Spring Cleaning and Home Decor

Spring cleaning is something I think most people enjoy doing if they have the time.  It makes your living space so much “cleaner”!  I began mine in March with cleaning the carpets.  I’ve had a service come out to do it for me a few times in the past, but it doesn’t take that much time to do it yourself and is definitely less expensive.  In the past few weeks I’ve weeded the gardens, power washed the deck, patio and house, planted flowers, painted the lawn furniture, and minimized a few things from my clothes closet.  Back in November, my husband and I put up a tile back splash in our kitchen.  It was tedious, but I think it looks nice.  (ignore the missing light switch cover…I forgot to put it back on before I took the pic)

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I’ve shopped at loads of stores in the past couple of weeks looking for bedding, pillows, lamps, throw rugs, wall art, and decor for our bedroom.  I had a dark comforter on the bed and this new comforter has brightened the space up significantly.  We also bought a new mattress from a company called Casper and love it!  We had a Tempurpedic, but it needed replacing.  I also purchased new pillows from a company called My Pillow and love them also.  I would prefer to have a blue couch or purchase a cover, but it’s out of the budget for now.

In late fall I painted all thirteen doors (both sides!) on our main level white.  They were painted a poopy brown by the previous owners in an attempt to match the stained woodwork.  My husband didn’t want me to paint the woodwork because it goes with the style of the home.  I’m beginning to get used to the contrast. Continue reading

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

I finally visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center yesterday!  Opened in 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati, according to the Center, their mission is to reveal stories of freedom’s heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad to contemporary times, challenging and inspiring everyone to take courageous steps of freedom today.  They serve to inspire modern abolition through connecting the lessons of the Underground Railroad with today’s freedom fighters.

The museum’s eternal flame is representative of the candles that were placed in the windows of Underground Railroad operators and there’s a scenic view of the Ohio River and Kentucky shoreline.

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Taken from their website–some of the exhibits are:

The Struggle Continues examines the desire to fight for freedom around the world and reminds us that slavery in many forms and guises continues to exist in the world around us. Iconic and abstract images on each of two long, facing walls, symbolize and evoke freedom and slavery throughout the world. The images are accompanied by audio that creates an intriguing yet reflective mood.

This exhibit explores six conditions or circumstances – which we call “unfreedoms” – that prevent people from achieving freedom and protect basic human rights. These unfreedoms are hunger, illiteracy, slavery, racism, tyranny and genocide.

From Slavery to Freedom portrays three centuries of slavery from its introduction into the Americas to its abolition at the end of the American Civil War. The exhibit describes who the enslaved were, why they were brought here, how they lived, how they worked, and also who their allies were – and how ultimately they became free!

One of the museum’s key attractions is a walk-through exhibit documenting the rise and fall of the slave trade in the United States and North America. Starting with the European colonization of Africa, the exhibit follows the journey of slaves from their homeland to aiding the Union in the American Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement of the mid 20th Century.

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Invisible: Slavery Today is the world’s first museum-quality, permanent exhibition on the subjects of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.  Using a variety of techniques and media, this exhibit offers a comprehensive examination of slavery in the modern world through the life experiences of five individuals who were caught up in one of the five most common forms of exploitation: forced labor, bonded indenture, child slavery, sex trafficking and domestic servitude.

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Santa Rappels Down Macy’s Building

On assignment for Cincinnati Refined, I recently took photos in downtown Cincinnati of an event called Macy’s Downtown Dazzle.  Arriving early I captured my required “posed people” shots before Santa was due to rappel down the side of Macy’s Department store.

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The atmosphere was festive!  Ice skaters at Fountain Square were fun to watch!

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A cup of hot chocolate warms you from the inside!

