Monthly Archives

February 2016

Cheap Eats: Dining Out on a Budget

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I admit it. I love to dine out. Part of it stems from my job, which has exposed me to a number of new, fun and delicious places around town, and the other from my lifestyle, which has me out and about with clients, business partners and friends for lunch and dinner. Last week alone I dined out nine times. And that, my friends, can put a major hit on your wallet.

Retirees, in particular, are focused on staying within their budget. I have learned this from my mother. Thus, in my travels and research, I have had the opportunity to uncover ways to eat light and stay within my budget. Columbus, in the past number of years, has exploded on the food scene with many small local restaurants popping up in neighborhoods all over the city. In addition, there are a lot of chain restaurants that feature small plates, shareable plates and happy hour or early bird dining that really allows you to eat well and the best part – stay within your budget.

Here are a few of my favorites. I hope you share some of yours.

Brio/Bravo: Weekdays from 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. some of the restaurant favorites are available for $5.95 and under. For instance, a 6 oz. Bravo burger with cheese and Tuscan fries is available for $4.95. A Caprese salad is just $3.95. Specials like these are available only in the bar area, which features high top tables and some soft cushion seating. Want to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail? Again, most are under $5, including a dirty martini. Find more at www.bravoitalian.com

Dirty Franks: Who doesn’t love a good hot dog and tater tots? With locations downtown on Fourth and in Westgate, this local favorite has made the #1 Cheap Eats list for several years running. Nothing on the menu is over $7. www.dirtyfrankscolumbus.com. Try it!

Brazenhead: Located in Dublin and in Grandview, this restaurant is known for a great price on nine of their signature burgers for just $3 each from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. An amazing and tasty deal! www.hdrestaurants.com

Hudson 29: This relatively new Cameron Mitchell offering is located in Upper Arlington on Lane or in New Albany on Market St. “Get there early” offerings include fresh sushi, dip trio, and even St. Louis BBQ ribs, available for a reduced price from 3-6p.m.only in the bar area. Booths or comfy seats in the bar make you feel like you are not in Columbus. www.hudson29.com

Bibbibop: this Asian fusion-influenced chain can be found in strip malls or stand alone locations all over Columbus. And the good is so good. You can order a bowl, a salad or a roll with fresh ingredients featuring purple rice, your choice or steak, chicken or veggies, and it is under $10. www.bibbibop.com

Like breakfast? Some great food at relatively low prices can be found at Sunny Street Cafe, First Watch, or Bob Evans, which also features pricing for seniors. Some other local & less pricey locations include Nancy’s Home Cooking in Clintonville, Chef-O-Nette in Upper Arlington and Jack & Benny’s on HIgh St. near campus. Food trucks? This latest iteration on the traveling restaurant is a great way to stop and try everything from tacos to BBQ to pizza. There are even Food Truck Festivals dedicated to sampling your heart out. Look for one at the Columbus Commons this August. If you see one out and about, stop by. You and your wallet will be delighted.

Columbus is bursting with good food on a budget. If you are looking for the latest, Google “Cheap Eats Columbus” and uncover a world of dining fun. Do you have any special hidden gems that have become your restaurant go-to for good food on a budget? Share them with us and your friends at Wesley Glen and Wesley Ridge Retirement Communities.

Right now, I am feeling a little hungry. Gotta run…

Soups on! Stay warm and share your favorite recipe.

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Food is not only important to healthy bodies, but also the common factor that brings people together to share and create foundations for lasting relationships. Elders frequently eat alone and should consider ways to increase interactions at mealtime. Times have changed, and sitting at the table eating a meal with family is happening less as American families report eating one meal together each week. Seniors are full of rich experiences and knowledge that families are built on, so mealtimes are an ideal time to share.

Another great way to share recipes is by hosting a soup swap. All you need is a good soup recipe to share and a handful of friends and family to invite. Choose your party date and send invitations at least two or more weeks before so your guests have plenty of time to prepare their soups. Be sure each of your guests brings several copies of their favorite soup recipe and each should include why this recipe is special to them. You provide the bowls, utensils, crackers and breads, AND be sure to be prepared to heat the soups!

