2017, april, blog, classpass, fitness, may, myblog, review


I wanted to start exercising this spring. When I was researching gyms to possibly join in Columbus, I stumbled upon ClassPass. I’d seen their Facebook Ads and wanted to learn more about them. The trial offer was a good deal and I was excited about the idea of trying new studios to consider joining. 
From April 17- May 17 I did ten various fitness classes in Columbus. At first I thought ten classes a month wouldn’t be enough but I later found it tough to squeeze in all ten classes into my busy schedule.
I enjoyed ClassPass and would recommend it to those who like variety, new adventures and can afford it. 
There were times in classes when I just had to take a deep breath and laugh at myself. There’s always going to be people in a class who have done that routine or those moves for years and are way better than you. That’s okay. I liked trying new classes that I otherwise wouldn’t have booked. I also met some other nice girls, some of them also “ClassPass” like me. 

Here’s the fitness classes in Columbus I did and how I reviewed them: 

Fit Jump

Tue, 05/16
6:00 – 7:00 pm
1645 Gateway Cir, Grove City, OH, 43123

Did not like this class. It was boring and repetitive.  The instructor was a high school freshmen who kept looking at a printed out sheet of notes. She never corrected anyone’s form or said anything motivational. I could hardly hear her. We’d bounce for a minute, do push ups for a minute, then repeat. I found myself zoning out and counting down the minutes til the class was over. The instructor seemed to be doing the same. At one point, we did exercises on the ground and I could’ve done those at home myself. I wanted to do exercises on the trampolines or in the ball pit. This class was disappointing.  

Intro to Aerial Silks

Mon, 05/15
6:00 – 7:30 pm
1411 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH, 43212

I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this class but I actually did. It was easier than pole dancing but still required upper body strength. I was challenged and the instructor was willing to help. She was so patient and kind. That made all the difference. I was amazed at what I was able to do. I wouldn’t mind taking this class again. I was a bit sore the next day. 

Barre in the Village

Mon, 5/8
6:00 – 7:00 pm
503 City Park Ave, Columbus, OH, 43215
This wasn’t my favorite class. I felt very cramped and close to my neighbor. I couldn’t extend my legs or arms all the way without hitting her. Throughout class, I wasn’t sure if I was doing any of the moves right. The instructor was loud and friendly. She introduced herself by asking me if I had any injuries. Um, no. If I did, I’d let you know. My arms felt sore the next day so I guess it was a good workout.


Sun, 5/7
5:15 – 6:15 pm
6367 Sawmill Rd, Dublin, OH, 43017
This was a great workout and I liked the variety and loved the instructor. She was really down-to-earth, motivational and offered modifications and corrections. It’s a very nice studio, right by Trader Joes. I would go back and definitely take classes from Sarah again. She was fantastic.


Thu, 5/4
6:00 – 7:00 pm
275 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH, 43215
Julie is the best instructor I’ve ever had. It was a great workout. I wish I could give it six stars! She’s so inspirational and filled with knowledge. It was a challenging yet achievable workout. Highly recommend this class to everyone.

Fit Jump

Mon, 5/1
7:00 – 8:00 pm
3967 Presidential Pkwy, Powell, OH, 43065
It was a tough but fun workout. I couldn’t help but smile when we were bouncing on the trampoline but then that smile faded when we started doing suicides, frog legs, push ups, etc. I worked up quite a sweat. The instructor is tough but fair. I wish she had explained how exactly to do some of the more tricky moves. The class was small with just me and 5 “regulars”


Fri, 4/28
6:30 – 7:15 pm
640 Lakeview Plaza Blvd, Suite A, Columbus, OH, 43085
Not super intense, but a great way to blow off some steam. Had a good time 

Beginner Pole

Wed, 4/26
7:45 – 8:45 pm
3408 Indianola Ave, Columbus, OH, 43214
I left class feeling frustrated. The class was labeled Beginner but the majority of the class had been dancing for years/ had their own pole in their basement/ could do spinning pole dancing. Everyone else in the class got the hang of it instantly. The instructor, Devon, gave up on me after awkwardly trying to help me twice. It wasn’t much of a workout and the pole was crazy slippery. Only take this class if you can do a few pull ups and have great upper body strength. And wear shorts. You can’t do the class in yoga capri pants. You have to wear shorts. Even though their website says you can wear yoga pants. Don’t.

Hydro Power Jam

Mon, 4/24
7:00 – 8:00 pm
3111 Hayden Rd, Columbus, OH, 43235
Laura is a really nice instructor. The workout wasn’t the most intense. I wanted it to be more challenging. There were a lot of older women in the group and some of them seem more focused on gossiping than doing the moves. Sawmill has a nice pool, locker room, hot tub and sauna.

