My Lexington, Kentucky Adventure

Two weekends ago I headed to Lexington, Kentucky for the first time in over ten years. My sisters both went to the University of Kentucky, so I used to be a frequent visitor but I’m amazed how much has changed since my last visit!

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L’Escalade Fitness

I had an amazing time at this gym (This is a photo of my friend climbing, I stupidly forgot to have her take a picture of me climbing). The gym was gorgeous and I liked how the climbing routes were laid out. While I do like my local climbing gym, L’Escalade made climbing a lot easier with more decipherable routes. This was my first time doing top rope and while the walls were exceptionally high, I couldn’t deny how much fun I had. While my back and asthma failed me a few times, I almost climbed as high as my friend did in this picture. I did a little bit of bouldering as well but not much.

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West Sixth Brewery & Smithtown Seafood

I had the Lemongrass American Wheat beer when I made my first stop to West Sixth Brewery. I have heard so much about this brewery, I was completely excited when I saw the amazing selection of beers to choose from, and if we weren’t already heading to Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale I would’ve had more than one drink. I had the scallops from Smithtown and having the chance to eat these delectable scallops with the beer from West Sixth was like heaven. The scallops reminded me of the ones I had when I went to Pompano Joe’s in Destin, Florida two years ago. I loved everything about this place, especially since there’s good seafood attached to great brewery.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

I went to the Woodford Reserve with my boyfriend last year and it was amazing, so I was jumping for joy when I heard that Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale was on the bourbon trail and my friends were able to go. The visit was only $10 and you were treated to an hour or so tour and four samples of your choosing. There were so many to choose from! I made the joke that it was like choosing between children (I didn’t say it was a funny one). I ended up choosing the Kentucky Bourbon Ale Stout, The Town Branch Bourbon, The Pearse Lyons Reserve and the Bluegrass Sundown. The Bluegrass Sundown was ammazzzinnggg. You do have to put some work into it, but I did take a video of the wonderful tour guide making it. Unfortunately, the video is a bit dark and you can hear my basically salivating the entire time because I keep saying yum. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and friendly; it was nice to see someone who really loved her job giving a tour.We were also lucky because most of the equipment was only four weeks old! So we saw the latest and greatest alcohol making technology.

 

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Wine Bar & Bistro

I had a great time eating a wonderful chicken pasta with vegetables and an olive oil sauce and some white wine. Everything was amazing and they were great about going around my lactose allergy because the olive oil sauce wasn’t even on the menu. Definitely stop by if you’re in Lexington!

The Anchor-OTR, The Rook & Senate


Yesterday I wined and dined myself through Over The Rhine. I had a spectacular time feasting at The Anchor for lunch and later in the day I came back to have dinner at Senate. Lastly I went to the new bar I was dying to check out on Vine, The Rook. I was lucky enough to stop by The Anchor for lunch because it was my boss’s birthday. I had The Sunset Spritzer, and it was fantastic and I also had the flounder over some asparagus, mushrooms and carrots as an entree. While lunch was tasty, the dessert was probably my favorite part. We had the rye brownies and salted caramel pudding and they were absolutely delightful! While I had been there for dinner before, I found it to be a bit on the expensive side. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the prices for lunch.

I came back later that night to have dinner at Senate. Despite the fact that Senate is actually known for their gourmet hot dogs, I couldn’t deny myself from getting the Lobster BLT (Which I stupidly forgot to take a picture of because it looked so delightful). I purchased a kitten fizz as my cocktail, and while it was definitely beautiful, it wasn’t exactly my taste. While I think the bartender did a good job, I just didn’t like the soda with the vodka mixture as much as I thought I would. I also had the duck fries, which were divine.


The Rook (Sorry that the last picture is so grainy) was glamorous. The Rook is a new bar that offers a variety of board games while you drink (Basically two of my most favorite things)  I didn’t have the chance to play a game because my friend and I were just stopping in but it was definitely as cute as I hoped it would be. I got a “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Margarita”, but next time I’m excited to try the Pretty Pretty Princess drink that comes with a candy necklace and contains cotton candy. At first I thought it only had one floor so I thought it was very small, but then a friend pointed out that they do have an upstairs…. yeah I didn’t figure that out. I was probably too distracted because everything was completely adorable and looked like fun. I almost expected The Legend of Zelda theme song to start playing throughout the bar. They even had a game concierge that offered to get us a game if we’d like. It was a wonderful end to a fun day!

