Summer is officially in full swing, which means that Ice Cream is in order! As a pregnant woman living in Covington, Ky this Summer, I gladly did my research for this post. I came up with some of my favorite local ice cream + gelato must- try places to cool down for the Summer. I will be guiding you to an ice cream parlor located in Fort Thomas, Kentucky all the way to the neighborhoods of Cincinnati, Ohio. Again, I must say while doing this research, biased or not, we have a lot of great ice cream and gelato places located in the tri-state, and bluegrass state as well. What is your favorite ice cream or gelato flavor? I like anything with sprinkles, but I am partial to pistachio, coffee /chocolate chip, and of course the Graeter’s Ice Cream classic, Black Raspberry Chip. It does help that Graeter’s Ice Cream is located directly adjacent from VADA GALLERY, for any of my emergency ice cream needs – and as a pregnant food writer, I have ice cream needs.
New Home and finding our way into Kentucky Derby Eats //
In my last blog post we announced many exciting moments happening in our lives, the arrival of baby Dielding in October, the grand opening of VADA GALLERY May 14th, and also even more exciting news that Franz and I bought a new home, located in the Historic Licking River District of Covington, Kentucky! We have lived in the downtown Covington area on Covington Avenue for about four years, and we will be moving just a couple streets away from where we are living now. However, I must say that it is completely more than exciting to call a piece of Covington, Kentucky our own, in an exciting but crazy time to buy. It is comforting to know that Covington is a gorgeous historic and beautiful growing community, full of new restaurants, boutiques, books stores, and more popping up! I’m also getting into researching a bit more about Kentucky and with that I absolutely do know that the Kentucky Derby is next weekend and decided to dedicate this post to the new home and appetizers for Derby weekend.
Our Victorian home was built in the late 1800s, and is a brick home, with 14 foot ceilings, and hardwood floors throughout. We will be taking our readers on the journey of remodeling the kitchen and the basement, venturing into some cosmetic adjustments for the baby nursery, ripping out the bathrooms, and adding an outside dining area, garden, and movie viewing area in our little city fenced in backyard.
This Spring we announced that Franz and I are pregnant!!! We cannot explain to you how elated we are for this bebe to arrive. Our due date is in our favorite month of October, on the 18th of this year! We cannot wait to welcome this little prince or princess into our world. We did find out the gender, however we have to leave some element of surprise for our friends and family 🙂 We can’t wait to meet you little one! We have been trying to get pregnant since we got married in Asheville, NC this passed Summer and unfortunately faced a miscarriage prior to this pregnancy, as many people do, it was one of the hardest experiences of our lives. Thankfully, our rainbow baby surprised us and we become pregnant! I changed a lot of my lifestyle, went to bed earlier, stopped the cocktails, handled my anxiety with many different coping mechanisms, amped up the healthy eating and luck found us. “Rainbow baby” is a term usually used after a miscarriage takes place, and I must say this bebe has brought so much change in our lives, in my body, in my heart, and in my mind. The term “Rainbow baby”, for our little one arriving this Fall, is an understatement. With that we are in then process of prepping for the bebe, and are actually closing on a house and will move this May 25th, in the Hauntingly gorgeous area of Covington, Kentucky. We are so excited to get the baby room ready, design and flip this late 1800s house, curate our city backyard, and stretch our arms a bit. We have lived in the downtown Covington, Ky area for about four years now, and love the food scene, history, and the cobblestone lined roads, access to Cincinnati with the charm of Kentucky, and now we get to call a piece of history our own in prep for our little pumpkin.
VADA GALLERY GRAND OPENING IN THE HISTORIC CLIFTON GASLIGHT BUSINESS DISTRICT
As if the bebe’s arrival this Fall isn’t exciting enough, on May 24th from 5-10pm we will be celebrating the long awaited VADA GALLERY GRAND OPENING! This truly is a dream come true as I grew up in the Gaslight area of Clifton before moving to Wyoming, Ohio and spent many years walking to Ludlow after school at Annunciation, going to movies at the Esquire Theatre, and eating all the cheese crowns from Virginia Bakery (when it was open) all the coffee from Sitwell’s coffee house, and of course pints upon pints of ice cream from Cincinnati’s well known Graeter’s Ice cream. May I also add that we have the best Indian cuisine and the best Skyline location on Ludlow as well. Everyone knows their Skyline order, I however, have a favorite Ambar India order.
Join us for the VADA GALLERY Grand Opening located in the Historic Clifton Gaslight District. We are so excited to welcome you into our art gallery to view fine art, including oil, acrylic, and mixed media paintings, ceramics, home decor, textile art, art history books, art history themed puzzles, hand picked antiques, jewelry, candles, art supplies and more! Find our fine art gallery just adjacent from Graeters Ice Cream off of Ludlow, on 3408 Telford street MAY 14TH, from 5pm – 10pm. This has been a life long dream come true, to open in the coveted area of Clifton, for VADA GALLERY owners and married couple Virginia Blair and Franz Diedling. View paintings from artists Trish Weeks, Cedric Michael Cox, Donna Talerico, Brian Beck, Jim Effler, Jacqueline Sullivan, Elliot Jordon, Josie Gearhart, ceramics duo Magpie and Molly and more! Every other month VADA GALLERY will showcase local and international artists, this Grand opening will give our clients and future clients an inside look at some of the artists we represent and their pieces. Be the first to meet represented artists and owners, buy local art and home decor, and enjoy music and drinks at this highly anticipated art opening.
