Indianapolis Community and Life

5 Popular Home Styles (And What Makes Them Unique)

Posted by Paula Henry on Oct 30, 2014 10:30:00 AM

There are lots of styles of homes on the market these days, and we love them all!

From Craftsman to Contemporary - and everything in between - there's a home to match everyone's taste. If you can't tell a Colonial from a Cape Cod, then you've come to the right spot. We'll go over some of the history and key elements of each. 

modern-home

Cape Cod

The first Cape Cod homes were built in the 1600s. They were inspired by Britain's thatched cottages, but built with steeper roofs and larger chimneys to withstand cold Northeastern winters. Windows flanking the front door, dormer windows up top and cedar shingles are also typical of the style. Most of today's Cape Cods were built after World War II; they were the first style used in modestly priced housing developments.

Cape-cod

Craftsman

Bungalow and Craftsman style homes were born out of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The emphasis is on natural materials — wood, stone and brick. Wide front porches and low-pitched roofs are typical. The interior's open floor plan features built-in furniture, big fireplaces and exposed beams.

Craftsman

Colonial

Back in the 1600s when Colonial architecture originated, there were many variations of the style due to the diversity of early American settlers. Known for its symmetry, Colonial architecture is most often characterized by evenly spaced shuttered windows. Dormers, columns and chimneys are also evenly proportioned to complement the formal style.

Colonial

French Provencial

Inspired by estates of the French countryside, the provincial style came to America after World War I, bringing with it decorative appeal and romantic touches. Today's newer suburban housing developments are incorporating the French provincial style with symmetrical proportions and steep roofs.

French-Provencial

Italianate

Built more out of a desire for ornamentation than functionality, the Italianate style is loosely modeled after the villas of Italy. Most of the homes were built between the mid-to-late 1800s. Decorative corbels, window cornices, doorways and porches can easily identify an Italianate home, as can the rounded windows, columned entryways and rectangular windows.

Italianate

These are just 5 of many home styles. What is your favorite? Comment below - we want to know!

Topics: Home Search

The Best in Home Improvement Apps

Posted by Mandy Padgett on Oct 28, 2014 10:30:00 AM

HomeImprovementApps

There is a category of task which I have imperially dubbed “household development.” These tasks include all things related to home improvement and organization, and they are a category of tasks which are, at least for me, never ending. And because there always seems to be something new to do, I’m on board with using any tool I can to simplify my role as chief household development officer, a title I share with anyone who finds themselves regularly in charge of home improvement projects, decorating, or organization.

Here are some fun and fancy tech tools to help keep operations running smoothly for my fellow CHDOs!

HomeRoutines – An iOS app specifically for creating customizable routines for keeping up with specific zones in the home. This app allows you to priorities by order of importance. (Rated 4 stars)

TaskRabbit – Too many tasks, not enough hours? TaskRabbit matches people looking to grow an extra set of hands with people looking to lend the two they’ve got! So, whether it’s a daily dog walker for while you’re at work, or someone to do the laundry, find the right person for your task and ease your load a bit! You can manage your tasks and bids on services as well as review candidates ratings and testimonials. (Rated 4 stars)

Dream Home – This android app is the interior designer's Pinterest. Featuring ideas, design, and decor, never be without a world of ideas and inspiration at your finger tips, ready for browsing. Submissions by renowned designers who have contributed their ideas about meticulous designs, you are just a browse away from making your dream house possible. (Rated 4 stars)

iHandy Carpenter – Because you might not have a plumb bob handy when you need one. Whether you’re a carpenter all the time or an occasional projector, iHandy is your go-to all in one level, plumb bob, ruler, and protractor. You’ll never be unequipped for your DIY tasks. (Rated 4 stars)

Palettes – Trying to decide on which paint? Conflicted between the Atlantic Sand Tan or the Pacific Sand Tan? Well, this app will help you choose and keep track of your palettes. Additional features include the ability to match up colors that you see on the internet or a picture from a magazine. (Rated 2 stars)  

Bonus; Ever have a picture for your home that you really want to be the centerpiece of the room, but aren’t exactly sure which colors to pull out as your room’s palate? This is your solution. You’re welcome.