Top Ten Ways To Maintain Your Mental Health

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Hey everyone! I know I never post anymore, but I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. I really do miss writing but I’ve been taking a mental health break because a lot of crap has been going on. I’m fine, but I needed some downtime and wanted to give myself the least amount of responsibility as possible. I was balancing wayyyyy too many things. Anyways, while I was gone these were the things that kept me sane. I hope these tips can work for you!

  1. Sometimes you need to take a sick day when you’re not sick. When you feel like you’re at a breaking point, take a day off. Nothing is worse than an emotional explosion that has you crying in public. Try to avoid these situations by take a mental health day and allowing yourself to sleep in and unwind.
  2. Think of projects that can keep you busy. Are you like me and have a yard that looks like Secret Garden, but like the first shot of the garden where everything is dead and sad and it looks abandoned? Yeah, you might want to spruce it up. Even if you’re lacking some cash just rake a few leaves, or pull some weeds around your home. It’ll make you feel better and your neighbors might appreciate you a bit more. Don’t have a garden? Sew, play video games, do a puzzle, cook or scrapbook. Productivity is key. I tend to make lists of all the things I need to do. I love crossing things off when they’re done.
  3. Let yourself get lost in a TV show or book. I personally find myself wrapped up in books but occasionally I will get way too obsessed with characters in a show (Game of Thrones stresses me out on a weekly basis).
  4. Find a new place to go. I like to try new places, it takes me out of my comfort zone and puts me in a whole new mindset.
  5. Help someone with an issue they’re having or make someone’s day better. I like cooking and baking so I’ll make someone something and it’s my little way of improving someone’s day.
  6. Ask yourself, if this going to damage or change my life in the next year, in the next five years or the next ten years? If the answers to one or all of those are yes, then well you have a bit of a problem on your hands. You might want to dwell on the issue for a moment, but don’t let it consume you. Realize that you will have this problem for awhile and that you have time to think it over. If the answer to all of those questions are no; don’t spend time on it. It’s going to be over, it sucked but move on.
  7. Hike or exercise. I usually am bad at taking this advice, but when I do finally get my butt in gear, it helps. I also hate jogging, thanks Parks and Recreation, so I mainly find sports/activities that make me forget I’m working out.
  8. Write down everything that makes you happy. It sounds dumb but when you finish the list (most of the time) you will see all of the things that make you feel happy and want to reconsider your bad mood/mindset.
  9. Listen to music. It could be really sad, happy or really loud. I personally go back to me “emo” days and listen to screamo music and shout the lyrics. However, listening to sad music makes me more pensive and I end up writing.
  10. Scream curse words (hopefully in a place where people won’t stare at you… unless that’s your thing). Say the worst things imaginable. This relieves stress, believe me. However, curse responsibly  🙂 .

    How do you maintain your mental health?

MadTree Winter Bonanza!

 

 

Hey guys! So my blog is going to have a lot of postings about beer this week and next week cause it’s Beerfest season baby! This post in particular, however, is about my favorite brewery, MadTree and their three year anniversary that happened over the weekend. Prepare yourself for rather blurry photos and me-gushing about how much I love this place, but how claustrophobic I felt once I was there.

MadTree is definitely my favorite brewery in Cincinnati. I do love all of my other Cincinnati breweries, but MadTree holds the key to my heart. I think it was one of the first craft beers I have ever had. I mean fricken Rubus Cacao is the beer of dreams and legends (Pictured on the wooden table above). My best friend and I look forward to Rubus now since our first sip last year at Beerfest. Rubus is a blend of chocolatey, raspberry goodness that makes any stout lover a fan immediately. I have to admit, I wasn’t AS big of a fan as the canned version, but when I had it on draft at MadTree on Saturday I practically cried. It was amazing.

