Coffee Fest and Rob Bell

 

 

Date nights don’t happen nearly as often as they should. At this point in our lives we have two girls (one of which is an infant) and they keep us busy. Balancing work and family seems like a farfetched myth. But every so often the stars align and we are able to get away for a couple of hours.

Our most recent date night consisted on attending two events (one chosen by each of us.)

For me: We joined the Columbus Underground and attended Coffee Fest

Coffee is not just a boost of caffeine in my life; Coffee is a lifestyle.

I’m well aware of the addiction I harbor toward this brewed beverage, but I have no plans of sobriety any time soon. I live on this stuff and I absolutely loved joining other coffee fanatics in my city for this fun event. It was held at the Ohio Village, an old-fashioned, model village behind the Ohio Historical Society.

Local brewers set up stands throughout the venue and provided samples of their best coffees for those in attendance. When we entered the festival we were given a ceramic mug that served as our cup throughout the event so that they minimized trash and kept the environment of the day clean and green.

My favorite coffee that I sampled was the Ethiopian blend from Hemisphere Coffee Roasters.

After several cups of amazing coffee we visited the Food Trucks on site and enjoyed  Mikey’s Late Night Slice’s famous pizzas.

 

For Him: We attended Rob Bell’s Holy Shift Talk

Ever since Rob Bell launched his career my husband has enjoyed his work. He is a Christian author and speaker who now lives in Los Angeles, California.

Although much of his work is considered to be a bit liberal for the Christian crowd my husband has continued to support Rob Bell and his ministry. I’ve read some of his early works and I have seen almost all of his Nooma videos. It’s easy for people to form an opinion about him and protests are a regular occurrence at his speaking engagements, but overall I enjoyed listening to him and found objection to none of the elements he spoke about in this talk. It was a call to Christians to regard the holiness in the everyday and mundane events of life.

Per usual, we laughed, cried, and felt goosebumps as he revealed seven ways that he has encountered God’s holiness in his own life.

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The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Our First Geocache Adventure

Geocache- the act of using GPS services to locate a hidden package or item.

Over Spring break my husband and I found ourselves with some alone time. This isn’t something that happens often so we decided to make the most of it. Sure, we could have done the usual date night and gone to a movie, but this was a mid-day respite and the sun was shining. We wanted to soak up the sun!

As we tried to decide what to do I remembered a student recommending urban geocaching. It’s something I had heard of before, but had never done. The idea seemed intriguing and it proved to be the perfect way to spend a day together. My husband and I are always looking for new places to go in downtown Columbus so we packed up our car and headed in that direction.

First, we downloaded the app Geocaching. 

Then, we found a general area in Columbus that had several geocaches available. We parked in a random place. Our first task was to find somewhere nearby for lunch. Since we were on the edge of Harrison and Victorian Villages we decided to try the popular Katalinas. I ordered a breakfast taco and my husband had Hens in a Basket (eggs baked into toast.) Both menu items were really good!

Next, we headed out on foot for our first cache. Using the coordinates and GPS on our phones we made it to the first location. Our first try was unsuccessful. We spent twenty minutes looking for a hidden key box. To be fair, we had no idea what we were looking for. We decided to go ahead and move onto another cache and come back and check again on our way to the car afterward.

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The next geocache was two miles away. Geocaching is a good motivator for exercise…did I mention that? We plugged in the new coordinates and enjoyed a leisurely walk around town.

We found the next cache almost immediately. Hints provided by those who planted the cache are always helpful. Most geocaches contain small trinkets. You can take something from the cache as long as you replace it with something of yours. This first cache contained two small erasers. Despite the anticlimactic souvenirs we were excited to have found our first cache!

Next, we decided to head toward the arena district about half a mile away. There was another one hidden in a park there. This one was a little harder to spot, but after ten minutes we had captured the quarry. The memento contained in this one was a dream catcher key chain. Again, not super exciting, but finding the cache was reward enough for us.

Believe it or not, downtown Columbus isn’t the best spot to geocache. Many of the suburbs are ridden with them, but downtown only has a few. We decided to head back in the direction of the unsuccessful cache. On the way we stopped for coffee at a small place in the Short North called One Line Coffee. We sipped and walked.

Once we got back to the original coordinates from earlier it only took a few minutes for us to find the hidden key box. Having the experiences of the first two helped us know what to look for.

We ended up walking five miles and having a really great time. This is something we plan to continue. We may even get our daughter involved. Stay tuned for more geocaching adventures!

