Mom Tribes: Why you NEED them & where you can find your Toledo Mom Tribe

It was a stifling July afternoon. My 3 year old and 2 year old were bickering over the same toy for the third time in an hour. I was suffering from a mild depression due to a false positive pregnancy test. And to add insult to injury, my husband and I had just had a colossal fight. The tears just started rolling down my cheeks; I just wanted to melt into the floorboards. I felt so isolated; motherhood began to feel less like a blessing and more like a punishment. Sure, I had friends, friends that either weren’t married yet and/or didn’t have children.  And once I had children those friends seemed to avoid me like the plague, or, at least that was the way my exhausted mommy brain had interpreted it at the time. In reality our lives were just so different, when they were going out in the evening I was going to bed. On occasion they would try to send me some positive vibes like, “hang in there, it’ll get better” type comments. But let’s be honest receiving comment like that from friends who couldn’t relate to any of my daily woes as a mom was as useful as getting auto mechanic advice from my dentist. And then IT happened I received an email, an email that would end up changing my life.

A couple months prior to my meltdown in the living room, I had joined a small Playgroup of 9 moms on I had joined it in the midst of my hurricane of pity that I dubbed motherhood. They had a couple of playdate meetup that I wasn’t able to attend and apparently no one else was either because the organizer was done. The email stated that the Playgroup-in-Toledo was available for anyone who wished to take it over for a small fee of $15 a month. I must have been in the eye of that motherhood storm at the time, not quite thinking clearly because I did something so outside this introverts comfort zone to this day it still shocks the heck out of me, I took the leap…I jumped!  I took over as the organizer for the Playgroup-in-Toledo.  And what started off as 9 moms grew to over 200. It turned out that I wasn’t alone in this hurricane of pity; in fact with each meetup we had I could literally feel the dark clouds dissipating. The sun finally shined down, motherhood became a blessing again, even on my crappiest of motherhood days. I am so thankful something told me to jump, to take that leap that hot July afternoon because I ended up landing on a huge net, my net-work of other moms, I finally found my tribe.

Do you have a motherhood tribe?



Why you need your Tribe:

  1. Companionship– “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” C. S. Lewis. It is comforting to have other women to commiserate with, who understand, can relate, and even offer suggestions on how to survive a colic infant, sore nipples, potty training, tantrums, night terrors, Kindergarten, tweens, teenagers, etc.
  2. Many Hands make Light Work– Whether you are meeting up with other moms for a playdate at someone’s home, out and about on the town, or are taking turns providing childcare during a meeting, having extra sets of eyes and hands makes life much easier and more enjoyable.
  3. Access to a vault of knowledge– I must say women now a days are amazing, they are more than “just moms”, they are entrepreneurs, book writers, professors, homeschoolers, scientists, trainers, coaches, chefs, etc. And having that brilliant network of ladies on speed dial is advantageous….whether you just burnt dinner or are struggling to help your 8th grader with their science homework, these ladies put Siri to shame.
  4. They Raise you Up and Talk you Down-You know you have officially found your tribe when they raise you up, support your efforts, and encourage you to strive towards your goals, no matter how big or small. Likewise, when you are down on yourself and ready to jump off that preverbal cliff they are there to talk you down from your despair one step at a time.
  5. Life was meant to be Lived-Lucy(s) need their Ethel(s), Thelma(s), their Louise(s), and Laverne(s), their Shirley(s) to do crazy fun things with….a moms’ night out, movie, dance class, paint pottery, etc. Everyone needs those people in their lives who will say yes to experiences, who will join you on this magnificent adventure.


Where can you find your tribe?

Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)

Location: Washington Church, 3925 W Central Ave. Toledo, OH 43606-2766

Phone: (419) 536-3789

Meetings: Sept.-May, 1st & 3rd Friday of the Month at 9:30am to11:30am


A MOPS meeting includes practical teaching through speakers, demonstrations and videos. Plus, there’s usually food! But more important, you’ll get to have honest conversations with other moms who understand the joys and frustrations of motherhood. We’ve all been placed in this time and place in history, as the tribe of women who are raising the world. We know we mother better together, so all moms are welcome at MOPS. From the time you get pregnant to when your kiddo is in Kindergarten, our doors are open.

