Uncategorized

City: Five Minute Friday

Today I am joining the positive writing community over at Five Minute Friday for their weekly link-up. Each week we gather to write on a common theme. This week our theme is City.

Thanks to Covid the city has lost its appeal.

I miss the days of hopping in the car and seeing what we could get up to in town. With all the restrictions and all of the “hotspots” it makes a trip into the city one of the greatest opportunities to be at-risk.

I miss shopping in-person instead of through online portals and digital exchanges.

I miss strolling down busy streets, sipping coffee, and looking for good deals in storefronts.

I miss concerts and events in the parks and arenas downtown.

I miss dodging cyclists on the city’s walking paths.

Columbus is my city and I miss it so much. Crime rates are up and the city misses the people who came with a sense of wonder and enjoyment to its streets. I look forward to the day when we all return to life as it was before. I cannot wait to stroll through downtown with a cup of Stauff’s coffee (highlander grogg of course) while my hubby eats his Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream from a freshly made waffle cone.

One day this will all be over and we can return to our cities as we did before and enjoy the spontaneous.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Uncategorized

Kitties: Columbus Coffee Experience

If you are looking for the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life [who already has far more than enough mugs to justify another] then please take gifting advice from my secret pal. This holiday season I received macaroons, a gift card to a French bakery, and a stamp book for the Columbus Coffee Experience Trail. (Experience Columbus)

Inside the book is a listing of 19 coffee shops local to Columbus, Ohio.

Does my secret pal know me or what? Secret pal, if you are reading this [and I have a strong suspicion you are] please know that you are amazing and know me so well!

I’ve decided to document my journey through the Columbus Coffee Experience. When it comes to coffee, I like mine black with little to no milk. I am observing a dairy free diet so if I must add a splash of something my milk alternative of choice is almond. Since my drink preference is rather boring for most I’ve decided to rope my sister into this with me too–she’s an espresso and latte lover.

So as a our schedules allow in 2021, Mo and I will bring you our reviews of the Columbus Coffee Experience. Will we hit all 19? I’m not sure, but we will take you on the ride with us and we hope to find new local favorites along the journey.

Kitties Cakes in Bexley: Our First Review

In the heart of historic Bexley, Kitties Cakes occupies a modern building connected to an independent bookshop. If you were to ask me about an ideal date night activity pre-Covid my answer would be coffee and bookshop hopping–which means the location of Kitties Cakes was a solid 10/10 for me.

The interior was small, but a heated outdoor patio gave us space to remove our masks and enjoy our coffee slowly. England has taught me over the years that coffee is best enjoyed as a leasurely activity and not on-the-go. I have tried to add this British concept to my consumption habits, but Covid has made that pretty difficult. Mo and I enjoyed our coffees on the patio where we split a fruit scone and talked about our upcoming Christmas plans.

The Ratings:

Me: Drip Coffee (Stumptown Coffee Roasters) with a splash of Almond Milk–9/10. I really appreciated that the barista allowed me to advise on the adding of the milk because some places can overdo it in my experience. I like enough to make the brew smooth, but I am not heavy handed when it comes to the addition of milk alternatives in my coffee.

Mo: Salted Maple Latte–9/10. Its flavors were subtle but tasted amazing. And it didnt have a chalky taste that some espresso drinks have.

Both: We shared a berry scone–6/10. It was very sweet and sticky. Very good, but served room temperature without cream or jam.

Shop Info:

Kitties Cakes

2424 E. Main Street
Bexley, Ohio 43209
614.929.5000

Monday – Wednesday: 8am to 3pm
Thursday – Saturday: 8am to 7pm
Sunday: 8am to 6pm

The Ameri Brit Mom

Family · Uncategorized

Coffee Fest and Rob Bell

 

 

Date nights don’t happen nearly as often as they should. At this point in our lives we have two girls (one of which is an infant) and they keep us busy. Balancing work and family seems like a farfetched myth. But every so often the stars align and we are able to get away for a couple of hours.

Our most recent date night consisted on attending two events (one chosen by each of us.)

For me: We joined the Columbus Underground and attended Coffee Fest

Coffee is not just a boost of caffeine in my life; Coffee is a lifestyle.

I’m well aware of the addiction I harbor toward this brewed beverage, but I have no plans of sobriety any time soon. I live on this stuff and I absolutely loved joining other coffee fanatics in my city for this fun event. It was held at the Ohio Village, an old-fashioned, model village behind the Ohio Historical Society.

Local brewers set up stands throughout the venue and provided samples of their best coffees for those in attendance. When we entered the festival we were given a ceramic mug that served as our cup throughout the event so that they minimized trash and kept the environment of the day clean and green.

My favorite coffee that I sampled was the Ethiopian blend from Hemisphere Coffee Roasters.

