GIVEAWAY: MBI Resort Jewelry Collection Captures Island Essence wear love for Lake Erie escapes

Aerial Photos Edmund Gudenas

Photos Steven Drescher and Josie Koler

“My dad says, ‘you came to the island with me and you went home with your mom'”, Danielle Nawrocki shared sweetly across the indoor bar at Saint Hazards on Middle Bass Island. “I was conceived there (Put-in-Bay). The island is going to be my home forever. South Bass Island has a huge part of my heart.”

Nawrocki splurged in the gift shop on a round seashell with a stainless steel cutout of South Bass Island jewelry piece to wear above her heart during a day of island hopping via the Sonny S with her beau’s best friend Johnny Martens.

Nawrocki and her new necklace.
Nawrocki and her new necklace.

“I found some of the best jewelry,” explained the employee of two well-known island joints, The Roundhouse and The Blue Luna Ristorante Italiano, “one would pay a lot of money for these cutouts on Put-in-Bay and this is awesome.”

“(The jewelry has) way better quality here. Not to harp on my island, but yes,” observed Martens who was born on South Bass Island, grew up on South Bass Island and lives on South Bass Island. He’s part of the family that started E’s Put-in-Bay Golf Carts.

“I currently work for them and I play a lot of guitar gigs around the island at The (Old) Forge (Cafe and Creperie), the Reel Bar, Topsy’s, at Joe’s and what not,” Martens gave up his island haunts.

“…and I’m Nicole Beachy now,” a new bride filled us in on her new gig in life.

“Because two weeks ago she married my son,” Loretta Beachy and her new daughter-in-law Nicole, announced to everyone the reason for their island gift shop excursion at Saint Hazards on Middle Bass Island.

Loretta (left) and Nicole Beachy.

“We are buying the Middle Bass cut out (necklace). The piece is unique and different from anything else we’ve seen on the island,” Nicole offered.

For thirty-seven years the Beachy family from Plain City, Ohio has been vacationing to MBI. Every weekend from March through November they catch the ferry to cross the lake from the mainland.

“His family would always come up two weeks out of the year. He introduced me to the island, and then we got married, this is what happened. We bought a place up here years ago,” Loretta let on.

For part-time Floridian and Marblehead, Ohio resident, Marcie Hoerig visits a different Lake Erie Island every year along with her girlfriend who lives in Port Clinton.

Hoerig shows off her South Bass necklace outside.
Hoerig shows off her South Bass Island necklace outside.

“We try to hit at least one island every year to come over and visit… and we found this little (Saint Hazards) place,” Hoerig described the flow. “I’m more into the stones. A lot of stones and natural pieces like seashells, abalone, I have a lot of that plus mother of pearls, pearls and sometimes I am attracted to the beading.”

“They’re handmade in Bali. They’re stainless on seashells,” Ed Gudenas proprietor of Saint Hazards Adventures offered of the gift shop treasures. “We have Put-in-Bay, Middle Bass and a couple of Kelleys, and ‘The Monument‘. Other places don’t have these pieces and they’re a lot less expensive.”

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The island entrepreneur, former politician, and globe-trotting photographer received inspiration to bring the jewels to Middle Bass Island through swanky jewelers who share pages with his photographs in publications such as Harbour Magazine Ile De Saint Barthelemy – Port de Gustavia.

diamondgenesisA glimpse through the pages of the luxury life magazine from the French Caribbean shows the models of Diamond Genesis draped in diamonds, gold and sapphires showcasing the beloved island of St. Barth’s. The craft spans nearly three decades and is a chic and elegant way to celebrate Lake Erie Love. Gudenas’ collection includes bracelets, necklaces, earrings, key chains, and accenting beaded necklaces.

middlegraphicJewelry, any jewelry, whether made of diamonds or purchased during a cruise ship stop on a Caribbean vacation is used to mark momentous occasions. Perhaps the most notable – an engagement to be married, bringing a new baby into the world, to celebrate a professional milestone, or in this case a distant destination in Lake Erie, which is now a destination marking married life for Nicole Beachy.

“We’re going to rock it out today. We’re just going to wear the pieces today. Loretta was looking for a Middle Bass gift piece. There are not a lot of places that have the little island cut-out,” the new bride gushed.

The memories are just beginning, and now they’re marked around her neck with a seashell cut-out of Middle Bass Island.

