Ohio State Fair 2017

We LOVE THE  FAIR! By the time the Ohio State Fair closes this year, I’ll have been 3 times. We were able to see all of the highlights including the Ohio Natural Resource Playground, the Bobcat display, the butter cow, the FOOD and the Cardinal Building. This year the fair had it’s share of tragedy but I also won BEST IN SHOW in Cookies for my dulce de leche bar cookies and I could not be prouder! I made the a few times to prep and brought them to my family’s annual Fourth of July party and they were a huge hit. I’m tickled – but have literally no idea how to top these for next year!

You can read the recipe here and the write up (!) at the Columbus Dispatch. Here are some of my favorite snaps from this year’s State Fair.

C and the cows!
my traditional gyro at the Ohio Sheep Improvement Assoc booth in the Taste of Ohio building
morning sun
the skyglider!
C loved the Bobcat ‘playground’
my winning entry!

dispatches from suburbia, vol. 1


Here’s one of those “I said I’d never! and then, I did, and hey, it’s not so bad’ essays. I grew up in ‘the city’ and I’ve always been so proud of that and I dreaded moving to the suburbs. I grew up on a quiet little street where I remember when the first family that didn’t look exactly like us moved in. Two other kids were on our block where in my same grade for 9 years at the private school; nearly all the others when to the same school, or another private one equally nearby, just in the opposite direction. All our houses where old and charming and all the dads (I don’t remember any families that were not 1 mom and 1 dad) got in their sensible cars and drove to their jobs as lawyers, doctors, professors or accountants. There was a factory at the end of our street but we didn’t know anyone who worked there.

I was so afraid of these suburban houses, all made of ticky tacky, all the same. Where all the moms stayed home and brought Pinterest to life while the dads got into their sensible cars and drove to their jobs as lawyers, doctors, professors or accountants.

And then.

I bought a house in the suburbs. Granted, it isn’t the fanciest suburb off 270 but while all our houses were built in the 1950’s and look do really much the same, I’m surrounded by families with grandparents, kids and grandkids living together, families where mom works downtown and dad stays home, families with deep religious convictions that are not Protestant Christian, that are Trump supporters, that are Hillary supporters.

I’ve started doing that thing I *hate* about suburbanites, I’m calling it my ~town~. I’ve meet with local City Council candidates and talked about revitalizing our Main Street. I walk to the park to push the kidlet on the swings, I know the waitresses at our local bistro. There’s a Lustron house around the corner.

And you know what, I don’t know why I had so much vitriol for the ‘burbs. Everyone is doing the damn best they can. No matter where I’ve been in the world from here at home in CMH, in Madrid, in London, in my favorite apartment in Chicago, in Beijing – everyone wants the same things for their kids. Fresh air to breath, clean water and healthy food, good schools and a fulfilling career. We’re all doing the best we can to give that to our kids.



Sorry, I can’t think of just that word and not think of this.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we build family traditions and which ones we hold onto and which ones we claim for ourselves and baby families. Here are some of my favorite traditions from our baby family.

National Parks – we always purchase a coffee up at each National Park we visit. We don’t try to get them to match but reflect each trip. M also purchases a cloth patch for his day pack (sadly, he doesn’t go backpacking enough to put them on his 60L).

State Fair – this one is more from me than us but I have only missed one Ohio State Fair in my whole life. It was the summer we got married and I picked a date that put us on our honeymoon smack in the middle of the fair and we had to rush back to Chicago to get back to work. We’ve even pushed my love of the fair on one of our best friends. While I love everything about the fair, the only things I cannot live without are the lemon shake ups and the sky glider. I can’t wait to start bringing our little one to the fair too! (Although I doubt we’ll hit up the sky glider with a newborn).

celebrating my ribbon winning entry at the Ohio State Fair 2015!

Birthdays – we got married young and really didn’t have any money for fancy presents for a while (and now, we just choose to do other things with that money) so this one grew out of necessity. We bake each other homemade cakes – and not from a box – for our birthdays! It takes some time and usually makes a big old mess but we usually try a new recipe. It’s such a meaningful gift.

