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Puppy Mania!

Murphy Brown (the dog) has been a grand addition to my life. While she can be a little crazy at times, my boyfriend and I can’t imagine our lives without her.

This post is about the multiple events and places I’ve been apart of since Murphy has come into our lives. I love to keep her active because that gives me some down time and it gives her some much needed exercise. I often take her to dog parks. While I do feel uneasy about taking her, since people have warned me against aggressive dogs and diseases. However, I try to be as cautious as possible. Murphy is up to date on all of her shots, if any dog seems hostile towards her, I immediately scoop her up and take her away from the situation.
Murphy loves to run and while I can watch her gleefully for a few minutes, I can become bored easily. Hence why I love Washington Park in Over the Rhine. I go to Cincinnati quite often since I live so close, but Washington Park is great for dog lovers who have owners who are also beer lovers. Yappy Hour, as shown above, is one of my favorite events downtown. At Yappy Hour, dogs are provided with treats and free food while their owners can enjoy a cocktail.I like taking her there, picking up a beer and then heading towards the dog park section. Personally, I haven’t had a problem with aggressive dogs, but Murphy tends to be an instigator so that doesn’t exactly help matters. I believe Yappy Hour occurs every Thursday night in the summer.

Another event I went to was Paws and Pints at Listermann Brewing Company (As seen above). This event was adorable. There were paw print cookies, free samples of dog food, party hats and lots of happy friendly dogs. This also gave this happy owner a chance to drink some great beer while socializing Murphy. The event was held to celebrate national dog day and it was definitely a hoot!

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Also, here’s a random tidbit from me learning the hard way. It sounds silly but these dog wipes are amazing for getting out bathroom stains that your pet leaves. They’re cheap and effective and they’re great if your bringing your pup to a new place that involves carpeting!

Favorite dog parks in Cincinnati: A tie between Washington Park (But you have to pay for parking usually) or Otto Armleder Dog Park (Free parking and lots of room for dogs to play)

Favorite dog park in Northern Kentucky: Highland Hills Dog Park

 

 

Welcome to Northside

Hey guys, this will be a short post but I thought I would show off one of my favorite places to go in Ohio.

A week or so ago one of my good friends had a birthday and she chose to celebrate at two bars called The Littlefield and the Arcade Legacy: Bar Edition. The Littlefield has a beautiful outdoor area. Despite the rain it was a wonderful day. They have an extensive bourbon collection and they make signature cocktails as well.

Legacy also offers an outdoor patio (Outdoor bar life can be hard to come by in Ohio and Kentucky). They also offered a variety of food options, mainly hot dogs. Legacy did remind me of the bar, 16 Bit Bar, which is located in Over the Rhine. However, Legacy really dedicated their bar leaning more towards a late 80’s/early 90’s feel. They even have old commercials playing continuously by the bar. It’s definitely a place to invoke some childhood nostalgia.

Tell me what bar or restaurant in Ohio I should check out next!

 

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!

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!

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!

GET TO MEET A BLOGGER AND HER CITY

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Hello everyone! I swear I meant to come back sooner but as usual. life got in the way. I have partnered with my blogger friend, Liz, who writes the compelling and highly entertaining blog: Am I Thirty Yet? I pitched her the idea of writing a post where we ask each other about the cities we’re from and are currently living in. Basically, I wanted to have an excuse to talk to Liz and ask her about New York City because both seem awesome! Check out my blog about Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky on her blog!

What’s the worst and best thing about living in New York?
The best is definitely the culture. You really can get anything you want in New York from food to entertainment. If you want to go out, you can always find something to do.

The worst is definitely the pricing. New York is just too expensive and everyday it becomes more and more not worth it. That whole culture thing that I said was the best thing about New York is slowing starting to fade. New York is really starting to lose its character and the people who make this city so great are constantly being priced out.
Do you drive or do you use other transportation from day to day?
I use public transportation to get to work because where I work parking is impossible. My commute to work is actually over an hour because I have to take a train to a ferry and then another train. My commute to work wears me out so I use my car any other time I’m going somewhere.
What are your top three favorite restaurants/cafes in NY?
Hmm, this was tough to just narrow it down to three. I feel like my answers would differ if you asked me on a different day. But here are the three I came up with:

1. Jpan in Brooklyn – This seems to be the go-to place for my friends when they are planning a birthday party or some other event. The inside area is pretty small but they have a nice outdoor eating area that’s really great in the warmer weather. The food is amazing and the waiters are the best. If you go you have to get the tuna dumpling!
2. Royale in Manhattan – Aside from Shake Shack (which I just felt weird putting since it’s technically fast food), this is the best place to get a burger in New York City. This place is all sorts of awesome. Delicious food, it’s cheap, and they have a great patio in the back. I have a thing for eating outside if you haven’t noticed.
3. Bayou Restaurant in Staten Island – This may be my favorite restaurant by default because it’s in my borough so it’s the easiest to get to. But it’s a really great restaurant. The decor is really cool, they have live music, and the food is delicious. They have a really great pre-fixe menu throughout the week that’s inexpensive and gets you an appetizer, entree, and dessert.

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What’s better NY pizza or NY cheesecake?
This is a super easy one for me because I don’t like cheesecake. But I think even if I did I’d still go with the pizza. You really cannot beat NY pizza!

Besides the usual touristy sites, what are some of your favorite places to visit?
My favorite place in New York City is definitely Brooklyn Bridge Park. It gives one of the best views of the skyline, is right under the Brooklyn Bridge (which is my favorite bridge), and it’s right near my favorite pizzeria. Also, Snug Harbor is a great place in New York that no tourist would be in because it’s in Staten Island. Staten Island is literally known as the forgotten borough.

Have you always lived in NY? If you haven’t, why did you move there?
I was born and raised in New York.

What have you learned from living in New York City?
I don’t know if I can come up with one specific thing that I’ve learned by living in New York. But growing up here has just made me who I am as a person. It’s helped shaped the way that I am. I will say one thing that I want other people to learn about New York: we are not nearly as rude as we are made out to be. Sure, we are always on the move and forget how to slow down sometimes but we really aren’t that mean. At lease most of us aren’t.

How crazy are the libraries there? Or are they pretty tame?
Where I live they are pretty tame. If you go into some of the libraries in the other boroughs things can get a bit wild. That’s as far as the patronage goes. But the decor of all NYC libraries are pretty tame. They have a code that they need to follow with the buildings so there isn’t a lot of room to get funky with design.
What advice would you give to someone who’s going to live in New York?
Don’t!!! Just kidding, sort of. If you really want to move to New York, make sure you do a lot of research first. You need to have a lot of money saved and make sure that you have a good job secured. Also, never, ever accept an apartment without actually seeing it. Realtors will lie about everything including the area the apartment is actually in.

Thanks so much for partnering with me Liz! What are some of your favorite things to do in New York?

Friday Favorites: Summer Edition

So some of these are’t necessarily things to do in the summer, but I have been busy trying to kick my bucket list this summer before my best friend leaves for Spain for ten months! Here are some of my favorite nights, meals and activities from my summer so far:

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One of my friends saw that the Residence Inn had a killer rooftop bar. On her birthday we decided to take advantage of this amazing view (the alcohol was also a large incentive). I had a Rooftop Lemonade, which was definitely sweet but also a little strong. When you go for these mixed cocktails, try to make sure you eat dinner first then drink. The view was spectacular, I was glad we went there on a sunny day and while it was crowded, it was worth the small breathing room we got because I was more interested in looking at my city anyway.

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After drinks at the Residence Inn my friend and I decided to spend her birthday dinner at the Yard House. While the Yardhouse is a chain restaurant, I must give them props. Every time I go there I have to get the lobster garlic noodles and a Fat Head Bumbleberry beer. The combination, while expensive, is simply delightful. Also, if you sit on the back patio (which we didn’t get a chance to but we did see it on our way out) you can see a dazzling view of the Roebling Bridge.

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Two of my good friends are moving to New York next week, and while these pictures aren’t of there going away party, we definitely partied. The bottom right picture was when we were at Neon’s in Over the Rhine. I have sung my praises about this bar many times (there’s puppies and a large Jenga set!), it’s going to be sad to not go there with our two friends. Neon’s is kind of a staple of our friendship, so it is a little sad that they’ll only be visiting from now on.

Anyways! After Neon’s we headed over to Horseshoe Casino for dinner. Ok, usually I am not one to write a post about my disappointment in a dish/restaurant, so all I’m going to say is, the night was fun but the food and service was lacking. I would recommend straying away from this place unless your looking to gamble or have some drinks.

