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EAT (out)/ EXPERIENCE

A Day in Cincinnati: My Obsession

Cincinnati.  New experiences.  Making memories.  Firsts.  These are some of my positive obsessions.  But I am also a bit obsessive about control.  I like to make the plans.  I like to construct the program.  I like to make the reservations.  I’m sure some of you identify with my struggle.  Well, Saturday, I got to explore the city I love while giving up that control!

Right now I’m participating in an all-church journey called Obsessed. It’s essentially evaluating our obsessions- good and bad. One of my challenges last week was to relinqush control of my time for at least four hours.  I turned over eight hours of my Saturday to two people: my husband and my husband’s best friend, Kenny Frost.

Mind you, on this particular Saturday, I had so many things that needed to be done. Grocery shopping. House cleaning. Blog writing. Appointment making. Grading.  But, in the spirit of the challenge, I let those things go! I got out of bed, shut down the “but you have so much stuff to do” voices, and started my journey.  Not only did I have fun exploring the city, but I also experienced freedom and joy.

I’d love to share with you what my “no-control” Saturday in Cincinnati looked like.  Check out the captions for each pic below.

I started my day at Krohn Conservatory taking in A Garden of True Imagination.

Spring Garden: the color, designs, and perfect imperfections of each flower made me hyper aware of just have special we each are as well.

Next stop, lunch at a VEGAN restaurant: The Loving Hut. I had specific instructions to order something new.

Japanese-style Udon noodles with veggies. Delicious. Trust me, I had never heard of this restaurant before.

I had specific instructions: go to the Main Library downtown and check out 4 things (two of which had to be nonfiction). Even though I LOVE books, I don’t hang out in libraries. My younger self was too loud.

This view of Devou Park never gets old.

Dropping off some sugary sweetness to good friends.

Walking the Purple People Bridge.

Eden Park- I love this pic!

My husband, knowing I like to know everything, sent me instructions in increments.  His notes included things like putting my phone on airplane mode, journaling (he even put my journal in the car), reflecting, and, most importantly, being present.  He definitely challenged my comfort zone in all the right ways.

Now Kenny, a lover of the outdoors, planned my afternoon.  He challenged me to look at the city with fresh eyes. Probably my favorite moment was walking the Purple People Bridge and praying for the city.  I would never have thought of that on my own.

Saturday reinforced my belief in minimalism for sure.  There is so much beauty all around me.  Parks.  Views.  Colors.  People.  Restaurants.  I’d rather spend my time and money enjoying life than gathering things.  But even more than that, I learned that trusting other people to arrange, to fix, and to plan, is actually exciting and freeing.  This has to be one of my favorite days hands down!

GO THERE (Exploring this city)!  TRY THAT (giving up control of your time)! 
Loving Hut Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

EAT (out)

CWC, a restaurant by Cooking with Caitlyn

People continually ask me to name my favorite new restaurant.  Typically, that’s pressure.  But now, I don’t even have to think about it.  It’s CWC!  Points to my husband for finding this gem.  CWC, a restaurant by Cooking with Caitlyn, is located in the heart of Wyoming, a Cincinnati suburb.  Chef Caitlin Steininger and her sister, Kelly Trush, own and operate CWC; however, “Cooking with Caitlyn” is far more than a restaurant; it’s a brand.  In fact, the restaurant is preceded by a radio show, cooking videos, and the publication of original recipes.  Check out their website, Cooking with Caitlin, to access all Caitlin’s recipes.  There are no secrets here.  These sisters love food and are willing to freely share that love!

Caitlin taking a quick break from cooking! Sit at the counter to watch her work her magic.

Right now the restaurant is open weekends only (with the exception of Third Thursdays which I will get to in a sec).  The restaurant opens Friday at 4 pm, Saturday at 5 pm, and Sunday at 9 am.  My first visit to CWC was Sunday brunch.  The entire meal made me smile.  My husband and I shared the special-  a deliciously filling egg-over-pork-over-potatoes dish.  Just know, because this restaurant is fresh and creative, the menu changes.  One thing that hasn’t changed is the Homemade Yeast Donuts.  Do NOT pass these up.  For reals.  These donuts are fried to order, hot, and served with three different creams (Mexican Hot Chocolate, Vanilla, and Orange- Ginger). You need these in your life.  Promise.

Brunch menu.

Brunch.

Sunday brunch.

I recently attended a Third Thursday event with a group of friends.  And it is an event.  Third Thursdays is a time for Caitlin to experiment with recipes that may be on a future menu.  It’s about 9 bite-sized portions of deliciousness. Be sure to make reservations and arrive early.  The bar will be open and plenty of mingling will be happening.

And, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to Kelly who is the nicest, the perkiest, the sassiest, the smilingest host a dinner guest could ask for.  She truly makes you feel like family- like you belong there!

This biscuit with carrot jam made me like biscuits!

Third Thursday.

Third Thursday.

Kelly makes sure every person has a great experience!

I realized, after the fact, that all my pics are sweet treats!  Totally my state of mind.  Please know, Third Thursday isn’t all about dessert.  We tasted kimchi grilled cheese, fish, Chicago-style pizza, shrimp, and the most amazing Brussel sprouts! Between bites, it was all about spending time with friends.

These sisters are special.  This family is special.  Most importantly, the food is special.  Yep.  My new fave; no doubts!

GO THERE (CWC)! TRY THAT (Third Thursday, Sunday Brunch)!

CWC The Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato