2017, blog, debbie gillum, debbiegillum

A Day in the Life: Q + A with Debbie Gillum

Recently, I had the honor of being featured on Portfolio Creative’s blog. They do really great “Day in the Life” features on creative professionals living in Columbus. I wanted to share the post here on my website:

Hey, I’m Debbie and I’m the Marketing and Digital Communications Specialist at Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio. I currently live in downtown Cbus across the street from the North Market (above Barley’s and Brewcadia). I’m originally from Indianapolis but moved to Hilliard in middle school and have been in the Buckeye state ever since. I went to Denison University, a small private liberal-arts college and studied English and Communication. I was President of the Quidditch team and editor of the student newspaper. Now, I’m a Founding member of Women in Digital, a national group devoted to empowering women in digital careers.  


I’m utterly addicted to coffee so I always consume an enormous amount of black coffee in the morning. I listen to the radio as I get ready because it helps me stay informed about what’s going on in the world. I’m a fan of making smoothies for breakfast. It’s a yummy way to sneak in a lot of healthy foods. On Fridays, I’ll treat myself and swing by Upper Cup Coffee for a muffin and an amazing large cup of Joe.

At work, I live and breathe social media. My favorite part of my job is interacting with fans who shop at Volunteers of America thrift stores. I love writing blog posts sharing the best thrifting tips and tricks. As a kid, I always enjoyed creative writing and as I got older, I liked strategic problem solving so it’s exciting to be in a career where I can do both for a living. I keep an on-going to-do list at work that helps me stay organized and gives me a rush of satisfaction when I can cross off a task. Seems like there’s always a future fundraising or open house event to plan for, so I’m often crafting email invitations, postcards, signs and event programs. I keep my beloved radio on in my office all day and it’s usually tuned to either NPR (big fan of All Sides with Ann Fisher), CD102.5 (love the variety and local music) or WNCI (Dave and Jimmy’s Morning Zoo).
My favorite place for an afternoon pick-me-up coffee is Cherbourg Bakery in downtown Bexley. They take such pride in their coffee and artfully craft each pourover.


In the evening, I take horseback riding lessons out in Canal Winchester. I grew up riding my own horse and have adored horses all my life. I love the thrill of jumping and the comforting nuzzle of horses. For dinner, I go to Houndogs in Clintonville with my boyfriend and friends for Wednesday PB&J (a pizza, pitcher of beer and shot of Jameson).  I have two side hustles helping a trivia company and mobile low-cost veterinarian with their social media and blog posts. I love keeping busy!

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2017, blog, book, book review, debbie, debbie gillum, myblog

Sugar Book Review

Not as Sweet as Sugar 

I have mixed thoughts about the new novel Sugar by Kimberly Stuart. I liked the beginning but had issues with the middle and end. I liked the overall story but not the execution and would’ve liked for it to be more risk-taking. 

I appreciated the opening scenes when Charlie (the female protagonist) is a hard-working pastry chef, baking away her life in NYC. Those scenes caught my attention and drew me into the book. They were told with such authority and commanding details. Someone getting stabbed in the kitchen for misplacing a head chef’s knife is definitely attention grabbing. But alas, Charlie doesn’t stay at that restaurant or in NYC. 

Later on in the book, once she has moved to Seattle, I found myself skimming through the scenes with the dates Charlie had with Kai because they felt so cheesy and rehearsed. It was like watching a CW or ABC Family TV show. 
Also, Charlie is not the most likeable of characters. She’s so neurotic and controlling.
The chapters were short and choppy, not in a good way. A couple times I thought scenes needed to play out longer and that the author just didn’t want to write that scene. 

Several parts of the book felt cliche to me, especially Manda’s kids and Avery as a character. It wasn’t a shocker when Avery turned out not to have Charlie’s best interests in mind. I liked the reality TV show aspect of the book but even that felt cliche. Like it seemed as if the author just guessed at what a reality TV show is probably like or did research by watching reality TV. Ugh. 
The ending of the novel was a beautiful fairy tale one where all Charlie’s dreams come true. Life doesn’t work that way. What if Kai didn’t take her back? What if Charlie couldn’t get out of her contract? 

 It was an entertaining read but I don’t want to read it again. I’d recommend it to someone who likes baking or reading about high-stress upscale baking and wants an easy beachy read. 
2017, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, january, myblog

Packing for Disney Cruise

Sunday, I’m leaving for a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas!
It’s time to start packing. Plus, I’ve already had one pre-cruise nightmare where I forgot my bathing suit. 
When I embark on packing, I start with doing laundry. This way, I have a full inventory to choose from. Next, I pack by laying out my clothes on my bed. This helps me not forget anything and see what I’m packing. 
I like to lay out everything on my bed so I can get a since of how much I’m bringing
I put the stuff I want to keep in my backpack, like books, iPad, camera, etc in the corner of my bed. I also put the outfit I’m wearing on the plane in a different area. 

