Yellow Springs Day Trip

There are so many places to explore in Ohio… hidden gems, if you will. So when my coworkers told me about Yellow Springs, I knew it was a place I had to visit.

With fall and colorful leaves hitting Columbus late this year, we pushed our trip right up to Halloween weekend. The weather ended up being beautiful. 

There are numerous hiking trails availble but we chose to check out Glen Helen Nature Preserve. It had so many path options and things to see. 


After a few hours exploring Glen Helen, we went into town to walk through shops and grab food. The buildings were adorable and there was art in every corner. It was a shame we could only try one cafe! They all sounded delicious. I ended up ordering yummy pork tacos from Aleta’s.

To close our day trip, we enjoyed beer flights at the Yellow Springs Taproom. Literally all their brews were great! My personal favorite was Birkensocks, an amber saison. 

But on our way out of town we saw a place called Utters and Putters (or Young’s Dairy)… ice cream and golf, yes please! We hit so many balls on the range that I got a blister. That’s a sign of a good time.


We’re already planning our next trip… only 45 mins from Columbus, Yellow Springs makes for a perfect experience. On our list to check out is John Bryan Park, Winds Cafe, and the Christmas celebrations at Clifton Mill.

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Latest Reads: October 2016

latest-reads

I’ve fully recovered from my “reading hiatus” and have been reading furiously the past few months. Here are some short reviews of books I enjoyed. 

Speak, by Louisa Hall: This book was beautiful. It looks at the possible impacts of robots on humanity but does so in a nontraditional way, blending memoirs, letters, diaries, and transcripts of characters from different time periods to paint an amazing picture. Possibly my new favotite novel. 

I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith: Written from the viewpoint of a young girl falling in love, this book is immensely charming. She’s mature beyond her years and extremely relatable. 

The Passage, by Justin Cronin: Luckily this is just the first book in a trilogy. Science fiction, it builds a futuristic world where a military experiment went wrong. I fell for the characters and couldn’t put the book down. Extremely full of adventure. 

The Fall Guy, by James Lasdun: The only one I wouldn’t recommend. Too simple, obvious and annoying. I flew through it for sake of constant action, but wasn’t impresed. 

Purity, by Jonathan Franzen: From my favorite author, this book delivers. Complicated, disturbing, raw, sad, and real. Anything by Franzen touches me. 

Thoughts on Subscription Services

What is the Subscription Economy? It is a phrase, coined by Zuora, describing the new business landscape in which traditional pay-per-product (or service) companies are moving toward subscription-based business models.

I partake in a handful of monthly subscriptions but have mixed views on their value.

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Not Being Creative Enough

When I read about or see an awesome campaign, news placement, event, or idea, my very first instinct is to panic and dish out self hate. Why didn’t I come up with that? I’m not good enough to do something like that. Those people are so much smarter than me. Blah, blah, blah… 

Rather than making myself feel defeated, I’m trying to actively switch my mindset. No matter what my brain says, I am not unworthy or unable and I can’t let that little voice in my head hold me back. Unfortunately, my first reaction is not positive, but I must remember that I can move past it and on to something more constructive.

Posing proactive questions helps. What about this is inspiring? What best practices from it can I employ? What made this successful? What parts of this do I want to emulate?

It’s also important to remind myself that I CAN do great work. Confidence is a huge component in creativity. It’s easy to recall those times I couldn’t get a story idea or pitch to stick. But what about all those news placements I did secure, those successful campaigns I planned, leads I generated, those great social images I created, the results that I drove, those problems that I solved?

I’ve grappled with this concept my whole life. Am I creative enough? Am I smart enough? Am I good enough?

So to get myself over these reoccurring roadblocks I’ve leveraged my Evernote.

ONE – I’ve started to make notes that list out top accomplishments. What creative work have I done that I am proud of? When did I feel happy? I was surprised how quickly I filled up the page. I have played big roles in not just successful campaigns, but monumental business decisions. Go me!