The prices are worth gushing over as well. During the off-season which is now through May 31st travelers can pick out any piece for just ten dollars, which is a mere fraction of the forty-thousand dollar price tag of The Saint Barth Collection by Diamond Genesis in the far off French Caribbean. Saint Hazards Waterfront Resort can also, and is willing to, ship anywhere in the world so the love for Lake Erie’s paradise islands can spread. To order call 419-285-6121, email [email protected], or visit the gift shop this summer.


Josie handles Public and Guest Relations and vacation sales at St, Hazards. She can also sometimes be found behind the bar muddling Mojitos and pouring champagne for guests.



Bowl of BOLD Broccoli Soup va va voom vegetable classic

Sometimes I quit working and the clock typically reads well past eight o’clock. Last night the hands were more past ten… I believe this is due to the evening anchor schedule where the whole crew always ate late.  At our desks nonetheless. Ordering a pizza isn’t an option these days. I did uncover a regular sized Ziploc bag full of broccoli. Clearly labeled 8/12/16 Broccoli for Broccoli Soup -Cooked-.

I did an internet search, improvised and the results, taste and consistency are delectable and decadent. Here is what I used.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees if you are making your own croutons. Simply take bread crumbs and season with olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt. I used a small portion from one of Kroger’s ten for ten dollars Italian loaves.

I chopped up the onion and green pepper and sauteed in a sauce pan with two tablespoons of butter. Once the onion and pepper were softened I dropped in the broccoli and poured about one-quarter to one-third of a box of Kroger’s Simple Truth Organic Free Range Low Sodium Chicken Broth on top. I simmered for about ten minutes.

I then poured the soup ingredients into the Nutri Ninja 900 Watt Pro Blender twenty-four ounce container and added one to two cups of Simple Truth Coconut Milk and four tablespoons of cheese aged in a cave! This is starting to get savory. Murray’s freshly shredded Parmigiano Regianno Cheese from the Kroger Deli is a barrage of sweet, salt, spice and nuttiness … with a caramel finish! The brand combines modern technology on Long Island New York with Old World knowledge. We know there isn’t any thing so true in that I am all about the Old World.

Blend for about twenty seconds and place the bread crumbs into the oven. Begin melting three tablespoons of butter in the sauce pan the soup ingredients were sauteed in. Drop in all of the flour and start slowly pouring the mixture of milk, cheese and vegetables into the saucepan while stirring with a spoon. The soup will begin to form and the ingredients bind together. Begin to whisk in fresh cracked black pepper, the truffle oil and sea salt.

I picked up a container of Falksalt Natural Crystal Flakes recently from the gourmet food section. This staple is from Sweden’s premium salt manufacturer dating back to the 1830s. Falksalt’s crisp, shimmering sea salt flakes are extracted from Mediterranean Sea water … Pure, clean seawater is simmered in open pans for extended periods of time until the water evaporates and pyramid-shaped salt crystals are formed. 

To cut through the coconut-y taste I began drizzling in Extra Virgin Truffle Oil by Grand’Aroma. I had picked up a bottle at Downtown Heinen’s Cleveland Grocery Store during a quest to recreate Ziggie & Mad Dog’s Truffle Mac & Cheese. That was a favorite dining and gathering spot when I lived on the Island of Islamorada. Deemed a superlative enhancement when drizzled over risotto and potatoes this imported ingredient truly is the ultimate liquid enhancement to having hauntingly rich flavor. I kept whisking and adding drizzles and sprinkles of these three ingredients and then tossed in a little more Parmigiano until the flavors were full.

Simply serve in a bowl and top with a sprinkle of cheese and homemade croutons. Being exact or measuring really isn’t necessary. This makes either two large bowls for dinner, or three to four to serve as an appetizer. Using real milk versus coconut will most likely change up the amount of salt flakes, truffle oil and butter you would then use.

I choose Bellitti Prosecco as an apertif, a sparkling white wine from northeast Italy showcasing soft and fruity peach and pear notes, with breezy apple peel and lemon zest. Pairs well with … cream sauce … The gold label screams glam as if one is right back in the studio lights. Perhaps finish with a sip of Limoncello which is always a nice touch after a rich meal.

 This is a Josie in Paradise original! Sperro ti piaccia!



My Founders Park Palace for Sale for $.5M for sale after renovations

All pictures by Travis Yednak and my personal iPhone

This home is where I first caught on that the universe gives one everything that they need. I left public life in 2012 and at the end of the year rode my bicycle around the island of Islamorada and happened upon this gem. A four-bedroom, four-bathroom home with another living room and kitchen in the downstairs enclosure, plus, a loft office. The house has been renovated since I lived here in 2013 before moving into the luxury City Loft in Cleveland. Here is a slideshow. The furnishings and furniture are atrocious and this is not what the space looked like when I occupied the rooms. But the open-floor concept and location, in a sweet little neighborhood halfway between Miami and Key West, is a seller.

