May 4, 2018

Bloggers From Omaha: LeAnna Brown

Kim’s note: The Bloggers From Omaha series introduces different voices from around Omaha. Each week Whenever I can, I’ll introduce a different Omaha blogger, what his or her blog is all about, and since I love getting recommendations as much as I love giving them, I’ve asked each person to share some Omaha tips. Today’s blogger, LeAnna at Well Traveled Nebraskan, is on the hunt for all of Nebraska’s most amazing hidden gems. Want to be featured in this series? Let me know!

 

Your name: LeAnna Brown

Blog: Well Traveled Nebraskan

Find @welltravelednebraskan at: Instagram and Pinterest

 

Describe your blog in five words.

Inspiring Nebraskans to travel in our own backyard (oops- 8!)

 

What are the two most popular posts on your blog? What makes them so good?

Glamping in Nebraska

The Breathtaking Sandhill Crane Migration: A Nebraska Phenomenon

Seeing the Sandhill Cranes in Kearney, Neb. Photo courtesy LeAnna Brown

As a BRAND SPANKING NEW blog, I’m so excited to bring some fresh, new content that highlights Nebraska “Beyond the cornfields and quilt museums.”

I have a feeling my most popular posts are not going to be about specific places to go but instead on amazing experiences that you never knew you could have right here in the Cornhusker State! (think things like skydiving, wine tasting, glamping, cliff diving and more!)

 

What social media channel are you on the most and why?

I actually love Pinterest. I have surprisingly found it to be a great travel research tool for my own personal travels so I love creating Pins that others can also get inspired to find a remarkable pin and say “What!? That’s in Nebraska!?” You can follow all my pins about Everything Nebraska Travel Related here.

I also have been trying to be better at Instagram, since I know that’s where all the cool kids play 😉 And as the blog gets off the ground and more established, I LOVE doing Facebook Lives that cover really important travel tips for people who aren’t sure how/why to travel locally like “How to find the perfect accommodation” or “How to survive a long road trip with children!”

 

You get one hour to spend on writing, where in Omaha do you go?

I’m actually really lucky and have a converted bedroom into a home office. My toddler is surprisingly good at knowing that if someone is in the office then that means they are working. For a quick hour of work, I grab a cup of coffee, run upstairs, turn on my favorite Pandora station and get to work! If I must work out of the house, I’m a sucker for Scooter’s!! I’ll take a caramel latte any day!

 

If friends visit from out of town, what three places would you take them to?

LeAnna Brown’s family hosts an Oktoberfest party every year. Photo courtesy LeAnna Brown

Typically, my guests already want to go to the Zoo (duh!) and Omaha Children’s Museum is always on their radar if they have kids, but I love showing them other sides of Omaha in addition to the “musts” or the “usuals.”

1) My first place I like to take visitors is on a “self guided” walking tour downtown. We start at the Lewis and Clark Landing and “The Bob,” make our way through the Heartland of America Park, go on to the Gene Leahy Mall (a stop at the slides is a must!) and then go and wander through the Old Market, ending in a great dinner or lunch at any of the local favorites.

2) Depending on where they are from, as corny as it sounds, I love taking them to Runza for a lunch! It’s just something so “Nebraskan” that you don’t find elsewhere!

3) Having lived in Germany for six years, we are a sucker for a good beer. It’s great to take friends out to a local brewery and show the “hipster” side of Omaha! (In fact, we loved our time in Germany so much that we’ve even started an annual “Oktoberfest” at our house here in Omaha, complete with Liederhosen, polka music and home-made Bavarian pretzels! It’s a great way to supplement all the other amazing Oktoberfests (Gerda’s, American German Society, Huber-Haus, etc).

 

What’s your favorite free thing to do in Omaha?

This is actually SO hard for me to choose! I LOVE Omaha in the summer because there are just so many free things to do from Jazz on the Green to fantastic farmer’s markets. But honestly, I love finding some really awesome paths around local lakes right here in the heart of the city like Shadow Lake, Zorinsky and more. It feels so great to “get away” from the city at times and have a moment with nature without the long drive!