Dance Mixx

Fri, 4/21
6:00 – 7:00 pm
1145 Kenny Centre Mall, Columbus, OH, 43220
The staff is really friendly and welcoming. The instructor came over and introduced herself and explained how the class would go. I liked the music and the dance moves. The instructor was so upbeat and motivating. It was a good workout.

And that’s all I have to say about my experience with a one-month trial of ClassPass in Columbus. 
2017, april, graphics, images, social media

Dana Walters Social Media Posts

These are some potential social media posts I made for Dana R. Walters DDS:

Trivia Tuesday: Modern dental floss is made out of _______.   Share your answer in the comments below!

Warmer weather means it’s time to enjoy iced drinks. So refreshing! A friendly reminder to avoid chewing the ice in order to prevent gum injury, fractured tooth enamel or irritation of sensitive teeth.

Can you guess how many chapsticks Kaylee has in this jar? Comment with your guess!

TGIF! We did it! Share with us a selfie of your pearly white smile in the comments below. #selfie #tgif

#GumDisease is the most common cause of adult tooth loss and is a problem that we take very seriously. Call to make an appointment. #dentist #dental #teeth #smile

You know what today is? HUMP DAY! Now, that’s worth smiling about. Comment below with something that made you smile today #SomethingtoSmileAbout
I made all these images and wrote the captions. All content created by and property of Debbie Gillum. All rights reserved

2016, april, blog, book, book review, myblog

"What We Saw" Book Review

About two weeks ago, I read the YA novel “What We Saw” by Aaron Hartzler.  I heard about the book from NPR when they were talking about how YA novels and the importance of showing teens what a healthy first sexual encounter looks like. I picked it up because I like YA novels and I trust NPR’s book recommendations.

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. It’s so well-written! I stayed up late just to finish this book.

It takes place in a small midwest town where high school basketball rules. The book opens with a girl waking up from a crazy high school house party. Gradually, the reader learns that this was no ordinary party. Other students are rapidly sharing pictures and videos from the party and using #r&p and #gobucs since the high school basketball team is the Bucaneers. The book is so clearly set in 2016 that it’s refreshing to show how teens integrate social media into their daily lives.

News breaks out in the small town that a girl who had drank too much was raped at the house party the other week and some of the basketball players have been accused. The victim is perceived as a social outcast so some girls say terrible things about her behind her back. The stuff they said was heart-wrenching to read.

Our main character develops a crush on her childhood friend, who plays for the Buccaneer basketball team. The two of them move pretty quickly in their relationship but he is understanding when she tells him she wants to wait to have sex. They eventually do go all the way, but not before he asks her, “Kate, is this okay?”

Things get complicated in the main character’s relationship when she realizes he was at the party, possibly when the assault took place. He tells her he didn’t see anything but he doesn’t seem too sure about that. He also has a mom who has a shopping and couponing addiction.

I liked the suspense of the book and how things weren’t immediately revealed. Like, the reader doesn’t learn til the end that the sexual assault was caught on a cell phone camera and that #r&p stands for rape and pillage.

The book addressed so many important issues that I wish every high school student could read it. For example, the main character catches her brother ranking girls from 1-10 based on their Facebook photos and confronts him, asking why he thinks it’s okay to treat women that way.

The author intertwined relevant information whenever possible. For example, in their high school science class, they learned about a scientist who stood up for what he believed in and dedicated his life to finding the truth. Not surprising, this scientist had a lot in common with Kate, who eventually decides to make a tough, but right, decision.

2016, april, blog, debbie, gift, myblog

Give her a Pineapple

Need a gift for a friend? Give her a pineapple!
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
What a cool gift!

– Bottle of Champagne (I recommend Barefoot Pink Moscato)
– Yellow candy. I used Reeses’ but you can also use that fancy gold Lindt chocolate.
– green tissue paper
– tape
– hot glue gun
-material to make a bow


1. Hot glue gun the candy onto the body of the champagne bottle. Space it out.

2. Tape the green tissue paper onto the top of the champagne bottle.

3. Tie a bow on it.

Next time, if I could do this craft over again, I’d buy more candy, get a nicer bow and cut out leaves from the green tissue paper.


2016, april, blog, debbie, myblog, weekend

Another Tennessee weekend

I’m watching Dancing with the Stars while I’m writing this. Nyle from America’s Next Top Model is
on. It’s “Disney night” so Nile is shirtless and dressed as Tarzan. Talk about eye candy!
Nyle is one of my favorite ANTM contestants and I’m so happy he’s successful after the show.

