Everything You Need To Know About The New Ikea!

When: The Grand Opening is Wednesday June 7th, 2017 at 9 a.m.

Where: 1900 Ikea Way, Columbus OH 43240

Festivities

 Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Rest Assured – The first 44 adults (18 & older) in IKEA Columbus on June 7, 2017 will receive a free EKTORP three-seat sofa, honoring our 44th U.S. store. 

Take a Seat (And We Mean Take It!) – The next 100 adults (18 & older) in IKEA Columbus on June 7, 2017 will receive a free POÄNG armchair. 

For the (Truly) Young at Heart – The first 100 children (17 & younger) in IKEA Columbus on June 7, 2017 will receive a free FAMNIG heart-shaped soft toy. 

Pick a Card, Any Card – The first 2,500 adults (18 & older) in IKEA Columbus on June 7, 2017 will receive a random prize envelope with IKEA Gift Cards ranging from $10 to $250, or a “Buy One, Get One Free” cinnamon bun, hotdog or soft-serve frozen yogurt voucher. 

Happy Birthday to You and Us – The first 100 adults (18 & older) bringing proof to IKEA Columbus on June 7, 2017 their birthday is the same as the store’s will receive a gift card in the amount of $44, a tie-in corresponding to IKEA Columbus as the 44th U.S. IKEA store. 

Enter our Home, Enter to Win – From June 7 through June 11, 2017, visitors to IKEA Columbus may enter a drawing to win one of ten $1,000 IKEA Gift Cards through the IKEA FAMILY loyalty program. IKEA is matching the prizes (a total of $10,000) with a donation of home furnishings to The Homeless Families Foundation, a local organization that provides housing assistance and educational services to homeless families living in Columbus. 

 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sleep Like Royalty – The first 44 adults (18 & older) in IKEA Columbus on Thursday, June 8, 2017 will receive a free queen-sized HAUGESUND mattress. 

Cozy Comfort – The next 100 adults (18 & older) in IKEA Columbus on Thursday, June 8, 2017 will receive a free ALINA “sleep set” of bedspread and cushion covers and two FJADRAR pillows. 

Kid’s Best Friend – The first 100 children (17 & younger) in IKEA Columbus on June 8, 2017 will receive a free GOSIG golden dog soft toy. 

 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Cook (& Store) Like a Pro – The first 44 adults in IKEA Columbus on Friday, June 9, 2017 will receive a free 365+ 6-piece cookware starter set and a FORTROLIG food container storage set. 

It’s in the Bag! – The next 44 adults (18 & older) in IKEA Columbus on Friday, June 9, 2017 will receive freezer bags filled with five different Swedish meals, complete with beverages and desserts, from the store’s Swedish Food Market. 

A Cold Sweet-ish Treat – The first 100 children (17 & under) in IKEA Columbus on Friday, June 9, 2017 will receive a voucher for a soft-serve frozen yogurt that day at the Exit Bistro. 

 

Wednesday, June 7 - Sunday, June 11, 2017

Play Big If You’re Little – Balloon artists, entertainment and face-painting will enhance the family-friendly fun at IKEA Columbus from June 7 through June 11, 2017. 

Thanks to Columbus Moms Blog, I was able to take a sneak peak of Ikea's second location in Ohio and it is just as awesome as you may have imagined. Being from Illinois, I am already used to having two Ikea's at my disposal. I have even driven to both on the same day to get an out of stock item. Safe to say, I am a fan. I'm so excited to finally have a location nearby again because yes, our family definitely purchase many of our home furniture items there. Especially for the children bedroom and playrooms. BUT there are so many smaller items that you can use from children's dinnerware, cute decorative items, picture frames, rugs, even children toys. And you can get them so much cheaper than anywhere else! 

Not to mention their giant cafeteria with the most amazing food! I have a feeling the kids and I might have some midday lunches there. And all the food is sold in the market as well. It's so strange to want to buy salmon from a furniture but yes, it was that good. 

Need to get some serious shopping done and don't want to be restricted by the children? If they are potty trained and 37-54 in tall, check them into Småland! They will have so much fun coloring, watching a movie, and / or playing in the fun ball pit! And don't worry mamas, family friendly parking, restrooms, and nursing areas. 

Too scared to brave the busy lines of opening day? Take a virtual tour below and start browsing the online Ikea catalogue to get prepped for your first visit! Want to know how to shop the store? Click the link below! 

