2017, april, blog, classpass, fitness, may, myblog, review

ClassPass

I wanted to start exercising this spring. When I was researching gyms to possibly join in Columbus, I stumbled upon ClassPass. I’d seen their Facebook Ads and wanted to learn more about them. The trial offer was a good deal and I was excited about the idea of trying new studios to consider joining. 
From April 17- May 17 I did ten various fitness classes in Columbus. At first I thought ten classes a month wouldn’t be enough but I later found it tough to squeeze in all ten classes into my busy schedule.
I enjoyed ClassPass and would recommend it to those who like variety, new adventures and can afford it. 
There were times in classes when I just had to take a deep breath and laugh at myself. There’s always going to be people in a class who have done that routine or those moves for years and are way better than you. That’s okay. I liked trying new classes that I otherwise wouldn’t have booked. I also met some other nice girls, some of them also “ClassPass” like me. 

Here’s the fitness classes in Columbus I did and how I reviewed them: 

Fit Jump

Tue, 05/16
6:00 – 7:00 pm
1645 Gateway Cir, Grove City, OH, 43123

Did not like this class. It was boring and repetitive.  The instructor was a high school freshmen who kept looking at a printed out sheet of notes. She never corrected anyone’s form or said anything motivational. I could hardly hear her. We’d bounce for a minute, do push ups for a minute, then repeat. I found myself zoning out and counting down the minutes til the class was over. The instructor seemed to be doing the same. At one point, we did exercises on the ground and I could’ve done those at home myself. I wanted to do exercises on the trampolines or in the ball pit. This class was disappointing.  

Intro to Aerial Silks

Mon, 05/15
6:00 – 7:30 pm
1411 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH, 43212

I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this class but I actually did. It was easier than pole dancing but still required upper body strength. I was challenged and the instructor was willing to help. She was so patient and kind. That made all the difference. I was amazed at what I was able to do. I wouldn’t mind taking this class again. I was a bit sore the next day. 

Barre in the Village

Mon, 5/8
6:00 – 7:00 pm
503 City Park Ave, Columbus, OH, 43215
This wasn’t my favorite class. I felt very cramped and close to my neighbor. I couldn’t extend my legs or arms all the way without hitting her. Throughout class, I wasn’t sure if I was doing any of the moves right. The instructor was loud and friendly. She introduced herself by asking me if I had any injuries. Um, no. If I did, I’d let you know. My arms felt sore the next day so I guess it was a good workout.

SpinFlex60

Sun, 5/7
5:15 – 6:15 pm
6367 Sawmill Rd, Dublin, OH, 43017
This was a great workout and I liked the variety and loved the instructor. She was really down-to-earth, motivational and offered modifications and corrections. It’s a very nice studio, right by Trader Joes. I would go back and definitely take classes from Sarah again. She was fantastic.

Barre7

Thu, 5/4
6:00 – 7:00 pm
275 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH, 43215
Julie is the best instructor I’ve ever had. It was a great workout. I wish I could give it six stars! She’s so inspirational and filled with knowledge. It was a challenging yet achievable workout. Highly recommend this class to everyone.

Fit Jump

Mon, 5/1
7:00 – 8:00 pm
3967 Presidential Pkwy, Powell, OH, 43065
It was a tough but fun workout. I couldn’t help but smile when we were bouncing on the trampoline but then that smile faded when we started doing suicides, frog legs, push ups, etc. I worked up quite a sweat. The instructor is tough but fair. I wish she had explained how exactly to do some of the more tricky moves. The class was small with just me and 5 “regulars”

Zumba

Fri, 4/28
6:30 – 7:15 pm
640 Lakeview Plaza Blvd, Suite A, Columbus, OH, 43085
Not super intense, but a great way to blow off some steam. Had a good time 

Beginner Pole

Wed, 4/26
7:45 – 8:45 pm
3408 Indianola Ave, Columbus, OH, 43214
I left class feeling frustrated. The class was labeled Beginner but the majority of the class had been dancing for years/ had their own pole in their basement/ could do spinning pole dancing. Everyone else in the class got the hang of it instantly. The instructor, Devon, gave up on me after awkwardly trying to help me twice. It wasn’t much of a workout and the pole was crazy slippery. Only take this class if you can do a few pull ups and have great upper body strength. And wear shorts. You can’t do the class in yoga capri pants. You have to wear shorts. Even though their website says you can wear yoga pants. Don’t.

Hydro Power Jam

Mon, 4/24
7:00 – 8:00 pm
3111 Hayden Rd, Columbus, OH, 43235
Laura is a really nice instructor. The workout wasn’t the most intense. I wanted it to be more challenging. There were a lot of older women in the group and some of them seem more focused on gossiping than doing the moves. Sawmill has a nice pool, locker room, hot tub and sauna.

