Saturday, November 27, 2010

Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls

Recently, I had the privilege of visiting, along with a group of other bloggers, the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills, OH. It was a bit of a surprise to me as I don't usually do reviews, but I am so glad I was able to do this one!

When we arrived, we were welcomed warmly by the desk staff, checked in and went to check out the room. And oh what a room! The entire Inn has a warm, cozy lodge feel, and our room was no exception. From creaky floors to homey, country decor, the room was just right for the night.

After unpacking and staring in awe at the views from all around....

we headed up to the lodge to look around...

and take part in a group Reflexology class (incredibly informative and highly recommended!). After the class, we were able to meet our hosts, Innkeepers Ellen Grinsfelder & Terry Lingo.

We joined Ellen & Terry for drinks and hors d'oeuvres and a brief history of the Inn. We moved along to dinner, usually prepared by chef Anthony Schulz. However, Anthony was busy with a "dinner with the chef" that night and we were graced by an unbelievable meal prepared by the sous chef... whose name I unfortunately forgot to write down. But isn't he cute?

I feel bad about forgetting his name, because seriously? The food was the most sublime, amazing food I've ever had. This dessert?

Yeah, I could've crawled into the bowl and happily lived there forever and ever. Unfortunately, that not being an option, I eventually rolled myself out of the restaurant to check out the fire pit. One of the coolest I've ever seen, it was built by Terry for beauty and safety.

Firepit by night:

And by day (when you can really see how amazing it is):

By this time we were all exhausted, and returned to our comfy, cozy room for a good night's sleep!

The next morning, things were pretty open. We were able to have breakfast at our leisure, and take a look around at the grounds. I was anxious to check out the roof garden (too bad it wasn't blooming, being fall - but imagine a spring or summer wedding up there!!)...

and walk the grounds a bit.

And aw yeah... a little hammock time for me!

We were even able to get into the spa itself and look around some. The pictures most certainly do not do The Inn, Spa, or grounds justice. Not even close.

Before we all left this relaxing, soothing place, Terry took us for a tour of a couple of local caves. I have lived in Ohio for most of my life, and I can honestly say I've never seen anything like this area. Just a small sampling:

In complete honesty, I could've taken a thousand more pictures and not captured even 1/1000000 the beauty of Hocking Hills. In visiting the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, I was a bit concerned about not having cell reception or access to wireless, and being completely disconnected - meaning I couldn't check in on my kids!! However, it was peaceful, relaxing, and the boys? Were just fine.

Bottom line... the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls would make a marvelous getaway for married couples, girlfriends, bachelorette parties, business meetings (oh I didn't get NEARLY enough pics of the new meeting room, but oh so perfect for business gatherings!)... just about anyone. They really do have something for all groups. Leave the kids at home, book a massage, and get some grown up time at Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls!!!

Disclosure: I was given a free weekend at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in exchange for my opinion. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Awesome post coming up!

I've got a wicked cool post coming that you definitely want to come back for! I have about 4 million pictures to go thru first, but trust me - it'll be worth the wait! Not a long wait, mind you - a day or 2 at most to give me TIME to go thru all those pictures and find a way to do the subject of those copious photos justice.

Very soon! Until then... have a great day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I laugh, I obsess, I get all cougary

I laugh.

I obsess.

I get all cougary....

Aren't they just too cute???

Yeah... you're not missing much. More posty to come later!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


We have been so busy lately. It's amazing how these things go... a week with nothing special, then a month of insanity, then a week of nothing. Of course about half the time I think we have a nothing week there's something I've forgotten.


ANyway... trick or treat is this week! Just me and Kyan again, I think. I dunno. He's going as Mario this year. I got him a Luigi costume too, which he wears to play in, but he wants Mario for trick or treat. I should find someone to go with us so it'll be more fun for him.

Jaben's gotten too big to trick or treat, so I don't know what he's going to do. We don't really get a lot of kids on our street, so maybe he'll go pass out candy with a friend? I can't really see him staying home, but maybe? Pretty sure he's wearing a costume for school, but don't know what.

Hopefully tho I'll have some good pics of Ky in his costume cuz it's adorable!!

Be safe all!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Kids are out of school today but I am at work! Um... posting to my blog.

So yeah.