Anyways, this post isn’t going to be completely about my devotion to MadTree stouts, it will be about the Winter Bonanza! First off, I had to park about a half a mile away from MadTree, it was packed. We took a shuttle bus over to the brewery where things were hopping… well not hopping because there were over a thousand people there, but you get my drift. There was wall to wall people. Beers that were set to be tapped at a certain hour were gone in minutes. I mean it was chaos. We also had a Bones Burger, which we waited an hour for. This sounds like a lot of complaining, I’m attempting to not sound that way. The burger was fantastic and the beer was delectable but I think MadTree didn’t expect the pandemonium they received. I know that they’re in the process of building a new MadTree in Oakley, which I’m eager for, so I will definitely cut them a break.

So if you’re bad with crowds, you might want to pass on the Winter Bonanza next year, but I highly recommend the brewery and the atmosphere MadTree presents in general. I have boasted about them a lot before, but they really are a sight to see, and drink to!

My Experience With Anxiety

I have talked about having anxiety before, but I have never delved into the topic. I have started many entries with this subject in mind but I have never published them because I was afraid to talk about it, or admit my problem, if you will. While I know I shouldn’t be embarrassed, since I have nothing to be embarrassed about, it’s hard for me to admit when I am not in control of my own body. Having anxiety is a subject that is relatively new to me. I never really dealt with anxiety until three and a half years ago when I moved out of my parent’s house. Perhaps my anxiety started because I was living on my own for the first time, or maybe it was because I was in my mid twenties and was truly growing up for the first time. Working full time in general was stressful. I’m not sure if these factors contributed to the anxiety, but I do know that when I moved out, everything changed.

I love living on my own and having my own sense of independence, but when I moved out, it was a drastic change. I hate to quote, oh who am I kidding I love to quote, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” However, Ben Parker in Spiderman was right. When I moved out I had a whole new outlook on life and myself. I no longer had the option to work full time, I had to. I had all of these bills to pay and life became increasingly more serious as time went on. Despite the benefits of being an adult, there are always cons, but I never thought I would be one to handle these responsibilities with fear.

The annoying thing about anxiety is the lack of sensibility about the ordeal you’re going through. Brushing off the conflict is usually unfathomable, or at least it is for me. I can somewhat reason with myself, but other times I have to concentrate on small things that are insignificant to take the focus off of my worries. Breathing is a huge part of it. I sometimes can’t tell if I’m having an asthma or panic attack. Granted, I usually need my inhaler after I have a panic attack, so they probably go hand in hand. I concentrate on my breathing because I don’t want my blood pressure to rise anymore than it probably already is. I spell difficult words in my mind, I exercise. This is how I keep a small shred of sanity. I also talk to one of my best friends who can commiserate with me and knows how to calm me down. My boyfriend also has a knack at putting my mind at ease.

Since I have admitted that I have this problem, I encourage others to do so as well. I hate saying that exercising has helped because I feel like I’m going against my Gilmore Girls tendencies by working out (Despite the fact that Gilmore Girls probably shouldn’t be hating on the exercise as much as they do) but being healthy helps. I’m hoping that since I don’t have extreme anxiety that I can go through my life by making minor adjustments and learning new coping techniques. However, I am trying to keep my feelings in check and I’m monitoring if these new routines and techniques are helping in case I might need further help.

 

This post was presented in a more conversational format than usual because I am merely talking about my experience and I would love the advice of others. I really am uneducated about anxiety but I’d always love to learn more. So please feel free to comment with advice or with your experiences. Thank you!

