Made LOCAL Market

{alicia}

This past weekend, we took our own advice and spent the afternoon at the Made LOCAL Market. After we dubbed our friend Megan an honorary blogger, the three of us dodged the raindrops (which later turned into snow, naturally) to find shelter at the Bridgewater Banquet Hall. While we hid from the rain, we took a peek at the Boutique Truck that was set up at the entrance. As you probably guessed, it’s a mobile fashion truck that carries a wide array of tempting clothes and accessories.

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Alexis and I were besotted with this fetching number (below). Partly because we were freezing cold and could have used another layer, but mostly because it’s awesome (studs+tunic style=yes).

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We would have liked to poke around more, but our sodden clothes and feet had us begging for warmth. Once inside, we were overwhelmed with choice. With over 60 local vendors in attendance, you can see why.

IMG_9365There was a lot to take in, so we took a lap down each aisle to get our bearings. Along the way, we stumbled upon this gem of a T-shirt from LMN Apparel (reminder, we are like twelve years old).

There were quite a few T-shirt companies set up at the market, many of them available at Simply Vague. I ended up getting a super comfortable shirt via Where I’m From, a new apparel company that had literally debuted that weekend.

That purple Ohio shirt now has a home in my closet.

That purple Ohio shirt now has a good home in my closet.

As we like to eat (big shocker there), we had a tremendous time sampling all of the local offerings. Mel’s ‘Zels had these batshit amazing dipped pretzels ranging from flavors like key lime pie to birthday cake.

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We highly endorse these crazy delicious pretzels.

And Alexis found a salsa that seriously lived up to its name:

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You had us at #totalchipmagnet. These vendors get an ‘A’ for their witticisms.

Ridiculously good was the only way to describe this gastronomic wonder. We chatted with the owner for a little while before Alexis bought a batch. That was another nice aspect of the market, meeting local artisans who are passionate about what they’re doing and actually seeing the person behind what you’re buying.

We also met this guy, but unfortunately, we couldn’t buy him:

I just can't take it.

I just can’t take it.

This dapper spokes-dog was the face behind CollarDoos, clip-on bow ties for your canine. Not only did this Great Dane win me over, but the clever names  of the bow ties (bahaha, “mutt stache”) made me want to buy a bunch. Note: I don’t even have a dog.

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Megan (our honorary blogger) is expecting another child, so we had an excuse to stop at all of the adorable baby-centric displays. I mean, look at these patterns we found at Little Luvins.

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I wanted everything at LL’s display. She also had these cozy (unpictured) little baby blankets. Note: I also don’t even have a baby.

There was a ton of handmade jewelry at the market, but we were especially attracted to the Tutes booth where the specialization was wire jewelry.

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Alexis picked up this dainty Ohio bracelet, but there were also lovely necklaces and rings on display.

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While we browsed, local musician JT Hillier did a brilliant job of entertaining the crowd and livening up the mood.

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Our personal favorite was his rock/folk rendition of TLC’s Waterfalls. This morphed into a discussion of our favorite covers of R&B and rap, i.e. Ben Folds covering Dr. Dre and Dynamite Hack’s version of Eazy-E (then I let the Alpine playyyy). And if you’re feeling especially swingy, Richard Cheese covering ANYTHING.

But I digress.

Bottom line, we had an excellent time, and you need to check out these local vendors. If you missed the marketplace this time around, there will be two more events held this year (summer and winter, dates TBA). As for us, it was off to 101 Beer Kitchen once we finished making our rounds, but I’ll let Alexis tell that tale. Hint: it involves brunch. Another shocker, I know.

Weekend Roundup {3/28 – 3/30}

{alicia}

You know how it’s supposed to be spring? (I know, hilarious joke, Mother Nature.) Although the weather is going to be spotty, let’s not allow it to affect our weekend. Here is a list of things to do to take your mind off winter’s unyielding grip. Aren’t you just raring to get out, like this little guy?
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Friday
Take a page out of Indy’s book and get muddy at the Scioto Audobon Metropark. Today and tomorrow’s rain will surely muck up the dog park so your four-legged friends can get good and filthy. We’ve got a blog post in the works to show you just how much fun it is!

