Author Archives: Jason Applegate

Boys & Girls Club | Superhero Day | Extol TV

The Boys & Girls Club of Kentuckiana hosted an even on April 28, Superhero Day, recognizing the local heroes of Kentuckiana. Firefighters and Police officers were invited for pizza and snacks with the local after school organization. The theme was larger than life comic book superheroes, like Batman (who is definitely better than Superman), but intended to contextualize the role of everyday heroes in the community.

Extol TV interview The Boys & Girls Club’s Kelley Luckett about the event, featuring guest anchors.

10 Ways to Sneak Learning into Your Child’s Summer Vacation

The end of another school year is in the books and almost immediately your children will want to start the annual rites of summer vacation 

By Toni Konz

Whether it’s hanging out with friends, wanting to hit up local swimming pools or sitting in front of a television or smartphone for hours – odds are the last thing they want to do is anything that has to do with school or classwork.

As a parent of a 15-year-old son, I have been there. And as a reporter who has spent the past 14 years covering nothing but education stories, I know the significance of what many educators call the “summer brain drain.”

I’m here to tell you that there are a number of (fun) things you can do to help keep your kids learning this summer. Some of these things you can do together, others are things they can do on their own. The best part? They may not even know you are challenging them to use their minds.

Summer Camps. Let’s start with the obvious. There are a number of schools, churches and even businesses that are filled with lots of reading, math and problem-solving skills. You can google Southern Indiana or Louisville summer camps and find there are dozens to choose from. Some of my favorites are the FREE ones, like the JCPS “Literacy &” program for kids in grades K-5. It connects literacy instruction to character-building opportunities. Program themes include photography, yoga, robotics and hip-hop. Times, days & locations vary, call 502.485.3506.

Read every day and make it fun. This tip comes from Kenwood Elementary School teacher Tracy Madryga. “Make it so reading is something the kid HAS to do, but WANTS to do. Go to the library. Let them check out the books. Visit the zoo and museums in the area and discuss what they see and do.”

Have your child plan a day trip … to a local park or forest. Whether it’s Clifty Falls, Charlestown, Hoosier National Forest, Iroquois, Seneca or Cherokee parks in Louisville, or Mammoth Cave or Bernheim Forest – have your kids map out the driving distance (or walking route) and plan a schedule. Have them take a notebook and camera and ask them to write down observations and take pictures of flowers, plants, trees and wildlife. When then get home, ask them to write or create a project (even if it’s a photo gallery on social media) based on what they saw. Who says poster board projects are just for school?

Take them fossil hunting. The banks of the Ohio River in Clarksville are home to the 386-million-year-old Devonian fossil beds. Kids of any age will enjoy finding and exploring different fossils. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources suggests having them bring a spray water bottle (to see the fossils better), a magnifying glass (to examine them more closely), a ruler or a coin (to measure for scale) and some Play-Doh or molding clay so they can make casts and molds of small fossils to take home. Have them bring a notebook so they can rub or sketch the fossils and a camera so they can take pictures. In addition, pack a lunch. Picnic tables are scattered around the park. Parking is $2. There is a cost to visit the Interpretive Center, which was recently renovated and offers an exhibit gallery and other fun activities.

Bake a cake or make cookies. Almost every kind of baking recipe requires measurements and some basic math skills. Instead of one recipe, double it up and ask your kid how much flour, sugar and other ingredients are need. Ask them to measure it out and make sure you double check for accuracy. Make it fun. And if you don’t want all the extra cookies or cakes sitting around your house, drop them off to a local police or fire station or a senior citizens home.

Have them volunteer. An important part of life is learning how to give back to others. Visit an animal shelter, drop by a food kitchen and feed the homeless or research a non-profit organization and inquire about volunteering to help them – even if it’s just for a day.

Ask them to write or draw. Where do your kids see themselves in a year? What do they want to be when they get older and why? What would their dream summer vacation be like? Ask them to write (or draw) a response to a simple question. Even if it’s only for 20 to 30 minutes. You might even learn something you didn’t know.

