Thursday, August 23, 2012

Goodbye Blog

Marzullo Here: So here is the deal...The BLOG is GONE! So do NOT CLICK HERE... You were a good blog, you were a detailed blog, and you were a friend. We hope you have enjoyed reading a little bit about all of us over the last couple years. However, with the ever changing online and mobile need we are not able to connect with you in so many more ways from facebook, twitter, and also that other thing called email. Thank you all for your support both on air and online here at FOX19. GOODBYE BLOG

Friday, August 17, 2012

What do we do with all those tomatoes?

Other than sliced tomatoes on sandwiches or with mozzarella and basil, what do we do with all those tomatoes?  
Good Friday Morning, Dan Wells writing!  I hope the day is off to a good start. 
Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!!!  Everywhere there are tomatoes.
Full disclosure: I do not have a garden. However, everyone I work with and live-by has gardens FULL with tomatoes and they are bringing them to work…so now I have a lotta tomatoes.  It’s a good thing and I know I’m not alone. 
So…I’m here to help or at least pass along (what I think is) a good underused tomato recipe.

Tomato Pie

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
20 min
10 min
45 min
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 (9-inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes.
Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
To serve, cut into slices and serve warm. (I actually like it cold)
If you’re this really good…I think it is….plus, not that I don't love BLTs but there is a limit.  Right?
Happy Tomato Time


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tennis & Friends

Tracey Here ... Besides hanging out with my family….there is NOTHING I enjoy more than hanging out with friends and watching tennis.

I’ve been at this year’s Western & Southern since they took to the courts this past weekend. One of my best friends and former tennis partner came in for the tournament to hang out and take in see some great tennis. I adore her friendship and LOVE talking tennis with her. We have a lot in common….EXCEPT who we cheer for. She is a Nadal fan….I am a HUGE FEDERER FAN!!!!(understatement) Speaking of cheering…..It’s a side most don’t get to see of me. If I like you….you can hear me! Just ask my family.:)

So, I’ve seen some really great matches so far…..
Brian Baker. Just making a comeback after what could have been a career ending surgery in 1999. He could definitely hear me. Unfortunately lost his second match.

James Blake. Came into the tourney as a wild card. Won his first and lost his second! He too could hear me!

I’ve always liked Novak Djokovic….but, after yesterday? Wow!!!!!
I was given a media pass that gave me access to the bench on the court. Unbelievable to be up so close and personal.
After Novak’s win to Andreas Seppi, he came over to sign autographs. I actually had a conversation with him. At one point he asked if I would like for him to sign something? I started frantically digging through my purse only to find Rafa’s personal card handed out by the tournament. Ah…no! Definitely not going to work. He said, ”Just give me your media pass” and thanked me for coming.

Alright Federer, you better step up to the plate. Novak is moving in!
Happy Tennis!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bye-Bye, Baby

"Go find your life." -- The Help, Kathrynn Stockett

I won't call it the hardest week of my life - that would be a little too melodramatic, and it wouldn't be true. But this week is one of my most challenging as a mother, as I let my little girl go. Today we are taking Katie to college.

Sheila here.
I've been preparing for this day for years. Being a mother is a long series of letting go -- the day Katie let go of my hands to take her tiny first steps when she was a year old, the first day she boarded the school bus, the first time she was allowed to go to a friend's house alone, and the first time she drove. I stayed up with her all night when she was a baby because she was hungry or sick, and I have stayed up most of the night worrying about her a few times too. I have wiped away tears after skinned knees, and after girls were mean, and the first time a boy broke her sweet heart. I have done my best to make sure she is ready for this day, but I don't think there's anything I can do to be ready myself.

