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Keeping with the theme of getting caught up with everything I’ve been up to for the past few months, even though I didn’t have a blog there for a while, I was writing like crazy for Dayton.com and Dayton Local.  I also completed a major project for a company in the UK that was very fun and challenging.

Here are the articles that kept me busy this fall and winter:

3 More Fantastic Veggie Burgers in Dayton

3 Fall Beauty Must-Haves from Dayton

What’s Up with All Those Photos of Famous People at Marion’s?

Winds Cafe: Home to one of the best winter menus

9 Stocking Stuffers Every Dayton Lover will Adore

4 Places to Buy Local Art Gifts this Holiday

Preen by Appointment:  Upscale Beauty Boutique

Naturecraft: Beeswax Products Made with Old World Methods

A History of Robert Pollard’s Rockathon Records (This one made the Dayton Daily News!)

Polished Girlz:  Bringing a Smile to Kids in Treatment

What You Don’t Know about SICSA

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First and foremost, I would like to sincerely apologize if you visited my website in October and were greeted by obscene things – my blog was hacked and unfortunately I’m not particularly tech savvy.  My amazing, wonderful, superwoman mom took on the challenge and got my blog up and running again.  There are changes that should be coming down the road to help prevent this type of attack from ever happening again.  (By the way, if you happen to know someone who can fix websites and so forth, please give them my contact info!)

I’ve kept myself pretty busy in the interim – but after nearly 5 years of constant blogging, it was pretty weird not having one there for a while. Here’s one giant update on my life in Dayton from October to now:

October

Frisch’s Commissary Tour – I can honestly say without hesitation that it was the coolest thing ever getting to see how everything I love at Frisch’s is made and I was very impressed with their facility.

Frisch's 6 Pies Ready to Go

My favorite part was probably the pumpkin pies because it was neat seeing so many of them at once!  We made a day of it and spent some time exploring Cincinnati a little.  We tried Bakersfield and loved that they served beer in glass boots.

bakersfield beer in boot

And I loved getting to visit Rhinegeist brewery, too!

rhinegeist cincinnati

Lantern Walk – This event was so much fun and a little spooky. It was neat to learn a lot about some of the less famous residents of the Woodland Cemetery.  Check out my Dayton Local article about it here.

woodland cemetery

Living Dayton – I got to be on Living Dayton to promote my little jewelry and accessories business with the folks from Third on Third!

TEDxDayton – There is nothing I look forward to each year more than TEDxDayton.  This event is seriously something special!  I spent the day with my friends from Dayton Local learning from and being inspired by people in our own community.

tedxdayton 2015

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K – This event was really special for my family this year because my mom was celebrating a year in remission.

making strides dayton 2015

3rd on Third – The final 3rd on Third of the year was cold and bright with tons of people braving the chill to shop local. I had a great time and can’t wait for next season to start!

third on third oct 2015

Hospice Remembrance Walk – Even though it can be emotionally tough for me I can’t help but go to the Remembrance Walk each year to tie a ribbon for my dad onto the hospice wreath and to spend some time in the area where we last got to spend time with him.

hospice walk 2015

Halloween – The ladies in my office decided to dress as Disney princesses this year.  I was Rapunzel and even had a little Pascal to keep me company at work.

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Dayton Music Video – I loved getting to take part in the Dayton Music Video and I think it turned out great!

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Plus I got to spend some time with my favorite Daytonians!  Check it out:

November

I Got a New Roof – It was LONG overdue because it was three layers of shingles (yikes) on top of the original shakes to the house. That might not sound that bad, however my house, along with many Dayton houses, was built in 1914.  Needless to say, those were some very old shakes.

Ben Ibebe Art Show – I really enjoyed the art of Ben Ibebe and loved spending some time exploring the Davis-Linden building.

ben ibebe art show

Black Friday – There is nothing more fun for me than shopping around Dayton.  I made a sincere effort this year to shop local for as many of my gifts as possible.

