Tag Archives: Cincinnati Ohio

Holiday Traditions: Krohn Conservatory Pointsettia & Train Display

mini Krohn Conservatory - Two Purple Couches

One big holiday tradition in Cincinnati is the train and pointsettia display at Krohn Conservatory. I remembering going as a young child and being mesmerized by the trains; I always loved watching them wind their way around those tiny tracks, and I still do!
The Conservatory was built in the 1930’s and has a cool Art Deco style. The annual holiday display features tons of pointsettias and evergreens as a beautiful backdrop for an impressive train display that snakes all through one of the main areas of the Conservatory. Scattered among the train tracks are replica buildings of some Cincinnati landmarks, all make out of natural materials! There’s even a lifesize Nativity scene on the grounds outside the Conservatory, with live animals (apparently a lamb was born the day we visited, but I didn’t get a pic b/c there were tons of people crowding into the stable to see it).

train tracks - Two Purple Couches

replica bridge - Two Purple Couches
This is a replica of the local Roebling Suspension Bridge that connects Covington, KY and Cincinnati, OH. It served as the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge, which was also built by John Roebling. The “stones” of this bridge were actually tree bark, cut and applied to look like stone.

pointsettias - Two Purple Couches
I have never seen a speckled pointsettia before. So beautiful. I’d love to fill my house with them, but I’m sure Molly would eat them and get sick.

natural flower - Two Purple Couches
The giant Christmas tree in the Conservatory lobby was full of ornaments made from natural materials. I loved this flower; the petals reminded me of pistachio shells, but I’m not sure if that’s what they actually were.

While we were there, we also wandered through the other Conservatory greenhouses. Here are a few images I snapped in the desert room and the orchid room (my fave!).

succulent - Two Purple Couches

orange orchid - Two Purple Couches

green orchid - Two Purple Couches

orchid - Two Purple Couches

Hope you didn’t mind that this post was so photo-heavy. I took all of these pictures with my iPhone 4s… and am pretty impressed with the quality! Not a bad little camera in that thing!

Do you have a favorite holiday tradition in your city?

I’m Dreaming of a White Day After Christmas

This morning, we woke up to this!


Cincinnati rarely sees snow at Christmas, much less in the entire month of December, so I’ll take a White Day-After-Christmas if that’s what I can get. Plus, it really helps my case for staying in my pajamas all day today.

We had a wonderful holiday; the past 5 or so days we’ve been going non-stop with holiday dinners, parties, post-party cleaning, food prepping, family time, etc. I’ll back up and start at the beginning to give you all a recap of my very merry diy’d Christmas!

On Saturday, we hosted some couples for dinner. We got to use our dining room for the very first time since we moved in! Yea! Only took a year, haha. We don’t have a formal dining room set, so we used two folding tables instead! I put the table centerpieces together out of things I already had around the house: hurricane vases, ornaments, festive berry sprigs, loose tinsel, snowflakes, etc. I put a clay lollipop at each place setting in lieu of a place card, and asked everyone to take them home with them. I got 2 red paper tablecloths at Target for about $3.50 a piece.

www.twopurplecouches.wordpress.com  www.twopurplecouches.wordpress.com

I like to cook most/all of the food myself when we have parties versus getting pre-made meals or asking everyone to bring dishes. I just think if you’re invited to someone’s house for dinner, you should be able to go and enjoy yourself without worrying about bringing food along, keeping it hot, etc.

This was our menu for Saturday:

Appetizer: smoked sausage, garlic and herb cheese spread, olive tapenade, crackers, and cashews.

Main Course: mixed greens salad with toasted pine nuts, dried cherries, fresh parmesan and balsamic vinaigrette; baked salmon with herb seasoning (a “coastal blend” purchased from a local spice shop); and orzo with pesto and peas.

Dessert: homemade truffles and peppermint bark. Here’s my truffle assembly line: chilled ganache, toppings (chopped pecans, pistachios and cocoa powder) and a clean baking sheet to set them on!


(Scroll to the end of this post to find links to the recipes I used)

On Sunday, we celebrated Christmas with Tom’s parents. In year’s past, we celebrate on Christmas Eve, after the larger Kennedy family gathering. But with the new pup in the house, we decided to space things out a bit this year. We even took Molly with us to Tom’s parents’! She was pretty well behaved, and by the end of the night, had shredded a lot of wrapping paper. Girl loves to shred paper.

On Monday, we went to Christmas Eve Mass and then to the Kennedy family gathering.

On Tuesday, we hosted Christmas for the first time! My parents came over early in the day for brunching and gifting; then my extended family came over later in the afternoon for dinnering and gifting. Then we cleaned up real quick and went to Tom’s Grandma’s house to see his mom’s side of the family. Whew! Hence, why I’m staying in my pajamas all day today.

Here’s our Christmas Day Brunch menu:

Spinach, Bacon, and Red Pepper Quiche with Sharp White Cheddar

Portobello and Crimini Mushroom Quiche with Apple-Smoked Gruyere

Maple and Brown Sugar Sticky Biscuits


And some shots of the day’s various festivities:


Yes, those are official Clark Griswold Moose Mugs! Tom’s parents gave them to us. They are just as awesome in person as I could have imagined them to be!


Molly opened her own gifts! Smart girl shredded the paper, then plucked out her toy (a squeaky gingerbread girl), and started playing! I got to clean up her soggy paper shards.

www.twopurplecouches.wordpress.com v

Tis the season for owls! I got this awesome owl stuffie (from Kohls), an owl ornament, and an owl tealight holder. My family knows me well…

For out Christmas Day table, I changed out the table cloth (another paper find from Target; this one’s got a bit of Scandinavian flair!), and added paper trees underneath the clear plastic plates for a bit of color.




