Toledo Local Holiday Gift Guide

If you are anything like me, and are a world class procrastinator, you still need some Christmas gifts! If you are a local Toledoan, I have some great ideas just for you from some amazing local vendors. If you are not local, make sure to bookmark this article for all of your future gift giving needs! Most of these places can ship right to you!

It’s the holiday season and in just a few short weeks we will be celebrating our favorite winter holidays! To me, the holiday season means shopping, shopping and more shopping! What better way to find some amazing gifts and give back to your own community than by shopping LOCAL! Whether it is art supplies for your favorite little artist or assistance in planning your own event, Toledo has the best local shops for you to find exactly what you need.

With the help of some of my favorite local business owners and friends I have compiled a list of some of the best local small businesses in Toledo and surrounding areas. Please remember to choose local this holiday season to find some unique holiday gifts!

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Bird DoodleBird Doodle is a little shop on Etsy where you can buy fine art, screen printed shirts, & paper goods handcrafted by Toledo, Ohio native Holly Whitney.

Emily Archer PicturesGraphic prints, photographs and handmade books.

Coyote Beads & JewelryWe offer a large variety of beads and jewelry making supplies, along with custom design jewelry, repairs, and jewelry technique classes. Make sure to check out their selection of beautiful hand-dyed scarves made by olive m’lou another local designer.

Fiddle Stix Boutique & GalleryUnique gift boutique carrying an extensive line of Vera Bradley, Cotton Colors, Mud Pie, and more!

The Art Supply DepotArt Supplies and Art Classes for all ages.

The Hoop ShopHand embroidered hoop art.

ComplEventsComplEvents is born from a passion to help others create unforgettable memories. With a degree in Business Marketing and over ten years of experience, they are­­­ prepared to design and implement the perfect social or corporate event for you.

Natalie Pohorecki Makeup ArtistNatalie is an award winning makeup artist that has been featured on several television shows and in print. She co-hosts and is Executive Producer of a Sunday morning talk show, with co-host Cori Rist, Living Today. Natalie offers bridal makeup applications, as well as private parties and can even be your own beauty personal shopper! Check out the different services that she offers.

She’s CraftyShe’s Crafty specialize in custom banners and bunting but also offers an array of party favors including goody boxes, gift tags, cake/cupcake toppers and general customized party accessories for ANY event. Don’t forget about her fabulous photography props!

Paint Your Place By Jessica MackPersonalized Crafts and Craft Workshops

Oh Sew BettyA one woman sweat shop that makes everything with love and her own two hands. Oh Sew Betty! specializes in custom retro, rockabilly, pinup and bombshell dresses, bags and pillows. All dresses are made to your exact measurements, no matter what your size. Just remember, you are beautiful exactly the way you are!

Tu-2 SistersCustom handmade children’s accessories and clothes.

Crave Jewelry DesignHandmade jewelry and unique designs.

Sherry’s Sweet Shop & GiftsSherry’s Sweet Shop & Gifts – Sherry’s Sweet Shops products are all handmade and unique. Specializing in cupcakes, cakes and baked goods for all occasions, including custom orders and gift baskets for the greater Toledo area.

Intrinsic MadeIndie Apparel Brand located in Toledo, Ohio. Screen printed clothing, sunglasses, and more made by artists and designers.

JupModeJupMode makes fun, comfortable t-shirts for the city of Toledo, Bowling Green State University, and University of Toledo. They provide custom full service screen printing services for all events and organizations – schools, businesses, churches, races, festivals, family reunions, sports leagues, bands, and more!

Massages By April at Bloom Studio SalonRelaxation, Therapeutic, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Leg Relief massage and Aromatherapy.

Fresh Nails & SpaManicures, pedicures, threading, eyelashes extensions and other beauty services.

Bel Viso Skin Care at Bloom Studio SalonFacial Services, Customized Facials, Waxing Services, Make up application, Eye Lash tinting, Eyebrow Tinting, and Microdermabrasion.

Relieve the Holiday Stress with Massages By April

I have only ever had ONE professional massage in my entire life. I have tricked Dave into giving me a massage every now and then (and no offense to you dear) but it just doesn’t compare to a professional massage. Professional massages can release the stress and tension of your everyday life as well the ridiculous stress and tension that the holiday season can create.

My first and only professional massage was the day before my wedding, over 9 years ago. To say that it was relaxing would be a lie. I felt uncomfortable and not relaxed at all. I obviously never went back.

