Posts tagged ‘ohio’

October 22, 2013

Food on the Move : Columbus Food Trucks

If you are not familiar with Columbus’ Food truck scene, you are missing out.
Fast and affordable, these mobile chefs have so much to offer. Joel and I were getting adventurous with food trucks before they were popular, but now there is so much more variety to chose from. This may not apply to you, but for me I am easily daunted by trying out ethic-inspired restaurants, only to find after I’ve gotten the meal that I don’t like it. Figure in a family, plus tip and it feels like a wasted endeavor. I find food trucks so appealing because every thing is simple. Their small menus are written out, detailing the real and fresh ingredients of each item. You can try several dishes, without breaking the bank and best of all they are kid-friendly. Keeping Arden contained in a car seat to enjoy a meal has proven much more effective than trying to drag her out from under a table and keep her from eating the ABC gum.

Places like Dinin’ Hall in Franklinton, 400 W. Rich (right next to downtown) offers a common ground for food trucks to meet through the week. Not only does it provide recognition for up and comers, they provide a welcoming spot that they’ve carved out of an abandoned industrial building for folks to grab a bite inside or out. Their website explains the ordering process, as well as provides a monthly schedule of the trucks lining up to feed Columbus folks.

If you don’t live or work near downtown, here’s some other ways to track down tasty eats.


2.) These first two allow you to search for trucks by choosing a city.
Next a map will open up, showing who is serving during
that day and where they are located. Be sure to check the times they are operational, it fluctuates.
(For you folks that don’t live in C-Bus, try it out for your city too.)

3.) Facebook or Twitter. Don’t have time to stop, but see a truck you’d like to try? Chances are they have some sort of social media presence. Look them up and track em’ down.


Our Favorites!

An eclectic mix : Try the panko breaded chicken croquette sandwich and fresh cut fries. (OMG! SOOO good!)
Location : On the move, but post locations on Facebook. (Usually the night before.)

Latin Fusion : Try the empanadas or the Californian (this guy’s sauces are amazing!)
Location : On the move, but can frequently be found at 3000 Morse road in front of Ohio Academy.

Potatoes: Specifically hand-cut fries with all sorts of toppings.
(Joel and I tried some loaded with meat & cheese and it was more than a meal. We were in a delicious food coma!)
Location : On the move, but does post locations on Facebook.

Located: 2619 high street (behind ace of cups)
BBQ : Yum! tasty brisket!

Located : 3867 Indianola (in the parking lot of Keith’s Service Center, across from Marzetti’s)
Seafood : I enjoyed their shrimp po’boy sandwich.

Located : 3166 N. High Street. Corner of Pacemont & High (on the side of convenience store)
Fried Chicken : Get it WITH the honey sauce drizzled on top. Believe me, it’s a mistake not to!

We also have a no-name, obscure little truck we LOVE for tacos. The best we have had by far!
Located out on the West Side by James Road, across from the CVS. Sometimes it’s open. Sometimes it’s not.
(I know, not very helpful.)

We’ve just had the most enjoyable experiences with these trucks. The people are so super nice.
Everyone is always so gracious and thankful that you took the time to come by and support them.
So the next time you want something different, try a food truck and support local!

October 11, 2013

*~Happy Birthday to my Husband~* + Hallie : Week 3

Today is Joel’s 30th birthday and I think despite me mentioning that we have such a huge age gap, it doesn’t really hit home until people see it in print.
(I understand.) He is definitely capable way beyond his years. It’s probably unfair, but in my mind there isn’t anything he cannot do. To be generous he avoids tasks like cooking, baking, making invitations and decorating, so I can reach for some of the glory and feel good about myself too. Seriously though, when it comes to fixing things or building things or figuring out things, he is your man. I mean for example, he built me a new computer, because mine was on it’s last leg and made hungry animals grinding sounds. He actually went to Micro Center, purchased all the parts to build me a tower and sat on the floor and built it. I didn’t even know regular people could do that. Apparently, when he was 14, he built a computer that was cooled by water. This may mean nothing to you, but I’m impressed. This guy’s skills come super in handy at Hallie, because there is an abundance of mess that needs fixed.

I mentioned in a previous post that the water pipe for the Duplex was ripped off at ground level. Below are some photos of Joel replacing all the pipe so we can have a new meter put in.

1.) Break-ups cement, make a clean cut through the pipe (so it’s not bent anymore.)
2.) He adds on compression fittings to connect new and old pipe. All to the specifications of the water company.
3.) Fits on spud connectors.
4.) Ready for new water meter.