The Bruce Munro: Light exhibit at Franklin Park Conservatory closes on Sunday, so get out there if you haven’t yet! {open nightly}

The last Friday of every month, COSI offers a special family value pass from 5p-9p {$10.95 for non-members}. Make sure to visit the 50 Years of COSI exhibit–March 29 is the official anniversary. And don’t forget they are currently hosting the International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes {$18.95 for the value pass for non-members}!

Saturday

Visit the Made Local Market at the Bridgewater Banquet Center in Powell from 9a-4p. Free admission, over 60 vendors, and a good time for all.

Take in a movie at the Drexel {I suggest The Grand Budapest Hotel}. Showtimes can be found here.

If you’ve already experienced the Light exhibit at FPC, check out Blooms & Butterflies. They take flight at 1p and 3p, and it is not to be missed!

Sunday
If you fancy a little culture, the Columbus Museum of Art offers free admission on Sundays. Make sure to check out the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit which will run through May 18.

CATCO is putting on Steel Magnolia’s at the Riffe Center. The Sunday show is from 2p-4p, and tickets run $11.50-$45.

Now, you know I’m an advocate of brunch, so here are some suggestions for your weekend consumption:

Natalie’s Pizza and a Painting Party

{alexis}

As a Christmas gift, one of our loveliest friends offered to treat a bunch of girls to a painting party at the Party Studio in Worthington. After a few months of coordinating schedules and perusing the available paintings online, we settled on a day and a butterfly.

The class is three hours long so of course we needed to fuel up with pizza, wine, and beer (you know, to get the creative juices flowing). So we drove down to Natalie’s pizza, and settled in. First thing we ordered? A giant bottle of cider. See?

IMG_9176Don’t worry for me, readers: Alicia and I shared this behemoth. To be honest, it was a little tart for our tastes, with a lot of pucker, but far be it from me to let good cider go unconsumed.

And so we moved on to the food portion of the meal. The table started with a cheese plate.

IMG_9181Pretty, isn’t she? We chose the Ubriaco, Prima Donna, and Pave d’Affinois. It was a great sharing plate, and it took a few laps around the table. Afterwards, our pizza arrived. Alicia had tunnel vision during this stage of the evening so we only have a picture of her pie, the Greenwich Village:

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And now I’m hungry. She’s a big fan of sausage on pizzas, and once she could put it down, she gave it two thumbs up. I ordered the Aurora Borealis (aren’t the names here fun?). They were not shy with the red pepper flakes so it was delightfully spicy. I realize that in my post about Chicago I featured a very different kind of pizza, and I have to say, I prefer this thinner crust. It’s more about the toppings than it is the bread, and I love me some chewy, crispy crust.

Full with wine, beer, and pizza, we rolled ourselves on over to the Party Studio and smocked up. Here is what we were supposed to paint.

The Party Studio Columbus

The Party Studio Columbus

You guys, I don’t know why my friends are always making me do these creative things. Not five minutes into the first stage there was a point and laugh movement. I think they invite me as a court jester; I provide the comic relief.

Once I shooed them away from my masterpiece, we all really dug in. That first step was the most fun: we blended colors and simply covered the canvas. I can see why painting can be a beloved hobby for so many people. In our party, we had one rogue participant who chose to go a more modern route with the swishes and the swoops, but even for those who followed directions, it was amazing to see the different styles emerge.

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Apparently, this resembles a praying mantis, but I DO NOT AGREE.

At the top is one of our friend’s branches, and the bottom is mine. Different, no? Then we came to the terrifying part: the damn butterfly. The teacher described it as a sort-of heart shape, with one long curve, and a flatter one.

We decided that “potato shape” was a better description.

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The painting above is Alicia’s. Aren’t her flowers adorable? Mine were…different. Once we covered the butterfly shape with white, we had a space to draw in the details.

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Apparently, my friends are like legit artists. Mine has a more, well, rugged, less-polished feel, see?

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Well, yes, my flowers look like they just got beat up by a rainstorm. SO WHAT if my butterfly appears to be hovering mid-air. It is a work of ART. Merely my impression of a butterfly resting on a branch. And look! I even signed mine! You can send your offers to wanderandwhine@gmail.com.

Ultimately, the painting class was lovely, though there were some stressful moments. It really was neat to walk around and see how different everyone’s pieces came out.