December

Handmade Holiday – This event was more fun than I could have ever imagined.  The other vendors were so nice and I had such a great time getting to know so many of them personally during the 2 day event. Plus, I knocked out a BIG portion of my holiday shopping while I was there.

handmade holiday 2015

My Birthday! – A few days before my birthday, my husband took me out for a fun-filled day at the Greene where he didn’t grumble even once while I shopped and ate an obnoxious amount of fro yo. He even bought me the Alex & Ani pineapple bracelet I had had my eye on for a while!

my birthday

Next came my family party at Scene 75.

scene75 food

This was so much fun I might write a separate article about it. I killed zombies, ate nachos, and laughed until my sides hurt.  This place is seriously magic.

scene75 christmas

So it’s official, at 29 I’m now in my late 20s.

Christmas – This year I was lucky to not get my usual sinus infection (thank you, unseasonable 50 degree weather!) so I got to enjoy the holiday without feeling miserable. I even got to take a few days off before Christmas to get my house ready and then I had 2 Christmases at my house! I was in heaven – this is seriously my favorite holiday.

christmas tree 2015

My New Nephew! – Curtis was born on December 28 making him my favorite little Capricorn. He’s cute as a button, loves hats, and was nice enough to let me hold him even though he had had a big day that day. What can I say, I simply cannot resist a man in dinosaur pajamas.

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January

New Year – I loved getting to celebrate at Fifth Street Brewpub with my favorite drink of 2015, the Moscow Mule! Of course, I stuck with my usual New Years tradition of falling asleep before midnight. I was also the guy who stayed the entire day at work on December 31st saying “see you next year, HAHA!” to everyone as they left.

Writing Studio/Craft Loft – I’ve cleaned and organized my attic to make one amazing writing studio/office/craft loft/yoga studio/nail salon/magical dreamland – basically the bedroom I always wanted in middle school. Why? Because my husband was tired of me moving to random areas of the house with my laptop and crafts, completely taking the space over like Johnny Depp’s gypsy friends in Chocolat. Now I have a dedicated space to be messy little me and I can’t wait to share it with you soon.

attic writing room

This is definitely the short version of my life from October to now but it at least gets us on the same page more or less. I’m excited to get back to blogging!

meadowlark

My husband recently got glasses (nerd) so after our visit to Target Optical we stopped in at Meadowlark for lunch.  My husband is also just a few months past his one year anniversary of being a vegetarian so it’s really about time he visits Meadowlark!

meadowlark hoppin john

I had a delicious Southern dish called Hoppin’ John with black eyed peas and a side of cornbread.  I can’t say enough about how good this was!  It really hit the spot.

meadowlark veggie sandwich

He got a fantastic vegetarian sandwich.  I loved that they make their own ketchup in house – who does that?  No one but Meadowlark, that’s who.

meadowlark mule with belle of dayton

I also had a delicious drink made with Belle of Dayton vodka!  I love a place that offers lots of local options.

meadowlark rhubarb crumble

We decided to share dessert and got a yummy rhubarb cobbler in a ramekin – it was absolutely perfect!  I loved that it had a sweet topping but the rhubarb was tart and fresh.

meadowlark inside

Even if you’re not celebrating the huge milestones of getting glasses for the first time or your one year veggieversary, you should definitely visit Meadowlark – it’s some of the best food in the greater Dayton area.

Meadowlark
5531 Far Hills Avenue
Dayton, OH 45429
(937) 434-4750
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nucleus

Nucleus CoShare, a co-working space, is collaborating on a major community project to create a music video about downtown Dayton. The goal is for the music video to go viral, bringing attention to the city and its assets. Numerous individuals and organizations are involved in the production, donating their time and services at a value of $80,000. Community partners behind the music video include the Downtown Dayton Partnership and Oregon District Business Association.

“There are several groups with similar goals and visions around Dayton,” said Lauren White, Nucleus Partner and owner of Indigo Life Media. “We hope to show everyone the power of collaboration and what’s possible when we all come together.”

