2016, august, blog, debbie, good makery, graphics, myblog, november

Good Makery’s One Last Memory Before School Email

I’ve been helping Good Makery  with their digital marketing and back in August I wrote this blog post and designed in MailChimp this cute email that went out to all of the email subscribers. I’m proud of the playful image, on-brand color scheme, and the educational content of the blog. Before writing this, I didn’t know what a Schultüte was but it’s actually a really neat tradition.

Make one last memory before school!
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How to relieve your child’s back to school jitters

In some European countries, parents give their child a Schultüte (pronounced shool-too-tuh) meaning “school cone” in German. It is filled with candy and school supplies and is meant to sooth the child’s nerves.

At Good Makery we model our packaging after this darling tradition.

You can make one last summer memory with your child by bringing them in to make a gift for themselves, such as a personalized “Good Luck Charm” for back to school or magnet to hang up their “A+” papers.

© 2016 Made For You, LLC + Good Makery® is a registered trademark

Our mailing address is:
1250 Grandview Avenue
Grandview Heights, OH 43212


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2016, august, blog, debbie, myblog, zoo

Nora the Baby Polar Bear

Chillin’ with my Humboldt Penguin 

My mom and I had a mother-daughter day on Sunday and we went to the Columbus Zoo. I have a membership for me and a plus-one there so the two of us got in for free. We made sure to get there bright and early to get in line to see Nora, the baby polar bear.

Nora makes her debut

We finally saw her, after waiting two hours. 

Nora’s parent wouldn’t leave the enclosure 

See, both of Nora’s parents were out in the enclosure at 9am and they didn’t feel like going back inside. The water felt cool and they just didn’t want to leave. So the trainers and zoo keepers tried their best to herd them back in, but with no luck. The polar bears would get close to going inside, only to back out of the door, and stand around for another twenty minutes. Everybody was chanting “Go, Go, Go!” whenever they would mosey on over to the door.

Nora wants the fish, but hesitates to jump in the water 

Around 11am, they both finally went inside and Nora came bounding out, and there was much rejoicing.

“Hey ya’ll. I’m Nora.” -Nora the baby polar bear 

She eventually hopped in the water to munch on some fish and cool off. She’s gotten a lot bigger since the last picture I saw of her. It was amazing how many people wanted to catch a glimpse of her. The line snaked all the way past the entrance to The Polar Frontier.

2016, august, Baking, blog, debbie, myblog, recipe

My Late Summer Apple Pie

Dough + Apples + Butter = Yum 
I was talking to a co-worker about how I had a lot of leftover apples from the farmer’s market and I wanted to bake something with them and she printed me off this apple crostata recipe.
I definitely altered the recipe from the original. For starters, I didn’t make my own pie crust, I bought the pie crusts, I also didn’t use orange zest and I didn’t use allspice. 
The pie came out tasting really good and was a huge hit with my roommate and boyfriend. 
1 package of pie crust for the top and bottom 
3  apples
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place one of the pie crusts in a floured pie-shaped baking dish 
For the filling, core and cut the apples into 8ths. (I sprinkled my apples with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown) 
Cover the pie crust dough with the apple chunks.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl 
Add the butter and mix until the mixture is crumbly. 
Sprinkle evenly on the apples. 
Gently fold the remaining pie crust piece over the apples to enclose the dough.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. 
Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
My apple pie

Recipe adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/apple-crostata-recipe.html?oc=linkback

2016, august, blog, debbie, myblog

Shooting a gun

I never thought I would shoot a gun, but never say never.

This weekend, I went to a shooting range off Bethel Rd. called L.E.P.D
It was all my idea and I was the one who kept pushing that Nate and I go to the shooting range. I knew he had a gun, that he liked shooting and I was honestly curious about the experience.

Always, I’d been so anti-gun and adamant that guns were dangerous weapons, but how could I hate something I’d never tried and didn’t understand? It seemed unfair to be judgmental of something I knew nothing about.

When we got to the shooting range on Saturday afternoon, the first thing that struck me was that I didn’t know that you could buy your own targets at the shooting range. You could choose targets like a zombie beaver, mother and child, beer bottles, human outline, plain yellow target or a group of zombies. I was adamant that I wouldn’t shoot a target that looked like a human. We picked out a plain yellow target and used the 2 targets that the shooting range gave us.

We bought a half hour of shooting time and rented ear plugs and goggles.
I slid the thick ear muffs over my ears, they squeezed my ears tightly, muffling all the noise. I opened the heavy grey door that led to the shooting range. The air reeked of fresh, hot smoke. It burned my throat as I tried to take a deep breath. Bang! The sound of a gunshot made me jump. Bang! Every few seconds, another gunshot. There was no escaping the core-shaking Bang!s

The room was a grey cement block, void of any decorations. In the corner was a squeegee to gather up all the bullet shells from the floor. Inside the room were several open stalls, with thick metal walls on each side, a black table top, facing the shooting targets.   There were a couple other people in the room, already shooting. Most of them wore baseball caps, camouflage, work boots, faded denim or some combination.  