It really does take the three hours: There is a lot of drying time involved. So wear comfy clothes that you wouldn’t mind getting splattered. Also, you may bring wine! I just sold you, didn’t I!

Natalie’s Pizza is located at 5601 North High Street, Worthington, OH. M, closed; T-Th, 4-11pm; F-Sat, 4-midnight; Sun, 11am-11pm.

The Party Studio is located at 679-B High St, Worthington, OH. Pre-registration is required via their calendar. 

To Market and a Pitstop at The Angry Baker

{alicia & alexis}

Due to our husbands’ obsessions with March Madness, Alicia and I both found ourselves with Saturday afternoon free. We spent some time looking through fellow bloggers’ weekend event lists and finally settled on the winter market at 400 West Rich. I wandered down from German Village (if it’s above 40, not raining, and less than two miles away, I’m walking) and met Alicia in the lot before we headed inside.

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I guess you can say we were embracing the concept of spring–even if the temperature was not. I’m a huge fan of farmers’ markets, primarily because my love of fresh produce isn’t compatible with my possession of a black thumb. Seriously, I killed a cactus once. His name was Plato, and I still feel bad about the little guy. Anyhow, though growing season is still lurking around the corner, it was nice to get out of the house and away from the shouts of rage or “The madness!” (In reference to the March Madness, of course).

We took a few laps around the place. There were twenty vendors there; it wasn’t a huge market. There was a DJ and quite a lot of people milling around. I contemplated buying some rabbit (meat) for my husband, (Here, honey, I bought you a bunny; please cook it) but decided I wasn’t feeling quite that generous. There were candle-makers, cheese mongers, and artisan marshmallows. It was quite a collection. And with all this variety guess where I ended up.

IMG_9284Yep, the bar. I sidled up and asked the bartender what was good (I was walking, remember?). She suggested their Bloody Mary–made unique by the fact that it was mixed with whiskey rather than vodka. Terrifying, but I pride myself on trying the weirdest thing on the menu. I was sure this was it. Not being huge into whiskey, I was afraid that its flavor would be too strong and overwhelm the drink, but my fears had no basis. You could certainly taste the whiskey, but it wasn’t over-powering. Would I order it again? Perhaps not. Still, if you love whiskey, I’m sure you’d be raving.

So on we went. We stood in the corner watching a child throw a tantrum for a good ten minutes while I worked on my cocktail, and then continued our way around the room.

IMG_9283We wound up at the Franklinton Gardens booth for awhile getting more information. It’s a pretty great sounding project. It’s a nonprofit, urban garden providing fresh produce in an area deemed a “food desert.” While they’ve got some experts at the helm, anyone can volunteer to pitch in and sign up for a shift. We added our names to the email list, so maybe you’ll even find us there one afternoon!IMG_9286There were rumblings about food trucks, but we didn’t have much luck in finding any. Lily’s Mini Delights held down the fort, as far as we could see, and looked quite tempting.

IMG_9302We (creepily) hovered around her stand long enough to breathe in the sugary air and watch the magic doughnut flipping contraption (we’re both twelve years old) do its thing. I hadn’t eaten all morning, and Alexis was in a whiskey-fueled haze, so something more substantial was in order.

You would think the urgency of our cranky stomachs would be enough to move us along, but we sat in my car for an inordinate amount of time, pondering the universe, and generally getting off task (how we do), until Yelp swooped in and saved the day. A few moments later, we were rolling up here:

IMG_9303Once inside, we were faced with the daunting prospect of what to order. But can you blame us? Look at this awesome breakfast menu!

IMG_9304It was a tie between the Fork & Knife Burrito (I mean, Sriracha was involved), and the French Toast Sandwich. The employee taking our order confirmed that both were wise decisions, so we did the most logical thing, order one of each and eat off eachother’s plates.

The burrito was aptly named as consuming it did require flatware. Honestly, you can’t go too wrong with avocado, black beans, and sriracha in my book, so of course it was a tasty meal. It was filling, and I could only eat half. The green salsa on top was a nice cool contrast to the toasty burrito.

IMG_9313The French toast sandwich was my personal favorite, and I lucked out on being the one in charge of it. It was the perfect combination of salty and sweet, and I’m fairly certain I was embarrassingly vocal about how much I liked it.