 

More about LeAnna

Photo courtesy LeAnna Brown

As a born and raised proud Omahan, LeAnna has had the opportunity to live and travel throughout the world. But even through all the amazing adventures, she still calls Omaha her “Homaha!” After learning so much about travel, it is now her passion to help fellow Nebraskans see that amazing travel, experiences and memories are right here in our own backyard of Nebraska. She shares these experiences and how-tos at Well Traveled Nebraskan, where you’ll be shocked and inspired with what is possible right here in the Cornhusker State!

April 27, 2018

Nebraska Authors {Giveaway}

I may have mentioned a time or two (or 100) that I wrote a book last year. “Lost Restaurants of Omaha” – it’s a good read. 😉 I’m in good company – a few of my fellow bloggers have become Nebraska authors, publishing fantastic books in recent months, too. These helpful nonfiction books are dedicated to saving you money or suggesting things to do in Omaha and across Nebraska. Basically, read them all so you can save money to explore Nebraska.

Read on because once you learn about these new books, you’re going to want to read them on the NEW Kindle Fire 7 tablet we’re giving away!

Disclosure: Giveaway not affiliated with or associated with Amazon. Oh My! Omaha is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

Five books have been published by myself and fellow bloggers in the last six months – “Lost Restaurants of Omaha,” “100 Things To Do In Omaha Before You Die,” “The Extraordinary Art of Budgeting,” “The Extraordinary Art of Meal Planning,” and “Detour Nebraska: Historic Destinations and Natural Wonders.”

“The Extraordinary Art” Series

Local author, Nicole McDonald, shares money saving advice on her blog MomSavesMoney.net and teaches classes in the Omaha area. This year she released two new books in her popular Extraordinary Art series. Her expert advice in “The Extraordinary Art of Meal Planning” will help you take back family dinner while saving time and money. If you are ready to live debt free and in financial freedom, check out her third book in the series “The Extraordinary Art of Budgeting.”

money saving books

Learn a bit more about Nicole in this Omaha Bloggers feature!

“100 Things To Do In Omaha Before You Die”

Omaha is often called the best-kept secret in the United States. Once they’ve been there, visitors tend to fall in love with the city and its people. Referred to as the Gateway to the west, Omaha has so much to offer, from history, hiking, and an exciting local beer scene to great food. Tim and Lisa Trudell from the popular travel blog, The Walking Tourists, take you on a tour of Omaha’s unique and interesting sites and include some fun facts and helpful tips in their new book, “100 Things to Do in Omaha Before You Die.” Whether you are up in Omaha, call yourself an Omahan now, or are just passing through, this book will make you stop and say, “I didn’t realize that was in Omaha.”

things to do in Omaha

Learn more about Lisa and Tim in this Omaha Bloggers feature! I created my own Omaha Challenge inspired by the book.

“Detour Nebraska”

“Detour Nebraska: Historical Destinations and Natural Wonders” explores both the familiar and lesser know places worth exploring across Nebraska. Author Gretchen M. Garrison finds Nebraska to be a fascinating state. She started writing about the people and places or Nebraska both past and present on her blog, Odyssey Through Nebraska. Whether you are an armchair explorer or an adventurer, this book is your guide to knowing more about Nebraska.

I wrote more about the things in “Detour Nebraska” that I want to add to my Nebraska Bucket List in this post.

“Lost Restaurants of Omaha”

“Lost Restaurants of Omaha” shares the stories and photos behind some of Omaha’s iconic restaurants that have closed. The history of famous eateries go beyond the food on the menu and dive into the families that ran them and the roles they may have played in historic moments in the city. Restaurants featured in the book include French Café, Piccolo Pete’s, Mister C’s, Ross’s and Bohemian Café, and more than two-dozen more.

“Lost Restaurants of Omaha” is written by yours truly, Kim Reiner. Interested in author appearances? Bookmark this post; I update it regularly.

