2016, blog, coffee, debbie, debbie gillum, myblog, october, restaurant

Fox in the snow

Ham and cheese croissant
Beautiful latte

One of the best coffee shops/ brunch spots in all of Columbus is Fox in the Snow. With 296 Yelp reviews and nearly 5 stars, clearly I’m not the only one who stands by this statement.

The staff is so friendly and just plain cool. They take such pride in their work. You can see the pastries being made in their kitchen which is behind glass and visible when you first walk in. 

The coffee and pastries they make are like pieces of art. All of it tastes as amazing as it looks. 

There’s a nice patio and indoor seating there too. 

Word has spread about how great this place is so it gets pretty crowded on the weekends. In the mornings, the crowd is more reasonable. 

Foxy Debbie 
To-go coffee in the morning
Dark roast coffee
Nom nom nom

2016, blog, columbus, debbie gillum, food, myblog, october, restaurant

Koble Grill


I went to Koble Grill for lunch today because I’m trying to work my way through Columbus Monthly’s Guide to Uptown Westerville. This morning I went to Java Central and got a Nitro coffee and fruit salad. I’d been to Java Central before and I’m glad I tried their Nitro coffee but it’s still not like my favorite coffee shop or anything. I always have mediocre experiences there. 

At Koble Grill, I ordered a gyro and spanakopita. I think I’ve had a gyro from a street vendor before but that’s about it so I was looking forward to giving gyros another try. I’d also never has spanakopita either and thought it sounded yummy.

I sat at the bar because of what I’d read on Yelp about ordering being awkward. I wish they had a usual set up with servers taking your order at your table. You need to sit down at a table, then order near the back of the restaurant and they’ll bring your food to you. 

Columbus Monthly guide to Uptown Westerville 

My gyro was messy but delicious. I enjoyed the meat and sauce they used. The spanakopita was also messy but yummy. I made the mistake of taking a bite out of it right when it came out and it was extremely hot. I thought it was a bit unusual that my appetizer and meal came out at the same time, but I’ve read that’s happened to other people too.
It’s a beautiful atmosphere inside and a lot of Westerville locals like it. 
They play loud pop music which I didn’t mind but seemed strange for an Italian/ Greek restaurant.

2016, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, music, myblog

What I’m Listening To:

Top 5 fav songs right now:

Kids by OneRepublic

I’m a sucker for OneRepublic. The lead singer reminds me of Adam Levine with his pop falsetto voice that could sing the phonebook and I’d still love it. In their latest song, my favorite part is when he sings “SWORE we would never die…” because he sings it in this really high pitched voice that reminds me of a Fetty Wap song. It made me chuckle the first time I heard the song.
I recommend the acoustic version of the song, which can be found on Spotify.

Perfect Illusion by Lady Gaga

Ah, she can do no wrong. Another perfect pop song. And, that key change at the end. Ahh!
I like the repetitive lyrics (“It wasn’t love.”  “It was a perfect illusion.”) It’s a stellar breakup song, for sure. How relatable are those lyrics? You think you’ve found the one but then it falls through and you realize how wrong you were.
I enjoyed reading about how the song was made on Wikipedia (because I’m a nerd.)

Sit Still, Look Pretty by Daya

This girl has such a smooth-like-chocolate voice but a fresh salty attitude. It’s a fun feminist anthem about wanting to do more than just be judged on looks. Beauty isn’t everything. I wish we had more of these female empowerment songs. I look forward to hearing more from Daya. With her strong voice, I know she can go far.

Mrs. Hippopotamuses by Relient K
O-H…I-O! What a perfect song for anyone in Ohio. I already loved Relient K and now I love them even more for writing an awesome song about Ohio. I can’t wait to see them in concert in October.
I like this song mostly because of the Cleveland references and because he sings O-H-I-O. It’s also a well produced song.

New Obsession by Frankie

I heard this song on WNCI this summer because she was performing at Zoombezi Bay for an iHeart Media concert.  At first I thought it was really generic and annoying sounding. The second time, I got it stuck in my head and then I was hooked. Now it’s one of my go-to sing-in-my-car songs. It’s such an upbeat, cheesy, flirty, girly, fun song. If you look at pictures of Frankie or watch her music video, she is what I picture it would look like if Claire’s and Justice created a live teen girl.

