ALL/ EAT (out)

Pizza, patios, and pints in Cincinnati!

Today’s post is all about celebrating the three P’s: pizza, patios, and pints.  All delicious.  All family friendly.  All perfect for summer.  Let me give you the 411 (does that totally date me?) on a few of my favorite spots to sit down, relax, and enjoy.

Hoppin’ Vines in Kenwood:

Close to the Kenwood Mall, Hoppin’ Vines is a big, open, airy spot both inside and outside.  The two patios are lined with hanging baskets and filled with comfortable seating (plus a television or two for you sporty people)!  While this is not a brewery, Hoppin’ Vines focuses on serving up beer from local Cincinnati brewing talent.  All your local favorites on tap in one place!  It also boasts a pretty extensive wine menu; thus, Hoppin (beer comes from hops) Vines (grapes grow on vines).  Clever naming, right?!  And whether you are a drinker or not, the pizza, served by Delicio, is coal fired and pretty spectacular.  Plus, those dry rubbed wings are out of this world.  Up for a little game action? Try the Duckpin bowling inside the restaurant.  Super fun.  

Little Miami Brewing in Milford:

This is my new favorite place to relax.  Little Miami Brewing is an airy warehouse with a great breeze inside and awesome  seating outside overlooking the Little Miami River. If you sit outside, which I highly recommend, there are picnic tables and Adirondack chairs ready for you.  It’s not uncommon to see people in kayaks and canoes park along the bank and walk up for a beer and a bite; same with bikers popping in from the Milford Bike trail.  A local brewery, Little Miami features small batch craft beer brewed on sight.  Think various IPA’s, sours, stouts, and interesting flavor combinations.  Get a flight to try all the latest brews.  Plus, the pizza is crazy good and the salads are light and refreshing.  Speaking of pizza, I’ve had their brick oven Buffalo Shuffle Pizza, Carlito Taco Pizza, and the Margherita Pizza.  Yummy!  Be sure to check out their event schedule online for trivia nights, open mic nights, and more.  

Taft Brewporium in Winton Place:

Close to Spring Grove Cemetery, Taft Brewporium pays homage to William Howard Taft who supposedly loved a good pint or two!  Taft Brewporium is essentially a big warehouse where beer and pizza are made under the same roof.  The pizza served at Taft Brewporium is New Haven Style Pizza so the crust is thin and crispy- just my kind of pizza.  The Tomato Pie with Mozzarella is classic, simple, and super tasty!  If you enjoy craft beer, Taft features new beers all the time and you can find brews here that are only sold at the brewery!  There are lots of games including shuffle board, corn hole, and giant jenga to entertain family and friends.  As someone who is all about supporting local businesses, I love that Taft, in addition to events like live music and trivia nights, also has summer markets where local vendors set up shop inside the brewporium; be sure to check out the next market, Saturday, June 29th from 11:30am to 5:00pm.  

I have nothing against bars, don’t get me wrong, but what I like about these places is that family is included.  These are local gathering spots where you can sit outside, relax, have a drink (or not), share a pizza pie, and enjoy the summer.  As John Lomax, anchor on channel 12 news said in my segment this morning, “it’s almost like having a picnic” but in this case, you just show up and the rest is provided for you!

If you’ve been to Hoppin’ Vines, Little Miami, or Taft, I’d love to know your favorite pizza and beer!

GO THERE (Hoppin’ Vines, Little Miami Brewing, Taft Brewporium)!  TRY THAT (A flight of craft beer, a delicious pizza, a table outside)!

ALL/ EXPERIENCE

Woodhouse Day Spa and Self-Care

I’ve taken a break from most things blog related because, well, it’s been a rough few months. Tragedy at work and health issues in the family have left me unable to write about much; my head and heart haven’t been in the game.  Until now.

This is a quick post about self-care. We all need it. Now I’m not saying we have to go to the “treat yo’ self” extreme of Tom and Donna in Parks and Rec. I’m not talking about maxing credit cards on shopping sprees, but rather intentionally doing things that better our emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental well-being. This might include counseling, exercising, meeting a friend for coffee, getting plenty of rest, going on a weekend hike, driving with the windows down while listening to your fave tunes, reading a good book, and getting a massage.

Cheesy but so true!

I haven’t been so good at this lately because life has been crazy; however, I am intentionally pursuing it! I have a book by my side, I’m leaving for vacation today, I’ve started eating healthier again, I’ve contacted my counselor, I went on a hike last weekend with friends, we’ve taken drives with the top off the jeep, I got air in my bike tires, and. . . I got a massage and facial this week.

This leads me to Woodhouse Day Spa. Woodhouse is my “treat yo’ self” place. There is no spa as peaceful and relaxing as Woodhouse. Think plush robes, essential oils, and berry-infused water. Think expertly trained massage therapists and skin estheticians with calming voices and the perfect touch. I’ve been a visitor to both the Montgomery and Liberty Woodhouse locations and each has been a needed oasis.  A time to feel spoiled.  A time to rejuvenate.  A time to breathe deeply.  A time to  clear my mind.

Trust me, whether you try a facial, massage, or sleep treatment, you will be gifting yourself some incredible self-care. Every single time I’ve visited Woodhouse, I’ve left feeling better about myself – the stress just melts away.

All. The. Details.

The quiet room. I thought about moving in.

Ahhh, an extensive facial! No makeup- don’t care. Curly hair- don’t care. My skin has never felt so good.

When life gets hectic, or the bumps in the road throw us off course, we often forget to take care of ourselves.  But, after awhile, we aren’t any good for anyone else.  And if you’re a fixer and a doer like I tend to be, you truly enjoy doing for others; remember though, like most things in life, it’s all about balance.  So cheers to taking better care of ourselves and not feeling one bit guilty about it.

P.S.- The new location in Liberty Township is about 10,000 square feet of pure bliss. And, they are running a special this month- get a premium facial and receive 40% off skincare items during June.

Whatever you do, just take care of YOU.  Yes, you are worth it! Yes, you matter!

GO THERE (Woodhouse Day Spa)! TRY THAT (self-care, facial, massage)!