Beating the Summertime Blahhs: DIY Whimsical Picnic

Summer is a wonderful time when you are a kid. There is no school, just a few organized sports games or other activities in the evenings and ample amount of time to catch up on all that play time you have missed during the school year.

The first few weeks are always a blast! There are so many things to do and see, but inevitably the Summer boredom eventually kicks in.
So what do you do when the daytime blahhs occur and the kids are saying “I’m bored” every two minutes?

FacebookTwitterWell this is exactly the conversation I had with my friend Lizzy last week. I am expecting my two younger cousins, ages 12 and 9 to come over for a weekend and although I am excited to see them, I have been incredibly nervous about how to keep them entertained for a whole weekend and stay within my small budget (aka keeping it as free as possible).

Lizzy happens to be a babysitter for two children around the same age and had just recently taken the kids to what she told them would be an over-the-top picnic adventure at a local park that was just a short bike ride from the house. She let me in on a few of her strategies to create a whimsical picnic, keep the munchkins entertained, and your wallet happy.

Tips to create an affordable and whimsical picnic:

1. Utilize what you already have at home:

  • Lizzy took inventory the day before of everything the family already had, such as a bed sheet, several board games, a few crates and bungee cords to carry the items on the bicycles, and cake mix for a cupcake snack.
  • Using items that were already available made her shopping list short and also helped to rejuvenate items that the kids had grown bored of. After all Yahtzee at an outdoor picnic is much more entertaining than Yahtzee at a kitchen table.

2. Add a touch of whimsy:

  • Since Lizzy wanted the picnic to be extra special she went to pick up a few added decorations from Walmart the night before.
  • A few simple and affordable decorations such as lanterns, paper flowers, pillows, and candles help make the atmosphere that much more exciting and gives the picnic that over-the-top extravagant feeling.
  • The kids also like helping to decorate the picnic area with fun and colorful decorations!

3. Make travel simple, fun, and a healthy experience:

  • Lizzy thought it would be a great idea to get to the picnic by bicycle. The kids already had two Mongoose bicycles in the garage so all she had to do was ride her Schwinn Cruiser over that morning and strap the crates on to the bikes with bungee cords.
  • Biking to your destination gives it a secretive and fun feel reminiscent of the book The Secret Garden and adds to the whole experience.
  • Plus, bonus points, biking is great exercise and gets the kids moving!

4. Let them take control of setting up the picnic:

  • Once you get to your destination let the kids set up all the goodies that you have packed in the crate. This well help them feel like they helped create the picnic and makes it even more special!

5. Enjoy!

  • After all the setup is complete the possibilities are endless! Play games, eat cupcakes, watch the clouds, and enjoy the spontaneity of a whimsical picnic!
    IMG_0027IMG_0047

Kiss those blahh days away and Get Out and Ride!

– Samantha C.

 

Peddler’s Creamery: We All Bike for Ice Cream

peddlers6Schwinn: When did you first know that you wanted to open an ice cream shop?

Edward: My first job was at an ice cream shop in high school and I realized I may never have a job again where I was able to make all the customers happy! That and it had some delicious perks. So I knew I would someday like to run my own shop.

peddlers3Schwinn: Did biking play a part in your life before Peddler’s Creamery? How so?

Edward: Of course, since childhood bicycling has provided that exercise outlet, you get to travel and observe the world, but at the same time clear your mind, relax and just have smile on your face. I love commuting via bicycle or taking a ride in the local mountains or trails for amazing scenic vistas!

Schwinn: What was the inspiration for including bicycles as a means to producing the ice cream of Peddler’s Creamery?

Edward: I like to think of new creative ways to do things that will be sustainable, this idea came about by combining two things I loved, bicycling and ice cream.

Schwinn: How did you make your dream a reality? Were there any setbacks in the beginning?

Edward: I decided to go for it and haven’t looked back. It’s like riding a century, there are always bumps along on the road or flat tires to be overcome, but the views at the waypoints and the people you meet along the path make it worth it!

Schwinn: What sort of reaction did you receive from people when you told them you wanted to make ice cream with a bicycle as your means of energy?

Edward: They were pretty excited actually and I still love new customers coming in and enjoying the concept for the first time!

Schwinn: Not a lot of businesses have found success on Kickstarter. Why do you think people were inspired to help you?

Edward: I think for two reasons, one I was lucky to have many amazing friends, family and customers that supported us ; and two , I think the concept resonated with folks looking to support and business that was focused on making sure that people, and the planet were taken care  of and it was just a fun idea.