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Don’t you love the aquarium feature in the staircase? This place is where I met the Olympic-medal draped swim coach, Jon Olsen, at Founders Park.

The same park where I revisited my love affair with the tennis courts.

.. and swimming in the open ocean.

Unexpected, lifelong friendships were formed.

and many, many Morada Bay Full Moon parties were attended.

I designed a dress or two…

…and immersed myself into the study of theology and Catholicism.

The master bedroom was actually my yoga and fitness studio where my massage therapist would also set up.

How can you not want to live here? Get yourself a convertible and start Living the Dream! The place is for sale and needs a stylish touch to match the vibe of this posh island paradise.

 Why would I ever leave…? This is also the home where I learned some believe that that its ok for others for to do ok, just not better than them. Success is for everyone. As I’ve just shown you there is an abundance in the universe. Go get some.




Cannellini Bean Salad Per Favore lattuga e mancanti

When I come across a recipe, or a rendition of a recipe, I can no longer live without I must share the secret. Recently on a Martha Stewart Cooking School Episode she had a bean expert on as her guest. I don’t know about all of you but I prefer beans ninety-eight percent out of the time to meat. I’ve searched and I can’t find the exact recipe published online so I’ve come up with what I remember off of the top of my head.

Start with some freshly colored peppers. Orange, red and yellow are what I’ve been using and about two and a half slices of Italian Sub Rolls. Before you begin cubing the bread and slicing the peppers preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the cubed bread on a cookie sheet and bake for twelve minutes. Place the sliced peppers into a large salad bowl and add half of a container of organic grape tomatoes. Once the bread is toasted add into the bowl and start stirring while splashing in olive oil and sea salt. The idea is to coat the homemade croutons thoroughly with oil and salt before adding the beans.

I love this recipe because I simply can never eat enough beans. The Cannellini Bean is the white Italian kidney bean. They have a silky texture and nutty flavor. Every half cup contains seven grams of protein and six grams of fiber. Simply strain and rinse the contents of one can.

Stir together with the ingredients coated in olive oil and toss with shaved Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves. The result looks and tastes exquisite. My dinner party guests could not stop raving over this savory salad that doesn’t contain a shred of lettuce. I’m attaching a recipe card. I think you’ll agree this plates up beautifully. Plus, is perfect for picnics because the flavors will become more pronounced the longer the mix sits. Enjoy!

Trapper Hat Tests the Temperatures snowy-essentials fur lined trapper hat

Headgear for the cold needs to be hot! The trapper hat isn’t a trend and is indeed all about the fur dating back to the first fur trappers. They’ve been deemed a stylish statement to keep not just the head, but the face, warm and protected from a biting wind. Today with a feels like zero temperature reading, and a windchill of fifteen mph, I leaned on the look. I went sporty versus high-fashion and picked up a Nikey ACG Fur Lined Hat with Straps in shock white. This item, with different designer twists, finds its way into every fashion show under the sun every fall. The accessory is actually an essential and screams I’m raging into the snow en vogue.

Toes in the Salt city spa amenity in Sandusky

To usher in 2017 I changed into a Spa Kalahari robe and dipped my perfectly pedicured peds, colored in Rouge Rouge, four inches deep into Himalayan salt. The Halotherapy Salt Room at Spa Kalahari in Sandusky is one of three salt rooms in Ohio. Salt is used to detox the body from the inside out and also to enliven the energy field around one. I quickly flipped through three magazines to decompress and then sat back and inhaled the salt vapors.

Rebekah Shalne Wellness Coordinator offered, “I personally think it’s a great addition to our spa. We have a lot of guests who come multiple times during their stay because they find it works; so, they come and access the room a couple of times more.”

During the time inside I cleared my conscious mind and did some introspection about some elements which were possibly holding me back and looked intently at the year ahead. This session is a perfect add-on to any spa service. I plan to re-enter the room after a favorite workout session, followed by a massage so my mind is completely clear of clutter. I also would attempt this with a calendar afterwards cleared of errands and business to maximize benefits of the energy field. Sessions are only twenty dollars when added onto another spa service.


Josie is on the Coastal Ohio Trail for Holiday 2016 – 2017 proving The Great Lakes Region is great indeed

Don’t forget to swing over to Josie Style for the Home. In JK Design the Let it Snow holiday 2016 spectacular Christmas on the River continues. Remember the three wise men don’t deliver gifts until January 6 marking the Epiphany.