July to-dos...10 days left!

I saw this idea on another blog and thought it might be motivational. July will be my experimental month because it is almost over. I am a perpetual list-maker but admit that I don't always cross things off. Maybe knowing that the list is public will light a fire under my butt!

1. Clean out garage so it can actually be used for cars instead of furniture and lawn bags
2. Read one more book. I completely burned out after reading 3 in 2 weeks!
3. Trim the hedges that have become Edward Scissorhands monsters in front of the bedroom. 7/23
4. Remember to give BOTH dogs BOTH monthly meds so they aren't taken away by Children's Services! 7/29

OK that is a good start. And you are my witnesses. What's on your list for July?

Summer employment: better late than never!

Well, after months of thinking "I've got this...", "how could they not hire me?", I finally did get a summer job. And yes, I realize that I have less than a month until I go back to school, but I am being stubborn. I wanted to find a job, and I did! I plan to keep it through the school year, working very part time to earn a little extra cash. What to do with said cash???

  • Pay off one credit card completely?
  • save for a new fridge?
  • use it as "padding" in the checking account for day-to-day expenses?
I am not sure yet. But I do know that I have mixed emotions about taking on a second job.  It will being in some much-needed green, but I will be away one night a week from Matt and the pups. I am afraid that he will get stuck working late the night I will be scheduled to work and the dogs will be cooped up too long. I am worried that I will have to choose one day to stay after school (my career and number one priority) and will  feel awful about it. I am excited for salon discounts and to work with what seems to be a friendly and kind group of people. We shall see what tomorrow holds (my first day on the job!)....

Part 1: My Columbus in pictures...

Having lived in Columbus my entire life, there are certain places I have always liked looking at or places that are meaningful for me. Some go wayyyy back, and some are new faves!  To start this little roadtrip, I drove back to my childhood home, got irritated that they painted it (how dare they!?) and drove off. Do you have any experiences in these places?

Any guesses where this is?!  It is at the entrance of my old neighborhood at SAWMILL and W.Case!  In the middle of one of the busiest streets, can you believe that a farm still exists?  I was always thankful that Ohio State has all this property for their animals, even when I could hear sheep on a quiet night or smell the pigs on a humid August day.

If you guessed Riverside Drive, just after Henderson Rd, you got it. For years, I have loved driving this stretch because there is water on both sides. That sounds ridiculous as that happens every time you cross a bridge. But this is different. You are driving beSIDE the river then all of a sudden you are surrounded. I am not kidding when I admit that part of the reason I bought my place was to enjoy this drive every day! Especially beautiful when it is foggy!

Man, do I miss Grandview!  Driving down 5th Ave. and seeing this sign, I always smile. There are no other signs like that in Columbus. It is big, tacky, and lights up red at night. Matt and I had our first dinner together here, and I laugh when I think about what has happened in there:  Typically, you are the only "party" at the restaurant; the one man who is always working has a perpetual smile; this same gentleman will ask you "why you not finish the napa (its a kind of lettuce)"...it is his favorite part of Sweet & Sour Chicken; and we once heard this same man ask a child "Are you boy or girl?" Note: Zoe jumped out of the car onto 5th Ave as I was being a negligent mother with the door open behind me.

Northbank Park. So cool!  Now we can "ooh and ahh" over our skyline without having to BE in downtown. If there is ever a major "life event" where I might need a "venue", this is where I would want it. Wink, wink.

Hmm, thought you would be able to see that sign. If you aren't a Columbusonian (ha!), this is the Short North. My faaaavorite part of town. Just north of downtown, there are blocks and blocks of INDEPENDENT stores and restaurants to love. My favorites?  On Paper, Lululemon (hello, my name is Stacie, and I am a Lulu addict), Betty's, Northstar Cafe, and Undone. If you ever spend time in Columbus, this is a must. PS- A meter maid showed up as I was snapping this photo. Since I didn't pay to park for 14 seconds, he warned "Move along, maam". Maam. Hmph.

So, there you go. Part 1 of my favorite parts of my city.

This is why I love this show...