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We were also entranced by the mind-blowing array of baked goods flirting with us behind the display case. I think Alexis exclaimed “Seriously, look at those eclairs” about a dozen times. The eclairs were huge and looked amazing, but I was too busy lusting over the cupcakes. Do not despair, I brought one home with me and all was well in the world once more.

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Marmi Grand Opening at Easton

{alexis & alicia}

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This week, we were kindly invited to the grand opening of Marmi Shoes. So together, we let the balloon bouquet lead the way and we popped in to see the selection. First I must say how kind everyone there is: we got a lovely tour, and a great description of the products. Here is just one wall of the store.

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A lovely set-up, no? Okay, real talk. Shoes are hard for me. I happen to have really wide feet, thanks to my bizarre, born-with-’em bunions. All those delicate, strappy sandals? They make my feet look like jungle beasts that were tied down to prevent escape. Stiletto heels? Not happening. I’m about as graceful as a lumberjack. To make a long story short, looking for shoes is a great labor of my life. But Marmi is great for that: They specialize in carrying uncommon sizes (4-13), and most of their shoes come in varying widths (HALLELUJAH).

Looking around, you’ll see shoes meant for all age groups. And, before Alicia pipes in, I thought I’d show you some of my favorites.

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Given the foot problems I described above (charming, aren’t I?), ballet flats are my go-to. But I love the little heel on these: the height is so flattering, and the material gives it a modern update.

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Driving moccasins are always a favorite of mine. They look so polished and can be so comfortable! I’m always looking for a good pair of these for traveling–and these would be ideal. They have a sturdy rubber sole for gripping, and a super cushy foot pad.

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And then there’s these beauties! I could hardly put them down to take the picture. I know I just whined about heels, but we all know that wedges don’t count. I’m obsessed with all things metallic, and don’t these just scream summer to you? The wide band near the toe is also super-flattering for bunions (this word is so hideous, I’m sorry); that part of the foot is shielded without being constricted too much. And, with wear, the leather will give a little to fit juuuust right. Also: that clutch in the background? So cute.

{alicia}

I have to second the clutch situation at Marmi. I lost count of how many little bags I wanted for my very own.

Exhibit A. AMIRITE?

Exhibit A. AMIRITE?

This bright clutch, that Alexis so kindly modeled for me, was one of my favorite things in the store. Strips of wood banded with colorful stripes makes for a unique statement piece you can carry both day and night. It also comes with a chain, so you can can wear it as a cross body or as a shoulder bag. Versatility is our friend, guys.

Speaking of which, I suppose if I had to describe this place in one word, versatility would be it. Anyone, whether they are in their twenties or fifties, can find their perfect (and comfortable) shoe. They have a wide range of styles, sizes, widths, and materials. I’m talking from sensible loafers to something a bit more avant garde:

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Or casual options for spring (it’s bound to be warm someday, right??):
IMG_9241And even formal pieces:IMG_9227

Comfort is key at Marmi, but you won’t be strolling out with a pair of bizarre, orthopedic whatnots. Style is not sacrificed for the sake of being comfortable. There is a happy marriage between both, and as someone who ruined her feet in stilettos during college, it’s a welcome concept.

IMG_9197Marmi will be celebrating its grand opening through Sunday with 10% off for customers who donate a pair of gently-used shoes for the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless (in addition, 10% of the sales will go to the cause).

Marmi is located at the Easton Town Center (right by C. Wonder) at 4026 The Strand East. Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10:00 AM-9:00 PM, Friday-Saturday: 10:00 AM-10:00 PM, Sunday: Noon-6:00 PM.

Chicago from the Langham Hotel

{alexis}

As I mentioned, I spent a long weekend in Chicago over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Husband and I always butt heads when it comes to booking hotels, and this trip followed suit. A few weeks before, I began to despair, yelling about how all the reasonable hotels were booked and we would just have to shell out for a five-star. Ever frugal, husband began a hunt of his own, and turned up the best of both worlds: A bargain on that five-star hotel I was whining about.

We arrived on Friday morning and took the elevator up to the lobby of the Langham Hotel. I was in love. Right on the river with windows from floor to ceiling, I would have been happy to sleep right there. Our room not ready yet, we wandered down to the Lake by Navy Pier. I am from Michigan, and spent my summers on Lake Huron, so I feel a strong connection to the Great Lakes. It was a beautiful day, to boot.

