Early Stop on the Underground Railroad

If you are traveling southwest Ohio I recommend embarking on a little trip to Ripley, Ohio.  Ripley sits on the Ohio River east of Cincinnati.  It is a town rich in history.  One of the most popular spots to visit in Ripley is the John Rankin House.  It is a national historic landmark.  John Rankin was a Presbyterian minister and abolitionist who is estimated to have helped over 2000 slaves escape to freedom.

The little house is estimated to have been built in 1826, making it over 200 years old.  The grounds are natural & beautiful providing a fantastic view of the Ohio River.

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Overlooking the Ohio River

Parking is free, but hours are limited, so check the museum schedule before heading out. Cost is around $5 per person to tour the house.

After overlooking the Ohio River from the John Rankin House, we couldn’t help but get a closer look on the River Walk along Front Street in Ripley, Ohio.  We recommend a stop Rockin’ Robin’s Soda Shoppe to get ice cream and watch the boats on the river.

The Parker House  is also on Front Street, Ripley, Ohio.  Parker was a former slave, inventor, and abolitionist.  Another house on Front Street is known as the Signal House.  It was owned by Vic and Betsy Billingsley and is where the attic lantern signaled Reverend Rankin that it was safe to cross the river leading slaves to freedom.    

If you want something a little more filling Cohearts Riverhouse is also on Front Street, Ripley, Ohio.  My daughter and I have eaten here and enjoyed it.  The food and service were good.

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Moyer Vineyard Winery & Restaurant

Another dining option a little further east up the river is Moyer Vineyard Winery and Restaurant .  My daughter and I ate here a few weeks ago.  What we really enjoyed here was the restaurant’s setting on the river.  I bought a bottle of River Valley Red, but haven’t tried it yet because I’m waiting to have someone to share it with 🙂 .   It is described as a soft, mellow, moderating dry red wine and is made from grapes on the property.  I’ll update you after I’ve tried it.

Needing a place to stay?  Brown’s Motel in Aberdeen, Ohio is modest & inexpensive.  It’s right across the river from Maysville, Kentucky which is also a historic little town (and home of Rosemary Clooney) worth exploring.  I’ll tell you more about it another time.


Have you ever been to Ripley,Ohio?  Tell us about your favorite place to visit when there.

Gifts for Dad

Eleven more days until Father’s Day!  Who is easier to shop for than good old dad?

This post is chock full o’ links because I am spilling over with ideas for gifts for dad.

My dad is a grill master.  He loves to receive gifts like this  grill set, gloves for handling hot stuff, or Jim and Jack Together At Last.  If your family has a new bundle of joy any proud papa would love a father baby matching set.  Awww.

If your dad is a beer drinker he could probably use a bottle opener  , or maybe some helpful socks,  or a natural wood flight paddle.

What hobbies does your dad enjoy?  Does he like to play guitar? Maybe he would like a new guitar pick, or a key chain.  Every dad I know loves music and gadgets and would swoon over this little gift that covers both!

Or does your dad spend his spare time out hitting the links?  Why get him a magazine subscription when he could be practicing his game instead?

Uh oh –  Don’t get me started on dad jokes 😀 😀 😀

No matter what makes your dad tick.  I’m sure he is the

Best. Dad. Ever.

 

3 Terrific Gift Ideas

I want to share with you the gifts my children gave me for Mother’s Day because I think they are terrific ideas for birthdays, graduate, anniversary, or even bridal.

My oldest son lives in California and he and his fiance sent me the first two seasons of Pushing Daisies  and  The Big Book of Pies and Tarts.

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Pushing Daisies is new to me.  I’m part way through the first season and so far it’s meeting the description of quirky and fun.  I can’t wait to cook up some of the delicious recipes in the cookbook.

I think this could also make a great birthday, anniversary, or bridal gift.


My oldest daughter and my son-in-law live in Florida and they sent me a terrarium kit.

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My daughter recently joined a garden club and has been learning about succulents.  She knows I am interested in trying my green thumb on them too.

