Fall Travel: Yurts, Treehouses, Tiny Houses, Oh My

While summer might be the best time for tent camping, fall’s brisker weather makes it the perfect time for no-tent-necessary experiences. Ever tried staying in a treehouse? In a micro cabin on an alpaca farm? Fall’s the time.
Enter Hipcamp [https://www.hipcamp.com/discover]—a startup that creates new places to stay in nature by unlocking access to beautiful private lands such as nature preserves, farms, and ranches. With 3.5 million users, Hipcamp helps campers enjoy the outdoors—in all seasons.
To celebrate the start of fall, Hipcamp has hand-picked the most unique nature stays around the country:
CABINS
>> Vintage 1850 Log Cabin Camping: Indiana (near Kokomo) https://www.hipcamp.com/indiana/heritage-farm-stay-adventure/vintage-1850-log-cabin-camping Calling all alpaca-lovers: this cabin is in the middle of an alpaca farm.
>> Dockley Ranch Camp: Missouri (between Sparta and Ava) https://www.hipcamp.com/missouri/dockley-ranch/dockley-ranch-camp Get ready to hike to your own private waterfall.
TINY HOUSES
>> Fern Creek Tiny House: South Carolina https://www.hipcamp.com/south-carolina/thus-far-farm/fern-creek-tiny-house  Go fishing in the reservoir behind this farm—then snuggle into your cozy tiny house.

SEE HIPCAMP’S FALL FOLIAGE MAP HERE: www.hipcamp.com/discover/fall-foliage-map

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Travel Product Review: Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Tech™ Now Available

Outdoorsy Travelers? Backpacking? Camping? Boating?

The newest addition to the Pack-It™ family, all new Specter Tech™ combines the best features for true do-it-all versatility.
Built to help you get more stuff into less space with ease and style, new Pack-It Specter Tech™ allows you to pack more, and keep it organized, clean and relatively wrinkle free. (notes: for a short outdoorsy trip, I fit 3 tops and 3 bottoms in one Medium bag; toiletries in the XS bag; and underwear and a nightgown in the S bag – see pics below)

Ready to pack up

Bags packed

A new proprietary ultra-light Bluesign® fabric was engineered for Specter Tech, to provide maximum strength while also addressing the sustainability values held by Eagle Creek customers. (notes: the zipper and the fabric are sturdy but light for backpacking. They are also PVC free, washable and water repellent)

(notes: my favorite part – I was beyond surprised how 3 full changes of clothes fit in one Medium lightweight cube! When you pull on the zippers from either end, they glide with ease and somehow compress the fabric as you close the bag!)

Specter Tech styles offer stain and spill resistance in a translucent fabric so you can see what’s packed, plus double zippers and clam-shell opening for full access to your clothes while on the road. (notes: having visual and easy clamshell access allowed me to pull out a change of clothes from my duffle, under a pile of other travelers luggage, without disturbing the carefully strategized heaping pile in the back of the van)

A cube labeled clean/dirty but I think I’ll use it for lights and darks soiled clothes on my next trip.

A full compliment of styles for every packing need. From a new Structured Cube that rethinks the Folder (note: my son likes to dress nice when he travels so this Structured Cube will work nice to fold shirts and pack plenty), to a Shoe Cube that holds hiking boots, the new Specter Tech™line has something to fit every article of clothing or toiletry item.

http://www.eaglecreek.com/ (their home page has a great time lapse video of how to use the products best)

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Indiana: A Natural Lazy River

This lazy river offers an incredible day of fun for every Hoosier. You can check it out at 589 E Old St Rd 14, Winamac, IN 46996 and plan out your trip by calling (574) 205-0277.
http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/indiana/indiana-natural-lazy-river/

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Product Review: Travel stylish casual with Soft Surroundings

Soft Surroundings is a women’s retailer of apparel, beauty, and home items dedicated to making women look and feel their best.

soft casual goods

And the background story – so relatable. Robin Sheldon, President and Founder of Soft Surroundings, says this: “Lack of time for our lives, let alone for ourselves, is a common denominator amongst women today. We often devote ourselves entirely to family, friends and work, (I would add planning trips),putting our own needs at the bottom of our mental “to do” lists and never quite getting there.”

Ladies, can you relate? The simple act of getting dressed and ready for our day trip can be fashionable with a comfortable fit. While I like any apparel that is comfortable yet cute, I love the soft colors and especially the soft fabrics. Very touchable.