I save space and keep my shoes from getting crushed by stuffing clothing inside them.  

I like to lay out my shorts beneath my shirts so I can make sure they coordinate 
 When I was little, before school, my mom helped me set out a “Little Deborah” on the floor so I’d know what I was wearing the next day. When packing, I pretty much fill my bed with 5 Little Deborahs so I can make sure I’m packing shorts, tops, bras underwear, shoes and socks for each day.
My base layer is made of shorts, a cardigan and bathing suits

Shoes went on the top layer, facing the outside of suitcase

I wear my heaviest clothes onto the plane and set them in a different bag so I can easily get to them. 
Packing list for the cruise:
  • Hoodie
  • Cardigan
  • Shorts, jean shorts and workout shorts
  • Tops, t-shirts and tank tops 
  • Variety of shoes 
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • iPad
  • Sunglasses
  • Magazine
  • Book
  • Chargers
  • Bag for the beach 
  • Belt
  • Face wash
  • Comb
  • Swimsuit
2016, debbie, debbie gillum, october

What’s on my Spotify

My current Spotify playlist is named Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Lattes. Here’s my top tracks right now:

2 Heads by Coleman Hell 

I first heard this song on a Spotify Discover Weekly playlist and thought yea, that’s cool. But then I heard it on 105.7 The X and got it stuck in my head. That same day, I went for a drive down to Hillsboro, Ohio and proceeded to listen to that song, oh, 6 times during that car ride.

The lyrics resonate with me right now in my life and I love the banjo part after the verses. The lyrics seem to describe the singer’s desire to improve his relationship and to not let their fights consume them or make them into something they know they are not. Like he sings with such a raw desire. It’s beautiful how he realizes what they are turning into and begs that they don’t become that monster. Such simple but elegant lyrics.

“There must be something in the water/ And there must be something about your daughter/ She said our love ain’t nothing but a monster/ Our love ain’t nothing but a monster/ With 2 heads” 

“I hope to God I’ll love you longer/ If only I could live forever/ If only I could hold you longer” 

Sweater Weather by Taylor Phelan, originally by The Neighbourhood

I heard this song also on a “we think you’d like this” Spotify playlist and recognized the lyrics of course. I like this version a lot because it’s slower and he articulates the lyrics more than The Neighbourhood. I recommend signing along to this version in your car when stuck in traffic.  I don’t know who Taylor Phelan is because I don’t watch much of The Voice, but I can appreciate a good

Wonderful by Everclear

Remember this song? Yeah. I was listening to the radio and something reminded me of this song and I re-fell in love with it. It’s so 2004. What a perfect song when you just want to admit that you had a bad day and things aren’t always perfect.

Tinder by Motel Raphael

I’m not a hipster but liking this song helps me pretend I am. They don’t seem to be a well-known band yet but are still making cool music. I admit the title of this song caught my attention before the actual music did. But I do think it’s well produced. It has a young Taylor Swift vibe to it. I like when she sings “But I’m only lonely when I’m drunk.”

2016, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, graphics, images

Pet Wellness Veterinary Clinic images

I help Pet Wellness Veterinary Clinic with their digital marketing and wanted to share these images I made for them: 
Friday, we posted this on Facebook to let our followers know we don’t have any clinics this weekend. People seemed to like it more than just a sentence saying “No clinics this weekend.” 

This is an infographic I made to help educate clients about what vaccinations their dog needs. 

We are going to share this on Facebook to promote our next clinic. 

2016, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, graphics, instagram, myblog

Instagram posts

Recently, I’ve been helping a local Grandview small business called Good Makery with their marketing and I wanted to share two Instagram posts that I helped make.

Celebrating Grandparent’s Day

Leslie helped find this cute picture of a little boy with ice cream and I added the text using Canva.  

Sharing new charity collaboration 

I made this image also using Canva and wrote the copy.

2016, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, fall, october

Apple Pickin’

Becky showing us an apple

Apple orchard 

Reaching for the best apple. Never settle. 

Me: “I found an apple in this apple tree” 

How do you like them apples? 

Saturday, Becky and I went apple picking at Cherry Hawk Farm in Marysville.

I’d only been apple picking out in Granville and that was back in college so I was long overdue to pick apples and was excited to try a new apple orchard.

We chose Cherry Hawk because it wasn’t too far away, had good online reviews and was close to Dublin.

Cherry Hawk is pretty far out in the country but not a bad drive.
They have a gravel parking area and a little check-in tent where you can buy one large bag for $15, two medium bags for $15 or four small bags for $15. It’s $15 no matter what.

When we went, they had three different types of apples that were ready to be picked.