Bloom (for Mothers and Grandmothers)

Location: Little Flower Catholic Church

Meetings: September to May, 2nd Thursday from 9:00am – 11:15am



Bloom is a program for Catholic mothers in all stages of mothering/grandmothering, which will meet on the second Thursday of each month from September to May, from 9:00am – 11:15am in the St. Francis Room. Please contact Ann Francis at or register online at

Mothers’ Center of Greater Toledo

Location: West Toledo YMCA

Meetings: Held once a week on Thursday mornings, beginning at 9:45 am and concluding at 11:15 am


They are a non-profit established in 1984 that meets regularly to share common experiences, make new friends and enjoy the company of peers while the children are supervised by experienced childcare workers. In addition to weekly meetings, they offer playdates, an Executive Mommas group for working mothers and many family activities.  If you’re looking for fun, friendships, social activities, parenting ideas, community involvement opportunities, or just a reason to get out of the house with your little ones, they might be just what you’ve been searching for.

FiA (Females in Action) Toledo Exercise Group

Location: Varies (see website)


Meetings: Vary see website

Before the demands of the day pull us in different directions, FiA’s start their day with a 45 minute workout. During this time, we experience a physical and personal growth that radiates through the rest of our day – enabling us to be better daughters, sisters, employees, spouses, friends, bosses and mothers.

-FiA’s develop incredible female friendships

-At FiA, they are focused on supporting and encouraging one another to push beyond our comfort zones.

-Supporting you, challenging you, and cheering you on – those 45 minutes are a great investment in you so that when you’re tackling all the rest of your roles – your heart, mind and body are ready.

-This environment brings out the good in each of us and helps us connect/relate based on our common interest to get fit and be healthy. And then we build on this commonality by providing opportunities for women to get to know each other through our book clubs, Bible studies, and socials.

MOMs (Mommies Of Munchkins)

Location: Napoleon Church of the Nazarene 630 Appian Ave. Napoleon OH 43545

Meetings: First Friday of each month 9-11am


Meets in Napoleon the first Friday of every month from 9-11a!! Group of welcoming mommas talking all things mom while sipping coffee/tea and snacking! Free childcare provided!

MOMsNext (A Sister group to MOPs)

Location: Washington Church, 3925 W Central Ave. Toledo, OH 43606-2766

Phone: (419) 536-3789

Meetings: Sept – May: Mtg 1st & 3rd Friday of the Month at 9:30am – 11:30am


If you are a mom with school aged children and are free in the morning, then come check out MomsNext! Come meet some amazing women, who are on the same journey of motherhood as you are.

Toledo Area Playgroup

Location: Online,

Meetings: vary

Local mom’s with kids who want to get together with other mom’s who have kids.


Location: Christ the Word 3100 Murd Rd, Sylvania, OH 43560

Phone: (419) 829-2005


Meetings: Sept-May First Wednesday of the month 9:15AM-11AM

Mom2mom is a Toledo area mom’s group designed to grow friendships and strengthen families. We meet the first Wednesday of the month from September through May. Our theme this year is “Deep Roots ~ Strong Moms”. Free childcare is provided. Registration is open!



I know it can be a little scary at first but remember, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Neale Donald Walsch

Know of additional Mom Tribes in Toledo? Please comment & share.

15 Awesome Kid-Friendly Indoor Destinations in NW Ohio and SE Michigan

Just because the weather isn’t cooperating doesn’t mean the fun has to end! Here’s a list of some awesome kid-friendly indoor destinations to visit in NW Ohio and SE Michigan that will allow the adventures to continue no matter the weather!


Jungle Junction

Phone: 419.484.5532

Address: 110 Cherry Blvd. Bellevue, Ohio 44811



The largest indoor play structure in Ohio! Jungle Junction is an AMAZING fun time for children ages 12 and under. Six levels of adventure with over 60 play features including slides, air cannons, obstacle courses, and interactive game panels keep kids entertained and challenged for hours.  A dedicated toddler tumble zone with molded jungle friends for climbing, crawling and sliding the day away.  Their controlled environment will keep you cool in the summer and warm when the weather turns cold and wet.

Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm (Sensory Day- The first and third Wed. of each month. 10a-2p, no air cannons)

Friday & Saturday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Sunday   Noon – 7:00 pm

DAILY ADMISSION: $6   (ages 2-12)

Parents and Caregivers are FREE!

Children 1 and under are FREE!

Don’t forget your socks!