Engage with them, have a conversation. This one seems simple, maybe even a little silly. This idea comes from my cousin, Tasha, who is a teacher in Wisconsin. “Kids of any age need experiences. They also need the language that goes along with those experiences. I predict the biggest deficit in the near future will be that our children will not have enough exposure to language. By this I mean … they need adults to engage in conversation with them. It can be conversations in the kitchen or the zoo or the park or wherever! Adults need to talk to kids. That’s how they learn.”

Give them a long-term project to do. From Kamaria Wesley, a teacher at Schaffner Traditional Elementary: “Give your kids a long-term project or two to complete. It can be something as simple as an extra summer daily chore around the house (taking care of the plants, mowing a neighbor’s grass) or following current events of interest. Engaging in the real world is so important. Kids need to also be able to have fun so they are not burnt out on the learning process.”

Challenge them to create their own game. Meyzeek Middle School teacher Buffy Sexton offers these ideas for pre-teens and teens: “Give them a budget and tell them to create an outing for the family (let them research online) or have them create flash cards about your family or themselves or a favorite pastime of theirs. They can also create a Kahoot game (go to for the family to play.” Another fun one: “Go to and find a movie and see if your kids can find all the mistakes or more.

Secondary Drowning

Many parents are unaware of the life-threatening danger.

By Erika Janes, R.N., Injury Prevention Coordinator, Norton Children’s Prevention and Wellness

Imagine you are at a pool party with your young child. Everyone seems to be having a good time and you are watching your child from the side of the pool. You turn your head for a few seconds to ask another mom a question, and when you turn back, your child is struggling in the water. You rush to pull your child out of the pool. Your child is visibly upset, but other than coughing up a little water, seems fine once he or she calms down. Aside from being a panicked parent for a bit, and now more cautious around the pool, you assume your child is safely out of the water and out of danger. You could be wrong.

Many parents are unaware of a life-threatening danger known as “secondary drowning” that can happen after a near-drowning or close call. Even if the child appears well initially, his or her condition can change rapidly and dramatically hours or even days after the event.

If the child breathed any type of water — from a pool, lake, ocean, even a bathtub — into the lungs, damage to the lungs could occur. Water-damaged lungs can no longer provide oxygen to the body. Respiratory problems develop and can become irreversible in a matter of minutes, leading to secondary drowning. Because of the danger, it is critical that anyone who experiences a near-drowning or other close call in the water seek emergency medical care immediately.

Signs to watch for include:

Change in level of consciousness or personality

Extreme tiredness or weakness

Cough with or without pink, frothy mucus

Whistling or abnormal sounds while breathing


Breathing fast or not at all

Turning blue


Remember, anyone who experiences a near-drowning or close-call event must be seen by a medical professional after being rescued from the water.

Drowning is preventable. Active supervision is key to ensuring water safety, from the bathtub to the neighborhood pool.

Active supervision means:

Staying alert and avoiding distractions such as reading, eating or talking on the phone

Never taking your eyes off children or leaving them unattended in or around water

Continuously scanning the water’s surface and the bottom of the pool

Stopping unsafe play and running in the pool area

Knowing where to locate and how to use pool safety equipment

Keeping a phone near the pool for emergency use only

Do you want to learn more about water safety and keeping your child safe? Call 502.629.KIDS for more information and to request a Water Watcher card.

If You See A Robin In Your Yard Eating Cotton Candy – Don’t Shoot!

By Ray Lucas

“Robins are special birds,” my grandma took great care to tell me one spring day as I wielded my new BB gun around the yard as a boy. “I really don’t want you shooting anything in my yard, and especially not a robin.” I had received a BB gun for Christmas the winter before, and she was probably worried I would take aim at her beloved red-bellied birds in the yard.

Grandma understood the temptation for a boy to shoot cans, telephone poles and even birds. Like the fictional Atticus Finch, she seemed to be saying, “Shoot all of the other birds you like, if you can hit them, but not my robins.” I knew from that young age that robins were special.

Because of her love for them, I have always associated robins with her, even after her death. My mom was so like my grandma that I also came to associate robins with my mom after her passing when I was in college.