With Spring in Cincinnati, Ohio we are faced with a mix of 60 degree weather one day, and snow the next, you never know what you’re going to get in this wild Midwest city. With that, a big hearty breakfast, full of bacon, biscuits and gravy, and even quiche are still in the mix in our household, even as the warmer months seem to sneak up on us. Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio I was thankful enough to experience southern classic breakfast favorites, when visiting my Grandfather in Russel Springs, Kentucky, and East Coast favorites from living with my semi-suto mom, who grew up on the East coast, in Upper East side Manhattan, NYC. Both experiences and flavors have definitely defined who I am to this day. Needless to say I love to cook, below are a couple recipes that I absolutely resonate with and adore. Wondering where my cookbook is, O honey it is almost finished, but today I am going to put a spotlight on some other famously delicious recipes who have made its way into my heart and stomach. Happy cooking and eating!
With the closing of the month of February, black history month to some has come to an end, but what if we keep the momentum going even past this month. What if we can learn through different mediums of visual art, through the lens of different film directors, composers, cinematographers, sound engineers, artists, art historians, dancers, writers, performers, and those that advocate for those that do not have the platform to have a voice. What if our minds are not closed, except to hate and racial injustice. With what is going on in the world, with Russia and Ukraine, we must also see there is much work to be done everywhere. War has been amongst us, whether or not it is declared by mass media, and social media. Injustice is still spreading, most recently people are being turned away at Polish borders based on the color of their skin, not even just based on their nationality, yet the media is just showing the support in the welcoming of Ukrainian refugees into Poland, but which refugees is what we need to put a spotlight on. Awareness of injustice may not be easy for some to wrap their minds around, but what if a different medium of knowledge is brought about, through film. I myself learn through visual stimulation as well as audio, but that may not be the case for all. Below is a list of movies that have transformed my mind as well as life long friend Chloe Beck’s, whom is now the Director Of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion for Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Broadway, from when we were children to present day. Remember, the children are looking towards the adults to “do the right thing”, can you say you are helping to create change, or staying silent in a bubble that even you are not breaking….
The past couple of months have been a snow storm of adventures! Getting married, honeymoon, plans for opening VADA GALLERY in OTR in the Spring, the start of the VB in the City podcast, Mochi coming into our lives ( our 9 pound pup) and traveling in between all of the chaos. Franz has also been working away editing films for concerts at Fretboard brewery, booking music acts at the brewery as well as being ast manager, art dealer, and cookbook taste tester. To say we have been busy, is an understatement. Also, music, food, beer, + art lovers, stay tuned for an upcoming announcement regarding Fretboard Brewing Co. + a VADA GALLERY concert + art show coming this Spring! With all of the commotion, this birthday I wanted to head to the mountains, for some down time and to chill the F out…
With the end of January, we did just that, and celebrated my birthday in Asheville, Hot Springs, Black Mountain, + Old Fort, North Carolina. The trip started off with a bang, with us arriving in Old Fort at a container house we booked through airbnb (Click here to book this spot) , where we celebrated the Bengals going to the Super Bowl! This is truly the year of the tiger. After a much needed trip to the One Stop, a local concert venue in Asheville, NC, the rest of the birthday time was spent writing and lounging, and also a bit of hot tub soaking, surrounded by the mountains. Needless to say I have completely fallen in love with these mountain towns since we were married in the area this past Summer. We can’t wait to keep coming back to try more local eats, hikes, and explore more galleries. With all of the r + r in these mountain towns, through various trips, I am happy to say I am almost finished with the VB IN THE CITY cookbook…finally. With every experience, and more and more travels, recipes seem to be just flowing, so sorry for the delay of the cookbook, but it will be worth it.
Even with feeling a restart in momentum through mountain air and love, there is still something about seeing the Cincinnati, Ohio skyline driving through Kentucky, in cut of the hill, on your way back from the Southern States, that makes home, really sweet home.
This Valentine’s Day we will be supporting local in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and I hope you all will too. Now here is the tricky, yet wonderful part, which restaurant should you venture to? Even though the weather may seem icy, the kitchens are fiery in this area of town, and are more than ready for you love birds. Below are my top picks for VALENTINES DAY 2022 in the Cincinnati, Ohio :
Cincinnati, Ohio VALENTINES DAY 2022 TOP RESTAURANT PICKS //
I am spoiled, I am spoiled with all of the brilliant boutiques, bakeries, witchy stores, and restaurants opening up in the Covington, Kentucky area. The newest of bakeries to enrich our neighborhood is North South Baking Co. Butter is a friend of mine, and thankfully North South Baking Co. is also a lover of the gorgeous creamy spread. If you’re looking for buttery, flaky, layered goodness of danish,croissants, and more, plus fresh breads, head to this bakery.
