Reviews

Beth Quinn Designs: 20% Off Online Order

by Katie on December 9, 2014

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I’m a huge fan of unique gifts, especially ones that can be personalized with the recipient in mind.  One of my favorite online places to shop for these types of gifts is Beth Quinn Designs.

Beth features one of a kind jewelry, ornaments, key chains, and more.  Each piece is handmade in Beth’s studio, combining texture and heartfelt sentiments to create pieces that will be cherished for years to come.

Whether you’re a fan of big charms or little charms, vintage pieces or modern, there’s something for everyone at Beth Quinn Designs.  However, timeless jewelry is just the tip of the iceberg.

Beth also features key chains with a variety of inspirational messages.  These make fun stocking stuffers as well as inspirational gifts, especially for new graduates.

Plus, just in time for Christmas, Beth Quinn Designs has unveiled a new line of Christmas ornaments.  These ornaments are a beautiful way to add a personalized sentiment to a loved one’s tree this year.

Beth Quinn would like to offer my readers an exclusive promotion to save 20% off your online order when you enter the promotional code thankful at checkout.  This is a great way to save on a meaningful gift this Christmas!

Disclaimer: This giveaway was provided by Beth Quinn Designs. All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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As a general rule, the holiday season is rarely synonymous with healthy eating.  While most holiday gatherings and parties have food as one of the central themes, it’s not often comprised of healthy choices.   To be honest, how often do you see platters of broccoli arranged like Christmas trees or gingerbread made out of hummus?!

Now, I’m not suggesting that party-goers should skip the festivities and pack a bag of raw veggies to munch on at each occasion.  However, in between the parties and festivities, there’s plenty of time to focus on health eating by incorporating a variety of fruits, veggies, and heart-healthy proteins into your diet.

Whether fruits and veggies are eaten alone or as a complement to a main meal, these foods are easy to incorporate into your daily menu plan.  And now, eating healthy is truly as easy as the click of a mouse.

Green BEAN Delivery brings organic and all-natural foods sourced from Midwest farmers and artisans whenever possible directly to local consumers’ homes.  The company’s network of local farmers and artisans provide year-round service and gives members a healthy alternative to conventional grocery stores while at the same time, supporting local farmers and artisans.

Once you create a Green BEAN account, you can select the bin size that you’d like to receive:

  • Small Fruit & Vegetable Bin – $35
  • Medium Fruit & Vegetable Bin – $42
  • Large Fruit & Vegetable Bin – $49
  • Fruit Only Bin – $42
  • Produce & Grocery Bin – $28

Delivery days vary according to your location, and the deliveries can be set up as either weekly or bi-weekly shipments.  If you need to modify or change your order at any time, you can contact Green BEAN Customer Service at  (513) 761-BEAN.

Each bin can be customized to your family’s needs and preferences, and customers can even add local dairy, meats, bread, and other grocery products.  All of the products from Green BEAN Delivery are all-natural and free of additives and preservatives.  Plus, with hundreds of items available for delivery each week, there are endless possibilities for creating your perfect produce bin.

Green BEAN gift certificates make a healthy gift giving option for the Christmas season.  You can visit the Green BEAN site to purchase a gift certificate, or you can contact customer service at (513) 761-BEAN if you have any questions regarding Green BEAN Delivery.  After all, a delivery of fresh produce could be exactly what changes the outcome for someone’s 2015!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Green BEAN Delivery.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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The latest technology in deodorant has just hit the shelves at Meijer.  Axe, Dove, and Degree have all unveiled their latest innovation to keep men and women dry throughout the day – their new Dry Antiperspirant Sprays.

This new line of antiperspirants is designed to offer protection for 48 hours, and prides itself on leaving no visible residue with use.  The spray goes on instantly dry, allowing the user to feel cleaner and more confident throughout the day.  Plus, since there’s no residue with these sprays, they’re even little black dress approved!

Application of these products is an easy as one, two, three.  First off, you’ll need to shake the deodorant.  Then, leaving about 6 inches of space, spray the product onto your underarm area.  And then…you’ll be dry and clean, and completely ready for the day ahead.

