Cincinnati, OH

What’ve been your favorite places!?”

I’m going to answer this, most frequently asked question, over a series of posts of my favorite places in North America that I’ve visited so far, and hopefully keep adding to it as I go. So stay tuned, my pretties.

Next up,

Cincinnati, OHCincinnati, OH
(aka: The Queen City)

Here it is – the home city. I was born and raised just outside of Cincinnati, so spending a majority of my life here, I claim it as my home city.

Mark Twain put it simply – “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times.” While I  wouldn’t go that far, I’ve always said it’s behind the times. But still, it’s catching up a bit!

It’s a work in progress, but here’s a quick layout of some of my favorite spots around town!

(work in progress)

Fuel Coffee
Reds game
Fountain Square Summer movies
Symphony at Cincinnati Music Hall
Cyclones Hockey game
Pint Night @ Jungle Jim’s
Loveland Bike Trail/Downtown Loveland
Incline Public House
Pavilion top deck
Rake’s End
Crazy house across from Coffee Emporium on Erie
Top of the Park
Green Dog Cafe
Sankofa House
Tom and Chee

City Flea


  • Coming soon….


  • Arnold’s (Dine and Drink) (Oldest bar in Cincinnati – get a table in the courtyard if you can) (Live Music)
  • Cheapside
  • Fountain Square
  • Smale Riverfront Park

OTR (Over The Rhine, just north of Downtown)

  • Washington Park
  • Findlay Market
  • Rhinegeist Brewery
  • Taft’s Ale House
  • Deeper Roots
  • Iris Bookcafe
  • Collective Espresso
  • B&A Street Kitchen
  • Taste of Belgium
  • Longfellow
  • Rosedale
  • Japps
  • Urbana
  • Nation Kitchen


  • Urban Artifact Brewery
  • Melt

Mt. Adams

  • Blind Lemon (named after famous jazz/blues musician, Blind Lemon Jefferson – great drinks, chill vibes, live music – my favorite Cincinnati bar and visited by many famous names like Mel Gibson, Brad Pitt, etc.)
  • Lots of fun bars around, beware it can get college-y, try to get up to the top deck at Pavilion though for sick Cinci views ??


  • Cincinnati Zoo – consistently-rated a top zoo in America, definitely hit up Festival Of Lights in December
  • Lots of fun bars around, beware it can get college-y, try to get up to the top deck at Pavilion though for sick Cinci views ??


Investing For Real People

Investing with Stash | IanDoingThings


Start investing today with only $5!


  • You don’t need hundreds of dollars to invest – get more involved with your savings, even if you can only set aside $5/month
  • Inflation alone is robbing you of over $15/year for every $1000 in your savings account
  • The Stash app is a great way to diversify your investing strategy and even get a jump on some exciting industries like cannabis and blockchain tech
  • I’ve even convinced my mother to invest in the weed industry with Stash 🙂

Investing, Simplified

So I’ve had a Roth IRA for well over a decade now and it’s been nice watching it slowly grow over the years while feeling relatively safe about its risk level. But for a while now, I’ve really wanted to be a lot more involved in and intentional about where I’m investing my money and diversify into some more aggressive markets while I’m young.

In parallel to that, I’d really been jonesing to capitalize on the weed industry as more and more states are legalizing medical and recreational marijuana sales and consumption.

It didn’t take long to find the perfect single solution to both of those desires in an app called Stash.

A Little Stash For Everyone

Stash is a great app for beginners and experts alike, available on both the iPhone and Android platforms. You can invest in ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), bonds, and individual companies with as little as $5 at a time since you’re buying small ‘partial-shares’.

It’s also really focused on educating its users, with plenty of written articles and videos right there in the app. There’s even a Stash podcast, weekly market updates, and weekly quizzes to test yourself and help you retain the knowledge.

Game On

Besides watching your investments grow, there’s another really fun subtext of Stash, as it’s set up like a game, in that you’re awarded points from your “Investment Coach” for completing quizzes, hitting milestones, and more. The points don’t score you anything in particular, but it’s a very low-pressure, fun strategy to keep you informed and involved in your financial future.


Alright, but am I actually going to profit if I don’t have hundreds to invest? I invested a mere $15 for one week. First, I put $10 into Corporate Cannabis (a fund comprised of a handful of big cannabis producers in North America) for the aggressive bit, then $5 into Match the Market (a fund comprised of S&P 500 companies) for a more moderate foundation. After just 6 days of letting that sit, I’ve got a sizable $1.89 return – which is a 12.5% ROI!!

That’s not enough to retire on, but neither is $15 enough to break anyone’s bank for a month! And that’s just for a week – so even if that rate plateaus, and I invest nothing more than the returns for a month, I could potentially earn over a $5/month return on just a $15 investment.