Nebraska Authors’ Giveaway

To celebrate the release of our new books, we are giving away a Kindle Fire 7 Tablet – 8 GB ($49.99) to one lucky winner. Easy entry using the Rafflecopter form below. Winner will be selected May 13 and contacted via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

April 3, 2018

Bloggers From Omaha: Jenna Gabrial Gallagher

Kim’s note: The Bloggers From Omaha series introduces different voices from around Omaha. Each week Whenever I can, I’ll introduce a different Omaha blogger, what his or her blog is all about, and since I love getting recommendations as much as I love giving them, I’ve asked each person to share some Omaha tips. Today’s blogger, Jenna at The Beaspora, seeks out inspiring people helping to using their creativity to make the Midwest a better place.

Name: Jenna Gabrial Gallagher

Blog: The Beaspora 

Find @thebeaspora at: Insta/Twitter/Pinterest/Facebook

 

Describe your blog in five words.

Celebrating pollinators of world-class talent.

 

What are the two most popular posts on your blog? What makes them so good?

For Women’s History Month, I’ve been doing a series of posts on women entrepreneurs in Omaha, and two of these, Nebraska’s Women Pastry Chef Revolution and Empowered By Great Design are my two most popular posts. They showcase exactly what inspired me to start the blog in the first place: there are a lot of people in smaller cities across America with serious talent and experience. They come (or, more often, come back) to cities like Omaha because it’s a more affordable place to take a chance on owning a business, and because of the incredible support communities like ours give to small businesses. The women I spoke to gave me the most amazing quotes. Their perspective was really thoughtful and personal, and I felt incredibly honored that they were willing to share it with me and my readers.

What social media channel are you on the most and why?

My preference is Instagram. On Facebook and Twitter, it’s information overload. On Instagram, it’s inspiration overload — and I’d much rather have that.

 

You get one hour to spend on writing, where in Omaha do you go?

I have this fantasy that I’d go to Wilson & Washburn because I saw a friend working there once and it just seemed like a cool thing to do. But I’m so easily distracted that I almost have to work at home in my office.

 

If friends visit from out of town, what three places would you take them to?

Jenna takes visitors to the zoo and snaps a photo of them at the same spot. Each photo goes into an album kept in the guest room. Photo courtesy Jenna Gabriel Gallagher

– I don’t think we’ve ever had a visitor that we didn’t take to Dante. Having dinner there is like spending an evening in Italy, but because they source so many of their ingredients locally, my guests can really get a sense of Nebraska’s terroir.

– Of course Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. My husband jokes that I’m the best and the worst person to go to the zoo with because I’ve had the opportunity to interview a lot of the keepers (through my day job at Albers Communications) so I totally geek out on their history, their upcoming projects and everything that they do for worldwide conservation. I have a tradition of making everyone pose for a photo on the rope bridge in the Lied Jungle and I’ve been thinking of compiling them all into a photo album for my guest room — in place of a guest book.

– Lately, so many fab stores have opened at Countryside Village and I’m really proud to show it off because it’s right in my neighborhood. When my friends visit, we can literally roll out of bed on Saturday morning and shop for drop dead chic shoes, fashion, home design and gifts just around the corner (plus at Among Other Things and Esther’s a stone’s throw away). There’s even yoga and a full-service salon. Later on, we can grab a low-key cocktail at Inkwell or listen to live music at Cedar. There aren’t a lot of places west of midtown Omaha where you can walk to retail, restaurants and entertainment, so we really appreciate having such a quality one nearby.

What’s your favorite free thing to do in Omaha?

I love to walk around downtown.

Want to know what you can find downtown? Start with this post: 11 free things to do in the Old Market.

More about Jenna

Photo courtesy Jenna Gabriel Gallagher

Jenna Gabrial Gallagher grew up in the Midwest and New England reading fashion magazines, and eventually went to work for one (Harper’s Bazaar). She’s lived in coastal NH, Boston, Paris and New York, and currently writes and edits from Omaha, Neb. where she lives with her husband and three funny little girls.
August 2, 2016

What To Eat At Omaha Restaurants

Omaha has a thriving food scene. Omaha restaurants are starting to get noticed. Midwest Living wrote about Omaha’s Sizzling Food Scene, The Chicago Tribune wrote about Omaha being on the cutting edge of food, and the Wall Street Journal included Omaha in a list of six great small cities foodies will love.

