How a Social Worker is Inspiring Her School to Get Healthier

How a Social Worker is Inspiring Her School to Get Healthier

I met Karen several years ago as the sponsor of a program that I’m a part of that helps encourage middle and high school students to make good choices. Over the years we have become friends, and I’ve observed her passion for health through CrossFit continue to grow. As someone who prided themselves on never trying CrossFit, I’ve always appreciated that people were really into it… from a distance.

When Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen invited me to partner with them and help recognize, share and reward goodness this year, Karen was the 1st person that came to mind. They also want you to share stories and nominate inspirational people, like Karen, to be rewarded for doing great things in your community, too!

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Why you need to check out the 1st Cincinnati Style Vegetarian Chili on the Cincinnati Chili Trail

Cincinnati Style Vegetarian Chili

We were invited to check out the new Cincinnati style vegetarian chili at Gold Star Chili. I knew there was only one way to approach it with my kids….deception. I know that sounds really bad, right?

I wanted them to try the 1st Cincinnati style vegetarian chili on the Cincinnati Chili Trail with an open mind.

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Fast Facts about Favorites Steak and Pasta at Belterra Park

I was invited to a dinner at Favorites Steak & Pasta at Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center. A casino doesn’t typically come to mind when I’m thinking about dining options but I discovered that Favorites Steak & Pasta was determined to change that.

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Discover German Roots and Small Town Charm in Oldenburg

I discovered Oldenburg, Indiana on a whim. My boys and I were traveling back from Indy and my curiosity won. Known as the Village of the Spires, Oldenburg’s German heritage and charm makes it a great daytrip getaway located about an hour from Cincinnati.

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A Holiday Twist on a Dessert Classic at Frisch’s Big Boy


I love any excuse for a sweet treat. That’s why I was really excited when I received an invitation to a tasting to try a classic Frisch’s Big Boy dessert created with a holiday twist, along with an opening night viewing of “The Nutcracker” by the Cincinnati Ballet.

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Holiday Scenes from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill


Holiday Scenes from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill KY

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill has been a popular tourist destination for generations of families. In fact, I remember visits to Shaker Village from my childhood. As an adult, I got to experience a visit with a fresh perspective and appreciation. One of the first things you will notice when you step on the property is how peaceful it is there. It looks like an old New England town with 34 of the 260 original structures still on the property. The road between the buildings was once the main road that took travelers to Lexington into the 1970’s. Shaker Village has become a recent Discovery Destination because of all of the hands on engagement opportunities available to visitors.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill Holiday

Holiday Scenes from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill KY

So who were the Shakers?

The Shakers were America’s largest and best known 19th century communal society. A small group of them came to Central Kentucky in 1805, and on a small farm near Harrodsburg they started a community called Pleasant Hill. By 1823 it had grown to Shakers and 4500 acres.

I learned several interesting things about the Shakers during my visit. They were a celibate community which is why the community died out over time but they were not opposed to alcohol. At the peak of it’s day there were around 6,000 members. 3/4 of the kids in the community eventually left. They received an 8th grade education and a trade. The Shakers believed that their work was worship and were known for their quality craftsmanship. They were also known for their quality livestock, packaged seeds (which they invented) medicinal herbs, and brooms (they sold about 50,000 brooms a year).The name “Shaker” was a description of how they moved during their services. Their official name was “United Society of Believer’s in Christ’s 2nd Coming.” They were progressive for their time because they believed in gender and racial equality. They also avoided a lot of epidemics because they were so clean and lived on average 20-30 years longer.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill grounds

Make sure that you don’t leave the property without enjoying a meal. The farm to table restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you have never tried the lemon pie, I would highly recommend it. They still use the original Shaker recipe and it’s unlike any lemon pie I’ve ever had before. It’s made with the entire lemon rind and has no seeds. While you are dining, take note of the pegs in every room. The Shakers were very practical in their simplicity and the pegs offered a lot of solutions for keeping areas clean and tidy. They could even adjust the light in a room by adjusting their candleholder up or down on the peg.

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Lemon pie at Shaker Village

dining at Shaker Village

While you are on the property, there are several buildings to explore. I encourage you to ask lots of questions when you encounter a historical reenactor. It is also a good idea to get a schedule of activities going on that day so that you don’t miss any of the hands on demonstrations, performances, or tours.

Shaker Village Building

Red Stockings at Shaker Village

ornament at Shaker Village

Christmas Tree at Shaker Village

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stairs at Shaker Village

winding staircase Shaker Village

window view Shaker Village

Shaker Village loom

Loom at Shaker Village

Seeds at Shaker Village

Brooms at Shaker Village

broom at Shaker Village

If you are looking for a unique gift to remember your visit, there are two areas on the property where you can purchase gifts.

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Shaker Village 21

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That afternoon we took a tour of the property by hayride. We enjoyed a Bourbon Mulled cider, gorgeous scenery, an education on communal farming, and a beautiful Kentucky sunset.

Drink at Shaker Village

drinks at Shaker Village

Drinks and hayrides Shaker Village

Barn at Shaker Village

Holiday Sleigh at Shaker Village

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Shaker Village grounds

street at Shaker Village

sleigh at Shaker Village

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Shaker Village Sleigh

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That evening we took a candlelight tour led by visitor engagement coordinator, Elsa Wachter. This experience gave us a unique perspective and the opportunity to ask as many questions as we could think of. She was a wealth of information and made the tour very interesting.

candletlight at Shaker Village

Candlelight tour Shaker Village

That evening, I stayed overnight on the third floor of the Trustees’ office which gave me a nice view of the other buildings. My room had a Keurig, private bathroom, and television. I decided to stay partially unplugged by keeping my tv turned off that evening. I really enjoyed the quiet. There are 72 overnight guest rooms throughout the village. If you have younger kids, you might want one of the options that is more private. There are some buildings where you could be the only guests.

window view at night Shaker Village

Guest room at Shaker Village

chair with a view Shaker Village

The following day, I took a few final views of the grounds before we departed.

horses at Shaker Village

Horse at fence Shaker Village

I was sad to leave this charming destination but I definitely want to come back again to try out some of their more unique adventures that Shaker Village offers like the GLOW Paddle. I really want to try their Paddle + Yoga Weekends too.  Shaker Village offers lots of opportunities to connect and explore for ages young and old year round. You can find out more for planning your visit to the 3,000 acre Shaker Village by visiting their website. 

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Thanks to Kentucky Tourism and Shaker Village for hosting my visit. 


The Places You Need to Visit in Wooster Ohio

The Places You Need to Visit in Wooster Ohio

Wooster, Ohio is a charming city that kind of takes you by surprise. Wooster is located in Wayne County which is a little over an hours drive from Cleveland, 1.5 hours from Columbus and a little over 3 hours from Cincinnati.

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