I recently had the opportunity to try out this new line of Dry Antiperspirant Sprays.  And I have to confess…I was a little skeptical at first.  I tend to be a creature of habit, and I’m accustomed to using products that I’m very familiar with.

However, after one use, I became an instant fan of these products!  Not only are they easy to use, but they kept me dry and feeling fresh for the entire day.

If you want to try out this new line of products, Meijer would like to help you stretch your budget with these money-saving coupons:

This is an inexpensive way to try out this new line of products.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Meijer.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Danze Bathroom Faucets

by Katie on November 19, 2014

As I’ve been cleaning out our house this the past month, I’ve started jotting down a wish list of home improvements.  Of all the rooms in our home, the longest list without a doubt, centers around our main bathroom.

Now granted, the bathroom has seen a few improvements over the past decade and a half.  When we first moved into the house, the main bathroom was “decorated” (trust me, I use that word loosely!) with wallpaper that featured dinner plate size pink roses on a green background.  I can only guess the previous owners ran out of wallpaper as the one wall was painted cream with wallpaper roses randomly pasted to the wall.  Topped off with a Pepto Bismol pink shower curtain, the bathroom was nothing short of horrendous!

Needless to say, upon moving in, the bathroom was quickly visited by a scraper and a thorough coat of paint.  The roses were swapped out for a coat of bright cream paint, accented with a few green fern leaves and the pink shower curtain gave way to a marbled cream colored curtain instead.

While the bathroom looks much nicer on the exterior, there are still plenty of improvements that need to take place.  The most significant item that needs upgrading is our bathroom faucets.  From the pull-up faucet at the sink to the rusty shower head in the tub, there is definitely room for improvement in this area of the bathroom.

A new shower head is absolutely on the top of my bathroom wish list.  Since it’s the only functional shower in our home, it definitely gets more than its fair share of use on a day to day basis.  Besides simply being utilized each day, the shower head needs to be fairly effective, especially since our daughter has hair that spans past her waistline.

So, if I had my choice of shower heads, it would be one with multiple settings, that would provide consistent pressure throughout its lifetime.  Introducing (drum roll please!)….the Danze Florin Five-Function Shower Head.  Not only would it be a giant step up from our current rusty shower head, but it includes the following features:

  • 5 functions – wide, center jet, aeration, massage and wide plus center jet
  • Featuring Air Injection technology for a strong and yet smooth shower experience
  • Brass ball joint with polymer shell
  • Features Dual Force™ Technology
  • Optimizes water intensity even at low pressures

At just $58, it’s both functional as well as reasonably priced.

Is your family’s bathroom in need of a makeover?  If so, you can check out innovative showroom designs from Ferguson Lakewood in partnership with Danze.  Plus, while you’re perusing the ideas, you can also vote on this campaign as well.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Danze.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Creekside Farms: Artisan Made Wreaths

by Katie on November 13, 2014

One of my favorite gifts to receive is the gift of fresh flowers.  There’s something so simplistically beautiful about a bouquet of flowers that brightens up any room of a home.  Creekside Farms has taken a new twist on fresh flowers with their handmade artisan wreaths.

Family owned and operated, Creekside Farms features wreaths for every occasion as a unique alternative to fresh cut flowers.  With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, now is an ideal time to consider a fall-themed wreath.  Creekside Farms has a variety of options to choose from such as the fall harvest wreath, sunflower wreath, or wine country wreath.

A holiday-themed wreath would make a beautiful Christmas gift, especially for loved ones who will be out of town this holiday season.  From the apple berry wreath to the cinnamon pine cone wreath, these floral expressions are sure to add holiday cheer to any room of the home.

Creekside Farms also offers all-occasion wreaths and garlands that include such elements as lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, safflower, roses, and more.

This past week, I received an apple quince wreath from Creekside Farms (pictured above).  While the pictures of these wreaths are beautiful, receiving one in person is absolutely amazing!  From the perfectly placed greenery and decorative accents to the fresh aroma of eucalyptus, juniper, and tallowberries, the wreath is a stunning addition to our kitchen.