Michigan Science Center

Phone: 313.577.8400

Address: 5020 John R Street Detroit, MI 48202



Explore hands-on exhibits, gaze at the stars, discover new worlds in our IMAX® theatre, and take part in live stage shows. As Michigan’s STEM Hub, we inspire curious minds of all ages.

General admission: $14/adult, $11/child 12 and under or senior citizen (60+).

Children under age two are free.

Check out the additional options/packages on their website. (General admission doesn’t include IMAX theatre)


Regular Hours:

Monday – Tuesday Closed

Wednesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday  10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday  12 p.m. – 6 p.m.


The Mazza Museum

Phone: 419-434-5521

Address: Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion University of Findlay 1000 North Main St.

Findlay, OH 45840



The Mazza Museum is the most diverse collection of original artwork by children’s book illustrators in the world. The museum’s goal is to promote literacy and enrich the lives of all people through the art of picture books.


Many children’s books have been made into films. Come see your favorite characters from movies in their original picture book form…or better yet take note of the books and read them before your see them on film.

“Patricia Polacco Exhibit”-The Keeping Quilt is one of our favorites….Come see why!

Admission: FREE

Museum Hours of Operation:

Wednesday-Friday: Noon – 5 p.m.

Sunday: 1 – 4 p.m.


University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Phone: (734) 764-0478

Address: 1105 North University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079 (Look for the “Golden Dome”…that’s the planetarium in the building)

Parking: Free Parking on Sundays! Most non-marked spots in any Campus Faculty/Staff Parking (including Palmer) is free on Sundays. (Do NOT park in Gold, Business Vehicle, or other marked spots.)


With the largest display of dinosaurs in Michigan, the University Of Michigan Museum Of Natural History offers an array of educational programs and exhibits for families, students and adults. Exhibits include the Hall of Evolution, Michigan wildlife, anthropology, geology, and several changing exhibits.

Museum Hours: Monday-Sunday 9am-5pm

Admission: FREE to individuals and groups of 10 or fewer. (Suggested donation is $6 per person)


Phone: (734) 973-8424

Address: 4100 Carpenter Rd, Ypsilanti, MI 48197



Don’t just see a movie, experience it!! An immense explosion….A whisper heard over your shoulder. The rumbling bass you feel instead of hear. The combination of their perfectly tuned integrated sound system and precise speaker orientation ensures you can hear a pin drop and be able to tell exactly where it landed. Every note of the soundtrack and every scuff of a shoe are clearer in IMAX, with a complete overhaul of each movie’s audio overseen by the film’s director. All of this pristine sound is then pumped into a theatre that has been customized for an optimal experience. Clarity, detail and size make IMAX more than a movie. Two projectors run simultaneously to provide the perfect image with a balance of warmth and sharpness. IMAX draws you into something as close to reality as you have ever experienced!

For list of shows and times click on the website above….I do know, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story starts showing this week!

Wednesdays are the discount days…$10 for IMAX all day! (FYI: Kids concessions combo-drink, popcorn, fruit is $5.65)

Snook’s Dream Cars

Phone: 419-353-8338

Address: 13920 County Home Rd, Bowling Green, OH 43402-8670



Snook’s Dream Cars displays the extensive collection of “long time car guy” Bill Snook (deceased) and operated by his son Jeff Snook. It features a recreated 1940s era Texaco gas station, a showroom of extensive automobile memorabilia and a car collection presented within period scenes ranging from a 1930s general store to a racetrack from the 1960s.The car collection, which features models from the 1930s to the 1960s, includes coupes, convertibles, sedans, roadsters and racecars, made by Cadillac, Ford, Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, Packard, Kaiser, Willys, Jaguar, Triumph, MG and Lotus. The facility also houses a complete four-bay shop for maintaining collector cars.


Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sat. & Sun: By appointment


Adults $8

Seniors $6

Children $5

Spangler Candy Factory Tours

Phone: 419.633.6439

Address: 400 N. Portland St., Bryan, OH 43506



Public tours of the factory are available on their Dum Dums Trolley Wednesday through Friday 10 am to 3:00 pm ET. There are no reservations. Tours are on a first come, first served basis. You may wish to call ahead for information. Store & Museum admission is free – tour prices are shown below.