A few months ago I met April through Kelly from Sunny Social Network, a mutual friend. She raved about April massages and that piqued my interest. I have always heard about how much people love massages so I figured that I should try it out again. Maybe I just had a bad experience my first time…

When I arrived at Bloom Studio Salon I was greeted with warm, friendly faces and asked if I wanted water. I accepted the water and was given some paperwork to fill out as to why I was interested in a massage and if I had any health complications.

As soon as I finished the paperwork I was greeted by April and taken back to her private massage room. Immediately I felt at ease. The warmth of the room and the calming scents were enough to start me on my journey to relaxation. I was still a little nervous, but I knew that April would put at me at ease…and she did.

My first and really ONLY question was:  Do I have to get completely naked? I had actually googled this question the day before to see what other people did. (Professor Google knows all.) Some people enjoy their massages totally nude and some don’t. I was of the non-nude, but everything came off except for the underwear. I need to have a little barrier. April just told me to do whatever I felt comfortable with. She gave me time to remove my clothes and slip under the sheet on the table. I slipped under the sheet and waited for April to come back in the room.

Soothing music played in the background and I was treated to a very warm and relaxing rice pack under my neck, which April makes herself. I knew immediately that this massage was going to be awesome. To me, there is nothing better than a warm heating pad/rice pack, etc. on my neck and shoulders after a long day.

April practices therapeutic massage, which includes releasing muscle tension and pain relief. She also helps you with relaxation for stress relief, which was something that I was in desperate need of.

When April is ready to work on a certain part of your body she will remove the sheet from that part only, while keeping the rest of your body covered and warm. I love this because I never felt exposed the entire time I was there. Believe it or not, I am pretty self-conscious about by body.

The massage was AMAZING. I have never felt so relaxed in my life. There were certain moments when I almost fell asleep. There were definitely some sore moments. I am a very tense person and have had some injuries to my back in the past, which causes me to have HUGE knots in my back and shoulders. April was very firm, yet still gentle with these sensitive areas. She really helped to work the knots loose.

After the massage was finished and I was fully dressed again, April explained to me where my problem areas where. I was surprised at how messed up my left hip was. She gave me some stretches that would help relieve some of the tension and stretch out certain muscles.

I loved that she didn’t just push me out the door as soon as the massage was over. I was able to relax and step back into the real world…slowly…after the massage. My entire body was breathing a sigh of relief after we were done and it took me a few minutes to get back into the mind set of having to leave the calming sanctuary.

April walked me out and reminded me that I needed to drink plenty of water when I got home so that my muscles could continue to heal. She also showed me her collection of hot/cold rice packs that she actually makes herself. I had to have one, so I got one.

Look how relaxed I am….. And how pretty the rice pack is…

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With the holidays coming up it couldn’t be a better time to book your massage appointment! Also. Don’t forget that massage gift certificates make a great gift for Chrismahannukwanzukkah! Feel free to stop by Bloom Salon Spa and ask about gift certificates for Massages By April. You will not be disappointed!

Connect with Massages By April on Facebook.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner – Disney On Ice Winner!

Congrats Ralph! You are the lucky winner! Look for an email from me soon!

For those of you who are not Ralph, don’t forget the promo code MOUSE for $4 of each ticket!

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Class Up Your Holidays With Maestro Dobel Tequila

The holiday season is upon us. The holidays mean different things to different people. To some it is time to reflect and be thankful, some enjoy getting together with their families, and some just enjoy the holiday spirit. When our family gets together we enjoy it all combined into one big bundle of joy, food, and spirit. However it is the “spirits” that add to our spirit.

The stress of getting the house in shape for 30 some family members for a holiday celebration is always made easier with the smooth sip of alcohol to take the edge off. As the day goes on, the alcohol continues to flow and the evening turns into a full on party of family enjoying each other’s company and creating new memories. Every year we like to change it up a bit. Maestro Dobel Tequila is going to be this year’s alcohol of choice for the holidays.

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Maestro Dobel Tequila is double distilled in Hungarian European oak barrels to ensure a smooth easy drink. This is not your typical tequila. When most of us think of tequila we flash back to our college years doing shots and “feeling the burn”. Maestro Dobel is so smooth that you can enjoy it on the rocks or you make your own cocktail from the Maestro Dobel Tequila Recipe Book.

Maestro Dobel Tequila is reinventing the way we drink tequila. With its eye catching bottle and its smooth taste this is sure to be the perfect addition to this year’s family get together and will assure a holiday season that is top notch. Shake off the holiday stress and class up your holiday season with Maestro Dobel Tequila.

Connect with Maestro Dobel Tequila on Facebook.

Tweet out your love for their tequila on Twitter.

Pin Maestro Dobel Tequila inspired photos on Pinterest.