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Cincinnati Flower Show at Yeatman’s Cove

The Cincinnati Flower Show, hosted by the Cincinnati Horticultural Society, kicked off its 26th year with a profusion of breathtaking floral beauty!  According to the Society, it “dedicates itself to promoting the environmental, aesthetic, and educational benefits for parks and green spaces, and to providing opportunities for the enjoyment and appreciation of nature and horticulture.”  The show has evolved into five days of garden-inspired shopping, international exhibitors and judges, guest speakers, nature inspired art, and gardening activities.

This year’s exhibition is set up along the Ohio River at Yeatman’s Cove and you’ll find tents filled with floral displays, dramatic table settings, and creative and unique container gardens.  So many ideas for transforming your own gardens into a spectacular space!

The tents provided a nice backdrop for my favorite flower…the tulip!

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Cincinnati’s infamous Findlay Market (farmer’s market) was used as inspiration in this display…

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Ohio Bucket List

Miles of pristine forested hiking, outdoor cafes, resplendent architecture, astonishing views, thrilling adventures, intoxicating gardens! Does this sound like your kind of get-away? Ohio has all of this and more!  Here are a few of my favorite places…

The Fling Barn (Hillsboro, Ohio)

Situated on a 200-acre farm, an hour East of Cincinnati, The Fling Barn is a well-kept secret (well…not anymore) where you’re guaranteed to have a good time! Stuffed to the gills with Americana décor, featuring two bars, a dance floor, outdoor deck, and live rock n blues…it don’t get much better than that! In case you have too much fun, they have their very own Bed & Breakfast for your convenience, if it’s available.

~view from The Fling Barn (Images: Sherry Lachelle Photography)

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Put-in-Bay

Located on Lake Erie, just over 4 hours North of Cincinnati, Put-in-Bay is Ohio’s split personality playground with a wild side to dive into…pretty people in skimpy bathing suits guzzling tropical adult beverages, but hop on a golf cart and within minutes you’re transported to a lake-side paradise of glistening blue water, rolling hills, and tranquility!

(Images: Sherry Lachelle Photography)

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Hiking at Buzzardroost Rock & don’t forget the Wine

Buzzardroost Rock is a moderately difficult 3.5 – 4.4 mile round trip trail (depending on where you begin) in the Edge of Appalachia Preserve system of Adams County, Ohio.  Far above the waters of Ohio Brush Creek, the panoramic scene from this hilltop has been called Ohio’s most spectacular view.  I organized the hike through Tri-State Hiking Club, one of my meetup.com organizations and guided approximately 20 people.  Most of us met at a carpool location because the trail is almost an hour and one-half from Cincinnati.

The view is outstanding!

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Here I am looking quite triumphant having reached the top.

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All of the colorful jackets and accessories added some pizzazz to the dreary scenery!

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Unwind and uncork a bottle at these 3 Local Wineries

Meranda-Nixon Winery

If you’re lucky, like I was, when you arrive at the Meranda-Nixon Winery, you’ll be greeted by one of the proprietors’ friendly dogs.  You may even see one of their beautiful horses as you gaze at the lush vineyards.

Vineyards at Meranda-Nixon Winery

Horse at Meranda-Nixon Winery

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The Galloping Pig and The Cincinnati Polo Club

BowTie Foundation hosted its second annual polo event at Wilshire Farm, home of the Cincinnati Polo Club, yesterday (Saturday) and I was there on assignment for Cincinnati Refined.  Another first for me…photographing a polo match and there was lots of action – plus food, drinks, and live music.

With the funds raised by the 2014 Galloping Pig, the Gen-1 Program will promote the academic success of its students by providing the opportunity for two qualified UC students to intern with SOTENI in Kenya.

In case you were wondering, according to Wikipedia…Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team’s goal using a long-handled mallet. The traditional sport of polo is played at speed on a large grass field up to 300 yards long by 160 yards wide, and each polo team consists of four riders and their mounts.  The modern game lasts roughly two hours and is divided into periods called chukkas (occasionally rendered as “chukkers”). Polo is played professionally in 16 countries. It was formerly, but is not currently, an Olympic sport.
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A couple of classic cars were driven to the match.  The leather belts on the hoods are an interesting feature!

