5 hot new board games we played at Origins Game Fair 

Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire combines cool miniatures, smooth gameplay, and neat design for a perfect storm of a game. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin
The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire combines cool miniatures, smooth gameplay, and neat design for a perfect storm of a game. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin

Every year, tabletop nerds of all backgrounds travel from all over the world to Columbus for Origins Game Fair.

>> PHOTOS: 5 hot new board games you should try

Presented by The Game Manufacturing Association (GAMA), Origins is a symposium for people to try out games that were released over the previous year or will be debuting soon. Dayton.com joined the other 17,000 people at Origins 2017 to check out tons of new games. Here are some of our faves.  

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A promotional photograph from Origins shows the excited crowd in the Exhibitor Hall. PHOTO / Jacob Sigafoos, Official Origins Photographer

Century: Spice Road  

In this simple card game, you get to take on the role of a caravan leader trading spices. Players take turns drawing cards from the common “market” area. These cards allow them to draw “spices” (wooden cubes) from the supply or trade spices they have for others they need. The players can also draw victory point cards which let them trade spices for points that will be scored at the end of the game. And that’s it! The combination of simple, elegant design, quick playtime, and stunning art mean this game it sure to be a hit. In fact, Plan B Games, the company that makes Century: Spice Road brought 300 copies with them to Origins, and were completely sold out only a few days into the convention.  

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The theme was so well executed, we could practically smell the camels in the caravan travelling the Silk Road in Century: Spice Road. PHOTO / David Obenour

The Godfather: Corleone's Empire  

This game, which is scheduled for release next month, is certain to be an absolute smash. Based on the beloved film series, The Godfather: Corleone's Empire is a delightfully dark little worker placement number that comes with beautifully-sculpted plastic miniatures. Players will shake down businesses in New York City for money, drugs, and guns. Murder and intrigue is ensured as players battle for influence. This game is guaranteed to be a hit for many reasons, not the least of which that it was created by Eric Lang, one of game design’s current prodigal sons.  

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Lisboa is an absolutely beautiful European-style board game in which players must rebuild the capital city of Portugal after it was destroyed by a 1755 earthquake. Players will remove rubble from the city, interact with nobles, and build new buildings along a grid system to create the modern-day city of Lisbon. If you want to win this game, you will have to trade with the builder, the marquis, and the king, while exporting goods on ships and making deals with the clergy. Lisboa, like all of designer Vital Lacerda’s titles, has a lot of moving parts that can be used together as paths to victory. This one will definitely require a few play-throughs to perfect strategy. 

In the incredible historical game Lisboa, players will manipulate various factors in pursuit of the winning strategy. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin

EXIT: The Game  

Have you ever wanted to recreate all the challenge offered by an escape room adventure, without leaving the house or actually being imprisoned? If so, the EXIT: The Game series is for you. These three budget-priced titles will have you teaming up with your friends to solve puzzles using clues and logic. The series was on fire at Origins. The company who makes it, Thames & Kosmos, only had 50 copies of each title to sell each day during the convention. Every day, they sold out only minutes after the hall opened.  

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Get all the anxious intensity of Escape the Room without spending the money or interacting with strangers with EXIT: The Game from Thames & Kosmos. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin

Flip Ships  

Flip Ships is all the fun of Space Invaders in analog form. In this dexterity game, players work cooperatively to take out an oncoming assault of alien ships. To do so, they must take turns flicking their own ships off of a wooden launchpad in hopes of landing on one of the advancing enemies. Any enemy ships remaining at the end of the round will move forward to attack. This addictive little game is great for families, because it combines light strategy with cardboard ships that really fly through the air! 

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READY. AIM. FLIP! Flip Ships provides hours of fun for the whole family as you protect the planet from an onslaught of aliens by flipping your ships at the oncoming horde. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin

6 easy side dishes anyone can make for Thanksgiving Day

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 3:18 PM
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 3:18 PM

Here are 6 easy side dishes anyone can make for Thanksgiving Day Homemade Cranberry Sauce French Green Beans with Garlicky Almond Breadcrumbs Martha's Mini Cornbread Puddings Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans Giada's Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips and Brussels Sprouts Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Although the turkey will surely take center stage at your Thanksgiving table, a few unforgettable side dishes can't hurt.

These simple Thanksgiving sides won't take very much time or effort to pull together, but look (and taste) like a million bucks.

RELATED: The ultimate guide to a budget-friendly Thanksgiving dinner

This Thanksgiving Day, give your family a feast they won't forget by including a few of these easy-to-make dishes to accompany the big star.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Delish dishes up an easy-to-make cranberry sauce that turns out right every time.