Think “cruise wear” that isn’t cheesy but classy.

http://softsurroundings.com– retail stores and online.

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Eatery Review: No Regrets Fast Food?

CHOP5 Salad Kitchen, a reinvention of traditional fast-casual dining and providing delicious better-for-you custom salads, bowls and wraps, is inviting Central Ohioans to eat with no regrets as they celebrate joining the community.

Casual Getaways in Ohio

A Custom Mexican themed Bowl and an amazing Custom Greek themed Salad

I fuss about having more of these type restaurants available to modern families and couples…near their homes or hotels. This one is located right by a popular hotel exit and middle income family homes who often try to eat healthy.

My impression: Very Good. While they offer Salad bowls, Rice & Bean bowls, and Wraps, I think their best product is the chopped salad bowls. Reason: there is flavor in every bite.Here’s how CHOP5 works: You enter a long walkway as you take a look at the menu brochures. Truthfully, that gives you an idea of the fresh ingredients available but the best way to order is by sight. At the order windows, a server will ask which greens you want. I chose the spring mix but you can mix several different greens. Next, for Custom Chops, choose 5 add-ons. I made something similar to a greek salad with feta (double portion) but also chick peas, banana peppers and onion straws. One thing I noticed is the preparer (gloved) used handfuls of each ingredient vs. pre-measured scoops. It just seemed personal and casual. Now, your creation is handed over to the chopper. Here’s the unusual part, they start chopping and blending all your choice salad ingredients. Next, choose a homemade dressing. Not sure? Ask for samples. I chose the Greek Feta Vinaigrette. They add to your heart’s content, just say “When!” Then…they chop in the dressing. The result: every precut bite has every ingredient and a light taste of dressing! Every single bite. (this is the secret to why this may be the best salad you ever eat)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My 23-year old daughters take: Enjoyed a very fresh meal. Might be one of my new favorite restaurants! The employees were super helpful and gave great suggestions.

To learn more about CHOP5 Salad Kitchen, visit http://chop5.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 2044 Polaris Pkwy., Columbus, OH East of I71 and North on Polaris Pkwy. Basic custom chops start at just under $7.00. Not in the Create your Own mood? Choose from a dozen themed Signature Salads or Crave-A-Bowls.

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5 Things to Know before Hitting the Road this Summer

*** RepairPal’s 5 Things to Know Before Hitting the Road This Summer ***road trip glee

>> PROPERLY INFLATE TIRES TO IMPROVE GAS MILEAGE BY UP TO 3%
When tires are not properly inflated, it causes fuel efficiency to drop. Plain and simple: more money wasted on gas means less money for your summer BBQ snack list. You can find the proper tire pressure on the driver side door panel or in the owner’s manual.

>> KEEP THE ‘GAS LAW’ IN MIND

The gas gauge should never go below a quarter tank – it shortens the life of the fuel pump and you could be in for costly repairs down the road!

>> DIRTY AIR FILTERS WASTE YOUR FUEL AND DAMAGE YOUR CAR

Replacing your air filter regularly is a simple—yet often overlooked—procedure that costs drivers lots in wasted fuel and damaged system components.

>> WHAT TO DO IF YOU WIND UP ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD?

Don’t stress! If you do have car trouble on the road, visit repairpal.com (http://repairpal.com/) to find nearby shops with comprehensive training, quality tools, warranties, and fair pricing that will help you get back to your vacation quick. You’ll also find their Fair Price Estimator tool that tells you what any kind of repair will cost. Every RepairPal Certified shop honors the prices shown on the Fair Price Estimator – how’s that for a breath of fresh air on a hot summer day!

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Travel Product Review: TRAVALO portable fragrance bottle

Are you the girlfriend that sprays her ready-to-pack clothes with your favorite perfume BEFORE you pack them in suitcases…with the hopes they retain the authentic scent…and not a mixture of that scent and hotel “musk”?

Or maybe you’re the couple who like to take road trips often, have an overnight bag packed, but always forget the perfume?

Solution: Always have your perfume handy with Travalo portable fragrance bottle.

 travelo perfume

The Classic HD offers the ability to refill fragrances directly from a standard perfume bottle through the patented and unrivaled Genie-S pump-fill system. Ensuring the fragrance is never contaminated by exposure to the air. The fragrance decants magically from one sealed bottle into the leak proof atomizer in seconds.

Yes, this product really works! Just take off the spray cap of your perfume bottle and pump the bottom of the Travalo maybe ten times. Place your filled travel bottle in your purse and use whenever you need to freshen your scent. (Note: I’ve tried other compact models and they were hard to fill and often leaked.)