  • Yellow Delicious
  • Mutsu
  • Enterprise

They were also making homemade apple butter over a big copper kettle pot. We chatted with the folks making the apple butter and I got to stir the pot for a little bit. They said there was over 22 gallons of apple cider in the apple butter!

I brought my nice camera along and so we took some cute pictures of us enjoying the apple orchard. I forgot how much I enjoy taking pictures with my Nikon. I need to use it more and continue taking photographs.

Becky admiring an apple
America’s Next Top Apple Picker Model 

2016, blog, coffee, debbie, debbie gillum, myblog, october, restaurant

Fox in the snow

Ham and cheese croissant
Beautiful latte

One of the best coffee shops/ brunch spots in all of Columbus is Fox in the Snow. With 296 Yelp reviews and nearly 5 stars, clearly I’m not the only one who stands by this statement.

The staff is so friendly and just plain cool. They take such pride in their work. You can see the pastries being made in their kitchen which is behind glass and visible when you first walk in. 

The coffee and pastries they make are like pieces of art. All of it tastes as amazing as it looks. 

There’s a nice patio and indoor seating there too. 

Word has spread about how great this place is so it gets pretty crowded on the weekends. In the mornings, the crowd is more reasonable. 

Foxy Debbie 
To-go coffee in the morning
Dark roast coffee
Nom nom nom

2016, blog, columbus, debbie gillum, food, myblog, october, restaurant

Koble Grill


I went to Koble Grill for lunch today because I’m trying to work my way through Columbus Monthly’s Guide to Uptown Westerville. This morning I went to Java Central and got a Nitro coffee and fruit salad. I’d been to Java Central before and I’m glad I tried their Nitro coffee but it’s still not like my favorite coffee shop or anything. I always have mediocre experiences there. 

At Koble Grill, I ordered a gyro and spanakopita. I think I’ve had a gyro from a street vendor before but that’s about it so I was looking forward to giving gyros another try. I’d also never has spanakopita either and thought it sounded yummy.

I sat at the bar because of what I’d read on Yelp about ordering being awkward. I wish they had a usual set up with servers taking your order at your table. You need to sit down at a table, then order near the back of the restaurant and they’ll bring your food to you. 

Columbus Monthly guide to Uptown Westerville 

My gyro was messy but delicious. I enjoyed the meat and sauce they used. The spanakopita was also messy but yummy. I made the mistake of taking a bite out of it right when it came out and it was extremely hot. I thought it was a bit unusual that my appetizer and meal came out at the same time, but I’ve read that’s happened to other people too.
It’s a beautiful atmosphere inside and a lot of Westerville locals like it. 
They play loud pop music which I didn’t mind but seemed strange for an Italian/ Greek restaurant.

2016, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, music, myblog

What I’m Listening To:

Top 5 fav songs right now:

Kids by OneRepublic

I’m a sucker for OneRepublic. The lead singer reminds me of Adam Levine with his pop falsetto voice that could sing the phonebook and I’d still love it. In their latest song, my favorite part is when he sings “SWORE we would never die…” because he sings it in this really high pitched voice that reminds me of a Fetty Wap song. It made me chuckle the first time I heard the song.
I recommend the acoustic version of the song, which can be found on Spotify.

Perfect Illusion by Lady Gaga

Ah, she can do no wrong. Another perfect pop song. And, that key change at the end. Ahh!
I like the repetitive lyrics (“It wasn’t love.”  “It was a perfect illusion.”) It’s a stellar breakup song, for sure. How relatable are those lyrics? You think you’ve found the one but then it falls through and you realize how wrong you were.
I enjoyed reading about how the song was made on Wikipedia (because I’m a nerd.)

Sit Still, Look Pretty by Daya

This girl has such a smooth-like-chocolate voice but a fresh salty attitude. It’s a fun feminist anthem about wanting to do more than just be judged on looks. Beauty isn’t everything. I wish we had more of these female empowerment songs. I look forward to hearing more from Daya. With her strong voice, I know she can go far.

Mrs. Hippopotamuses by Relient K
O-H…I-O! What a perfect song for anyone in Ohio. I already loved Relient K and now I love them even more for writing an awesome song about Ohio. I can’t wait to see them in concert in October.
I like this song mostly because of the Cleveland references and because he sings O-H-I-O. It’s also a well produced song.

New Obsession by Frankie

I heard this song on WNCI this summer because she was performing at Zoombezi Bay for an iHeart Media concert.  At first I thought it was really generic and annoying sounding. The second time, I got it stuck in my head and then I was hooked. Now it’s one of my go-to sing-in-my-car songs. It’s such an upbeat, cheesy, flirty, girly, fun song. If you look at pictures of Frankie or watch her music video, she is what I picture it would look like if Claire’s and Justice created a live teen girl.