So many places to visit, right? But what should you order when you get there?

omaha restaurants

I have my favorites; I also invited Omaha and Lincoln bloggers to add to the list. Enjoy!

What To Eat At Omaha Restaurants

Breakfast

 

Homemade pop tarts. Do I have your attention yet? The Walking Tourists recommend trying any flavor (they change seasonally) made at Over Easy. Over Easy is located at 16859 Q St.

Mom’s Good Eats suggests having Sunday brunch at Le Bouillon – there’s nothing better than Kaiserschmarrn with a mimosa and side of soft scrambled eggs. Kaiserschmarrn is like a shredded pancake, if you’re wondering. Le Bouillon is located at 1017 Howard St.

 

Best sandwiches

 

Alton Brown named five of the best hamburgers in the world, and one is found here in Omaha: Croque Garçon at Block 16. I’ve tried it. It’s messy, but ridiculously good. It’s also The Walking Tourists and Odyssey Through Nebraska favorites list. Block 16 is located at 1611 Farnam St.

The Walking Tourists recommend a couple of other great sandwiches. First, they suggest trying the prime rib dip sandwich from the Anthony Piccolo’s Food Truck. You can get updates on where the truck is on Facebook.

The Reuben originated in Omaha – did you know that? The Walking Tourists recommend trying Crescent Moon’s Reuben. The Crescent Moon is located at 3578 Farnam St.

For a good gyro, Mom Saves Money recommends a hidden gem in Bellevue called John’s Grecian Delight. You’ll find it on the lower level of the old Southroads mall off Fort Crook Road (and there will be no signs for it – it’s that hidden). John’s Grecian Delight is located at 1001 Fort Crook Road North, #11.

Kim, one of the authors over at It’s Really 10 Months, loves Voodoo Taco and recommends the Barbacoa Beef. Voodoo Taco has locations at 114th and Dodge streets, 67th and Center streets (Aksarben Village), and 90th and Fort streets

 

Best pizza

My all-time favorite pizza is the thin crust Margherita pizza from La Casa Pizzeria. I don’t actually prefer thin crust pizza but this pizza is just that good. La Casa is located at 4432 Leavenworth St.

Not quite pizza, but still in that realm, are the calzones at Zio’s Pizzeria. They’re recommended by Odyssey Through Nebraska. Zio’s has several locations in Omaha: 1109 Howard St., 7834 Dodge St., and 12997 West Center Road.

 

Best appetizers

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.@lot2benson Bangers and Mash. Good food, great friends.

A post shared by Jen Schneider (@jenlivlaughlove) on

Mom’s Good Eats recommends starting off a meal at The Boiler Room with the classic house made charcuterie. The Boiler Room is located at 1110 Jones St.

The boards at Lot 2 are recommended by Liv Laugh Love to start a meal. You can get three to six items on a board. Lot 2 is located at 6207 Maple St.

Haute Bauble recommended an appetizer I didn’t know existed at Pitch Pizzeria – the brussels sprouts. While we’re talking about Pitch, she also said to try the pizza and that the meatballs are amazing there. Pitch Pizzeria has two locations: 5021 Underwood Ave. and  17808 Burke St.

 

Best seafood

 

There are two Omaha restaurants offering darn good fish and chips. I have a favorite and Liv Laugh Love has hers. I like the fish and chips at the Dundee Dell. Liv Laugh Love recommends trying the fish and chips at Brazen Head. If you want to try and compare, please report back to me with your favorite. Dundee Dell is located at 5007 Underwood Ave. Brazen Head is located at 319 N. 78th St.

If sushi’s your thing, Liv Laugh Love has two favorite places to go: Crave and Hiro 88. A little note: Sushi is half-price at Crave on Sundays and Mondays from 4 p.m. to close. Crave is located at Midtown Crossing at 200 S. 31st Ave. Hiro 88 has three locations, 1308 Jackson St., 3655 N. 129th St., and 17664 Welch Plaza.