After several cups of amazing coffee we visited the Food Trucks on site and enjoyed  Mikey’s Late Night Slice’s famous pizzas.

 

For Him: We attended Rob Bell’s Holy Shift Talk

Ever since Rob Bell launched his career my husband has enjoyed his work. He is a Christian author and speaker who now lives in Los Angeles, California.

Although much of his work is considered to be a bit liberal for the Christian crowd my husband has continued to support Rob Bell and his ministry. I’ve read some of his early works and I have seen almost all of his Nooma videos. It’s easy for people to form an opinion about him and protests are a regular occurrence at his speaking engagements, but overall I enjoyed listening to him and found objection to none of the elements he spoke about in this talk. It was a call to Christians to regard the holiness in the everyday and mundane events of life.

Per usual, we laughed, cried, and felt goosebumps as he revealed seven ways that he has encountered God’s holiness in his own life.

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The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Family · Uncategorized

Our First Geocache Adventure

Geocache- the act of using GPS services to locate a hidden package or item.

Over Spring break my husband and I found ourselves with some alone time. This isn’t something that happens often so we decided to make the most of it. Sure, we could have done the usual date night and gone to a movie, but this was a mid-day respite and the sun was shining. We wanted to soak up the sun!

As we tried to decide what to do I remembered a student recommending urban geocaching. It’s something I had heard of before, but had never done. The idea seemed intriguing and it proved to be the perfect way to spend a day together. My husband and I are always looking for new places to go in downtown Columbus so we packed up our car and headed in that direction.

First, we downloaded the app Geocaching. 

Then, we found a general area in Columbus that had several geocaches available. We parked in a random place. Our first task was to find somewhere nearby for lunch. Since we were on the edge of Harrison and Victorian Villages we decided to try the popular Katalinas. I ordered a breakfast taco and my husband had Hens in a Basket (eggs baked into toast.) Both menu items were really good!

Next, we headed out on foot for our first cache. Using the coordinates and GPS on our phones we made it to the first location. Our first try was unsuccessful. We spent twenty minutes looking for a hidden key box. To be fair, we had no idea what we were looking for. We decided to go ahead and move onto another cache and come back and check again on our way to the car afterward.

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The next geocache was two miles away. Geocaching is a good motivator for exercise…did I mention that? We plugged in the new coordinates and enjoyed a leisurely walk around town.

We found the next cache almost immediately. Hints provided by those who planted the cache are always helpful. Most geocaches contain small trinkets. You can take something from the cache as long as you replace it with something of yours. This first cache contained two small erasers. Despite the anticlimactic souvenirs we were excited to have found our first cache!

Next, we decided to head toward the arena district about half a mile away. There was another one hidden in a park there. This one was a little harder to spot, but after ten minutes we had captured the quarry. The memento contained in this one was a dream catcher key chain. Again, not super exciting, but finding the cache was reward enough for us.

Believe it or not, downtown Columbus isn’t the best spot to geocache. Many of the suburbs are ridden with them, but downtown only has a few. We decided to head back in the direction of the unsuccessful cache. On the way we stopped for coffee at a small place in the Short North called One Line Coffee. We sipped and walked.

Once we got back to the original coordinates from earlier it only took a few minutes for us to find the hidden key box. Having the experiences of the first two helped us know what to look for.

We ended up walking five miles and having a really great time. This is something we plan to continue. We may even get our daughter involved. Stay tuned for more geocaching adventures!

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Family · Uncategorized

“Another Opening, Another Show…”

The Pumpkin Show is an annual festival held in my hometown of Circleville, Ohio. This is the greatest FREE show on Earth and one of the largest local festivals in the country. Each year, the schools shut down, the roads are closed, and people travel from near and far to enjoy some days indulging in Pumpkin-everything and watching parades. Tuesday night was Local’s Night which means that stalls were opened and people crowded the streets prior to the official opening. The weather was beautiful and the festival was packed. Our church group which normally meets on Tuesdays decided to meet this week at the Pumpkin Show. We spent our Tuesday night with great friends and the locals of Circleville.

On Wednesday, we rode rides, overate, and went through the parade on a float. Every year I pine for a box of bourbon chicken, one of the most popular non-pumpkin items. I also have to get a slice of pumpkin pie, a pumpkin burger, and fried Swiss cheese on a stick. We got a snapshot with the traditional pumpkin pyramid and the locally famous Pumpkin Man. For the first time ever, my daughter was in a parade riding on a float representing her pre-school. It was a late parade and she was almost asleep by the end of the route, but she enjoyed riding through the parade with her teacher and classmate. It was a great opening to another Pumpkin Show!

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Family · Uncategorized

German Village

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Over night the weather went from sunny summertime to cool autumn. Every part of me was itching to get outdoors from the moment the rays of sun poked through the curtains. I poured myself a hot cup of coffee and browsed through events going on in Columbus. After a few minutes of deliberation we decided on a family stroll through German Village, our favorite corner of the Columbus area.