Time required: 25 minutes

Serves 6-8


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, and place over low heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Pour in cranberries, and cook around 10 minutes until berries burst.
  3. Add in orange zest and a pinch of salt.
  4. Remove from heat, and allow mixture to cool completely.
  5. Refrigerate before serving.

French Green Beans with Garlicky Almond Breadcrumbs

Just because a dish looks fancy, doesn't mean it's complicated to make. Country Living raised the bar with this elegant and easy French green bean side.

Time required: 30 minutes

Serves 8-10


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup almonds, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pound haricots verts (French green beans)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat.
  2. Add in sourdough breadcrumbs and sliced almonds, stirring for 5 minutes.
  3. Add in minced garlic, and stir for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat, and stir in chopped chives, salt and pepper.
  5. Steam French green beans, then toss in butter or olive oil, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Move green beans to a serving dish, then cover with seasoned, garlicky breadcrumbs.

Martha's Mini Cornbread Puddings

Martha always knows how to add flavor and simplicity to any Thanksgiving feast. Her Mini Cornbread Puddings will steal the show at this year's event.

Time required: 40 minutes

Serves 24


  • Butter for greasing 
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn kernels, thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and butter muffin tin cups.
  2. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and whisk egg, sour cream and corn together inside the well.
  4. Continue mixing until just combined.
  5. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin tin cups, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Allow puddings to stand for 5 minutes in tin before removing them.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

This nutty, buttery sweet potato casserole recipe from Taste of Home truly symbolizes a Southern Christmas dinner.

Time required: 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves 12


  • 2 cans (40 ounces each) sweet potatoes, drained
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the topping:
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cold butter


    1. Mash canned sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl, then add in eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and salt. Combine completely.
    2. Grease a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish, and pour in sweet potato mixture.
    3. Combine brown sugar, flour and pecans in a separate mixing bowl, and cut in butter with a pastry cutter until crumbs form.
    4. Sprinkle sugar mixture over sweet potato mixture, and bake for 60 to 70 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Giada's Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips and Brussels Sprouts

Giada De Laurentiis with Food Network created this delicious and hearty root vegetable recipe that will satisfy even the pickiest palate.

Time required: 1 hour

Serves 6


  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 pound red potatoes, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 3 medium parsnips, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease an 11-by-17 glass baking dish with olive oil.
    2. Place sliced and chopped vegetables into the dish, along with herbs, salt and pepper.
    3. Toss until evenly coated, drizzling with additional olive oil if needed. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Not only are these tasty wraps from Damn Delicious damn good, they're super easy to make and take only 15 minutes to prepare.

Time required: 15 minutes

Serves 4


  • 6 ounces prosciutto, sliced and halved horizontally
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


      1. Wrap a slice of prosciutto at an angle around an asparagus spear. Repeat to wrap all asparagus spears with prosciutto.
      2. Pour olive oil into a large skillet, and cook wrapped asparagus over medium high heat until asparagus is tender and prosciutto appears crispy.
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Beavercreek ‘shampoo baby’ covered in cake at first birthday party  

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 10:04 AM

Amira Yvonne Glenn captured hearts when a video of the then-newborn getting a first shampoo from a Miami Valley Hospital nurse went viral in November of 2016. She turn a year old on Nov. 19, 2017. Video by Amelia Robinson

A year after a video of her first shampoo made million viewers coo, a Beavercreek child sings like a Disney princess and loves on all she meets. 

“Every time we go someplace she interacts with people,” Taveon Glenn says of his daughter, Amira Yvonne Glenn. “She be singing and dancing.”

>> Video shows newborn baby enjoying her first shampoo

A video Glenn posted of the then-newborn getting her hair washed by a hospital nurse received 37 million views on Facebook alone. 

Seems Amira is taking her fame in stride. 

>> PHOTOS: "Shampoo baby” Amira Yvonne Glenn at 2 months old

Dressed in a pink hair bow, pink polka-dot tutu and a mermaid-themed shirt reading “Amira’s 1st birthday,”  the little girl born Nov. 19, 2016 partied a day early this year on Saturday, Nov. 18. 

Cake icing covers her face in photos posted to her dad’s Facebook page. 


Now a support manager, Glenn said Amira has changed his life and time has flown by. 

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“She’s grown very quickly,” the West Carrollton grad said. “I didn’t know a kid could develop so fast.” 

Glenn is engaged to marry Amira’s mom, Sierra Still.

Amira found herself in the limelight after her proud papa posted a  video of her getting her hair washed for the first time on his Facebook page for his mom, Tiffiney Birdsong.

The first to write the story about her father’s viral video, we last caught up with Amira when she was just 2 months old. 

Amira Yvonne Glenn turned 1 on November 19. A video the of the Beavercreek baby getting her first shampoo from a Miami Valley Hospital nurse went viral last year. Amira is the daughter of Taveon Glenn and Sierra Still.(Photo: Taveon Glenn)

Her chill image has been used to promote the relaxing power of spa treatments, and she has been the subject of at least one poem that gave her pop the feels. 

