If you love beer and Dayton, you’re probably also a pretty big fan of all of our craft breweries!  Take a look at my article for Dayton Local about local Dayton area breweries (as of August 2014) and plan yourself a loooong weekend :)

Dayton Local – A Craft Beer Revolution is Happening in Dayton!

mug of beer

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Shoply Banner Image

So you know how when you go shopping because you got a great coupon in the mail and you spend some time going around, making sure you’re picking up the best items you can find, only to get to the register….without your coupon?  And no, being able to describe exactly where it’s sitting on your dining room table usually won’t convince the cashier to give you the discount.  Well, thankfully, the good people at Shoply have decided to make an app for that!

Shoply All Deals View

Shoply is currently entering it’s beta testing phase and they are looking for a few good shoppers (with iPhones) to test drive this new app and give them feedback to make it better.  If you feel up to the challenge (and would like a $5 Starbucks gift card for your time) visit this link and sign up today:  signup.shoplylabs.com.  The best part is that this wonderful app is being designed right here in Ohio!

Shoply Near Me View

The beta phase begins on September 19, so the people who sign up can expect to see an email from Shoply with a link to download the app for iPhone at that time. They will include all of the nitty gritty details in that email, but until then, here’s a recap of how this whole process will go down:

You guys will test drive Shoply for two weeks and tell them the good and bad moments of the experience. After the beta period is over, they will send an exit survey where you can share all of your fantastic input about your experience and how they can make the Shoply app even better. Afterward, Shoply will send an email with a $5 Starbucks e-gift card. It’s that simple!

Shoply on iPhone

Beta Program FAQs

What the heck is Shoply and how do I use it?

Shoply is a yet-to-be-released, all-in-one shopping assistant app for iPhone. It magically delivers personalized retail deals AND stores, organizes, and bundles everything you need for a smooth and speedy checkout. It allows you to snap and save your loyalty cards, gift cards, and paper coupons in just one place – your phone!

Shoply gives you instant access to hand-curated discounts and coupons from more than 100 top retailers. The app automatically learns your preferences, so it intuitively understands what you like and where you shop. This allows Shoply to find and fetch only the best deals that matter to you.

What’s in it for me? Why should I become a Shoply Beta Tester?

Exclusive access to a never-before-seen shopping app. Explore the exciting, uncharted territory of Shoply before everyone else and experience what it’s like to have all of your coupons, gift cards, and loyalty cards stored on just one app!

Free $5 Starbucks gift card. We’ll reward you with free coffee as a warm “thank you” for downloading our app and providing feedback in a short survey.

Get your opinions heard. We want to know what you love and hate about Shoply, so we can make the app even better. This is your chance to have a real impact on our final product before Shoply’s big, nationwide launch.

It’s my first time participating in a beta test. What’s the deal with this whole process?

When a tech company is preparing to roll out a newly-developed product, they typically do a small scale test with a sample audience. This is called beta testing.

The purpose of this process is to gauge user reactions, identify bugs and problem areas, and gain feedback about ways to improve the final product before launch. It is important for beta users remember that this isn’t a perfect product – it’s still a work-in-progress, which is why we need your help.

Shoply’s beta period will last 2 weeks. During this time, you can use the app as much as you’d like. When you’re ready to claim your reward (Well hello, Starbucks gift card!), simply complete and submit the beta survey. That’s it!

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simply vague greene

If you are a fan of the state of Ohio, you need to check out Simply Vague at the Greene.  This store has all Ohio-made items (many of which are also Ohio-themed!).

simply vague 1

I love shopping here because there are so many great ideas for gifts (for your friends, family, or yourself!).

simply vague 2

My favorite is the jewelry section because so many of the items are so completely unique.  I especially love the Ohio necklaces – I got a great little one from Red Giraffe Designs.

simply vague 3

I’ve also become completely addicted to The Holistic Mommy’s skin care products.  I use the foaming face wash every day and it smells amazing and cleanses perfectly.  I also love her rosemary mint whipped body butter and lip balm.  These products are so completely perfect!

simply vague 4

And now you can also purchase my yoga hair ties at Simply Vague!

girl about town yoga hair ties

Next time you’re at the Greene, definitely check out Simply Vague!  It’s between Von Maur and Pandora.

simply vague 5

Simply Vague
78 Magnolia Lane
Beavercreek, Ohio  45440
Located next to Pandora near Von MaurHours: Monday-Saturday 10:00am-9:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm
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So…truth time.  I have seen every single episode of Star Trek – Original Series (most of them at least twice) and I really can’t get enough.  Thankfully, there are also these Star Trek movies, one of which was recently screened at the Victoria Theatre Cool Films Series.