I think we are all aware of my obsession with So You Think You can Dance. And every season, there is one (at least) dance that really takes your breath away. It was inspired by the choreographer's mother (her struggle with an undisclosed illness) and the male dancer's similar experience with his mother. Here it is...

Robert & Allison's contemporary routine

Mom's Peach Pie

I have 3 recipes of my mom's that I love to make. They are those no-fail, almost-know-by-heart things that I just crave every once in a while. Today it was the Peaches and Cream Pie. I thought the recipe was worth sharing because it is simple and truly amazing HOT and also cold in the fridge the next day.
Mom's Peach Pie
  • Combine: 
    • 1 egg
    • 3 TB butter
    • 1/2 C milk
    • 3/4 C flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 small box of cook and serve vanilla pudding (instant will NOT work!)
  • Mix for one minute in the mixer, pour into greased pie pan
  • Drain 2 C of sliced peaches (one can works for this). Save the syrup.
  • Arrange peaches on batter so that each slice will get one piece of fruit (then you don't have to cut through the peaches, making a mess!)
  • Combine: 
    • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
    • 1/2 C sugar,
    • 3 TB peach syrup
  • Spread this on top of the peaches and batter.
  • Mix: 
    • 1 TB sugar
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Sprinkle over the batter and peaches. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes.  It will be puffy when it comes out. Let it cool for just a few minutes, but dig in while it is warm!

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig...

I have been trying to find ways to stay busy during the summer. My ideal "day out" would include:
1. Spending less than $20
2. Being outside
3. Contributing to the community

Now, the dog park hits all those (hey, Sebastian "contributes" to the dog park by being the friendliest pooch out there!) but the local Farmers Markets have also caught my attention.

Upper Arlington:  My friend Shannon and I went to the UA market, in old UA on Wednesday. It runs every Wednesday from 3:30-5:30. This was a good way to get acquainted with the feel of a market and know what to expect. I bought some amazing black raspberry jam, great cucumbers, and the best cookie of my entire life. It was a shady market, close to air conditioned stores (very cute, high-end boutiques). 

***I feel that the cookie was so special that it deserves its own aside. It is, in fact, already listed on my Best of Columbus page:o)  This incredible piece of bakery goodness came from Sweet Scetti, http://www.sweetscetti.com/ a home bakery right in UA. It was a CHOCOLATE PRETZEL cookie (ladies, does it get any better?) and I liked it so much that I followed Sweet Scetti to Clintonville today....)

Clintonville:  Mom, dad, and I headed a little further across town to Clintonville's market. We were lucky to easily find parking (once mom was able to parallel park with dad breathing down her neck!)  This market was much bigger, but with less shade. There was a great overhang where we were able to drop dad off and he could sit and people watch with a Coke (his idea of a great day:o)  Within an hour, I had loaded my bag with sweet corn, zucchini (for Jill's chocolate chip zucchini muffins!), peppers, pulled pork, ranch cheese cubes (heaven), more cucumbers, and of course....Sweet Scetti cookies!  This time, we are trying the white chocolate blueberry cookie, cinnamon praline, and of course more chocolate pretzel cookies!  Mom and dad got Trail Mix and Honey Cherry Pecan and loved them.  All of that for less than $20. I like knowing where my food came from and that they just picked/baked/smoked it without having to preserve it. 

So, there you have it...a new favorite activity. If you ever want to join me on a Saturday morning, let me know!

Best of both worlds: Local & Online

LogoI now live .2 miles away from a Barnes and Noble and have yet to step inside. Nothing against it, I just don't really have the desire. Yet, I will drive downtown to German Village, endure parallel parking on a cobblestone street and walk to the Book Loft. The difference?  Buying local!  I like the idea of someone taking their passion and making their dream come true in their own little store rather than a bigbox company moving in to town. But sometimes, it is just plain convenient to get something online. Sometimes I am just in the mood to buy something with a few clicks!  Here is a website that merges both ideals. Not only do they have local bookstores, but hardware, clothing, toys, etc.


What is your IKEA name?

This is so silly but made me smile!  What are your names? Try it here

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