THE INN AT HONEY RUN

Nestled in the heart of Amish Country, the Inn at Honey Run is the perfect, socially distance getaway.  Prior to our trip this past weekend, it had been 14 months since Rob and I took time away together.  The Inn at Honey Run was the perfect place for us to regroup and disconnect. 

Located just two and a half hours from where we live, Amish Country boasts the most beautiful rolling green hills, white picket fences, classic farmhouses, and this past weekend, the best in fall foliage. It had been years since I had been to Amish Country and I was enchanted by the beauty of the Ohio landscape. And it was made even more charming by the clip clop of Amish horse drawn carriages. It truly is an escape into a simpler time, which is exactly what we needed.

Upon arriving at The Inn, we were welcomed with a socially distant check-in (masks were mandatory everywhere except personal rooms) and complimentary wine and snacks.  The Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired boutique hotel is home to Tarragon, a fine dining restaurant that creates the most exquisite cuisine.  Every meal we had over the weekend was better than the last.  

After we enjoyed our complimentary treats, we checked out our room, which was one of two suites with boasting views of the fall foliage. Equipped with a mini kitchen and bar, living space, fireplace, master bedroom and bath, and double outdoor deck, the suite was the perfect home away from home. And although I did bring my own cleaning supplies, the Inn and our room were very, very clean.

We quickly dropped our luggage (of which we packed way too much) and headed out to the trails. The resort has seven different trails you can hike, along with an open air art museum. Our favorite trail was the hilltop trail, which had the most incredible views of Amish Country. The trail also is home to the famous beehives, of which the resort harvests 300 pounds of honey and sells and uses in their dishes at the Tarragon Hotel.

We headed back to our room about 7pm, upon which we enjoyed a drink on our deck and ordered room service. We were so tired from traveling and quite frankly the past year, we decided to watch the Addams Family and call it an early night.

I forgot to mention that this trip was originally scheduled for March, the weekend Ohio executed the Stay at Home Order. The resort graciously rescheduled us for August and then again this weekend. I’ve always believed things happen for a reason, and I truly believe that we were meant to be here this weekend.

Our wakeup call on Saturday consisted of the “Romance at Daybreak” breakfast, which was utterly delightful.  A full breakfast consisting of cheddar & bacon omelettes, pork sausage links & hash browns, malted Belgian waffles with fresh berries and Ohio maple syrup, a carafe of bold blend coffee, and Bloody Mary’s was delivered promptly at 8:30.  It was truly so good and the best way to wake up.

Even though breakfast was delicious, we were quite full and ready to walk it off. We ended up hiking the trails for two hours – enjoying a river walk, feeding the resort’s flock of sheep, exploring the pond trail, and venturing into the open air art museum. The weather was absolutely perfect at 60 and sunny and we fully enjoyed being out in nature, no service attached.

Ordering room service for lunch after our long hike was the perfect start to a relaxing afternoon. We spent the afternoon reading on our deck and enjoying each other’s company. After we felt rested from our morning hike, we headed back out for an afternoon hike. I’m still in awe of the fall foliage and the beautiful views surrounding the resort. They were truly spectacular and the photos do not do them justice.

We had reservations at the Tarragon for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed our three course meal of clams, a seasonal salad, a shank of lamb for Rob and roasted chicken for me.  Plus some delicious cabernet.  It was the perfect way to end our very active yet very relaxing day. 

We planned on hanging around Sunday morning and taking our time getting on the road, but in all honesty by Saturday night we were missing our baby girl something fierce and decided to just get up and leave early on Sunday morning. 

If you are looking for a safe, socially distant getaway with opportunities to disconnect and enjoy nature, then the Inn at Honey Run is the perfect place for you. We had the most lovely experience and highly recommend this charming resort.

Enjoy some more pictures below of this beautiful resort!