Last year at this time, she was getting her college applications completed and starting her senior year. And in recent months, we've been spending lots of family time together while also shopping for dorm supplies and planning for her move. It's all seemed a bit surreal, and I can't believe that mound of stuff which was in my basement is loaded up at the front door, ready to go down I-71 this morning. The other day Katie asked me how long we're sticking around when we get to the dorm. (I think that meant she doesn't want us around too long!) Looking back at my own move-in day at Ohio University, I know I didn't get what it meant for my mother. She wasn't one to talk about feelings, and I was just too excited to notice. She later told me she cried so much on the way back home that she had a headache for a couple of days! I know how my mother felt - I couldn't stop crying Sunday morning when I realized the time for letting go of Katie is really here.

I am sad, but I am thrilled at the same time. Sad that those years flew by so fast, but thrilled that my daughter grew into the healthy, strong young woman I once could only picture in my mind. I am grateful that she's able and smart, and I am glad that she's excited about beginning the next big phase of her life. I think I've taught her everything I could (I sure hope it has stuck!) While I wish I had some magic words that would inspire her to greatness, my hope is that she doesn't need them - that she will be inspired by her own dreams and desires, and that one day my daughter finds the gifts which she doesn't even know she has. My hope is that Katie will make herself proud. She sure has done that for me and her dad.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tennis Anyone?

The 2012 Western & Southern Open is here and I’m pumped. Brad here, good morning everyone. As a kid, my dad took me to the RCA Tennis Championships in Indianapolis. The courts and grandstands still fill the campus of IUPUI in downtown Indy but the tournament has changed names and moved to Atlanta. Anyway…I never played, but loved to watch the game. I grew up cheering and trash talking for my all time favorite Pete Sampras. My dad was a big Jimmy Connors fan, so I liked him too. As I grew older, so did my favorites, so it was time to find a new one.

The last ten years or so I found myself cheering for Roger Federer. I really like Novak Djokovic too. NOT NADAL! I attended the 2010 W&S Open and saw Federer dominate, it was awesome. I missed out on last year’s W&S Open so this time I’m taking full advantage.

Monday was really the first full day of matches, and while the big names didn’t play, it was a great experience. I got to watch Gold Medalist Andy Murray practice and then sign autographs for fans, check out the pic!

We saw aging star Nikolay Davydenko win his opener, plus a Dutch meltdown by Robin Haase during his straight set loss. I was also able to watch up and comer Julia Gorges. This lady will be a superstar!

The big names will take to the court today and tomorrow, so I’m glad I’m going back. I will be courtside for the men’s and women’s finals. Here’s hoping my boy Federer will be there too!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Here Comes The Bride...Oh YEAH and the Groom!

The countdown is on, not I know they it is good luck if it rains on your wedding day, but what about your engagment party? Morning everyone Frank here, my fiance Leslee and I just got back from a awesome weekend in Cleveland where my parents got our friends and family together for a celebration of the upcoming nuptuals. We have not cleebrated with my family and our northern friends since we got engaged back in March. So after a hot and dry summer of course the first weekend for rain and cooler air came this Saturday, however the rain held out once once the party started and it was a awesome evening in the backyard with a fire and torchs all a blaze. My parents made us a feel so special and honored as some of Leslee's family also attended. We shared some great stories and had some awesome food and of course cocktails!! It was the perfect mood and fit as we countdown until the big day coming up in March. We also had a dry run at cutting the wedding cake we used my parents cake knife they got when they married back in 1978. We also recived our official cake knife for our big day!! We are so blessed to have great family and friends to help us lead up to our special day that will set the stage for the rest of our lives...LOVE IS IN THE AIR....Sappy? haha

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Concerts!!

Happy Friday friends! I know you’re busy, but there are so many ways to enjoy the summer while it lasts! Every summer week you can find concerts, festivals, and warm weather activities to savor the beautiful (if not heavy) Cincy summer 

Summer technically ends on September 21st, but you’ll want to get out before the mercury drops. I needed a cardigan last night! My boyfriend Mike and I went to see one of my favorite bands at Riverbend, 311! I’ve been a huge 311 fan since their debut in 1993, and have now been to six different concerts. However, I’ve only seen 311 in the Philadelphia area. It was such an amazing experience seeing my Omaha boys in a different state, and such a beautiful venue! This marked my first time to Riverbend, and I found there is so much to love. River breezes, lighter crowds, and shorter beer lines all top my list.