Home Improvement and Remodel – Here’s an app to help you figure out what contractor to use. With rating features, as well as a social aspect which allows you to see which providers friends have used and liked, Home Improvement and Remodel allows you to photograph or describe work you want done and within 24 hours you’ll be provided with the top three bids from highly-rated professionals in your area. With a selection of contractors in fields like landscaping, kitchen and bath, plumbing and more, this is a great tool the next time you need an expert! (Rated 4.7 stars)

Craftsman Tools and DIY App – Are you a DIY junkie? Well, if you could watch This Old House every day of the week, this app is for you. With podcasts, project ideas, articles about best practices and, of course, bargains on tools, this app will keep your project-o-meter on full. (Rated 3.5 stars)

Drywall Calculator A web-based app for calculating the square feet of a room. Great for knowing how much drywall you’ll need, calculating gallons of paint, and ...much more. (Rated 3.5 stars)

Homelogic Mobile Control – This app for savvy folks who want to control most of their home systems via their smart phone. It gives you the power to adjust your lighting system, climate, DVR, audio, home alarm devices and security locks. Corresponds with base units into which these systems are connected, the ultimate for a kickin’ pad! (Rated 4 stars)

HomeProjects by HomeZada - If there was one app to manage your whole home, this would probably be it. With HomeProjects you can manage your home inventory, warranties and receipts, track maintenance records, use the automated home maintenance scheduler (with built in reminders, alerts and calendar integration). It also allows you a single place to track any home improvement projects you do, so you can manage the pace, budget and events for completion. Additional features include household budgets, an emergency contacts keeper and more. There is both a free and paid version of this app. (Rated 4 stars)

Do you have Home Improvement Apps that you love? Share with us in the comments below!

 

Topics: Home Maintenance, Home Repairs

Party Hosting Gear Every Home Owner Should Have on Hand

Posted by Paula Henry on Oct 26, 2014 10:30:00 AM

 

Having people over to your house is one of the warmest, most generous gifts you can give your friends and loved ones. If your guests are coming, they’re already primed to have a good time—all you have to do is keep them in the mood. Whether you’re having a person over for a candlelit dinner or a big get together, you’ll probably need a few supplies before, during and after your gathering. Especially if you're a new home owner, you'll want to invest in some of the following necessities.

cooler

Cooler

Coolers may seem more appropriate for summer parties, but don’t overlook them during the holidays. If you’re brining your turkey overnight, for example, you may not have enough room in your fridge for all of the food you’re prepping and a bucket big enough to soak the bird. At a more casual function, the cooler can serve as storage for beer and white wine. If you're in the market, our pick is the Coleman Xtreme 70-quart cooler. It’s affordable and is known for its long ice retention, which will help ensure that your brining turkey stays cold.

Fire Pit

Fire pits are good for big and small parties. They add mood lighting, atmosphere and a spot to gather around. Kids can toast marshmallows over them, and it's a great place to share campfire stories. There are a wide variety of fire pits available, all with different vibes (one even looks like a flaming Earth). For a more universal aesthetic, our pick is The Landmann City Lights Memphis ($123). It has a look that will appeal to just about everyone. It’s durable, holds a good amount of wood, is easy to assemble.

Speakers

It won’t be loud enough to disturb the neighbors, but we recommend the $250 Sony BTX-500 as a modest home bluetooth speaker for a get-together of 2-12 people. It’s the best pick under $300 and has a six-hour battery—probably enough to last the duration of your party, depending on how long your affair lasts.

Folding Chairs

One of the worst problems to have at a dinner party is insufficient seating for your guests. That’s where folding chairs come in handy. We recommend the Mity Lite Flex One folding chair ($100 for 4 on Amazon or $20 each on Sam’s Club), a durable, ventilated seat made of steel and flexible polypropylene that molds to the sitter’s shape and can purportedly hold more than 1,000 lbs. It’s 1.5” wider than your standard folding chair, can be stuffed into a closet and is comfortable enough that your seated guests won’t feel like second-class party attendees.

