O H M Y H E A R T

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family fun

Saturdays Are For Coffee

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Cold is not my favorite but I’m a sucker for a good cup of coffee. So last Saturday we bundled up and headed to Wyoming Community Coffee!

This charming coffee shop is tucked into one of our favorite Cincinnati neighborhoods! As if the promise of a fantastic latte wasn’t enough, we got to check out the Book Bus while we were there.

The Book Bus is the cutest bookstore on wheels I’ve ever seen! It’s the only mobile bookstore I’ve ever seen but I challenge anyone to to find a cuter one than this!

We settled in for the hour with our delicious drinks- one caramel latte, one london fog and one chocolate milk- and spent some quality time together.

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We will definitely be making more regular visits to this little gem! Cincinnati friends if you are looking for a local cup of coffee, a yummy quick bite and comfortable and cozy atmosphere, check them out!




Art Play on a Snow Day

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Like most of the Midwest, we’ve spent the last week buried under the snow and frigid temperatures dished out by the polar vortex. The snow and lack of school for Rowan was starting to get to all of us a bit. So last Thursday we braved the cold and the ice and headed downtown for some fun. The Contemporary Arts Center has always been a favorite place for us to hang out with Ro but we have an appointment every Thursday that has kept us from going to Art Play the last few months. My husband was on vacation so we rescheduled our appointment to have some impromptu family fun. The fact that Dad got to join us made it extra special!

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During our last visit he was much more of an observer. This trip he had a ball interacting with all of the exhibits.

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After some quality time getting our culture on we headed across the street to one of our favorite restaurants, NADA, for tacos!

One of the things I’m committed to doing this year is journaling. So, when we got home I printed out a few photos of the day and had a little memory journal session.

Mondays Are For Messes

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Some of my best moments with Rowan are when I get to show him my favorite little places in the city. I love being able to watch his eyes light up as he falls in love with them too! 

A few weeks ago, we ventured out to one of those little gems, Blue Manatee. I've taken him here a dozen or so times before. But, the most amazing part of having a four-year-old is watching how magical the world is for them! Rowan takes everything in and needs to process the surroundings for a while. Even as he gets more comfortable it takes time for him to warm up and engage. Because of this, I'm always worried. But really, I had nothing to worry about! 

 

The new location is just as cozy and wonderful as it's previous space. The staff is warm and generous. Ms. Kellie is amazing with the kids. We had such a great morning "making a mess" a Blue Manatee!  

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He's already asked to go back to for another messy Monday! I think that means he loves it as much as I do! 

Everyday Magic

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Here's the thing about memories, often the best ones, the ones that stick with us throughout our lifetime, are the little moments that inject a tiny bit of magic in our everyday lives.

The combination of potty training and the first blast of arctic air has had us stuck in the house for a few days too many.  And, I think we both had a touch of cabin fever. After more episodes of Paw Patrol than I care to admit, I remembered we had some cookie dough mix and decided it would be a fun way to kill an hour! 

It wasn't a Pinterest perfect craft. It wasn't even made from scratch. We're both still in our pj's and rocking epic bedhead. But, a week later he still lights up talking about how we made cookies! 

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We never know what little kernels of childhood our kids will hold onto as memories. But, I hope he remembers that sunny December morning, singing Christmas songs, dancing in the kitchen,  and making cookies! 

Sunday Family Funday

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Last weekend we set out on our first official(since it's actually December!) holiday activity. We'd actually planned on doing something Saturday and Sunday but you know what they say about best-laid plans! Anyway, Sunday was a bright, beautiful and 60-degree day, so we ventured out. Our plan was to head to the Krohn Conservatory to take in the gorgeous holiday display. But, when the husband suggested we drive downtown, hop and the streetcar and have brunch first, I wasn't going to argue. There has been much debate about whether or not the streetcar was a wise investment for the city. I guess that remains to be seen but if my kid's excitement is any indication, the answer is YES! 

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A quick ride on the streetcar delivered us to one of our favorite restaurants, Maplewood Kitchen. We got there at the perfect time. Shortly after our arrival, the line began to snake out the door! After filling up on bistro steak and eggs, lemon ricotta pancakes and chicken hash we made our way to Eden park to check out the holiday display at Krohn Conservatory.

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The display never disappoints! Rowan could have stayed for hours watching the trains! 

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 A streetcar ride, giant pancakes, trains and a Ferris wheel! This kid was on cloud nine for the next two days! 

Holiday Bucket List

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It's official! The 2017 holidays have arrived! There have been times in the past where I've approached this time of year with dread. Going through the motions because it was expected of me. This year Rowan for the first time in his life, Rowan kind of gets the holiday. His eyes light up at the sight of twinkle lights and Christmas trees. He still approaches Santa with a healthy dose of side-eye but he is a frequent topic of conversation! 