Friday, I left work a bit early to go to my foot doctor follow up appointment. Apparently my big toenail does not have a fungus. If it’s not a fungus then it’s just plain gross. The doctor said she would remove the toenails for me, so that’s something I’m going to think about in the near future. It’s a permanent decision so I want to carefully think about it.

After my appointment, my mom, Fiona and I drove down to Tennessee. It’s a long drive. We listened to a little bit of “I’ve got your number” by Sophie Kinsella and talked. I also read a book about Sassy Girls dating but I didn’t like the book. The author argued girls should approach guys and make up a story like “My friend and I were just talking about James Bond. What do you think is the best James Bond movie?” The way she framed it just felt awkward, manipulative and creepy. I’d rather just organically go ask the guy a sincere question.

Saturday, my mom and I went to Dollywood. It wasn’t crowded! We got there right when it opened so we were able to ride all the roller coasters within like two hours. We road the Wild Eagle twice. The first time, I rode in the front row on the outside and it was so disorienting. Like, I forgot I was on a roller coaster and felt like I was just soaring. It was scary and fun! We rode in the back the second time and it was a lot less scary to see the rest of the coaster in front of us.
We watched a “Heart of Africa” show that was more like a circus show than an African dance show.
In the afternoon, my grandparents came over and we hung out at the cabin. My parents and grandparents went to go see “The Hatfields and McCoys” while I stayed home, took a bubble bath and read. I stayed up late Saturday night reading the YA novel “What We Saw.” I’m planning on writing a book review about it soon. So stay tuned.

Sunday, we all went to a flapjack house for breakfast. My dad dropped us off to go park and the hostess was on point because as soon as we walked in he said” 1,2,3,4 and one must be driving so 5! Right this way.” I was impressed. My mom and I shared a Mexican omlette that also came with two pancakes. It was a lot of food even for two people.
We took Fiona on a nice short walk near Gatlinburg. I love hikes, especially near the Smokies and with Fiona. She’s such a mountain dog. The trail had a river alongside it and some parts the water would be calm and still while others would have more rocks in the wall so it’d be this pretty gushing white flow of water.

2016, april, blog, fashion, myblog, style

Second Stylish Surprise

Last week, I saw that ModCloth had another Stylish Surprise offer so of course I took advantage of it. I got a dress and an apparel item, which I assumed would be a top but this time it was a skirt. 
I’m aways so nervous opening up the package. What will be inside? That’s what I love about Stylish Surprise. You never know what you’ll get!
My dress is a gorgeous navy blue color with a fun orange and white poppie floral pattern. When I saw the pattern in the package, I squealed. It’s so sophisticated and classy.  The neckline is higher than I’d usually pick, but the A-line skirt at the bottom is totally my style. I’m okay with the more conservative neckline because the skirt is so much fun. It also came with a cute accent belt which I always like. My waist is one of my favorite body parts so I always like accenting it. 

Opening my Stylish Surprise package, I was surprised to find a skirt. I was expecting a top but I checked my invoice and it said “Apparel” item so hey, a skirt is apparel so fair is fair. I can’t return the skirt but if I could, I would. It’s not my style. But it’s not hideous. It could look a lot worse. It goes down to my knees and has two strong pockets in the front of the skirt. I’m not sure how best to wear the skirt without it being overpowering so that’s why I don’t love it. 

See? It’s a thick, heavy skirt, with two pockets. I wouldn’t have bought a skirt with pockets but I would have bought a skirt that color, preferably a little shorter cut. It feels very retro. 
2016, apartment, april, blog, debbie, myblog

Apartment hunting

Searching for an apartment is stressful. This will be my third time searching and I can’t say it’s easier but I can say I’m more knowledgable.

Previously, I kept a Google Doc to keep track of apartments I was considering. This time, I made a Google Sheet and am keeping track of each place that way. It’s a good way to stay organized and compare each place.

When I visit an apartment, here’s what I take into consideration:

  • Price of rent
  • Availability 
    • Do they have units available in your time frame?
  • Square Feet
  • Application process
    • What paperwork? What fees? Application fee? Deposit? 
    • Sometimes the application fees can be outrageous. 
  • Income verification
    • Do you need to show them paystubs?
  • Carpet
    • I perfer carpet to hardwood so it’s important that it has nice carpet. 
  • Parking
    • Is it free? Is it available? 
  • Bathtub
  • Gas or Electric 
    • I’ve learned I perfer electric. I’ve lived in “gas” apartments and it’s just one more bill to pay. 
  • Bills covered
    • Sometimes they will pay some bills for you or it’ll be included in your rent. 
  • Wifi or cable
    • Is this included? Probably not. 
  • Fitness
    • Is there a walking path? A fitness center in the leasing office?
  • Windows 
    • Nice blinds?
  • Kitchen 
  • Dishwasher
  • Washer/ Dryer
  • Appliances
    • Are they stainless steel?
  • Closet
    • Is it big? 
  • Pantry 
    • I never thought to ask about this so I showed up and realized my unit didn’t have a pantry. A pantry is nicer than shelves. 
  • Pool
  • Location 
  • Close to highway
  • Close to grocery
  • Reviews on Apartmentratings.com
    • This website offers reviews that are written by angry hot-headed people as well as level headed previous residents. Read the reviews carefully. 
  • My Comments
    • What’s your impression? 
    • How does the community look? 
april, blog, debbie, debbiegillum, fashion, myblog

Dressing Classy at Work

From Kohls

Dressing professionally is tough. In high school and college, I defaulted to jeans, some cutesy Disney sweater, and moccasins. That uniform wouldn’t fly in an office setting (unless I worked at Disney…) So, I’ve been learning to dress like a grown up. I’ve been doing it gradually by combining things I’d usually wear with a casual outfit, but re purposing them to feel more grown up. Here’s an outfit I wore the other day to work: 

A nice sweater can be amazingly versatile, comfy and classy. I bought this specific sweater because it showed personality and quirkiness with the eiffel towers but also high class because of the eiffel towers. Win-win, Mr. Eiffel. If only the sweater pictured Nutella crepes, rude waiters and cats living in hotels. Then it would sum up my trip to Paris. 

Old Navy

I wore black skinny jeans that I bought in Denmark, but I could have worn any black skinny jeans. I just like the way the Denmark ones smell. This pictured pair from Old Navy is very comfortable and form-fitting. It shows off my body but not in a “errybody in the club gettin’ tipsy” kind of way. I try and look at it more like a “why, yes I am a young female” style pant than an “ass ass ass ass” style pant.

Toms ballet flats
On my toesies, I wore my favorite ballet flats: Toms. I got these for my 18th birthday and they have molded to my feet. They gave me blisters at first but now I’ve worked them in and they are comfortable with or without those nude socklets. I often get compliments on these flats. I’d recommend them because of how unique and comfortable they are. If I was a character in a video game, I’d want these to be my shoes.  
From Pinterest

With my hair, I wanted to tame the lion’s mane that it is so I blow dried it and straightened it. Then, I put it in a clean ponytail and added a bow I got from H & M. Nothing says classy like a black bow in your hair. As long as the fly aways are under control and your hair is clean, I think any simple hairstyle would be great with this look. 

Sally Hansen Slick Slate Insta Dri

And to complete the look, I got to hand it over to my hands. It’s said that people notice first your eyes, then your teeth and then your finger nails. So make a good impression by swiping on a quick coat of charcoal grey nail polish. I used this Insta Dri nailpolish by Sally Hansen (in Slick Slate.) It does dry quick however, it chips off in huge chunks within a few days. But it looks nice, when you start out. The nail polish is like when you see a guy at a bar. He looks like an Abercrombie model but the more you start talking to him you realize he genuinely wants to move to China and study Kung Fu. 

april, johnstown, johnstownvillage, news, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Johnstown council eliminates tax credit