Serving/Baking Dish

A good baking dish is an indispensable tool around the holidays that can be used for both cooking and serving a variety of dishes for any meal. The HIC Porcelain Baking Dish ($29) is an ideal, versatile casserole dish. It’s a classic-looking dish that performs well in the oven and is pretty enough to fit in with other formal or fancy table settings. It will easily serve between 6 and 8 for sides, thanks to its slightly-flared edges and 2¼” depth that’s sufficient for layered ingredients. (If you’re feeding a bigger crowd, you may want two of these dishes or a larger dish altogether.) 

From ambiance to food, it's important that you help make your party guests feel like home!

What party hosting gear did we miss? Let us know in the comments below! 

Topics: Party

What to DIY for your Wedding and What to Leave to the Pros

Posted by Paula Henry on Oct 23, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Here at Home to Indy, we work with a lot of engaged couples, excitedly looking for their first home together. We understand that paying for a wedding and purchasing a house simultaneously can be potentially very expensive, which is why we're all for saving a few dollars by doing it yourself. But some details of the wedding should be left to the pros. Here, we'll unpack what should go in each category.

rustic-centerpiece

What to DIY

Centerpieces

Some florists charge outrageous fees to create beautiful rustic wedding floral arrangements. But with a little creativity, you can create your own for a fraction of the cost. Adding some wildflowers in a simple vase or jar accented with twine can be stunning. If you’re looking for more traditional flowers, consider heading to the grocery store and buying a few big bouquets, then split them up into several different vases. Smaller, simple arrangements are easy to put together yourself, cost less, and add a laid-back feel to the event.

Dance Lessons

Let's be honest: people don’t really dance anymore. They may stand in a circle at a club or sway back and forth at a concert, but who wants that caught on camera for their first dance? So couples everywhere shell out big bucks to get dance lessons before their big day. But why? Instead of going to a dance studio and paying tons of money, invite your bridal party over, have some drinks, and look up waltz tutorials on YouTube. You’ll be far more comfortable surrounded by friends, and the best part: it’s free!

Invitations

Why go with an overpriced set of embossed invitations printed in a hard-to-read font when you can make your own invitations instead? DIY invitations are more personal, casual, and generally far less expensive than paying someone else to do it. Whether you use a photo software program, convince a designer friend to whip something up for you, or create something simple yourself using PhotoShop, DIY wedding invitations are the way to go. Not only are they cheaper, but DIY invites allow the unique personality of the couple to really shine.

What to Leave to the Professionals

Photography

These days everyone knows someone with a quality camera and a good eye. But before you agree to let your mom’s friend or your neighbor take the photos of your big day, remember that there are advantages to hiring a photographer. A professional won’t know anyone at the event, so they won’t be socializing and potentially miss important moments. A photographer will also understand where the lighting is best, what time of day is good for different kinds of shots, and will think creatively to take pictures that a family friend might not consider. Your wedding photos will be something you treasure for years to come, so consider spending some money to ensure that they are perfect.

Music

It’s certainly inexpensive and easy to make a playlist, bring out the iHome, and simply provide the music for your event in that fashion. But a band or DJ has a presence and is there for the opportunity to add another layer of warmth, personality, and hospitality to your wedding. They can take requests, set the pace of the event, and change the types of music they’re playing based on the mood of the crowd, which your ipod can’t do.

Food

While asking your mom to cook your favorite dishes or considering making part or all of the meal yourself might seem like a way to make your special day personal and save some money, the food is really best left to a caterer. A professional will know what sorts of foods are appropriate for which sorts of events, what time to serve different courses, how to combine different tastes, how to accommodate guests with dietary restrictions, and how to cook on a large scale for an event with many guests. Take some time to sample different caterers’ foods, peruse their menus and package offerings, and seek out reviews online and from friends to find one that you love.

 

What did you DIY for your wedding? Are there other things you'd recommend adding to our list? Let us know in the comments below!

Topics: wedding, DIY

Making Music: Where Indy Kids Shine

Posted by Mandy Padgett on Oct 21, 2014 10:30:00 AM

making_music

As we all know, music is a great way to help children grow, develop, and express themselves in a creative way. Getting kids excited about music at an early age can really unlock their potential and help their creative side grow. Whether you come from a naturally musical family, or even if you don’t have a knack for music, don’t worry. There are plenty of places where kids can learn all the musical skills they need.