Brick sidewalks, Schiller Park, The Brown Bag deli, and Pistacia Vera all made their way onto our itinerary for the day. This was one of our first long walk outings where we decided not to bring a stroller. It’s been four years, but we may finally have a big girl! I was so proud of my daughter who trekked over 10,000 steps without one complaint (although we did have to stop and add to her ‘acorn collection’ every time we passed one on the brick sidewalks.)

We picnicked in a shady corner of the park as we ate our sandwiches from the Brown Bag. The park was bustling with families, runners, and dogs. From there, we walked several blocks to Pistacia Vera, a french cafe, where we sampled macaroons. They are so delicious and I highly recommend the Mocha Hazelnut flavor. After a little snack we walked back to Schiller Park and of course we couldn’t leave without a few minutes on the playground. It was a perfect day with perfect weather.

Here’s a glimpse at our family adventures through the streets of German Village.

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The Ameri Brit Mom

Family · Uncategorized

The New Columbus Library

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It’s been a long time coming, but the wait is finally over!

Over a year ago the Columbus Metropolitan Library Main Branch shut its doors to begin the remodeling process. Already it was the most beautiful library I had ever visited and I couldn’t imagine what type of work would go into this new construction to make it even better. It took over a year between the time the doors were locked and the reopen on June 25. Sadly, we were in England for the grand reopening, but earlier this week we were able to make the twenty minute trip to investigate all of the improvements for ourselves.

The good news is that it is still the same awesome library we said good-bye to last summer. The even better news is that it is now easier to navigate than before.

There are three floors:

Floor #1– Returns, Customer Service, Children’s Books, Gift Shop, Coffee Shop, indoor/outdoor seating

Floor #2– Audio books, Adult Fiction, Teen Fiction, Reading Room over looking a scenic park

Floor #3– Non-Fiction, Reference Materials, Meeting Rooms

All three floors are clean, spacious, and open. The grand atrium is breathtaking. And most of the place is lit completely by natural sunlight. Here is a look at some snapshots we took during our family trip to the Columbus Metropolitan Library Main Branch.

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The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Family · Uncategorized

Anniversary Bliss

The first week of June is always full of such bliss in our household. On June 4, my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary. June 6 is my mother’s birthday which we always commemorate with a mother-daughter lunch. And my birthday is today, June 7. (I’m 26!!!)

We are busy packing and preparing for our Chicago trip today because we leave first thing tomorrow. At some point between weighing suitcases and checking off the last things from our to-do list we will also be venturing out to the Columbus Zoo for a couple of hours. The zoo has become one of our family birthday traditions. I’m really excited to make some memories at the best zoo in the country today!

As excited as I am for my birthday festivities I’m still living in shadows of my anniversary weekend. It was so much fun!

June 4, 2016 was our fifth anniversary. My husband planned an entire day filled with some of our favorite things as well as some new activities. My parents watched our daughter for the whole day which freed my husband and I up to do some pretty awesome things.

First off, we drove to Columbus. For a really long time we’ve been saying that we would love to rent a bike and ride the Scioto Mile Trail which runs parallel to the Scioto River in downtown Columbus. We ended up riding close to four miles. This was so scenic and refreshing. It was also a blast!

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Our next stop was a Barnes and Noble on the Ohio State University campus. We had a leisurely walk about the books. It’s been a while since we have had the ability to check out adult books in a bookstore without a toddler screaming to look at the kids books or play at the train table in the back.

Then we were off to dinner. We chose The Cheesecake Factory at Easton. It was delish!

Lastly, and most excitingly we participated in our first Wine and Canvas event. At Wine and Canvas professional artists walk you step-by-step through the painting process. Everyone is working on the same picture and there is a steady supply of “liquid courage” as they call it. This was so much fun and I was really pleased with the way that both of our canvases turned out.

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It was so nice to enjoy a night out on the town with my husband doing things that we rarely get an opportunity to participate in with a child. I feel so lucky and blessed to have been married to such a great guy. And in less than 24 hours we kick off our Great Traveling Adventures of 2016!

I hope everyone else is having a great start to June!

The Ameri Brit Mom

Fitness · Uncategorized

Race Day Snapshots

This weekend I finished the Patron Quarter Marathon in Columbus. My official time was 1:08:57. I ran the race with my friend, Leah. We ran eleven minute miles fairly consistently until mile 5 and then we left all we had on that course and finished strong.

In the last mile I passed 97 people!!!!

This was a comeback run for me. I ran competitively in high school but haven’t done much running since and barely any at all since the birth of my daughter in 2012. Here is a look at some snapshots from the event.

I’m excited to journey back into running. I’m setting goals for better overall health and wellness and running is a big part of those goals.

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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