Friday, May 31, 2013

Asian Fest - Franklin Park


The Asian Festival in Columbus is one of the few festivals that I have attended that actually lives up to its name - I've been to too many festivals where I was expecting to learn more about the festival's namesake, only to end up feeling like I'm at the local county fair with generic, greasy fair food and overpriced plush stuffed animals and other cheap plastic toys.  Don't get me wrong - I loved going to the Miami county fair as a kid and the Ohio state fair is exciting - but a (fill-in-the-blank) festival is not supposed to be just like the county fair.  The wonderful Heritage Festival in Piqua, Ohio and the amazing Pawpaw Festival in Albany, Ohio are two festivals that well represent their namesake.  The Columbus Asian Festival is another.

Portobello Mushrooms for Dinner

Kenneth made portobello mushroom sandwiches for dinner tonight!  He cooks onions, red pepper and mushrooms on a skillet with a little canola oil, pepper and whatever other spices he's in the mood for.  He's not big into recipes, though he loves The Flavor Bible.  Whenever he's working with new ingredients or wants to try something new, he flips through the Flavor Bible for ideas, the book focuses on a ton of different ingredients and what compliments them well.  His sandwiches are always delicious!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

An Evening of Latin Flavor

Two photos of the day today - both are from An Evening of Latin Flavor, which was held at the Conservatory tonight.  Kenneth and I joined my friends and several co-workers in the Columbus Emerging Museum Professionals at the Conservatory for the event.  We enjoyed delicious carnitas tacos, beans and cilantro-lime rice and chicken tamales from the Garden Café and were entertained with great music and a free photo booth!  Lots of fun and a great way to wind-down after a long and busy spring season at work!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hello from Mick!

I took a few quick pictures of Mick this morning while I was setting up our materials for school tours.  This is the only one that was in focus!  Mick does not stay still for long, but she's a sweet bird!  Mick, and her mate, Max, are the resident Blue and Gold Macaws that live in the rainforest biome at the Conservatory.  If you say 'rock and roll' Mick likes to bob her head like she's dancing! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Butterfly 'Tie-Dye'

I made this t-shirt today at work with my co-worker, Marty.  It's an example of the butterfly 'tie-dye' t-shirts we will be making during Family Fun at the Conservatory this Saturday.  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gluten-Free Chokeberry Oatmeal Bars + Recipe

Today I made Chokeberry Oatmeal Bars for a Memorial Day cookout.  These bar cookies are adapted from the Quaker Oatmeal Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies recipe.  Substitutions for those who use regular wheat flour are included!  If you don't have access to chokeberries (which are really cool and easy to grow!) you can use blueberries instead.  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dragon Boat at Asian Fest

Kenneth and I went to Asian Fest today at Franklin Park!  Review to follow shortly - it was a lot of fun!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gneon Gnomes

Saw these guys at Target today, I didn't buy any though.  I have quite the gnome collection already!  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ant + Chive Blossom

From our garden today.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams - Bexley

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Kenneth and I are big fans of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.  We often stop here with friends or family who are visiting us in Columbus, Jeni's has a flavor for everyone!  Our most recent visit was to the Bexley location after eating at Rusty Bucket with my parents.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Science Olympiad Nationals 2013

Today is the national competition for Science Olympiad at Wright State University!  Science Olympiad is basically the Olympics of smart, nerdy kids in junior and high school.  Kenneth, my sister, Brittney, and I were in Science Olympiad as kids and Kenneth and I have been student coaches and volunteer coaches for the Grandview Middle school team in Columbus.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Emma Fox

This is Emma.  Emma Fox.  Her full name is actually Emma Fox Ninja Toothless Nightfury, but she'll answer to Emma.

Zpizza - Short North

Zpizza is hands-down, my absolute favorite restaurant.  Ever.  Don't get me wrong, I love eating at Cap City Fine Diner, Northstar Café, Rusty Bucket and Five Guys Burgers and Fries (all great restaurants for the gluten-free crowd), but none of these restaurants have gluten-free pizza.  Zpizza does gluten-free pizza right!  The gluten-free pizza at Zpizza tastes like a regular thin crust pizza, it's never soggy or tastes half baked.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The bliss of growth and splendor of beauty

Listen to the salutation to the dawn,
Look to this day for it is life, the very life of life,
In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of our 

The bliss of growth, the splendor of beauty,
For yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a
But today well spent makes every yesterday a dream
      of happiness
      and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day.
Such is the salutation to the dawn.

from the book Earth Prayers From around the World: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Spring

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a botanical gem near the heart of downtown Columbus.  I should know, because I work here!  I am the Experience Designer at the Conservatory and work in the Visitor Experience Department.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Plastic Debris

At work today I taught a class called "Whatta Waste" to a group of seventh grade students.  The class focuses on what waste and pollution are, how they affect our waterways and how communities can be built while keeping water pollution in mind.  When we talked about ocean pollution I passed around this bag of plastic trash.  These plastic items were floating in the ocean and either washed ashore on Laysan Island, or were eaten by large sea birds (like albatrosses), who mistook the plastic for food.  In many cases, the ingested plastic kills the birds who eat them.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Down at the Lake

Kenneth and I took a walk after work today - we have an awesome 'back yard!'  Kenneth was watching tree swallows swoop and glide over the water as they snatched up insects.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Time and Relative Dimension in Space

This photo won't make much sense unless you are a Whovian, or fan of the British sci-fi show, Doctor Who.  The blue box is the TARDIS and it is in front of a print we have of Vincent van Gogh's painting Wheatfield with CrowsThe photo is in honor of my favorite episode of Doctor Who, "Vincent and the Doctor."  