Slainte,

Shannon

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: KYLIE AND BRYN

This month’s brand spotlight is all about an Ohio based brand (my favorite!).  Handmade right here in Columbus, Ohio, Kylie and Bryn is a jewelry/accessory company with the brightest and prettiest African vinyl and wooden bead bracelets.   The moment I laid eyes on these colorful, vibrant bracelets, I knew I needed a few to add to my accessory collection.  

Amber is the creative artist behind Columbus based Kylie and Bryn.  She is a lovely human being and has been so easy to work with.  All of her bracelets are handmade and the craftsmanship and quality is just beautiful.  She offers bracelets in the brightest of colors – from neon pink, to royal blue, turquoise, and kelly green to yellow, blush pink, and even rainbow!  And, she offers school spirit inspired bracelets and customizable word bracelets.  You can purchase the bracelets individually or as a medley stack.   There are so many options to choose from! 

I’ve been wearing a medley of these for a few weeks now and they are so comfortable.  I love to mix and match the different colors together.  They also pair very well with other bracelets in my accessory collection.  If you are looking for stylish and chic bracelets to brighten up your look, these ones from Kylie and Bryn are a no brainer.  

Below I’ve shared a few more ways I’ve styled them over the past few weeks. From days by the water, to pool days with L, and wearing Lilly Pulitzer, these bracelets are so easy to wear and they literally go with everything.

Be sure to follow Kylie and Bryn on Instagram and be sure to check out the Etsy shop!

Sláinte,

Shannon

COASTAL OHIO: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE GREAT LAKES

Last weekend Rob and I safely ventured out in public to the National Museum of the Great Lakes.  What a treat! This museum completely exceeded our expectations and we could have easily spent much more time exploring the history of the Great Lakes.   

The National Museum of the Great Lakes consists of an indoor museum with over 300 photographs and artifacts that tell the story of the Great Lakes, a self guided tour of the 617-foot iron ore freighter the Colonel James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and the historic Museum Tug Ohio. In terms of safety during COVID, the museum requires face masks, social distancing, reservations, and the regular cleaning of surfaces. They also closed all hands-on and interactive exhibits. We were one of four parties the entire two hours we were there (two sets of couples, us, and a family of four). I felt very safe the entire time.

The museum itself tells tales spanning hundreds of years, beginning with the fur traders of the 1600s and ending with the sailors who sail the waterways today. I have never truly thought about the thousands of years of history of the Great Lakes and I was blown away by how dramatically the Great Lakes have impacted the North American continent. I loved learning more about Lake Erie, but I especially loved learning about the other Great Lakes. I realized I knew virtually nothing about Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior. I also found it fascinating that because the Great Lakes are so large, they create their own weather!! So crazy!

We spent the majority of our time exploring the freighter and tug boat. The freighter was absolutely fascinating and it was my first time on a vessel this large. Walking up the gangway was incredibly terrifying for me (I am not a fan of heights), but once I was aboard the ship, I very much enjoyed the coastal views of downtown Toledo.

The first stop on the boat was the cargo hold – wow! What an enormous space! This was one of three cargo holds and this room alone can hold up to 5000 tons of bulk cargo (sand, stone, coal, iron ore, etc.). After the cargo hold we moved on to the First Engineers Cabin. I love seeing how sailors live and was fascinated by the living quarters.

Up next we ventured into the Crew Mess and Kitchen, which was quite spacious in my opinion! Off the kitchen was the Fantail, which just below this area is where the anchor chain locker is that holds a 4100 pound anchor – amazing!! After the Fantail we saw the Engine Room which is quite extraordinary – I for one could never work in this part of the ship though!

Having completed this side of the ship, we headed back down the deck and entered into the Passenger Hall, which compared to the rest of the boat was quite luxurious! With oak paneling and a grand staircase, one might they think they were on the Titanic (not really, but it was fancy!). Pretty much this entire side of the vessel is the Captain’s area – containing the Captain’s Lounge, Captain’s Offices, and Captain’s Cabin.