But let’s get to the music. What I love so much about 311 is that they play the old good stuff. Why not when you have 10+ albums spanning almost two decades, right? They played the concert regulars, like “Down” and “Come Original,” and some more obscure 311 goodies like “Large in the Margin” and “Champagne.” But hey, even if you don’t know every 311 song, they’re an excellent band to watch. Just ask my wonderful boyfriend, who had to suffer an overzealous girl shouting lyrics in his face.

- Stephanie

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hot Hot Hot

Good morning and happy Thursday! Katy Here... Big news came out yesterday from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA that July was the hottest month on record for the contiguous United States! (or CONUS). I think we can all believe it when I say the tristate contributed to that record! According to NOAA, the average temperature in July was 77.6°, about 3 degrees above the 20th century average! (The previous record was during the Dust Bowl in 1936, which was 77.4°) Here in Cincinnati, we hit 100 degrees 4 days in July, and hit 90 degrees 17 days. Phew!

On top of that, the country continues to face a serious drought. 63% of the lower 48 states is now considered to be in a drought, with parts of the tristate in a “severe” drought. Hopefully, as we head into Fall, our pattern will shift a bit to bring in a couple more rainy days. As far as the heat is concerned, we will get a sneak peak at the early fall season, with temperatures dropping into the 70s this weekend! The last time we saw the 70s was back on June 6th of this year. It’ll be a welcomed change for sure! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back To School Apps

It's the most wonderful time of the year if you believe the Staples commercials - time to send those kids back to school!

Hi, it's Sheila. Did you know that more people than ever before are doing their research on their smartphones before they head out to the stores? We all love a bargain, and school shopping can be expensive. Laura Merritt of Verizon Wireless put together a list of helpful back to school apps, and I want to pass them along to you. These apps can help moms and dads with everything from buying new school shoes, to homework aids, to keeping track of your busy schedules. By the way, I didn't just take Verizon's word for it. I searched around on the web for the word from experts on some of these applications. (Best of all - MOST of them are free!)

Back-to-School Shopping
· Red Laser: This price comparison app allows the user to scan a barcode, or search by voice or image, and then compare prices between thousands of online and offline retailers. It shares prices from stores right down the road. Bonus: it can list out possible food allergens (peanuts, egg, gluten) if purchasing food for the classroom. Money Magazine calls it an essential app: "Before you even think about buying … RedLaser spits out the best prices available both online and in shops nearby."

· Amazon Price Check: This price comparison app allows the user to scan a barcode, snap a picture, or type or say an item name to check prices instantly on millions of Amazon products. Users can buy it directly from the app. Bonus: it lists out product reviews so you can see what others are saying before you commit to the purchase. experts gave Amazon's app a thumbs up for allowing you to SAY IT, SNAP IT, or SCAN IT into your smartphone.

Back-to-School Scheduling
· Cozi Family Organizer: This family organization tool allows a family to sync everyone's busy schedules into one. Users can keep calendars, shopping lists and to-do lists all in one place. Bonus: the app even lists family-friendly dinner ideas and allows you to store recipes. Rick Broida at CNET (which is a great site for product information) says he can't stop recommending this one. He likes that Cozi provides a to-do list, a shopping list, and even a family journal that can include both text and photos (a great way to chronicle a family vacation).

· Glympse: This location-sharing app allows users to share where they are traveling with a specific person for a specific length of time. For example, a parent can send a Glympse to his/her teenager who is waiting to be picked up after football practice. The child can follow his parent's location on his smartphone. Bonus: Anyone with an Internet-enabled phone or computer can receive a Glympse. I checked CNET again for this one, and it calls Glympse clean and refreshingly simple, but included a warning too : "One thing users should know is that Glympse eats battery life voraciously. But considering it continuously transmits real-time information."