I now live in our 120-year-old family home place, where both my grandma and mom grew up. I am convinced that each spring the two return as robins to watch over me. I most often see them while cutting grass, hopping around the yard or singing from a tree limb. It’s like they have come home to check in on me and see how their family has grown as my children play about the yard. Robins make me smile in a way that no other animal can.

I am not really a superstitious person who believes in visits from the afterlife. I don’t normally go in for spirits and friendly ghosts, but in matters of robins I guess I feel differently. I have known others who associate past loved ones with something tangible and physical in their lives: a butterfly in the wind, a special rose bush, a hawk on a pole, a significant song, or a piece of jewelry. Maybe I’m superstitious after all.

I once read an article about how people die three separate deaths. One is our actual death that comes with obituaries, flowers and funerals where our loved ones gather to mourn our passing. The second death is when the last person who knew us personally while we were alive passes away. When they die, there is no remaining person on the planet that can say they knew us while we were alive.

The final death, is the moment in the vast future when the last records of our life disappear.  Our tombstone is reduced by the elements and any written record of our life – journals, birth records, newspapers – are lost.  Perhaps my stories in Extol will prolong my third death by several thousands of years, but one day even these digital fingerprints will fade.

I think this was an interesting way to look at death. I like how it acknowledges that my mother, grandmothers, grandfathers, friends, neighbors and mentors who have already passed are still very much alive as long as I am here and remember all they have passed along to make me who I am. As I tell readers and my children about their lives and how they touched mine, they will live on far into the future through these stories.

It also gives me some comfort that through my children and their future families, I might be alive for a very long time. Even after my love for fast food and sugary treats has taken its mortal toll (in my very old years, if I am fortunate), my children might see me in their yard as a red bellied robin while lying in a hammock and reading Extol under a shade tree.

And if they remember me through that spring robin in the yard, perhaps they might recall what the late poet Emily Dickinson, still very much alive through her words, once wrote:

If I shouldn’t be alive

When the Robins come,

Give the one in Red Cravat,

A Memorial crumb.

If a crumb isn’t handy, my children will knowingly recall my sweet tooth and know that a dab of cotton candy will suffice as I watch over them.

The Paradox of Parenting in the Trump Era

By Farrah Alexander

“Mom, do you like Donald Trunk?” my four-year-old son asked with a somber, quizzical expression.

My son, with his limited knowledge of our nation’s current polarity, couldn’t have possibly understood what a loaded question this was. Although I’m pretty passionate about political issues, I tend to shield my children from civil discourse. At least until after kindergarten.

But I knew my son needed an answer to this question, which was very simple in his mind. He’s starting to grasp new concepts such as that he lives in the United States. Also, we have a president of the United States who sits in a very prestigious looking office and wears suits. Also, his mom doesn’t seem to like the president very much, which is strange because she seems to like everyone.

One week before the 2016 presidential election, I wrote a piece published on HuffPost and Scary Mommy with the headline “I Have to be Able to Tell My Children I Stood Against Trump.” In the piece, I discussed why I felt a personal responsibility as a parent to do everything I can to prevent a Trump presidency:

“I believe after our children learn of the atrocities committed by Trump and the carnage left behind by his vile campaign, they’ll then look to us – as survivors of the 2016 election – and want to know how we felt. More than that, what did we do about it?”

Honestly, I never genuinely considered the possibility of Trump actually winning. I felt assured by Nate Silver’s projections that Clinton would win by a large margin. But beyond poll numbers, I really just had enough faith in the American people that they would not elect someone who spewed vitriol and embraced such intolerance. And yet, here we are and my son is asking if I like Donald Trunk.

It’s quite the parenting dilemma. I have to explain to my children that while Trump holds our nation’s highest office, I hope they never grow up to be like him.

I may have differing political opinions than Trump, but that has no bearing on my opinion of him. If my son asked about George W. Bush, I would choose to talk about how he sought to unite our country after the most horrific terrorist attack most of us had ever seen. If my son asked about Barack Obama, I would discuss how he worked so audaciously his entire life to break down walls and became the first black president. Even if he asked about a presidential candidate such as John McCain, who I didn’t vote for, I would discuss his tremendous courage and bravery in an utterly hopeless scenario.

