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Archive for the ‘Spring’ Category

basilAfter reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle last summer, I wanted to go live on a farm and grow everything we eat.

Since that really isn’t a pratical option right now, I started a container garden in the back patio of our apartment.

I bought the plants last weekend at the Worthington Farmer’s Market and the OSU Chadwick Arboretum Plant sale last weekend with my mom and dad. The OSU plant sale is over, but many of the farmers I talked to last weekend said they would have plants at this weekend’s farmers market.

Our garden has three different tomato plants, Sunburt, Brandywine, and Sprite plants, along three basil plants, dill, chives, lettice, and edible flowers. I’m still hoping to get a few more herbs.

I planted everything while the munchkin was at her dad’s. She is so excited about helping me water the plants. As soon as I told her that we were going to have a garden, she started looking for her watering can that we use in the bathtub.

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downtown-1This weekend was a great weekend. On Friday night, we (and the gallery) surivived our visit to the munchkin’s first art gallery. In the car on the way home she kept asking, “Why couldn’t I run in there?” Really?

Then, we drove through a freak monsoon and had dinner at Jeni’s. (You can have ice cream for dinner, right?)

We also had out-of-town family in for the weekend, and we took them to some of our new favorite places in Columbus. Every place we went this weekend was kid-friendly – as we had a two-year-old and a six-month-old with us.

We went to:

Jeni’s – Everyone loved Jeni’s ice cream, of course. And, yes we went there twice in one weekend. My new favorite flavor is Queen City Cayenne (new to me, not Jeni’s). The munchkin usually eats at least half of my ice cream, but I had to explain that this was chocolate with hot sauce, and she couldn’t try it. Her comment was, “I’ll eat hot sauce when I’m a big girl.” Yup, in our house, only the big girls eat the hot sauce. (This is a conversation we have a lot, as I put hot sauce on a lot things.)

Ying’s Teahouse and Yum-Yum in Clintoville – This is my new favorite Chinese restaurant in Columbus. Everything that we have eaten here has been amazing. Our favorites are the crab ragoon and veggie/tofu dumplings. The staff were also very nice and accomidating with the kids.

North Market’s Artisan Sunday – This was our first Artisan Sunday, and we will be back. They are the first Sunday of every month. We got cute hair scarves from Emily Kitturah-Westenhouser and an adorable apron and cupcake hat from Circa Circus. Every mom needs one of Emily’s cute hair scarves. Perfect for bad hair days.

Corner Cafe – We loved their sandwiches and their patio. It was the perfect weekend for an outdoor lunch too. We got three different sandwiches and shared them. They were all amazing. My favorite was the Fig & Proscuitto

We had a great weekend showing off our city and hanging out with our family.

[Photo credit: Columbus]

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bike-trail-2This weekend we finally broke in our new bike trailer, which I love.

We biked the Heritage Bike Trail in Hilliard. It was a great trail for our first trip with the trailer because the trail is flat and wide.

For the most part, the munchkin was pretty happy riding in the trailer. I packed lots of snacks and books for her, and she ate and read her books for most of the trip. Towards the end of the 12 mile ride, she got a little cranky and slept for the last three miles.

The only negative to Heritage Trail is that because it so flat, the sun was beating down on us for almost the entire trip and because it was so windy on Sunday, the wind kept blowing the bike around. This bike trail certainly isn’t my favorite trail and I don’t know if we’ll bother riding it again this year, but it was a good way to test out the trailer.

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menus_0602-cherry-blossoms3With this beautiful weather, we are planning on being outside all weekend!

I’m so excited for this nice weather. The windows are all open and we are ready to get outside.