Here’s a list of some the best places to send your kids to learn all about the wonders of music here in Indianapolis:

Rhythm! Discovery Center

As the world’s leading percussion museum, the Rhythm! Discovery Center is a great place for both children and adults to learn about the history, use and cultural impact of percussion instruments all over the world. The center offers a walkthrough experience where people can explore the exciting exhibits, watch musical performances and engage in the hundreds of percussion instruments and create their own beat.

IUPUI Music Academy

The Indiana University-Purdue University Indiana (IUPUI) has been offering an outreach program for over 20 years. This program aims to provide anyone from the age of 3 with music lessons to help improve the quality of music education in surrounding areas as well as promote arts and culture within the community. The IUPUI Music Academy offers group lessons to children between 3-12 on instruments such as the guitar, piano and voice while private lessons on the various instruments like the keyboard, violin, and woodwinds are available for all ages.

The Launch Pad

If you’re looking for a place to let loose and get in touch with your inner rock star, pay a visit to The Launch Pad rock school and recording studios. The Launch Pad offers private lessons on all the instruments you’ll need to create your own rock band including the guitar, bass, drums, and piano as well as voice lessons. They even offer a Rock Band program where kids can learn, perform and even record as group.

Kindermusik

Kindermusik looks at using music as an aid to the development of a child’s language, vocals, cognitive ability, motor skills, and socio-emotional skills alongside the musical development that comes with music lessons. The school offers music courses to newborn babies all the way up to 7 years old. Kindermusik even offers family classes to give an avenue for parents to be a part of their child’s learning and development experience.

So what are you waiting for? Let your children’s inner rock stars or singing divas shine!

Topics: Children

Local Shops: Gift Giving at Its Finest

Posted by Paula Henry on Oct 19, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Here at Home to Indy, we love supporting the locals - local artists, local restaurants, and local shops. If you happen to be new to the area, you may not have stumbled on some of these gems. Whether you're looking for a birthday present, something for a baby or bridal shower, or simply a "just because" gift for someone you love, you're sure to find something you love at these local spots. From Zionsville to Carmel, Indianapolis all the way down to Greenwood, we've got some of the best shopping around! 

local-gift

Silver in the City

434 Massachusetts Ave.

Silver in the City is known for their silver jewelry, but they also offer home decor and gifts. Their WHATNOT section makes it easy to buy for the hard-to-buy-for, while their HOUSEWARES helps you "clutter tastefully."  

Nurture

433 Massachusetts Ave.

You'll "Oooh" and "Awww" your way through Nurture's selection of baby and toddler clothing and accessories. The apparel, much of which is locally made or made from organic materials, runs from newborn to 4T. The store also carries toys, accessories (the baby sunglasses are a top seller) and more.


Homespun

869 Massachusetts Ave.

Shop contemporary handmade such as locally made t-shirts for men, women and children and wood jewelry by Allison Ford of Studio AMF. Right in the heart of Mass Avenue, Homespun is sells the work of more than 200 artists. 

 

Girly Chic

922 E. Westfield Blvd.

In addition to a bricks-and-mortar space, Girly Chic boasts a boutique on wheels. Specializing in clothing, accessories and gifts for women and girls, the shop and truck carry feminine looks from the flowy to the fitted. The shop also has a little girls section. 

 

Pillow Talk

23 E. Main St., Carmel

Pillow Talk boasts an assortment of flirty and fun lingerie, lounge wear and sleepwear from brands like Piccadilly by Lou Paris and Eberjay alongside scented candles, dainty jewelry and even games like Sexy Truth or Dare. Consider it your one-stop-shop for bachelorette party and wedding shower gifts.

 

Delaney's

With shoppes in Geist, Fishers, Carmel, the Fashion Mall, and their newest in Zionsville, Delaney's is a one-stop shop for that special gift. They boast an eclectic mix of home decor, jewelry, clothes, candles, holiday decorations, and more. It's a great place to browse!

What are some of your favorite local shoppes? Comment below - we'd love to know!

