Sleeping Beauty Hits the Ensemble Theatre

ETC Sleeping BeautyAnd it’s fabulous! Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, part of my families tradition is that we head downtown to the Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC). This year the play was Sleeping Beauty, and it was performed as a musical. 

As always, the costumes were just as incredible as the performers who wore them. We were enchanted with the Fairies: Marigold, Daisy and Lilac. Our absolute favorite character was Wisteria played by the talented Deb Girdler. Year and year, and performance after performance, she steals the show! 

ETC’s take on Sleeping Beauty was a little bit different from the traditional story. They always put their own comical twist to the plays they perform. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling through the performance. Once again, this is a must see performance for both young and old.

ETC Sleeping Beauty FairiesTickets for Sleeping Beauty range from $28 to $44 for adults and $18 for children. If you are on a budget, you might want to try to take advantage of ETC’s half-price rush tickets which are offered for all performances, and available two hours prior to show time.

Sleeping Beauty runs December 3, 2014-January 4, 2015. 7:00 p.m. performances Fri.; 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. performances Sat. and select weeknights; 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. No performances on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. A complete calendar is available at  

Disclosure: Tickets for our preview attendance were provided by Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. Views expressed in this post are our own.

Crouching Tigers Launches in Cincinnati

crouching tigersHey local friends, my kids are two old to benefit from this program, but as I feel it’s important to get our kiddos moving and shaking at an early age, I wanted to get the info out about something new coming to Cincinnati.

If you suggest this program to your child’s school/preschool and they sign up, you’ll get a free year of lessons! Here’s the information:

Crouching Tigers, a mobile fitness and martial arts program dedicated to the physical, emotional and social development of children, announces today its launch in Cincinnati. The 30-minute classes filled with storytelling and child-friendly martial arts are now available for children ages 2 to 7 in schools and childcare centers throughout Cincinnati. Parents and guardians who bring the program to a new school will get a year of free classes for their children.

In each class, participants have the opportunity to learn bullying awareness techniques, traditional martial arts, fitness skills and life lessons, while reinforcing great social skills in a group environment. Students will be introduced to trademarked characters such as Recycling Ben, who teaches children to recycle negative words and thoughts into positive ones, thus helping students learn how to resist bullying, a common trend among young children. Founder and President of Crouching Tigers, Olivia Roney Spahn, along with other professional Crouching Tigers instructors, will introduce curriculum from classes which originated in Indianapolis to Cincinnati children.

 “Witnessing the self-assurance children grow during the Crouching Tigers classes made me want to expand this program,” said Roney Spahn. “We are excited about the launch in Cincinnati and eager to offer local kids the skills to build resilience and avoid situations that may lead to bullying. By incorporating fitness and life lessons in each class, kids can apply what they’re learning to everyday life.”

Crouching Tigers classes are currently taught at more than 70 preschools, afterschool programs and child care centers throughout Indianapolis. There are about 15 new classes available for children in Cincinnati schools and childcare centers. Parents interested in requesting a demo class for their child’s school can visit If the program is activated at a school, the first parent who requested it will get a free year of tuition for his/her child.

In 2007, Roney Spahn started Crouching Tigers while attending college at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). As a martial artist since the age of 11, Spahn has always dreamt of developing a unique and convenient martial arts program that is easily accessible to young children. With affordable classes starting at just $45 for a four-week session, the program allows children to study eight styles of martial arts over the course of a four-year rotating curriculum.

For more information, visit To register for a Cincinnati class, visit To request a demo class in your child’s school, visit

Checkout the new menu items at LongHorn Steakhouse

On Tuesday night, after yet another day of living the dream (aka meetings, meetings, and more meetings, while trying to work, pack for vacation, take care of things for caregivers for the kids, etc.), cooking dinner just wasn’t in the cards. When I told the kids we were eating out after weeks of not eating out, two very loud “YES”s could be heard throughout the house.

You all know I hate to cook, hate to plan cooking and sometimes execute meals in less than a stellar or edible manner. Having a chance to eat out makes ALL of the Eborall’s happy. Getting a gift card to stop into our local LongHorn Steakhouse to check out the new fall menu item additions made us immeasurably excited! LongHorn came out with some seasonal specials and we went in to check some of them out.