Christmas – M’s family does a pickle present and we do have a pickle ornament, although with only two of us, there hasn’t been much point in hiding one on our real tree, which makes the whole apartment smell amazing. We also only get each other stockings, it forces us to be more creative and it feels very abundant to get so many gifts! Even if some of them are just boxes of Star Wars bandaids. Another thing I love is that we also go do one touristy, crazy festive thing each December. It might be ice skating at night, or going to see the play version of It’s Wonderful Life, or going to ZooLights. Since we aren’t wedded to the doing the same thing each year, we aren’t bogged down in traditions that aren’t meaningful [and just because you did something once, doesn’t mean you have to do it forever] and we still get into the festive spirit.

at a dickens of a christmas at Ohio Village, playing with dress up clothes, as one does
same event, M making traditional Victorian Christmas Tree ornaments

2015: Year in Review

Books I Read: 23

Best Non Fiction Book of 2015: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbot

Best Fiction Book of 2015: Mama Day by Gloria Naylor

Movies I Watched: 80

Best Movies of 2015 (I think I’m just going to have 7 annually, mkay)
1- Mad Max: Fury Road
2- Home
3- Crimson Peak
4- Inside Out
5- Star War: The Force Awakens
6- It Follows
7- Trainwreck

Although, I haven’t yet seen, The Hateful Eight, so….

2015 was the year of Push! I leaned hard into work and I think it was good year professionally. We kicked off a huge refresh project and I earned a new certification in my field.

2014 felt so stagnant and I’m fairly certain I was on more planes in 2015 than I’ve been on in years! There was certainly a push on the travel front and for that, I’m forever grateful. The year started with a week in Minnesota and our annual trip to our friend J’s house for New Year’s Eve. I also had four trips to Chicago for work, one to Madison to see a gaggle of my best ladies and one to DC to see one of my college bests.reunion weekend1IMG_5500

Matt and I took a week long vacation to Hawaii and were lucky enough to stay with his uncle in Kailua. We had such a freaking blast and it was so beautiful. I hope we can go back soon!6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com

6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.comMore exciting on the travel front though was my two week adventure in Beijing! I went for work but did have four whole weekend days to myself to explore. I got see so many huge landmarks but I’ve found myself missing the food the most. Anyone know where I can get handmade noodles in Columbus? Great Wall08

Forbidden City07Other highlights include hosting two friends from Chicago over the 4th of July for my family’s annual big blow out. I won 3rd place at the Ohio State Fair for my honey oatmeal bread. I’ve already got a few designs on what I’m making for next year.

IMG_5664And now to brag on M for a bit 🙂 He continued to completely kick butt at his job and had an amazing season as an outdoor instructor. I can’t wait to see where he goes in 2016. He also trained for and ran a trail half marathon!

mohican state park ~ thecomynspace.comWe moved apartments! Just down the hill, only about half a mile from where we were but it is lightyears away. It’s bigger, has actual grown up appliances and my parents gave us a washer and dryer so no more trips to the laundry mat! We are also renting a garage so all of M’s woodworking and bike tools now have a home other than our second bedroom. Is this what it feels like to be an adult?

Here’s to an amazing 2016! I am planning on doing ‘One Little Word‘ again, so that will be getting it’s own post!IMG_5208

Weekend Recap / What We Ate July 6 – July 12

Such a great weekend! I was lucky enough to take Friday afternoon off to hang out with my good friend G, who was in town for some in-law stuff for the rest of the weekend. We walked the dobies and did a little shopping before dinner. We meet up with our significant others and another couple for dinner at BJ Brewhouse. It was great dinner with great friends!

Saturday we got up really early and headed to the Wilds. We booked an open air tour at 9 AM and it’s a good 90 minutes from our house. Follow their directions and write down directions and gas up when you get off 70! It was such an awesome time and I took over 200 pictures ~ those will certainly be getting their own post soon!

Afterwards we hit up the gift shop and then headed back out towards cell phone reception. We stopped for lunch at Muddy Misers since Weasel Boy was closed and they had the local brewery’s stuff on tap. We were able to eat lunch right on the Muskingum River. Since it was still sort of early, we headed home and stopped off in Buckeye Lake at Buckeye Lake Brewery and each got a flight. Because we know how to live like rock stars, we also stopped at the local Old Navy and Target to get a few basics for M before coming home to cook dinner.

Sunday we hung out in the morning and then I headed to my folks for lunch with my mom. I did some work and then we all got in the pool and spent the afternoon swimming. M and I made getta, potatoes and eggs for dinner.