Bottoms Up Coffee Co-op

Bottoms Up Coffee Co-op

Victoria Calderón and Virginia Nunes Gutierrez don't just talk about serving the community but they have planted themselves knee deep in the location they aim to serve. Bottoms Up Coffee wants to revive the Franklinton neighborhood by bringing business to the area, but they never ignore the very real turmoil that plagues them. Franklinton has one of the highest infant mortality rates and in cooperation with CelebrateOne they aim to drastically reduce those numbers. 

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Amy's Donuts

I'm all hopped up on an incredible sugar high thanks to this lovely donut shop west of Columbus. I'm so happy that a place like this exists on our side of Columbus when you would normally expect to find this type  of establishment in the heart of downtown. Amy's Donuts is located near Broad street, very close to the casino. Coincidence? 

Moots Clothing   has a shirt for every occasion, including donut tours ;)

Moots Clothing has a shirt for every occasion, including donut tours ;)

 

The variety of donuts is staggering. There seem to be over a 100 varieties to choose from and out of the 24 flavors I have tried so far, I have yet to be disappointed. Not only will adults love the donuts, but your kids will flip when they press their faces to the glass and see all their favorite candies and cereals adorned on these fluffy clouds of sugar. At first glance it definitely seems like sugar overload but the donut base is very simple and light to counter all the yummy topping options.  Maybe I am just trying to justify these donuts as a valid breakfast option, but honestly, I love how light and airy these donuts are. It doesn't taste overwhelming or heavy and I honestly don't know how they manage to pull it off. 

Could this place get any better? Oh wait, yes it can. FREE TOURS!!!! Sign up for a tour on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoons for no more than 15 children. It is definitely a tight space so the groups have to be small but this is such a fun activity to coordinate with your mom/playdate group, small birthday party, girl scout troop, kindergarten or preschool class, and the options go on. The kids were beyond excited to see how these magical desserts were made and then at the end they got to decorate two doughnuts! Our outing was so simple but so much fun and I can't recommend enough checking this place out with your kids. You will win the mom (or dad) of the year award hands down. 

First he rolls out the dough....

First he rolls out the dough....

Then he uses this awesome device to cut out the doughnuts! 

Then he uses this awesome device to cut out the doughnuts! 

After the oven they head to the fryer where he uses the giant chopsticks to flip them.

After the oven they head to the fryer where he uses the giant chopsticks to flip them.

Golden brown deliciousness...

Golden brown deliciousness...

Glazing time!

Glazing time!

Crowd participation!

Crowd participation!

Decorating is always the best part!

Decorating is always the best part!

Couldn't go home without grabbing a dozen to go. 

Couldn't go home without grabbing a dozen to go. 

Ultimate. Satisfaction

Ultimate. Satisfaction

 

Address| 650 Georgesville Rd, Columbus, OH 43228
Hours | Sun-Thu 5am-8pm | Fri & Sat 5am-10pm
Phone | 614.641.7721

 

BalletMet & Dancing With The Nutcracker

We had the most magical experience at the Ballet Met this weekend and it was perfectly timed since ballerinas have been on Charlie's mind non stop for the last couple months. Angelina Ballerina is on a constant Netflix rotation, the tutu is the daily attire, and I am judging pirouettes and pliés aplenty. How lucky to discover the annual Dancing With The Nutcracker event hosted by the BalletMet Columbus

This event was completely free with a donation to Faith Mission through the Discovery District Civic Association. First things first, we got our picture taken with the life size Nutcracker! From there we went into one of the studios that was set up with coloring, tattoos, an ornament craft, and a real ballerina costume to see up close! We spent about 30 minutes in here while we waited for the first session to end. Two times of noon and 1 p.m were offered and we chose the 1 p.m. 

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"A  real     tutu?!" 

"A real  tutu?!" 

Fun with coloring and crafts in the studio!

Fun with coloring and crafts in the studio!

Once it was our turn to enter the studio where the main event was being held, we scrambled to find a seat on the floor and wait for the excitement to begin. There is essentially no bad seat as the dancers move all over the floor. Ballet students were positioned all throughout the studio to help lead the children in the various dance routines that allowed them to actually participate in the Nutcracker story. The participation by the children is hands down the best part of this whole experience. The event is structured like a Nutcracker story time where the narrator takes the children through the story,  and teaches them the little participation dances before the professionals perform excerpts from the actual ballet. Afterwards we had some photo ops with the dancers and were able to retrieve our discounted Nutcracker tickets for the official performances in December. 

