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A Family Art Date

It’s so easy to get into ruts. Every area of our lives is susceptible to the mundane. We can become so stuck on foods, routines, and shops that we begin to lose the excitement we once held for those things. In Ohio, the winter time can become a season of over-repeated family date nights. There are only so many things you can do in the great indoors with a toddler. When all else fails my husband and I resort to traveling to a mall so that we can walk, talk, and enjoy time together with the promise of a play area trip if our daughter is on her best behavior.

As much fun as a trip to one of the area’s malls can be this past weekend we felt the need to branch out and try something new. The temperatures were cooler and the prospect of flurries lingered in the forecast. It was a weekend for indoor activities, but we were so over the idea of spending another Friday night window shopping and supervising our daughter in a sea of rambunctious children.

After a quick Google search I found an Art and Clay Cafe in a neighboring town. Our daughter is absolutely in love with arts and crafts so it seemed like a trip that would be right up her alley. Indeed, the new adventure was well worth it.

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The first thing we did once we entered the eccentric cafe was browse their shelves of ceramics. My daughter chose a bird ornament and a balloon-shaped dog. I wanted to create a decorative piece for the house so I chose a plate. My husband wanted to try his hand at painting intricate details so he selected to paint a ceramic wizard. This also makes more sense if you know my husband and his extreme addiction to Harry Potter. (He did grow up in England in the 1990’s so you can’t really blame him. That was Potter country back then.)

With our ceramic selections made we made our way to the paint table. Each of us filled a plate of vibrant colors and then took a seat where the baristas served us coffee and juice while we worked.

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I’ve forgotten how therapeutic painting can be. It’s been years since I just sat down and painted. All three of us were in such a zone as we focused on the projects at hand. I had completely forgotten about the nerve-wrecking Active Shooter Training that had happened in my school that afternoon. Our daughter had watched a program the week prior about mixing colors to make others so she really enjoyed experimenting with her colors. Somehow in the process of mixing multiple colors she manufactured the most beautiful shade of purple. She used this color to coat her dog and used so many other colors on the bird piece she worked on.

For nearly three hours our entire family worked on our individual projects while talking, laughing, and sipping on cafe drinks. Several people stopped by our table to compliment our daughter on her use of the paintbrush and her impeccable behavior. Art really is one of her gifts. As parents we have tried to embrace this talent. (I admit sometimes we embrace this interest with a little of selfishness. Arts and crafts are really the only thing she will sit down to do. If we want peace and quiet we give her paper and markers and she is occupied for a good bit of time.)

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When we finished with our projects we turned them in to the front desk. The pieces were queued for the kiln. The Art and Clay Cafe take all pieces and place a finishing gloss on them before heating them up in the kiln. Upon check out we received a ticket and a pick-up date. Next Saturday our beautiful creations will be done and ready to be brought home. I look forward to picking up our masterpieces.

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It was a unique Friday night. A family date for the books. We really liked the Art and Clay Cafe.

The Ameri Brit Mom

The Date Jar

The Date Jar: Week 5 (Good Friday Happenings)

Today’s Date Jar consisted of three very different activities. All in a series of a couple of hours our family…

1. Ate brunch at Harvest Moon Cafe in downtown Canal Winchester

2. Completed our Easter basket shopping at Target in Grove City

3. Visited a horse rescue in the outskirts of Grove City

Like I said…very different adventures indeed.

Today is Good Friday. On this blessed day there is so much to be thankful for like how we have the death of such a sinless and selfless Savior for the lives of all humanity. I can’t think of a better way to spend and celebrate this blessed event than by spending time with my family.

As I do every day I woke up craving a good cup of coffee. With both my husband and myself off of work this morning we decided to sleep in a little and indulge in a delicious brunch to begin our day.

For months I’ve had my eye on a little organic cafe nestled in the heart of Canal Winchester. The cafe is called Harvest Moon Cafe. They boast about their natural foods and delicious coffees and after reading several reviews and enviously swiping through instagram photos published by friends I finally decided to take the family to try it out. I would describe my first impression as inviting and hipster. The interior of the cafe was pleasant with bright colors, natural wood tables, and one old original brick wall decorated with brilliant photographs of their menu offerings.

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It didn’t take long to scour the menu in search of a coffee to wake me up. I ordered a Milky Way Latte (mocha and caramel). I was not disappointed…it was delicious.

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For brunch I ordered a Tango Turkey sandwich which was lite and organic. The turkey sandwich was served on sourdough bread and included bacon, cucumber, tomato and a chipotle ailoli sauce. I loved the dressing that was on the side salad. Very tangy and delectable. My husband ordered his first ever Bison burger and he enjoyed that as well. It had half the calories, but more protein than a regular beef burger.

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After we boxed up the uneaten food (because portion sizes were huge) we embarked on the next phase of our mission…Easter shopping.

The one thing our daughter asked the Easter bunny for this year: a kitty cat helmet. I know, strange, right? This request was purely in response to me telling my daughter that she may not ride her tricycle outside until she had a helmet. I love her, but she is prone to accidents. She has a bad case of getting too excited and falling over. This occurs when she is simply walking so as a mom I cringe at the thought of putting her on wheels and allowing her the freedom of the sidewalk. A helmet may help ease those fears.

Before leaving the house I ordered a helmet on the Target website. One of the coolest inventions is the in-store pickup. I was able to send the helmet to the Target I was going to visit and while one of us distracted our daughter the other picked up the helmet from the front desk and ran it out to the car. Very sly… I know.

We picked up a few more miscellaneous items, because who ever goes to Target and leaves with just one thing?

Then, we met our friend and daughter’s babysitter at a horse rescue not far from the Target we visited. Our daughter is huge fan of horses. We are planning a day for her to ride a horse near her birthday in September, but today we allowed her to get her feet wet in the equestrian world by feeding and grooming some of the tamer horses. Our sitter frequently volunteers at this rescue so it was lovely having her wisdom as neither my husband nor I are really too familiar with horses. I love that my daughter adores animals and I hope to help foster that love despite my own lack of knowledge and experience.

We are back home now and preparing to attend a local Good Friday service this evening. Overall, it was a fun day out full of new experiences.

I love to date my family. (Even when my daughter pretends to be not impressed with our busy lifestyle like in the picture below)

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