I plan to teach my children to treat everyone they encounter with respect, regardless of religion, gender, nationality, sexuality, race, disability or any other inherent differences. They are neither inferior nor superior to their peers. I’ll encourage them to treat others as they would like to be treated and choose to be kind.

When I see Trump mocking a disabled reporter, hear him bragging about committing sexual assault and read his callous insults on Twitter, these are all examples of how I raise my children not to behave.

I believe the Maya Angelou adage that when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. With Trump’s position of high visibility, I know my kids will be exposed to both his past transgressions and his future offenses. I’m not a total pessimist, but I’m not hopeful that Trump will suddenly put a stop to the same vile behavior that brought him into the political realm.

Many have accused Trump of acting like a toddler. As a parent of a toddler, I find this assertion completely absurd. My toddler is more mild mannered, sweeter and doesn’t whine nearly as much.

I understand my children will likely see Trump as someone who has had fame, fortune and now the oval office. After all, his name alone is plastered in large gold letters on the sides of skyscrapers in most major tourist destinations. Many people probably view such success as a goal to aspire towards. So, I know it’s difficult to tell my children not to emulate the behavior of someone in such a unique position of power.

Behind the glitz, tweets and presidential seals, Donald Trump is just a man. He’s a man who has said and done some very bad things that lead me to believe he may not be very nice.

I always want to protect my children from bullies as they grow and bullying becomes an unfortunate reality. But even more so, I never want them to become bullies. Zero-tolerance policies common in schools would discipline any student using language like Trump routinely uses in an attempt to eliminate the bullying behavior. Elementary school students are not allowed to model the behavior they see from the sitting president.

Success is a worthy goal and I hope I give my children the tools to achieve their own definition of success. But success is not the one and only goal to chase in life. Whether my children grow up to be professional street performers who juggle fire for tips in a can or real estate moguls, I just hope they also have character and integrity. I hope I raised them to be good humans.

I want to give my children the strength and courage to stand up for what is right, even if it’s difficult. It’s my job to monitor who influences my children, helps shape their character and molds them into the contributing adults our society depends on. I know I don’t want that influence to come from Donald Trump.

No, my son, your mother does not like Donald Trump.

Exit | June/July 2017

“I took this photo on Sept. 11, 2016, at the Mellwood Arts Center during our visit to the Mellwood Arts and Crafts Fair. My mom, Nancy Snyder, 86, is still to this day the most stylish and sparkly lady I know.

img_6241The weather that day was hot, and after climbing the hill at Mellwood and walking around in the sun, we needed a rest in the shade and a cold drink. The spot was on the side of a building with a brick ledge she could lean against and sip her Coke. It suddenly occurred to me her flaming red hair looked even redder against that blue wall. I took out my iPhone, stepped out about 8 feet or so and got the picture in one take. I love the colors in this photo with the blue wall, yellow purse, red brick, checkered pants, and navy blue sparkle shoes. I also love the hip sunglasses she’s wearing, very Janis Joplin-esque! She’s so rock ‘n’ roll but she always has been. She’s a young spirit in an older woman’s body, born generations too early when women were very limited in what they could be and the roles they were assigned. Those traditional roles never fit her. I love that she is very much her own person and that her style always comes through, like a weed in the middle of a concrete highway.” –Laura Shine


DIY Sidewalk Chalk

By Morgan Sprigler

What you will need:

Plaster of paris
Acrylic or tempura paint in bright colors Silicone molds or a cake pop pan Plastic cups
Plastic spoons
Cold water
Sandwich bags (optional)
Scissors (optional)
Lemonade (optional but encouraged)


Step 1:

Set out plastic cups in a row. Squeeze a quarter size of paint into the bottom of the cup. Repeat this step with each color. I found bottle of bright, acrylic paint at Meijer for 79 cents apiece. My daughters and I selected six different colors. They wanted 27 different bottles, but after a tantrum and a healthy screaming match, we settled on six.

Step 2:

Pour cold water into each cup, filling it approximately one-third of the way full. Using cold water is a very important step. If you are crafting outside (which I highly recommend for this project), bring a pitcher of ice water with you. Now, let your kids stir with their plastic spoons while you check your Insta-stories/email/Facebook.