Several hundred people are needed to fill the streets of the Oregon District, much like a parade, promptly at 2:30 p.m. on October 31st. Any individual, business or organization that would enjoy some viral exposure, is invited to bring banners, mascots, wear T-shirts – anything to stand out.

Those interested in being a part of this large production can fill out an online form to be notified on details of the filming. Everyone is asked to please arrive promptly at 2:30 p.m. to check in and sign a release waiver in the parking lot at the corner of Jackson and Gates streets behind the Oregon District Goodwill. Updates can be found on the Nucleus Facebook Page.

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A premier party for the Dayton Music Video, sponsored by Top of the Market & The Deli, will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17 at Top of the Market: 32 Webster St, Dayton, OH 45402.

Nucleus is a non-profit co-working environment that allows for both focused independence and creative collaboration. Nucleus is focused on serving both its members and the community by encouraging creative collaboration between everyone.

Frisch's Commissary Kitchen

Recently I had the chance to join a group of bloggers to take a behind the scenes tour of the Frisch’s Commissary Kitchen in Cincinnati – specifically to check out the small batch method they use to make their delicious pumpkin pies!

Frisch's Pie Crust

First of all, you can’t make great pie without a great crust.  It was pretty hilarious seeing completely normal ingredients you use at home going into super-sized mixers.  It’s like they are baking pies for giants!  Instead they make lots of normal-sized pie crusts – in fact, these mixers are responsible for making around 45,000 pies each holiday season.  Here we are getting the perfect shot of one of their pie crusts with the help of Greg Grisanti, the Director of Research and Development for Frisch’s.

Frisch's - Greg Grisanti

Next, you need a perfect pumpkin pie filling.  Frisch’s sources pumpkins grown in Indiana and Illinois so they don’t have to travel far and stay super fresh.  As a pumpkin spice fan, this was my favorite part of the tour because the room smelled like heaven.  This vat of pumpkin pie filling was a dream come true to see in person:

Frisch's Pumpkin Pie Filling

To get the perfect amount of pie filling in each crust, an experienced Frisch’s employee “shoots” the filling into the crusts one by one.

Frisch's Pie Oven

Each oven can hold around 280 pies, which is great because this season, Frisch’s restaurants will serve around 300,000 slices! (Real Talk:  I will eat around 10 of those slices….)

Frisch's 6 Pies Ready to Go

I also learned a couple of things:  1.  I look pretty cute in a hairnet and 2.  There’s an amazing secret menu item I can’t wait to try:  The Pumpkin Pie Milkshake.  Every store should be able to make one for you – but keep in mind, it will most likely cost more than your normal milkshake because it has a piece of pumpkin pie mixed in!

Frisch's Tour

If you’d like to nominate someone for the pumpkin pie contest, see below for details:

“Nom Nom Nominate” Contest Information

Do you know someone who deserves a little extra recognition? Frisch’s Big Boy wants to reward people with one of their FREE award-winning pumpkin pies! Did a grocery store employee go the extra mile and help you to your car with heavy groceries? Did your son’s teacher stay after school to help him understand his math homework? Who do you know that has earned recognition? Nominate them to win a pumpkin pie today on Frisch’s Facebook page. It only takes a minute. From October 19 to November 21, 2015five winners will be selected each week.  Everyone knows someone who deserves a FREE Frisch’s pumpkin pie!

dayton daily news 10/8

When you’re done drinking your coffee and reading these articles, you should definitely head over to the final Third on 3rd of the season – I’ll be there selling my hair ties and accessories!

Here is a round-up of the articles I’ve written lately:

5 Dayton Craft Stores Worth Visiting by Lauren Rinehart (Dayton.com/Dayton Daily News) – On 10/8/15 my very first article was published in print.  I know the internet is awesome but there is just something really special about seeing your words in print for the first time!

Dayton-made Robes Appear in ‘Legally Blonde,’ Sold Nationwide by Lauren Rinehart (Dayton.com) – This article was really interesting to put together and I LOVED getting to sit down with such amazing designers!  Aegean Apparel has the best pj’s and robes!