Due to safety and FDA regulations, the trolley tour will not go through the main kitchen areas, but will go through the warehouse areas and their most recent addition, the Portland Street expansion. It is the 87th production expansion in company history and nearly 20,000 square feet in size. Visitors are able to see their palletization area and automatic case packers. Candy cooking and forming in the kitchen areas will be shown via a DVD player while on the trolley tour.


Hours: Fall/Winter/Spring: Wednesday thru Friday 10am – 3pm

Factory tour prices are: Adults $5, Children 6-18 years $3, Children 5 & Under Free with paid Adult, Seniors $4. Tours will not be offered on any day that is a holiday for the factory.

Imagination Station

Phone: (419) 244-2674

Address: 1 Discovery Way, Toledo, OH 43604


CTY imagine22p Lynsey Garber, 10, a fifth grader at Ottawa River Elementary, rides the high wire bike at Imagination Station, Wednesday, March 21, 2012. The Blade/Andy Morrison
CTY imagine22p Lynsey Garber, 10, a fifth grader at Ottawa River Elementary, rides the high wire bike at Imagination Station, Wednesday, March 21, 2012. The Blade/Andy Morrison

Imagination Station, Toledo’s Science Center, is dedicated to making science, technology, engineering and mathematics fun and accessible. There are hundreds of interactive, hands-on exhibits that are fun and educational for the entire family. Whether you only have an hour or you have all day, there is plenty to see and do at Imagination Station. Come join us and explore everything that Imagination Station has to offer!

Operating Hours:

Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm

Sunday: Noon – 5pm

Monday: CLOSED

Admission Prices:

Big Kids (13 – 64): $11

Kids (3 – 12): $9

Seniors (65+): $10

Children 2 & under: Free


Sky Zone

Phone: (419) 491-1194

Address: 1600 Albon Rd. Holland, OH 43528



There is no age limit on jumpers; if you can walk you can jump. Destress and have a blast jumping and possibly even flipping in/on Sky Zone’s awesome trampoline courts. Simply sign the waiver, get your jump time, put on your Sky Zone Socks and reach for the sky! Enjoy full access to the park, including, the Main Court, Ultimate Dodgeball, SkySlam, the Foam Zone, etc. Sky Zone also offers food and beverages so you can recharge after all that jumping. If you wish to expedite your experience you can sign the waiver and get jump time in advance, so you can get kiddos on the courts ASAP!

Hours: (Summer) Mon-Thurs. noon-8p.m. Fridays Noon-11p.m. (Glow Zone 9p.m.-11p.m.), Saturdays 10a.m.-11p.m., & Sundays Noon-8p.m.



Outdoor Adventure Center

Phone: 844-OAC-MDNR (844-622-6367)

Address: 1801 Atwater Street Detroit, MI 48207-4020



Experience exciting outdoor adventures with hands-on activities, exhibits and simulators — walk behind and touch a waterfall, step into a fishing boat and reel in a big fish, hit the trail on a mountain bike or snowmobile, and much more. At the OAC, you’ll learn about how the DNR manages state parks, forests, wildlife and fish as you climb the roots and explore the canopy of a massive bur oak tree, hop aboard a real airplane, and see what’s swimming in our aquarium.




Monday Closed

Tuesday Closed

Wednesday-Friday   10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday Noon – 5 p.m


Adults (age 13-61) $5

Seniors (age 62 and older) $3

Children (ages 2-12) $3

Children under age 2 Free

National Museum of the Great Lakes

Address: 1701 Front Street Toledo, Ohio 43605

Hours: Tuesdays– Saturdays: 10a.m. – 5p.m., Sundays: Noon – 5p.m., Closed Mondays


Slug: CTY museum20p THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Caption: Life raft recovered from the Edmund Fitzgerald on display at the National Museum of the Great Lakes Thursday, 04/17/14, in Toledo, Ohio.
Slug: CTY museum20p THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Caption: Life raft recovered from the Edmund Fitzgerald on display at the National Museum of the Great Lakes Thursday, 04/17/14, in Toledo, Ohio.

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is a fun and unique experience for all. Learn about the rich history our Great Lakes have afforded us, making up 84% of all the fresh water in North America it is no surprise they are treasured waters. Explore the history and enjoy some hands-on displays as you learn about one of the world’s greatest natural resources.  Kids will be intrigued by all the means of transit along the Lakes, including the huge ship, the Schoonmaker just outside the museum in the Maumee River, (tours of the ship are offered May-Oct).  Be sure to stop in the museum store so the kiddos can pick out some souvenirs to commemorate their visit.