I’m not big on crowds or waiting, so if you’re not either, be sure to make reservations before going in. This way, you’ll be able to be seated quickly so that you can have a nice evening out. I also liked that we went mid-week — it was just a very pleasant relaxed atmosphere in the Rookwood Pavilion location — perfect for my loud kids.

We were served by Tonya, and she was excellent. She took the time to be attentive and to answer our many questions, but didn’t push her attentiveness to the point of it being annoying and not attentive anymore if that makes sense? I have two very different kids with two very different food preferences. Tonya took the time to help me figure out if my son should be ordering off of the kids menu or the adult menu.

Tilapia with Mango SalsaMy twelve year old daughter is a vegetarian. Going to a place like LongHorn normally means she’s stuck with pasta or salmon. Don’t get me wrong, pasta and salmon are good choices, but we were both super excited to see that LongHorn offered a Tilapia with Mango Salsa as a new menu item. And friends, this was as delicious as it sounds. The salsa was perfectly fresh and the tilapia was perfectly cooked. It was served on a bed of rice with pimento seasoning. Oddly enough, this is one of my kids favorite foods – she adores pimento cheese. Her dish was gorgeous to look at delicious to eat. This was also a lower calorie menu option, so a good choice if you’re watching what you eat.

My son’s adult steakburger was “one of the best burgers I’ve ever had, Mom!”. It was cooked perfectly and served just the way he wanted it — cheese and lettuce only. The fries were seasoned, but were seasoned so that they appealed to both kids and adults. We hate it when a restaurants tries to make fries for adults only with fancy seasoning. When it comes to fries, I’m still a kid at heart. Keep them simple. Which is just what LongHorn did.

Mushroom filetI had the Harvest Mushroom Filet. My filet was perfectly cooked. I loved the variety of mushrooms that topped the steak — shitake, cremini and oyster mushrooms — each has such a distinctive texture. The “gravy” or sauce was a hearty red wine bordelaise. It was very good as well – for me the sauce was just a little too salty, but it didn’t detract from the overall taste of the dish.

You can re-create this dish at home. Here’s a recipe for the Roasted Mushrooms:

Roasted Mushrooms
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
A tender filet topped with cremini, oyster and shiitake mushrooms in a hearty red wine bordelaise sauce.
  • 1⁄4 cup of oyster mushrooms, peeled
  • 1⁄4 cup of shiitake mushrooms, stem removed and sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup of cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 filets, grilled
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of red wine bordelaise sauce (store-bought or from scratch, recipe below)
  1. Peel the oyster mushroom cluster and stem, then discard the center remaining cluster. Stems
  2. can be left on the mushroom.
  3. Combine trio of mushrooms with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and mix.
  4. Transfer mixture to a foil lined sheet try into a flat layer.
  5. Cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or when olive oil starts to bubble slightly. Set aside.
  6. Add mushrooms to bordelaise sauce and let warm.
  7. Spoon mushroom mixture over expertly grilled filets.

If you’d like to make the Red Wine Bordelaise Sauce, I can’t insert another cool recipe card, but here’s how you make that:


My filet was served with a potato & leek au gratin – YUM – potatoes, leeks, cheese and bacon? How can you possibly go wrong?

My husband had a Rocky Top Chicken Sandwich with fresh broccoli. He devoured it and wouldn’t share, so I’d say that he enjoyed it. He said the broccoli was absolutely perfect (something I clearly haven’t mastered!).

Throughout the entire meal, the service was just amazing. In addition to Tonya taking such great care of us, we spoke to the manager as well. She was just so super nice. She really wanted to make sure that we enjoyed our time in the restaurant. I loved the thoughtful questions both asked of me and my family. 

Overall, we were all pleasantly surprised with our dinner. Since our daughter became a vegetarian, we typically avoid steakhouses, because, well, they’re steakhouses and while I adore steak, finding something special for her to have isn’t always the easiest. We were impressed that LongHorn had clearly taken the time to develop a nicely represented menu.

Pumpkin Spice Lava CakeWe rarely have dessert, but if I were to have gotten dessert, it so would have been the pumpkin spice lava cake for me. This just looks ooey and gooey and amazing!

Well done, LongHorn! We’re sure to be back!

Diclaimer: LongHorn Steakhouse did send us a gift card to use towards our meal along with a sampling of spices to try at home. Thank you!