Monday 7/6 – salad
Tuesday 7/7 – homemade Mongolian beef
Wednesday 7/8 – can’t remember
Thursday 7/9 – can’t remember
Friday 7/10 – BJ’s Brewhouse with friends
Saturday 7/11 – pork chops with string beans
Sunday 7/12 – brinner (breakfast for dinner)

Weekend Recap / What We Ate May 4 – 10

Saturday morning I did a little shopping with my mom, we hit up an estate and then Kohls. In the afternoon, my sister and I took all three Dobermans to Highbanks Metro Park. Except for the GAINT Eastern rat snake (ok, ok, it was two inches thick but STILL FOLKS) that we spotted. They have a really great dog path but it goes through a quite grassy area and we all managed to pick up a tick or two 🙂 The Dobes decided we all needed a quick dip in the creek. After a shower to de-creek-i-fy and fast dinner, M and I headed down to Huntington Park to catch the Columbus Clippers and Pawtucket Red Sox game. It was such a blast – while I miss Cooper stadium – this new park is really great.

Sunday, I went to wish my mom a happy Mother’s Day. I spent the afternoon starting to work on a saddle cover that I promised my sister a…while ago.

Monday 5/4 – chile relleno hot dish
Tuesday 5/5 – Rancho Alegre
Wednesday 5/6 – leftovers
Thursday 5/7 – Mongolian beef with rice
Friday 5/8 – homemade pizza
Saturday 5/9 – sausage and kale with pasta
Sunday 5/10 – baked fish with roasted veggies

Weekend Recap / What We Ate Feb 16-22

This weekend, M had an unexpected day off so we spent Saturday cross country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding. It was the winter sport hat trick that has been so elusive for us all winter! Columbus got 8 inches of snow between Friday night and Saturday, so the woods were so beautiful and quiet. Skiing is so loud but I’m really snowshoeing lately. You go slower, sure, but you get to see so much of the beauty that is winter in the woods. It was too cold to take my ‘big girl camera’ so I tried to snap a few on M’s phone, protected by the highest water proof tech [a plastic baggie] but everything came out blurry! Just take my word for it!


IMG_4718We came home and I baked cupcakes and we made yankee fish cakes and I made him watch Along Came Polly. Sunday, I had brunch with a friend who was in from Chicago and got to meet two of her friends here in Columbus. I even spent the afternoon sewing with my mom. It was quite the full weekend!

This was a really good week for eating in! It’s been cold and snowy so I cooked from the freezer as much as possible. I also tried really hard to restock the freezer as well – cooking four servings and freezing half has really been working for us lately.

Monday- roasted white fish and banana squash roasted with parmesan
Tuesday- enchilada hot dish

enchilada hot dish~the comyn space
Wednesday- chicken marsala (made earlier, I froze half the sauce and grilled more chicken for this meal)
Thursday-turkey tacos
Friday- pizza at my parents house
Saturday- Yankee fish cakes, crock pot black beans
Sunday- gnocchi

Baked: Rye and whole wheat sourdough + homemade vanilla cupcakes (I should not have halved this recipe…live and learn!)

Glacier Ridge Metro Park ~ Columbus OH

Over the weekend, we went to Glacier Ridge for a walk in the woods. I was very surprised to find no ridge or woods at Glacier Ridge! All the tree stands in the main park were less than 40 years old – which makes total sense for reclaimed farm land. However, they also grow hay in the park and you can see directly into a subdivision on part of the main loop. Now, if I lived in said subdivision – I’d be thrilled with a Metro Park so close to home! While I’m glad we knocked this one off the list {we were trying to get all the Metro Parks this year}, I doubt I’ll be back until I can strong arm my sister and her horse going for a trail ride with me there.

glacier ridge metro park~columbus OH

glacier ridge metro park~columbus OH

Slate Run Metro Park and Living Historical Farm~Columbus Oh Things to Do

slate run metro park1slate run metro park4 slate run metro park3 slate run metro park2

We went to Slate Run Metro Park on Sunday and hiked about 1.5 miles thru the park to the living historical farm. While M doesn’t love the inaccurate maps (not to scale) I do love how well marked all the trails are! This would be the perfect place to have a big part and Slate Run as a great mix of regrowth hardwood forest, prairie and wetlands. If you’re the greater Columbus area and you haven’t checked this gem out yet – get on it!