Hours of Operation:

Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm


Museum Only: Adult – $11

Museum Only: Senior, AAA, or Military – $10

Museum Only: Kids (6-17) – $8

Museum Only: Toddlers (0-5) – Free



Sylvania Playland

Phone: (419) 517-9094

Address: 3620 Centennial Rd, Sylvania, OH 43560




Sylvania Playland is the one and only indoor bounce house and playground in Sylvania! Come in and play on their five inflatables, four swing sets and toddler area. Our glow-in-the-dark mini golf is now OPEN! 18 holes, 4 themes (underwater, pirates, dinosaurs, knights and dragons). Win prizes in their arcade and have a taste of Toft’s ice cream!

Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 10 AM – 8 PM

Friday & Saturday: 9 AM – 9 PM

Cost: Ages 1-3 1 hour bounce is $6 (unlimited $9)

Ages 4-12 1 hour bounce is $9 (unlimited $13)

18 hole Mini Indoor Golf $7 (unlimited $10)

1 Hour of Bounce and 1 Round of Golf……………$14.00

Unlimited Bounce and Unlimited Golf………………$20.00



Historical Museum of Fulton County

Phone: 419-337-7922

Address: 8848 State Highway 108 Wauseon, OH 43567



Calling all history buffs and those simply intrigued by the vast history located in NW Ohio tour this an amazing 1868 Romanesque Revival two-story brick building that originally housed Wauseon’s first high school, and later, the county’s first hospital. Experience thirteen rooms that showcase permanent historic exhibits of hidden historical gems. Listen to locally written abolition hymns of the Underground Railroad movement in the county; see the crackling campfire of local Civil War soldiers and the museum’s extensive collection of Civil War era artifacts which are the impressive centerpiece of this exhibit.

Call ahead and make an appointment to see the Depot! Two blocks south of the museum, visit the Wauseon Depot. A collection of items from Fulton County’s railroad past, which included 6 steam lines and two electric inner urban lines, is on display inside the depot. Watch and listen to an O-scale working model railroad display that highlights Fulton County’s railroad 1920s hay-day.

Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10:00am – 04:00pm

Sunday: noon-4:00pm

Rates: Adults – 18 and over: $8.00

Seniors – 55 and over: $7.00

Children – 6-15: $3.00

Children 6 & under are FREE


When you’re finished with your awesome tour stop by Red Rambler for a hot cocoa for the kiddos and a Flight of their brewed beers for mom and dad!



Toledo Museum of Art

Phone: (419) 255-8000

Address: 2445 Monroe St, Toledo, OH 43620


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Since the founding in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art has earned a global reputation for the quality of its collection, innovative and extensive education programs, and architecturally significant campus. The main Museum building interior contains four and a half acres of floor space on two levels. It has 45 galleries, 15 classroom studios, the 1,750-seat Peristyle concert hall, the 176-seat Little Theater lecture hall, the Resource Center for Educators, the Family Center, the Visual Resources Collection, the Museum Café, and the Museum Store featuring Collector’s Corner. The Glass Pavilion has five galleries, a glass study room, classrooms, two hotshops, a multipurpose GlasSalon, public and private courtyard space, and a coffee bar.

Family Center: Free, fun, and open to everyone! The TMA Family Center, located in the education wing near the Plough entrance, is the perfect place for our youngest Museum visitors to make and take memories with their parents and caregivers. Drop in for themed activities that enliven the world of art for kids ages 1-10 (and even grown-ups!). Check the calendar on this page for upcoming projects. Calendars can be customized and printed by clicking on the Google Calendar icon at the bottom of the calendar listing.

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Family Center Hours:

Tuesdays & Thursday: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Friday: 3:30–8 p.m.

Sunday: noon–5:00 p.m

Admission: The Museum and the Family Center are FREE

Planet Rock

Phone: 734-827-2680

Address: 82 Aprill Dr Ann Arbor, MI 48103



Since 1994, Planet Rock has been providing world class indoor rock climbing. With creative wall design and innovative route setting, Planet Rock enables climbers of all ages and experience levels to love a sport that is like no other. Over 25,000 square feet of climbing surface with walls up to heights of 50′ and routes up to 70′ long, their gyms cater to competitive and recreational climbers alike. The gym also features unique climbing features such as the full-training areas and giant bouldering mushroom. Both beginner and experienced lead climbers will find routes that are both technical and fun. Their dedicated lead climbing walls have extensive lines and challenging features, while their bouldering areas offer interesting topography and an innovative mat system for softer landings.