Last week we decided to cross off one of the items on our holiday bucket list-The Festival of Lights. The first year we took Ro, it was the week before Christmas. It was freezing, crowded, and none of us enjoyed it very much. Last year we went the week of Thanksgiving and discovered it was the perfect time to go. The weather is more cooperative and the crowds are less intense. And, just like that, a new tradition was born! This year we ventured out the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving. We were not disappointed!    

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It feels good to start a new tradition with our family. I'm hoping it's one we can continue. What do you with your family that signals the start of the holiday season? 

Local Love || P L A Y L I B R A R Y

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A few weeks ago I met up with mom friends and their kiddos at a new to us place, The Play Library. My husband had mentioned it to me in a conversation but for whatever the information didn't really register. He'll tell you it's because I never listen to him but #alternatefacts y'all. Anyway, we had an amazing time at that first outing and it's quickly become one of my favorite Rowan approved places in the city. 

This adorable little space is basically a lending library for toys and games! Ro has so much stuff and so many toys that the idea of being able to check out something new and enjoy it without worrying about where to store it is a parent's dream! 

A membership(monthly or yearly) is required to check things out, but it's FREE to come in and play, although donations are welcomed! Members also get access to all Library events and a discount if you want to rent the space out for a private event. So, why are you waiting?! Go check it out!

This cozy little corner on Elm St. feels a little bit like getting a glimpse behind a magic door. It's essentially the room of my 7 year old dreams!  

This treehouse inspired is perfect for my little sensory seeker! Getting him to sit still in chairs can be a challenge because he often requires physical stimulus in order to calm himself. These swings require him to balance although they are anchored underneath to prevent slipping and falling. And, that additional physical activity provides enough stimuli that he is able to sit and concentrate. 

And, of course, he found a garbage truck! 

All of that play is exhausting so we finished our afternoon with a treat. 

Sunday Funday|An Afternoon in the City

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I am not the most spontaneous person. Neither is my husband. I don't know if it's because we're both Virgos or if we're just set in our ways. So, I was pretty proud of us for deciding to pack up the kiddo and head downtown for the day. We were all dressed, ready out the door in an hour! Shouldn't Sunday afternoons be about finding a little adventure?   We hadn't been to the Observation Deck at Carew Tower in years but it was a perfect afternoon to introduce Rowan to a picture perfect view.   

Why does my sweet baby boy look like such a big kid these days?! Gah! It's all flying by too fast! 

We stumbled upon a climate change rally! These were my two favorite signs. After spending time on Fountain Square we hopped on the streetcar to head to Findlay Market. We've been on it a handful of times and just realized that Nick Lachey voices the stops. That is so Cincinnati!  

 

We had a quick and delicious lunch, listened to some street performers and bought some goodies before heading home. Sunday, fun day, indeed! 

Butterfly Show {family fun}

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The annual Butterfly Show at Krohn Conservatory is a harbinger of summer and one the entire city looks forward to seeing every year. The last time we went, Rowan was too little to enjoy it. so this year it was so much fun to watch him take it all in! 

"Butterfly" is a new-ish word for him so to hear him say it with so much joy as he pointed with delight at all of the gorgeous butterflies landing around us made this year's trip extra special.  And, can we talk about how wonderful it smells! Butterflies are attracted to the scent of jasmine. Krohn passes out these little scratch and sniff cards that release the scent to encourage the butterflies to interact with you. I'm not sure if there's a heaven, but if it exists, I hope it smells just like this! 

 

City Mornings

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If I could make a wish and have my wildest dream fulfilled, it would definitely have something to do with the arts. I don't know that I have the soul of an artist but I have the desire to have the soul of an artist! LOL! And, I love that we live in a city that makes it easy to pass my appreciation of it to my kids. 

With that in mind, I bundled up Rowan and we headed downtown to enjoy a morning at Contemporary Art Center. The top floor of the space is the UnMuseum for kids. Everything is kid friendly and they are encouraged to become part of the installations by interacting with them. On Thursday mornings, the CAC offers Art Play. There's a specific craft or art activity followed up with kid-friendly yoga!

It's nice to hang out in a museum where you don't have to worry that your curious toddler is climbing on and destroying a priceless work of art!

Rowan found a new favorite! There's an area that is dark with a light installation on the ceiling. The kids are encouraged to use the flashlights to interact with the lights and music. That little space was so cozy and peaceful despite the dozen or so kiddos running around having the time of their lives! 

After all of the fun upstairs we headed to the lobby for people watching, street car spotting and of course the perfect latte to end our morning.