I had Kyan at the ER last Sat night with a scary-high temperature. After 14 yrs I'm not a panicky mom, so trust me when I say this fever was BAD. They gave him a rapid strep test, which came back negative, and sent us home. He seemed fine Sunday so I thought nothing of it and sent him to school Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday evening, around 9:30pm the hospital called to tell me his "real" strep test was back from the lab and it was positive.

Oh. Oh no. I sent a kindergartner to school with strep for TWO DAYS! Oops. With an older kid I might not have stressed too much, but 5 yr olds are gross. They spit, snot, and drool all over the place and each other. So we probably just gave his entire kindergarten class strep. Yay.

He's on antibiotics now and is no longer contagious. He better not be - he's at a classmate's house for a play date today while school is out. Of course that boy has already been exposed, so it's too late anyway.

We're going to have a fun weekend anyway. Kyan's last soccer game is tomorrow morning, then we have a birthday party in the afternoon. Tomorrow evening, I'm going out with some girls for some much-needed fun. Haunted house, followed by some drinks - should be a LOT of fun! Sunday we're going to visit my best friend from when I was a kid, and her family. I haven't seen her in just over 15 yrs (can't believe it's been that long!) so it's going to be a really neat afternoon.

Little over 2.5 hrs left to go until the start of my crazy-busy-fun weekend!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Toooo fulllll.

I am way too full of veggie lasagna. Yes, low-fat veggie lasagna! That was dinner last night and it was soooo good I had it for lunch again today. But oh my I feel full. I'm pretty sure I'm within decent limits (really need to get back on the calorie counting!) but I'm not liking this overly full feeling. I will say tho, I think it's due in part to my jeans being just a touch snug. They're generally fine, but after sitting in them for hours on end, they are feeling a bit restrictive. Ugh. In say, 2 weeks (?) they should be fully comfortable for an entire day. So I can live with it for now.

One thing about the increased veggies? How 'bout some TMI gas? Oh yeah, that's FUN! I'll be stopping at Walgreens after work for some GasX or similar. This? Isn't pretty. Good thing I have my own office!

Last night's exercise was a poorly executed attempt at kickboxing, followed by 10 mins of Latin dance after I gave up. I didn't work as long as I'd planned, but I did work hard and end up sweaty and glowing. I consider that a victory! And a lesson -- from now on I stick to the dance-style workouts. I really enjoy those and have a better chance of sticking to exercise I enjoy.

Onward and downward!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Not enough sleep = too much food

Is it just me or does everyone eat more when they're overtired? Saturday night Kyan had an extremely high fever and had to go to the ER in the middle of the night. We were there for hours and subsequently didn't get much sleep. He's fine, btw.

But Sunday, we slept until 10:30, obviously didn't go to church (couldn't take a sick kid anyway) and spent the (warm, beautiful) day in the house. He was supposed to be resting, but since the Motrin finally brought his temp down and he was feeling better, he wanted to play. He was very, very sad he couldn't go outside, and I was tired, crabby, and overfed. It was not a pleasant way to spend the day. It ended well, with all 3 of us sprawled out on my bed watching the Simpsons, so it could've been worse, but it also could've been tons better.

One day of being derailed isn't anything to get too upset about. It's going to happen and I need to get my mind set that even when it does happen I'm not going to let it completely derail me. One bad day I can live with, a lifetime of bad days will kill me. So I guess I keep plugging along.

Tonight is Kyan's drama class at 4, then we're having veggie lasagna for dinner. It's a new recipe and I can't wait to try it! I'm pretty psyched! I love this whole foods/veggie rich way of eating! I'm hoping to go on a bike ride since this isn't church cleaning night, but if not I'll do some sort of workout -- Zumba, tai chi, or find another good aerobic work out. I need to check my OnDemand channels and see what I can do for free! IF the dog will let me. :-S

So, it's Monday, and while the weekend didn't go quite how I hoped, today is a new day starting a new week. Begin again!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Eatin' plants gives ya energy

Whoda thunk it? Eatin' plants gives ya energy! And boy is that important to me these days! I'm in terrible shape -- horrible. Well, unless you consider round. But that's "a" shape, not "in" shape. Which is what I want to be.

So I eat plants. And have started trying Zumba, and tai chi. I just grabbed some youtube videos and use those, but it still counts in that whole "eat less - move more" thing. So it's good. Plus, I can feel that my muscles have worked! Not sore, not pain, but worked. This is very, very good.