Back-to-School Homework Apps and Phone Management
· Quizard Flashcard: This one costs $2.99. It's a flashcard simulator app which allows users to create their own flashcards or download them from Quizlet, Study Stack or Flashcard Exchange online. Bonus: For those who don't want to spend $3, the developer offers a free version called Quizard Flashcard Lite. In reading some of the user reviews, I noticed that most felt it was worth it to pay the 3 bucks to be able to do more with the app.

I also found a boatload of homework help apps when I searched on Common Sense Media's website. Kids can travel the world on Google Earth with a touch of the finger, look up information like we adults used to in our encyclopedias with the Britannica Kids app, and even get help studying the Bard with the Shakespeare in Bits app. Find an app to fit your kid at

· Verizon also sells a Usage Controls app for $4.99, and most wireless carriers offer similar services. It's something to think about as your kids head back to school and need to get to sleep at reasonable hour. Usage control services allow parents to limit cell phone use during school hours or set a curfew on late-night texting. Verizon's boasts that it also allows you to identify numbers your family members can always contact in case of an emergency, regardless of any restrictions you've set up. Bonus: it allows you to set a monthly dollar limit on your family member's purchases for content downloads like ringtones, ringback tones and music. You can check with your individual carrier for similar services.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Eli's BBQ

Went there for the first time over the weekend, and loved it.
Hey everyone.  Rob here.
I have been wanting to go for weeks now.  Everyone who has been there, talks non-stop of just how good hte pulled pork sandwich is.  I was not disappointed.  Walkimg into the joint, you know it is going to be good.
I had just about all the sides"  grits, mac and cheese, cornbread and baked beans.

Check it out.  You won't be disappointed.  I sure wasn't.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Marzullo Here: The countdown is on until the CINCINNATI BELL WEBN Fireworks on September 2nd. It really is the un-official end to summer here in the Tri-State. The day long event along the river infludes the Rubber Duck Regatta, entertainment all day along the riverfront, and of course the big show as fireworks light up the night sky. While there is a lot of positivity there is also some negativity and that is THE TRAFFIC! However, instead of sitting in the traffic after the show how would you like fly by all those cars that are sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. Once again Cincinnati Bell is giving you a chance to do just that with the FLYERWORKS Contest. Here is how it works the helicopter from Stratus, will pick you up at Lunken airfield where you can leave your car. After taking off from Lunken Field, winners and their guests will land at P&G Pavilion and be escorted to special VIP seating along the Serpentine Wall. Agaion 2 winner with one guest each will be selected. You can register by going to . Remember if you do not make it down to the river you can watch the big show right here on FOX19.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The road well traveled!

Good morning, Dan Wells writing. I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits. 

My blog today is about a road well traveled.  My random idea for today’s post came as I drove back on Ohio 32 from vacation in North Carolina.

On its long, empty stretches, the Appalachian Highway or OH 32 gives drivers green vistas of southern Ohio's rolling hills and from my perspective a blissfully gorgeous and tranquil afternoon drive.

The 170-mile road runs from Cincinnati's eastern suburbs to southeastern Ohio.   We drove it to come home “the back way” from the beach.

For my family, the trip home was a flawless ride in every respect.  On this particular day, Sunday, we’d just rolled into, Ohio after a run of a few hundred miles through the heart of the Mountain State, Virginia and North Carolina.  My girls were entertained, my wife sleeping,  and I was pretty relaxed after a week full of sun and sand.

I’ve always enjoyed Ohio’s roads, but this day was the sweetest in recent memory. I found this stretch of road along our 12 hour journey clean, deserted, begging to be driven, and soaked in.
At the beginning, if you’re not familiar, OH 32 traverses a remote, undeveloped corner of the state hugging the Ohio River.

It proved to me to be a great road for reflection driving; that special time in when your usual stream of thoughts are overwhelmed by the sheer perfection of life and nature; the cast of late afternoon light, a rush of warm air, views ranging to the horizon, you get it.

This was one of those times.