 

10 Things I’m Looking Forward To In 2016

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  1. Broad City season 3. It’s the little things. But no, really, I’m looking forward to it, Abbi and Ilana are my heros. I want to see Game of Thrones too but I’m still all bummed about one of my favorite characters dying.
  2. I’m kinda thanking my lucky stars that “Let It Go” from Frozen is not being played as much or referenced… However I did just ruin that by referencing it now. Crap.
  3. It’s an even year, which supposedly means good luck. Let’s see about that!
  4. The possibility of starting to exercise both at the gym and bouldering. Maybe now, I can be buff for the first time. Hey it could happen! I have a friend that’s getting a gym pass and my boyfriend has one so there ya go.
  5. I’m excited for Beerfest at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati. It’s one of my favorite events to go to each year. Last year I even interviewed a brewer and self defined beer snob, Kory Roaden. Craft bbbeerrrrrrr!
  6. I’m excited for the possibility of a vacation for next year. I’m not sure where I’ll go, but I see a beach in my future.
  7. I’m excited that I’ll see my bff next year. It’s been way too long, but he’ll back from Spain soon(ish)!
  8. I am excited to really get into books again. Since my library days are sadly over, it’s been a bit harder to find good books, but I’m going to make reading a priority again this year.
  9. Having better cooking/baking skills. I’m trying to expand my culinary skills and thanks to some Christmas presents this year I think I’ll be getting better!
  10. Starting out a new year. We can always pretend it’s a blank slate, right?

Coffee Please and Stone Bowl

Tis the season to try new food and new coffee! Since I started working in Ohio again, I’ve been introduced to new food and coffee shops and I couldn’t be happier. I love trying new places to eat and drink in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area, so please suggest new places for me!

The pictures above were taken at Stone Bowl Ramen in Oakley, Ohio. I almost missed finding this place at first, it’s quite small but there is a large neon sign, so that helps. Unfortunately, sushi wasn’t available that day, but I did get to try chicken ramen. The nice thing about Stone Bowl, is that a lot of their food is “healthyish”. For example, I got the ramen (First picture on the left closest to the camera). It’s a MSG free stock broth, and the majority of the  food items involve vegetables and there’s hardly any fried food options. However, I did of course get the pan fried dumplings, which is probably the least health conscious item on the menu. My friend got the beef stone bowl bibimbap (Pictured right).

We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals, the service was great and I liked the atmosphere. Overall, I don’t know if I would go with the ramen again because I bet it’s better spicy, but my taste buds can’t handle it. My ramen was a bit plain as a result, but it was nice having something hot and more filling than soup. I did like trying something new, and I would love to try the bibimbap, their version of chicken fried rice or their chicken kastu the next time I go.

I recently received a cup of coffee from a coworker from this marvelous place called, Coffee Please about two months ago (Coffee Please is close to the Indian Hill area and is off Miami Avenue). All this time I have not been to the coffee house personally, but I graciously accepted their coffee from my coworker once a week. I was entirely too curious about this wonderful place that served coffee drinks with almond milk (I’m lactose intolerant so this helps) and they have a variety of coffee options to choose from. When I went there this morning I was pleasently surprised that they had a menagerie of coffee beans that I could take home and brew myself. Sadly, I limited myself from buying anything more than a cup of coffee since I have three bags of coffee at home. There were so many flavors, and the place reminded me of a slightly smaller version of Coffee Emporium. Everything was adorable, tasty and wonderful. I’d highly recommend the white chocolate almond latte. It’s divine!

Christmas is Judy Garland

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It’s not Christmas unless Judy Garland is singing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. Alright, I’m going to bestow onto you the bit of trivia I always annoy people with. Judy Garland was the first person to EVER sing this song, and she did so in the movie “Meet Me in St. Louis”, which premiered in 1944.

This is my favorite Christmas song and I cry almost every time I hear it. It resembles much more than your average typical Christmas song. It talks about dealing with the troubles ahead and trying to maintain Christmas spirit instead of being miserable with problems. I have a few female celebrity crushes, and Judy is definitely one of them. She was a classy lady who had a lot of crap to deal with. Judy Garland sings it so beautifully and with such conviction. It really sums up the movie and the way everyone should think about the holidays.

What I’m really trying to say is, there’s a lot of things going on during the holidays. I have been worrying and stressed, and I have good reason to feel those things, but I also need to stop and concentrate on what’s happening now. The rest of the holiday break I want to spend it with an optimistic attitude. It’s Christmas after all. If we don’t keep our hope, what is there?

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Also, if you missed it, Hazel Hayes did an adorable 12 Christmas movies all in one take video! This Dodie Clark video is kind of adorable as well. ANNNDD just a side note, She and Him’s version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is kind of great too.

