cheapside

some friends are opening a new breakfast / lunch / coffee spot and we stopped by a few weeks ago for a plant consultation and to tour the space. with stark white walls and floors set against wood tables, benches, and bars made from reclaimed wood the restaurant epitomizes the simplicity, minimalism and functionality of scandanavian design. all of the interior wood is reclaimed tongue and groove longleaf yellow pine from a factory in Hamilton, Ohio and the patio fence will be made from red cedar coming from a farm in Moscow, Ohio that was previously an artisanal crafts school that offered green woodworking, blacksmithing, and raku pottery. the story and the respect for the materials that make up the restaurant along with the light that poured through those windows on what was a cold day make me want to live there. coming from tested restaurant owners who breathed life into a cincinnati staple, the rookwood, the same thought that went into the design of the space will surely be put into the menu. expect food and coffee that echoes the design of the space, ridiculously good in it's simplicity.

knowing that they wanted to keep the space clean and modern but also wanted to bring some life in we settled on some beautiful succulent filled ceramic vessels for the tables and a few for the walls. i'm thrilled for fern studio to a part of what these talented guys are doing and can't wait to share photos of the finished space. the kids approved as well! thank you robin mckerrell photography for grabbing your camera and snapping these great photos of cheapside's biggest fans.

cheapside

cheapside

cheapside

cheapside

over the weekend

559672_551651461548609_1702654511_n

photo from the city flea


we had the best of weekends here. friday night i was able to go out for drinks with one of my best girlfriends, just us, no kids. and friends let me tell you how much i needed it. i am so glad that we are back here where i had formed some of the most valuable friendships of my adult life. just a few hours out chatting and i feel like i reclaimed a bit of my self. saturday we spent the morning working on some projects for my next venture (more on that later). after naptime we headed downtown to park ourselves on the grass at washington park for lumenocity, a display of light projections on music hall synchronized with a live performance by the cincinnati symphony orchestra. we grabbed a couple of pizzas from a tavola and had a nice picnic with friends waiting for the sun to go down. the sun goes down after the kids normal bedtime so it was a special treat for e to stay up. i am a firm believer that children benefit from routine but i was excited to see how she would experience the performance. shortly before the show started she started to get a bit delirious but then they passed out glow sticks and all was good. she was mesmerized by the light show. it brought me so much joy to see her eyes light up, hear her gasps and her, "wow's." as each song ended she would shout, "bravo!" and i about died from the cuteness overload. having kids and seeing things through their eyes really does make everything better. sunday i took my little family to sugar and spice for brunch (their first time) and then we spent the rest of the day working on more projects before having a nice grill out. i couldn't have asked for a better weekend. thank you cincinnati for constantly reminding us what a wonderful decision we made by coming back. i love this city!

tourist

washington park

washington park

i moved to over the rhine in 2004. at the time there wasn't much around except the coffee shop i worked in, a few galleries, a couple of bars and late night pizza windows. i sat in those initial meetings when 3cdc presented their plans for the community to a room full of hopeful yet skeptical residents. over the last few years over the rhine has become what many early residents had always hoped it could be. leaving otr and cincinnati in late 2010 was heartbreaking in a lot of ways but mostly because i was leaving right when things were getting good. every time we returned to visit family there was a new restaurant or store for us to try out. the energy of the community always made it hard to leave. now here we are, back in cincinnati, and i feel like a tourist in my own town. i still can't believe how much it has changed. the greatest transformation is washington park. the beautiful wooded greenspace has transformed to include a dog park, interactive fountains, an incredible play ground, and holds events almost nightly from live music, to free yoga, to a movie night. we have only been back in cincinnati for two weeks and have already been there 5 times. you can expect many more photos like these as eleanor is the park's biggest fan.

two years and a new beginning

2 years and a new beginning\

today marks two years of marriage and the day we leave holland. i find it incredibly fitting that as we begin our third year of marriage we also begin the next part of our life as a family in cincinnati. it has been an incredible year for us as a couple and the process of taking this next step forward has made us even stronger as husband and wife. today i am grateful for all that i have in stijn as a partner and a friend. i am proud of who he is as a man, a father, and a husband. here's to another year's adventures together.