I can't get over how special this experience was and what an incredible sneak peek into a lovely Christmas tradition. Our whole family always has an amazing time with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and their Popcorn Pops / Concert for Kids. I am delighted to have been able to introduce the children to another aspect of the fine arts and be able to experience it up close! With Charlie turning three next month, I can't wait to get her started in the Mini Mover's class that the company offers. Maybe she won't grow up to be a prima ballerina but you can't not furnish the delight a little girl has about ballet while it lasts. Not to mention it is an extraordinary gateway into the world of art, classical music, rhythm, and creativity. Dance adds something special to a child's personality and I am excited to see where this adventure takes us next. 

"The children have been a wonderful gift to me, and I'm thankful to have once again seen our world through their eyes."    - Jackie Kennedy

The National Museum of the United States Air Force

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On a day like to today, at the tail end of election week, I'm reminded that it's the every day people that matter most. No matter what political position you take, what race or gender, or where you live. People from all walks of life make huge sacrifices for the sake of their country. And they do this time and time again, no matter what the political climate. We need to value those who have served every day and find ways to serve those who have served us.

I am so happy that we made our way out to Dayton this past weekend to visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force. In retrospect it was aptly timed.  Watch your children's eyes widen as they view more than 360 aircraft and missiles that are on display. We chose to walk all the way back to the new fourth building and work are way up from there. The newest building consists of their Presidential Gallery where you can view and climb aboard most of the presidential aircrafts including the SAM 2000 which carried President Kennedy's body back to Washington after the assassination. 

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For children this is a place of wonder and excitement but I think adults really feel the full weight of the equipment involved in warfare. To see these majestic planes and all their armament up close was enlightening and the respect I already had for our veterans increased exponentially. You can roam through all the galleries for hours and still not have scratched the surface of everything this Museum has to offer. But you can visit time and time again because admission, parking, and wifi are all free! But instead of having to pay admission please consider donating or becoming a member to help support this facility so they can keep expanding and so that they can provide awesome educational opportunities for children. 

And now.... the pictures of course! Our family can't wait for our next visit.  

 

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Thank you to all the veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces! We greatly appreciate your service.  

Safety Comes First At Goldfish Swim School

When looking into swim lessons for your youngsters, how can you possibly choose the best program? There are lots of options available and they all offer value in many different ways. For me, water safety has become more important than anything since my children have started swim lessons. I'm not sure that I even knew how important that component was before we began. 

The amount of small children who drown every year is staggering but according to The American Academy of Pediatrics, research has shown a reduced risk of drowning in preschoolers who had taken swimming lessons. This is because operations like Goldfish Swim School prioritize water safety above all else. Wrapped into a fun and exciting environment of course! 

It can take quite a few years for a child to become a truly independent swimmer. But in the meantime, learning life saving water skills are invaluable when they are at an age most at risk for drowning. I love seeing my young 2 year old crawling along the side of the pool using her hands, and then pulling herself out of the water. She does this absolutely every week, burning into memory what she would have to do if she fell into a pool. She even did it at the public pools this summer just because she thinks its a fun thing to do and I love that she's continuously building enough strength to pull herself out of a pool on her own. 

The "wall crawl" is just one of the many life saving techniques that my children learn during their swim lessons. The back float being another important technique to save energy when trying to swim a longer distance. Considering how fast a stressed child can tire out, to know how to roll over to their back and relax is a wonderful skill. 

So yes, the in class swim safety is superb. But did you know that Goldfish Swim School also has a wonderful community outreach program? They actually go out into the community and educate children on the importance of swim safety! For FREE! The program offers a 25 minute session to area preschools, elementary schools, scout troops, and parent groups (Hello mom groups out there! How awesome would this be?) For 2016 alone, 4500 children were educated through Goldfish water safety presentations. This is truly life saving knowledge and it's so amazing that it's offered free of charge, whether you are interested in their swim lessons or not. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation, contact diane.cowgill@goldfish.com 

Goldfish always makes learning about water safety so much fun! 

Goldfish always makes learning about water safety so much fun! 

And if you don't want to take my word for it, Lizzie Cowgirl and Lisa Armitage actually got to present at the Goldfish annual conference on the success of their water safety program! Kudos Goldfish, keep on doing what you're doing. 

Happy (and safe) swimming!!

Americana Style & Sweets - Fourth of July Weekend

4th of July weekend is upon us! It's my absolute favorite holiday! Or is every holiday my favorite?... Hmm.... Nonetheless, I love it! You know I'll be in the kitchen baking up desserts to compliment the barbecues, and the fam will be decked out in red, white, and blue.  

Check out my simple outfit picks for the littles below! 

 

This  Janie and Jack romper  would make the cutest little patriotic sailor!  

This Janie and Jack romper would make the cutest little patriotic sailor!  