Dance Mixx

Fri, 4/21
6:00 – 7:00 pm
1145 Kenny Centre Mall, Columbus, OH, 43220
The staff is really friendly and welcoming. The instructor came over and introduced herself and explained how the class would go. I liked the music and the dance moves. The instructor was so upbeat and motivating. It was a good workout.

And that’s all I have to say about my experience with a one-month trial of ClassPass in Columbus. 
2017, Baking, blog, cookies, debbie, may, myblog, recipe

Cookie de Tacos

Happy Cinco de Mayo! 
I celebrated by creating these adorable cookie tacos for a surprise birthday party for one of Nate’s friends. 
Colorful Cookie Tacos
This type of plate helped the tacos stay upright 
Ingredients:
Golden Oreos
Sprinkles
Chocolate Frosting 
Food Coloring (green, yellow, red)
Coconut flakes (I used unsweetened) 
Instructions: 
  1. Using the food coloring, dye the coconut flakes a green (lettuce) or an orange-yellow color (cheese) I used shot glasses to stir the food coloring into the coconut flakes. 
  2. Remove the top part of the Oreo and remove the inner frosting (My frosting disappeared into my mouth…) 
  3. Carefully cut in half the Oreo cookie. Sometimes I just broke it apart and other times I used a knife in a sawing motion. 
  4. Put the two half pieces together in your hand and add a spoonful of chocolate frosting 
  5. Dip it into sprinkles and colored coconut toppings 
After the first couple, I had a nice assembly line going and it wasn’t too labor intensive. 
My work station 
I saw this on Pinterest and wanted to try to make it myself
2017, blog, debbie, may, myblog

It’s me, blog. Been a while.

I don’t know if I can even call myself a blogger anymore because this “blog” has been nothing but dust and tumbleweeds. Ugh, I hope this isn’t one of those “Heyyyy guys srry I fell off the face of the earth” blog posts.

I’ve been living IRL and leaving reviews of Columbus places I’ve been to on Yelp.  Most recently, I wrote about The Eagle and Tea Zone Bakery and Cafe.

My roommate and I got a cat. So that’s what I’ve been up to right meow. Get it?

Plumpkin’s Photo Booth session

I’ve been staying busy with my new job at Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio, which I love. I’m doing a lot of fun and impactful work that I sincerely enjoy.

I’m also helping Last Call Trivia with their marketing strategy and social media. I’ve been writing blog posts and social media strategy for them.

I’m volunteering as a Committee Member for the Activities Village for The Columbus Arts Festival in June. I volunteered last year and liked it so I thought I’d take the leap and join a committee.

I traveled to Michigan and Tennessee with my boyfriend Nate. Can you say fun? I love spending time with him and exploring new places together.

I joined ClassPass as a one month trial and have been going to fitness classes 2-3 times a week all over town. It’s been fun trying new styles of fitness classes like water aerobics, jazzercise, trampoline fitness, barre, and zumba.

I’m going to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding in September. I bought my dress and so now I’m looking for shoes.

On the weekends, I work at the Pet Wellness Vet clinic, filling out paperwork, restraining animals, as well as talking to customers about dog and cat vaccinations and medicine.  It can get pretty hectic sometimes and my background isn’t in veterinary medicine so people will often ask me questions I have to admit I don’t know the answer to and ask a co-worker for help. I also make Facebook posts and events for the clinic. It’s pretty fun to “research” cute dog videos to post.
Furthermore, I launched Pet Wellness Vet’s new website.  It’s based on WordPress so it’s easy to update.

TBH mostly I’ve been hanging out with Fiona. 

And that’s about all I have to say about that.

blog, blogpost, social media, work sample

Good Makery Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

February 10, 2017

There’s a special someone in your life and you want to get them something spectacular for Valentine’s Day. But, what do you get them? Take a deep breath, eat some chocolate and let this list of gift ideas come to your rescue:
  • Watch: Give your special someone a gift they will treasure all year long. Every time they check the time, they’ll think of you. 
  • Custom stamp: How cool would it be to have your own personalized stamp? You can write both your names or signatures on the stamp to always remember your love. A great way to liven up thank-you notes. 
  • Necklace: What better way to keep your Valentine close to your heart, than engraving their name on a special necklace, made just for them. It’s as beautiful as your love. 
  • Coasters: If your bae is slowly ruining your wooden table, subtly remind them to use a coaster, with these customizable coasters, available in ceramic tiles or in cork. 
  • Homemade cookies: Any Valentine will sincerely appreciate the time and effort spent crafting some delicious goodies. 
  • Magnet: A simple yet useful gift to hold important photos, shopping lists or notes on the fridge.
  • Candle: Nothing burns brighter than your love… except for this candle. Our scented soy candles last over 90 hours and include a heartfelt message and personalized gift inside a glass bottle.
  • Phone case: A practical yet lovely gift for that will keep you two in-sync. 
  • Cactus: This little green succulent will grow with some TLC and is long-lasting, just like your love. They will treasure this prickly plant forever. 
If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a sincerely written card, flowers and box of chocolates.