Schwinn: Why did you choose to use Schwinn bicycles for this project?

Edward: Because Schwinn is an American Icon, just like Ice Cream.

Schwinn: How has the bicycle been modified to turn ice cream?

Edward: We set up the bicycle on a stand and connected it to a kinetic sculpture and an old fashioned churner via chains.

Schwinn: How long does it take to turn a batch of ice cream?

Edward: 15-20 minutes

Schwinn: How do you think that Peddler’s has created such a loyal customer base and how have you been able to continue to grow within your community?

Edward: Peddlers has a great positive energy and we strive to make our customers happy. We are a fun place to stop in and a place where your tastebuds and your soul can both feel great!

Schwinn: Is all the ice cream sold at Peddler’s Creamery turned by bicycle?

Edward: You bet! That’s the fun part!

peddlers7Schwinn: What is the most unique flavor the Creamery currently offers? What is the most popular flavor?

Edward: Perhaps our raspberry poptart, a crowd favorite. Most popular would be salted caramel , Mexican chocolate , and mint chocolate cookie.

Schwinn: What is the biggest challenge to making ice cream by bike?

Edward: Telling folks that they are finished after churning out a batch, sometimes they want to keep on going.

Schwinn: Your ice cream and other deserts include fair trade, organic and locally sourced products. Why were you confident in picking the more expensive resources?

Edward: These premium ingredients  ensure we have amazing ice cream, but just as important our customers can enjoy the ice cream knowing that they are contributing to a better world one delicious scoop at a time!

Schwinn: Biking is pretty prevalent in your work life, but do you still bike on your own time?

Edward: Of course! I love to ride when I have free time. I just rode the LA River Ride Century in June!

peddlers4Schwinn: The creamery is also a Benefits Corporation; giving back 5% of their profits to environmental and social issues, how do you think this has affected your business? How do you envision Peddler’s Creamery inspiring other businesses to take these progressive steps?

Edward: We love supporting the greater community and the work that the groups around us do: from the National Forest Foundation, Los Angeles county Bicycling Coalition, Habitat for humanity, to the Downtown Women’s Center. By making this business a success I believe we can help pave the class one bike path for others.

Schwinn: Everyone loves ice cream, so we have to ask when is Peddler’s coming to Madison? What is in store for Peddler’s in the next few years; can we get a sneak peek at the future plans?

Edward: You never know, we might be out there sometime soon!

Thank you Edward for the scoop 😉

Get Out and Ride (anyone up for some ice cream?)

-Samantha

A Colorful Summer: Target Popcycles

This week I got together with two of my friends at the University of Wisconsin -Madison Terrace to catch up and also show off some of our latest Schwinn bicycles available exclusively at Target, the “Popcycles“.S14PH_12507Right away we all gravitated toward a color that seemed to fit our personality. Sammi, girly, kind, and a true sweetheart, picked the pink popcycle. Jozi who is a firecracker and is the warmest most optimistic person you’ll ever meet picked the vibrant orange popcycle. As for me, the powder blue popcycle just seemed to fit my personality, calm, creative and sensitive.

Mendota_Blue_chairs12_8802For us the bikes seemed like a perfect fit to the already colorful Terrace. For those of you who have never been to the UW-Madison Terrace, you should know that the colorful seats that occupy the waterfront space are something of an iconic image for the area. The opening of the Terrace, when they put out the chairs, is an official mark for students and alumni alike that Spring classes are ending and Summer is beginning. Sammi, Jozi, and I have all spent many summers at the Terrace hanging out with friends, grabbing a Babcock ice cream cone, or a frozen drink from Peet’s Coffee and Tea, or if we had to, study for an exam. If you ever come to Madison WI, in the summer it is undoubtedly a “must-see” spot!

The bicycles in the popcycle line are Hybrid bikes, which make them excellent bikes for getting around the campus area. Hybrids combine features of both road and mountain bike styles to optimize on comfort which make them a great go-to bike for both fitness and commuting needs. Or in our case an excellent choice for a casual ride that was in need of a stylish upgrade.

By the way, did you check out are headgear? While these fashion forward helmets aren’t available in store yet (wink), check out these similar urban style helmets that will keep your head safe without cramping your style!

Get out and Ride! (with a Friend…at the Terrace… on a Popcycle!)

Samantha

To see the full Popcycle line, head over to: Target Popcycles