I was so excited to go to Raise Your Brush for the full experience.  I went there a while ago for a baby shower and really wanted to go back and this time I brought my mom, because we always used to watch Bob Ross reruns when I was little.


It all starts with a blank canvas (don’t worry, they outline the important bits for you with pencil).


They even write your name on your table so you know where to go!


Next, grab some snacks and some wine or craft beer!  Oh, and your paint – that’s actually pretty important, too.


When it gets started, listen carefully to the instructions and get painting!  They guide you through the whole process so even people who have never painted before (like me, for instance!) can create these beautiful paintings.


We started with the background – a sort of ombre orange to green experience.


Next we added the blue poppies.


Then we finished the look with stems and leaves – and our masterpieces were finished!  Don’t they look awesome?  I know what you’re all thinking and the answer is no, I do not plan on quitting my job to become a full time artist.  I’ll just have to continue squandering my immense artistic talent for now :)


We already have plans to visit this awesome, locally owned place again soon!  I can’t wait!


Raise Your Brush
169 N Main St
Centerville, OH  45459
(937) 470-5487
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“Go into the arts.  I’m not kidding.  The arts are not a way to make a living.  They are a very human way of making life more bearable.  Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.  Sing in the shower.  Dance to the radio.  Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have created something.”

-Kurt Vonnegut

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In addition to being a big fan of all things Dayton, I am a total beauty nerd.  Back in 2012, I didn’t have as many readers as I do now and decided to have my friends ask me questions that I would fully explore on my blog and called it the “Ask Me Anything” series.  I started it off with an explanation of what bacne is and how the clear it up, headed right into color safe shampoo and why it’s important, went over the pros and cons of matte versus original Bare Minerals, and discussed gentle facial cleansers at the drugstore.  I always enjoyed it but when the questions dried up, I didn’t pursue it, even though these articles are some of my most popular (according to search engine traffic, that is).  I’ve been thinking about some of the questions I’ve been asked lately and decided to start it back up – hopefully you’ll find the information useful!

So, why dry shampoo?

If you’ve heard of it, you may have been wondering the same thing – if you haven’t, you probably want to know what it is.  If you have no interest whatsoever, I will be posting more Dayton-related content later this week, I promise!

It’s so important to not wash your hair every day (unless you have stick straight, oily hair – in which case washing your hair every day is pretty much a necessity so carry on).  Your skin produces natural oils that your hair needs to be strong, shiny, and beautiful but unfortunately that same oil can also make your hair look pretty gross the second day – that’s where dry shampoo comes in!  Dry shampoo is usually a powder dispensed by hand or aerosol spray.  The prices for this product range wildly (from a $2 small bottle of baby powder all the way to a $36 bottle of tinted dry shampoo from Bumble and Bumble).  Here are the best ones at each price point:


alterna cleanse extend

High End:  Alterna – Cleanse Extend Translucent Dry Shampoo – $22  These smell fantastic!

Drugstore:  Dove – Invigorating Dry Shampoo – $4

For Darker Hair:  Bumble and bumble – A Tint of Brown Hair Powder – $36  Although consider this to be like makeup – the color will transfer to hats, hands, or anything else that will come in contact with your head.


stila hair refresher

High End:  Stila – Hair Refresher – $28 The price might be steep but I’ve had my bottle for about 8 years now.  The scents are light and shampoo-like and the powder is very fine.  Either drop a little into your hands and run them over your scalp (while your hair is flipped over works best) or use the squeeze spout feature to apply it directly to your roots and rub in.

Drugstore:  Gold Bond – Ultimate Comfort Body Powder Aloe – $7  So this isn’t designed for your hair per se, but the powder is finer than normal baby powder so it works well in the hair at a fraction of the cost.  I would only recommend this for blondes though, as the white would be noticeable on brunettes.


Drugstore:  Psssst! Instant Dry Shampoo – $7  This aerosol has been around a long time and people still swear by it!


sephora blotting papers

High End:  Sephora Collection – Blotting Papers – $8  Basically, you can take the same oil blotting sheets you use on your face and use them on your scalp instead to help absorb excess oil between shampoos.

Drugstore: e.l.f. professional – Shine Eraser Blotting Papers – $1.50

Do you have a question for me?  Let me hear it using the Contact feature on my blog.  All questions are completely anonymous.  I might not be an expert but I’ve been deeply passionate about beauty products since before I was allowed to wear makeup!  Want to see other questions I’ve answered?  Click here.

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Press Release

Oregon District Restaurant Debuts New Spring Menu

Lily’s Bistro menu changes with the seasons

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(Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Dayton, OH) Lily’s Bistro, located at 329 E. Fifth Street in Dayton’s Oregon District, has launched their latest seasonal menu featuring springtime fare.

General Manager Emily Mendenhall says, “everyone is so beyond ready for spring time, and we are thrilled to have a new menu that reflects the season. I love root vegetables but we’ve been eating them for months.  Our new menu drops them in favor of springtime produce like asparagus and sugar snap peas.  Additionally, our wine, beer, and cocktail offerings have changed with the season.  No more apple cider in cocktails, and a lot more focus on refreshing, crisp white wines.