Hours: Monday- Friday | 3:00PM – 10:00PM

Saturday | 11:00AM – 8:00PM

Sunday | 10:00AM – 6:00PM

Admission: Starter Packages (first time) Price

Adult 14 or older $44.00

Adult and child (5-8) $50.00

additional children (each) $25.00

Adult and child (9-13) $60.00

Additional children (each) $32.00

Daily Passes

Price Adult Daily Pass $17.00

Student / Military Daily Pass $16.00

Kids (5-13) $13.00

Belay only $10.00

Belay check $3.00

Organizing Memories One Adoramapix Photobook at a Time (Discount code included)

I posted this a couple weeks back on Facebook……

My 1st BIG Project of the school year: Stop Storing the Past & Make room to enjoy the Present!

Problem: “You can’t take it with you when you go”. So why do I have vast amounts of nostalgic memorabilia taking up valuable real-estate throughout my home? Total confession, the moment I became a mother I also became a sentimental fool…I have kept everything, first outift thru size 3T, first/almost all- art projects, etc. But what I would really like to do with the space is have a multipurpose family area for homework, piano lessons, puzzle assembling, etc.

Solution: Take pictures of everything. Place images in a photobook chronologically. In the back of the book attach a pocket to place memory cards from that year, any video/DVD footage, and/or small paper item. And then get rid of all the “stuff” after it has been documented.

It sounds very practical right? I’ll see how well my mommy heart does with this Project. Cheers to realizing the importance of no longer storing the past but making room to enjoy the present!!

So, I began my quest. First stop, family vacation 2015, Lake House (I decided to take it easy on my mommy heart and begin with the most recent items/memories). I managed to hunt down all images, pamphlets, and children’s art work from the Annual Lake House Art Show! lakehousebook7Honestly, the hardest part thus far has been the collecting of everything and identifying the date/location.  And the easiest part, thanks to Adroamapix is the putting the book together.

Why do I adore Adoramapix, let me count the ways….

  1. User-friendly! Everything about the AdoramaPix experience is very easy. Gone are the days of complicated formatting.lakehousebook50 Adoramapix formatting is so simple my kindergartener could do it. And the variety of themes, layouts, backgrounds, etc. is incomparable. They even offer round formatting options, so cool! They think outside the box, literally! I love it!lakehousebook60
  2. Economical price points! The only thing I can’t stand more than wasting my time with irritating, frustrating, formatting issues is wasting my money! Not an issue with Adoramapix, their products are priced accordingly and there aren’t any weird add-on costs at the end. BONUS: AdoramaPix offers credits through contests, sharing, etc. that you can accumulate to go towards your next project, score!!
  3. PROFESSIONAL- The end result left me speechless!







The quality of the photo book is like none other, the colors are so rich & vibrant color. I simply adore the fact that the thick, durable, professional grade photo paper resists fading & ensures that my photos will be just as colorful for future generations…which is HUGE for me since I am tossing most of these treasured items, in particular, the kiddos’ artwork, after I take the images.




(This page, swoon! I ❤ this memory….I want to go back to this day. The kiddos were obsessed with watching the Shrinky Dinks shrink in the oven. Did I mention this is such an emotional process…now I know why I just threw thing in the storage room. My heart aches…they are growing too fast :() 



(The Lake House Art Show is clearly a pajama friendly event, lol! In fact I think she lived in those PJs that week, next summer I should just pack bathing suits and PJs, lol!)



Looking to create a photobook? You are going to want to jump on this deal….all Mom on the go in Holy Toledo followers can get 15% off photo books from @Adoramapix! Code:photobook15 Ends: 11/05/2016


One book down! Woot! Woot! Small victory, one photobook down and a thousand to go, lol! What photobook project are you working on? Are you one of those amazing, on-top of things, parent who is already collating images for Christmas photobooks? I so admire those parents.


Best FREE Farm Experience!

As soon as you step out of your vehicle you instantly feel the warmth, comfort, and hospitality of being down on the farm, even on a cool crisp Fall day. All are welcomed at Gust Brother’s Pumpkin Farm and yet you don’t feel like a guest, but rather, part of the family. Admission is free, in fact it is nonexistent.