For small bites of seafood during Happy Hour, Liv Laugh Love’s favorite is Shucks Fish House and Oyster Bar, particularly the peel & eat shrimp and blue point oysters. Her other Happy Hour suggestion is Plank Seafood Provisions, where she recommends trying her favorites the oysters and salmon crostini. (I’ll second that salmon crostini –  it’s really good!). Shucks Fish House and Oyster Bar has three locations: 1218 S. 119th St., 16901 Wright Plaza, and 1911 Leavenworth St. Plank Seafood Provisions is located at 1205 Howard St.

 

Dessert & pastries

 

There are two ice cream shops that vie for my affection: Ted & Wally’s Ice Cream and eCreamery. To pick a favorite would be like picking a favorite kid. Both offer rotating flavor – some pretty creative – to try, and sometimes I branch out. But these two are my tried-and-true favorites. At Ted & Wally’s, nothing beats the simplest one: Dutch chocolate. You will not find a better chocolate ice cream out there. I dare you. For eCreamery, if Shark Bait is available, order it. It’s made with sea salt caramel gelato and chocolate covered pretzels. Ted & Wally’s has two locations: 1120 Jackson St. and 6023 Maple St. eCreamery is located at 5001 Underwood Ave.

Family Fun in Omaha is with me on loving Ted & Wally’s Ice Cream, though, she says you should try peanut butter & chocolate or the cinnamon ice cream there. She lists five great local places to get ice cream here.

The chocolate cake at Salt 88 is possibly the best cake I’ve ever had. I had it for dessert at my birthday dinner one year and still haven’t forgotten about it. It’s housemade and drizzled with chocolate sauce. If it were socially acceptable, I’d have licked the plate. Salt 88 is located at 3623 N. 129th St.

Mom’s Good Eats says there’s no better way to end a meal than the Candy Bar at V. Mertz. She might be right. V. Mertz is located at 1022 Howard St.

 

Best of the rest

The Kitchenarium recommends trying Oscar’s Pizza & Sports Grille char buffed wings and boldly saying they’re the best in Omaha. Oscar’s is located at 17330 Lakeside Hills Plaza.

Mom’s Good Eats says Ugly Duck has the best ramen. Ugly Duck is getting its own brick and mortar location in September 2016 at Midtown Crossing.

 

Your turn: Please share your favorite dishes around Omaha! Leave a comment with your recommendation(s). Thanks!

February 19, 2016

Bloggers From Omaha: Sarah Stewart

Kim’s note: This is the 19th installment in a series introducing different voices from around Omaha. Each week Whenever I can, I’ll introduce a different Omaha blogger, what his or her blog is all about, and since I love getting recommendations as much as I love giving them, I’ve asked each person to share some Omaha tips. Today’s blogger, Sarah, remodels rooms and pretty much designs a home I dream of. I think you’re going to love her style, so check her out!

Life On Virginia Street

Meet the stylish DIY-er behind Life On Virginia Street, Sarah Stewart.

Meet the stylish DIY-er behind Life On Virginia Street, Sarah Stewart. Photo courtesy Sarah Stewart

Name: Sarah Stewart

BlogLife On Virginia Street

Find her on: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter

 

Describe your blog in five words.

Home Decor – DIY – Travel – Style

 

What are the two most popular posts on your blog? What makes them so good?

One of Sarah's most popular posts is the guest bedroom makeover.

One of Life On Virginia Street’s most popular posts is the guest bedroom makeover. Photo courtesy Sarah Stewart

From a Pinterest traffic perspective, my 30-Minute DIY Artwork has been one of my top posts of all time. I love the project, but I’m also surprised (and a bit encouraged) by just how many people are interested in making their own artwork!

As far as a reader favorite goes, I recently completed a full guest bedroom makeover with hayneedle. Not only was the makeover one of my favorite projects to date, but I loved working with a local home decor company! I think it was so popular because achieving a high-end look doesn’t require you to spend a fortune, and readers love to see projects that can easily be achieved in their own spaces.