TWO – Rather than shying away from the successful work of others, I’m now trying to capture them as sources of creativity. I have a handful of notebooks in Evernote that I use to keep track of things I like. Yet I could be better at maintaining them, adding more and referring back. My lists include (1) catchy email headlines, (2) great thought leadership pieces, (3) inspiring business spotlights in the news, (4) cool images and design, (5) social campaigns that were successful, and (6) general marketing ideas that I want to remember.

The only problem is that I often go on long hiatuses when it comes to populating these lists. A lot of the time I am out and about when I see things that inspire me, or I’m in the middle of an important project and can’t stop to capture the source, or my negativity gets in the way. Using my phone camera and screen shot capabilities has been helpful. I can go through what I captured on a weekly or monthly basis and evaluate when I am in the proper mindset.

Some people are naturally creative, while others must work at it. I like to think I fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. So I just have to exercise my brain a little more and give it that extra boost!

It’s also important to remember that I won’t always succeed on my first try. Even if I poured my heart and soul into a campaign, it might not take off right away. I can’t let that stop me.

My new mantra: Find inspiration in the process, not just the outcome.

 

 

Creative Mornings: Magick

The world-wide collaborative called CreativeMornings has officially hit Columbus. It’s a free breakfast lecture series for the creative community. Cities everywhere follow a chosen theme and bring forward guest speakers who embody the given concept.

It should be no surprise that the Columbus Museum of Art is leading the charge with coordination of this gathering. They hosted the very first CreativeMornings Columbus event last month.

One differentiator for the Columbus initiative is that it’s not closed off to the so-called creative or design community. To CMOA the classification of “creatives” is extremely broad. Art is everywhere, everyone can be creative, and the concepts discussed are relevant and enriching to whoever wants to listen. Therefore anyone is welcome to enjoy the free coffee, breakfast, networking, and thought-provoking lectures.

September was all about magic, and Columbus speaker Gabe Michael Kenney brought forward extremely rich concepts to the group. He covered a lot of material in a short period of time, but all of his ideas were very impactful.

I can’t even come close to recapping his presentation, but here is what I absorbed and am still thinking about two weeks after listening…

Magic can be defined many different ways. But Aleister Crowley defined magic as magick, deferentiating it from performance art and trickery. He described it as, “the science and art of making change to occur in conformity with will.” Viewed in this way means that magick exists in everything.

This matches CMOA’s message that anyone can be an artist. Art and therefore magick fits every behavior – writing, walking, dancing, talking, painting, mathematics…

This inclusive concept inspires me. You may not be particularly skilled or the best at something, but you can still be an artist with whatever medium you desire.

Gabe covered so much more but this struck a cord with me. Art as magick and magick as art.

View his entire presentation via video by clicking below.

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October will be all about TRANSPARENCY and I can’t wait to hear what the guest presenter has to offer. Mark your calendars for October 21. See you there!

Independents Day 2016 

By far, my favorite Columbus festival is Independents Day. And it continues to get better every year, but 2016 is going to be really hard to beat. 

My favorite part was the flower installation work done by Sunny Meadows Flower Farm. The festival’s visual commander miss.birdy had a vision to create an environment that made people engage with their surroundings, point, and look at new details. See nailed it. People flocked to the bridge where she set up beautiful seating areas and hung flowers. The space was magical. I’ve never seen so much awe or joy in a crowd. Everyone was enamored with the previously invisible space.  

(Photos from @littlecritters00, @ckovitya, @unikoen, and me.)

The expanded beer tent was also an upgrade. All my favorite local breweries were present and there were even options for wine or mixed drinks. I enjoyed sipping Zauber and Rhinegeist very much 🙂 

There were more vendors this year than ever before. Where Alex and I were set up with a table in the Columbus Idea Foundry there were close to double the amount of people than in 2015. Outside our building, the tents housed tons of exciting local artists and activities.  

I also really loved seeing kids walk through the Columbus Idea Foundry in awe. They were so curious. Alex was demoing how he makes his chess pieces and kids lingered for more than 10 minutes, watching him on the lathe. Many had never thought about how game pieces or other familiar objects were made. Similarly, they hung at the 3D printing stations and virtual reality arena.