Check out videos of Maestro Dobel Tequila’s Spokesperson, Perry Farrel on YouTube.

 

*FTC Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Maestro Dobel Tequila on behalf of BlogDash. Even though this is a sponsored post all opinions are my own.

 

Disney On Ice – Passport to Adventure GIVEAWAY!

They’re back! Disney on Ice is back in Toledo this December. This year Disney on Ice presents Passport to Adventure.

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Embark on the ultimate sightseeing vacation with all your favorite Disney characters in Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure. Join Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Daisy on a journey to the magical worlds of Disney’s The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Lilo & Stitch.

You’ll explore the Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa; voyage under the sea with Ariel and all her aquatic friends; tour London with Peter Pan and Wendy, before flying to Never Land; and travel to Hawaii to visit Lilo and Stitch.

Upbeat music, lovable characters and exciting destinations make Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure a vacation you’ll never forget.

Get tickets now!
The Huntington Center – Toledo, Ohio

Show times {Eight performances!}:

  • Wednesday, December 4: 7pm (Opening Night)
  • Thursday, December 5: 7pm
  • Friday, December 6: 7pm
  • Saturday, December 7:  1 and 5pm
  • Sunday, December December 8: 1pm and 5pm

You can save $4 per ticket with the promo code MOUSE! Valid on Friday 7 PM, Saturday 1 PM & 5 PM and Sunday 1 PM & 5 PM.  Not valid on Front Row or VIP tickets. No double discounts. Service charges, handling and facility fees may apply.

Also, as a special treat, weekday tickets are just $15 on Wednesday, December 4th and Thursday, December 5th performances! That is such an amazing deal!

The fun doesn’t end there! Who wants to win a family 4-pack of tickets??

I am making this one super easy for you! Just leave a comment below with your favorite Disney character! That’s it. Super Easy!

Giveaway ends Sunday, November 24th at 8 pm. I will notify the winner by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

*I am a Feld Family Activator and I have received free tickets to the show. Even though I have received free tickets all opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

My Kids – Creeping You Out Since Halloween 2013

This year my kids left me totally speechless with their Halloween costumes. Paige originally wanted to be Ariel from the Little Mermaid but was upset that I refused to buy her a brand new red wig. (I know, I am the worst mom EVER!) She went back and forth between different princesses that she wanted to be, but when it came down to actually picking out a costume she shocked us all.

Zombie Cheerleader
zombie cheerleader

I was so proud of her. I just love scary Halloween costumes. It is also so nice that she wants to have fun and not just be a pretty princess or some crazy slutty whatever. I could not believe how slutty the costumes are for her age. I mean, come on, she is only freaking 8 years old!

Jacob didn’t surprise me at all because that boys loves being creepy, scary monsters for Halloween. He really didn’t disappoint this year and pulled out one of the simplest, yet creepiest Halloween costumes that I have seen in a long time. I am pretty sure he could be an extra on American Horror Story.

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Now let me introduce you to the creepiest photo of my children that I have ever seen. Enjoy your nightmares people.

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You’re welcome.

GFunkified

Movie Night With McDonald’s Mighty Wings

I am always looking for fun and unique ways for family nights. We love going out to dinner, but that can get expensive. We love going out to movies, but that can be expensive too. I needed to find a fun and inexpensive way to bring 2 of our favorite things together – food and movies! Enter McDonald’s and Redbox.

I was approached by McDonald’s to try their new Mighty Wings. My family LOVES chicken wings, but it is so hard to find good and meaty wings that you can get quickly and at a decent price. We love going to a local wing place, but after driving there and trying to find a table, then ordering, we waste a lot of precious family time and money. Enter McDonald’s Mighty Wings!

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I was sent a package of fun from McDonald’s to enjoy with my family for a fun family movie night. We received a travel blanket, gift card, and many other Mcdonald’s related accessories to make our movie night more enjoyable. We decided to watch a fun family comedy. We have wanted to watch the Incredible Burt Wonderstone and due to it’s PG-13 rating we figured it would be a fun family movie and it was. The movie was hilarious and everyone loved it. The best part, it was cheap because we rented it from Redbox.

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We also love the Mighty Wings! We had an indoor picnic on the carpet to enjoy our movie and the Mighty Wings. Please ignore the cheeseburger on Paige’s plate. She thought the wings were a little too spicy for her.

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The wings did have a nice little kick to them, but they weren’t terribly spicy. They were, big, meaty and crispy, with a kick! Seriously! Look how big they are!

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I am pretty sure that this is the hottest photo of me that has ever been posted online. Be jealous people!