Ready for the meter copy

Unfortunately, even though this all went in without a hitch, when the water man arrived the next day, there was yet again more drama of not being able to locate our water main line to be able to turn it on and other folks would have to come out and to make a long story short, it’s still not on. On Friday, they are supposed to be coming out again and fingers crossed, because this has drug out far too long.

1.) Siding painted in the front. Joel deems the sprayer ‘magical’ as the task was completed in 10 minutes, as opposed to the half hour it took me to prime the one side of the porch.
2.) Siding and trim was replaced all along the porch sides and ceiling.
3.) Bushes were planted in front and sides of duplex.
4.) Railing put in.

At this point, I’ve become a little downtrodden because the more new we put up, the more glaringly obvious it become with all the other tasks that need done. Among those needed is a process called tuck pointing (replacing all the lost mortar in between the bricks), power washing the outside, replacing the rest of the railings, putting in crown around the pillars and painting the ledges. Most of all, I want to take down the darn boards covering the windows, but we are just so up in the air if it’s a good time to yet or not. Thankfully, we had an awesome day today we took off to celebrate. (I’m not sure who had more fun for his birthday him or me.) It’s going to be difficult getting back to the grind tomorrow.

Hallie the Duplex Week 3 railing and landscaping copy

Hallie the Duplex Week 3 front with blue siding copy

October 8, 2013

Letting go of your past.

I had this step-mom that was mean. She heartily embodied everything that fairy tale step-mothers do. From the not-letting-me-eat, making-me-clean-non-stop, to keeping-me isolated-from-people-because-I-might-tell and of course, doing her very best to humiliate me and make me feel small.

I don’t know what this woman went through in her life to cause her to be so angry. But she was. She was tall and very aggressive and enjoyed nothing more than bullying me. Not a day went by that I didn’t get slapped or have my hair yanked. The mind-games and the mental and emotional abuse were the worst. At age 5, I’d lost my mom to illness. It was lengthy, filled with pain and in the end completely destroyed my family. My dad desperate to fill the large emotional void in his life, remarried hoping to find some flicker of happiness and a caring parent for me. He should have kept looking because this woman was damaged.

I was unruly and willful. I had gone from bubbly to anti-social. With my mother’s sickness, I had missed most of kindergarten and was passed back and forth between grandparents trying to help care for me and my mom simultaneously, while my dad drove an hour each way to work. I wanted attention and didn’t understand what was going on. Then one night it all came to a screeching halt when my dad tearfully picked me up from the babysitter’s at 1 a.m. and couldn’t stop crying.

It didn’t happen right away. Initially, there were constant battles between her and my dad on how to parent her son and I. We were only 6 months apart in age and this new set-up of them moving into our house and suddenly expecting to ‘be a family’ when our previous wounds had barely scabbed over was too much. They kept taking sides, each believing their own child when something was missing or broken. She finally pulled ‘the mom’ card, claiming she was better at parenting because she was a mother and insisted my dad back off. Doubting himself, he did, thus totally ushering in her free reign to terrorize.

Some of her most cutting comments were:

1.) That she would make sure that I needed to visit a psychiatrist by the time she was done with me.
2.) That I should never have children, because I would be a horrible mother.
3.) That she always knew when I was telling the truth, but would punish me anyway.

It took me YEARS to get past everything she put me through. I continued to have dreams of flying to get away. I was always, just barely out of her grasp. I was lonely, angry and felt like the world owed me.

Except one day I finally realized that everybody experiences some sort of pain and loss in their lives. It varies in devastation and form, but it’s there.

My point in sharing this with you is this: There comes a time when you can’t blame anyone else for your life anymore. You are an adult. You can think, feel and do for yourself. If you don’t want to be unhappy or be the victim then you have to do something about it. You can make things change. Sit down, make a list of your goals. Research. Write down all the necessary, attainable steps to achieve them. Work on it. Break the cycle. Believe in yourself.

Arden and I saw this lovely clip last night and we were completely captivated by it. It’s so inspiring.

Poster Survive copy

October 3, 2013

What’s new with Hallie-the-Duplex : Week 2

Hallie Duplex, week back of house copy On Saturday morning, we woke to a sick child, broken car windows for half our street (including Joel’s mustang) and deflating news from the water man that in the scrapper’s haste to make off with all-that-was-metal, they broke off the main source water pipe in the ground. What this means for us is, we cannot get water until we tear up the surrounding cement basement floor and fit new pipes. *YAY!* While we were hoping to power wash and paint (with our newly purchased handy paint sprayer) this coming weekend, it will have to wait until next week when the water can be turned on.

