjoy this tutorial for Wonder Woman inspired ice cream floats and themed popcorn bags!

DIY Popcorn Bags + Ice Cream Floats

  1. To make these popcorn bags, download the free printable PDF star graphic.
  2. Print the graphic on white cardstock and cut around the circles.
  3. Use a paper cutter to cut 2″, 2.5″ and 3″ strips of red, blue and yellow cardstock or scrapbook paper. Stack them and glue with a glue stick. Alternate vertically or horizontally on the paper lunch sack and glue in place.
  4. Add the star graphic on top and add your guest’s name or monogram!
  5. To make the ice cream floats, add two scoops of ice cream and fill the rest of a glass with Dr Pepper. Add a straw, and enjoy!

DIY Popcorn Bags and Dr Pepper Floats

If you try these DIY popcorn bags and ice cream floats, I’d love to hear about it!

Bonus Project! Hope Throw Pillow

Hope Applique Throw Pillow

I hope you enjoyed my Home Sweet Home mini quilt project for Baby Lock’s Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge. I’ve decided to share a bonus project that I came up with, using the same fabrics leftover from my original quilt. The background on this is a blue feather print designed by Simple Simon & Co. for Riley Blake Designs, and I chose a mustard yellow solid for my applique.

This pillow reminded me of the famous quote by Emily Dickinson: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” It’s a reminder to all of us that it’s okay to stop and breathe, and wait for tomorrow. Because there is always hope around the corner.

To make this project:

  1. Download a free PDF of the applique! Print out page 3.
  2. Follow the basic tutorial on how to use the Baby Lock Destiny II’s IQ designer to scan in your design. I’ve used a running stitch for my placement stitch and outline stitch, and a 1mm satin stitch for the outline, which gives it a shabby chic look. Use a thicker 2mm or 3mm satin stitch if you’d prefer to cover those raw edges.
  3. Need help stitching out your design on the Destiny II? I’ve made a video for that, too! Or, just use your favorite method to raw-edge applique the design onto your pillow front. I’ve used Steam-a-Seam double-sided fusible web.
  4. Add fusible fleece to the wrong side of your pillow front. Quilt if desired, or just leave it as is.
  5. Measure your pillow front, and create an envelope pillow back to fit using the method of your choice, or follow my envelope pillow back tutorial here.
  6. Before sewing the front and back together, add piping if desired. Here’s a great piping tutorial by Christine Haynes showing how to do just that.

I’ve left the dimensions off this project on purpose, so you can customize it to fit your desired hoop size, applique design or pillow form. Once you’ve made an applique throw pillow, you’ll be a pro and won’t need these directions the next time around!

Home and Hope Applique Sewing

Thank you so much for joining me this week for the challenge! Make sure to go back and check out any of the 12 projects that you might have missed for lots more inspiration and tips to help you celebrate your love of sewing!

Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge

Here’s my sewing challenge posting schedule so you can follow along!
3/16: Introducing the Baby Lock Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge
3/20: Video: Delivery Day + “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt Supply List
3/22: Video: Sewing an Applique with the Destiny II
3/24: Free Pattern for the “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt + Video (IQ Designer How-to)
3/28: Bonus Project! Hope Throw Pillow

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