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Why We Are Roman Soldiers

During our summer visit to England my husband and I heard about a new phenomenon sweeping the YouTube world. Countless times we introduced ourselves to people and said that we were from Columbus, Ohio and were met with questions about if we know Roman Atwood. Prior to our trip neither of us had a clue who this Roman guy was and why people in England were so fascinated with him and his family.

And then we watched a vlog…

Let me just say that we were completely blown away. We asked each other, “How have we never heard of him when we have a hometown celebrity so close by?”

So who is Roman Atwood?–If you aren’t already a Roman soldier (the name he gives to his fans) let me explain to you in the best way I can about this outrageously popular and positive YouTube channel. I know my description won’t do him justice, so please check out his YouTube channel if I even somewhat pique your interest.

Roman Atwood first became famous through his outlandish tricks and pranks. Some of his first videos involve him going up to strangers and doing some pretty messed up stuff to get their reactions on film. I won’t lie some of his pranks are ridiculous and I would NEVER recommend trying them on complete strangers. He’s worked with some of the guys from Jack Ass and so if you are familiar with that at all you kind of have an idea of his background.

After his pranks Roman began a second YouTube Channel where he vlogs his daily life and uploads a video just about every day. Most of his vlogs involve the members of his family and their every day lives together. It seems boring, but there is something so inspirational about the Atwood family that has drawn millions of fans to his page. Roman has been through some rough life situations and come out of them with a new and positive perspective. To watch his vlogs you can tell he is just a dad who loves his kids, treats his long-time girlfriend respectfully, and enjoys having a good time.

He has created a brand called Smile More which has also taken off. The store is housed on his family property and run by family members and friends. The goal of Smile More is to help people, like Roman, who are facing obstacles in their lives, to keep a positive perspective. I think the reason so many people have become addicted to watching the Atwoods and Smile More is because they are a real life example of the power of positivity and love and they are spreading messages that everyone needs to hear.

My husband and I have made it a habit to watch these vlogs each night as we are winding down for bed. It’s so uplifting after a rough day to hear Roman’s closing speech at the end of each vlog. No matter how tough your day was there is always something to smile about. Roman oftentimes also speaks about being yourself and not letting people tear you down or change you.

It’s so fun to watch a local guy become a celebrity from a positive message.

Check out the Roman Atwood Vlogs and let me know what you think.

“You are beautiful. You are one of a kind. Smile More!” -Roman Atwood

The Ameri Brit Mom

(photo credit: romanatwood.com) Noah, Kane, Brittney Smith, and Roman Atwood

Anniversary Bliss

The first week of June is always full of such bliss in our household. On June 4, my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary. June 6 is my mother’s birthday which we always commemorate with a mother-daughter lunch. And my birthday is today, June 7. (I’m 26!!!)

We are busy packing and preparing for our Chicago trip today because we leave first thing tomorrow. At some point between weighing suitcases and checking off the last things from our to-do list we will also be venturing out to the Columbus Zoo for a couple of hours. The zoo has become one of our family birthday traditions. I’m really excited to make some memories at the best zoo in the country today!

As excited as I am for my birthday festivities I’m still living in shadows of my anniversary weekend. It was so much fun!

June 4, 2016 was our fifth anniversary. My husband planned an entire day filled with some of our favorite things as well as some new activities. My parents watched our daughter for the whole day which freed my husband and I up to do some pretty awesome things.

First off, we drove to Columbus. For a really long time we’ve been saying that we would love to rent a bike and ride the Scioto Mile Trail which runs parallel to the Scioto River in downtown Columbus. We ended up riding close to four miles. This was so scenic and refreshing. It was also a blast!

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Our next stop was a Barnes and Noble on the Ohio State University campus. We had a leisurely walk about the books. It’s been a while since we have had the ability to check out adult books in a bookstore without a toddler screaming to look at the kids books or play at the train table in the back.

Then we were off to dinner. We chose The Cheesecake Factory at Easton. It was delish!

Lastly, and most excitingly we participated in our first Wine and Canvas event. At Wine and Canvas professional artists walk you step-by-step through the painting process. Everyone is working on the same picture and there is a steady supply of “liquid courage” as they call it. This was so much fun and I was really pleased with the way that both of our canvases turned out.

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It was so nice to enjoy a night out on the town with my husband doing things that we rarely get an opportunity to participate in with a child. I feel so lucky and blessed to have been married to such a great guy. And in less than 24 hours we kick off our Great Traveling Adventures of 2016!

I hope everyone else is having a great start to June!

The Ameri Brit Mom