2016, blog, debbie, debbiegillum, myblog

Scheiders bakery

Working in Westerville for so long has helped me learn where the best spots are to grab a bite. One of my favorite lunch time stops has become Schneider’s Bakery. I admit that I keep their menu in the bottom drawer in my desk.

I like Schneider’s because of their reasonable prices. Cookies are 60 cents, donuts 75 cents,  and muffins are 80 cents. It’s so rare to find prices that low at a bakery. They also have a section in the back behind the counter where you can get day-old items for even cheaper. Once, I got a bag full of cookies (including the beloved date pinwheel cookies) for $2.

The staff there is so patient and tolerates me when I point to a pastry and ask “What’s that?” six different times.

Why, yes. Yes, I do. 
Schneider’s is great for the lunch grazer like myself or the business man who wants to impress the office with a dozen of donuts. 
A dozen impressive donuts 
2016, blog, debbie, debbiegillum, myblog, travel

St Louis Weekend

It’d be neat if Columbus had an icon like the Gateway Arch
Our hotel lobby, from the 8th floor

Somehow, I woke up at 5am. Fiona came to my room to help encourage me to get out of bed but it was still a struggle. Mom drove us to the airport and we caught our flight out at 6:40am. We had a layover in Chicago but stayed on the plane so it was easy.

We arrived in St. Louis around 10:30am and picked up our rental car. On the shuttle bus to the rental car area, we got off the bus and I thought my dad had grabbed my backpack but he didn’t. I raced back to the shuttle bus. The driver held my purple backpack and said, “Yeah I saw someone left this, you look pretty panicked so I assume it’s yours.”

It was too early to check into our hotel so we met up with my aunt and uncle in the Lumiere casino, downtown. We ate breakfast at the casino sports bar where the coffee was lukewarm, service was lousy and the homefries were greasy.

To kill some time, we decided to go to the Budweiser Brewery. It’s great because it’s a free tour. They walk you through the Clydesdale stable, the brew house and you get two free samples.

Trying my dad’s Oktoberfest beer and the Hoegaarden
All of the Budweiser

Uncle Steve, Me, my dad, and Aunt Diane 

After the tour, I took a glorious nap and got ready for the wedding.

The wedding and reception took place at Bissinger’s  which is a chocolate factory in downtown St. Louis. 
The ceremony was inside due to the rain but was still very nice. 
At the cocktail hour, there was of course, chocolates, and many yummy snacks.

The dinner at the reception featured a salad with a caramel dressing, chicken in a chocolate glaze sauce and Ted Drewes chocolate frozen custard. There was not a cake, however later on in the night, there were S’mores.  The s’more S’mores the better!

We wanted a better breakfast than the casino sports bar so we went across the street to the Four Seasons hotel restaurant. It was incredibly fancy. Like so fancy they had a beverage server and a food server. I treated myself to the smoked salmon and sincerely enjoyed it. 

I’d like to have this for breakfast every day, please

We went over to my cousin’s Stephanie house for a family get together in the afternoon. She has such nice decorating tastes so I tried to take notes on home decorating tips I could use in my own place. I tried some St. Louis ribs that were quite yummy. 

Around 4pm, we drove to the airport and headed back to Columbus 
2016, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, debbiegillum, myblog

Simple ways to save money

Part of being an adult is learning to spend money like an adult. The money tree in the backyard has been dead for a while now.  Here’s some of the ways I try to stretch my money on a daily basis:

  • Use coupons
    • This seems like the most obvious way to save money, I know. 
    • I have a coupon organizer where I can sort them into categories like “Food,” “Drinks,” “Bathroom,” “Oral Care,” and “Makeup.” It takes a little bit of organization and maintenance but it is worth it when I look at my receipt and see how much I’ve saved.
    • Only use coupons:
      •  for items you would’ve bought anyway
      •  if the discount is more than 50 cents 
      • and if the coupon is for less than 2 items
  • Get your flu shot at Target
    • Target has a promotion right now where if you get your flu shot at their CVS Pharmacy, you get a $5 gift card. The vaccine was free with my health insurance, so it was a win-win. I was basically paid to get a flu shot. 
  • Check out Goodwill
    • For decorating your home or picking up knick knacks, Goodwill is cheaper than antique shops or other big retailers, plus the pieces there are unique.
  • Buy toilet paper in bulk
    • Think about it, you will always need toilet paper. Buy it in the biggest pack it comes in. 
    • This applies to other household staples like soap, tissues, trashbags, etc, where your demand will stay constant and the items won’t expire. 
  • DIY Manicures
    • You can save so much money just by painting your own nails at home. I’m all for manicures but I like to save them as a treat instead of a regular occurrence. 
  • Groupon
    • You can get some really good deals on Groupon but I think it’s easy to buy things you wouldn’t usually buy just because they are on sale. So, I’d make sure you use Groupon to check for discounts on hair cuts if you were already planning on getting your hair cut. 
  • Order a Cafe Misto at Starbucks
    • A Cafe Misto or Cafe Au Lait is coffee + steamed milk. A latte is espresso + steamed milk. A Cafe Misto is significantly cheaper and quite similar. It’s a good way to save a buck at Starbucks.
  • Request free samples online
    • There’s lots of websites that list who is giving away free samples and how to get them. I’ve gotten samples of feminine hygiene products, shampoo and conditioners, sugars, Emergen-C, cat food, and coupons.  
    • http://www.mysavings.com/freesamples/
    • http://www.sweetfreestuff.com/freesamples/
    • http://www.getitfree.us/freebies
  • Watch gas prices
    • Lately, if I see gas for under $2 somewhere, I’ll fill up. I never know when the price will jump back up again. Carpe Diem. 
    • Use Kroger or Giant Eagle Fuel Perks or Speedy Rewards. Sometimes you can get 3 cents off per gallon or earn points to even more money off a future purchase.  
    • I use an app called Gas Buddy to help me find the cheapest gas prices nearby. 

  • Free Friday at Kroger
    • With my Kroger card, I get emails on Friday morning about a “Free Friday download” so I click on the link, sign in, and download the coupon. Usually the Free Friday item is somewhere up at the front of the store near the check out stations. Buy the item, use your Kroger card, and it’s free! 
    • With this Free Friday, I’ve gotten gummi worms, granola bars, soda, a pack of gum, yogurt, and more.

2016, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, myblog

The 7 Things I Like

1. Dem Boots
I just ordered these Merrell Captiva Buckle Up Waterproof Boots online from Nordstrom Rack on Monday and so I hope that a) they fit, b) are comfortable c) I wear them a lot

Hopefully they are made for walkin’

2. Pumpkin Spice Lattes
I’ve had two so far. #BasicWhiteGirl and am fairly proud of that fact. #PSL4Eva

3. Local Matters
They are an amazing local charity, set in German Village, that puts on cooking classes that are pay-what-you-can. Other cooking classes are just too expensive and out of reach. The classes offer a pretty laid back and supportive environment. No question is a bad question. I went to one class that was about how to cook without a recipe and yesterday I went to a class where we made a vegetable stir fry, fried rice and tofu. 
4. Fiona
Lil’ Bear aka ‘Ona aka Brown Butt aka Fluffy Monster aka Leona aka Fi aka She Who Has a Lot of Nicknames 
She’s my parent’s dog but she’s still incredibly cute, playful, fluffy, fun and always energetic and happy. 
My roommate showed me this video from The Ellen Show and it was honestly the best thing I’ve seen in a long time. It was incredibly entertaining, pleasing and enjoyable. As in, it’s my new favorite video. 
6. Cold brew coffee
If I had known how easy cold brew coffee was, I would’ve started a long time ago. 
 I put 2-3 scoops of coffee grounds in a mason jar, fill the jar with tap water, let sit 12-24 hours, pour out the coffee through a coffee filter and/ or strainer. I’ll usually microwave the coffee before I drink it. 
It tastes much less bitter and acidic than regular coffee. 
We went here Monday morning and had a really great time. It’s one of the best activities/ museums/ aquariums I’ve been to. I like that it’s so kid-friendly (there’s playgrounds inside the aquarium and special viewing spots for kids), they have a wide variety of fish and other animals to see, there are helpful descriptions of the animals and that it’s well kept up. 
We pet a jellyfish, saw seahorses, dragon fish, went into this cool underwater shark tunnel, and saw the Penguin Playhouse.  
Penguin may not be to scale 

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