My point in this blog is to not brag about a vacation or my experiece on the open road but rather to encourage you to literally enjoy the ride.  If you slow down, look around "the road well traveled" may just surprise you with all it gives back.

Happy Travels

Attention Parents

For all you parents out there with teens……






1. Get the Right Diagnosis. Help them find professional help.
2. Find the Right Doctor or Therapist. Make sure the doctor or therapist you find for your teen is someone they like and respect. Let them help!
3. Notice the Negative Thoughts. Is your teen talking failure? “I should give up. “
4. Eat Mood Boosters. Just as certain foods and drinks can lead to depression, processed white flour, sweets, caffeine, sodas-others actually lift your mood.
5. Quit the Booze
6. Sweat –INCREASE YOUR EXERCISE! Working out your stress can give you immediate relief.
7. Ask For Help. Encourage your teen to seek out a teacher that they respect.
I hope this offers some help.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pats On The Back All Around

I have had so many positive experiences around town in the last week, today I am dedicating our Fox 19 Morning News blog to handing out pats on the back.

Hi, it's Sheila.

The first kudos go to the Cincinnati Bengals for giving me and my kids some great memories at Friday's training camp in the shadow of Paul Brown Stadium. For years I've wanted to check out training camp, but never could find the time to make the trip to Georgetown. I snapped up tickets to the practice field Friday, and it did not disappoint. You want to talk about up close and personal? Go down there and stand in the shadow of our favorite big men from the defensive line. Rey Maualuga, a few rookies, and Coach Marvin Lewis signed my little guy Eric's official Bengals autograph book, and he was in heaven. What fun! Here's the schedule for the rest of the summer.

Hats off (baseball hats of course) to every single person from here to Butler County who had a hand in making a Field of Dreams come true at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields in Fairfield. I got chills watching the Fast Trax sky divers fly in and seeing the huge smiles on the Miracle League players. I was thrilled to play in Nuxy's Bash Saturday night, but the best part was soaking in all of that positive energy. Go see a game up there. I promise you it will give you renewed faith in humanity, and you can't walk out without counting your blessings. There's a fall league starting there in August for players with special needs. Find sign-up forms here:

I also hit up a couple of yummy places to eat in Over The Rhine. Fig jam and prosciutto pizza may sound strange, but I was so happy I ordered it at A Tavola on Vine St. Wonderful atmosphere and even better food! Our service from Stefan was top notch too.

My son Eric, daughter Katie, and her boyfriend Tom topped off our dinner with the world's best popsicles - Sara Bornick's Streetpops. We stopped at her place at Main and Liberty for salted caramel, raspberry lemonade, and blueberry lemon thyme. Creative and delicious. And on Final Friday's you can get dinner too, because Sara has a different food truck parked out front on the last Friday of each month. She also gave me the scoop on the new Night Owl Markets at Central and Main. It's a big party with food trucks, bands, and more every Final Friday until 3 a.m.!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

24 hours in STL.

This weekend I made a quick road trip to St. Louis, MO. Good Tuesday to you, Brad here, over the weekend I attended the wedding of a fellow reporter here at FOX19, Cory Stark. I’ve known Cory and his wife Sarah for a couple of years and it was great to be a part of that day. Cory is from St. Louis and is a huge Cardinals fan, so what better way to show support on his wedding day than rocking a Brandon Phillips Reds jersey at the reception! Wearing a Reds jersey in St. Louis is risky enough; add to that a fan favorite, DatDubeBP. While Cory’s sense of humor allowed him to laugh and appreciate it, some of the folks at the reception didn’t quite get it and became a little hot and confrontational. I don’t care, I love trash talking and what better venue with a Phillips jersey, than St. Louis!

I stayed downtown and had a wonderful view of the arch, the old courthouse, and Busch stadium. I’ve never seen a game in STL but I have been to a DMB show with Willie Nelson at the ball park. Rob couldn’t make that one either. The stadium is pretty cool though, all the hall of fame statues out front really hammers home what great players have worn that uniform. We walked around and enjoyed some food and beverages in the historic riverfront landing with my cousin Katie who is going to grad school at Logan College of Chiropractic. She sure showed us how they party in LOU, thanks Kate.