The Top 10 Unattainable Things I Want For Christmas

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Hey everyone, so this is a rather dysfunctional/unattainable list of things I want for Christmas. I realized that when you’re an adult your wants and needs change a bit; hope this makes you smile!

  1. I want a dog. I know what you’re thinking, isn’t that possible? Nope. I wouldn’t be home enough with the dog and vet bills and food are outrageously expensive.
  2. I really want someone to do yard work for me in the summer. You know that ugly rug that’s on my outdoor steps? Yeah, can you get rid of that and make it look less disgusting? Thanks! Would you like to plant the flowers that make my home look less lame? Awesome.
  3. I really want a three week trip to Italy and then Spain and London so I can visit my bestie. Get on that.
  4. An unreasonable amount of coffee, while we’re at it can it just somehow replenish itself automatically.
  5. Ditto on some craft beer, preferably Rubus Cacao from MadTree.
  6. Less anxiety. Yeah that’s be great. Could I just cut that personality trait out of my life. It’s be awesome to not have a mini freakout once a day… or at least  could I not freak out AS much.
  7. I don’t want anybody to tell me to jazz it up or put my creative juices into something I’m doing. Whether it’s decorating or creating a fluer. One, juice sounds gross unless you’re talking about fruit (Still gross if it’s vegetable). Two, jazz isn’t all that funky. It’s mainstream…. kind of.
  8. I really want to watch Christmas movies but I only want the parts I like. So I want a basic cutout of each of the movies I want to see to be apart of one long montage. Yep.
  9. I want to be able to sleep when I want to sleep. Like an on and off switch. I keep falling asleep at parties and it’s starting to become a problem.
  10. Lastly I want all of my family and friends to be happy. I want this more than anything. This has been a really good year for me for multiple reasons, but I know that’s just how I feel. I want everyone I love to be healthy, happy and singing some She and Him Christmas songs. A girl can dream!

    What unattainable things do you want for Christmas?

Those who can’t eat healthy… climb!

 

I have always had a problem with eating healthy and exercising. I hate doing both. Sure, I would go to the gym occasionally and I do tend to eat a lot of veggies and fruits, but I still would eat a lot of fast food and the gym thing was never a regular affair. Well… I found something I’m kind of in love with. Climbing!

Climbing is technically called bouldering. You don’t use ropes, you only have your hands and feet to balance on. I typically go to a place called Climb Time in Blue Ash, Ohio. Climb Time, does a great job of challenging anywhere from advanced to beginner climbers. The people who work there are extremely friendly and willing to help. They do offer top rope climbing, but for the most part people choose to use their hands and their trusty mat. Believe me, I definitely need a mat.

This is the only form of exercise I’ve ever liked doing. I enjoy going to Climb Time up to three times a week (I would do more but your hands get raw after awhile). Be aware, this activity is not for those who are afraid of heights or those who want long fingernails and beautiful hands. You will get callouses and you will fall. Also you will get bruises from time to time, but it’s so much fun! It’s like climbing a tree when you’re a kid, except this time you have to be much more method and it’s more socially acceptable.

On the picture to my left you will see black tape lines, I believe this wall is about 10 feet off the ground. The black tape represents an easy course, the red would be a harder and different course, each color tape means something different (This was my first day climbing). So the two lowest black tape lines are where you would put your feet, and the arrow looking black tape that’s underneath the tan looking rock is where you’d put your hands, from there you climb using only the black line rocks for your hands and feet. I know that might sound complicated, but once you start you’ll feel compelled to keep going. If you’re a competitive person (Which I tend to be), it’s easy to push yourself to keep climbing through the pain so you can reach the top (Which is the white rock at the top with black tape lines underneath it).

The picture to the right is an intense bouldering wall. If I would get I would say it’s about 16 feet off the ground? I did the black tape path once, but I believe I might have cheated a bit. It’s scary once you’re up there, but disciplining yourself into only using certain foot and hand holds make the exercise that more critical in your work out and your technique.

What’s a type of exercise do you enjoy doing?

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