TRAVEL || WHERE TO EAT IN CINCINNATI

Cincinnati has a lot of great food choices! There were so many places to go in so little time, but here are a few we got to enjoy and would definitely recommend!

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For starters, you need to visit the iconic Skyline Chili. In 1949, Greek immigrant Nicholas Lambrinides came to the states and started Skyline Chili with his family recipes. It’s an Ohio staple! The restaurant has a very casual atmosphere with prices you just can’t beat! We went there for lunch and so did everyone else! It was really cool looking around the room seeing everyone on their lunch break. You have people in suits and ties sitting next to construction workers. I’d say that alone would make it a fan favorite! Oh, and I can’t forget to mention, they do all of the cooking right in front of you! The restaurant is set up with the kitchen in the middle of the room. You can sit at a table with friends or at the bar surrounding the cooking area- similar to a hibachi grill set up. My table got the chili dogs with chili cheese fries and a soda. Classic. You can tell by our cleaned plates in the photo below that it was good!

 

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Next on the list is the Moerlein Lager House. The best part about this restaurant is the location. It sits in the middle of the Smale Riverfront Park so you can grab a seat out on the terrace and enjoy the views. Watch the boats float down the river, people strolling through the park and take in the nice weather while you enjoy your lunch! My table ordered the Spicy corn chowder, Beer Can Chicken Melt Sandwich, and the Philly Cheesesteak with Sweet Potato Chips.

A cool, local dinner spot is Bakerfield OTR (Over The Rhine). Taco ’bout good food! Their tacos and queso dip were recommended to us, and I’m definitely passing on that recommendation. I also recommend ordering various taco options to explore all the combinations of flavors. The decor and vibes were on trend. If I lived here, this would definitely be my go-to spot for a casual date night!

After dinner, take a stroll around the block for dessert at Simply Rolled Ice Cream! This company is Ohio’s original rolled ice cream shop. If you haven’t heard of rolled ice cream, click here to watch my video! Simply Rolled has three locations- each of which are in Ohio and use locally sourced ingredients. They even have a vegan option! I did a create-your-own type deal with various chocolate toppings and cookie dough bites. NOM! Fun fact: Their spoons change color with temperature. You can kind of see in the photo below that the spoon is purple by the ice cream.

TRAVEL || CLEVELAND INDIANS BASEBALL

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My husband and I are on a mission to watch the Atlanta Braves play in every major league baseball park. We set out on a road trip to Ohio in order to catch back-to-back games against the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds.

Cleveland was first on the itinerary, so we planned to attend the Friday night game. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate. A storm came through with heavy rain, lots of fog, and cold temperatures. This led to the first game getting postponed to Saturday at 3pm- resulting in a double header. Our money was refunded and we bought new tickets for Saturday. Luckily, we didn’t have solid plans for Saturday night, so it worked out in our favor. We got to watch two games for the price of one!

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Traffic was pretty bad as Eric Church was touring in town that weekend, but our Lyft driver was able to drop us off a block away from the stadium. We arrived early when the gates opened so we could check out the park and find our seats before the action started.

The park was nice and easy to navigate. The extra large broadcasting screen  was flanked with buildings from downtown creating a nice view of the outfield.

The food options were great! I had wanted to go eat at Momocho, a popular Mexican restaurant in town, and lucky me- they were serving food at the stadium! It was too cold to take a picture of my food.. Sorry (lol) but it was yummy!

 

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Every baseball game has that ONE obnoxious fan. We were right behind the Braves dugout, and this guy chose to get his seats there so the players could hear him. His jokes were over the line and getting personal. He would even turn and mock the Braves fans! I know this sounds terrible, BUT I am saying all this to say that the Progressive Field staff handled it like champs! They very discreetly talked to the man and then to us Braves fans. The usher told us they were watching him and if he said anything to us again, they would remove him from the park. They checked back in with us a few times as the games continued to make sure we felt comfortable. Three cheers to the staff! I have never encountered such attentive and thoughtful security at a game.

 

No one can control the weather or the people around you, so we certainly didn’t let those elements ruin our experience. We had a great time and really enjoyed being at the park! Incase you were wondering, the Braves lost the first game but won the second game. I’ll take it!

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FASHION || IDLEWILD JEWELRY VINTAGE REDESIGNS

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I love finding local gems to share with you guys, and today is no exception! Tabitha Frazier of Hoover, Alabama, started Idlewild Jewelry Co to create one-of-a-kind necklaces from vintage baubles. With each piece being hand-crafted, no two necklaces are alike!