On the way out town, about 36 miles East of St. Louis, in Highland Illinois sits the famous Blue Springs CafĂ©. Billboards along I-70 advertise for miles, “as featured on the Food Network,” so I had to stop. While it was nothing like what I expected or even wanted, it was good, and if you are with a group I recommend it. First off, it’s family style eating. So, come hungry.

On the Menu; fried or baked chicken, livers/gizzards, fried shrimp, homemade pork sausage, country ham, chicken fried steak, catfish fillets, baked Boston scord, chicken and dumplings, BBQ chicken, flat iron steak, fried walleye, roast pork, and roast beef. All items are served with cold and cold sides of beets, homemade slaw, green beans with pork and onions, mashed potatoes and gravy, and warm flaky biscuits. Holy stuffed stomach, Batman! Are you full yet? The food was excellent and you could really taste the love in the food. The restaurant is known for its pies, “The foot-hi-pie.” These suckers are huge and come in lemon meringue, chocolate, and cream.

Despite construction delays coming back and getting no sleep Sunday, it was worth it. What a great town, for the most part friendly people and good eats. Congratulations Cory and Sarah….Oh yeah, go REDS!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Saturday Wine Lunch

Vino Anyone? Marzullo here and my fiance and I decided to take a little drive on Saturday morning and head down to Owenton Kentucky. It only took about a hour from Cincinnati and if you have never been we both highly recommend it. Located on over 500 acres of rolling hills the winery is at the intersections of Kentucky highways 227 & 330. With several estate wines with grapes grown right on property to other fantastic oak bottle wines there is a grape for every taste. We loved the Pinot Grigio and the Estate Cab Franc. You almost do not feel like your close to home while sitting on the deck and enjoying one of the many flights of wine or bottles, plus a fantastic lunch. The gourmet deli was delicious with fresh made sandwiches and salads. The Chardonnay grilled cheese was awesome. You can also make a day out of it and over to the Elk Creek Hunt Club and take your best shot. The property also includes a lodge with 19 rooms and some spa services. The bottom line, you can make a great day / date right here in our own backyard, we will defiantly be back to enjoy some concerts in the amphitheater.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Brownies and Friends: A Cautionary Tale

So you know what they say…the road to hell is paved with good intentions. That and mini marshmallows.

I wanted to surprise my friends here at FOX19 today with a sweet treat: s’more brownies. I found the recipe at Food It seemed simple enough: make a graham cracker crust, whip up a brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli) and pop it in the oven. Okay, I got all this. The problem came when it was time to add the marshmallows on top. The recipe called for 6 minutes on low under the broiler, but cautioned to watch the marshmallows. After 4 minutes I thought, well, I can go and pick out my necklace for tomorrow. What could happen in a couple minutes?

Brownie disaster, apparently. The marshmallows caught fire! I ruined my dessert and was left fanning smoke out of my apartment with a rag. The moral of this story? Don’t treat any recipe like it’s easy when it involves an oven, and have a high-quality fire extinguisher right in the kitchen.

Just kidding  This all got me thinking, what’s important isn’t how well you bake for your friends, but that you have them to laugh with after an epic kitchen fail. I am so blessed to work here at FOX19. We mean it when we say this is a family, which makes it bittersweet when one of our young guys in production leaves for another station!

Today is the delightful Kenny Baker’s last day at FOX19. He leaves us for sunny Myrtle Beach, where he will put his Pepsodent smile to work at WMBF-TV as a reporter and producer. He makes me laugh every 5 minutes and is an absolute pleasure to everyone who works with him. Although I wish him well, I wish he could stay on a bit longer to make me giggle behind the camera. Who knows, you might be seeing him back here soon as an anchor!

