Celebration Crossing: Where Hoosier Holiday Traditions Past & Present Meet

Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum

Growing up in central Indiana, the holidays weren’t complete without a visit to downtown Indianapolis. We’d drive around the circle to see the Soldiers and Sailors monument lit up like a giant Christmas tree. Some years we’d have tickets to the Symphony’s Yuletide Celebration. Other years we’d catch a performance of the Nutcracker at Butler.

From 1922 until 1992, the true highlight of the Indianapolis Christmas scene centered around the department store L.S. Ayres. I graduated high school and moved away from home in 1993, so I was part of the last generation of Hoosier kids who knew the wonder of the holidays that existed within L.S. Ayres. My mom was (and still is!) a recycler of holiday gift boxes, and so for years after Ayres was gone, we still received gifts in their iconic holiday boxes – bright red boxes with a Christmas tree in the corner.

Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum

Like my mom’s Christmas boxes reappearing every year long after Ayres had shut its doors, the Indiana State Museum has managed to bring back the nostalgia of Christmas in Indianapolis long ago. Each year the Museum hosts a very special exhibit, Celebration Crossing. While elements of the exhibit change every year, one thing remains the same: recreating the best parts of that beloved Hoosier holiday tradition.

We had a very special chance to preview the exhibit last week before it opened to the general public. We gazed at the beautifully recreated L.S. Ayres store windows.

Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum

The kids rode the Santa Claus Express through a winter wonderland, and marveled at the original. It now sits on display at the Museum, after dutifully transporting nearly 30,000 children a year to Santa’s house. I marveled at the fact that this is likely Elena’s last year to ride the little train, as she sat with her knees nearly touching her chin!

Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum

And finally, we paid a very special visit to Santa in his charming little house. I’ve taken the kids to countless Santas all around town throughout the years, and I’m telling you this: the Indiana State Museum Santa is THE BEST. You won’t find a more patient Santa in a lovelier setting anywhere else in central Indiana (and a sleigh full of reindeer better than the Santa that once dropped Eli twice in a row)!

The holidays are a busy time for all, with special events and obligations tugging us every which way. If you only make time for one activity this holiday season, consider making it a visit to Celebration Crossing. Whether you’re passing on a treasured tradition from your childhood onto your children, or simply starting a new one, you won’t be disappointed.

Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum

Celebration Crossing is open now through December 31, with Santa and Mrs. Claus entertaining guests through December 24. Find more details, including hours and the location of the Museum, on the Indiana State Museum’s website. Happy Holidays!

Whether you’re a fellow Midwesterner looking for fun places to visit in your own backyard or you’re traveling to our great region for the first time, you’ll find lots of ideas on my Pinterest board dedicated to Midwest Travel!

Follow Angie Six {just like the number}’s board Midwest Travel on Pinterest.

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Insta-September

SeptemberIG

1. Aren’t my parents the cutest? They’ll celebrate 55 years of marriage at the end of this month. Every day I count my blessings to have them so near and in good health. And, of course, for the wonderful example they set for me when it comes to honoring your marriage vows.

2. I rarely treat myself to pedicures and never treat myself to manicures, so I jumped at the chance to check out the new Beauty Bar at Geist. It’s a gorgeous, full-service salon, but even better? You can enjoy an adult beverage while getting pretty. It was 11 am, so I stuck with coffee, but trust me, I’ll be back!

3. I had so much fun partnering with Comcast Xfinity to host a viewing party for the Colts home opener against that one guy named Peyton and the Broncos. I made my friend, Will Carroll (better knows as injuryexpert), take a selfie with me to distract myself from the losing score. If you have SiriusXM you can catch him weekday afternoons on Bleacher Report Radio from 3-6 pm.

4. I took Eli to meet Colts’ tight end Coby Fleener. I was hoping we’d be BFFs after I casually mentioned that we’ve both written for the Monday Morning Quarterback, but sadly he was not impressed. Or maybe he was just distracted by Eli’s choice of a Detroit Lions hoodie in a sea of Colts gear. And to answer my sister’s question, I am not standing in a hole. Coby is enormous.

5. We ended up at Culver’s on kid’s night. Eli asked if he could get his face painted and I said, “Sure!” and sent him on his merry way. He came back to the table 15 minutes later and I nearly choked on my cheese curd. It was the most terrifying example of face painting on a kid I’ve ever seen. Of course, he loved it.

6. I came across this Dr. Who calendar by a local Indianapolis artist at the Twisted Sisters shop. I know a certain 12-year-old girl Whovian that would love it for Christmas!

7.  On a gorgeous fall evening I hosted some of my favorite people for my first ever attempt at paella. I’m happy to report it turned out great and we didn’t have to order pizza! I’m not so happy to report that the reason for the gathering was to say goodbye to Katy. Did you know we met on a blind date? It’s true! Now she’s off to Boston and I’m terribly sad and stubbornly in denial.  Thanks for a wonderful evening, Sacha, Suzanne and Erin!

8. We had very few requirements when we started looking for a dog. What we did know for sure was that having a dog that didn’t do car rides was a deal breaker. We once had a dog that would start foaming at the mouth at the sight of a car, then proceed to vomit the entire trip (super fun on a 8 hour car ride to Cleveland). As you can see, Gus likes the car, which means he can stay.