Knowing where our food comes from and its history is very important and also interesting to me. Not only does supporting our local farmers and botanists, revitalize the community around us economically, it also enriches our community through our pallets and hearts. By supporting local farmers and actually understanding where our food comes from, you in return are appreciating yourself, your family, and your neighbors as well as their businesses, which why would you not want to enrich the community you live in or visit. You literally can taste the difference between a freshly picked fruit compared to a frozen fruit, a loaf of bread that has been shipped and packaged for thousands of miles, and a loaf of bread that was baked fresh, with grain locally sourced, that very morning. Realistically and unfortunately not everyone has access to fresh fruits and grains, the upside is however that North South baking Co. is breaking the narrative and selling quality local produce and grains to all all, even in the city. North South baking co. is setting a new path, one that I hope other fellow Covington, Kentucky residents, and beyond can appreciate. By bringing farm fresh goods to the city and combining local grains, dairy, and produce, and then artfully constructing them into gorgeous pastries, it not only feeds city slickers like myself but also families, so they can have a bite of fresh fruits and grains, so that new memories can be made. Two of my favorite picks right now that take me back to the butter filled memories of Russel Springs, Kentucky and Nantucket, Massachusetts are the Swiss and Ham cheese croissant and blueberry cheesecake danish.
Below are some of the sources for the grains, dairy, and produce used in North South Baking Company’s products.
In November, Franz and I decided to make our first spiritual trip. A trip we took to the Serpent Mound. The coats have come on, but the travel isnt anywhere near stopping, even when we travel in our own home state. November was Native American History month, and with that I wanted to learn more. One of my degrees is in Cultural Studies, along with my degree in art history. I wanted to learn more about the cultures so that when I deal art, I know the importance of the art history through all aspects, so that art doesn’t get miss-appropriated and so that eventually we will have more minority artists represented in the museums across the US. What people collect through art definitely influences what the mass people can see at museums, as a lot of times personal art collections are donated or exhibited at local art museums. Still I want to learn more, the Serpent mound, located in Peoples, Ohio, is one of the worlds most famous effigys.
“Serpent Mound is an internationally known National Historic Landmark built by the ancient American Indian cultures of Ohio. It is an effigy mound (a mound in the shape of an animal) representing a snake with a curled tail. Nearby are three burial mounds—two created by the Adena culture (800 B.C.–A.D. 100), and one by the Fort Ancient culture (A.D. 1000–1650).
Thousands of years ago, Native Ohioans populated the landscape with mounds and massive earthworks. In the late 19th century, Harvard University archaeologist Frederic Ward Putnam excavated Serpent Mound, but he found no artifacts in the Serpent that might allow archaeologists to assign it to a particular culture. Based largely on the nearby presence of Adena burial mounds, later archaeologists attributed the effigy to the Adena culture that flourished from 800 B.C. to A.D. 100. This theory on the site’s origin was accepted until a 1991 site excavation used radiocarbon dating to determine that the mound was approximately 900 years old. This would suggest that the builders of the Serpent belonged to the Fort Ancient culture (A.D. 1000–1500). In 2014, another team of archaeologists presented new radiocarbon dates for the Serpent suggesting that it was built by the Adena culture at around 300 B.C. More work is needed to clarify the age of Serpent Mound.
The significance of Serpent Mound and other ancient Ohio earthworks has garnered international attention. In 2008, Serpent Mound and eight other Ohio American Indian earthworks were selected by the United States Department of the Interior for inclusion on the United States’ Tentative List of sites to be submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for inscription on the prestigious World Heritage List. If it is eventually inscribed on the World Heritage List later this decade, Serpent Mound will join the ranks of the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, Pompeii, Stonehenge and the Taj Mahal, all of which are World Heritage sites. World Heritage status has the potential to elevate local and international awareness about the site’s value, further encourage communities to protect and invest in its preservation and increase potentially beneficial tourism to the site. “
The day we went to the Serpent Mound, we bundled up, as it was about 30 degrees outside. Upon arrival, we stopped inside of the Serpent Mound museum, and then continued onto view the effigy itself. We climbed up the view tower, peered over and took in the presence of a structure, so full of history and magic, that for once I just looked out in silence. Walking around the Serpent Mound, on the same ground that sacred ancestors created such a structure, more than humbles ones ego. It really reminded me to make an impact on my time here on earth, that one day just my spirit and legacy will remain. We also checked out the Christmas town of Chilocothe, Ohio where you can find fudge, Christmas ornaments, candy, hot chocolate, Harry Potter inspired candies, the cutest clothing, even gifts for the pups and more. This little trip to peoples, Ohio and Chilocothe will delight the history buffs and activists, and those who want to honor the land in its glory, as well as those looking to bring in Holiday cheer this December. Happy exploring, and keep learning.