We went up to our assigned stall 8,and Nate hung up the first target. The targets were taped on this device that was controlled by a light switch to send the target forward or backward.  You could choose to put your target at 15, 30, 45 or 60 feet. We just put it at 15 feet.No one was trying to become the next Annie Oakley. 

In the stall, Nate unzipped his small dark handgun from the case and started to load six bullets. He turned to me but I shook my head and slunk to the back of the room, crossing my arms, holding myself.

He fired off a round and all of the loud Bang!s, the flying bullet shells, the proximity of a deadly weapon, the five or six strangers also in the room holding a deadly weapon, all of it made my eyes start to tear up. I can’t. I can’t do this. Hell no, there is no way I can fire that gun. Hot tears swelled up in my eyes and my nose began to run. I don’t belong here, this isn’t me, this isn’t what I want. All the negative thoughts swirled hazardously through my mind.  

Still, I logically weighed my options.
Option 1: Leave the room and wait in the lobby.   That’s not who I am. I’m not that girl who just sits on the sideline and pouts. I thought of family vacations where my cousin would opt not to do an activity and sit in the corner (and pout.) I didn’t want to do that. 
Option 2: Stay here and refuse to shoot. But, I wanted to come here. I wanted to try this. 
Option 3: Try it…

This was my idea to come here. I’m the one who wanted to try something new. How is this different than riding a scary roller coaster? A roller coaster is safe; guns aren’t safe. But I am safe here. Nothing will go wrong. I’ll never know if I don’t try. I just have to do it once. I can do anything once. Just be brave. Be a grown up. Do it, come on. You got this. 

 I inched up to stall 8, staring down at the small dark menacing weapon that I was supposed to pick up.

“You’re over thinking it. You can do this. I’m right here,” Nate comforted me as he gently put his hand on my back.

He walked me through picking up the gun, placing my index figure next to, but not on the trigger, lining up the sights to aim, resting my elbow on the table, straightening my right arm, and supporting my other arm. I could feel my entire body sweating and shaking. I sniffled, trying to compose myself,  shove down all of my fear, but struggling to keep it together.
This is what you wanted. You wanted to try it. So try it. You can do it. It’ll be okay,  I shouted to myself.

I took a deep breath, and cautiously moved my index finger to the trigger. I pulled back, it didn’t shoot, I pulled back harder and then Boom! “AHH!” I screamed. 
The gun exploded back in between my hands, sending the bullet forward into the target, and the bullet casing shell bursting out somewhere.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” I immediately began repeating apologies for my scream.
“It’s okay, no one heard you. You did great,” Nate said as he motioned for me to gently set down the gun. I did actually hit the target, and I had fired a gun…and survived.
“Here, do it again,” Nate said.

I shook my head and resumed my place in the back of the room.
Throughout the half hour, I did actually fire the gun two more times, not screaming. The second shot was easier to shoot. I knew what to expect and the fear was less intense. The third shot was easier than that. I couldn’t bring myself to fire a whole round of six consecutive shots. I only fired the third shot with the mentality of “Just one more. That’s it. You’re almost done.”

Ultimately, I’m proud of myself for facing my fear and trying something new. I don’t think I’ll go back to the shooting range anytime soon because for now, the memory of it all is enough.

2016, august, blog, concert, debbie, myblog


On Wednesday, Emily and I drove to Cincinnati to see Blink 182 at the Riverbend

I like Blink 182, but I’ll admit I was more excited to see All American Rejects. I’ve listened to them since high school and so it was like a dream come true to see them in concert.
However, they were disappointing. Tyson Ritter seemed high and just crazy. Every other word was “Fuck” or “Fuckin.”
Most disappointing was their setlist because they only did their top hits: “Dirty Little Secret,” “Gives you hell,” “Move along,” and “It Ends Tonight.”  I really like the songs from their older albums so I was bummed not to hear any of my lesser-known favs.

All-American Rejects 

After All-American Rejects, there was this band called A Day to Remember and their music was not my cup of tea. I don’t like metal or heavy metal or any type of screaming or heavy drums. They had a fun set, nevertheless, because they had TV screens behind them and a fish-eye camera on-stage that they would move around to film themselves and the audience. They also threw out into the crowd multiple rolls of toilet paper. The rolls went bouncing around the crowd, streaming everywhere.

Blink 182

Once it turned dark, Blink 182 came on stage. They opened their set by having flaming letters that spelled out “Fuck” on stage. That was pretty amazing. Throughout their show, they had quite a bit of pyrotechnics. They put on a high energy show, performing both old classics and newer songs. I enjoyed “I Miss You” because they had these cool visuals of two skeletons falling in and out of love on the TV screen behind them. I also liked “All the Small Things,” “Bored to Death” and “First Date.”