2017, blog, book, book review, debbie, debbie gillum, myblog

Sugar Book Review

Not as Sweet as Sugar 

I have mixed thoughts about the new novel Sugar by Kimberly Stuart. I liked the beginning but had issues with the middle and end. I liked the overall story but not the execution and would’ve liked for it to be more risk-taking. 

I appreciated the opening scenes when Charlie (the female protagonist) is a hard-working pastry chef, baking away her life in NYC. Those scenes caught my attention and drew me into the book. They were told with such authority and commanding details. Someone getting stabbed in the kitchen for misplacing a head chef’s knife is definitely attention grabbing. But alas, Charlie doesn’t stay at that restaurant or in NYC. 

Later on in the book, once she has moved to Seattle, I found myself skimming through the scenes with the dates Charlie had with Kai because they felt so cheesy and rehearsed. It was like watching a CW or ABC Family TV show. 
Also, Charlie is not the most likeable of characters. She’s so neurotic and controlling.
The chapters were short and choppy, not in a good way. A couple times I thought scenes needed to play out longer and that the author just didn’t want to write that scene. 

Several parts of the book felt cliche to me, especially Manda’s kids and Avery as a character. It wasn’t a shocker when Avery turned out not to have Charlie’s best interests in mind. I liked the reality TV show aspect of the book but even that felt cliche. Like it seemed as if the author just guessed at what a reality TV show is probably like or did research by watching reality TV. Ugh. 
The ending of the novel was a beautiful fairy tale one where all Charlie’s dreams come true. Life doesn’t work that way. What if Kai didn’t take her back? What if Charlie couldn’t get out of her contract? 

 It was an entertaining read but I don’t want to read it again. I’d recommend it to someone who likes baking or reading about high-stress upscale baking and wants an easy beachy read. 
2017, blog, book, book review, february, myblog

"How to Murder Your Life" Book Review

This weekend, I inhaled the memoir “How to Murder Your Life” by Cat Marnell
It’s all I talked about to my roommate and boyfriend. 
I first heard about this book when it was mentioned in a magazine page suggesting books to read (I think it was Glamour but the fact-checkers have not confirmed this yet).  Now, I think it’s a bit ironic that Cat’s career began and ended in magazines and then her tell-all, drug-infused memoir is promoted inside the pages of a magazine. 
I loved the book. I laughed out loud a few times and was both inspired and disgusted by her life. I burst out laughing when she described getting into a car with a guy who immediately shot up some drugs into his arm and she sarcastically said how turned on this made her. She admitted it was gross but that was her life at the time. I couldn’t help but be impressed by how she landed multiple positions at Conde Nast, by how much she partied and how little she slept. She’s an impressive woman but I wouldn’t recommend this book to any middle schoolers, that’s for sure. 
I enjoyed reading about the highs and lows of her life, that she so openly shared. She explained how she couldn’t focus in class in high school and so her psychiatrist dad then prescribed Adderall and how that changed her life. She was hooked. From then on, she needed the pills in order to function and was too energized to sleep so she needed to start taking sleeping pills, and you get the idea. The frenzied sentences, the repetition of phrases and self-loathing scenes seemed to capture what addiction feels like.  
The writing felt so fresh to me and like I was reading a friend’s blog. So casual and revealing. 
While reading the book, I had never heard of Cat Marnell and didn’t know that she looked like a real-life Barbie doll (No seriously, Google her.) 

Ultimately, I loved her writing. It was raw, relevant and real. I usually only read memoirs by comedians and so this was a refreshing memoir from someone who is glamorous, funny yet also very addicted to Adderall (even in the Afterword she acknowledged that she hasn’t stopped doing drugs.) She’s had a fascinating life and I can’t wait to see what she will do next. This is the best book I’ve read in a while. 
2016, blog

Good Makery’s Bike Lady Blog post

Here is a blog post I wrote for Good Makery. I also made this cute image of her signature pig riding a bicycle:

THE JOYS OF GIVING BACK

October 17, 2016

We believe in the power of giving and want to show kids the joys of giving back. 
Whenever a child makes a gift at Good Makery, we give them a symbolic coin that they can deposit into a piggy bank. We donate the contents of the piggy bank to a local charity. Right now we are happy to be donating to the Bike Lady

Bike Lady is a Columbus-based charity that strives to give bikes and helmets to children under the legal custody of the county or state, such as Franklin County Children Services.  Since 2008, they have given over 6,477 Ohio foster children a brand new bicycle, helmet and bike lock.  

