Close your eyes and you can hear it: the rhythmic rush of waves against the shoreline, a seagull singing in the distance, and the wind urging you closer to the water. You can feel it, too: gritty sand between your toes, the change in texture as you near the edge. It may seem drab in these colder months compared to the vibrancy of summer, but it’s Big Red’s moment to shine off in the distance. The old lighthouse is a pop of color against a cloudy sky. You’ve been here many summers before, and yet, it’s like it’s the first time all over again.
It was an honor to help highlight a local foster mom with a lot of love to give. She is so full of life, very open about her journey, and has a beautiful story to tell.
For more information and to see her full story, check out Necco.org.
This was a new location for me— a local Cincinnati Bed and Breakfast with historic vibes and plenty to explore.
Each room had a different feel, from wood panels and deep tones, to light and airy spaces upstairs, to fresh fall on the surrounding grounds.
It was the perfect place to play and you can just see the energy this family brought.
Six Acres Bed and Breakfast sits on— you guessed it— six acres in College Hill, not too far from Downtown Cincinnati. It’s cultural significance and historical context alone make it worth a visit as it’s unlike most places you’ve been.
Check out Six Acres Bed and Breakfast here.
I love traveling and seeing new places. The climate, landscape, architecture— it’s all different everywhere you go.
Florida makes me think of beaches, blues, and sandy hues, so it was a pleasant surprise to capture the greens and golds of the land further in.
Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, FL is one of the sunshine state’s oldest and largest parks. The Myakka River itself flows through 58 square miles of scenic wetlands, prairies, and pinelands. If you’re into hiking, boating, kayaking, fishing, cycling, photography, seeing gators, or the great outdoors, this is the place for you.
Learn more at FloridaStateParks.org.
Exploring a new place is lots of fun, especially with the right people. It’s been years since I hung out with this family, but we were actually in the same city for a day and headed out somewhere we’ve never been. I think it’s safe to say we found exactly what we needed, and it’s not something money can buy.
It was an honor to spend the day with Evie, owner and baker of Meli Cincinnati. It’s a local home bakery offering made-from-scratch, Greek island-inspired treats that taste as scrumptious as they look.
All of these decadent items were made fresh, and I can’t tell you how delicious it smelled at this photoshoot. Sweet honey, flaky layers, buttery-soft toppings, powdered sugar sweetness, and the scent of just-made Greek coffee. Yep, this is my happy place.
For more info and to order, check out MeliCincinnati.com.
I grew up playing on the sandy beaches of Michigan every summer, so to me, beach sand is Michigan sand. There’s a comforting density to it, a familiar feel.
Holland State Park Beach in Ottawa County, Michigan is a wonderful place to visit. Even in the colder months, it’s breathtaking and serene. It’s not over-crowded, a hidden gem with great views. If you ever have the chance to go and spend some time at the beaches and parks of Michigan, I highly recommend it.
Check it out here.
Soon-to-be parents are really fun to hang out with. They’re all smiles, anticipating a journey they’ll come to understand one day at a time. There’s no real map, and every day can be different. For many, it’s the ultimate adventure, and I love hearing about it every step of the way.
Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville, Ohio is a beautiful garden noted for its wide variety of environments and sections. It’s maintained with impeccable care, and you’ll definitely want to bring your walking shoes so you can take it all in.
Visit their website for more information.
Fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year. It’s everything combined: sweaters, chrysanthemums, falling leaves, pumpkin pie, vibrant colors, and multiple opportunities to catch up with family.
How blessed we are to have relatives just a manageable car ride away, and even more so that they are both family and friends. Watching them bloom as parents is one of the best things this fall.
The first time I met BJ Kim of Cincinnati’s own Red Sesame Korean BBQ was at Fountain Square. He had a few moments before opening for the weekday lunch rush, and we talked about his dive into the food industry.
BJ used to work in dental implants, believe it or not. A job transfer brought him to Cincinnati, and one of his favorite ways to explore a new city was through food. Early visits to local eateries began inspiring him to create something new for the city: Korean-Latino fusion.
They say it’s in the sauce, and it’s really true. Red Sesame is known for its three signature sauces, all made from scratch. They’re colorful and flavorful, perfected to a gourmet-level blend of sweet and savory. You’ll definitely want to bring some home!
BJ’s food truck debuted in 2012. Today, it’s the iconic orange and red truck many of us have come to love. After much growth, BJ went on to open his first brick and mortar location in 2016 just inside the Eastgate Jungle Jim’s. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s definitely worth a visit. It’s a larger space, so there are additional items at the restaurant that you might not always find at the truck.
Visit redsesamebbq.com for hours, location, truck info, catering, menus, and more.
There’s something special about sprawling fields, open sky, and fresh air. Time slows down at the farm, and greetings seem to last longer. It’s back to paper maps, exploration, and mud on your shoes.
On the farm, every moment is an adventure.
Gorman Heritage Farm is an educational working farm nestled in Evendale, Ohio. It offers 122 acres filled with everything from farmyard animals, hiking trails, extensive gardens, a bee area, and the list goes on. You can also take classes, rent the farm for a wedding or event, check out their annual sunflower festival, volunteer, or take a tour.
Visit gormanfarm.org for hours, location, special events, and more.
Since 1993, the Franklin Park Conservatory has wowed families, students, and individuals from all generations with their breath-taking display of all things plants, nature, and art. It's a frequent spot for photographers, a popular wedding locale, and a relaxing place to stop and enjoy fresh air.
But don't be fooled: it's not just a place to look around. Sure, it boasts everything from an expansive conservatory (of course) to a palm house, outdoor botanical gardens, a children's garden, and even a community garden campus. It's Chihuly glasswork art is incredible, blended perfectly with the florals around you.
These offerings mixed with easy parking alone are worth a visit, but the Franklin Park Conservatory goes above and beyond with the experience it offers. Learn to be an orchid master. Find out how to bake the perfect loaf (awesome, right?). Or get involved with their amazing arts and sciences summer camps and community outreach programs.
I was fortunate enough to visit the Franklin Park Conservatory with family on a recent visit to Columbus. It was great to return here after so many years away. I had forgotten how each room has such a different feel, transporting you almost to another world.
The Palm House is large with multiple striking pergolas nestled into forty-three different species of palms, accented by a round water feature at one end. Natural lighting make it a photographer's dream and the prized location for weddings and group events.
The general Conservatory stretches into multiple wings of the building and includes the Himalayan Mountain, Rainforest, Desert, and Pacific Island Water biomes. These are literally different themed rooms decked out with plant life suited for specific climates. It's the perfect backdrop for a variety of shots all in one place. There is also the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse (which features a cycle of gorgeous floral displays all year long) and the Grove and Zen Terrace (a rooftop garden with a variety of art pieces, a vertical fountain, bonsai, and more).
Check out fpconservatory.org for hours, planning a visit, and more.