So this is a cautionary tale: be vigilant with sugary baked goods, and don’t work at FOX19 unless you want to meet some extraordinary people.  Happy Friday!

- Stephanie

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tracey's Adventure

Hej Hej!

Tracey Johnson here....with my new favorite phrase from Sweden! It's how they greet you.
I sounds like hey, hey. I LOVE IT!

15 years ago, my husband and I never imagined that our children and their lives would take us on quite a journey.

How many times as a new parent are you told how children will change your life forever?
Oh, how true that is! And, oh my....what a ride it has been. Many ups and downs, never would I have changed a moment.

Three weeks ago, our 15 year old twin boys left for Europe to play soccer. So, my husband and I decided to surprise them for their tournament in Gotenburg, Sweden. I mean, any parent would do that for their children...right? :) It was the largest junior soccer tournament in the world. There were over 1700 teams from 80 countries. WOW! A CHANCE OF A LIFETIME!

The town of about a half a million is found on the west coast of Sweden. Absolutely beautiful, with some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. As a matter of fact, Kirk and I found ourselves having dinner with complete strangers, taking pictures with them and exchanging email addresses.

The shopping? Oh my! Some how I was able to find a little bit of time to do some damage in between soccer games. :)

For those of you that don't know me well, there is nothing I enjoy more in life than watching my kids do something they enjoy. And for my boys, it's soccer. Whether it be in Cincinnati, Ohio or Gotenburg, Sweden!

If you're looking for a vacation destination, I suggest Gotenburg, Sweden!

Ses senare!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lobster Love Story

I stumbled onto a delicious destination last week.
Sheila here.

Katy Morgan and I have been taking rowing lessons out in Newtown with our buddy Pedro Palacios of No Limits Rowing. I am sure I'll blog about that sometime, but today I want to share the amazing little business upon which I stumbled when I was headed to the lake last week.

There was some road construction in Newtown, so our normal route was closed. I am so glad! Because of the detour, I discovered Lobsta Bakes of Maine. Imagine my surprise when I saw a faded little sign in front of a charming little house - it all looked like it was straight out of New England. There's no food I love more than lobster, and really, most seafood in general.

I couldn't resist, and I went inside to explore. I was greeted like I was the next door neighbor by Shauna. She showed me all of the freshly made fare in the refridgerator cases, like Chipotle Smoked Salmon Dip and authentic New England Clam Chowder. Let me tell you something. If you ever eat "chowda" IN New England, you will be hesitant to get it down this way ever again. It's just not the same. Lobsta Bakes' chowder is the real deal. Thick, creamy, full of clams, and sinfully delicious. I also ended up grabbing a homemade Maine blueberry pie and some of the best crab cakes I've ever tasted. It was a Maine feast at my house that night.

Shauna told me all about the business. If you remember the Bounty II seafood shop on the east side, then you know the guy behind the Newtown business. Kevin is the son of a fisherman, a Maine native, who relocated here to Cincinnati. Now his main focus is catering "Lobsta Bakes," New England-style lobster bakes for private parties, corporate events, swim clubs, anniversary celebrations, weddings, and backyard parties. But his little store on Church Street also flies in fresh seafood. It's open every day but Sunday, and he does public lobster bakes. Watch the website for coming events, and you can sign up for emails on what he's stocking in the store. I loved the place!

My family discovered a fun place this past weekend too. My brother Jeff set up a lunch and play date for all of us at Scene75 in Dayton. It's a new indoor entertainment complex right off the interstate, just North of town. Scene75 features a 150 seat restaurant, two bars, a snack bar, an indoor electric go-kart track, these cool spinning bumper cars (pictured), black light mini golf and the biggest inflatable area in Ohio, Big Bad Bounce. It's sort of like a newer, bigger, better and more fun Jillian's - if you remember the business in an old brewery in Covington. I was surprised at how good the food is! It also has tons of games, it's a really fun way to spend a few hours on a rainy or even a too hot day.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park