victoria theatre cool films series

Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan is one of those iconic movies that just about everyone can quote (“KHAAANNNN!!!!”).  I absolutely love it and was so happy that it would be in the line up this year for the films series.  My favorite part had to be when towards the end, you couldn’t help but hear lots of sniffles all across the theatre.  You may have also heard my sister whisper-scream “OMG – is this really happening??  Why didn’t you tell me this would happen??!?”

olive an urban dive

After an emotional movie like Wrath of Khan, nothing beats dessert and lots of it.  We drove around downtown for a spell until we turned up at Olive, an urban dive.  Olive understands our nerd feels and made sure to have plenty of wedding cake and Jeni’s ice cream to bring us back down to Earth.  Yvonne and I had wedding cake (one piece each – you don’t share when you’re in the pits of nerd sad), and my sister tried the plum zucchini cake with wild berry lavender ice cream.

wedding cake

The Victoria Theatre Cool Films Series is starting to wrap up for the year so make sure to catch the last few before the summer is gone!

vic theatre dayton

Two places I love to visit every time I venture to Columbus (because they are oh so conveniently placed right next to each other in Clintonville) are Jeni’s and Northstar.

jenis clintonville

Jeni’s Ice Cream is always delicious no matter where you enjoy it, but there is definitely something special about being at a Jeni’s location and picking your scoops from a large selection.  On my most recent trip, I tried the bramble berry crisp + almond brittle brown butter.  They were each amazing on their own and even better together!

jenis bramble berry and almond brittle

Northstar Cafe offers some seriously tasty, locally-sourced, organic dishes in generous, Ohio-friendly portions.  Even their wine and beer are local!  I will always appreciate that they offer the option to split a plate with your guest when you’re not that hungry.  It’s the perfect amount for a light lunch.  On my most recent trip, I ordered the pad thai, which is always amazing!

northstar pad thai

Even if we’re only in Columbus for a few hours, this one-two punch of deliciousness has to be in the plans!

Jeni’s Ice Cream – Clintonville
4247 N High St
Columbus, OH  43214
(614) 447-0500
Northstar Cafe – Clintonville
4241 N High St
Columbus, OH  43214
(614) 784-2233

The following is an official press release:


DAYTON – During Dayton Beer Week (Aug. 18-24), two of Dayton’s local, family owned and operated companies are teaming up to delight the Miami Valley’s taste buds.


Mikesell’s, a staple of Dayton kitchens, barbecues and parties since 1910, is launching two new snack flavors: Beer Can Chicken Groovy Chips and Southwest Queso Cheese Curls.


The chips will debut at a special pairing event for the Miami Valley from 4:30 to 8 pm Friday, Aug. 22 at 8-month-old Warped Wing Brewing Company, 26 Wyandot St., Dayton. Warped Wing’s craft beer varieties include the first beer canned in Dayton since 1950 – making them the perfect hosts for Dayton’s new Beer Can Chicken chips.

warped wing

The pairing event is part of Dayton Beer Week, which celebrates the thriving local craft beer movement. Come down to enjoy:

  • Mikesell’s new Beer Can Chicken Groovy Chips and Southwest Queso Cheese Curls
  • Warped Wing’s Ermal’s Belgian-style cream ale, Flyin’ Rye IPA (India Pale Ale), 10 Ton oatmeal stout, Self Starter session IPA, Gypsy Queen Chili, SIAM Thai saison, and Jolly Tar dark rye.
  • The chance to win VIP tours of the Mikesell’s factory and Warped Wing brewery, and/or tickets to the Cincinnati Zoo.
  • A special tapping of a collaboration beer, Secret HOPeration, created by Warped Wing with Jackie O’s brewery in Athens, Ohio.

Why not use these event hashtags?: #DaytonChipsAndBeer #mikesells #warpedwing

warped wing cans


This Saturday, August 23 from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Elder Beerman will be hosting a VIP cosmetics event at the Mall at Fairfield Commons.  Come enjoy a makeover by a professional makeup artist, pampering services, healthy living consultations, and refreshments.

For a $25 reservation fee, receive a $20 Elder Beerman gift card redeemable in the cosmetics department during your appointment.  $5 of each reservation fee goes to the Women’s Wellness Fund at Kettering Center Medical Foundation.

Not really looking for a makeover?  Customers throughout the store will be able to donate to the Women’s Wellness Fund by donating $3 at any Service Center – in return they will receive a storewide $10 off $25 purchase coupon.

“The Women’s Wellness Fund provides free screenings and prostheses to uninsured and medically underserved individuals in our community.”

Saturday, August 23
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Elder Beerman
The Mall at Fairfield Commons
Beavercreek, OH  45431
937-320-1400 x 420

wheat penny

I recently was researching gluten free options in Dayton for an article for Dayton Local and had to try Wheat Penny‘s gluten free crust for myself.

gf crust wheat penny

First of all, I had some misgivings having eaten GF bread before.  My experience with gluten free bread is that it’s grainy and falls apart when you try to butter it (not that you’d be buttering pizza…..although, one of my inner voices is sort of cheering that idea on right now…).  My expectations were low to start with until I discussed the crust with the chef of Wheat Penny, Liz Velenti.  She definitely made it sound delicious so I had to try it for myself.

wheat penny gluten free

I gathered a group of work buddies together and we all gave it a shot.  I absolutely loved their GF crust and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is gluten sensitive.