I think a terrarium would make a great gift for a birthday, anniversary, or the graduate going off to college.  A tiny little garden could give a touch of home to a dorm room or to anyone who occupies a small space.  Terrariums are a fun way to bring a little outdoor life to an office cubicle too.


My youngest daughter gave me a beautiful handmade card.  I love orange and pink together so this card is right up my alley.

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“Life comes with a mother, not a manual.  I think you are great at being the manual.”


These ideas can be used for a family member or friend that you know well, but they are also terrific birthday gift ideas for someone you aren’t as close to – like a neighbor or co-worker.

Here’s the video of me creating my terrarium.  Let me know how you think my terrarium turned out and I’d love for you to give me any tips you may have for keeping my little green friend alive.


Read our blog to find inspiration for gifts and life.

Shop online or check us out at an upcoming event.

 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

love makes all hearts magnet

I was listening to the radio on my drive to work yesterday.  The DJ was asking moms to call in and say what they wanted most for Mother’s Day.

Their answers? – The overwhelming response was SLEEP!

The moms that called in said they wanted to sleep through the night uninterrupted. They wanted to sleep in. They wanted a day without having to take care of everybody.  They wanted to be pampered.

If this sounds like a mom you know we’ve got some last minute gift ideas.

If she wants sleep why not give her pajamas or a fun sleep mask or some embroidered pillowcases?

If she doesn’t take time to pamper herself consider getting her a manicure or pedicure (or both!)  I don’t think I know any mom who wouldn’t appreciate this gift.

Here are some other great last minute gift ideas your mom or wife is sure to love:

A mug for her coffee or a new water bottle.

Bath salts, bath bombs, or lotion.

A picture frame with a funky flower.

A Journey of Grace angel.

A Willow Tree figure

A rose pin.

A flag for her garden.

A plant pick in a beautiful bouquet or pot.

A glitzy pen from Bauble Lulu.

Any soccer mom or baseball mom might like a new chair, spirit wear, a scorekeeper, or sunglasses.

Suzy Toronto coasters or prints.

Still not sure or need more ideas?

Check out our Mother’s Day  board on Pinterest.


Read The Real Truth About What Moms Want for some other simple ideas for Mother’s Day.


We’d love to hear what you are giving your mom this Mother’s Day?

Or tell us what was the best Mother’s Day gift you ever received?

The Real Truth About What Moms Want

Flowers are lovely.  Jewelry is exceptional.  Perfume is wonderful.  Chocolate is heaven.

But do you want to know the real truth about what moms want for Mother’s Day?

It’s something more valuable than all that.

Mom’s want your time and your love.  Period.

It’s that simple.

We know we are hard to deal with sometimes.

We know we aren’t perfect.

We know we don’t always deserve it, but we want to know that you love us anyways.

We want to spend an hour or two (or as many as we can get) looking at the beautiful faces we brought into the world.

So instead of giving mom a cut bouquet, what about spending some time planting flowers with her in the yard?

Take her to lunch, dinner, or a movie.  Or make her dinner and afterward chat on the patio or in the living room.

Make something together or take a class together and learn something new.

Take an hour out of your day and give her a ring on the telephone or Skype or FaceTime.

Go on a walk with her.


 

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Photo by Jon Flobrant.

For the mom of young children I’ve heard of people giving time a different way.  They give mom time to spend alone – a day off from the kids.  This is a great gift too.  Moms need time for themselves, but be careful with this one.   Mother’s Day may not be the day she would pick to spend away from the kids.

It would be nice to have Mother’s Day off from cooking and cleaning and all the other repetitive mom chores.  So consider that as an option for the day.

The real truth about what moms want for mother’s day is that this is one of those days where your presence is more important than presents.

Spoil her with your presence so that she can’t possibly doubt that you love her.Tweet: Spoil her with your presence so that she can't possibly doubt that you love https://ctt.ec/oBZIf+


What’s your favorite way to spend time with your mom?

Feature photo by   Alexander Dummer.

Why are frogs so happy?

