*This is the first of a three part series.

We’re just 10 days into 2013, and hopefully you’re still on track with keeping your New Year’s resolutions. We know it can be tough (research has shown that by the end of January about 40% of people have broken their resolutions), so we’ve happy to share some insider tips on how to maintain some of the most popular resolutions made each year. This first post focuses on how to get healthy. Whether you want to exercise or change you’re diet, there are ways to be successful, and Dublin is full of options.

Get Healthy

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1. Stock up at Whole Foods – Whole Foods is known for their organic and natural products. An added bonus? They also  have locally grown produce and offer a variety of cooking classes for all ages and.

2. Go gluten-free – For many, a gluten-free diet is not a choice, but this has become a popular plan for others. Try a gluten-free pizza crust at Mellow Mushroom, gluten-free pasta at Oscar’s, or any of the items on Mezzo or Sunny Street Café’s gluten-free menus.

3. Work out at the Dublin Community Recreation Center – In addition to the 9,000+ square foot fitness center available to those looking to break a sweat, the facility has a number of healthy programs and activities scheduled.

amlin-crossing-sign

4. Enjoy nature at one of Dublin’s parks – The City of Dublin has a total of 56 beautiful parks complete with walking trails, bike paths and playgrounds. Washington Township’s three parks (The Homestead, Ted Kaltenbach and Amlin Crossing) are other options for exploring the outdoors.

We hope this has been helpful.

*Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll discuss some ideas for those wanting to learn or experience something new this year.

~ Post by Dawn

Sometimes I think that one of the biggest challenges of my job is actually explaining what a Convention and Visitors Bureau does, and I’ll admit I didn’t fully understand before I started working for the DCVB. Now I think back to some of the badly planned trips I have taken, and I wish I would have known what a great, FREE, planning resource a CVB is for travelers.

The Dublin CVB Visitors’ Center

One of the overall advantages of utilizing a CVB when traveling is that the information is all in one place! You can find plenty of material on a city by using Google or specific travel websites, but when you look at a CVB website you can find area hotels, restaurants, upcoming events, parks and more all in one.  It’s a huge time saver!

Insider Tips

One of my pet peeves is visiting a new place and ending up at the same shops and restaurants I have at home because I don’t know where to go.  There are so many great things to do and see while traveling that you may only discover by talking to a local.  That’s what a CVB is for! Great restaurants and shops are only a click away by visiting the CVB’s website or (even better) by calling! People working at the CVB are experts on the city’s attractions.  For instance, in Dublin we have some great, original restaurants visitors shouldn’t miss – The Dublin Village Tavern, Brazenhead, Mezzo, Tucci’s, Matt the Miller’s and more!

CVB Visitor Guides and websites usually list the most interesting attractions and festivals unique to their city.  Case in point: Dublin is home to a Field of Corn – 109 6 ft tall ears of concrete corn! We also have “The #1 Zoo in America” is in our backyard and hold the 2nd largest Irish Festival in the world!

Money Saving

Many CVBs have special packages listed on their websites or even offer coupons for visitors.  The Dublin CVB offers a “Dublin Discount Sheet” that can be downloaded straight from our website for free! We also offer various packages throughout the year that have discounted tickets to local attractions and coupons to area restaurants.  These specials help save money and encourage visitors to try local favorites!

Planning Resources for Everyone!

CVBs target all kinds of travelers – not just leisure.  Whether you are planning a reunion for your family, attending for a sports tournament, visiting on a business trip or whatever the case may be – there should be resources available.  Sample itineraries, lists of area hotels, and meeting space venues are all available on our website.  If you want to know firsthand which hotel would suit your group best – just ask!

So, next time you travel, avoid having the “worst trip ever” by utilizing your Convention and Visitors Bureau resources.  Start by checking out our website at www.irishisanattitude.com – we promise you won’t regret it!

~ Post by Sam

Oh my! Where did the summer go? If your house is like mine, we are making piles of school supplies, trying to adjust sleep schedules and having all the last minute fun we can enjoy before school starts!

My son enjoying one of his final school-free days!

Zoombezi Bay is open daily until August 23rd, then only open on weekends through Labor Day. Their new rides are a blast and the wave pool is the closest we can find to a beach in Central Ohio!

