Parenting · Toledo, OH

Family-friendly Halloween Events in Toledo

There are some great, family friendly Halloween events coming up in Toledo! The info on these events came from their websites.


Oddmall Emporium of the Weird: Hallowondrous Edition

October 14th 10-6

October 15th 10-5

Seagate Center


Oddmall is part art fair, part craft show, part comic con, part gaming festival, part cosplay extravaganza, part toy show, part antique show, part vintage fashion show, part geeksplosion, part music fest, part magic show, and part various undefinable othernesses. If it’s fun, artsy, geeky, crafty or odd, chances are it can be found at Oddmall. It’s the Emporium of the Weird.

Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird – HALLOWONDROUS returns to the fabulous SeaGate Centre in lovely Toledo, Ohio! Toledo’s SeaGate Centre is a fantastic venue with plenty of room for all our artsy-fartsy, crafty-wafty, geeky-freaky, activities. We’ll have an ENORMOUS vendor hall overflowing with artists, crafters, and purveyors of all things unique, odd, unusual, geeky, and wonderful. There will be cosplayers and a costume contest, trick and/or treating, live entertainment, open gaming, a Kid Cave with games and activities for the chillunz, a Halloween costume party. There will be panels and workshops, special guests, and a veritable overflowing cornucopia of surprises and super fun stuff.


And it’s all FREE to the public!!!!! That’s right, it’s all FREE to the public!!!


Toledo Zoo


Little Boo at the Zoo
Thursday, October 19
and Friday, October 20
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.


To help us with our green initiatives, please bring a bag, plastic pumpkin, or other container for trick-or-treating. Little Boo is the pre-school pirates’ and princesses’ chance to delight without the fright! Toddlers and preschool aged children are invited to wear their Halloween costumes to trick or treat throughout the Zoo and enjoy crafts and games sized just for them.


Pumpkin Path
Saturday, October 21
and Sunday, October 22
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.


To help us with our green initiatives, please bring a bag, plastic pumpkin, or other container for trick-or-treating. Pumpkin Path is when the Halloween fun really comes alive at the Toledo Zoo! In addition to costumed trick or treating for all ages, there will also be games, artistic pumpkin carving demonstration, bounce houses and magic shows to entertain all the ghosts and goblins!


graphic design · graphics for shirts · Heat Press · Onesies · Small Business · Toledo, OH

Meeting with Our SCORE Mentor 10-4-17

Wednesday night we met with our SCORE mentor. A marketing expert joined us and it was encouraging to get a new perspective.

I had assumed to make my business successful I would have to branch out and offer lots of different services, but the marketing expert suggested I concentrate on one thing and become really good at it. I’m going to focus on graphics for children’s clothing, newborn to 5T. We are going to brainstorm new design ideas and create a strong portfolio of super cute graphics.

We are also going to make a list of businesses and organizations involved with children and reach out to them. The marketing expert said it is important to have a “leave behind” item when approaching these organizations, and he made some suggestions to improve our tri-fold brochure.

I took lots of notes during the meeting and I’m ready to get to work. I’m nervous about approaching local organizations but excited to work on new designs. I’m willing to give all these new suggestions a fair shot.

SCORE · Small Business · Toledo, OH

Helpful Business Resources for Entrepreneurs in Northwest Ohio

I have started my own design business, and over the last year I have learned of some local resources for entrepreneurs. Here are some organizations and websites that have helped me in my journey.


SCORE offers free one-on-one mentoring. I have been meeting with a mentor from SCORE for a year now, and he has been incredibly helpful in teaching me about basic business operations and marketing. He has also referred me to other resources.

The website of the US Small Business Administration is extremely helpful. I have completed many of their online trainings.

Women’s Business Center of Ohio

I just recently attended a writing class with the Women’s Business Center, and I was really impressed. Although their offices are in Cleveland and Columbus, they do hold events in Toledo. They are having a resource fair at the main library on September 20th from 2-7pm.

Toledo Lucas County Library

The library has been an amazing resource for me. At the suggestion of my SCORE mentor, I met with their business technology specialist to learn about the research databases accessible through the library’s website. These databases contain a lot of information, but I have used it primarily to learn about potential customers and competitors. The library also has a great selection of business books.


Assets offers a 13-week 50-hour training course for new entrepreneurs that meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I have not taken this training myself, but I have heard from a friend that it’s very good.

I have just learned of this website. It offers lots of articles, guides, and courses. I plan on spending more time there later.

Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development Center

This website offers a ton of local information and even some video trainings. The SBDC also offers free one-on-one counseling.

Check out the Entrepreneurial and Business Network section of this website. They have a list of lots of local resources for businesses.

Google Primer

This is a free app that provides quick little business trainings. I think it’s fun to go through if you have a couple free minutes.

