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My First Ohio Winter Home in Over 5 Years

A few years ago, my parents had called from Ohio to India saying they were off work again due to snow and wind-chill. It was -32 degrees; so cold our dog couldn’t walk outside without her paws getting stuck in the ice and snow. So imagine my surprise when I’m on the last of four legs to home to Ohio (which was a 41-hour journey this time) and the lady next to me says in Ohio it’s been 70 degrees (F)! I was like “WHAT!” Here I am hoping for snow and I’m going to get the warmest winter ever!?

Well, I got lucky because after a few days we got a nice little snow storm. That meant fluffy clothes, big puffy coats, fires in the fireplace at home, homemade chili, and winter candles. I had missed winter! Ben and I were just in England last month, and it was cold, buuut England winter is not that fun because it rains bitterly cold wet nonsense.

So, thought I’d share two things 1) what I did while I was home and 2) what I bought which is what I always share – this time I won’t share what I ate because it was all the same stuff as always.

What I got up to in Ohio

I cam back to Ohio this year for about three weeks. As always, it doesn’t feel like long enough!

Most years that I come home I go work with a tourist board (last year it was an epic trip with my mom to Florida and a healthy retreat to Myrtle Beach). This year, I came home in the winter because I needed to renew my Indian visa. Normally, I would visit family in Ohio in the summer.  So, not only was there no vacation but my parents were at work most days. They are both teachers. I don’t have a car or insurance when I’m in Ohio so I’m basically 15 again.

PS: this is an old photo I recently found of my family on vacation that I just love!

family vacation

But, luckily I have the best friends ever and they come drive me around and hang out with me! They even call the house phone first to see if I’m home and take me to the Taco Bell drive through (lol, it’s too much! Thanks, Arielle).

My brother and his wife had a baby so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I got to go stay with them and be the first babysitter for the baby, Luke. They haven’t posted any photos on social media so I’m not going to share any but he is seriously the cutest.

I went down to Cincinnati one weekend to see family and also stay with my friends Melissa, Arielle, and Rachel who live down there which led to a hilarious night of drunken skating – yes, just regular skating like when we were kids. I hope you saw my Instagram stories of the synchronized skaters. We went to OTR in Cinci which was really cool and also really crowded (a two-hour-plus wait for any table). When we showed up to skate the lady behind the counter was like “who you guys here to pick up? I’ll call them over the speaker”. We are like umm, we aren’t moms. We are here to skate. I’ve been friends with these girls since we were 3 years old! We went to pre-school together. Arielle has been over to England and met Ben’s family and she’s who I was in Ireland with last year.

friends

My besties from college, Alex, and Ann (who came to India) both came up to my parent’s house on the weekends and chilled. It’s basically like being a kid again and my mom as you might know from reading past posts about my time in Ohio, cooks me all my favorite foods. Another bestie since I was like 8 years old, Rochelle, came by with her daughter, Evie, who is the cutest. Not only did I get to see a bunch of my friends’ babies, I also got to see their cute new puppies! People don’t always want their kid’s photos online, so I’ll just show you the dog (and some Easter M&M’s haha)!

Of course, I had to stock up on some food for India and snacks for Ben and the dogs. This time, I saved loads of room in my luggage so my friends could do some online shopping and took things back to India for them. The mailman was like “you order a lot…” There were packages showing up every other day!

What I bought in Ohio

Imagine only doing one major shop per year.

Of course, when I travel, I shop a little but it’s mostly homewares like rugs and pillowcases. I don’t really shop for clothes much. So, this year I had to stock up on some new things like jeans, shorts, some sweaters (it was cold for a couple weeks haha), and other bits. I always share photos on Instagram stories and people DM all the time asking where I shop so thought this time, I’d just show you all the things I got since it’s what I’ll probably be wearing all of next year in photos! I can’t take too much to India so will only share my favorites and things I’m obsessed with!

An iPhone

After years of using a Xiaomi, I gave in and got an iPhone. The camera is just TOO good. It is nearly as expensive as a laptop but I honestly feel it’s worth it especially because my job requires taking so many photos. Now to make sure I never break it or lose it!

Etsy

There are some shops on there I have bought from over and over.

  1. This belly button ring from Adi Miraro Jewelry
  2. This crochet bikini top I literally always wear, in a new color. I have colors #62, #348, and #619. Cannot recommend this enough to wear for a swimsuit but also as a bra under rompers and jumpsuits.
  3. These gold studs from Star River Rocks. I needed new studs and love these.
  4. This dog tag. We just keep getting more pets. It’s ridiculous. I got the puppy that lives in our complex, our cat, and a friends dog new dog tags with the name and number on them.