I made a purchase, too. I picked up 2 books from Two Dollar Radio. I had never heard of them before, but they publish independent works. Have you checked out any of their authors? Im excited to dive in! 

If you were there at IDfest, what parts did you love the most? Or what did you buy and discover? 

4 Stories I Can’t Forget

There are a few podcast episodes I find myself bringing up again and again in social conversations. The stories are so darn interesting, I can’t stop thinking about them.

1. For starters, did you know that there is an underground crime ring for Venus fly traps?! No joke. Stealing and reselling the plants is grounds for big money and big trouble.

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Criminal – Episode 5: Dropping Like Flies

2. The history of white bread fascinates me. The mass production of sliced bread was spurred when village bakers started cutting ingredients with fillers like saw dust. WHAT?!

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99% – Episode 137: Good Bread

3. You’ve probably seen a Thomasson somewhere but didn’t know there was a name to describe it. They are architectural leftovers or mistakes that are kept and maintained. You know, the second-floor doors that open to nothing, stairs that go nowhere, paths that just stop. There’s a whole story behind how these monuments got themselves a name.

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99% – Episode 129: Thomassons

4. I didn’t realize that other countries handle trash collection differently than we do in the U.S. In Taiwan there are music playing garbage trucks that ride around five days of the week. Residents all bring their trash out to street corners at designated times and wait for the trucks to come by to collect. Even more interesting than the fact that they don’t have dumpsters or garbage cans is that garbage bags are really expensive. The trucks only accept government sanctioned blue bags, so the market and high price is fixed. People are therefore incentivized to generate less trash. This different approach impacts their entire culture.

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99% – Episode 213: Separation Anxiety

 

Challenge to Write More

Whenever I write I feel better, somehow more productive and accomplished. But I don’t write often – I mean look at how sporadic my past blog posts are… Being inconsistent is my biggest flaw (in my opinion). So I want to challenge myself to write more. For no other particular reason than to keep myself accountable, I’m pledging to write a blog post every week through the end of 2016.

This blog doesn’t have a strict “editorial mission statement” or goals for readership, unlike all the writing I do for work. This blog is instead a stream of conciousness around things I find interesting. Being scatter-brained I often get excited about something, but don’t ever really explore it. Surface-level interest. I want to force myself to think about things deeper, take a stand on something. Writing once a week will hopefully force me to do this and go beyond my comfort zone. 

I have an arbitrary list of topics started, but not nearly enough to fill the whole remainder of the year. I’m a little terrified that I might get writer’s block, want to quit, or give up… But that’s the whole point, right? I need to get over my tendency to back out of personal commitments. It’s easy to justify quitting when I’m the only person being let down. When things get hard (or I get lazy), I need to remember the reason I started this challenge in the first place – personal growth and a commitment to my own happiness. 

Challenge accepted! xoxo

Travel Itch: Cbus and Cincy

The past year and a half hasn’t been perfect, and there hasn’t been much wiggle room for travel. But ohemgee do I want to travel. Explore. Learn. Experience. Grow.

I don’t even want to travel far. I want to explore U.S. cities and visit friends. Portland, San Francisco, Austin, NYC, Philly, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans… Really any city that offers a cultural experience, I want to go there. The U.S. is full of so many little cultural hubs, and I feel guilty not knowing about them.

We have some other really important goals and commitments that seem to trump travel, but 3-day weekends are filling up my dreams. I’ve become obsessed. I’ve extensively searched and saved places on Airbnb, have flagged articles with exploration tips, asked friends for recommendations, etc.

Alex is a saint and hasn’t gotten too annoyed with my insistent pleas for travel, asks for a road trip, and tantrums about not being able to go. Always the stoic and responsible part of our duo, he calmly explains again and again why now is not the right time. I know he’s right, but I still manage to work myself into a semi-depression about it all.

So when we had the chance to take PTO and Alex suggested a trip to Cincinnati, I was ecstatic. We even mixed in a few staycation days here in Columbus.

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Continue reading “Travel Itch: Cbus and Cincy”