Step 3:

Slowly add plaster of paris, taking time to stir in between pours. A good rule of thumb would be to use twice as much plaster as water. You want to achieve the consistency of yogurt. Please explain to child that this is not actual yogurt. The label clearly states, “DO NOT INGEST.” So, please, don’t.

Step 4:

Pour your mix into your mold. We used both silicone molds and a steel cake pop pan. The chalk was much easier to remove from the silicone, but both worked. Let your chalk sit out in the sun for as long as your children will allow.

Step 5:

Lemonade break!


Step 6:

I gave in after 5 hours and being asked, “Ready yet Mommy?!” no less than 1,000 times. Ideally, you want to let your chalk form for 24 hours. If your children will approve, you can pop out a few a bit early and let the rest sit until the next afternoon. Simply remove your chalk from your molds. Your molds can be washed and reused for future baking.

Step 7:

Grab a chair, sit back and relax while your little ones draw pretty flowers and happy faces all over your driveway. Take a moment to walk inside and spike your lemonade (no one is judging here).

Step 8:

After the girls went to sleep, I was feeling creative and decided the cupcake chalk molds we made needed “icing.” I mixed quite a bit more Plaster of Paris with the same amount of water from step three, making a thick paste almost too hard to stir. I then transferred the paste into a sandwich bag and used my scissors to cut one of the bottom corners. A makeshift icing bag. In a circular motion, I iced my little cupcakes and added some glitter on top. Because, well, #whynot #everythingisbetterwithglitter.


All jokes aside, we really enjoyed this project. We have plenty of supplies leftover to re-create this all summer long and the girls are already asking to do it again. Have fun experimenting with different shapes, layer your colors or use your creations to give away as party favors for your next cookout! Tag me in your Instagram chalk/spiked lemonade photos this summer @Mrs_Sprigler. Until next time!

So, I am aware you can purchase a 60 count of sidewalk chalk for $5.99 at pretty much any store on Earth. However, aren’t we all looking for a way to keep our precious offspring busy this summer? It’s time to create some memories and you don’t have to be a master crafter for this project (my one-year-old excelled at making her first batch of homemade chalky goodness). 




Maker13: A Community Workshop


Story and Photos by JD Dotson

I was first introduced to the idea of Maker13 by the owners in a tent at Harvest Homecoming 2015. I bought some small, laser-cut wood pieces to use in my jewelry making and picked up a brochure about the Maker Mobile and a future “makerspace,” a place where people from all walks of life would have access to resources, equipment, technology and knowledge they otherwise might not have the opportunity to use.

I have always been an artist and crafter, but the expense of equipment and space has left me relying on others. The thought of a makerspace in Southern Indiana made my head swim with possibilities.

With backing from the Ogle Center, John Riley and Brian Niehoff designed and brought to life a mobile version in the Maker Mobile, a non-profit, fully functioning maker studio on wheels. Maker Mobile is a 32-foot trailer outfitted with laser cutters, 3Dprinters, Vinyl Cutters, computer stations and more. It travels to schools, organizations and robotic competitions all over Southern Indiana and Kentucky educating and exposing people to opportunities to create and build.

With their engineering expertise in the field, Riley and Niehoff enlisted a finance and accounting specialist and a marketing entrepreneur to join in opening Maker13 in Jeffersonville. Together, husband and wife teams John and Christy Riley and Brian and Lauren Niehoff, have built a space for dreamers and artists, small business owners, crafters, builders and curious people like me wanting to be all of the above. The unassuming. charcoal gray building in Jeffersonville houses a beautifully-decorated interior, and an incredible collection of tools and machines, some I am familiar with and some I am itching with curiosity to learn.

bs1 bs2 bs3 bs4 bs6 bs5

Maker13 has many options for membership, including ones for individuals, families and businesses. There is a weekender membership, monthly memberships or rates for the year. There are even scholarships available for qualifying makers. Classes are offered for each of the machines in the space for a small fee. Once the class has been completed, you are free to sign up to use the machine of your choice. Maker13 also offers events, one-time classes, date nights and group events, and parent and child classes to members and non-members alike. Some of the classes and events include handmade cutting boards, trivets, paint and stencil classes, mason jar candy dispenser class and an Etch and Brew with a local beer distiller.