I hope you find this list helpful. Do you know of any other Northwest Ohio resources? Please mention them in the comments.


graphics for shirts · Onesies · Small Business · Toledo, OH

Toledo Pride Festival This Weekend

This weekend is the Pride Festival at Levis Square in downtown Toledo (on the corner of Madison and St. Clair). Jason and I attended the event two years ago and we’re happy that this year Karly can come along, too. I’m sure she’ll love the parade. That’s happening Saturday at noon. There are so many organizations involved in the parade, and the energy is so high in the crowd as they pass by. Besides the parade there will be vendors and live performances. Come check it out! I’m making a onesie for Karly to wear.


Toledo, OH

Our Favorite Toledo Restaurants

Another great reason for living in Toledo is that we have a ton of great restaurants! Here are ten of my family’s favorites.

  1. JoJo’s

4336 Monroe St.

JoJo’s has great pizza, but I really think the lasagna is amazing!

  1. Mancy’s

953 Phillips Ave.

This is an awesome steakhouse that my family sometimes visits for special occasions. My graduation dinner was at Mancy’s.

  1. Hot Sizzling Wok

2333 W. Laskey Rd.

This is a Chinese restaurant very close to our house. We visited Hot Sizzling Wok a lot while I was pregnant. I really like the beef with broccoli.

  1. Golden Phoenix

5201 Monroe St. #3

Golden Phoenix is a Chinese restaurant close to where I work, and they have the most amazing egg rolls. I sometimes get a couple to go for lunch.

  1. Gyro’s

2942 W. Sylvania Ave.

Mr. Gyro’s has a huge menu and they deliver. I love the chicken gyro.

  1. Vito’s

4235 Douglas Rd.

My husband loves the pizza at Vito’s, but I really like the subs. My favorite is the pizza sub.

  1. El Camino Real

2500 W. Sylvania Ave.

This one is also close to our house. El Camino Real has awesome Mexican food with amazing margaritas.

  1. Backyard BBQ

2600 W. Sylvania Ave. #1

This restaurant has great BBQ, and some really unique drinks.

  1. Netty’s

4672 Monroe St.

Netty’s is our favorite ice cream place. I love the watermelon slush.

  1. Nick and Jimmy’s

4956 Monroe St.

This restaurant has great sandwiches. My favorite is the caesar steak wrap.

Have a favorite restaurant in Toledo? Let me know in the comments.

graphic design · Owens Community College · Toledo, OH

The Fifth Major is a Charm: Owens Commercial Art Technology Program

In May of 2014, I graduated from the Owens Commercial Art Technology (CRT) Program. College was a long, bumpy road, not only because I was dealing with schizoaffective disorder, but I had also gone through 5 different majors. The CRT Program was really different for me. The classes were practical and hands-on, the instructors were professionals working in the field, and everything just clicked for me.

One of my first classes was vector graphic design, and I had no clue what I was doing. I had never touched a design program before, and on that first day it was clear that many of the other students had. I can’t believe that was me! With practice I picked it up, and now Adobe Illustrator is my favorite program.

I learned so much from all of my classes. Other coursework for the CRT Program included drawing, 2D design, photography, photo manipulation, animation, video editing, typography and more. I felt the classes moved at a good pace – quickly, but not too quickly. As long as you stayed focused you had enough time to finish your work.

I love creating art, and the CRT Program showed me how to channel that creativity into something practical.

After I graduated, I slowed down a little, but once I became interested in running my own business, my motivation returned. It’s important to keep up, so I watch online tutorials. Learning even after graduation is crucial to my success.

I would recommend the CRT Program to anyone who is visually creative looking to add some practical skills. The curriculum is versatile and gives a great overview to a very broad field. The CRT Program gave my life and career some direction, something I had been longing for.

Two class projects.

mental health · Toledo, OH · Uncategorized

Volunteering at NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

One of the first organizations I reached out to after being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder was NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is a national grassroots organization with a network of state and local chapters. They’re all about support from people who’ve been there. NAMI focuses on consumers and families.

I was introduced to the organization through an Internet search. Type in “mental illness” to Google and is at the top of the search results. I spent time reading all the information and lurking in the forums.

At the time I was living in Bowling Green, OH and I found out there was a local chapter, NAMI Wood County, right in my town. I spent a few years volunteering there. I even became their Community Educator intern and went to a national conference in San Diego.

When I moved to Toledo, I connected with NAMI of Greater Toledo, and they really have a lot going on – lots of support groups and classes. I got to combine my interests of art and mental health and became an art support group facilitator. We would work on a variety of projects in different media, each with a theme related to mental health and wellness. Many people came to socialize and get support; the art was just the cherry on top.

Every May, NAMI of Greater Toledo holds their annual walk, which draws several hundred people. Lots of other organizations are on hand with tons of information and resources. Local news media always cover the event. This is when NAMI of Greater Toledo is most visible to the community, and they really make the most of it.

Today I don’t get time to volunteer because I am busy with my family and business, but I thought it was important to share this blog post. NAMI is an amazing organization, and if you’re looking for information and support, you’ll definitely want to check them out.


Infographic from