See, the past 2 years have been very rough and I've allowed myself to sort of give up on taking care of me. Eating too much crap, not exercising enough, letting how stressed I feel decide what I eat and how I behave rather than kicking stress in the teeth and fighting back. The time has come to FIGHT BACK! Because seriously, when your 5-yr old pats your belly and says, "Mommy, we have to get some weight off you," you have a problem.

But not for long! I'm reclaiming my former healthy, exercising, not-eating-everything-in-sight ways and will get back to myself sooner, rather than later. W00T!

And since it's been a while, gonna post pics of my boys. I can't believe how big Kyan is:

and how GROWN UP Jaben is. How did he get to be a high school freshman??

Those? Are 2 very good reasons to take better care of myself. I want to be around to drive them crazy for a very, very long time!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Prog rock = addicting!

Everyone's got that one band or two they love that most people haven't heard of, don't they? For me, it comes down to a few progressive musicians or bands that aren't very well known, but should be. Most people don't understand why prog is it's own genre, but if you do some googling, you should be able to figure that out pretty quickly! I just want to point out 2 of my favorites because I've been listening to them pretty much constantly recently.

First, the incomprable Kevin Gilbert. Go here to check him out. He is AMAZING! The world lost a musical genius when Kevin passed. My 14-yr old son loves him too and that makes me SO proud! I knew the kid had good taste... just like his mama! :-)

Today I'm listening to Spock's Beard. Also awesome. Still around, however with a different lead singer than they had when I first heard them. Check it out, totally worth it.

Now, I completely understand that neither of these may be your cup of tea, and that's cool. The world would be a colorless place if we all loved the same things. I just wanted to highlight the music that makes me happy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Maybe not

So much for taking advantage of that child vacation. I worked, got some stuff accomplished around the house, and missed my boys. That's it. No big epiphanies, no soul searching, just.... hanging out, missing my kids.

At some point I know I'm going to have to figure out life without them, but Kyan is only 5 so I don't feel any real pressing need. Right now, this is my life. I work, sure, I do a few things "on the side" to keep my hand in with creative graphics (job does NOT require creativity!), but first and foremost I'm the mom.

And you know what? That's okay. It's my choice. I could do other things, I'm sure. People tell me I need to do some things for myself and I'm sure I do sometimes. But it's not priority for me. My priorities lie with my boys, and because that's what I choose - they're what I choose - it's all good.

I do reserve the right to change my thoughts on this at any time, but right at this moment, I'm cool with where things are. For now, let's just go with that.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Child vacation!

I should be excited about my boys going on a trip with their grandma to visit my sister and her family in Delaware. And I am, for them. For me? Not so much. I had to stay here and work, which isn't a big deal, it's just that I'm going to miss them.

I don't know how to come home to an empty house, without hugs. Or go to bed without goodnight kisses and deep inhales of sweaty little boy neck. I don't know how to go a whole day without saying, "Did you brush your teeth?" or "Did you put on deodorant?" I don't know how to go about the day-to-day not acting as Mom.

But I guess that's something I need to learn. Sure Kyan's only 5, but they're not going to be at home with me forever. Maybe it's time for me to begin to discover again who I am besides mommy. Mommy is my favorite title tho, so that's tough. However, I think it'd be best for me and for them if I take this week to begin to figure that out. Or begin figuring out how to figure that out. Or something.

Anyway, the boys are gone for a week and I'm on my own. And the only plans I've made are to grab some Chinese takeout on the way home and then get some groceries.

Exciting, right?

Friday, July 02, 2010

She lives!

I abandoned this blog some time ago, but this week I came back and read thru the entries and was amazed at how many of my boys stories I'd forgotten! What an amazing thing to have!! Kyan was 14 mos old when I began blogging and is now 5 and ready to start kindergarten! Jaben was 9 - now 14 and heading into his first year of high school! So much time has gone by, so many things have happened... so many stories undocumented.

A lot of things have changed since I stopped blogging semi-regularly, probably too many to write about right now. However, since I've decided to try to start up again (w00t!), some of those things will probably be mentioned. So, that's good.

I want to change the name of the blog and will be thinking about that, as well as the design, because neither of those things really feel right to me at this point. But! More stories to come, hopefully more humorous than not.

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaackkkk!!! And hopefully will eventually gain some readers. Cuz don't nobody come here no more.