Executive Chef Mariah Gahagan says “This menu is a big milestone for us.  We opened late last spring, so this is the first time we’ve brought back an existing entrée, which is the Cobia surf n’ turf.  Cobia is a meaty white fish and it’s served with Spanish chorizo and fingerling potatoes in a sherry broth—kind of my version of a bouillabaisse.  We’ve also brought back lamb chops, which to me are the perfect spring protein.  We are serving them grilled over a light chickpea and tomato stew with roasted asparagus, then topped with flash fried kalamata olives  and harissa-a Tunisian hot pepper chili paste.”

Lily’s Bistro offers their seasonal lunch menu Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-3pm, and their full dinner menu Tuesday-Thursday from 5-10pm as well as Friday andSaturday from 5-11pm.  On Friday and Saturday they also have a full bar and late night kitchen until 1am.  On Sundays, Lily’s serves their brunch menu from 11am-3pm, and has “Family Style Fried Chicken Dinner” from 5-10pm, a more casual dinner menu focusing on local, free-range fried chicken and assorted sides with a good deal of southern influence.

Lily’s Bistro is an independent, family-run New American restaurant offering a seasonally-focused and eclectic menu served in a casual-upscale atmosphere.

Only one person could win the Penn Station Giveaway, so it’s great that Penn Station chose this time to make sure we all win by giving away free fries the whole month of April!

The following is an official press release:




OHIO – April 1, 2014 - Penn Station East Coast Subs invites customers to try their signature hand-cut French fries free of charge eachSunday during the month of April. With the purchase of any sub, customers will receive a complimentary small side of fresh-cut French fries.

“We are excited to offer everyone a chance to experience our delicious product,” said Craig Dunaway, president of Penn Station, Inc. “Our French fries are made-to-order from fresh-cut, hand-selected Idaho potatoes. We know our customers will definitely be back for more.”

No coupons are required to enjoy this offer. Simply stop by any of the 270 Penn Station East Coast Subs locations on April 6, 13, 20 or 27, order a sandwich and receive a complimentary small fry.

About Penn Station Originally founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1985, Penn Station East Coast Subs is an upscale, fast-casual restaurant renowned for its legendary Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sub sandwich, made-to-order and served hot on freshly baked French bread. Penn Station also serves a variety of hot and cold subs, as well as hand-cut, made-to-order French fries, hand-squeezed lemonade and chocolate chunk cookies baked fresh in the restaurant.

Penn Station has more than 270 restaurants in 13 states including Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Projections call for the opening of 45 restaurants in 2014. Markets targeted for growth include Kansas City, Richmond, Chicago, Detroit, Nashville and North and South Carolina, as well as a number of other existing markets.Please visit www.Penn-Station.com to learn more information and find a restaurant near you.

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gyro palace airway

Being a fan of yummy food, I am so happy I got a chance to try Gyro Palace again because they have some seriously yummy food.

gyro palace

We originally set up this lunch date with my sister-in-law and my nieces so that we could get our ::cough:: 7 ::cough cough:: boxes of Girl Scout cookies (I think that’s a normal amount for 2 people, right??).  I’m glad we picked Gyro Palace though, because I hadn’t been there since I was in college and completely forgot how great the food is.

veggie pita

I had the veggie pita and had to eat some of it like a Greek salad before being able to fold it into a pita shape!  So delicious.


We also shared some falafel and tzatziki sauce.

Oh, and some Greek fries.  (Wow, so we ordered the left side of the menu…)

greek fries

It was all absolutely perfect and I can’t wait to stop in again sometime.

Gyro Palace
4884 Airway Rd 
Dayton, OH  45431
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original rib house

On a recent trip to Vandalia, we stopped in for dinner at The Original Rib House – one of the places we miss the most after moving away in 2011.

rib house 1

I love that you can order from the lunch menu at any time since I think one salmon patty is plenty.  You also get two sides so it’s a full meal!

My favorite drink is this version of a margarita with tequila, Rose’s lime, and a dash of triple sec.  I hate sour mix so I’m grateful that they always agree to make this for me!

rib house 3

The great thing about Rib House is that you can eat this big meal and have a few drinks and still only pay what you would pay for lunch anywhere else.  It’s a fantastic deal!

The Original Rib House
275 E National Rd
Vandalia, OH  45377
(937) 898-4601

Congratulations, Jennifer Y!  You have won the Penn Station Gift Card Giveaway!  Please send me a private message with your mailing address and I’ll send it over!

Thank you all so much for participating in the giveaway!

penn station wrapper

In case you’re curious how I choose the winner:  I write down all of the names from the responses on the blog, assigning each entry a number in the process.  Then I enter the number range into RANDOM.ORG’s random number generator and whatever number it draws is the winner!  


I just want to take a moment to express my excitement for the Dayton Flyers’ win over Syracuse!  Dayton hasn’t been to the Sweet 16 in my lifetime so this is beyond awesome for me!  I got to go to a couple games this season and noticed that these guys had something special going on – they seemed to enjoy playing together as a team and really respect each other.  Not to mention some of the players seem to be able to really shut out everything that’s going on around them and perform like they are just shooting baskets in their backyard.  It’s absolutely amazing and I’m so happy for them!

President Barack Obama even personally congratulated the team on their victory:


I’m really looking forward to Thursday when Dayton takes on Stanford for a chance at the Elite 8.  The NCAA tournament doesn’t get much better than this!