Snovember Update

That’s no typo.

We woke up to a couple inches of fresh powdery snow covering everything. My toddler ate her breakfast in record time to be able to go out and play in the snow this morning.

It’s also 20° degrees outside today, so we won’t be venturing out. I thought this would be a good time for a quick update. Yes, we are still moving to Arkansas. We will leave Ohio at the beginning of the year. We listed our home for sale and it was under contract in 3 short days (YAY!).

Things are moving smoothly. We are downsizing, packing, cleaning, and trying to soak up everything Ohio. It is sad though – each event becomes a new “last” for us.

Like yesterday we ventured out to Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs. We ate lunch (cheese curds are life), fed the goats, and got ice cream. I couldn’t stop myself from wondering if this was the last time we’d visit Young’s in the next month and a half that we have left in Ohio.

It’s bittersweet because we love Ohio, but we are very excited for new the adventures that 2020 will bring us.

Glasz Bleu Oven

A true hidden gem right in the middle of our Gem City. Have you been to Glasz Bleu Oven?

As I mentioned in the post before this one, my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary yesterday and we had a little date night without the toddler. We took our evening to Glasz Bleu Oven. I’ve been once before, but it was totally new to Stephen.

This experience was truly one of kind. The restaurant decor has a charming and homey European feel to it. It’s connected to Crafted and Cured for all of your craft brewery needs, as well Grist Provisions – which makes fresh pasta and sauce every day. Yes, I said FRESH pasta!

We opted for the five course meal that was prepared by Will. The beautiful thing about this experience is that we dealt directly with our chef. He took our order, delivered our food, checked in on us, and even discussed the dishes with us when we asked about something. He was genuinely excited for us to try his food – each dish full of fresh ingredients and bursting with flavor.

As some of you may know, my husband and I spent two years living in the Azores. We are always craving a traditional European dining experience and Glasz Bleu Oven completely provided that to us. Who knew this had just been sitting right there in downtown Dayton?

The menu changes every 5-6 weeks. Reservations are preferred via their Facebook page. You are welcome to grab a table throughout the large building, explore, grab a drink from crafted and cured and wonder back on over to Glasz Bleu Oven with it, and also check out the fresh pasta from Grist Provisions.

10 years

Cheers to 10 Years and many more!!

That’s right. My husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary yesterday. It’s been an adventurous decade. We met in 2007 and got married shortly after in 2009.

We started our marriage by totally uprooting our lives and moving to the Azores! We lived there for two years, gained a cute pup, made life long friends, and soaked up the culture.

We eventually packed up our things and moved our family to Okinawa, where we spent 3 years breathing in that tropical ocean air. Japan taught us a lot – mostly how to be gentler humans in such a busy world.

4 years ago, we settled into our new home in Ohio. We bought a house, had a baby, lost our cute pup to sudden illness, went through two deployments, and fell I love with the gem city. Ohio will always have a special place in our hearts.

It was a beautiful, but quick 10 years. We’ve had a lucky run. Plenty of ups and downs, but we always manage to pull it together, together.

But here we are, celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary while preparing our home for the market – We will be on the move again soon! Our family is packing up and moving to…

Little Rock, Arkansas!

Oakes Quarry

We went on a little adventure recently and guys, this is a true hidden gem. I’ve always casually heard about an old quarry that was turned into a park. Never really thought anything of it even though it’s under 10 minutes from my house – That’s it!

So you know how long it took me to get there? 2 years since I heard about it. Well we headed out there the other night for an evening adventure… and fell in love.

Walking down the rocky path sends you into another existence. I did not feel like I was in Ohio at all. It was 89° and the sun was beating down on us and this rocky desert like scene.

Yes, this is an appreciation post just for an old quarry in Fairborn, Ohio. Pics below and if you live near here – GO! It’s got plenty to see and a nice 2 mile walk amongst the rocks. (There is a quick history below the photos)

I even headed back out there a few days later to do a photo shoot with the ever so lovely and dark Aniyahlationn

Back in 1929, it was surface mined for limestone. The Oakes family purchased it in the 90’s and eventually donated the land to the city of Fairborn in 2003.

The park has a 2 mile foot trail and 1 mile horse trail. It’s the 2nd largest park in Fairborn and it is a beauty. Keep a look out for wildlife and fossils! The last time I was there, we saw swarms of Buckeye Butterflies!

Caffeine Crushed

I quit drinking coffee.

Back in July, my anxiety was VERY high and caffeine was making that worse. I don’t drink soda, so coffee was my only source of liquid caffeine and I loved it.