Creekside Farms would like to offer my readers an exclusive savings of 15% off your order when you enter the promotional code CENTS at checkout.  Be sure to follow Creekside Farms on Facebook and Twitter to see their latest wreath designs and custom creations as well.

You can also find more holiday gift ideas on my 2014 Christmas Gift Guide page.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Creekside Farms.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Our Family’s Visit to Wendel Farms Corn Maze

by Katie on October 13, 2014

The weekend before I had surgery, our family visited the Wendel Farms Corn Maze.  We brought along almost a dozen extended family members for an a”maze”ing good time (sorry…I know that was corny, but I just couldn’t help myself!).

Our oldest son had gone to Wendel Farms last fall with his youth group and enjoyed it so much that we went back as a family a few weeks later.  Their corn maze has a fun twist compared to most traditional corn mazes….it’s open even after dark.

So, as opposed to following a map and seeing each twist and turn in the daylight, you have the opportunity to get completely lost in the dark instead.  Both years, we laughed until our sides hurt as we wound our way through the maze.

This year, our older two sons split off with their cousin and formed a young vs. old team (I’m not quite sure I was fairly placed as I landed on the old team….but whatever!).  We had snapped a picture of the map at the beginning of the maze and were armed with all the essentials for the corn maze – flashlights, water, and of course, chocolate!

The three-person “young” team had nothing but limited lighting from the moon (we chose a very cloudy night) and their overall sense of direction.  So, naturally the older, wiser, more prepared team won, right?!  Sadly, no…but I was rather impressed that three of them beat the ten of us.

Three of the five sisters in my family at the end of the corn maze.

After completing the corn maze, we ambled through the rest of the farm, discovering a variety of fun surprises along the way.  We teamed up for tricycle races:

The kids wandered through the smaller hay maze that was designed for younger adventurers:

And they tried their hand at the farm equipment:

We even stopped by to say hi to the farm animals:

And played a variety of farm-themed games:

Once we had explored the farm, we headed back to the farm’s store where the littler girls enjoyed a cup of steamy hot cocoa:

The older kids enjoyed cocoa too, although they were pretty sure that they were much cooler about it:

Wendel Farms is located near the Indiana/Ohio border in Brookville, Indiana.  The corn maze is $7 for adults, $6 for children 12 and under, and free for little ones who are two and under.  Plus, if you have a group of 25 or more, be sure to inquire about the group rates available at Wendel Farms.

For the price of general admission, visitors can enjoy a trip through the corn maze, the straw maze, the petting farm, farm land, education center, the vegetable patch, corn bin, trike track, and corn hole.  In addition to the corn maze, Wendel Farms also offers campfire packages, school tours, fall decorations, and more.

This is one fall tradition that will definitely be an annual one for our family!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Wendel Farms.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Of all the household chores that find their way onto my weekly to do list, it’s the ginormous pile of mismatched socks in my laundry basket that I tend to dread the most.  It was different when the kids were really little, and they had cute baby and toddler socks with lions and race cars.

The problem is, the kids and their feet are no longer little, and the sock pile no longer resembles anything associated with the word “cute.”   Instead, I have an overflowing laundry basket filled with boys’ and men’s socks in varying shades of white, off-white, gray, black, and grass green (I know….you’re wishing you had such an awesome laundry basket at your house, too right?!).

Instead of tackling the mound of socks on a routine basis, I have the tendency to avoid the task until the whole family is walking around in flip flops asking where their socks are.  So, you can imagine my delight when I discovered that Gold Toe recently introduced their new E-Z Match System.

Now, I have to admit, I was a little skeptical at first.  After sixteen years of folding boys’ socks (with a few cute girl socks thrown in the mix), I was certain that short of using velcro to keep the socks together, there was no possible way to put socks into the washer and end up with easy-t0-find mates once you pulled them from the dryer.

However, Gold Toe managed to do the impossible by making socks that are easy to match and fold.  Gold Toe’s E-Z Match System is as simple as it gets – the number of rings running across the toes of the sock indicates the sock’s size – either small, medium, or large.