We’re planning on breaking in our “new” bike trailer this weekend on the bike trail. Here are some ideas on what to do when the weather is nice in Columbus:

Slate Run Metro Park and Farm – This is our favorite Metro Park in Columbus! If you have not been here before, you should definitely check out the farm. Read this post

Playgrounds – Some of our favorite playgrounds around the city – Read this post

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – We haven’t been to teh zoo in months and I know the munchkin is excited to go again. Read this post

Hiking in the Hocking Hills – If we didn’t already have so many plans for this weekend, we would definitely be heading out for some hiking. Read this post

[Photo: Bloosoms]

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capital-building

I have never appreciated Columbus more than after visiting Washington D.C. for a week. I love visiting big cities, but I’m sure that I don’t want to live in one. For one, the traffic in Washington is awful – a normally 15 minute car trip can take over an hour in rush hour. On the local NPR station, they had rush hour reports until 8 p.m.! That would never happen in Columbus. Anway…

We went to D.C. because my sister lives there with her husband and two kids. My sister and I spent a week in the nation’s capital trying to entertain two two-year-olds (which was fun) and keep them a their nap schedules (which didn’t work).

We didn’t visit many of the traditional tourist sites, because taking a two-year-old on a White House tour wouldn’t be that fun. We did find some great things to do in Washington D.C. with two two-year-olds and a six-month-old:

National Aquarium in Baltimore – Our first day in DC, we drove up to Baltimore to visit the National Aquarium, which was packed because it was spring break. My daughter is currently obessesed with the movie Finding Nemo and she loved the aquarium, spending the entire time looking for a clown fish – which thank god they had. The aquarium is a great place to take kids. The only down side was that it is expensive. The kids were free, but the adults were $24 each! We also didn’t think to order our tickets online, and the aquarium does timed entry, so we had to wait an hour and a half to get in.

National Gallery Art – On our second day out, we took the kids to the National Gallery of Art. My sister, aunt, and I got to spend about 15 minutes looking at some beautiful Impression art during which we kept the kids quiet by feeding them snacks in their strollers. When they started screaming we moved onto the museum’s basement – which was the highlight of the trip to the musuem for the kids. What the kids loved about the museum’s basement was the walkway underneath the National Gallery. The walkway is a slightly bouncy moving escaltor surrounded on the ceiling and walls by lights that “move.” We rode the walkway about 10 times. The kids loved it!

Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore – On our last day, we took the kids to the Port Discovery Children’s Museum, which they loved. This is a fantastic children’s museum that appealed to our two-year-olds. There was a room specially for children under 4 years old that was great for our kids. The room was quieter than the rest of the museum, and the little kids were less likely to get run over by older kids. Definitely worth the trip up to Baltimore.

pret_bigPret A Manger – We also took the kids to a few restaurants during our week in D.C. We had Turkish, Italian, and French. My daughter ate her first creme brulee, gelato, and chocolate croissant. And yes, the kids had a few breakdowns in the restaurants. Some of the restaurants and their employees were helpful and accommodating. Some were anything but.

After one of our sight seeing trips, we stopped at Pret A Manger for lunch. I love Pret A Manger, and was so excited when my sister told me that D.C. finally got a branch of this great chain. I fell in love with the restaurant during my last trip to London. They have terrific, fresh lunch food.

However as important as the food, the employees of the Pret A Manager in downtown Washington D.C. were the nicest and most helpful restaurants employees I have ever met. Our two-year-old had the meltdown of all meltdowns in their restaurant during their lunch rush. The employees quickly offered a free cookie to the screaming two-year-old (never, ever under-estimate the power of a giant chocolate chip cookie) which instantly quieted her, helped us carry our tray to an open table, and were completely gracious to us. We thanked them by getting take-out again later that week and not taking the kids in the restaurant. By the way, their food is amazing! I love their Brie sandwich. If you are in D.C., definitely stop by for a quick lunch. I am hoping that one day Columbus will her own branch of this fantastic chain.

[Photo Credit: Capital Building, Pret]

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flowers

Happy first Day of Spring, and where is our warm weather?

I am ready for Spring and to get outside. This has been a long Ohio winter trapped inside with a two year old.

This week, my purchases have an included a plastic tricycle with a push handle for the munchkin and a bike trailer that attaches to my bike for her to ride in. We got both used and at great prices – from Once Upon a Child and craigslist.org. We have already taken her bike for a ride around the block and made a trip to the playground this week. 

I can’t wait to take the munchkin for rides on Columbus and Cleveland’s bike paths. I hope that she loves riding as much as I do. 

[Photo: Flowers]

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