Matching dress for big siste from  Janie and Jack ! 

Matching dress for big siste from Janie and Jack

Simple button down from  Old Navy  for big brother.  

Simple button down from Old Navy for big brother.  

Sass it up a bit with this tank from  Roman and Leo !  Designer: Prefresh

Sass it up a bit with this tank from Roman and Leo!  Designer: Prefresh

 

What about dessert you say? Here are my top choices. If only I could make them all!  

 

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Oreo pops are always so fun and easy! Tutorial here:  http://www.happinessishomemade.net/2015/06/11/patriotic-oreo-pops-for-4th-of-july/

Have an amazing long weekend readers! Enjoy that precious family time! If you're local to Columbus here's a link to some ideas of what to do around the city from our very own  Columbus Moms Blog  --> http://columbus.citymomsblog.com/activities/4th-july-fireworks-around-columbus-2016/

We'll be enjoying all the Hilliard activities starting with the parade Monday morning and then heading to Municipal Park for the carnival and evening fireworks. 'Murica. 

A Weekend In Pictures

The kids and I had so much fun this weekend that I can't even put it into words. So I won't. View away! 

 

Checking out all the cool toys and comic books at  Big Fun   on High Street

Checking out all the cool toys and comic books at Big Fun  on High Street

Columbus Family Photography | A Mommy Nearest
Columbus Family Photography | A Mommy Nearest
So many cool finds here! 

So many cool finds here! 

Post shopping bubble fun with Dr. U R Awesome!!! He holds two Guiness World Records for his giant bubbles. Check him out  here  

Post shopping bubble fun with Dr. U R Awesome!!! He holds two Guiness World Records for his giant bubbles. Check him out here 

Columbus Family Photography | A Mommy Nearest
Seriously awesome.  

Seriously awesome.  

Columbus Family Photography | A Mommy Nearest
Off to look for a brunch spot! 

Off to look for a brunch spot! 

Sunday funday at  COSI   . It's great to have fun indoors when it's so unexpectedly chilly!

Sunday funday at COSI  . It's great to have fun indoors when it's so unexpectedly chilly!

Columbus Family Photography | A Mommy Nearest
Awww, they DO love each other! 

Awww, they DO love each other! 

If you are ever curious for some new ideas on how to spend your weekend, check out What Should We Do Today Columbus? She'll have you covered with unique ideas and exciting events Friday-Sunday! 

Columbus Museum of Art

How does your family spend Sundays? If it's not at the Columbus Museum of Art then it's time to take a second look my friends. The newly renovated Columbus Museum of Art is a wonderful family outing and you can't beat that fantastic price of free.99 !! Yes folks, admission and parking is free on Sundays. Does that make the museum more crowded than normal? Yes. But does that make taking young children to an art museum more tolerable? Definitely, yes. They will actually blend in quite well with all the commotion and all the visitors know what they are in for when arriving on Sunday. I'm definitely not condoning letting your minions run wild (this is a museum after all) but I am saying that it makes the whole experience less stressful knowing that your toddler isn't the lone echo in a silent cave of fragile objects.

As new transplants to the Columbus area, we did not have the pleasure of visiting the museum pre-makeover but the difference is obvious. Modern vs classic. The back entrance is vibrant and open and may remind you of the Apple store in the bright, airy, nature of the space with pops  of color. On either side of the back entrance is the gift shop and the Schokko Art Cafe run by Cameron Mitchell. (Kids menu for the win!) 

The children's area on the first floor is magnificent. I love that such a cool space like this exists in the midst of what many consider to be a more formal, adult specific, attraction. There is a cute treehouse, costume dress up area, and multiple stations to create your own art and stretch the imagination. This is a space for all age groups from toddler to teen. 

 

I have heard wonderful things about the rotating exhibits (Lego, Chihuly, etc) but for our excursion I strapped the kids in the stroller and toured the standing exhibits. I asked the kids what they saw in each picture and what colors they noticed. It will be so interesting to hear how those answers will change and become more insightful as they age. That is what makes this particular Columbus attraction a definite repeat for us for years to come. 

It is a major plus that going on our "adventures" saves our living room from being destroyed, but much more important is the opportunity to stimulate the little minds of which I have been blessed to have charge. Balance is everything and yes, my kids love their movies and toys, but they also love going to new places, seeing new things, and having new experiences. Art is going to have to be a part of their childhood because that creativity is surely going to boil over into other parts of their life and hopefully their future. 

We will definitely be visiting in the next couple weeks to celebrate spring with "Art in Bloom."

Until then…. "Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure." - J.K. Rowling