Small socks contain one ring, medium socks have two, and large socks feature three rings across the toe section.  This system is incredibly helpful for moms and dads, especially if they have more than one child.  Instead of sorting through multiple sizes of socks, parents can easily see which socks go together based on the number of rings around the toe section of each sock.

The E-Z Match System is available in a variety of different sock styles including liners, sport socks, crew socks, and dress socks.  Plus, as an added bonus, Gold Toe is currently featuring 25% off all their kids’ socks, underwear, and casual wear through September 8th to help you stretch budget during the Back to School season.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Gold Toe.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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In July, our family had the opportunity to visit COSI (Center of Science & Discovery) in Columbus, Ohio.  Now for those of you who have never been to COSI, let me assure you, it is definitely a trip worth taking.  Prior to this visit, the last time I’d been to COSI was in grade school, and let’s just suffice to say that ‘s it’s been lots a few years since then.

Encompassing a complex that is 320,000 square feet in area, COSI is the epitome of hands-on fun and learning.  COSI features four strategic areas of focus – energy and environment, technology and innovation, health and medicine, and early childhood education.

COSI embraces that childlike love of learning, and makes it attainable for all of their visitors.  It is their desire to give others a more meaningful understanding of science, health, industry, and history through exhibits, demonstrations, and a wide variety of educational activities and hands-on experiences.

One of my favorite sections of COSI was the Gadgets Zone.  Our family spent a large portion of the afternoon in this area, exploring the many different facets of physics, chemistry, engineering, and energy.  The kids took turns experimenting with various pulleys to determine which system enabled them to hoist themselves up with the least amount of physical effort required.

Our youngest son spent the better part of an hour configuring circuits to create a variety of different outcomes – a doorbell ringing, a fan running, and illuminating a light bulb.

Meanwhile, our daughter loved building a variety of contraptions with her special “Daddy and Me” building time.

Another favorite for all of us was the area of Progress.  Traveling back to 1898, you literally feel like you’ve been transported back in time.  From the post office front to the street lamps, it seems as though you’ve walked into a completely different era.

Jumping forward to the 1962 town, the kids had a blast with their cousin in the old fashioned diner, although our daughter looks a little too comfortable with her imaginary beverage!

They also enjoyed looking at the different store fronts, as well as the differences in packaging and logos.

My personal favorite was the gas pump, even though I had a few moments of sadness knowing that $0.25 would now only buy a few drops of gas!

At the end of the afternoon, the kids even had the opportunity to work together to lift a car off the ground.  We literally spent the entire day from open to close at COSI (with a quick break for lunch in the parking lot), and still did not manage to see all of the exhibits and attractions that COSI has to offer.

Since it’s just under a 2-hour drive to Columbus from Cincinnati, it’s a great day trip for our family.  Plus, the membership prices are very reasonable, especially as a homeschooling parent:

  • Teacher & Family Membership – $95
  • Single Adult Family Membership – $95
  • Basic Family Membership – $115
  • Premium Family Membership – $160

Stay tuned tomorrow as I’ll be sharing our family’s experience at two of the side exhibits at COSI – Adventure in the Valley of the Unknown and Sherlock Holmes.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by COSI.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Even though I love the busy chaos of our family, I also make a point of scheduling one on one time with each of our kids on a routine basis.  These outings afford us the chance to catch up on life and enjoy the simplicity of just one conversation instead of trying to stream several at one time!

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to take our daughter out for an early morning breakfast.  When I asked her where she wanted to go, she decided on her favorite place ever without a moment’s hesitation – Panera Bread.  Between the amazing food and the cozy ambiance, she has loved Panera Bread ever since she was little.

Once we got to our local Panera Bread Restaurant, she took plenty of time to look over all the options for breakfast.  She was enamored by the adorable flip flop cookies, the fresh-baked bagels, and the delicious-looking pastries.  However, in the end, the ginormous candy cookie won a place in her heart (and her stomach!).  I know…perhaps not a traditional breakfast choice, but every once in awhile, chocolate for breakfast is a fun option!

I opted for one of my breakfast favorites – hot oatmeal.  Since Panera had their steel cut oatmeal with blueberries and granola on their summer menu, I enjoyed an amazing breakfast with an amazing little girl!