In other news, Joel’s electrician friend will kindly be able to obtain a permit for us that will be $150 as opposed to the previously foretold $400. Oddly enough, if you are a homeowner and live in the home, it is easier to get a permit than if you are just rehabbing it for future renters. Oh, laws and rules, how you baffle me!

Here’s what we HAVE been able to accomplish.

1.) Back shingle-type siding has been removed and disposed off. The wood siding underneath is fantastic! Very excited to see how it will look once primed and painted.

2.) We were not so lucky with the vinyl siding in the front. Upon deciding I really couldn’t bare to look at that beige atrocity anymore, Joel promptly ripped it down, only to discover that there wasn’t much wood actually underneath. Instead, plywood and insulation were popping out. SO, we began the tedious task of putting up pine siding and applying white primer to help seal it.

3.) That crazy-clinging ivy vine has been removed , albeit one side left to go. We’ve also removed the remaining overgrown brush.

4.) A cracked, up-heaved cement walkway lines the side of the house and we pried that up in areas to allow for plants. We decided not to go crazy with the landscaping, as it will be on us to keep maintain, plus everything will die off as winter nears anyway. I opted instead, to just split out some of my hostas and decorative grass from home and plant them here. We also purchased several evergreen bushes and mulch that will go in place after the power washing. I’m excited to cover up the eyesore that is the concrete pad with mulch. It will serve a dual purpose, not having to all be dug up AND it will preventing weed growth.)

Of course, there are still many nay-sayers that feel free to spout off their opinions as they pass. It is amazing the things people will say out of superstition, sheer stupidity and fear. I understand that change is difficult but this neighborhood has seen it share of despair and is on the uprise whether they are ready to embrace it or not. Fortunately, there are many positive comments as well. Continuously hearing “It’s about time!” really makes us happy and helps keep us motivated. It may be a small difference, but at least we are making one.

Hallie Duplex, week 2 side view copy

Hallie Duplex, week 2 front view copy

September 26, 2013

How I became a trash-picker + Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color Contest

When I moved to Columbus from Pasadena, CA. I didn’t have much. Before leaving I purchased a compact Saturn with a roof rack and brought along what I could pack into (and onto) the car. Arriving here, I took a decent paying job training as a vending machine driver. This required me to get up at the crack of dawn, to be at the shop to take inventory and to load my truck, repetitively lifting 50lb. at a time. Oh and I also was expected to drive a 20ft. box truck on the freeway, in a large city, which I had obviously never done before. But I had a crazy positive attitude AND I needed money.

The first couple weeks were hell. I had to navigate around an unfamiliar, busy city in a hulking vehicle, sometimes parking downtown in very tight spaces, all in the name of restocking goodies. The job was very physical. I went from just riding my bike as my only form of transportation and exercise to, what felt like boot camp, a full-on complete body work out 5 days a week. I didn’t have any furniture, so I slept on the floor and my muscles ached, to say the least. It wasn’t all bad though. I could eat more than my share of cookies, candy and snack cakes without gaining an ounce. And it was all for free. One of the perks of the job. It was marvelous.

Out on my route one day, I spotted a disheveled looking dresser by the edge of the road. You would definitely say it was ugly, with green paint that could be described as the color of pond scum. Which was overlaying a darker green that peeked through in areas and could be accurately named “Mold’. I couldn’t imagine why anyone held onto this hideous thing to begin with, but I desperately needed a dresser. I pulled my truck over and upon closer examination, found that it was a very nicely constructed, solid piece. With my newly acquired strength, I hustled that 5 1/2 ft long x 3ft tall x 2ft wide bad-boy (by myself) up onto my truck (with no ramp) and was on my way.

I only lived in an apartment, so out on the balcony this beast went. I taught myself how to strip, sand, prime, paint and seal it. Being that it was my first, it didn’t turn out exactly like I would have wanted it. But I still have it 14 years later as my bedroom dresser. Since then, I’ve hauled home quite a few pieces of furniture, a lot of them for free. My daughter’s dresser and bookcase in her room. The mirrored dresser in kitchen that we used as our drink station for our wedding as well as quite a few of the lovelies in our living room. Check out our room here: Erin’s Happy to be Home Room Read about which pieces were reworked and remade to what you see now and HEY! while you are there, be sure to vote for us! We’d love to win some paint to use on Hallie-the-Duplex!