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Gust Brother’s Farm has been a Fall time family favorite destination for years, it isn’t officially Fall until we visit the farm at 13639 Mulberry Rd. Ottawa Lake, MI.

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Our first stop is always the barn. It is filled with animals that the children definitely don’t see on a regular basis. Visiting the farm is always a nice refresher for my city kids on where our food comes from; I fear too often they assume a magical fairy simply drops it off at Costco. Thankfully a visit to Gust Brother’s discredits that myth.

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And speaking of food, their farm has been certified by the USDA as an environmentally friendly farm. They offer a Summer Market that starts in mid-June and goes till Mid-September that includes, beef, Angus beef, and pork, (coming soon they will be offering grass fed beef with no hormones or antibiotics, just an FYI)!

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But I must admit it is so hard to look at these big beautiful animals and imagine eating them. In fact, after seeing all the cows on our visit to the farm we ended up eating Chick-fil-a for lunch, it just felt right. Lol!

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The barn also houses adorable piglets, their momma, and sheep!

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We literally hung out in the barn for one hour admiring and petting the animals then we finally made our way over to the cute cuddly, I seriously wanted to take one home, adorable bunnies!!!

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After the bunnies we stopped by to say hello to the chickens (or are they roosters…please forgive me, I am not used to seeing them with feathers. By the time I place one in the crockpot someone else has done all the work, and I am so thankful for that!).

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We waved a friendly hello to this adorable baby and then we were parched!

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I know I said this is the best FREE farm experience but if you are wise you will bring a little “fun money” as my grandma called it, to spend in the coffee & donut shack, on a hayride, and/or to buy some goodies in the market.

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Nothing says Fall like a caramel apple and when you are 5 sprinkles are just an added colorful bonus!

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And last but certainly not least, some goodies to take home!


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Total confession we visit Gust Brother’s Farm at least 3 times every fall, we can’t get enough! We will be headed back in a couple weeks to pick our pumpkins. Each kiddo grabs a wagon, we head to the field, and each picks out their pumpkin to carve; it is kinda a big deal. Haha!

So if you are in need of a full on Fall family farm experience  Gust Brother’s Pumpkin Farm is the perfect destination!


Getting to Know Toledo’s Mayoral Candidates

The BIG election is right around the corner! There are quite a few mayoral candidates; do you know who you will be voting for? Perhaps you still have some questions you would like answered?

Ribbet collageMAYOR

I had the opportunity to ask the candidates questions, questions on a more personal level, not political. You might just be surprised to find out what you have in common with some of the candidates! Here are their answers!


Mike Bell


Q: What is one of your favorite Toledo restaurants?

A: Toledo has so many great locally owned restaurants. It’s hard to choose just one. The number one kitchen to eat out of is Mamma Ora’s – she knows how to hook me up with her sweet potatoes.

Q: We realize your free time is limited, with what little free time you may have, how do you enjoy spending it?

A: I love riding my motorcycle. I enjoy taking my bicycle on long rides through Side Cut Park and the University Trails.

Q: What is your favorite Fall/Autumn activity in Toledo?

A: UT Rocket Football. #GoRockets

Q: What is your favorite book? (Childhood or adult)

A: A Hole in My Head: A Life Revealed—The Story of Vertus Hardiman. Very powerful story.    

Q: What do you love most about Toledo?

A: The realness of the people. Everyone is like family.

To get to know more about Mike CLICK HERE


Sandy Drabik Collins


Q: What is one of you favorite Toledo restaurants?

A: Toledo has so many hidden gems and I love trying new local places. When I am downtown, my favorite place to eat is Pam’s Corner. I like to take out-of-town visitors there. And when it comes to South Toledo, my favorite restaurants are El Tipico and Burger Bar 419.

Q: We realize free time is limited, with what little free time you may have, how do you enjoy spending it?

A: I like to spend free time just talking with friends and family. And I like to spend some free time alone reading, doing family genealogical research, and watching a little TV. I especially enjoy researching my Polish roots and Mike’s Irish roots, with the assistance of the Toledo Polish Genealogical Society, which is a lovely community organization in Toledo.

Q: What is your favorite Fall/Autumn activity in Toledo?

A: My favorite fall activities are attending UT Rockets football games and getting the garden ready for winter. I am very excited that the football season has started and I hope that the campaign will not keep me away from too many games.

