Lots of interesting things were invented in our home state of Nebraska. Yes, we’re the creators of vise grip locking pliers, frozen TV dinners, collapsable voting booths, and center pivot irrigation. Perhaps our biggest claim to fame, however, is the fruit-flavored, powdered soft drink that known around the world as Kool-Aid.

Our daughter, Meghan, took her turn at the Kool-Aid stand photo booth at the Hastings Museum.

Our daughter, Meghan, took her turn at the Kool-Aid stand photo booth at the Hastings Museum.

That’s right. Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins in Hastings, Nebraska. Perkins had initially created a fruit-flavored drink called Fruit Smack. But in 1927, in an effort to reduce shipping costs, he discovered a way to remove the liquid, leaving only a powder.

These Kool-Aid man costumes were are display at the Hastings Museum.

These Kool-Aid man costumes were are display at the Hastings Museum.

He named the new powder Kool-Aid and moved production to Chicago in 1931. Eventually, the brand was sold to General Foods and is now owned by Kraft. However, Hastings still celebrates Perkins and this childhood favorite with an annual summer festival called Kool-Aid Days on the second weekend in August. They also help commemorate Perkins’ achievements with an exhibit in the Hastings Museum, which we visited this summer.

It was our very first trip to the museum and we found it a delightful way to spend an hour or two on a hot summer day in Nebraska.

According to the museum’s website, the Hastings Museum was founded in 1927 and is the largest municipal museum between Chicago and Denver. The museum features a theater with a 65-foot

It was interesting to animal species in their natural habitats.

It was interesting to animal species in their natural habitats at the museum.

wide screen and large domed Planetarium. It houses taxidermy displays dozens of animal species set in their natural habitats, allowing you to get an up close look at many amazing creatures!

The museum also chronicles the history of the early inhabitants of the Nebraska plains, from paleo-Indians to euro-Americans, while providing a look back at the creatures that used to roam this area and swim in Cretaceous Sea.

Our favorite part of the museum, though, was the nod to Kool-Aid. It was fun to walk through the exhibit and read all about the history of Perkins’ invention and look back at all of the advertising and marketing campaigns that were so prominent in our childhoods. We learned that the original six Kool-Aid flavors were Cherry, Grape, Lemon-Lime, Orange, Raspberry, Strawberry — my favorite is Cherry and as I recall, it produced the best Kool-Aid mustache/smile.

Kool-Aid marketing was everywhere when I was a kid. Lunch boxes, Barbie dolls, sno-cone machines. etc.

Kool-Aid marketing was everywhere when I was a kid. Lunch boxes, Barbie dolls, sno-cone machines. etc.

I remembered the Kool-Aid lunchbox and round pitchers that everyone used to have. We were also reminded of the make-shift Kool-Aid stands we had as kids and enjoyed watching all of the old Kool-Aid commercials that feature a large, anthropomorphic pitcher filled with Kool-Aid randomly busting through fences and walls of children’s homes to make a batch of Kool-Aid.

Here’s a little trip down memory lane in case you can’t remember who awkward those commercials really were.

Maybe it’s just me, but some of these seem a little creepy to me now. But back in the day, there was nothing quite like seeing that giant pitcher of Kool-Aid burst through the wall at the most unsuspecting moment with that shout of, “Oh, yeah.” These commercials took me back.

Today, you can buy Kool-Aid as a powder, jammer, burst, or liquid. A simple search on Pinterest will give you dozens of ideas on other ways to use Kool-Aid, including everything from dying t-shirts and and making scented play-doh, to using it as a watercolor paint or a dishwasher cleaner. I even found a recipe for Kool-Aid slime!

Found this recipe for Kool-Aid slime at www.growingajeweledrose.com

Found this recipe for Kool-Aid slime at www.growingajeweledrose.com

What unique uses have you found for Kool-Aid? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

  • Late breakfast, early lunch. Time got away from us this morning so we had a bit of a brunch. We have been on an oatmeal kick this year for several reasons. It's inexpensive, filling, tastes great, and is typically readily available at grocery stores and hotels that serve breakfast. ⁣
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One cup of oatmeal cooked in water is about 160 calories (and a "green" food on our @noom weight loss app). We like to add a teaspoon of brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and lots of fresh berries. Other options are: bananas, nuts, nutmeg, diced apple, flax seed, or dried fruits. ⁣
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What is your go-to breakfast these days?
  • See how we lost a combined 150 pounds in a year while traveling! It was one year ago this week that we began our healthy living journey. We are travel bloggers with a new post (just click on the handy dandy link in our bio) about what we've lost and gained in one year.
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See what we've learned about calorie density, exercise and ourselves in the process. We are so thankful for the resources that have helped us, including @noom and the @mayoclinic Healthy Living Program. (This is NOT a paid partnership) We feel like new people and hope our story will encourage someone else who wants to make a healthy lifestyle change. To stay up to date with our weight loss and healthy living journey, be sure to follow @PostcardJar on social media.
  • Our daffodils are in full bloom here in Nebraska and they just make us smile. We brought the  bulbs for these flowers from Ann's first house when we got married and moved here. Ann had dug them up from her grandma Rashleigh's home in Fremont, Nebraska, and her grandma had brought them to the U.S. from a trip that she took to England. ⁣
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Ann's grandma passed away several years ago. Each spring, these flowers bloom and remind Ann of her grandma and her beautiful soul.
  • We love to travel but we're staying home to flatten the curve. As travel bloggers, writers, and influencers, we all have canceled trips, postponed adventures, and rescheduled experiences. ⁣
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We know this is temporary and soon enough, we'll be traveling again. But for now, we are all staying safe at home and encourage you to do the same. And while you’re home, check out some of these influencers’ feeds for travel inspiration.
  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
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You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
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We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
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Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
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This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
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Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
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Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
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Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
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It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
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What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome

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