August 29, 2013

I never thought I would be a stay-at-home parent.

Once upon a time, I scoffed at the idea of staying home with a child. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the thought of caring for a little person ALL.THE.TIME. It ended up happening by circumstance. I no longer worked in an office. I became self-employed and I worked out of my home studio. My entire upstairs became devoted to my work space. I have giant shelves of card stock. Boxes upon boxes of envelopes in a rainbow of colors. The extremely sturdy, wooden built-in bookcases meant for displaying actual books and knickknacks, I immediately claimed for my own. The largest room in the house isn’t my bedroom. It’s my studio/jail were I spend most of my day designing, cutting, assembling, printing, making things. (I say jail because often times it’s quit difficult to get away from work when it’s always right here.)

Then I had a kid.

It started out innocently enough. I’d have her up in the office with me in her little blue tent. It was purchased at a yard sale for an awesome steal of five bucks. She’d lounge around and I got orders done and it was all good.

But that didn’t last long.
Because she grew.

The little tent was great for newborn-not-doing-much-of-anything-Arden, but not 7 month-old-Arden. No worries. I had a new plan! I’d keep her in a play pen AKA a pack-n-play. (These were apparently renamed from the 70’s because the new and improved devices for keeping your kid corralled in one spot, no longer collapsed on them or pinched the crap out of their arms and legs.) This would be great! I could work and she could play and everything would be jolly.

But it wasn’t.
Because she didn’t want to be exiled in a padded mesh and metal box.
She wanted to be getting into all my supplies and exploring. So she would howl at me and hold up her arms until I took her out.

She learned to pull herself up on the wooden knobs of a squat dresser that houses my ribbon stash. It sits without legs beneath the table where all my printers are lined up. Eventually becoming strong enough to stand and pull the drawers open herself, only so she could get at my supplies with her chubby little hands and dump them everywhere. There is nothing more fun than watching things fly up in the air and scatter. Nothing except maybe the reaction of my Japanime eyes getting ginormous like they might pop out of my head at any moment. She’d laugh at me as I would try not to lose my shit.

This is what I’m reminded of today as I clean up my work sArden in her baby newborn tent copyArden eating in a mess on teh floor copypace. It is currently in complete disarray and in reality has been for quite a while. She’s not so good at organization and quite frankly, neither am I. Creativity at it’s finest, right? There are scraps of card stock all over my work table. Invitation samples, print layouts and hole-punch dots from making banners. Along with pictures she’s colored, her play kitchen, a mass of dolls, puzzles, books, horses and My Little Ponies. Odds and ends of trinkets she likes to collect.

And I’m sobbing.
Because I miss her.

August 27, 2013

Dude! My kid just started Kindergarten.

I should have been welcoming this, because it’s a much more effective working environment when I’m not being asked 20 million questions a day. If you know me, I do not welcome questions. I need focus and I need to make things happen. I can be amazingly patient unless I give a thoughtful explanation and then get asked the exact same question 5 minutes later. Which of course, happens all the time.

But my sidekick has gone and grown up. Relatively speaking, she’s still small. She just turned 5 last week. I didn’t feel ready to let her go. During the school’s orientation I was highly annoyed listening to the teachers discuss how well kids need to test. It’s upsetting. This is not the kindergarten I know. The world has changed dramatically since I was a kid. We didn’t learn to READ yet. You finger painted, you played, you took naps and made friends. Pre-school is the new kindergarten. There are so many more rules and I don’t know them and it’s weird.

It’s not that I don’t think my child will do well, I totally do. I just miss her saying UP!! at age 1, when she wanted on my lap. Her robotic voice at 2 ½ saying “Pick-you-up?” for when SHE wanted to be picked up. Then there was “I-help-you, Ma-ma. What’s-that-making-sound? Or “NO WANT! Each year more and more personality emerged. She has always been a stinker. Now she has to be a rule follower and my heart aches for her. I don’t want the creativity squelched by memorization. I want her to learn how to grow a garden, to transform trash into something amazing, to figure out new uses for old things instead of always buying new. To learn to sew and bake. To know that being smart doesn’t come from always knowing the answer from a textbook, but instead embracing the world around you and trying to make it better.   

For now though, I will let the teachers do their job. (It’s not like any of them are wanting to rule the kids lives with an iron fist.) And I will keep on being an awesome mama and sharing everything I know.ImageImage

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