 

 

Topics: Local Indy, Local Business

What You Need to Know About Down Payments

Posted by Paula Henry on Oct 16, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Buying a home is such an exciting event! But it can also be filled with lots of questions, especially if you've never purchased a house before. You may hear terms that you're unfamiliar with - like equity, mortgage, down payment (and more). We know that it can be a lot to take in for even a second or third-time homebuyer.

Here at Home to Indy, we love educating our clients so that they know what to expect. That's why we've compiled this post about what you need to know about down payments.

downpayment

What is a down payment exactly?

A down payment is the money that you, as the buyer, pay out of your own pocket right at the start toward the purchase of your home. It's your way of putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak, that you are investing in the process. Thus, a downpayment is the first step in securing your mortgage, which is usually a percentage of the property's worth. It  acts as a deposit between you and the lender.

How much should I put down?

The simple answer here is, "As much as possible." Despite seeming like a simple transaction, deciding how much to invest depends on several factors and is super important, as it will affect your future morgage. Obviously, you want to make the best decision for you so that you get off to the best start possible with your mortgage. Here are a few factors to consider:
  • Your interest rate. The more money you put toward your downpayment, the lower your interest rate will be. This means that you will have lower monthly payments.
  • The type of loan. How much you invest will affect whether a fixed-rate mortgage or an adjustable rate mortgage is right for you. (If you're hard pressed to make a large downpayment, then an adjustable rate mortgage with lower initial monthly payments may be beneficial. 
  • Whether you pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This typically applies to those who pay less than 20% of their property value as a down payment. Borrowers who are required to pay this are deemed as a bigger risk because the lender is loaning them more money with a higher potential loss if it goes into default. 

What is LTV?

LTV is Loan to Value Ratio. In mortgages, this is a term used to express the ratio of a loan to the value of the property purchased (i.e. how much you have left to pay after your down payment). This is one of the main factors, along with credit score rating, that lenders take into account when considering you for a loan. The higher your downpayment, the lower your loan and your LTV ratio will be.

An example

Let's say you want to purchase a home with an appraised value of $305,000. The agreed purchase price is $300,000. If you put $50,000 down as a downpayment, that leaves $250,000 left to meet the purchase price. $250,000 is 83% of $300,000. ($250,000 divided by $300,000 is 0.83 which is multiplied by 100 to make it a percentage.)

Making the right choice for your down payment affects a lot more than just how much you initially have in your pocket. Deciding whether it's worth investing in a large payment to get lower monthly payments without the added cost of PMI can be hard if you're in a rush. But sometimes it's the more sensible financial option.

For more information on choosing the mortgages and downpayments, let us know. We're here to help!  

Did we miss anything? Or do you still have questions? If so, put them in the comments below!

Topics: Buying a Home, Downpayments

On the Road Again: An Indiana Road Trip Guide

Posted by Mandy Padgett on Oct 14, 2014 10:30:00 AM

ontheroad

Everybody needs a breather now and then, but full blown vacations can be hard to come by. That doesn’t mean, you need to forego the relaxing qualities of getting away. Indianapolis just happens to be central to a huge number of fantastic little retreats which would appeal to a broad range of interests, all situated about 5 hours or less from home, or in other words, close enough to make a 3- day weekend a bona-fide treat. Here’s a virtual tour of a few itineraries!

Illinois

The Outskirts of Chicago may be a no-brainer destination from Indy, but did you know there are lots of equally charming and less crowded suburbs of Chi-town which are more than worth visiting? Take, for example, the absorbing little town of Glen Ellyn just 23 miles west of Chicago, whose adorable boutiques and Tudor-style downtown streets make for a great girls get-away. It could also be a good option to stay outside of the city and then take a day-trip in, depending on how much time you have! Try Waterleaf, a French and American white tablecloth affair, and then catch a rest at The Inn at Water’s Edge

Bonus: If you detour about 30 minutes East of 65 in Gary, you’ll come to Michigan City, where the Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets live. This is an extraordinary outlet with an enormous collection of stores, including BCBG, Banana Republic, Anne Taylor, Michael Kors and Kenneth Cole.