Q: What is your favorite book (Childhood or adult)

A: My favorite childhood book is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The story is set in India and England and the themes are positive thinking and common sense.

Q: What do you love most about Toledo?

A: There are a lot of things to love about Toledo, but most of all I love the people. They are so caring, and not afraid to show it. I love the diversity within our community: variety of cultures, views, and opinions is what makes this city unique. And then, when Toledo faces a crisis, everyone comes together to show how much love for this city and its people is in their hearts.

To get to know more about Sandy CLICK HERE


Mike Ferner


Q: What is one of your favorite Toledo restaurants?

A: La Chalupa on N. Summit St. and Manhattan’s on Adams

Q: We realize your free time is limited, with what little free time you may have, how do you enjoy spending it?

A: Gardening for about another 2 weeks, reading, cleaning cat litter boxes, watching Brit murder mysteries

Q: What is your favorite Fall/Autumn activity in Toledo?

A: Smelling neighbors’ wood stoves smoking

Q: What is your favorite book? (Childhood or adult)

A: Too many to say

Q: What do you love most about Toledo?

A: Affordability and the people

To learn more about Mike CLICK HERE


Carty Finkbeiner


Q: What is one of your favorite Toledo restaurants?

A: It is hard for me to choose just one, you might get me in trouble on this, my favorites are Blarneys, Zias, Real Seafood, Mancy’s, but if there has to be just one I’ll say Beirut

Q: We realize your free time is limited, with what little free time you may have, how do you enjoy spending it?

A: I love to exercise, spend time with my Grandkids, and I love sports so sporting events

Q: What is your favorite Fall/Autumn activity in Toledo?

A: I love being outdoors in the fall, attending festivals, and football games especially

Q: What is your favorite book? (Childhood or adult)

A: A purpose Driven Life, Authored by Rick Warren

Q: What do you love most about Toledo?

A: Everything but negative thoughts

To get to know more about Carty CLICK HERE


Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson


Q: What is one of your favorite Toledo restaurants?

A: Michael’s on Monroe for breakfast

Q: We realize your free time is limited, with what little free time you may have, how do you enjoy spending it?

A: I love to swim

Q: What is your favorite Fall/Autumn activity in Toledo?

A: Football games with elementary kids playing

Q: What is your favorite book? (Childhood or adult)

A: Coming of Age in Mississippi

Q: What do you love most about Toledo?

A: I love the diversity of the people and the neighborhoods and being on the North Coast.

To learn more about Mayor Hicks-Hudson CLICK HERE


I found at least one, if not more, things in common with each of the candidates. I had no idea the Mayor likes to swim, that is awesome, we love swimming too! Sandy Drabik Collins had me at The Secret Garden, I absolutely adore that book! In fact, I just introduced my daughters to the book, it is my hope that it becomes one of their favorites too. And Mike Ferner mentioned Brit Murder Mysteries, don’t even get me started! I am such a HUGE fan of Midsomer Murders (My husband makes fun of me for binge watching it on Netflix)…and Carty Finkbeiner has me craving Beirut. I am right there cheering with you Mike Bell, #GoRockets! Woot! Woot! I love the diversity but there is one thing ALL the candidates clearly have in common, their love for Toledo & the people of Toledo. Each has put so much time, energy, effort, etc. into their campaign and each is clearly passionate about our great city. I wish each of you the very best and keep up the great work!

What is your favorite Toledo restaurant? What is your favorites fall/autumn activity? What do you love about Toledo? Please share in a comment below.


Toledo Mayoral debate presented by the Blade and UT






Deadline for voter registration for Nov. 3 general election is October 5, 2015

Applications for absentee ballots to be mailed for Nov. 3 general elections must be received by boards of elections by noon (3 days before general election) October 31, 2015

Toledo Mayoral Election – Nov. 3, 2015



Poll Hours: 6:30 AM-7:30 PM

On Election Day, you must cast your ballot in your precinct at your designated polling place between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. If you do not know where your designated precinct or polling place is located click here  to search for your polling place online.

Bring appropriate identification with you to the polls

◾ Ohio law requires that every voter, upon appearing at the polling place to vote on Election Day, to announce his or her full name and current address and provide proof of the voter’s identity.


CLICK HERE for info

For all of 2015 Candidates list CLICK HERE