I have been talking to everyone that I have seen about Mighty Wings. If you love good, crispy and meaty wings make sure that you run, don’t walk to McDonald’s because Mighty wings are only around for a limited time. Mighty Wings are sold in 3, 5 and 10 pieces. Just remember how big they are… 5 may be just enough for you! With several different dipping sauces to choose from you can have a different flavor every bite!

Sometimes you just need some yummy chicken wings in your life and McDonald’s is the place right now. Maybe if enough of us order them they will keep them around longer. Once can only hope, right?!

 

 

Let Them Know You Will Fight For Them

This week was OAA testing at Paige’s school. They would be tested on their Math and reading skills. (You can read more about that here if you are not aware of the test.) Paige normally does a great job on standardized tests, yet she had major anxiety over this test. We just received her scores back from the STAR testing that she took last year and she scored way above average. This kid is super smart, so why would she be all stressed about a test?

The school administration and teachers, that’s why.

Someone is going around the school (not sure if it is teachers or the administration) and telling the kids how they will get held back if they fail these OAA tests. First of all, scare tactics do not work. If anything it will have the reverse effect and kids will be so stressed out that they won’t be able to focus.

So here is my child, crying and stressing out over a stupid test. I also found out that she wasn’t alone (from Facebook). Children from other districts were having the fear of being held back placed in their heads. Not the best thing to hear when you are a parent.

I calmed Paige’s fears before school explaining how she is a very smart kid and if she does her best she will be just fine and sent her off to school. I was expecting a call from school that she was hysterical, but luckily whatever I said to her worked. She made it through the day.

After I got home from work I ran to her room, where she was playing Barbies, to ask how her day went. Waterworks started immediately. She just let everything out from the whole day and was still stressed about the tests. I took her downstairs to have a talk with Dave and I. Surely he could figure out how to calm her down since I had failed. Dave has been known around these parts as the kid/baby whisperer.

After listening to Paige’s fears, Dave explained to her that no matter what we would fight for her. This ridiculous test was not going to make or break her. If they tried to hold her back in 3rd grade, we would go to battle for her. That was the game changer.

This was all that she needed. All that she wanted to hear was that we would fight for her. And fight for her we will. In my heart though I know that she will be just fine and won’t have any issues with that test, but I know that in the future she may need us to fight for her and I am glad that she knows that we will.

This started out as a different post altogether but over the course of 24 hours it morphed into something totally different. I had this crazy “Mama Bear” post written about how the education system is a joke and how it is ruining our children instead of helping them, but after the above course of events I realized that the most important thing is that your children know that you are there for them no matter what. You will fight for them.

 

Pink Hair For Hope

I know way too many people who have been afflicted with Breast Cancer. Just recently a friend of mine from high school found out that she has breast cancer and it hit way too close to home. She is younger than me and now she has to deal with this awful disease. She will kick it’s ass though, because she is a fighter.

Unfortunately, not everyone wins their battle with breast cancer (or any other cancer). It is a terrible disease and we all need to do everything in our power to find a cure. Many of my friends were able to participate in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, but we were unable to attend. I wanted to find another way to show my support for breast cancer research and I was hoping to find a unique way to accomplish this.

Angelina Pyle at The Hair Depot is offering pink hair extensions and half of the proceeds benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

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Paige and I both decided to get pink streaks in our hair. Paige had so much fun getting her pink hair! It barely took 10 minutes for both of us to get our pink streaks. We had so much fun chatting with Angelina while we were there. Angelina has a huge personality to go along with her huge heart.

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We couldn’t wait to show of our fun new pink streaks to everyone we saw.

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If you are in the Toledo area make sure to give Angelina a call to schedule your appointment this month. It only takes a couple of minutes, but can make such a huge difference.

*FTC Disclosure: Yes, I admit, it was free but I did still give a donation after all. Even though I was offered the services for free all opinions are 100% my own.

Essence of Dave: AAAAAANNNNNDDDD… We’re Back!

So, I apologize that it has been a few weeks since I have posted. Life has just been so busy that I have not been able to find the time. On top of that, I just spent the last 20 minutes typing up a post and in the blink of an eye I must have hit the “Erase the whole page” button and it was gone. So here is the short version….

Cleveland Browns- Why do you torture us?

Cleveland Indians- Don’t mess this up

Jacob- Back in football

Paige- Back in dance

Jayme- Back in dance

Me- Where the heck is my sanity?

Gotta go finish getting the house into “company ready status”. The parents will be here on Friday and this place is not even close to being ready.

P.S. There is a new wine on the market called Carnivor. It is a fruitful Cabernet that you are sure to enjoy even if you are not a Cabernet drinker. You’re welcome.

TheEssenceofDave