Looking for something different to do with the kids before they had back to school, as summer vacation starts to come to a end, then I have a idea for you. Frank here...We had them on the FOX19 News Morning Xtra last week and if you missed it, then let me tell you about Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum in Hamilton. The address is 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road in Hamilton. Sitting on well over 200 acres this outdoor sculpture park features sculptures and works of art from around the country and the world all in a outdoor nature setting that is a work of art in its own right. From the Abracaba, Serpentine Column, to The Cube, all ages will be amazed by the size and scope of each sculpture. You can take a driving tour and get out along the way to see them up close in person or walk the grounds. There are also several indoor areas including a 10,000 square foot Ancient Sculpture Museum, which features Egyptian, Roman, and Greek sculpture. You can check the place our year round with several different hours depending on the season, just go to and enjoy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Good Morning, Dan Wells writing.  I hope this note finds you well and enjoying the summer season. 

We all need a vacation right?  I did.   With that said, I hope this blog inspires you to take a quick break from the city, traffic, computer, and the grind of life itself.

I personally have a huge appreciation and love for mother nature and the “outdoors.”  I’ve camped with my Mom, Dad and siblings for 30 years....same spot, same routine...and for this guy, introducing my kids to what I consider a piece of heaven has been a joy.  

Today I’m going to share the wealth.          

Every year we head back to Pennsylvania (my home state) to be surrounded by lush forest, the Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir.

If you’re not familiar it’s the heart of one of the largest and most popular outdoor recreation areas in the northeastern United States. The Allegheny Reservoir spans the border between western Pennsylvania and New York, and offers year-round recreational opportunities including swimming, boating, camping, fishing and stunning fall foliage.

Trust me, I’ve done it all and it’s fantastic.   If you don’t mind the 7 hour drive from Cincinnati please check it out, then send me a note.   

Location / Directions:
The Allegheny Reservoir is located along the western border of Pennsylvania and New York, and is completely surrounded by the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania; and in New York by Allegany State Park and the Allegany Indian Reservation of the Seneca Nation. The Kinzua Dam and Big Bend Visitor Center are located 9 miles east of Warren, PA, on PA 59.
Admission & Fees:
The Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir Recreation Area is free and open to the public.
What to Expect:
The 25-mile long Allegheny Reservoir is a popular haven for fishers and boaters, with scenic views and over 100 miles of forested shoreline. Nearby, plenty of great hikes, hidden spots, and scenic overlooks extend the outdoor fun.
Big Bend Overlook Visitor Center:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains a nice visitor center and picnic area just downstream of the Kinzua Dam. The visitor's center, which is open daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and weekends in September and October, contains exhibits, displays and brochures which illustrate the purpose of the Kinzua Dam, and highlight recreational and sightseeing opportunities in the area. Several overlooks provide great views of the Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir.
Boating & Swimming:
The Kinzua-Wolf Run Marina and six boat launches located within the National Forest provide ready access to the Allegheny Reservoir and its rivers. There are also two swim beaches and several scenic picnic areas available for a day of fun and relaxation with family and friends. Boat rentals, including canoes, kayaks, motor boats, pontoon boats and houseboats, are available from the Kinzua Wolf Run Marina.

Camping & Cabins:
Adjacent to the Allegheny Reservoir, the Allegheny National Forest offers ten campgrounds of varying sizes and facilities, as well as primitive backwoods camping in most sections of the forest. Some campgrounds are only accessible by boat, and offer easy water access to the Allegheny Reservoir. Campgrounds in the Allegheny National Forest
Fishing is abundant in the Allegheny Reservoir, with an incredible variety of fish, including walleye, small mouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, channel catfish, brown trout and muskellunge. A Pennsylvania license is required for fishing in the PA portion of the Allegheny Reservoir, except on PA Fish for Free days. In New York, most of the Allegheny Reservoir is under jurisdiction of the Seneca Nation, which requires its own fishing license.

ALL THE BEST and Happy Camping....(see even my girls love it.)