Settled into our booth by the window, we were able to catch up on a number of conversations – the best things about being 7, her ideas for upcoming school year, and her dreams for the future.  We also enjoyed just being silly, managing to snap several selfies before breakfast was over.

It was such a fun morning, and I truly cherished the opportunity to revel in my daughter’s joy as we created memories together during our mommy and me time with each other.

Panera Bread was recently named one of Cincinnati’s Top Workplaces in 2014 by the Cincinnati Enquirer.  The bakery-cafe concept, with 21 locations and a regional office in the Tri-state area, is in a prestigious class of approximately only a dozen “large businesses” that embody the city’s best work environments, based on a company-wide employee survey on TopWorkplaces.com.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Panera Bread.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Our Stay at Riverside Inn Bed & Breakfast

by Katie on August 5, 2014

Last week, my husband and I had the opportunity to stay at the Riverside Inn Bed & Breakfast.  Now, in order to put a frame of reference around this experience, there are two things you should know about our family.  First off, before staying at Riverside Inn, my husband and I have spent a grand total of one night alone without the kids in the last 17 years….unless you count being in the hospital giving birth, which I really, really don’t.

Secondly, we are outnumbered by our children by a margin of two to one.  And if you add in the fact that two of our children have ADHD, it feels way more like four to one!  So, when my mom offered to keep the kids for the night, I happily agreed without a moment’s hesitation.

Now don’t get me wrong – I love our kiddos and I never get bored of hanging out with them.  But the idea of spending a whole 24 hours with my husband without anyone interrupting our conversation was an opportunity that I definitely had no intention of passing up.

When I first came across the Riverside Inn’s site, I was very impressed with the pictures of the accommodations and the scenic grounds.  Upon arriving in person, I realized that no pictures could capture the sheer beauty and tranquility of the Riverside Inn.

Just a little over an hour south of Cincinnati, the Riverside Inn features seven different rooms that are elegantly decorated, each boasting an impressive view of the grounds.

Five of the seven rooms are king-size suites that include hand-painted bathrooms with double vanities (these are seriously awesome bathrooms – there’s more room in one these bathrooms than two of mine at home…but I digress!).

On the first floor, there’s also a guest suite that is completely handicapped accessible.  Even the shower in this room offers full accessibility as well.

Inside the Inn, there are plenty of amenities to enjoy during your stay – a library, pool table, player piano, and a table set up for Scrabble. We took the time to enjoy a mostly friendly game of Scrabble while splurging on sundaes from DQ.

In the morning, we leisurely drank our coffee while sitting on the paved steps that lead down to the Ohio River.  Around us, birds and butterflies flitted pass, weaving in and out of the trees and flowering vegetation.

As we meandered back into the dining room, we chatted about the day ahead of us, and caught up on a dozen or more previously unfinished conversations, the aroma of eggs and ham greeting us as we approached.

Sitting in the dining room, we enjoyed the panoramic views while chatting with the innkeepers of the bed and breakfast, Kurt and Kathy.  With an extensive background in customer service, they are an integral part of the charm at Riverside Inn.  They are hands down some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and their love of their profession is evident in everything they do.

And the breakfast….oh my!  Kurt combined sourdough bread, eggs, ham, and cheese to create a culinary masterpiece.

We also enjoyed maple infused yogurt with granola as well as a baked peach.

After breakfast, we strolled the grounds, and took time to sit in the many swings and benches throughout the property.  It was so relaxing to just soak in the beauty of the area, and I could feel the stress of everyday life melting away.

We took plenty of time to check out the gazebo as well.  Not only is the gazebo large enough to accommodate a crowd of people, but it contains everything you’ll need to grill up a gourmet feast at dinnertime.

In fact, my husband was already planning out his grilling preparations for the next time we stay at Riverside Inn!

At the end of the morning, we packed up, said our goodbyes to Kurt and Kathy, and headed back to Cincinnati to pick up our kiddos at VBS.  We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Riverside Inn, and we will definitely be incorporating it as a new tradition – one that we won’t be waiting another 17 years for!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by the Riverside Inn.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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