My piece is called the “Judith,” and it is a combination of a 1940’s buckle and a 1970’s chain. Her artistic eye is undeniable!

I am all about sentimentality. Items passed down through generations are so special! With her excellent craftsmanship, she can even take a personal heirloom and redesign it into a current necklace to wear and enjoy. This is so cool, because most jewelers don’t do this type of work. A niche cottage business, like Idlewild Jewelry Co, is the best way to repurpose cherished pieces.

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You are probably wondering what idlewild means and why she chose this as her company’s name. Idlewild was coined in 1854 by an American poet who wanted to buy a certain piece of land. The land owner called it “idlewild” because this land was basically good for nothing- overgrown and in bad shape. The poet bought it and turned it into a beautiful homestead. Like the poet, Tabitha takes people’s old things and brings new life to them! As another twist of fate would have it, Tabitha and her husband’s first home was on Idlewild Circle near the UAB campus in Birmingham, Alabama. They were married in 1997 and lived at that address for five and a half years while they started their family. Call it coincidence or fate, but the name was meant to be.

You can visit her online store at idlewildjewelryco.net!

 

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FASHION || LULU’S WEDDING GUEST DRESSES

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Spring has sprung and wedding season has begun! I know you will be needing something to wear, and finding the perfect dress is tough. When on the search of what to wear to a wedding, there are a lot of factors at play- You can’t wear white, some times you can’t wear black, you want to look good but not too revealing, and you have to take the requested attire into consideration.. Luckily, Lulu’s has a lot of great options that won’t break the bank.

Here are my current FAVS that check all the boxes when looking for a wedding guest dress! All of the dresses below are under $99, but if they are still out of budget, check the Lulu’s banner at the top of the page for discount codes.

Most of these dresses come in other colors, so just click on the style you like to shop!

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xoxo, Joining Jordan

TRAVEL || A GRAND TIME GRAND TOUR

Planning to take a day trip through the southern rim of the Grand Canyon? I’ve got a few tips and tricks for the perfect day!

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Even the Southern rim of the Grand Canyon is worth spending multiple days, but if you only have one day to explore this majestic wonder, here is a guide to hit all the high points! Tip: Some people get a week pass to the national park but don’t use all the days. Your hotel concierge might have extra passes you can use.

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When staying in Sedona or Flagstaff, take US-89 to AZ-64 through Cameron. This route takes you through the Navajo Indian Reserve. (Side note: Fill your tank up with gas before you leave, because there is no station in the reserve.) The land is dry, bare, and red but it is definitely a cool sight to experience. You get a little taste of canyon views with a few remote look-out points along the way. We pulled off at Marble Canyon of the Little Colorado River Gorge, which really psyched us up for our day of site seeing. The walk is only about 100 yards from the parking area on a gravel road, so it is accessible for everyone.

 

As you continue driving towards the Grand Canyon, you’ll enter on the eastern side of the South Rim. After going through the national park gate, your first stop is the Desert View Watchtower, also known as Navajo Point. This is where you can stamp your national park book, climb up steps into a watchtower to get an even higher view of the canyons, and scope out the landscape details with their telescopes. It is a very popular, touristy point so be ready for a large crowd. We went on Easter Sunday expecting a lower number of tourist, but we were wrong, lol! Luckily, the other stops were not as busy as this first one.

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Next, you’ll drive 22 miles west to the Visitor Center. On that drive, they have about three  points where you can stop to take a look. Lipan, Moran and Grandview are the main points. For time sake, pick one or two. The view is fairly similar to the watchtower at these points, but they are way less crowded!

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We had a cooler of waters in our car, but if you need to grab drinks or snacks, you can stop at the Park Store in the Visitor Center. They not only have a grocery store, but also a deli with sandwiches and pizza. I’m not the type to pass up pizza, so we got it to go and took it with us to the main area, aka the Village, for a picnic. This is where the hotels and restaurants are located and it is only a 2 mile drive from the Visitor Center. There were not many places to picnic in the Village, so we ventured to the edge and sat on a stone ledge. Many people passed by us saying we were brave for sitting there, but how many people get to say they ate lunch literally on the edge of the Grand Canyon?? That was by far our most spontaneous part of the day- I highly recommend it! They have restaurants where you can eat if that is more your style.