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Dhani Jones, an ex-National Football player was part of the event.  He’s a man of many talents/interests.  He starred in two television programs…”Dhani tackles the Globe” and “Ton of Cash” and supports a number of charities.

Dhani Jones (Image: Sherry Lachelle Photography)

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Western & Southern Open

The Western & Southern Open is being held August 9 – 17, 2014, here in Cincinnati, Ohio and I was on assignment today.  It was my first experience taking tennis photographs and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It’s been a long day.  I began by leaving my home at 7:30am and returned after noon.  The remainder of the day (until 8:30pm) I’ve spent editing photos.  I think I did fairly well for my first time.

After researching the players, I decided to photograph the match between Ben Becker from Germany and Malek Jaziri from Tunisia

Ben Becker (Image: Sherry Lachelle Photography)

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The Color Run in Cincinnati

The Color Run (aka “The Happiest 5K on the Planet”) took place in Cincinnati on Saturday morning and that meant there were clouds of color, smiling faces, and sweaty bodies!  The Color Run is this and so much more.  It represents accomplishment for many for running or walking a 5K and just a fun time for others!   I was so happy to have this assignment for Cincinnati Refined (previously known as iSPYCINCY) and arrived downtown Cincinnati early to capture all of the excitement!  Being a jogger myself, part of me wished I was participating…but either way, I was happy to be there!

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I can’t help it…I love to photograph girls in brightly colored tutus and mis-matched socks!

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Lumenocity

Lumenocity is an annual event held here in Over the Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio at Cincinnati Music Hall.  I was invited to the dress rehearsal by a friend and met her and two other girlfriends to have a bite to eat beforehand at a restaurant called Abigail Street right around the corner from Music Hall.  The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Ballet perform under the white tent shown below while you’re treated to an elaborate and flamboyant light show on the exterior of Music Hall…

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Earlier in the evening at Abigail Street Restaurant, I captured a selfie in the mirror of the lovely shabby chic ladies’ restroom…

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Summer Fun

Bouncing on the water, holding on tight, our friend had tons of fun tubing behind our boat this past weekend!  Everyone looks forward to summer because there’s so much to do…Bicycling, concerts in the park, picnics, having a frosty cold drink on the deck, and of course fun in the water!  You know it’s summer when you smell freshly cut grass, blooming flowers, and the aroma of grilled food.

I enjoyed honing my photography skills snapping pics from a boat skimming the water at high speeds jostling my camera and I…

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Guinness Book of World Record for the Most People Salsa Dancing

Thursday evening, July 24, 2014 is a day to go down in the record books, specifically the Guinness World Records book, for the City of Cincinnati to beat Mexico’s past record of the largest Salsa dance, with over 2,000 people moving to the rhythm!  I was there to capture the excitement and energy for iSPYCINCY taking photographs of the event.  Green “Gain” shirts were given out to the attendees, as you can see in the photo…

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My husband accompanied me, as usual, and since it was a perfect evening for motorcycle riding, we arrived on our Harley.  He dropped me off so I could get started while he parked the bike.  My first shot was of this performer on the sidewalk next to Fountain Square

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Family Photography Session for Best Friends

Yesterday, I took family photographs for my best friend from High School and her sister, who has also been a good friend forever.  It’s cool when you know someone for that length of time and watch their children grow up!  Anyway, here’s Gina and her boys.  She’s two years younger than her sister Sherry, who I went to High School with.  Aren’t they good-looking!

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This is Sherry and her daughter Amber, who is gorgeous!

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Washington Park Festivities

Washington Park in Cincinnati, Ohio is the happening place to be in the summer!  There’s always something going on and this weekend was no exception.  iSPYCincy had me on assignment to find out how much fun people have at a Fireworks festival and as you can see…it was a lot!

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The Almighty Get Down Band was groovin’!

The Almighty Get Down Band

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