Johnstown Village Council on April 21 voted 4-1 to repeal the income-tax credit for most of its residents.
Johnstown’s tax rate is 1 percent for all residents who live and work in Johnstown. The rate is 0.5 percent for residents who work in and pay taxes to another municipality, according to village finance director Dana Steffan.
Effective July 1, those who work outside Johnstown and pay municipal income taxes to another municipality no longer will receive credit for paying taxes elsewhere.
The tax-credit repeal is expected to generate an estimated $246,000 per year, according to information from the Regional Income Tax Agency.
The tax-credit elimination will affect 1,665 residents, or 71 percent of the population, according to 2013 RITA filings.
Village officials have said the revenue is needed partly because of the elimination of the estate tax, the reduction in local government subsidies from the state and employers moving out of the village.
The additional income is planned to be used for reconstruction of Concord Road and Jersey Street, installation of a left-turn lane on U.S. Route 62 and other capital improvements.
Mayor Sean Staneart said the decision was necessary so the village doesn’t miss out on opportunities to alleviate traffic and road problems.
“I want people to move here, and they won’t move here if the roads are falling apart and we can’t maintain our village,” Staneart said.
He said he would have preferred to take an income-tax increase to voters in November, but the need for income was too great to wait.
More than a dozen residents attended the council meeting to voice their opposition, calling the decision unfair.
Johnstown resident Steven Snyder said he lives in Johnstown but works in Whitehall.
“Don’t chase people like me away,” he said. “That’s not how you get growth.”
Resident Rob Clemens said it doesn’t seem fair to raise taxes on only some people.
“I’m trying to raise a family, and I hope you can find another way instead of taxing the heck out of people,” he said.
Councilman David Keck said he welcomed the public discussion and that he hopes residents would see the results of the increase.
“At this time, we don’t know of a better way than this for us to get the income we need,” Keck said. “Without this, the rest of your roads will look like Concord Road.”
Councilman Bill Van Gundy, who cast the only dissenting vote, said council members have scrutinized the figures for many months, trying to make it work.
“This is a tough decision that has weighed heavily on me,” he said. “We have lost revenues from other sources, and now we have to do what is best for everyone.”
Steffan said residents may begin to pay by adjusting their 2015 tax estimate by contacting RITA or by logging into their account online.
When residents file 2015 taxes in 2016, half of the 2015 income will be taxed at the current rate, and the other half of the year will be taxed at the new rate.
Jim Lenner, village manager, said he shares the view that the village needs the money now. He said the meeting brought about a good dialogue, and he was happy that people were sharing their thoughts.
“I appreciate and encourage the discussion,” Lenner said. “I’m glad people took time out of their evenings to give us their input and share information with us.”
In other matters:
* Council voted unanimously on a 5-percent water and sewer rate increase, effective Jan. 1, 2016.
Each year, council will re-evaluate the water and sewer rates to determine whether an increase is necessary.
Staneart said previous rate increases have not kept up with the rate of inflation.
With the increase, a typical monthly bill of $29.50 would be increased to $30.98.
* The village agreed with RITA to distribute a $175,000 refund to Atrium in three installments May 1, June 1 and July 1.
Steffan informed council Feb. 17 of a significant portion of funds that Johnstown would have to pay back after yet another tax mistake gave the village money it should not have had.
According to Steffan’s council report, Atrium, a screen-printing company based in Johnstown’s business park, has an unpaid tax refund of $175,000 from last year.
* Bids for the Raccoon Creek pedestrian bridge will be opened Thursday, April 23.
april, johnstown, johnstownvillage, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Pedestrian bridge to cross Raccoon Creek along 62

Monday April 13, 2015 12:26 PM

The Johnstown Village Council on April 1 approved the construction of the Raccoon Creek pedestrian bridge.

The bridge would run parallel to U.S. Route 62 over Raccoon Creek, near Whit’s Frozen Custard, and would serve as the walkway in a heavy-traffic area. The project would include a bridge and trail construction from Bigelow Drive to Westgate Drive.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will pitch in $430,000 for the project, and the village is responsible for the remainder.

ODOT District 5 spokeswoman Ericka Pfeifer said the bridge construction is expected to go out to bid April 23. She said she couldn’t give a timetable for construction but said the project would “have a very rough estimate of finishing late this year.”

Johnstown already has invested $10,000 in engineering costs and another $10,000 to buy private property.

Village engineer Jamie Decker estimated the project cost at $609,000, which is lower than the $840,600 total ODOT had estimated in early March.

Village Manager Jim Lenner said if the costs and construction bids turn out to be lower than ODOT’s estimate, the village would be issued a refund.

Council’s April 1 vote is contrary to its March 17 vote, when members voted 5-2 against the project, citing a lack of information.

With more information on hand from village finance director Dana Steffan, council on April 1 considered funding the pedestrian bridge through a bond, which would be like a loan, or through using what money the village has in the estate-tax fund, which has a $750,000 balance.

Council member David Keck expressed concern that using money from the estate-tax fund could jeopardize the village’s ability to react to emergency situations.

Keck referenced a recent storm-sewer collapse that forced part of Oregon Street to be closed.

Village leaders knew the storm sewer was in disrepair, Keck said, but the village did not have the necessary money to fix it.

“We can move funds around and make this project happen,” Steffan said. “In the future, we can replenish the funds.”

Council members Cheryl Robertson and Carol Van Deest said it would be foolish to refuse money from ODOT, which initially approved a grant for the project in 2008. A lack of funds prevented the village from moving forward then.

Mayor Sean Staneart said that in the next few years, more children will be walking near Route 62 because of new housing developments.

Council also approved spending $380,000 from the estate-tax fund for the bridge.