UGG

UGG

I also have worked with UGG in the past and they sent me a winter coat to try out, so I got to be SO warm and cozy in this coat. I cannot wait until I do a big trip somewhere cold again. I also got some UGG tennies that are called the “Tye” and they are my new favorite shoe. I got them in “slate”.

Anthropologie

anthropolgie shopping

I shouldn’t even walk into Anthropologie because it’s really expensive but since I don’t shop often, I do kind of think “quality over quantity” and don’t mind paying a little more for stuff I know I’ll wear all the time. I got some striped pants that I know I’ll wear ALL the time, a sweater that was on sale and I had to have (even though it’s the last thing I need), and a striped shirt that Arielle says looks like a grandpa’s nightgown. I can’t find it online!

New Suede Jacket

The suede jacket in the photo above and below with that purse is from Nordstrom. It’s called “BLANKNYC”. It was less than $200 which for a jacket like this is fine for me! I have worn the same black leather jacket for 8 years and if this one ends up being the same, it’s well worth it. I got the color “midnight toker”. This is the link to it on Nordstrom or below are other places to buy it from.

Lo & Sons

I’ve used Lo & Sons for years and their camera bag is what I always carry. This year, they gifted me a little white canvas bag for upcoming “Earth Day” It’s organic. I also got a little orange crossbody that can be worn a bunch of different ways, even as a fanny pack.

Z Supply

I’ve been wearing a brand called Z Supply for a couple years now. Since living in India, all my tees and tanks get worn out after a year of wearing them to kickboxing, the beach, and washing them in Goa with washing soap that isn’t up to par. So I basically have to re-get basics each year. I re-bought this basic tee shirt, a v-neck, this tank dress that I love and got something I never buy: joggers. I have been seeing them everywhere and these are the softest things I’ve ever touched. I also got a new sleep shirt that is heavenly.

North Face raincoat

I have had the same North Face raincoat for about 10 years but the inside started to finally come off in little flakes, I think due to the high humidity in Goa. So, I finally got a new one – let’s hope it lasts another 10 years. This time I got one that is a little more fitted but always get black. Here’s some of theirs in case you want to look.

Free People

free people bag

Like Anthropologie, I shouldn’t go in here! But, this time I only bought one thing and it was so cute I just couldn’t walk out without it! It is the cutest black suede bag. I usually always carry my fringe tan tote from Etnike (a Bali store on Etsy) but I didn’t have a black bag. But then I got online and thought oh, I should just look… and then I bought ALL the things. I’ll link them below. It all fits so good and I can’t wait to wear it back in Goa.

Shoes, of course

So, I live in the same black and brown booties from Lucky Brand and have for years. I got a pair of blue suede ones this year. They literally never change even 6 years later and they are the best boots I’ve ever had. I also got some cute flower platforms from Carlos, some festival style shoes, and flip-flops and sandals from a brand called Malvados that are just sturdy everyday shoes. I usually wore my Reef leather shoes to the beach but wanted some that really wouldn’t be damaged by contact with water and sand.

A few beauty items

I haven’t had a hot tool for my hair in years and when I was in England has to borrow Ben’s mom’s blow drier and straightener. I thought I’m basically almost 30 so I should probably get some of these things. So, I got this thing called the Beachwaver which is supposedly what Victoria’s Secret models use for their perfect waves. I’ve tried it once and it is really cool – it is a motorized thing that rolls up your hair – but I don’t think I did it right. I’ll play with it a bit but sadly it doesn’t work in India. I also got my Aveda ‘Blue Malva’ shampoo which keeps blonde hair from going ashy and the Aveda hand repair I always get. I also had a Sephora gift card so decided to get Laura Mercier tinted sunscreen – I haven’t tried it yet so will let you know if it’s any good!

So – did I shop too much!? Haha, no don’t answer that.

2018-03-17T10:43:56+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing to live on the beaches of Goa, India almost four years ago where she is now a travel writer. Her website gives advice on the 35+ countries she's been to but has become the go-to site for India travel, focusing on offbeat places & “glamorous travel”. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE magazine, Tripadvisor, and Thomas Cook. Her blog is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world based on traffic. She also enjoys writing for BravoTV.

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