Strangers have asked to meet her, and she has admirers in London, Brazil, and as far away as China.

With the help of his fiancee’ photographer sister, Glenn is making a portfolio for Amira with the hopes starting a modeling career for her.  

>> RELATED: Baby who got hair washed in viral video still super adorable

Glenn says his baby has personality and entertained crew and guests on a recent family cruise to Mexico.  

“She was the life of the party,” he said of the Amira. 

He says the baby does like to be underwater for too long, but loves bathes with her doll from the Disney animate film “Moana.”

She often belt out “How Far I'll go” from the movie. 

A video of a Miami Valley Hospital nurse giving newborn Amira Yvonne Glenn her first bath went viral. Her is the backstory. Video by Taveon Glenn edited by Amelia Robinson.
Amira Yvonne Glenn turned 1 on November 19. A video the of the Beavercreek baby getting her first shampoo from a Miami Valley Hospital nurse went viral last year. Amira is the daughter of Taveon Glenn and Sierra Still.(Photo: Taveon Glenn)

Amira Yvonne Glenn turned 1 on November 19. A video the of the Beavercreek baby getting her first shampoo from a Miami Valley Hospital nurse went viral last year. Amira is the daughter of Taveon Glenn and Sierra Still.(Photo: Taveon Glenn)

Amira Yvonne Glenn turned 1 on November 19. A video the of the Beavercreek baby getting her first shampoo from a Miami Valley Hospital nurse went viral last year. Amira is the daughter of Taveon Glenn and Sierra Still.(Photo: Taveon Glenn)

Amira Yvonne Glenn turned 1 on November 19. A video the of the Beavercreek baby getting her first shampoo from a Miami Valley Hospital nurse went viral last year. Amira is the daughter of Taveon Glenn and Sierra Still.(Photo: Taveon Glenn)

Amira Yvonne Glenn turned 1 on November 19. A video the of the Beavercreek baby getting her first shampoo from a Miami Valley Hospital nurse went viral last year. Amira is the daughter of Taveon Glenn and Sierra Still.(Photo: Taveon Glenn)

Top Thanksgiving food safety tips

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 5:59 PM

Does Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated meals of the year, so make it memorable for the right reasons. Thanksgiving food safety guidelines include tips on proper storage, food preparation and temperature recommendations and will prevent your guests from ending up with food poisoning.

Follow these Thanksgiving food safety tips from the United States Department of Agriculture from the first trip to the grocery store to the final serving of leftovers. 

Buying a turkey: If you are going to serve a fresh turkey, buy it no more than two days before Thanksgiving. Keep it in the refrigerator until you're ready to cook it, on a tray that can catch any juices that may leak.

Thawing the turkey: The USDA recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator, but you'll need plenty of time since refrigerator thawing requires 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds. You can also resort to the microwave, following the manual's instructions very carefully, or the cold water method, which takes 30 minutes per pound.

"Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter," the CDC warns. "A frozen turkey is safe indefinitely, but a thawing turkey must defrost at a safe temperature.”

Be sure to remove the giblets after thawing and before cooking, and to cook the thawed turkey immediately if you defrost it using the microwave.

Cooking a turkey: Wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before touching any food you’re preparing to prevent infection or illness spread. But don't wash the turkey! That only spreads pathogens onto kitchen surfaces. Keep raw turkey separated from all other foods and use separate cutting boards, plates and utensils to handle raw turkey.

Cook the turkey until it reaches 165 °F, using a food thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh and the innermost part of the wing.

Practice safe stuffing: Even if a stuffed bird is a family tradition, the safest way to avoid food poisoning is to cook stuffing outside of the turkey in a separate casserole dish, where you can make sure it is cooked to a temperature of 165°F at its center (use a meat thermometer to check.)

If you choose to stuff your turkey, noted the USDA, you can still prepare the ingredients ahead of time, but you should keep wet and dry ingredients separate and chill the wet ones. Add the wet ingredients to the dry right before filling the turkey cavities and cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to assure the center of the stuffing cooks to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F.
The right way to handle Thanksgiving leftovers

For many foodies, Thanksgiving leftovers are the best part of the meal. They'll make gourmet renditions like crispy mashed potato and stuffing patties. But even if you just microwave green bean casserole and put together turkey sandwiches, the proper handling of leftovers is an important part of Thanksgiving food safety.

"Clostridium perfringens are bacteria that grow in cooked foods left at room temperature," the CDC notes. "It is the second most common bacterial cause of food poisoning. Symptoms can include vomiting and abdominal cramps within six to 24 hours after eating."