We first met the charity at the Grandview Hop. The girl pictured above was riding a bike through the crowd asking for donations in exchange for a chance to win this bike. 
A bicycle is one of the most meaningful gifts a child can receive because it provides a sense of independence and allows them to visit friends, ride to the park or get to school. 
The bike parts are shipped from Huffy directly to Department of Rehabilitation and Correction locations such as the Pickaway Correctional Institution in Orient where the bikes are assembled. Without the work of the Bike Lady, many children might never experience the joy and freedom of a bicycle. 

We are thrilled to be donating a portion of our profits to the great work the Bike Lady is doing in our community.  Make an appointment with us 614.563.7321.

2017, blog, columbus, january, myblog, review, yelp

Cuts Off High review

Picture from Yelp


I went to Cuts Off High for the first time in January and it was a great but very unique experience. 

I needed a hair cut so I searched on Yelp for the best hair cuts in Columbus. This place was one of the top picks. Out of 41 reviews, he has almost 5 stars. Wow! 

To schedule an appointment, I called, left a voicemail, Ray texted me back with an available time, that same day and that was that. I’ve never been texted by a hair stylist before in a non-automated way so it was a refreshingly human change. 

Ray, the barber, is very friendly and listens to what you have to say. He is interesting to talk with and has a lot of opinions he will happily share with you. He takes great pride in his work and in educating his customers. I liked that he showed me how to care for and style my hair. My favorite part was that he didn’t try and sell me a bunch of hair products or things I didn’t want. I’d gone to a lot of other salons over the year and always felt pressured into buying their shampoo or hair products. 

Don’t expect any frills in this salon. With the $22 women’s haircut, there wasn’t a shampoo, he just misted my hair with water, and then blow dried it. The salon isn’t anything fancy, there’s no receptionist to get you coffee, etc.  I did read from other reviews that he has free beverages and fruit in the lobby. I was there at 6pm and didn’t see anything.

The service was good, the price was right and a month later, I’m still enjoying the layers in my hair cut, so I would go back here or recommend him to a friend.


Originally shared on Yelp

from Yelp

2016, blog, blog post, good makery, thanksgiving

Good Makery: Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Idea

I wrote this blog post for Good Makery back in November and am a few months late in sharing it to my website. Better late than never! The post was emailed and posted on Good Makery’s website.

How Your Kids Can Help With Thanksgiving Prep
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Thanksgiving Prep: How To Involve Your Kids

When family comes over this Thanksgiving, invite the kids to go on a fun outdoor scavenger hunt and create a centerpiece with what they find.

Customize the list below to fit your neighborhood or local park and challenge older kids to find more specific items like “a red leaf that’s bigger than your hand.”

After the scavenger hunt, gather up all the items and incorporate them into your Thanksgiving centerpiece. Then sit back, and be thankful for the pride they feel from their contribution. 

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

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

lesliek@goodmakery.com
614-563-7321

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2017, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, january, myblog

Packing for Disney Cruise

Sunday, I’m leaving for a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas!
It’s time to start packing. Plus, I’ve already had one pre-cruise nightmare where I forgot my bathing suit. 
When I embark on packing, I start with doing laundry. This way, I have a full inventory to choose from. Next, I pack by laying out my clothes on my bed. This helps me not forget anything and see what I’m packing. 
I like to lay out everything on my bed so I can get a since of how much I’m bringing
I put the stuff I want to keep in my backpack, like books, iPad, camera, etc in the corner of my bed. I also put the outfit I’m wearing on the plane in a different area. 

I save space and keep my shoes from getting crushed by stuffing clothing inside them.  

I like to lay out my shorts beneath my shirts so I can make sure they coordinate 
 When I was little, before school, my mom helped me set out a “Little Deborah” on the floor so I’d know what I was wearing the next day. When packing, I pretty much fill my bed with 5 Little Deborahs so I can make sure I’m packing shorts, tops, bras underwear, shoes and socks for each day.
My base layer is made of shorts, a cardigan and bathing suits

Shoes went on the top layer, facing the outside of suitcase

I wear my heaviest clothes onto the plane and set them in a different bag so I can easily get to them. 
Packing list for the cruise:
  • Hoodie
  • Cardigan
  • Shorts, jean shorts and workout shorts
  • Tops, t-shirts and tank tops 
  • Variety of shoes 
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • iPad
  • Sunglasses
  • Magazine
  • Book
  • Chargers
  • Bag for the beach 
  • Belt
  • Face wash
  • Comb
  • Swimsuit