Our Cooke family story began at a church service in 1984. At the time, both my husband and I were attending a church, where each of us thought the other was “taken.” We finally connected at choir practice and I quickly invited him to a masquerade party that I was having. When he showed up as Prince Charming wearing tights and carrying a yellow rose, I knew he was the one for me. We were engaged six months later and married in September of 1985 – while he was still an undergraduate student at the University of Toledo. I am two years older so I  had...

When I walked through the door to greet Erica at her office location off Riverside Drive--I had no idea I would be embarking on a spiritual journey.  But, I walked through the door and instantly an awe set in and a calmness entered me. Earlier that morning, Elizabeth and I dropped off the kiddos (Cora and Graham) at a local play café, with complete strangers for the first time. If you personally know Elizabeth and I, then you know we both tend to be anxious.  To no surprise anxiety was running high.   So much, we carpooled together to meet Erica, and the whole drive was spent rationalizing our decision to drop them off. ...

So, as soon as Hot Chicken Takeover responded to me about an interview, my anxiety went through the roof. This was a big one–this was a really good one. I love everything about Joe’s mission and vision, well, and the chicken of course. If you don’t know who Hot Chicken Takeover is, you are definitely in the minority, so I’ll fill you in… HCT (as you might hear it referred as) is located in the North Market, but, in addition, they have a food truck. Their location in the North Market is built on creating a community where everyone eats their meals at long picnic-style tables....

I love play cafes, and my kids love going to them, but, let's be honest, it's never a break. Ever. I order my coffee, but in the mean time I'm tearing Graham off the slide so he doesn't climb it, and I end up helping Delaney put on dress up clothes, and bounce June around in the front carrier. I return to my coffee and it's cold (I still chug that sucker down--heck, I need it at this point). I'm not saying I don't want to be engaged and active in my children's play, I just want a break. I admit it…I want and need a break....

Love never fails….. a bible verse learned long ago in my wanderlust days of Sunday school. This is what I thought I should start our family story with when Elizabeth asked me to share. Mike and I met when we were 17 and 20. On our first date, I came home thinking, "what the heck am I doing?-- I am not sure if I like him." I think by our third date at the young age of 17 I knew he was the one.   We spent a great four years dating, getting to know each other and our families, traveling the Walmart’s of south eastern Ohio while...

Tricia Grapner is the generous woman behind Canvas Creations for You, where she teaches others to create canvas paintings in a fun, light hearted, and warm atmosphere.  She also does custom paintings among other things--(like her day job!)  But, don't be fooled, she hasn't always been a painter.  In fact, she never went to art school.  Instead, she was a self-taught crafter.  And, it wasn't until eight months ago that she decided to open Canvas Creations. Painting actually started as a therapeutic remedy.  Tricia suffered from depression after experiencing different ups and downs.  Though, that didn't stop her from spreading her generosity.  She felt the need to give back to the community and that's...

My name is Christopher Stanley, and I grew up in Grove City, OH. I co-founded Jump Splash Books with my friend (and artist) Alex LeVasseur, who also grew up in Grove City. Alex and I met in the summer of 1994, at our first band camp before our freshman year. See, our band director, Mr. Edge, was very big on discipline. If we were supposed to be standing at attention and we moved, even ever so slightly, we had to run laps. If we talked out of turn, we had to run laps...

  I graduated from Ohio University about 9 years ago with a degree in Retail Merchandising, Sales, and Fine Art, and not a clue what I wanted to do. Luckily, my parents let me live with them for a year or two so I could figure it out. I dabbled in a few different ventures, including t-shirt and home décor design until I stumbled upon jewelry making. I often grew bored with things after doing them for a while, and when that didn’t happen with jewelry making I knew I had found something that I would enjoy for many, many years. I started making a few pieces...

For many, the lack of yard space leaves their dreams of a garden, just that, a dream. It also leaves many without a solution for their desire to self sustain by growing their own food. Mound Street Community Garden and International Harvest Garden, right here in Columbus, are making dreams come true for gardeners across the city. A community garden is a piece of land that is sectioned off so that individuals can create their own garden in a plot they have requested. So, essentially, its one large garden, but divided up into smaller gardens. Each plot owner takes care of their own area and is provided access...

Hi, we are the Shah family. My husband and I met when we were very young, I was 15 and he was 18. During one of our first times together, he told me “I’m dating you to marry you,” and I rolled my eyes at his cheesy line, but here we are today married for almost 6 years with two beautiful children. We were both raised in Columbus and traveled around the country during our training years at Ohio State, and finally chose to settle down in Columbus again when we decided to start our family medical practice. When I became pregnant with my first child in...