Nucleus CoShare – a Collaborative Workplace for Everyone by Lauren Rinehart (Dayton Local) – I LOVED visiting Nucleus CoShare on a recent lunch break.  This place is seriously amazing and such a great place to work.  If you’re a freelancer, small business owner, or just need a great place to work, you should definitely check this place out.

Meet Gus & Gus Jr., the Friendly Robots on I-75 by Lauren Rinehart (Dayton.com) – If you’re like me and get a kick out of the smiling, waving robots on the roof of Gaines Mechanical, you’ll love learning a little more about them in this article!

4 Autumn Spa Services You Have to Try by Lauren Rinehart (Dayton.com) – With cooler weather comes a new beauty routine and these services can help get your skin fall ready!

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I’ll be at the final Third on 3rd of 2015 this Sunday, October 18!  You should definitely come out to get some early Christmas gifts, grab some food, and get some fresh air this Sunday!

Check out my visit to Living Dayton where I got to talk a little about my jewelry and accessories: Living Dayton – 3rd on Third.

I have a few new items I’ll be selling, including these fun wine cork keychains that would make great stocking stuffers!

keychains

Hope to see you there!

flying balloon studios

I get a lot of compliments on the art prints I have in my cubicle and my house so I thought I should share with you the local Dayton-based artist I buy them from:  Flying Balloon Studios!

flying balloon studios cards and prints

robot - flying ballon studios

Brent has been designing these fun art prints since last year when he was having trouble finding the exact sort of artwork he wanted to decorate his newborn son’s room.  He realized right away that other people might be going through similar decorating issues and made his prints available on Etsy.

feathers - flying balloon studios

Now he has so many great designs available that you’re sure to find something you love!  I’m a huge fan of the feather prints and the Dayton, Ohio print, of course!  My newest favorite is this gorgeous floral print:

life is beautiful - flying balloon studios

You will definitely want to stock up on these prints for Christmas gifts – not to mention for yourself!

dayton print - flying balloon studios

You can find Flying Balloon Studios’ prints and cards at Confetti as well as his Etsy store.

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Despite the welcomed Indian Summer of the last few weeks, fall has officially arrived in the Miami Valley and with it, Lily’s Bistro is pleased to present their latest seasonal menu.

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Focusing on the change that comes with the autumn in Ohio, Lily’s head chef, Mariah Gahagan has designed a menu perfect for enjoying over the shortening days and cooling nights. “We start with the ingredients that we can get fresh, and locally whenever possible, and then build from around that,” said Mariah Gahagan. “There are a few returning favorites this fall along with a number of new things we’re excited to share with our diners.”

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Highlights from the fall menu include Miso Smoked Trout, Chorizo and Clams, Iron Skillet Spoonbread, Short Rib Ossobuco with Bone Marrow, Seared Duck Breast with Pomegranate-Orange Gastrique and Cavatappi Pasta. “We also feature a changing cocktail menu and this season there’s a real focus on rich autumnal flavors like brown sugar, dark berries, maple syrup and more,” said Emily Mendenhall, general manager.

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For those interested, the full fall dinner menu can be found on Lily’s website and Facebook page. Lily’s Bistro is open Tuesday-Thursday, 5pm-10pm; Friday and Saturday: 5pm-11pm, with lunch service Tuesday-Friday, 11:30am-3pm, with weekend brunch service Saturday and Sunday, 11am-3pm, and with family style fried chicken dinner, Sunday 5pm-9pm.

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As the holidays approach, Lily’s Bistro is also available for private parties. Contact 937-723-7637 or at events@lilysbistro.com for more details.

Scene75 Dayton

The Dayton original, Scene75 Entertainment Center, may be at it again… The International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) has just named Scene75 Entertainment Center (Dayton) as one of three finalists for the “2015 Top Family Entertainment Center (FEC) of the World: North America”. The overall winner will be announced as part of the Brass Ring Awards Ceremony at the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, Florida on November 18th, 2015.