The list of equipment at Maker13 is extensive. Surrounding several work tables and computer stations is a bank of Ultimaker 3D printers, which lay down thin layers of melted plastic to build your three-dimensional design. Maker13 is an authorized reseller of the Ultimaker 3D printer as well.

Next to the printers are three different sizes of laser-etching and -cutting machines. Materials ranging from wood to slate, metal, plastic and glass can be etched or cut using these machines. Sewing machines and an embroidery machine cover an area in the corner. A vinyl printer and digital vinyl cutter align the wall with capabilities of printing on all types of material, including vinyl stickers, heat transfers for t-shirts, and printing on canvas. The woodshop in the back of the Maker13 space is home to your basic wood shop tools: hand power tools, miter, band and table saws as well as some not-so-basic machines. The CNC ShopBot Router and CNC Metal Mill are cutting, drilling, carving and machining powerhouses. These smart machines are perfect for furniture making, machine part manufacturing, sculptural pieces, sign making and any type of woodworking a creative mind can dream up.

The staff does an amazing job training curious novices in the operation of all the machines, as well as in safety procedures and finding online resource material. The machines can be intimidating at first, but the classes have given me confidence and boosted my creativity with endless possibilities to realize a dream of starting or enhancing a small business, jumpstarting creativity, the ability to design something and see it come to life, and the tools to build everything imaginable. I am starting to rethink my year-long membership. I should’ve signed up for the lifetime option.


Open House 6:30-8:30 p.m.

June 7

629 Michigan Ave.


Home Expo Represents “Dream Time” For Home Builders and Buyers in Southern Indiana

The good news is: The dream is back. After four years, Home Expo is back in Southern Indiana this summer.

The bad news? There really isn’t any.

That’s the estimation of Charlie Smith, CEO of the Building and Development Association of Southern Indiana (BDASI).

“The recession was a tough time for the housing industry,” Smith said. “People stopped buying. Builders stopped building. Lenders stopped lending. It was a standstill.”

In 2013, after years of putting on the annual Home Expo – a building and housing showcase of what builders could do and what was available on the market – BDASI put the event on hiatus. But, said Smith, the time is exactly right to start exhibiting homes again.

And not just homes, he said, “but what we feel are the best of the best. The crown jewels of the building industry. It’s time to dream again.”


The site of this year’s expo, which begins June 17, will be Champions Pointe, a luxury resort-style community in Memphis, Ind. The expo will feature a selection of new homes in various styles. The homes are all fully furnished and decorated. No two houses are alike. However, said Smith, they represent the very best of what today’s builders are capable of, at price points starting at $550,000.

“This,” he said, “represents what the building industry can do – and what we do best.”

Besides, he said, Champions Pointe is a glorious setting to serve as a showcase.

Representatives of these companies will be on hand to discuss how they are able to work for interested buyers. It may be buying a particular house. It may be building the same home on another plot in Champions Pointe or a similar home somewhere else.

Various suppliers – of materials, furnishings, kitchens, countertops and the like – will be on hand, as well, to explain their work on display in the show homes and all the various things they have to offer. Everything from a fully furnished kitchen to a paint color that an attendee might like.

Smith said the homes on display represent a brand-new section of Champions Pointe, a premier development situated on the beautiful backdrop of one of the resort-style golf courses designed and built by Southern Indiana’s own Fuzzy Zoeller, Masters and U.S. Open champion who won 10 PGA tour events and was the USGA golfer of the year in 1985.

The development also features amenities that include a swimming pool, best-in-class clubhouse and the area’s only private splash park. Tennis courts are coming, too.

bdsi4The presenting sponsor of the event is River City Bank, which will have representatives on site to discuss today’s lending and mortgage opportunities.

Platinum sponsors include Signature Countertops and Coronado Stone.

