I may be back in New York, but today I need to reminisce about the lovely Buckeye State.

Life is really about the journey, not the destination.

I packed up my bags just a little over two years ago now and said, “I’m trying something completely different in my life, I’m shaking it up.”

Not knowing what would happen, or who I would meet.

I came back to New York six months ago with friends I consider family and memories to last me a lifetime.

I’m still in awe of the many amazing people I met in Ohio (and still continue to meet today!).

There’s a camaraderie there, a common “Go Buckeyes” theme, and in my case, I met people from all over the country whose present paths all led to Dayton.

Two of those people surprised me today in a really beautiful way, and I can’t help but share that story here to all of you.

As an associate producer of a lifestyle show, you try out different things on the show to see how they pan out to the audience. An idea was had back in 2014 to bring on a panel of local grandmothers on the show and have them talk about hot topics and/or questions one of the co-hosts would ask them.

Me with my blonde hair still! Back in 2014.
Me with my blonde hair still! Back in 2014.

Through the process we went through a few different sets of grandmothers over the time this happened, a few of them were already friends and had this huge group of friends they do all sorts of things with. One of those ladies is named Mary Ann.

Mary Ann is probably one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She’s got a great spunk to her; she keeps it real with you, yet makes you smile and laugh at the same time.

The Miami Valley Golden Girls (and Shaun). Mary Ann is on the right.
The Miami Valley Golden Girls (and Shaun). Mary Ann is on the right.

The grandmother panel was AMAZING when it happened. There were some really amazing moments that came from it. It was fun. Eventually that panel was no longer, but from time to time Mary Ann would come on the show doing segments from portioning foods for lunch, to gingerbread house making, to my favorite: her chocolate chip cookies.

Here’s one of those segments.

Mary Ann and I developed a friendship long after the show, and the Golden Girls panel. A few times I went out and visited her farm where I got to see all of the animals they have (from pigs, to cows, to turkeys!), and of course, eat some cookies! 🙂

We tried different restaurants that were off the beaten path of what restaurants I had seen thus far in the Dayton area. The Farmer’s Daughter and Mel-o-Dee, places with homemade good cooking. (PS – REALLY GOOD PLACES.) We’d talk, we’d laugh. It is always a good time with the Barr’s!

One time, we went to Marie’s Candies.

Mary Ann has always told me about Marie’s and how it’s the best and how I had to try it.

So one day, myself, Mary Ann and her husband took a ride out to West Liberty to visit. It was a candy wonderland.

A house on the side of a country road in Ohio.

FILLED with all kinds of chocolate and fruity treats.

Hand dipped. Homemade.


It just tasted like everything in that store is made with love.

It’s an experience.

Fast forward to today, I received a package in the mail from Miss Mary Ann to my surprise.

A box of Marie’s Candies.

 It made me smile so wide.

Of course, I’m excited about the candy. But it’s the friendship that I have made in her that has made me smile wider today.

Life really is about the journey, not the destination. Who you meet along the way really defines and shapes you as a person.

I am beyond grateful to have crossed paths with the Barr’s, and I know I have a friend for life in them. 🙂

((Who am I kidding, I call her my “Ohio Grandmother.” She truly is a grandmother from another mother. ))

( And if you’re in Ohio, you NEED to check out Marie’s Candies if you haven’t already! )