The River Road from Ottowa to Havana - Although it sounds exotic and far, it’s actually just a lush, scenic run between two cities in Illinois, perfect for nature lovers. Along this national scenic byway you can take in the waterfalls and canyons of Starved Rock State Park and then visit the Chataqua.page1image15568 page1image15728 page1image15888 page1image16048 

National Wildlife Refuge is home of over 200,000 birds of all varieties. Then, visit the Mark Twain Hotel, and resolve the stretch at August Hill Winery.

Galena, Illinois - Nestled along the Mississippi river, this little gem has over 100 shops and restaurants, as well as lovely scenic attractions. It was recently voted one of America’s top 10 best small towns, you’d be in for a sweet treat with this pick. 

Ohio

Of course, Ohio has Kings Island and Cedar Point and the world-famous Tony Packo’s hot dog, but our Eastern neighbor has more to love than that!

The Hocking HillsA sprawling state park area in Ohio full of every piece of nature appreciation you could possibly want. Everything from gorges, forrest, cliffs, bird watching, star programs, caves, waterfalls, trails, cabins and more. If a nature getaway is your thing and you’ve done everything here at home, this would be a big win. Hocking Hills also has a quaint collection of little artisanal shops, reminiscent of Nashville, Indiana

ClevelandTake a morning at West Side Market, a sprawling public market with origins all the way back to the 1840’s. Browse the 100+ vendors who pedal everything from cheeses and herbs, to flowers, produce and meats. Then wander the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, the incredible Wade Chapel, catch an Indians game or spend one of your get-away days in the wild, peaceful Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The VineyardsWhile it might not be napa, there is a wine trail as nearby as Ohio, running along the Southern border of Lake Erie. With covered bridges, scenic drives, and Bed and Breakfasts galore, you can’t miss if you’re looking for some ultimate relaxation. Check out ohiowines.org for more info.

Indiana

If you’ve the all of the usual spots; Brown County and French Lick, here are a couple of others worth trying:

Madison - Sitting perched on the edge of the Ohio, Madison is as lovely as she is charming. With a downtown full of shops, restaurants, galleries and B&B’s, it’s sure to be a home run for a weekend getaway. In the Summer, Madison hosts the Madison Regatta, an event with live music, street vendors fireworks and of course, amazing regatta racing.

Nappannee - Sometimes a person can hunger for the simpler things and that’s what you’ll find in the old Amish countryside of Nappannee. Visit the rustic and beautiful Amish Acres where you can sample the lifestyle and the delicious country fare.

Kentucky

LouisvilleYou might be surprised to find that Louisville has quite the range of amenities to take advantage of, including it’s world famous glass blowing, the Urban Bourbon Trail, or the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. And then, of course there are specific events like the Kentucky Derby or the St James Court Art Show, held in the fall. 

Where are some of your favorite places to road trip? Comment below. We want to know!

 

Topics: Just for Fun

4 Easy DIY Halloween Crafts for Your Home

Posted by Paula Henry on Oct 12, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Here at Home to Indy, Fall is one of our favorite times of the year. The weather is cooler, the leaves are changing, and Halloween is right around the corner. 

In the spirit of this spooky holiday, we thought we'd share some easy DIY Halloween crafts for you and your family to help decorate your new home! Not only will it be a fun activity for you, it will add some spook-tacular decorations for your Trick or Treaters. 

Note: We know we're posting this early, but we wanted to give you time to make these boo-tiful masterpieces.

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Hanging Ghosts

Ghosts are a must when it comes to Halloween decorating, and these happen to be really easy to make. With a few Styrofoam balls, some cheesecloth and a black marker, you can create tons of these spooks to hang all over your porch (or inside  if you prefer). Shredding the cheesecloth at the bottom gives your ghosts a very really eerie look. 

ghosts

Candy Corn Bottles

No table is complete for Halloween without a centerpiece - or these sweet-looking decor would also look great on your front porch steps. These are super easy to make and look great once completed. Simply spray paint the candy corn colors onto old glass bottles, then add some ribbon. This is a great project that you can keep from year to year. You can make one bottle - or several - to create a beautiful display. Don’t forget to add a little real candy corn as well!