At the end of the evening each of your guests will leave with recipes for each of the soups from your soup swap. The other fun part of a soup swap is sharing stories about the soups themselves. Some will be old family recipes, while others will be something that a guest threw together years ago and it became a family favorite. By hosting a soup swap you will bring friends and family together, and each will leave with meal ideas for weeks to come. Share your favorite soup recipe with us via the comment section on our page.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Helen.

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February 8, 1926. That is the day she was born. She is Helen Jean, and she is my mother’s sister, my aunt and my Godmother. She grew up in the tiny coal-mining town of Glen Robbins, Ohio in a four-room house with her seven siblings and parents. Yes, ten people in a four-room house. She lived there for 88 and a half years until we moved her to a memory care center and sold her house.

Last week, my mother and I visited her. When we walked in she was sitting in the common room with other residents. She greeted us and told us she was going to a dance. She introduced her “sisters” and we walked back to her room. We sat on the edge of her bed and sang “Happy Birthday” to her. She smiled and said we sang so well we should be on television! Then she opened the gifts we brought her and ate some of the candy, especially the Tootsie Pops. She loves the cherry ones the best.

Why do I tell you this? As I grew up, my family always made a big deal about birthdays. We still do. And my dear Aunt Helen never missed one. Not for my four sisters or me. She always sent us a card in the mail, brought us a little gift and stood in our kitchen and sang our family birthday song. Memories. My family celebrates our birthdays and those of our friends, co-workers, etc. Why? Because we believe that each person is brought into this world with a unique gift to give…. Themselves…. and that they should be celebrated.

My aunt is 90! That is almost a century of living…..of moments and memories, of snapshots and dreams. And everyone has their own. How wonderful is that? Individuals who are residing in senior communities, assisted living or nursing centers should especially be celebrated. They have so many stories to tell and knowledge to share.

It does not take a lot to recognize someone on his or her special day. Send a card, make a phone call and sing into the phone, arrange a lunch or dinner with friends, bring a cake to a neighbor or just pick up a bouquet—do something even if it as simple as showing up and saying “Happy Birthday”.

So I ask you to think about someone you know who is celebrating a birthday soon. Celebrate with them. You will enjoy it. I promise. Do you have a favorite birthday memory? Share it with us.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Helen. I love you.

Solidify Your Plans : Get Peace of Mind by Following These Tips

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Make sure that your plans for the future cover all the important aspects of a protecting yourself and your loved ones. Look over this list for helpful suggestions on ways to add to your security.

  1. Review your will or living trust. Update your will or trust after significant life events, such as a change in marital status, death, birth, adoption, move to another state or significant increase in your estate. Remember that tax law changes can also have an impact on your existing estate plan.
  1. Choose an executor or trustee. This person holds an important job, serving as the quarterback of the estate settlement process. You should pick someone responsible, organized and trustworthy
  1. Name a power of attorney. Assign someone to handle your financial affairs in the event that you are unable to do so yourself.
  1. Create a living will. Draft a living will that makes your wishes known regarding extraordinary measures for keeping you alive. You should inform your family members of your wishes in advance.
  1. Check up on insurance. Evaluate your insurance periodically. Make sure that you have enough to cover changing needs.
  1. Watch your investments. Your finances are your future, and the more you learn about investing, the easier it becomes.
  1. Give a gift. Take advantage of the annual gift exclusion, which allows you to give up to a specified dollar amount to any number of individuals each year without the gifts becoming subject to gift tax.
  1. Support a favorite cause. An unlimited amount of money can be given free of federal gift and estate taxes to a qualified charitable organization, such as The Wesley Communities, during your lifetime or after.

A gift to The Wesley Communities through your estate is an easy way to extend your support into the future. Call 614.501.1452 or click today to discuss your options.