For a full list of the sponsors involved, please visit

“There are a lot of other home events out there, and a lot of fluff,” said Smith. “Our event has substance. That’s why we’ve waited since 2013. That’s why we feel now is the time.”

Champions Pointe is located at 1820 Champions Club Lane in Henryville, three miles west of I-65, off Exit 16 – 15 minutes from downtown Louisville.

The eight-day event begins June 17, and runs through June 25. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays; 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays. Admission is $10 per person.

More information is available on the association’s website,

“This is the Home Expo the way it’s intended to be,” Smith said. “The types of houses people dream about.”


The Building & Development Association of Southern Indiana is a local non-profit membership association dedicated to serving the housing industry by advancing professional growth and providing quality, affordable housing for the community. While a large portion of its membership is builders, about two-thirds of its membership is in closely related fields such as mortgage financing, building products and design. Associate memberships are available to providers of products or services to home builders. They might sell lumber, windows or appliances, or offer services such as land development or financing expertise.

There’s also a Builder Level Membership for any person whose business is the construction, remodeling or renovation of housing. In addition to Home Expo, BDASI also puts on the Parade of Homes, this year scheduled for the fall.


WHEN: June 17-25

WHERE: Champions Pointe, 1820 Champions Club Lane in Henryville

COST: $10 per person


A Jeffersonville Oasis

Story by Allison Jones | Photos by David Harrison

Searching for the ideal place to call home can be daunting, but Nikki Coffman didn’t waver. “I wasn’t interested in a large house that would require a great deal of upkeep or extensive yard maintenance,” she said.


A native of Southern Indiana, her roots were firmly planted in finding a place in the area. After months of searching, she stumbled upon a condominium in The Harbors and fell in love with the location, the conveniences and the amenities offered, not to mention the picturesque landscape of the Ohio River and the downtown Louisville skyline.

jo2While the condominium itself was turnkey, Coffman put her own personal reflections into the interior design. “The previous owners upgraded the kitchen with subway tile backsplash and marble countertops … something I would have picked myself, and the only other thing I did was have it repainted.” For the rest of her place, comfortable elegance is sprinkle throughout with each room echoing her personal style. “I have an ongoing relationship with Leslie Lewis Interiors. Designer Tammy Randall knows what I like, so it is easy creating spaces that capture my essence.”

Coffman’s living room is bursting with pops of color and a patterned accent wall that creates a focal point. “I was concerned that going from a 3000-square-foot home to a condominium smaller in square footage would be a problem. What I found is that downsizing is freeing.” One look at her multilayered home shows how right she was to take the minimalist path.

Just a little over six months of living here, Coffman already has been entertaining. “I hosted a Thunder over Louisville party. Twenty people came and the space really worked.”


The living room, dining area, and kitchen are all one entity, but architectural elements – like the archway and the mirrored accent wall – create the illusion of a bigger venue. Using moveable and multi-purpose furniture pieces was another smart way she utilized every nook and cranny without overwhelming the space.

The biggest attraction is the ever-changing landscape from the balcony. “I spend most of my evenings out here to watch the beautiful sunsets. She made the area inviting with plush lounge chairs and a pub table with matching chairs. The river traffic and the twinkling lights of the Louisville skyline make this the ideal spot to unwind.

Additionally, Coffman’s bedroom has become an oasis. She chose French doors with a frosted glass inlay as a stylish way to define the space between the living area and the bedroom. Paper art decorates the wall and flanks the bed that boasts an elegant tufted headboard and plush linens. A stylish, contemporary chandelier illuminates the room.


Coffman’s style lies on the traditional side with a modern edge which over the years has softened.  “With this home, I definitely have leaned toward a more feminine feel,” she said. With mirrored lamps and splashes of colors throughout the home, she has created a luxurious look that is warm and inviting. “I am so enamored with my home, it’s hard to leave. When I do leave, all I want do is to be at home.”


Nikki’s Favorite Things

Tammy Randall of Leslie Lewis & Associates Interior Design

Schmitt Furniture

Paint Colors – Living Room/Dining Room – Sherwin Williams SW7649 Silverplate

Paint Colors – Bedroom – Sherwin Williams SW9137 Niebla Azul