Me and Emily 
2016, august, blog, debbie


I ate dinner at Marcella’s last night and somehow I forgot how fancy it is. Like, they serve you bread before the meal and there are table clothes.  It’s a pinky up kind of place. I should expect no less from a Cameron Mitchell restaurant.

Last time I was there was probably a year ago, and I think it was with Alaina when she was in town. I remember we enjoyed the sangria and pizza.

Last night, it was a typical busy evening so we had to wait fifteen minutes. We grabbed a drink at the bar. I think my taste buds have changed since I first began drinking because now I prefer an IPA over a glass of Chardonnay. I  used to default to a glass of the house white wine but just wasn’t in the mood for wine yesterday. I ordered a Rhinegeist beer (I think it was Cougar) and thought it was pretty neutral. There weren’t any flavors that stood out to me. It was an easy to drink beer. I tried Nate’s beer (Oskar Blues Old Chub Scottish Ale) and it reminded me of a nice smooth Guiness. I liked it a lot.

I learned that when you order a drink at the bar before your meal, you are supposed to close out your tab there. For some reason I thought I could take the receipt with me to the table and pay the waitress for our bar tab. Nah, doesn’t work that way.

We sat at a granite tabletop next to the window facing High St. so it was fun to watch all the people pass by. There was a yoga class going on at the Joseph hotel so that was unique to watch a yoga class while eating dinner.

I ordered the Tortellini Alla Manzo and thought the beef, mushrooms and tortellini was delicious but I wish there was more of it. For what I paid, I expected an Olive Garden-esque portion and enough that I could take some home for lunch the next day. There were maybe six tortellini pieces in total.

Nate ordered the Linguine and Clams. The pasta had a really nice flavor. This was my first time trying clams and I would definitely order them again. It was neat having to dig the meat out of the clam.

I still like Marcella’s but I’m not sure if it’s still one of my favorite Short North restaurants. Perhaps I should try it again at happy hour (4pm to 6pm)

2016, apple, august, Baking, blog, debbie, graphics, myblog

Apple Pie Bites

Apple Pie Crescent Roll Bites 
I hosted a small house warming party on Friday night and I wanted to make a fun snack so of course, I looked on Pinterest for some ideas. I found these apple pie bites and thought that would be a good way to use the apples I’d bought from the farmer’s market. 
I used recipes from both Cakes Cottage and The Blond Cook to make my own apple pie bites. 
Apple Pie Bites
Yields 8 
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into small slices
  • 1 (8-ounce) can of crescent rolls
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. 
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  3. Unwrap the crescent roll and separate the triangles.
  4. Melt butter and toss apple slices in butter.
  5. Sprinkle each triangle with brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle with the walnuts,
  6. Cut  the apple into 8 equal slices.
  7. Place a piece of apple on each triangle of dough and roll it in a croissant.
  8. Arrange crescent rolls on a cookie sheet.
  9. Spread the remaining butter on each crescent roll and sprinkle with additional sugar and cinnamon.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden.
Apple + Brown Sugar + Walnuts + Crescent Roll

If I were to make this snack again, I’d use smaller apple slices. I thought my slices were a bit too big to fit inside the crescent roll. I also might’ve doubled the recipe so it would make 16 and not 8. 
august, blog, debbie, myblog

Dublin Irish Fest

Emily, Becky and I (and beer and kettle corn)

I’ve been going to the Dublin Irish Fest since high school and it’s always guaranteed to be a good time (and crowded.)

This year, I volunteered on Friday. I sold beverage tokens at the southeast entrance. I liked how busy we were during my shift. I felt like there was always a lot to do and so that made the time pass by quickly. There were a lot of volunteers there but not everybody was working or helping so that was a bit frustrating. But, I really like the volunteer T-shirt I got and I was excited to get two free admission tickets.

Saturday, I went to the Irish Fest with Emily and Becky.
As soon as we arrived, we bought beverage tokens which we traded in for a beer. I got a George Killian’s Irish Red, which was so refreshing in the hot sun. We walked around and looked at the Celtic Canines and the Irish ponies. Under one of the tents on the tennis courts, I bought a nice silver ring. I recognized the jewelry stand from last year because that’s where I bought  a pair of earrings (that I still wear today.)
We bought some colorful kettle corn and watched some Irish dancing at the Irish Thunder Stage. Irish dancing is so cool to watch. I mean, the wigs, the high kicks, the music, it’s just so neat.
For dinner, Emily got macaroni and cheese and Becky got corn dog and chips (fries). I filled up on kettle corn. By this time, we were ready for another beer, so we stood in line and waited. Eventually, I got a nice Guinness.
We watched some of the Highland Games where guys were throwing heavy burlap sacks over a tall horizontal pole. It looked like pole jumping but for the burlap sack.
Overall, it was another successful Irish Fest.