9. We spent the last Saturday in September with the lovely blogging community behind Indiana’s Family of Farmers. After a tour of a local cattle farm, we spent the evening in this beautiful little corner of rural Indiana. We feasted on pulled pork from a hog that had been roasted earlier in the day, stuffed ourselves with s’mores, fished, and chatted with friends. As if it wasn’t already a perfect evening, I won a quarter of beef from the Mahan’s cattle!

If you’re not already following me on Instagram already, please do! You can find me there as (the one and only) AngieSix.

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Clinton Kelly: Freakin’ Fabulous in Indianapolis (Plus 5 Hot Fashion Trends for Spring 2014)

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 

Macy's Clinton Kelly

I feel like Clinton Kelly, style guru, author and The Chew host, and I are pretty intimate. I mean, how could we not be after I spent months topless in front of him? At least, it feels like I know him personally, from the hours gleaning every bit of fashion advice from him that I could while I nursed an infant Eli on the couch.

I’m sure Clinton is relieved that he’s never actually seen me topless, though he certainly has good advice on the girls. (Get a professional bra fitting every year! Your bust should fall halfway between the elbow and shoulder! Keep ‘em locked and loaded!) However, I was thrilled to see him at a special Macy’s Girl’s Night Out Event last Friday. Clinton was in town to host a fashion show, highlighting this spring’s biggest trends showcased on millennials, curvy girls (that’s me!), and mature women. And what are spring’s must-haves?

Clinton Kelly moto jackets

The Moto Jacket

I love this look, and will definitely be adding it to my spring wardrobe. One of my biggest struggles, which I asked Clinton about, is how to not ruin a cute spring outfit with ugly outerwear when it’s chilly. Layers, like an edgy moto jacket or interesting cardigans in a bright color, are the answer. One warning: do not make the mistake of pairing a moto jacket with the boxy shirts that are also popular right now. No boxy under boxy! Choose a fitted shirt instead.

Clinton Kelly lace

Lace

Lace is hot right now, but it doesn’t mean you have to look like Laura Ingalls Wilder. Pair a lace top or a knit blazer featuring lace details with edgy jeans. Notice the curvy model is wearing skinny jeans. My curvy friends – do not fear the skinny jean! And don’t feel like you have to cover a bigger booty in skinny jeans with a long, flowy top! It will make your legs look stumpy and your back end appear bigger. The key, according to Clinton, is to divide and conquer the big booty! Pair those skinny pants with a shirt that hits right in the middle of the backside. By essentially cutting the booty in half visually, it will appear smaller.

Clinton Kelly florals

Floral

This is a trend I’ve yet to try, but would love to. I’m print-phobic, unless it’s a stripe. I’ve never met a stripe I didn’t like, so I had to put myself on a stripe-strike! I forbid myself to buy another printed shirt in a stripe pattern. I know how important a good print is for adding visual interest to an outfit. The models were shown wearing different floral prints, which scares me, but Clinton assured us that you can mix prints by pairing a neutral print with a bold print. That was a lightbulb moment for me … and will completely change the way I think about decorating as well!

Clinton Kelly full skirts

The Full Skirt

I’m a huge fan of skirts in warmer weather. A cute skirt can take me from running errands to the playground to a girl’s night out effortlessly, just by changing my top and accessories. I feel as comfy and cool as I would if I were wearing shorts, but I look so much cuter! According to Clinton, there’s nothing an A-line skirt can’t fix on a curvy girl. I couldn’t agree more.

Clinton Kelly black and white for spring

Black and White

The cheers went up in the audience for this look, as we Hoosiers love our black and white during the month of May! Whether you’re an Indianapolis 500 fan or not, everyone can pull off a version of this look.

Clinton Kelly and Angie Six

After the show, I had a few minutes to chat with Clinton one-on-one. As a blogger and Pinterest addict, I had to ask him how he thought these things have impacted women and mothers. I just loved what he had to say:

“People are getting so many more ideas, from real people. It’s not like looking at a fashion magazine. The average fashion magazine has about as much relevance to the average American mom’s life Popular Mechanics! So what’s happening is that women are seeing ideas from other women just like themselves, whether it’s crafting, food ideas, or putting together cute outfits on a budget. I think it’s awesome. I think people are starting to feel more creative, and it’s so refreshing.

His outlook on clothing really resonates with me. He reminds us that fashion is what you see on runways, but style is your approach to fashion. He honestly does not care what you wear! But he does make an excellent point: like it or not, your clothes tell the world how you want to be treated. And to a further extent, your clothes tell you how you treat yourself. If you always wear something schlumpy, people will have a harder time taking you seriously. When you dress in nothing but loose shirts and yoga pants (unless you’re always off to yoga), you’ll feel less confident, less motivated to face daily life with energy and joy. When you wear something fitted, attractive and fun, you’ll exude confidence and feel better about yourself. I know this, because I’ve lived it.

Clinton also has a new book, which looks as fun and adorable as the man himself. It’s called Freakin’ Fabulous on a Budget. I mean, who can resist Clinton Kelly on their nightstand or coffee table?

Finally, to answer a couple of your burning questions that everyone’s been asking.  No, I did not stress out about my outfit. Yes, Clinton is as witty, nice and handsome as he appears on television. And no, I don’t care what anyone says, I will never try to pull off white pants. I’m all about the moto jacket, though.

What’s a spring trend you want to try this year? Heard any style advice recently that’s rocked your closet?

 

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