 

What social media channel are you on the most and why?

It’s probably a tie between Instagram and Pinterest. I’m currently obsessed with Instagram, but Pinterest is my largest traffic referrer so I spend a lot of time on it, as well. Since both are highly visual, they work best in the home decor niche and also serve as major inspiration for me personally and on the blog.

 

You get one hour to spend on writing, where in Omaha do you go?

Sarah's home office. I wouldn't leave the office, either... Photo courtesy Sarah Stewart

Sarah’s home office. I wouldn’t leave the office, either… Photo courtesy Sarah Stewart

Honestly, my home office. I am super old school and don’t use a laptop. I prefer my PC and the quiet of my own home! The room is also one of the first full makeovers my husband and I did in our current home and virtually every item in the space was a DIY project. It reminds me exactly why I started the blog and motivates me to push forward, even if it feels like I’m working a second full-time job most days!

 

If friends visit from out of town, what three places would you take them to?

Upstream at Legacy because we love the craft beers and the friendly staff.

The zoo, because it feels wrong not to take visitors there.

The Old Market for food and shopping – because you can’t be the ambiance!

 

What’s your favorite free thing to do in Omaha?

I love weekend drives with my husband around Omaha checking out houses,landscaping ideas, etc. There are so many charming neighborhoods in Omaha and it’s fun to wander and notice all the small details! It’s always fun to explore new developments, as well, and check out the new housing trends making their way into Omaha.

More about Sarah

DSC_6559

Photo courtesy Sarah Stewart

Sarah was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and moved to Omaha for graduate school in 2012. She’s an insurance executive by day and a blogger/DIYer/home decor enthusiast by night/weekend/every other waking minute.

February 12, 2016

Bloggers From Omaha – Jay and Leah Hall

Kim’s note: This is the 18th installment in a series introducing different voices from around Omaha. Each week Whenever I can, I’ll introduce a different Omaha blogger, what his or her blog is all about, and since I love getting recommendations as much as I love giving them, I’ve asked each person to share some Omaha tips. Today’s bloggers are a husband and wife duo share their love of food and cocktails with readers. Their tempting photos almost make me want to take up drinking a night cap just so I can have a glass of something that looks so pretty.

The Gastronom

Name: Jay and Leah Hall

Blog: The Gastronom

Find @gastronomblog onFacebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

 

Describe your blog in five words.

Enthusiastically Celebrating Food & Cocktails

What are the two most popular posts on your blog?

caramelapplemule-3

Jay and Leah’s Caramel Apple Moscow Mule looks almost too nice to drink, but you’re going to, aren’t you? Photo courtesy Gastronom.

It is a quintessential fall cocktail that combines a lot of great fall flavors, and plus, it just tastes good!
pineapplecilantromarg-3

The Omaha blog Gastronom combines recipes with gorgeous photos. Photo courtesy Gastronom.

It’s such a great summer drink, and so fresh and light, it works for everyone (that likes cilantro)!
What social media channel are you on the most and why?

It’s a toss up between Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is such an easy way to communicate with people, but Instagram is so fun to see all the pictures and snippets of peoples’ lives!

You get one hour to spend on writing, where in Omaha do you go?

In all honesty, the basement or kitchen at our house! We have two little boys and don’t have a lot of time to write together except at night when they are asleep!

If friends visit from out of town, what three places would you take them to?

The Henry Doorly Zoo, because let’s face it, we have a super amazing zoo! If they are foodie types, we would take them to a number of our favorite bars and restaurants in the Old Market and Benson. The third place would potentially be just in our own backyard, as we have a swimming pool, and can whip up some amazing cocktails to go with the time in the sun!

What’s your favorite free thing to do in Omaha?
The Farmer’s Market, either in the Old Market on Saturdays or at Aksarben on Sundays. We always find great local produce and products every time we go!

More about Jay and Leah

Omaha blogger

Jay and Leah, the due behind Gastronom.

Husband and wife team that share our love of food and cocktails through our blog! We have lived in Omaha for 13 years, since graduating college. We have a love for all things local, be it food, restaurants and events.