Watching Irish dancing 
2016, august, blog, debbie, graphics, myblog

Pokemon Go Tips

Play at different times of the day to see new Pokemon

Here’s some tips I want to share for those who are playing Pokemon Go:

  • Set a goal when you start playing. 
    • I go out “playing” for 30min to an hour usually at a park somewhere and I set a goal for myself. Usually the goal is like “Level Up,” ‘Don’t waste more than 3 Pokeballs on a Pokemon I already have,” “Find a new Pokemon,” or “Find 20 Pokeballs.”  
    • This helps me feel accomplished after I play and makes me feel like I’m a winner. 
  • Vary your playing
    • Go to different places. I’m a fan of walking around the Metro Parks and playing there.  
    • Play at different times of the day. Some Pokemon are much more common at nighttime. I caught some of my favorites around 9 or 10pm. 
  • Don’t waste a lot of Pokeballs on one Pokemon. 
    • The more you play and the more you advance, you’ll notice that suddenly it’s harder to catch Pokemon. They break free more often, they run away, and just avoid being captured. I like to limit myself to a set number of Pokeballs for each Pokemon so I don’t run out of balls too quickly. 
  • Having trouble catching a Pokemon? Run away and then come back. 
    • For whatever reason, this seems to make the Pokemon easier to catch. For example: I’ve wasted 4 Pokeballs, ran away, found the Pokemon, and caught him with one ball.
    • Caution: By running away, you run the risk of not finding that Pokemon again. 
  • It’s okay to discard items. 
    • I learned this when I ran out of Pokeballs but had 50+ Potions and Revives. It’s not the end of the world to discard some of those. You’ll easily find more at other Pokestops.
  • Move around a lot in battles. 
    • I like to doge attacks a lot and found it to be helpful. 
  • Transfer Pokemon that have low CP. 
    • This will give you more space to collect other Pokemon.
    • You get one candy for each transfer
  • Save your evolving for when you have a Lucky Egg. 
    • Evolving gets you a lot of XP so you might as well take advantage of the double XP the Lucky Egg gives you. 
  • Turn off AR to easily catch Pokemon.
    • I admit this does take some of the fun out of the game but it helps make catching a lot easier. They don’t move around as much and it’s easier to aim. 
  • Choose your Evee evolution. 
    • If you rename your Evee “Pyro,” it will evolve into a Flareon, if you want a Vaporeon, nickname the Eevee “Rainer” and for the players who want a Jolteon, they can name their Eevee “Sparky”.
    • I tried this by renaming my Evee Pyro and it worked for me and that was my third Evee evolution. 
august, johnstown, johnstownvillage, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Hot rods, classic cars coming to town Sept. 13


Sunday August 30, 2015 5:40 PM

The Johnstown Cupola Classic started out seven years ago as a fundraiser to fix the cupola on the building in the downtown square.

“Things were looking pretty shabby in the town square back then,” said Chris Speck, five-year president of Downtown Johnstown.

“We raised the money to make improvements and now we will always call it the Cupola Classic to remind us of our initial success,” he said.

This year, the Cupola Classic Cruise-In will be driving into town Sept. 13. Admission is free.

It is still an annual fundraiser for the group Downtown Johnstown and raises money to be used to improve the village.

Speck said the village recently acquired 10 acres near the TJ Evans bike path trailhead and the group has been tasked when brainstorming ideas for the property.

“With all that land, the sky’s the limit in terms of what we could do,” Speck said.

“We’ve looked into possibly making it a community park,” he said.

Downtown Johnstown’s Cupola Classic Cruise-In is at the corner of state Route 37 and U.S. Route 62 and will feature hot rods, antique cars, antique trucks and classic cars.

Speck said it’s the biggest event for Downtown Johnstown and usually raises close to $5,000.

He expects there to be a crowd of more than 1,000 people and more than 200 cars on display.

“You don’t have to be a car person to enjoy this event,” he said.

“You get to see a lot of neat cars since anyone is welcome to enter their car in the show,” he said.

Speck said car owners from throughout Licking County come to this show and some even choose not to participate in other car shows, just so they could schedule time to come to the Johnstown Cupola Classic.

“I’m excited to be around the people,” Speck said.

“It’s a great way to touch base,” he said. “Not everyone there is from the same walk of life. You have people of all ages there.

Admission to the event costs $10 and lasts from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m.

There will be plaques given to the first 100 cars, trophies given to the top 40 and other various prizes and drawings.

Live disc jockey entertainment will be provided by HyperSounds Entertainment and five to six food vendors will be present as well, event organizers said.

For more information call Jim Downing at 614-679-3426.