Free Money

Go ahead and try Stash today with this link and you’ll get a $5 bonus after your first $5 investment to kick things off! And might I suggest the Corporate Cannabis fund 😉 (queue Borat voice and corny pun) High five! ✋



2018 Brewers Cup Preliminary

I had a total blasty working the Brewers Cup Preliminary event at Buckman Coffee Factory last weekend (September 9-10).

Working at the Brewers Cup Preliminary event in Portland, OR.

Watching everyone put so much work into their presentation and recipe was fun, sometimes comical, and definitely exciting. There were lots of baristas and home brewers who came to Portland for the weekend from all over Washington, Oregon, and California.

I most frequently posted up at the front desk, throwing gang signs and dishing out the highest of fives. Everything was pretty high energy and yet, the La Marzocco and Modbar Lounge was a cozy corner to chill in between presentations and while the judges debated over the scores and standings.

This was the first event of its kind – a preliminary event for the Qualifying round of Brewers Cup with the purpose of making the event more accessible. It can be super difficult for folks who maybe don’t have the backing of a cafe or roaster to help provide funds for travel, coffee to practice with, or coaching and advice.

Everyone who competed can still shoot for a spot at the Qualifiers, but only those top 4 winners of the Prelim are guaranteed a spot, as well as travel costs covered by Pacific Foods.

To get the full rundown, check out the Sprudge US CoffeeChamps article!

Why Specialty Coffee = Appreciating People

This post is going to be one I elaborate on in multiple phases, bringing more thought to the topic throughout many experiences.

Appreciating Specialty Coffee, Appreciating People

i heart specialty coffee

Since becoming an enthusiastic coffee fan from the sidelines for many years now, and subsequently delving deeper into the coffee scene,  I’ve developed a strong passion for what the specialty coffee industry and its customers do to improve the quality of life for people throughout the entire supply chain of the bean.

The specialty/modern coffee industry and those who buy and share the end product, are such a powerful community, capable of having such a positive influence on producers and workers in developing countries. When we appreciate what’s in our cups, and hold it to a higher standard, we can all help lift each other up, allowing for more sustainable practices, respectable living wages, and lower environmental impact.

Portland, OR

What’ve been your favorite places!?”

I’m going to answer this, most frequently asked question, over a series of posts of my favorite places in North America that I’ve visited so far, and hopefully keep adding to it as I go. So stay tuned, my pretties.

Next up,

PDX, OREPortland, Oregon
(aka: PDX; Stumptown; THE Portland; Rose City; Rain City)

In less than a week, it was true love. From the weekend-long music festival in the woods, Pickathon, to specialty coffee and brunch heaven, and swimming across the Willamette River with the Mayor, to all the gorgeous outdoors an adventure-nut can handle – there was no denying it.

I lived in beautiful, weird PDX for over 1.5 years split between the Mississippi, North/NE Portland neighborhood and the Brooklyn, SE neighborhood. I took over and ran an Espresso Crawl Meetup group and have given so many tours and recommendations, I’ve found it’s best to give them broken down into the neighborhoods or quadrants of the city, rather than broken down by the type of activity. I’ll try to break it down both ways here.

One thing I don’t have on here specifically, is the stellar food cart pods – they’re everywhere, so just make sure you get to one or two of them during your visit and you’ll have done well.

 (work in progress)


  • International Rose Test Garden
  • Chinese Gardens
  • Forest Park
  • Powell Butte
  • Frog Lake
  • Mirror Lake
  • Tom, Dick, and Harry Cliff
  • Angel’s Rest hike
  • Oneonta Falls
  • Dog Mountain
  • Opal Creek/Opal Pool


  • Kiosko (SW)
  • Oracle (SW)
  • Sterling
  • Commissary
  • Good Coffee (Slabtown)
  • Pépé le Moko
  • 10 Barrel
  • Harlow
  • Tasty n Alder
  • Powell’s Bookstore
  • Planet Granite


  • St. John Bridge/Park
  • Prince Coffee


  • Sweedeedee
  • Bollywood Theater
  • Proud Mary
  • Pip’s
  • Guilder
  • Case Study
  • Skidmore Bluffs
  • Ex Novo
  • Kainos Coffee
  • The Movement Center – Free Guided Meditation – Monday


  • OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry)
  • Upper Left
  • Good Coffee
  • Water Ave.
  • Coava (Grand)
  • Coava cupping lab
  • Marigold Coffee
  • Heart
  • Either/Or
  • Tea Chai Te
  • Smith Tasting Room
  • PushXPull
  • Off The Waffle
  • Zell’s
  • Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels
  • Dapper & Wise
  • Fried Egg, I’m in Love
  • Pine State
  • Loyal Legion
  • Aalto Lounge – Monday $3 Happy Hour
  • Om Movement Studio – Sunday Acroyoga – $15