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I was a little sleepy in this photo (and somehow paler than usual) but King’s Island is always a good time. Before this outing, we went to karaoke at Northside Tavern the night before. If you haven’t been to Northside, you are missing out! I was sad that they only have karaoke on Wednesdays and sometimes Thursdays, but it was still bearable because I was off the next day. Sorry guys, I’m not going to post my karaoke skills (or lack there of on here) but my friends were fantastic and we had a great time laughing, singing and rooting for each other.

King’s Island was a bit hard to deal with, due to the fact that we were drinking and singing the night before, but it was phenomenal as usual! Despite the dreary day we made a go of it, and because of the crappy weather, we practically walked on rides. Ok, so we did wait 30 min at least for each ride but that’s not bad for this amusement park, usually you wait much longer. My favorite is Diamondback, but The Banshee ride was definitely a thrill!

What have you enjoyed doing this summer?

Throwback Thursday: Bunbury 2015

Remember when I said I was going to write an entry about the Bunbury Festival? Yeah…. sorry that I didn’t do it sooner! I had a great time on my three day adventure. It’s true, I’m getting older, because I swear this weekend wore me out haha.

I won’t go into much detail because I honestly couldn’t say much except that it’s like any other music festival, except I love that it’s in Cincinnati. I enjoyed my yearly intake of Island Noodles and I loved having Eli’s Barbecue there and it was a nice change of pace to see Hungry Brothers with their Kevin Bacon fried (my friend and I settled for Reggae). My favorite bands were Walk the Moon, Reverend Horton Heat, Old Crow Medicine Show was decent, Decemberists, Brand New and of course my boys-the Twenty One Pilots. As you can see, Twenty One Piltots had a HUGE crowd and it was honestly one of their best shows. They have an amazing stage presence.

While I don’t have much to say about Bunbury, I had a pretty amazing time! I might consider the VIP tickets if I do a three day weekend though, because by the end of Sunday I was ready to pass out.

For other Twenty One Pilot reviews click here and here.

Beer and Sushi

Hello everybody! I know that I typically write about beer, and usually it involves Cincinnati beer, well this time I’m writing about a brewery that’s located in Covington, Kentucky!

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This weekend I went to the Braxton Brewery and I was pleasantly surprised with some quite delicious beer. Granted, I only liked two beers on the list (I’m not a big IPA fan) but I really didn’t enjoy their Dead Blow, which is their tropical stout. I bought a growler of it a few days later and was a little disappointed because the version I had was run through their starter coffee, but the lady working there told me that the beer would be rather bitter if the growler contained the coffee they put it through. If you didn’t know already, or if you are new to this blog, there are three things that I cannot resist. Coffee, beer and sushi. So this was a wonderful weekend for me! I am in love with this beer. It was absolutely delicious. As pictured above, I did actually get a flight of beer so I could try the majority of their beers. Wow, only six bucks for a flight? That’s pretty awesome! I did end up liking their Storm beer as well, which is a golden cream ale (No I don’t know what golden cream ale means but it was tasty!), and it was rather charming. While I do love craft beer I will settle for a Blue Moon any day of the week. It’s the only beer that’s more commercialized that doesn’t taste like beer water to me. The Storm beer reminded me of a Blue Moon but it didn’t have that strong citrus flavor that Blue Moon has.

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After we went to Braxton, we headed down to Wabi Sabi, which is a sushi restaurant In Covington as well. If you like Cloud 9 or Ichiban Sushi (Located in Mt. Lookout in Ohio) then you’ll love this place. This restaurant is located on Madison Avenue and is now my go to sushi place in Northern Kentucky! While I really love Miyako, it’s kind of expensive to eat there unless you’re there on a Tuesday when it’s half price. Well Wabi Sabi follows the Ichiban and Cloud 9 menality by always having “half off” sushi. If you like authentic sushi, this probably isn’t the place for you, go to Jo An’s which is in Erlanger, Kentucky. I oddly enough, like the “fake” kind of sushi, the real stuff wasn’t my favorite. So try both places and see what works best for you. My favorite rolls at any sushi place are the shrimp tempura rolls, but try the shrimp crunch roll if you’re at Cloud 9!

What are your favorite places to drink beer or eat sushi?

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