Why are frogs so happy?

Because they eat whatever bugs them!

What is a frog’s favorite flower?

A croak-us!



Save the date and buy tickets now for
April 18th 
Frogs & Sunshine Paint Party
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Weedis Victorious

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Comic Latin Plant Pick

If you live in Ohio I hope it is too early in the season for you to be putting this comic latin weedis victorious plant pick in your flower garden.  Beware.  It won’t be long before the weeds will be victorious if allowed.

Now is a good time to be putting down a pre-emergent in your flower beds. Tweet: Now is a good time to be putting down a pre-emergent in your flower beds. https://ctt.ec/dyeHO+

At our house we use Snapshot which contains the active ingredients isoxaben and trifluralin. Another popular pre-emergent is Preen which contains the active ingredient of trifluralin.

Generally speaking these products do not kill weeds.  They simply keep new weeds from sprouting.  Don’t use these products on areas seeded with flowers that have not yet germinated.  It can be used after flowering plants have germinated and are 2 – 3 inches tall.

Taking the time to put down a pre-emergent now will save you from having to waste time pulling weeds later.  Instead you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying your flowers.  These products are not labeled for use on all vegetables.  Be sure to check the label before applying to a vegetable garden.  Also, be sure to check the label to know when it is time for a reapplication.

When in doubt, check the label.  Check the label.  Check the label.  Chemicals can be a great help, but when used carelessly they don’t work properly, or worse, can be harmful.

If by chance weeds become victorious in your yard or garden you know where to find signage for them.  Or maybe you have something magnificent that this would be appropriate for.

comic latin magnificus
Comic Latin Outofcontrolus Magnificus

comic latin bugus
Comic Latin Bugus Devourous

comic latin rabbit
Comic Latin Rabbitas Nibbleum

comic latin plantus
Comic Latin Plantus Unknownus

Which one is your favorite?


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Ahh…1st Quarter In Review

The first quarter of 2017 is over and it’s time to review goals.Tweet: The first quarter of 2017 is over and it's time to review goals.

While creating an editorial calendar in January I set some goals for 2017.   Now that I’ve had some time to work on them I think it is important to sit down and review how I am progressing.  This helps me stay on track and continue positive momentum setting new goals going forward.

Goal #1: Post at least once a week.  In 13 weeks I have made 10 posts for the year 2017.  In quantity my posts are almost on track.  However, my posts have not been regular in timing.  Going forward I want to increase my frequency to solidly hit once a week and do so more regularly.   One way I can do this is to pay more attention to my weekly feature categories like Wrap it Up Wednesday.  Just doing one of those weekly would meet this goal so it is definitely attainable.

Goal #2: Add website pages leading to online store.  This goal isn’t very good because I didn’t make it measurable.  Going forward in the second quarter I will be more specific and plan to add plant picks, garden flags, mailwraps, and Pure of Heart to both website pages and our online store.

Goal #3 Begin placing videos on blog posts.  I did it!   This has been so much more fun than I expected.  To clarify this one:  I would like to post at least 3 new videos each month for the remainder of the year.

Goal #4: Increase number of followers to 500 by the end of 2017.   I didn’t specifically say where I want these followers to be – the blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn – What was I talking about here?

To define this a little further I’m going to say I would like to have 500 followers to Little Gift Shop OH and on at least one social media platform. This goal has so many components to it for implementation that I think I’d be better off to break this down with some sub-goals.  Such as … create interactive posts on Twitter at least twice a month or consider when the time is right and promote posts on social media once a month.

Goal #5:  Monetize website.  I have our Square shop in place and have set up some affiliate links.  My goal for 2017 is for Little Gift Shop OH to be in the black.  I expect this might not be attainable for the first few years, but one can dream right?

Over the next week I will be celebrating my accomplishments thus far and fine tuning my direction for the second quarter of 2017.

How often do you review your goals to help stay on track? Once a week? Once a month? Once a quarter?

What goal have you met or worked on this year that has you most excited?


Feature photo by Christopher Campbell