The Classic HD’s finely crafted design features the following:

  • Ten elegant colors: Silver, Gold, Red, Black, Perfect Pink, Plum, Hot Pink, Brown and Blue
  • TSA Approved for all summer travel
  • 5ml of fragrance, equal to 65 sprays
  • MSRP is $19.99
  • http://www.travalo.com/
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Stocking Stuffer Idea for Travel Ladies

The wallet that will change your life!

Juggling work, school and family can be challenging so anything that makes life easier is much-needed! Introducing the CardNinja!

The CardNinja is a spandex pocket with 3M adhesive that attaches to the back of any smartphone or case and keeps your ID, cash and up to 8 cards secure. Pick from six great colors (Black, Gray, Gold, Eggplant, Magenta and Blue) and new patterns (Hawaiian, Paisley, Cheetah, Zebra, Gold Polka Dot) to match your phone and your style.

card ninja

It’s the perfect lightweight solution when you’re on the go and don’t need to carry a bulky wallet or heavy purse around. Maybe a crowded club, workout, or a large event where security is tight and purses aren’t allowed (ex. concerts or sporting events).

card ninja at event

U.S. on high security and purses banned? No problem. Everything we need to enjoy the game is all here!

CardNinja retails at $9.95 and is available online and in over 7,000 locations nationwide including Amazon Prime, CVS, select Verizon stores and all Microcenter locations. CardNinja is the perfect present for anyone and everyone, even YOU!

 For more information or a sample, please visit www.cubi.co

 

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TRAVEL PRODUCT REVIEW: New Travel Companion will help you Unwind with Coloring Therapy

Adult coloring is not just a passing phase and Skyhorse Publishing presents a new series to help you achieve mindful meditation on the go.

coloring books

Coloring is a nostalgic activity that allows people to unplug and fend off the stresses of daily life.  The recent surge in adult coloring is not just attributed to nostalgia but also its therapeutic effects. Coloring encourages creativity without the intimidation of staring at a blank page. In fact, research suggests that coloring within a premade design might help fight anxiety. And, let’s admit, sometimes travel is stressful.

This new Portable Coloring for Creative Adults series is 75 images in hardcover – perfect for coloring on the go. An introduction details how to get the most of your coloring book. So, grab your favorite colored pencils or markers and be a kid again…coloring!

coloring book

For a world full of stress, there is no simpler, portable way to unplug and relax!

The Portable Coloring for Creative Adults series

Skyhorse Publishing; 75 B&W illustrations; $12.99 (available @ Barnes & Noble and Amazon. http://www.skyhorsepublishing.com/collections/?collection_id=437

Note: This would be a wonderful gift. Maybe make a de-stress gift basket with a coloring book, bottle of wine and a scented candle…

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Columbus Museum of Art’s new wing

This fresh museum is where creativity and daily life in the city of Columbus come together. In addition, here are some key facts about the museum’s expansion:
–The construction of the new wing marks the third and final piece of a three-part master plan. The architects used floor-to-ceiling glass walls to the north and south. The UV protected clear glass used allows passersby to view the large works and the museum guests a view of art AND the city. Cinematic.
–Schokko Art Cafe features Cameron Mitchell locally sourced product for lunch or entrees…and dessert of Chocolate! Favorites were the:
 Roasted Chicken w/ quinoa, kale, feta, golden beets, pickled red onion, roasted pepper, mustard vinaigrette
 Roasted Creole Tomato Soup
 Hot Schokkolate Cake w/ chocolate ganache, candied peanuts, triple vanilla bean ice cream
–Why expand? In 1931 CMA owned 500 pieces of art and had 10 gallery spaces. Today, the collection has grown to more than 10,000, yet the same 10 galleries remain, and the endowment has more than doubled in size. The expansion will allow the museum to highlight the collection, welcome exciting special exhibitions and nurture the culture of creativity in Columbus.
I found the new spaces fresh and inviting but my curiosity still wanted to wander back into the old spaces too. Browse for art books, puzzles, and one-0f-a-kind finds that cultivate creativity in the Museum Store. new cma new cma 2 new cma outside
CMA and the Museum Store are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m., and until 9:00 p.m. every Thursday. Museum admission is $12 for adults; $8 for seniors and students 17 and older with valid ID; $5 for students 6-17; and free for members and children 5 and younger. Admission is free for all on Sundays. www.columbusmuseum.org
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