After we explored the Schoonmaker, we made our way to the Tug Ohio boat, which compared to the ship was quite tiny. It only took us about five minutes to explore the entire tug boat, but it was still fun to see how one operates and compare the difference in size between the two boats.

As with anything lately, I was nervous to explore this museum during COVID, but I’m very glad we did as it was truly fascinating. Plus, we enjoyed some panoramic views of downtown Toledo and the Maumee River, which even on a hazy gray day, was very beautiful.

If you are local to Northwest Ohio or are coming through the area, be sure to add this museum to your list of sites to see. It truly won’t disappoint.

Slainte,

Shannon

COASTAL OHIO: EAST HARBOR STATE PARK

It’s literally been months since Rob and I have done anything just the two of us.  We were supposed to be going away overnight this weekend, but we just aren’t comfortable staying somewhere else or straying too far from home.  We decided to take advantage of the fact that we have babysitters available and are enjoying a day trip to the lake.  

Last summer we stumbled upon East Harbor State Park and loved it.  Earlier this week when we were brainstorming places to go on the lake, we knew we wanted to go somewhere where there wouldn’t be a lot of people and where we could social distance.  East Harbor State Park seemed the perfect option.

Nestled along the Lake Erie shore, East Harbor State Park is a hidden jewel.  Visitors can enjoy everything from boating, fishing and swimming, to picnicking, camping, and hiking.  Last year we enjoyed the public beach, and my guess is this trip will also result in some beach time.  We are interested in exploring the marina and perhaps the hiking trails.  We plan on spending about an hour or two here so it may just turn into reading our books and relaxing on the beach.  

Be sure to follow along with us on Instagram as I’ll be posting to my stories!

Slainte,

Shannon

MOTHERHOOD: AMONG THE WILDFLOWERS

Last week my mom and I took Lilly to a local flower farm.  I’m always looking for outdoor, social distance activities that L and I can do together and I’ve had a handful of friends recommend this activity to me.  I was truly thrilled with the experience and the farm itself, and I’m so excited to recount our adventures for you guys.  

A hidden jewel of Northwest Ohio, GardenView Flowers is a 60 acre family-run farm that specializes in designing beautiful bouquets for weddings. Not only does the farm offer the most gorgeous fresh-cut flowers for brides, but they also offer a U-Pick Garden and seasonal flower design workshops.

My mom and I had never been flower picking before and it was so delightful. It was seriously a very relaxing and very fulfilling activity! The flower farm opens daily at 8:00 a.m. We arrived around 10:00 a.m. and there were only a few other people there picking flowers. Upon arrival, we headed over to the cutest farm Flower Stop. The Flower Stop offers bouquets to go, dried flowers, and other gifts. It’s the most charming little building.

Adjacent to the Flower Stop is a check-in table where you pay for your experience and pick-up clippers and a cup/vase in which to place your picked flowers. Because Ohio is now under a mandatory mask order, I felt extremely safe. All of the staff and visitors were wearing masks and people were practicing social distancing. I was very pleased too with the disinfecting precautions the farm took to ensure the clippers and other supplies were cleaned in between uses. Plus, they offered hand sanitizer and complimentary bottles of water (it does get hot out in those flower fields)!

After we checked-in, we chose a field of wildflowers and started picking! The farm plants over 30 varieties of fresh-cut flowers and there was a colorful mix of varieties and textures from which to choose.

L and I were drawn to the bright pinks and purples, so we picked a lot of Zinnias, Cosmos, Dahlias, and Sweet Williams. There were also plenty of Sunflowers, Gladiolus, Snap Dragons, and Blue Ageratum. There were so many different varieties and colors and you could easily come home with multiple bouquets depending on the look and feel you are going for.