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It wasn’t long before the hotel called to let us know our room was ready, and I rushed us back. Almost as beautiful as the day outside.

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Again with the windows! Not pictured is a sitting area to the left of the bed, a huge entryway, and three (count ’em, THREE) closets. The bathroom was equally beautiful. That room in the back? That’s the shower. THE SHOWER.

Later, we got down to the beautiful spa area. The locker room amenities are open to hotel guests at no extra charge, and feature two saunas and steam room. I swaddled myself in the giant bathrobe and matching slippers and took full advantage of these perks.

But! Believe it or not we did not spend the whole trip admiring our beautiful room. We did go out! Mostly to eat. We began our culinary odyssey at Sable, located inside the Hotel Palomar. The restaurant is helmed by Heather Terhune, a former contestant from Top Chef, and focuses on inventive cocktails and plates sized to share or hoard. Here are some of our favorites.

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chicken and waffles

the Fire and Ice

the Fire and Ice

At the top, you’ll see our order of chicken and waffles. We had four in our party, and it was perfect for sharing. The waffles had a donut-like consistency, and were very cake-y. One of my dining partners wished there had been more salt to balance, but they were overall a hit. At the bottom you’ll see two of our many delicious cocktails. One, the Fire and Ice, is a drink that is not on the menu. It contains sriracha, jalapenos, and cucumbers. This was definitely the favorite of the night. A big thank you to Foursquare for clueing us in to this gem.

Saturday’s festivities were of course, green. We enjoyed the dyeing of the river from our perch at the Langham and toasted with a few Guinnesses. That river turns green for real, a radioactive, completely saturated green.

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We spent the rest of the day wandering from bar to bar, from green beer to green beer, with a few Irish coffees sprinkled throughout. By the end of the evening, we found ourselves at Trader Todd’s, singing Sweet Caroline with a troop of Michigan State grads who adopted me. (Yep, I’m a Spartan, through and through!) Husband agreed to let me order room service if we took the train home instead of a taxi, so we enjoyed a sandwich before tumbling into bed after the long day.

Sunday we woke up ready to eat more. Lots more. We started with a beautiful brunch at the Gage, on Michigan Avenue across from Millennium Park. I had been there before for an unforgettable dinner with two of my best friends (elk, tartare, quail eggs were all part of the experience), and I have to say, I did prefer dinner to the brunch, but there’s no getting around the fact that we loved it. Here was the best part:

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nothing better than a little hair of the dog

Husband ordered a bloody mary, which we agreed was superior to most, and I sipped at yet another Irish coffee. Why aren’t all coffees Irish? So then we started eating.

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We started with the fried pickles (my love for these has already been made public). I’d never seen them sliced and then fried, and I had to appreciate all the extra surface area to hold the batter. Our main dishes came: his shrimp and grits, and mine corned beef hash. I am a sucker for hash (yes, even the canned variety), and poached eggs so this was a no-brainer for me, and it certainly delivered. Husband’s grits were well-flavored and filling.

Feeling full, we wandered over to Millennium Park to enjoy a bit more of the day. It was another beauty.

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We took ourselves home to rest and watch MSU win the Big Ten Tournament (go green!), and gathered up our strength for our next food adventure that evening. We were bent on finding some authentic Chicago deep-dish pizza. Our Yelp searching brought us to Lou Malnati’s. We ordered a small Lou and a medium Chicago Classic, in addition to a salad. You guys, we over-estimated how much we could eat, because these pizzas were monsters.

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They’re each a few inches thick, and the larger one features what husband likes to call a “frisbee of sausage.” Perfectly descriptive. Not being a huge fan of sausage, I much preferred the Lou with its spinach and mushrooms. Needless to say, we enjoyed the remaining pizza the next morning before hopping our flight back to Columbus. Oh! And because we were flying on St. Patrick’s Day, Southwest offers free drinks! We eased ourselves back into adult life with twin bloody marys.

It was a whirlwind trip full of beautiful people and ridiculous food. I wish I were still there! Thanks, Chicago, for showing us such a good time. We’ll be back!