I added some other decorations around my chalkboard-inspired painting.

And lastly, the coolest gift I received, from the most awesome husband in the world 🙂


I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with family and friends!

Recipes via: Coastal Blend Seasoning / Pesto Sauce / Homemade Truffles (I rolled mine in cocoa powder, chopped pistachios and chopped pecans)/ Peppermint Bark / Basic Quiche (I always reference this for baking temp, time, and the number of eggs; I usually skip the half-and-half because Tom is lactose intolerant) / Sticky Biscuits

Weekend Recap: Crafty Supermarket Success!

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. The weather here in Cincinnati was pretty awesome (again). Not as warm as last weekend, but still full of sunshine and lightweight-jacket temps. These things make it so much easier to deal with the fact that it’s pitch-black outside by 5:30 p.m. Anywho, I had eagerly been awaiting this weekend for the Crafty Supermarket, an “indie craft show” featuring such awesomeness as is often found on Etsy or Pinterest. This was my first time, but it definitely won’t be my last. I snagged some awesome jewelry and paper goods by local/independent artists. Sorry for the grainy photos; I took them at night, with my phone.


1. chandelier crystal + bullet casing necklace by lily in flux / 2. earrings and 3. necklace by audreylaine collection / 4. gift tags and 2013 desk calendar (not pictured) by pinwheel print shop.

Did you go to the Crafty Supermarket? Or to another local crafty event of your choosing? Did you get a head start on your holiday shopping, unlike me?

Happy Halloween!


So, I’m kind of a Halloween Slacker. I didn’t have time to carve any of my pumpkins, I didn’t bake any sweet or spooky treats, and I don’t have a costume. Ooops.

But I felt it would be remiss to let the day go by without a little acknowledgement of the festivities.

So, here’s a little digitized “carved” pumpkin I created to wish you a Happy Halloween!

Even though it’s going to be about 40-degrees in Cincinnati tonight, I’m really looking forward to passing out candy to the trick-or-treaters. We never had kids trick-or-treat at our condo, so this will be our first “real” Halloween in a long time! Maybe next year I’ll do some pumpkin-carving or some spooky-treat making 🙂

What are your plans for the day?










Two Purple Couches Gets a Little Young House Lovin’!

This was part of (well, most of) my exciting plans for the weekend… MEETING JOHN AND SHERRY PETERSIK!!!!

While I haven’t been following Young House Love since Day 1, or even Day 880, I have been so inspired by them. Not just their incredible design style and home transformations, but their down-to-earth personalities, unique voices, and their profuse amount of tips on blogging itself. From creating professional-looking photos, to how they decide on post topics, to how they’ve turned blogging into a business, they played a huge role in inspiring me to start this blog, and making me believe that someone out there, besides my mom, might actually want to read it. (I think it’s high time I give a shout-out to my readers and followers! THANK YOU!!! You guys rock my socks!!!)

Sorry for the tangent. Back to the post topic: MEETING JOHN AND SHERRY PETERSIK!!!!

John & Sherry were part of a local book festival called Books by the Banks, that featured lots of books for sale (obviously), authors and panel discussions. John & Sherry were signing/chatting with fans, and also giving a talk (9 things they learned during the process of writing their book).

If you’re curious, that’s Robert & Cortney Novogratz in the foreground, signing their book, Home by Novogratz.

There they are! When we arrived, there were about 60-70 people in line in front of us.

Not going to lie, I felt like I was waiting for the Beatles to de-board the plane for their first North American tour. Ok, maybe I wasn’t crying for joy and screaming at the top of my lungs. But I was as giddy as a schoolboy.

My “giddy schoolboy” face; holding my advance copy, made available by awesome local bookstore Joseph Beth Booksellers.

I really wanted to bring along a ceramic animal for Sherry to sign (DORK! I know…), but we were running late on Saturday morning and I couldn’t make up my mind what to grab.

I’ll spare you a minute-by-minute recap of the butterfly-stomach-fluttering and heart-palpitation-ensuing drama that occurred. Suffice it to say that I nearly didn’t make the signing cutoff before John and Sherry were whisked away to give their talk, which could have resulted in a lost spot in line, and would have set Tom and me waaaayyyy back for our plans to meet friends and drive alllll the way north to Toledo to watch the UC Bearcats football team vs. Toledo that night. Well, sorry, that does kind of tell you the whole story. Anywho, I made it up to their table in time.

Their talk was really good. They started with a little bio of them (Sherry was a copywriter, too! Heck yea copywriters!) and then went through 9 things they learned while working on their home/the book. There were a lot of really good reminders, i.e. don’t feel like you have to do everything perfectly and all at once. This is an especially good reminder for me, because I always feel pressure to have our house more decorated than it is at this point (we haven’t been here a year yet). And it was very reassuring to hear these reminders from people I revere as “experts” and whose advice I would readily take to heart.


Really cool idea to steal in the future (if I ever publish a book, that is,): they asked fans to sign their copy of the book! How fun is that! Now they’ll have a memento from all of their book signings! John asked me to draw a picture of something, but I blanked and just wrote my name.

I’m so excited that I got the opportunity to meet them. I’ve been leafing through their book (I’m not an overnight reader; I prefer to savor each page), and I already have tons of new ideas. Maybe I’ll start a little mini-series of posts of YHL-inspired projects!

And, I cannot finish this post without giving HUGE thanks to my husband Tom, without whom none of this would have gone down as smoothly as it did. He allowed me to drag him to a book festival, act like a giddy schoolboy, and was even willing to hold our spot in line so I could sit in on their talk. Oh, and he let me stop at Starbucks before we left! Thanks Tom! You’re the best!