Rusty Bucket - Bexley

Rusty Bucket is one of our 'go-to' restaurants in Columbus.  It's conveniently located (one is near home in Upper Arlington and there's one near work in Bexley), has a great family friendly atmosphere, has vegetarian options (for my mom and sister) and has a fantastic gluten-free menu!  I have never ordered anything from Rusty Bucket that I did not love! 

Last weekend when my parents were in town to visit, we had a very late lunch at Rusty Bucket in Bexley.  This location is just a minute or two in the car from the Conservatory - it's also right next to the Bexley location for Jeni's Spendid Ice Creams, and just down the road is Cherbourg Bakery (the best gluten and nut free bakery in Columbus!)!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Olivia and the Kitty Blanket

Olivia is my little shadow whenever I'm home.  If I'm sitting on the watching tv or reading, Olivia is either under a blanket with me, or sitting behind me on the back of the couch, which is where she was just a little bit ago tonight.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blue-Banded Purple Wing

I saw this lovely Blue-Banded Purple Wing butterfly (Myscelia cyaniris for all the Lepidoptera nerds out there!) in the South Pacific Island Biome (informally known as the 'butterfly garden' or 'butterfly room') at the Conservatory today.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gluten-Free Rhubarb Pie Bars + Recipe

Two food photos for my 365 Day Photo Challenge in a row and each with their own recipe?!  I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen!  In our family, my husband, Kenneth, is the cook and I am the baker.  Kenneth makes a mean grilled cheese and I bake him delicious cookies and pie - it works wonderfully!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Strawberry-Rhubarb Yogurt + Recipe

Today I made a fruit compote which I then pureed for fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt!  I used strawberry and rhubarb for the fruit and vanilla Greek yogurt (store-bought, I'm not DIY savvy enough to make homemade yogurt... yet).

I hybridized two recipes to come up with my strawberry-rhubarb yogurt, Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote from Low Fat Cooking on and How to Make Your Own Fruit-Bottom Yogurt from Simple Bites.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Columbus Fish Market - Grandview Heights

Columbus Fish Market is my new favorite restaurant for seafood!  I share this opinion with many other Columbus residents, as the Columbus Fish Market just won the (614) Magazine's ColumBest award for "Best Seafood."  CFM won with 39.22% of the votes, beating out Mitchell's Ocean Club and Bonefish Grill!

We ate here for the first time after Kenneth's White Coat Ceremony for Vet School last weekend.  We had a large party with us (family and friends who came to support Kenneth) so we made reservations a few days prior.  The White Coat Ceremony ended over an hour earlier than we expected and the staff at CFM were able to move our reservation forward by an hour which was fantastic!

Pet Photo Contest - Best Pose!

We had a pet photo contest at work for employees - I of course had to enter pictures of our little 'pride' of cats: Olivia, Emma and Amelia.  All pets won a prize - ours won 'best pose' and I got to bring home a bag of chicken Whisker Lickin's treats for them to share.  This was a really fun way to get to know my co-workers - we all have really cute pets, several of which were found in Franklin Park - just like Amelia!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Squirrely Business

Edited using PicMonkey

My parents came to visit Kenneth and I in Columbus today - and everyone came with me to work!  Today I facilitated Family Fun at the Conservatory (we read Skippyjon Jones books, planted catnip and cat grass, and Skippy visited with the kids!) and Kenneth and my parents volunteered - it was a lot of fun!  

Visiting Family + Crabapple Blossoms

These are yesterday's photos of the day.  Pictured left to right are my husband (Kenneth), myself, my sister (Brittney) and Brittney's boyfriend (Cam).  We were all home for Brittney and my cousin Amy's wedding.  The outdoor wedding was wonderful and the weather was perfect - Amy was a beautiful bride!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Summer Showhouse Flower Show

This awesome bromeliad (which is sending up a bright red flower stalk) is just one of 500 now filling the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse at the Conservatory for the summer Showhouse display.  The current display, which is inspired by the work of Brazilian modernist landscape designer, Roberto Burle Marx, includes 500 bromeliads, a waterfall, two bromeliad "trees" (the plants are displayed on a cone shaped tower - making them look like a large tree!) and a planted wall mosaic of bromeliads.  This show will be on display until June 2 - come and check it out! 

Check out the Conservatory's website for more details - and come back here soon for a post about the Conservatory!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Greetings from Amelia!

Hello!  This is Amelia, our youngest and tiniest cat!  She is a very shy and sweet 3 year old, reddish brown tabby cat.  I found her as a stray kitten in Franklin Park a few months after I started working at the Conservatory.  She's been a very cute and comical addition to our family here in Columbus!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Bar

Gluten-free goodness! This strawberry-rhubarb pie bar is made with gluten-free flour and fresh rhubarb from my parents' garden. My recipe is based on Smitten Kitchen's blueberry crumb bars.