IAAPA is the largest association of amusement facilities worldwide, with member facilities including: family entertainment centers, amusement parks, theme parks, water parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, and science centers. IAAPA’s Brass Ring Award for the North American Top FEC of the World is an annual award that recognizes the best family entertainment center and has numerous entries each year from all across North America. Scene75 estimates that there are well over 5,000 family entertainment centers throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The overall winner of the award is judged based on a visit performed by a professional mystery shopper, the value that a facility adds to its community, and an application PowerPoint presentation. A panel of seven judges, including two past Top FEC winners, evaluated the application PowerPoint and Scene75’s community programs, initiatives, and events. An amusement industry mystery shopper evaluated Scene75’s performance from the customer’s perspective in the areas of a pre-visit telephone call, web site review, general appearance, staff hospitality, cleanliness, landscaping, attractions, food quality, state of repair, safety, service received, pricing, and more. It was through this judging that Scene75’s Dayton location was selected as one of three finalists for the best FEC in North America.

Scene75 is extremely excited to be competing with the two other outstanding finalists, “HeyDay” in Oklahoma and “GameTime – Miami” in Florida, for the overall Top FEC in North America. Teresa Sakosky, VP of Operations for Scene75 Dayton, had this to say, “Its an honor to be nominated for one of the most prestigious awards; if not the most prestigious award in the amusement & attractions industry. I am very proud of the entire Scene75 team, and it is rewarding to know that our peers in the industry are recognizing our hard work. Our team at Scene75 could not be more excited, and we look forward to the announcement of the overall winner at the IAAPA Attractions Expo in November”.

Scene75 would not be in a position to win this award if it wasn’t for all of the support that it has received from the Dayton area since it first opened its doors in July 2012. Jonah Sandler, Scene75’s Chief Entertainment Officer, often says, “It takes a community to build Scene75, but it takes another one to support it”. Therefore, being a finalist for this award is not only an achievement for Scene75, but also an honor that can be a source of pride for everyone in the Dayton community.

About Scene75 Dayton: Dayton is the first of two locations in Scene75’s chain of the largest entertainment centers in the United States. The facility is 124,000sq ft. of indoor attractions and entertainment. Scene75’s attractions include:

  • Arcade & Redemption – Over 400 different prizes in the redemption counter and 130+ arcade games
  • Laser Tag – The largest arena in the tri-state area
  • Go-Karts – The longest indoor electric go-kart track in Ohio
  • Inflatables –Inflatables that fill over 21000sq feet, including an indoor bounce slide that is 35 feet tall
  • Valkyrie – The first location in North America to feature this 4-D cross between a shooting based arcade game and a motion simulator
  • 4-D X-Rider – A 4-D theater featuring 16 unique interactive 3-D films with 4-D special effects
  • Chaos Room – The first video gaming theater in the country allowing guests to play Xbox, Wii, and PlayStation games on 15-foot HD projection screens
  • Mini golf – The only black light mini golf course in Dayton, with two expertly themed 9 hole courses
  • Mini Bowling – 4 lanes of mini bowling in a private lounge, for relaxed enjoyment of a classic game
  • Spin Zone – 10 bumper cars + light and music effects + chaos mode = 1 attraction you can’t play without smiling
  • Atomic Rush – Challenge your friends and scramble around the room to hit your color
  • Laser Frenzy – The ultimate laser maze experience, weave your way through lasers
  • Volleyball – 3 outdoor sand courts that are utilized for leagues and open play
  • Bocce & Corn Hole – A dual purpose outdoor court to allow guests to participate in two old backyard favorites
  • Bar & Grill – Scene75 features a full service restaurant with delicious food such as appetizers, burgers, pizza & more. There are also two bar locations inside the facility with beer, wine, and cocktail options for the adult guests.

Congratulations to Scene75 and good luck bringing home another trophy!

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