To prevent food poisoning from leftovers, follow this advice from the USDA :

  • Get leftovers into a refrigerator within two hours to keep bacteria from growing on the food.
  • Store leftovers in shallow pans or containers so they'll cool faster and spend less time at the unsafe temperatures between 40 °F to 140 °F.
  • Never store stuffing inside a leftover turkey; store meat and stuffing separately.
  • Don't eat leftovers that have been in the refrigerator more than three or four days. Consider Tuesday as the toss date. Freeze leftover turkey up to four months, the USDA recommends.
  • Discard turkey, stuffing or gravy that has been left out at room temperature for more than two hours, or more than an hour in temperatures above 90 °F.
  • Reheat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.

For more information about food safety (in English and Spanish), call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854. It's available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.


10 tips on shipping packages during the holiday season

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 3:12 AM

Deadlines For Sending Christmas Gifts To Military Members

Braving the crowds on Black Friday may be the easiest part of holiday shopping. Shipping packages to gift receivers around the country can be a huge challenge – both in getting the gifts there in one piece and in keeping your budget under control.

Here are 10 tips to help you ship your gifts:

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1. Buy something you can mail easily

This seems like you’re buying for you and not them, but odds are there is something on your recipient’s list that is easy to ship through the mail.

Even with the right packing precautions, it’s always safer to buy items you know can survive a bumpy trip through the mail. Apparel, shoes and most toys are a safe bet.

>> Start planning now for military holiday shipping deadlines

2. Know the rules

The United States Postal Service has restrictions on what can be shipped, both internationally and domestically. Some things, such as ammunition, are completely prohibited, while other things, such as nail polish and perfumes, have restrictions.

Find out more at usps.com/ship/shipping-restrictions.htm.

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3. Pay attention to the box

Make sure to use a new, sturdy box that’s a few inches larger than your gift on all sides to allow for plenty of packing materials. Using that box that’s been in the basement all year can result in your gifts cascading out at the wrong moment.

The Postal Service estimates that a crease can reduce a box’s strength by as much as 70 percent.

>> 10 tips for Black Friday shopping

4. Buy good packing material

The Postal Service suggests using higher-performing cushioning materials made of polyethylene or polyurethane. Basic polystyrene cushioning can endure only one impact.

Using stronger, but thinner cushioning is better because you can use a smaller box and save on shipping costs if the price is based on the package’s dimensions and weight.

Newspaper is not a great choice because it flattens, but it’s good for wrapping fragile items and separating them from other items in the box.

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5. Shake it

You want your packing job to result in a tight fit. Use at least 1 inch of cushioning around the item—top, bottom and all four sides — to fill in any air spaces. There should be very little movement when you shake the box.

The key point is to keep the gift items as far away from the box’s walls as possible. When you have a very fragile item, use two boxes, and cushion around the inner box with at least 3 inches of packing peanuts.

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6. Know your deadlines

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for the Postal Service. These are the dates they recommend shipping items in the contiguous United States to make sure they arrive on time.

  • USPS Retail Ground: Dec. 14
  • First Class Mail: Dec. 19 (Alaska Dec. 20; Hawaii Dec. 15)
  • Priority Mail: Dec. 20 (Alaska Dec. 20; Hawaii Dec. 15)
  • Priority Mail Express: Dec. 22 (Alaska Dec. 21; Hawaii Dec. 20)

For more information on shipping to the rest of the world, visit www.usps.com/holiday.

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7. Flat-rate is your friend

FedEx, UPS and the Postal Service all offer flat-rate boxes, meaning that you can pack as much as you can into a box and ship it for one price. However, these do come with some limits – for example, UPS and the USPS only allows up to 70 pounds, while FedEx only allows 50 pounds.

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8. Look for deals

Do a little shopping around before you ship. Some places, such as PostNet stores, will help you compare shipping prices. You can also do this online at sites such as Shipgooder.com.

USPS, FedEx and UPS also have tools on their websites to estimate shipping costs.

>> 10 ways to save money during the holidays

9. Avoid missed packages

If you want to help your recipient avoid unwanted snooping from neighbors or children, consider sending the gift to their workplace. If it’s meant for kids, that’ll help keep it away from prying eyes. It will also help people from missing deliveries at home.

Keep your tracking numbers handy so you can pinpoint the package’s destination and lets its recipients know when to look out for it.

>> 10 holiday activities that don't have to involve eating

10. Consider insurance

Santa’s delivery service isn’t always perfect, so it’s worth considering insurance on whatever you’re shipping.

Ask your shipper about insurance or a declared-value option. The post office includes $100 of insurance in its Priority Mail Express shipping and offers options for declaring a higher value, for a fee.

If your package ends up being damaged in transit, but the shipping company determines that you packed it improperly, or did not follow proper packing procedures, they may have grounds to deny your claim.