We picked flowers for almost an hour and I was actually kind of sad to leave! L absolutely loved smelling the flowers, helping us pick them, and frolicking through the many fields. Her face of pure joy really just sums up our experience. We definitely plan to return again and again. If you are local to Northwest Ohio and are looking for a family friendly, safe activity, flower picking at GardenView Flowers is a must!

Be sure to check out their website and follow them on Instagram!

Slainte,

Shannon

COASTAL OHIO: LOCAL’S GUIDE TO THE BEACH AT MAUMEE BAY

We’ve had several people reach out to us with questions about the beach at Maumee Bay State Park so I thought I would put together a quick little guide for anyone thinking about visiting! It’s no secret that our family loves this beach. It’s only a 25 minute drive from our house and the beach offers some gorgeous views of Lake Erie. And since it’s a state park, the beach and the marshy trails surrounding it are open to the public during Ohio’s Stay at Home Order (just make sure you social distance yourself from others and bring your masks!).

Even though the beach is currently open, there are some limitations due to the current public health emergency. For starters, there are no public restrooms available. Under the Ohio Governor’s Stay at Home Order, all public restrooms are currently closed. Second, it is mandated you practice social distancing, so make sure to remain six feet away from others (park rangers do drive around regularly). Third, and this is true all the time, there are no lifeguards on duty on the main beach so you swim in the lake at your own risk!

Even though it’s probably obvious, I do need to point out that Ohio beaches are much, much smaller than beaches on the East Coast, in Florida, or California beaches. Because they are so small, what they lack in amenities such as access to refreshments, they make up for in less crowds and a more relaxed atmosphere .

So, without further ado, here are a few tips:

  1. Bring your own beach towel, blankets, or chairs (I love to bring our Turkish beach towels from Anchors Aweigh Supply Co.).  During the summer months I recommend a beach umbrella, too. 
  2. Pack a picnic basket or cooler with snack and refreshments.
  3. Bring extra clothing – it’s always at least ten degrees cooler along the shore than it is inland. 
  4. Get there early, especially in the warmer months.  Because Ohio beaches are smaller, they do fill up quicker.  We always get there around 10 a.m., which is at least an hour or more before the crowds.  This past weekend we had the entire beach to ourselves and it was amazing!
  5. Bring toys if you have kiddos – shovels, pails, buckets, bath toys, etc. 
  6. If you are an adult, bring a book, some music, or a magazine. 
  7. The beach is more gravely than sandy, so just keep that in mind.
  8. This beach doesn’t boast a ton of shells, so if you are looking to search for seashells by the seashore you will be quite disappointed.
  9. I’m not an expert on high tide and low tide, but currently it appears as though spring low tide is between 10am-1pm.  I include this because you have much more beach to walk around on. 

Another local tip, if the main beach is too crowded, the park also boasts a 57-acre in-land beach and lake! It’s about half a mile from the main beach and offers a much quieter atmosphere. Plus, you can swim, fish, paddleboat, and rent canoes on this lake!

Hopefully if you are planning a safe trip to the bay, these tips will help and prepare you for a lovely day at one of Ohio’s many Lake Erie beaches. 

Slainte,

Shannon 

OHIO SPIRIT WEEK

The past couple of weeks have certainly forced me to break out my creativity when coming up with activities for L.  So far we have tried sensory bins, stickers, baking, gardening, legos, and cleaning!  We surely have been doing our best to stay home to help protect those on the front lines. 

This week the Ohio Governor’s Office is hosting Virtual Ohio Spirit Week!  Our family are proud Ohioians and we will happily be supporting Governor Mike Dewine and his team and participating in some fun, engaging activities with L.    

If you want to participate with us this week, below are the different themes for each day!  Remember, we are all in this together and it’s important we continue to stay home to keep others safe! 

MONDAY: PAJAMA DAY

Stay in your pajamas all day! I have been continuing to get dressed each day, so this will be a fun activity for me!

TUESDAY: GARDEN DAY

Get outside and plant your gardens, or in our case, we will be doing yard work! 

