Let me begin by saying this trip was fully compensated for. Every last part of it, but as always, that doesn't change the way I tell my story. Guys, don't you know me by now? Okay, so on to the important stuff--our little weekend getaway to Butler County. I'll be honest, like most of you, I was like, "Where and what is Butler County?!" The Donut Trail is what first enticed me, but I'll admit, there was so much more to Butler County than the Donut Trail! I'm going to give a run down our entire trip with some information about each stop--what we liked, didn't like...

Columbus is pretty incredible--in so many ways. We have: the BEST library in the country the best zoo in the country the best science center in America and America’s largest University. We have also been recognized as one of the 7 Smartest Cities in the World-pretty cool, huh? So, it really should be no surprise why we won the U.S. Department of Transportation $40 million Smart City Challenge. As Mayor Ginther said, "Stop acting surprised." It's true. Columbus really is the place to be and I'm darn proud of that. Because we won the Smart City Challenge and we were awarded a $40 million dollar grant, we are taking great strides to connect...

Weekend Getaway: Cincinnati You have kids and a vacation becomes more like a trip. There's no vacationing with kids around, if we're being honest. Because my kiddos are so young, the thought of a long drive or spending a ton of money on a huge trip doesn't seem worth it. Instead, we decided to create memories inside our very own state. If you didn't know, Ohio has some amazing places to visit, one being Cincinnati. A short 90 minute drive is all it takes and it's the perfect two-day getaway. In fact, you could even extend that a day or two to be honest. I've outlined the perfect trip to Cincy...

I was fortunate enough to have an amazing opportunity. I was able to go behind the scenes at Raising Cane's Hamilton location, where their G.M. Gaige McNutt graciously showed me around and gave me the “ins and outs” of this truly amazing company. Everywhere you look and turn there are stories. Stories behind what's hanging on the walls.  Gaige decided to hang framed jerseys of all the schools in his area that they have partnered with in the past by donating their time, food or funds.  And the stories are meaningful. Intentional. And full of rich tradition. Take this hard hat here. After working at Raising Cane’s...

My son was born in 2013 and we didn’t know there was anything wrong.       I had a completely healthy pregnancy and then he was born premature. When he was born he was jaundice—which causes yellowing of the skin and eyes. No one was worried about it because that’s pretty normal in premature babies. A couple days later they sent us home, but they wanted to watch him closely. We were getting blood drawn every three days for his first two weeks of life, and then it got a little bit better and we thought, “Oh great he’s getting better—we’re good to go. It was just a premature thing.” But...

We were at our daughter's basketball game. He was on the bleachers and I was sitting on the floor next to the bleachers with a 5-year-old and 2-year-old on top of me. Literally. Almost 10 years married, and this is our life. A life we dreamed of. At one point, he looked down and smiled. The smile was that smile of, "I see you. I see how much you're doing." He knew I had endured a pretty rough day with the kiddos. I had to take them to work with me earlier that morning and it was a complete disaster. He could see it in my eyes. He could...

"I grew up in Southeastern Ohio and was born with a genetic disorder that effects the liver called Alpha One Antitrypsin Deficiency.  They found it in my baby well check up. So, Nationwide Children's Hospital followed me my entire childhood. The only cure for Alpha One is a Liver Transplant.  I grew up knowing that-- that I needed a liver.   It was hard at times, but I didn't know any different. My health started to slowly go down hill my senior year of high school.  Then, I went to Marshall University my freshman year of college in the Fall of 2000.  During my first semester my health...

My mom took her own life when I was six years old. She was 31. As I am quickly approaching the same age she died, I am fighting daily to make sure my story doesn’t end like hers. My name is Nikki. I’m 29 years old, a graduate from Grandview Heights High School, and a stay at home mom. I work at home by filming and editing videos for my YouTube channel (NikkiLeighLifestyle) where I have almost 60k subscribers and over 20 million video views. I’ve had this channel since 2010 and have received letters from all over the world and of all races and age...

"I am a scrappy activist and advocate. The seeds of my activism were planted and have bloomed in and out of seasons and pushed me ever closer to my purpose. Season One: Childhood I was born into a family of educators who spent their careers educating children in large urban school districts. Growing up I heard stories about children who were poor, lived in marginalized communities, and often did not have enough to eat.  Of the many stories that I heard there is one that stands out. My mother was an elementary school principal.  One morning my mother was called to the cafeteria because a first grade student...

"Backstory: June 30, 2017 I lived in my own apartment for almost 4 years in April. I call my place the Cozy Cottage. I never had any major issues with my neighbors, though at one point I had a neighbor that played extremely loud music all hours of the night and day, that I could feel and hear it through my noise canceling headphones. (Note: Sensory Processing Disorder). Anyways, end of June 2017 my Dad fell and broke his hip, so I was at the hospital with him from morning until 10pm. I knew I had new neighbors (a guy and a female) above me, because I had...