Big Boa Falls at Zoombezi bay

COSI has a great exhibit this summer called Dinosaurs: Explore, Escape, Survive that will be “extinct” after Labor Day. Be sure to go see and experience this 10,000 sq ft exhibit of fossils, interactive displays and a prehistoric maze before it’s gone – and their annual two week shutdown in September.

If you need a break from your house and want great discounts on these attractions, visit the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau web site to find information on the “Kids Eat Free” promotion. Discounted admission tickets, a fantastic Dublin hotel and free kids meals from a number of local restaurants are included in the package.

Have you played golf with the family this summer? The Golf Club of Dublin offers special discounts to Dublin residents and their patio has a beautiful sunset view over the course.

Have a fun-filled last two weeks of Summer Vacation!

~Post by Katie.

Shop ‘til You Drop- Dublin Style!

Shopping is a great way to spend your free time in the summer- whether you’re buying for yourself or buying for others! For those of you both from Dublin, or maybe looking for gifts to bring home after visiting for the Dublin Irish Festival, here is a quick guide to some of my shopping spots in Dublin.

  • Ha’ Penny Bridge Imports: This store is FULL of Irish Attitude. Offering a wide variety of Irish and Celtic merchandise, some of my favorites to browse include Avoca Woolens, Belleek China, and Irish Jewelry. Once you step inside, you’ll feel like you actually traveled to Ireland! So stop by on your visit and pick up a kilt for that special man in your life or something on my very own wishlist, like a Claddagh ring for yourself!
  • The Morgan House: This is a great one-stop-shop for shopping and lunch! The Morgan house has almost everything you could want, most noted for its home accents but also selling my personal favorites, Vera Bradley bags and Pandora jewelry, there’s no way you will leave empty handed!

    Clothes from The Clover Boutique

  • Clover Boutique: This is a neat little shop for one-of-a-kind vintage and handmade merchandise. From beautiful jewelry made by women in Guatemala to clothes sewn by a woman in Delaware (Ohio), you are guaranteed a unique shopping experience. My favorite thing is, you can be helping a good cause at the same time, as many things are eco-friendly or sold to help the poor!
  • One Stop Bead Shop: For those of you who consider yourself crafty, this is the perfect place for you! As a full service bead shop, not only can you buy beads for your own projects, but you can take classes and create beautiful pieces of your own right in the store! I’ve never considered myself artsy, so if you’re the same not to worry… there are professionals to help you. No gift is more special than something hand-made, so be sure to visit when you’re in town!
  • Blankets & Booties: Everyone loves to pamper a cute little baby! Pop into to this neat store to find a great specialty baby gift over which everyone in the family will fawn! I have found that babies make such messes, no one can ever have too many onesies.
  • MJ’s Candy Bar: Perfect for people of all ages, MJ’s is considered one of the best candy stores in Columbus, MJ’s offers a wide variety of candies where you are sure to find the perfect one to satisfy any palette!

    The Sisters Sweet Shoppe

  • Sister’s Sweet Shoppe: I firmly believe you can never have too many sweets, so make sure to pop by one of the most delicious places in town. Most places only sell fruitcake at Christmas, but I know a few people who would like to eat it year-round, and thanks to these sisters I can make that a possibility! This is also a great place to go for some Buckeye favorites, which I have found make a great local gift for out-of-towners.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau at 614-792-7666 or learn more about these places on our website.

~Post by Lexi

Is it the first time you and your family will be joining us at the Dublin Irish Festival? Here are some great tips to help you enjoy all the Festival has to offer!

  • Buy your tickets early. Visit www.DublinIrishFestival.org prior to August 4 to receive a great discount on your tickets. Pay online, print at home and just bring the paper to the Festival!
  • Kids 12 and under are free! The Wendy’s Wee Folk Area is filled with free crafts and entertainment while the Pot O’Gold Playland area requires a $10 wristband to enter. Inflatables, a climbing wall and mini-Gaelic games will be fun!  Be sure to bring some spending money for treats and souvenirs.
  • Park in Metro Place and enjoy the shuttle! Take 270 to exit 17A and turn right onto Frantz Road and right into Metro Place. You’ll see the signs for the shuttles and they run on a continuous loop so you’ll be having fun in no time! The Dublin Irish Festival also offers a Bike Valet service in two locations — so enjoy some of Dublin’s great bike paths and come on two wheels!
  • Beverage tokens are sold in different lines that the actual beverages. Soda, wine and beer all require tokens — with the exception of the Whiskey Tasting Sessions. You are allowed to bring two sealed non-alcoholic beverages (up to a total of 1 liter) per person in a soft-sided cooler into the Festival.

    Sand Sculpture being formed.

  • Seek out the quieter spaces at the Festival. Enjoy petting a Celtic Canine, listen to a traditional Irish story, strum a harp or watch the Sand Sculpture evolve before your eyes!
  • Be sure to watch some Irish Dancers! Consult the map at the Festival for times and stages and watch the feet fly to the rousing music. (Yes, those ARE wigs the girls are wearing!)
  • Save enough time to listen to some impressive music – at each stage! Usually in the shade, these music tents are fantastic places to sit awhile, enjoy some Festival food and hear a variety of music. With multiple performances throughout the Festival, there is music for everyone!

Come join us and have fun at the Dublin Irish Festival August 5-7!

 

~Post by Katie.

The PGA Memorial Tournament in Dublin has passed, but we still can’t get enough golf! As “Ohio’s Most Prestigious Golf Address,” Dublin is within 20 minutes of 12 golf course partners and great club houses for hosting events. Golf tournaments are a popular activity for companies and organizations to raise money for charity and provide networking opportunities.

Golf tournaments always sound like a great idea, but the planning can be extremely time-consuming if you don’t know what you are doing. We took 8 great tips from the Golf Tournament Association of America to help you navigate the holes of your tournament.

Jack Nicklaus Statue in Dublin

Dublin's Statue of Jack Nicklaus

1. Defining Your Purpose and Goals

  • Know how much you want to raise or make. Have a good cause that you are knowledgeable about and have a clear, concise message to your attendees.

2. Staffing Your Event

  • Volunteers are the secret to success. Recruit the right people and maximize their efforts. Attaching a “title” to each volunteer gives them ownership of their duties (i.e. Sponsorship Chair)
    Make them accountable by reporting their efforts each meeting and rewarding those that make progress.
  • Work with other groups. Seek an organization that puts on their own tournament and combine efforts. Maybe Company A is lacking a great auction, but has golfers… and Company B has a fabulous auction, but needs golfers? Split the increased profit/donation down the middle.

3. Filling your field with Golfers

  • Formats increase participation. A “Scramble” is the most popular golf format, but it may not be right for your attendees especially if they are experienced or competitive. See a full list of golf formats.
  • Relationships are the key. Select well connected individuals to be on your committee. How many times have you done something just because your friend or colleague suggested you do it?

4. Finding the Golf Course 

The Golf Club of Dublin

The Golf Club of Dublin

  • Golfers want to play because of the Golf Course. A well kept, unique course will make people want to sign up. We recommend the Golf Club of Dublin— It’s designed with the spirit of golf from the British Isles and created by world-renowned designers Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry. Golfers say they feel like they are playing in Dublin, Ireland. This course is the first of its kind in the Midwest with authentic links features. The Golf Club of Dublin’s Ballantrae Ballroom provides the right ambiance for socializing and enjoying a freshly prepared menu.
  • Get the best deal. Monday thru Wednesday are times of need for golf courses. You will be able to negotiate course fees and luncheon costs.

5. Selling Sponsors

  • Make your event big and get creative. Sponsors will love it and new sponsors will come. Secure a car company’s sponsorship by suggesting attendees test drive their car during the tournament. Give sponsors speaking time. Use large signs and banners. What are some ways you can drive attendees to their location after the outing?

6. Games/Contest/Gifts/Prizes

  • Rev up your auction with VIP packages. Lunch with a football star? Behind-the-scenes tour of a private golf course? Weekend getaways? These are items attendees WANT to auction for because they are experiential.
  • Turn your Awards Ceremony into a party. It’s your lasting impression to attendees. Sell tickets to those who aren’t participating in the tournament. Adding photos and video helps build memories and can be a marketing tool.
  • Give a good Tee Gift. Don’t give out knick-knacks that are useless. Work with your sponsors to cover gifts like leather duffle bags, iPods or an engraved bottle of whiskey.

7. Promoting your Event

  • Research your target market. Who are you “going after?” What is important to them? Who has attended in the past?
  • Show quality. Feature a celebrity guest, musical acts or live auctioneer. Make the information on your website easy to find, utilize e-newsletters. Drum up excitement about your event through attractive marketing.
  • Time line. Be working on your overall tournament package a year in advance and have quality programming put together and promoted a month before your event.

8. Wrap Up and Follow Up

  • Evaluate the good and the bad. Send out a survey to your golfers and make notes for areas of improvement.
  • Send personalized thank you cards. Include a “Save the Date” for next year.
  • Re-secure sponsorships. Get the companies contracted again BEFORE they spend next year’s budget elsewhere. Don’t forget to thank your sponsors with a creative item or award.

Reach out to the Dublin CVB to help you pick the best golf course for your group. We can also get you set up with accommodations and area-discounts. As always—our services are free.

-Post by Allison

Ahhh… the cleansing strength of lemon zest, the pleasing scent of cinnamon, and the recovery powers of magnesium sulfate…

Magnesium sulfate?

Celtic Naturals, a Dublin-based handcrafted soap company, is true to its name and its mission.  All of their products are based on natural essential oils, not synthetics, and every ingredient has a purpose.

Celtic Naturals- Aviary Soaps

Celtic Naturals- Aviary Soaps

I got the chance to sit down with Angela Buckley, owner and head soapstress of Celtic Naturals. Who better to understand the benefits of magnesium sulfate than an Ohio State graduate with an engineering degree?

“Your skin is your largest organ,” said Angela. “It’s important to keep it healthy just like the rest of your body.”

Before the birth of the one-year old Celtic Naturals, Angela was working at Ashland Chemical, headquartered in Dublin.

“I rode my bike to work every day, unless the weather would prevent it, and being in that outdoor environment can be hard on your skin,” said Angela. “I wanted to make something that would be helpful to all athletes. When you’re focused on your workout, it’s easy to ignore your skin.”

As a seasoned tri-athlete, Angela knows how distance running, biking and swimming can affect your skin’s health. Her passion for triathlons paired with her efforts for environmental activism created a series of products that are guaranteed all-natural and effective. Don’t worry–you don’t have to swim  laps all day to be a customer . Celtic Naturals is committed to crafting a product that is good for the environment and easy for everyone to use.

“I want my soaps to be useful,” said Angela. “Yes, they are more expensive than a 97 cent soap from a drug store, but Celtic Natural soaps don’t dry out your skin. So in the end you are using less lotion because the soaps are so effective.”

Celtic Naturals does carry a line of lotions as well as lip balms, bath salt-bombs, and hand sanitizer. There are three different product lines for what your skin may need:

Celtic Naturals- The Sport Soaps

The Sport Line - Chain Bite Citrus

The Sport Line : For the sport enthusiast. Keep your skin in 1st place with soaps like Wetsuite A-Peel, Chain-Bite Citrus and Re-Cycle Mint.

The Aviary Line : For the outdoor enthusiast. It’s hard to stay clean when you’re gardening- try soaps with names inspired by birds- like Orange Oriole, Western Scrub Jay, Cinnamon-Bellied Flowerpiercer, or Brewer’s Blackbird (uses coffee to remove odors and dirt stains!)

The Heritage Line : The newest line from Celtic Naturals. Each soap is inspired by a different region and all have an antibacterial property. Try European Winters!

So why is magnesium sulfate good for your skin?

“Celtic Natural bath bombs are made out of Epsom salt which is primarily a magnesium sulfate,” said Angela. “ Research shows that magnesium can effectively enter the body through the skin.  Magnesium has been proven to reduce muscle soreness and spasms.”

Bath Salts & All-Natural Sanitizer

You can find Angela’s products online at www.celtic-naturals.com or at Serendip, a unique store in Powell, Ohio. Your skin will thank you.

Angela Buckley

-post by Allison