WEDNESDAY: SALUTE YOUR HERO

We are forever grateful for those who are on the front lines fighting this virus.  Thank you to all of the doctors, nurses, truck drivers, firefighters, teachers, refuse drivers, city workers, grocery store workers, and everyone else who is considered essential!

THURSDAY: SPIRIT DAY

Show your love for your favorite sports team!  We will be showing our love for our Ohio teams.  We are a Buckeyes, Indians, and Redhwaks through and through. 

FRIDAY: PIZZA DAY

Order pizza in or make your own! We will be making our own version of pepperoni and bacon pizza – our favorite!

Thanks for joining us!  Stay safe and well. 

Slainte,

Shannon

DAY TRIPPIN’ TO THE BAY

One of my absolute favorite things about Ohio is it’s proximity to Lake Erie.  People never think of Ohio as a coastal state.  But in fact, the entire northern border of the state rests on the lake.   There are 100 miles of Lake Erie shore between Toledo and Cleveland.  I never appreciated my proximity to this body of water until the last few years.  I’m so fortunate that we live 25 minutes from the bay and about an hour from Marblehead Point.  

This past weekend we took L to Maumee Bay State Park, which sits right on the bay of the lake (hence the name).  Maumee Bay State Park includes two sandy public beaches, a two mile boardwalk, nature center, and a golf course, along with many other activities.  

We took L back in April, but she was too young to enjoy the water.  I was thrilled to see how much she loved it this time around (just like her mama!).  We wouldn’t let her get in because Lake Erie isn’t the cleanest of lakes (every summer we get an awful algae bloom – I will share a post on that another day).  
It was so refreshing and rejuvenating to walk along the lake and listen to the quiet waves crashing on the beach.  I have no idea where my love for the water comes from, but I sure do love it. 
This trip was even more special being able to share it with L.  She was completely entranced by the water and I wanted so badly to let her play in it.  I think one of the greatest joys of being a parent is watching your children experience something new with such immense joy.  I savor these special moments.

I love talking about coastal Ohio and am happy to share more of you guys are interested! You can also check out Ohio Explored or Ohio Find It Here.  Both are great resources for all things Ohio! 
Sláinte,
Shannon 

OUTFIT DETAILS:

S.LYNCH KNIT HAT | J.CREW FACTORY VEST | J.CREW FACTORY STRIPED SHIRT | J.CREW FACTORY DENIM JEANS | HUNTER BOOTS

SAFER BEAUTY

One of my passions (and goals) for this blogging platform is supporting other women and their businesses and brands. I have met and become friends with so many awesome ladies and it makes this blogging journey so worth it. 

I recently discovered an Ohio based skincare company called Elle Landon.  Elle Landon skincare products are essential oil based and only use the simplest of ingredients.  I’m a huge believer in eliminating toxins that go into our body and when I find skincare that only uses the simplest of ingredients I’m a happy camper. 

At first I was skeptical about using a face oil, especially with my postpartum skin, but this luxury oil has far exceeded my expectations.  It leaves my face feeling hydrated, healthy, and has cleared up some of that postpartum nonsense.  And the best part is that I feel safe using it on my face – it’s made with only safe, simply ingredients.  Plus, the essential oils make it smell delightful.

As I get older, I’ve come to realize the importance of taking care of your body.  It’s important to exercise, eat clean, take care of your mental health, but it’s equally important to take care of your skin.  Our skin is the biggest barrier against infection, and it’s so important to keep it hydrated and moisturized. 

I’m so glad I was introduced to Elle Landon products.  I love that the face oil is super hydrating and brightening. It can be used morning and night as a moisturizer, under the eye area to nourish and decrease puffiness, or lightly tapped over makeup to add a dewy finish. 

Head to their website to learn more about their various products and story! 

Sláinte,

Shannon

Please note: This item was gifted, but I have been using the product for a few weeks and all opinions are my own.