 

After lunch, we found a parking spot in a lot near the bus stop. The buses are free and rotate between nine different look-out points. You can hop on and off the buses as they pass. Again, you don’t have to go to all of them but pick about four to get off and venture. We stopped at Trailview Overlook, Hopi Point, the Abyss, and Hermits Rest. Hermits Rest is as far west as you can go on the South Rim. It is the only stop that has a bathroom or snack food option. The snack bar at Hermits rest closes an hour before sunset, so make sure you get there in time to grab some coffee. It will keep you busy and warm you up as you wait for the sun to set! Watching the sun set over the canyon was a dream of mine, and I soaked up every second. It was a once in a lifetime experience seeing the sky change colors- No filter needed! Catch the last bus back to the parking lot and head home.

 

As you leave, take a different route home by exiting through the South Entrance Station down AZ-64. You’ll come to the city of Tusayan, which is right outside of the national park. We stopped for dinner at Big E Steakhouse & Saloon and it was good eatin’! It is a western themed steakhouse whose serving sizes are like the Grand Canyon.. large. After all that hiking, you’ll want to refuel for the drive back.

 

We spent our one year anniversary day-tripping the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was April 1st, so the weather was hot during the day but cold out on the points and while watching the sun set. Be sure to bring a warm, yet light-weight jacket. I personally recommend this one!

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Happy Hiking!

FASHION || LITTLE BLACK DRESSES

Every gal needs a LBD (Little Black Dress) in her closet. From date nights to bachelorette parties, it’s the go-to staple piece of every woman’s wardrobe.

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I’ve selected some of my favorite LBD’s for you to shop! Kind of like a cheat sheet to save you some time searching stores and websites. Just click on the dress you like below to shop!

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FASHION || UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATERS

You’ve got this in the bag.. and not just Santa’s bag! Here is a guide to WINNING your ugly Christmas sweater party!

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Get ready for this year’s festivities or get them on sale for next year’s gatherings.. Either way, you and your man will be the highlight of the party in these tacky get-ups!

Just click the images below to shop!

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FASHION || NEW YEAR NEW CLOTHES

New Year. New You… in sparkles!

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We all enter into each new year in hopes of starting fresh with resolutions to help better our lives. The best way to achieve these goals is through confidence and motivation. Here are some NYE clothes to help you look and feel your best as you begin 2019!

Dressing up? Get glam with these dresses and rompers! Click on your favorites below to shop.

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Staying in with friends and family? Here are some more casual ways to watch the ball drop! Click on your favorites below to shop.

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TRAVEL || ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

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If you get the chance to go to a Diamondbacks game, do it. We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the stadium.

This major-league baseball team is home to Phoenix, Arizona. We parked right outside of the stadium for $10! Other big events I’ve been to recently have had higher parking rates, so right off the bat we were impressed (pun intended). Getting into the stadium was easy breezy, topped with a free souvenir bag as you entered. Our tickets were behind first base, so we had great seats- not only because of the view, but the seats themselves are angled to face home plate. Loved that! It gets better… the roof can open and close! We got to watch the sun set and the stars come out behind the big screen.

One of my favorite parts was getting on the fan screen! We tweeted a selfie to them and they showed it up on the screen, like ten times. That may have been a glitch in the system but we sure felt welcomed, ha!

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The Friday night game ended with the Dbacks getting a W and celebratory fireworks. Way to cap off a wonderful night (pun intended.. again)!

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FASHION || CLOSET READY HALLOWEEN COSTUMES

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Halloween is one of my FAVORITE holidays! I love getting to dress up and be someone or something different for a night. What I don’t love is spending a bunch of money on a costume that I’ll never wear again. If I’m going to spend money on a piece of clothing, I want to be able to keep it in my closet and wear it next week to dinner. Back in college, I would go to three Halloween parties a year. I developed the skill of rummaging through my closet and finding something I already owned to turn into a costume!

Most closets don’t come costume ready, so I’d like give you some inspiration! Individually, each item below is something you will wear in your every day life, but styled together, they transform into a costume contest winner!

Just click on the costume you like and it will pull up each individual item for you to shop!

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ROBBER || Mask and bag not included, BUT your “stolen swag bag” can double as your purse for the night!

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OSCAR AWARD || Yaaasss Queen! All that glitters IS gold.

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WHERE’S WALDO || Pro Tip: Photo bomb everyone’s picture during the night. They will “find Waldo” as they flip through their photos the next day!

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FLAMINGO || Be sure to stand on one foot when you take pics!

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MIME || Don’t mime if I do!