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Crafty Pumpkins

So, pumpkins have to be part of your Halloween décor, right? Instead of carving them (which is also fun), you can decorate them in other ways. This lets you have really great décor for the holiday, and it won't "wilt" like carved pumpkins tend to over time. Decorate your Halloween pumpkins with ribbon, buttons, markers or whatever you have on hand. You can be as creative (or scary) as you like.

pumpkin-craft

Tin Can Luminaries

Tin can luminaries are a great way to add a bit of Halloween to  without spending a lot of money. (If you already have the cans on hand, you likely won’t have to spend a penny.) Rip off your tin can labels and poke holes in them with a hammer and a nail spelling out Halloween phrases (like "Trick" or "Boo"). Paint them dark colors for an added effect after you add candles to the bottom of them. These are great for lining your drive, sitting on your porch, or hanging. 

Tin-Can

Here's to a happy, safe, and boo-tifully decorated Halloween!

Do you have other easy DIY Halloween crafts you like to make? Share your ideas in the comments below! 

Topics: Children, Halloween, Crafts

Best Locations to Take Photos in the Indianapolis Area

Posted by Paula Henry on Oct 9, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Indianapolis is a obviously a beautiful city, and it happens to be photogenic. So there are TONS of great places to take pictures here. Whether you are looking for a place to take the family to snap some shots yourselves - or you're wanting to work with a professional photographer for your engagement pictures, these locations will work well for both. From urban to rustic locations, Indy has them all!

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Downtown Indianapolis

The heart of the city is a great location for those who want a completely urban setting. The Soldiers and Sailor's Monument, the State House, and the Circle all make for great spots. But, there are lots of fun nooks and crannies within the city including rustic alleyways and fun store fronts. Don't forget the Canal and Lucas Oil Stadium (if you're a Colts fan)!

Downtown Carmel

Bring your walking shoes and travel around charming downtown Carmel! It has a variety of fun places to take pictures, including the Monon Trail, older-looking store fronts, and the creative art statues. A great way to end the day is with cupcakes or ice cream at the end of your session. (We love Huddles!) 

Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) and 100 Acres Woods

The IMA is located on the near North West side of the city and is home to the trendy LOVE statue. It also has lots of gardens that are groomed professionally. It is truly a gorgeous location! 100 Acres Woods is right around the corner from the IMA and is such a fun location! There are a variety of backdrops including water and greenery, a modern basketball court with fun tubing, an interesting tunnel, and stairwells. This area isn’t as well groomed as the IMA, but there it's still a great location for some rustic/outdoorsy shots.

Coxhall Gardens

Located in Carmel, Coxhall Gardens includes lots of well groomed flowers and greenery, as well as some fun structures. You can’t leave Coxhall Gardens without doing at least one jumping picture, as there is a fun amphitheater with large steps perfect for them. The only drawback to this location is that there is very little shade. This location is best for shorter sessions as close to sunset as possible.

Garfield Park

Garfield Park is located on the southeast side of the city. Here, you will find three distinctly different backdrops. If you go inside the gardens you will find an indoor greenhouse. Outside the greenhouse you will find professionally-groomed flowers and a garden. Finally, if you keep walking you will find a more rustic/natural setting. This last area includes rustic greenery, a fun bridge, walking paths, and even a rail road track. This location is perfect for those unpredictable colder months (since you can always opt for an indoor location if it is too cold outside for a long session).

Holcomb Gardens

This location is on Butler University’s campus. But don’t worry, you won’t find any giant Butler logos or any bulldogs here. Instead, you will find a giant weeping willow over the canal, a fun bridge, well groomed greenery, an area of ungroomed greenery, a gazebo, and even a little water feature. This location is great yearround!

Fort Harrison State Park

Fort Harrison State Park is on the northeast side of the city and is a great backdrop yearround. (It's perfect in the fall to capture the beauty of the changing leaves!) This park is ideal for a couple or family that wants to capture lots of nature in their images. The backdrop selections here include water, wooden bridges, brush, lots of trees and natural greenery, walking paths, and more.

Keep in mind, these aren’t the only places in Indianapolis to take great pictures. In fact, do you know of a spot that we missed? If so, leave it in the comments below. We'd love to know! 

 

Topics: Indianapolis, Family