But as my anxiety climbed, so did my coffee intake… or maybe it was the other way around. It actually began to physically affect me with acid reflux.

After lots of conversations with my doctor, we agreed that I should stop drinking coffee. Not just switch to decaf – I mean quit it for good.

So July 7th, I tossed my coffee and packed away my coffee maker. Day 2 was hard. Thinking back though, it may have been more of a habit than an addiction.

I actually don’t miss it. My anxiety has gotten better though never truly dissolving. I also want to point out that my acid reflux issues have dramatically dropped (I love acidic foods though – hey, tomatoes – so I imagine this will always be an issue for me.)

If you are thinking of quitting for any of these reasons, I totally recommend it. There is no trick though – you just have to decide to quit. Coffee is heavily advertised though as a mother’s savior, but really… water does the trick.

Hang in there, friends!

Reclaiming photographer

I have spent a lot of time behind the camera – teaming up with amazing people who enjoy modeling and makeup artists who have amazing talent. Heck, our awesome collaborations have even gotten us published in magazines a couple of times!

I had been practicing my craft for as long as I can remember. I have always loved being behind the camera. It was in 2009 though when I took it up a notch by creating a website and properly advertising.

I had many volunteers who enjoyed modeling just as much as I enjoyed shooting. We’d come up with new ideas for photo shoots and spend a couple of hours just playing around. It was some of the best times and it was a great way to explore wherever we were living at the time.

In 2017, my husband deployed soon after our daughter was born. After much contemplation, I decided that I wouldn’t have time to plan, execute, & edit like I used to. I quietly deconstructed my website and portfolio… putting it away for safe keeping.

Now I still did a few shoots for a couple of close friends. I just wasn’t advertising for new clients. I’ve been itching to get back into it. It’s one of my creative outlets that I haven’t been able to use.

So how do I reclaim myself as photographer?

Honestly, it’s been hard to get back into the swing of things. I’ve had a dedicated page on this website for a few months now that will eventually hold my portfolio. I have started keeping up with an Instagram though, so that’s progress! I have even put feelers out there for models to practice on. It’s all coming together, so why do I feel so nervous?

I photographed people for years – countless beautiful faces. It’s a craft I’ve been studying since I was a teenager. Something though – something has me holding back from the big jump.

Wish me luck, guys.

Dayton Area Fall Favorites

It’s finally September, so if you haven’t gotten spooky yet – now is the time! I started decorating around August 1st because I was just too excited to wait. Would you be interested in some Fall decor photos?

Since moving to Dayton, Stephen and I have developed some favorite annual Fall events that we always attend. It’s been super exciting to share that with CJ as she gets older. We LOVE autumn. The tree changing colors, the welcoming fall decor, all of the mums, spooky decor, and the crisp cool air speaks to us.

Two weeks ago was the Fairborn Sweet Corn Festival and even though this is mid August, it really feels like the start of autumn for us. It’s held every year around the 3rd weekend of August at the Fairborn Community Park. The dinner is what draws us in – blackened chicken, corn fritters, lemonade, and fresh steamed & delicious corn!

Another favorite is Katie’s Pumpkin Barn. This is a small place and it is not a u-pick pumpkin patch. It is better because it is literally a barn full of every color, shape, and size of pumpkin you could imagine. The barn is always decorated for the spooky season and usually opens at the start of September.

They have a live stock that you can look at and sometimes pet. They even have a small corn maze that is super friendly for small children. I think what I love the most is the classic Halloween decorations. Katie’s is our favorite stop in Autumn!

Peifer Orchards is a new place that we explored last year. We went Apple Picking! Again, this venue isn’t huge, which is what we loved about it. They sell mums, baked goods, pumpkins, and apples. You can do your own apple picking, which is so fun! It’s a bit of a walk down the path, so if you have little kids make sure to bring their strollers. CJ got tired and just sat down in the middle of the trail last year after all of the excitement. This year, we will bring the stroller.

Honorary mentions –

Tecumpsah Land Trust for Sunflowers – its best to check their Facebook for updates about the fields.

Hiking at the smaller family friendly trail at Wegerzyn once the leaves begin to turn.

Apple Butter Festival in Enon in October 12th & 13th

Sauerkraut Festival, if you don’t mind give crowds! October 12th & 13th in Waynesville.

Potato Festival – get there early to beat the crowds. I recommend the potato ribbons! Happening on October 5th & 6th in Spring Valley

Ohio Renaissance Festival is a must! Now -Oct 27th on Saturdays and Sundays