I love trying new things and I love when Dayton restaurants help to accommodate all different types of customers – so this was a win-win for me!

Wheat Penny Oven & Bar
515 Wayne Avenue
Dayton, OH  45410
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the blowdry cafe

Getting pretty in Dayton isn’t particularly difficult with all of our amazing salons and spas in the area – but one thing we have been in desperate need for is a place for blowouts and only blowouts.  I was thrilled to be invited to a Columbus blogger meet up at The Blowdry Cafe so I could check out a blowout salon for the first time and meet some awesome bloggers!

the blowdry cafe product display

I absolutely loved the space – gorgeous furniture, lovely decor, and plenty of stations.  I also loved that they had a visual menu of their services so that you could select the style you want without any guesswork.  After the consultation, they whisk you away to the shampoo bowl that has reclining seats (so fancy!) where they use two different shampoos to prep your hair for the ultimate blowout.  Next, they start the blow drying and use products specifically selected for their feather-light texture to help keep your hair lighter than air.  Then they complete the style using either a curling wand or curling iron depending on your length of hair and which style you selected.  Once they spin you around and you see yourself for the first time – it’s magic!

before and after

All of their prep work really pays off – take a look at my hair the next day!  I got compliments all day long (so maybe I need to step my look up at work…).  [I fuzzed out a lot of stuff, that's why this photo looks insane!  You didn't want to see a bunch of work stuff anyway.]

second day

I love a great salon experience but what I loved most about this event was getting to meet so many like-minded people all at once.  At one point, several bloggers (including yours truly) were all walking around taking photos and it hit me – I don’t look like a lunatic taking a million photos in a salon as long as it’s with a group of bloggers!

obligatory blogger food photo

It was also refreshing to discuss blog junk with people who understand what you’re talking about and meeting people at all points on the blogging spectrum.  The funniest thing for me was how they all seemed to think Dayton was some great distance away!  I think of Columbus and Dayton as great neighbors, personally.  We took a lot of photos, drank a lot of mimosas, and shared a lot of laughs!  I can’t wait to attend the next event!

brunch, bubbly, and braids blogger meet up

These ladies are all absolutely amazing and I hope you’ll give their blogs a read:

  • Alicia & Alexis of Wander & Whine write about travel, food, and life (I’m especially fond of the dog posts about precious little Indiana Bones!)
  • Sofia of Caviar and Quarters writes about personal finance – especially the ever elusive freedom from debt
  • Erin at House of Earnest showcases gorgeous home decor, DIY, and party design using the amazing items available at Grandiflora
  • Liz of Mrs. Ladylike writes an amazing style blog with lots of tips for the less stylish!
  • Erin of Planning for Paris writes about the finer things
  • Allie of The Wonder Jam helps bloggers and small businesses refine their message and brand
  • Meghan of Launch Consulting and The Single Girl Project helps small businesses with their organization and operations by day and writes about her life off the clock
  • Tonya of Promoting University helps women achieve success in business by teaching them negotiation and communication techniques
  • Nijma of Born & Bread is working on relaunching her blog at the moment but check her out on Instagram in the meantime @nijma_darwish for gorgeous photos of delicious food and notices when her print articles are published

Thank you so much, Sofia, for planning this amazing event!  And thank you to the hostesses of The Blowdry Cafe for making us feel so welcome!

If you’d like to see how amazing your hair can look, try The Blowdry Cafe for yourself!  They are offering 15% off all products and services when you book using promo code:  Blowdrycafe.

The Blowdry Cafe
4740 Reed Road
Suite 106
Upper Arlington, OH  43220
(614) 273-0123
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warehouse 4 coffee

When Warehouse 4 opened last fall, I was pretty excited about their amazing coffee, tea, and snacks.  Now, I’m even more excited because in addition to delicious coffee they also serve some of the best sandwiches and wraps ever!

vegetarian sandwich

I’ve had the vegetarian sandwich twice now and each time it was absolutely amazing!  They use fresh, wholesome, locally-sourced ingredients and it really shows – even just looking at it makes me hungry.

warehouse 4 vandalia

For a little extra, you can complete your meal with a small bag of chips and a pickle spear (which I highly recommend – they cover their pickles with cracked black pepper and it’s so delicious).

warehouse 4 seating

I’m so thrilled that Warehouse 4 is growing and I can’t wait to see what they do next!

Warehouse 4
335 S Dixie Dr
Vandalia, OH  45377
(937) 387-6640
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