The Family Visits CLE

What a wonderful weekend.

My family was in town. That’s right, my parents AND Greg were all in Cleveland for the long weekend, and it was glorious. The weather was gorgeous, we had some good eats and we got in some quality time.

Some highlights from the weekend …

Greg got into town Thursday, so we had dinner and ice cream together.

ice cream

Friday, my parents came in. We had dinner in Uptown – starting with an amazing meal at L’Albatros and then dessert at Coquette Patisserie.

pre-dinner with the parents in Uptown

pre-dinner with the parents in Uptown

dessert at Coquette!

dessert at Coquette!

Saturday morning, we walked to Hingetown for tea and coffee. Then it was off to the West Side Market to pick up groceries.

tea place

kombucha on tap=happiness.

Saturday also included a walk down to the lake and dinner along the river.

fam photo by the water

fam photo by the water

pre-dinner drinks along the river

pre-dinner drinks along the river

My parents left Sunday after brunch, but Sunday afternoon, I went with Greg, his friend Zac and his friend Christie to a winery.

brunch. because this post doesn't have enough food photos.

brunch. because this post doesn’t have enough food photos.



After the winery it was time for the closing night at Blossom! Another great performance by the Cleveland Orchestra AND fireworks.

The group @ Blossom

The group @ Blossom



For Labor Day, we did as any good American and did NO Labor. We hit the beach!

beach day

And for dinner, we celebrated B and his brother’s birthday. With cupcakes, of course. (These were made by my niece and nephew – how cute!)


Tuesday was our last day off before Greg and Zac left. Naturally, we started the day with a run. It was 81 degrees, something the San Fran boys were not used to, so I could actually keep up with them! We finished 5.6 miles at under a 9 min/mile pace, so I was pretty pleased.


We had a low-key last day. We enjoyed some Restore for breakfast (my fave acai bowls/smoothies/toast) and then spent the rest of the day chilling at a coffee shop in Tremont.

smoked salmon toast. BEST.

smoked salmon toast. BEST. (and I love acai bowls with almond butter!)



All in all, it was a great weekend in Cleveland. The weather was great (I don’t mind 80s :)), and it was fun to show my brother and Zac around and see my parents. Why can’t summer never end?

Some questions for you:

  • Almond OR peanut butter? If you had to choose one …
  • Do you like kombucha? Ever had it on tap?
  • What’s something great you ate over the holiday weekend?

Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Half Marathon Recap

This Sunday I ran a half marathon, the Inaugural Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Half Marathon. It was the first year of the race (thus the name) and the start and finish line were within walking distance from my apartment. How could I say no?

Packet pickup in front of the Rock Hall!

Packet pickup in front of the Rock Hall!

Leading up to race week I was less than ecstatic. My left foot was still sore from hiking/rolling it a few weeks ago (whoops!) and the weather was looking HOT.

Raceday=Sunday=hottest day in the forecast

Raceday=Sunday=hottest day in the forecast

How I spent the night before the race ... compression socks (yes, they're inside out) and ice!

How I spent the night before the race … compression socks (yes, they’re inside out) and ice!

That being said, it ended up being a pretty good race! The heat held off until the afternoon (it was low-70s  instead of mid-80s!) and my foot only hurt the first few miles. So how else did it go?

First, the good news. I PR’d! I took two minutes off my time since the May half marathon I ran – my best time now is about 1:55 …


Now, overall thoughts on the race.

The good:

The fuel: There were water stops every two miles on the course and TWO fuel packet (Carb boom!) stops. I was able to grab water nearly every stop without a problem AND the people who were volunteering to hand out water were so helpful and cheerful! There weren’t many crowds on the course, but the people handing out water and Carb Boom were great motivation. Thank you!

Well-organized: While I didn’t hear from the race folks until the Thursday before the race (and yes, I was a little worried), the packet pickup and race day events went very smooth. The porta potty lines at the start were very quick (always appreciated!!).

pre-race selfie with Mary

pre-race selfie with Mary

The course: The course was relatively flat – which was great! It had a few minor hills (two in the beginning and 2 semi hills in the end), but elevation was probably the flattest of any half marathon I’ve ever run. So it was very PR friendly :)

ended up being a gorgeous day!

ended up being a gorgeous day!

The not-so-good:

The course: I know, I said I liked the course above. Forgive me, I’m fickle. I found the last 4 or so miles of the course awful, mentally. It was all one straight away (I do better on courses where there are a few turns I can look forward to), all black top, and no shade. Thank goodness it didn’t hit 80s until later in the day, but I was hot and bored.

The crowds: There weren’t many people out watching during the race. I know this isn’t the fault of the race organizers, but it would’ve been nice to have more people watching and cheering us on. I am so grateful that B and Nicole were out at 2 spots plus the finish line cheering us on!

Nicole made us a sign!

Nicole made us a sign!

Race entertainment: I was hoping for a band along the course or something – but besides the water stops (which, as I said above, were plentiful and cheerful!), there was nothing. And I’m spoiled with bands and music and cheering from other races, so I missed that during this course.

My stomach: Okay, this is all me. I’ve never ever had problems with my stomach during a long run or race before. I know, I must have jinxed it. But I felt sick from miles 10 on. I started feeling icky a little before, so I tried taking some new fuel (I know, a race day no-no) – Honey Stingers Chocolate with Caffeine Gel – and I’m not sure if that’s why, but after that point I didn’t feel any better. I was tired, thirsty, and for the last mile or so, nauseous. :(


I don’t have another half marathon in my sights anytime soon – I’m tooling with a November race, but haven’t signed up yet. After feeling ill the last few miles, it’s hard to get myself to register. It took me some time to be able to eat normal food again.

post-race fuel. My fave acai bowl at Restore!

post-race fuel. My fave acai bowl at Restore!

Some questions for you:

  • What is the last race you PR’d in? What’s next in your sights?
  • Do you feel sick during long runs? What’s the cause/cure?

Picture Perfect Weekends.

It was a picture perfect weekend in Cleveland. Really – I have no complaints. We had sunshine, blue skies, warm weather, and everything just seemed to work out perfectly. See for yourself – I’ll be linking up with Running N Reading and Her Heartland Soul today again for this weekend update post!

Friday morning started out with 5 miles with Mary before work. It was great to get outside and run after my vacation- I took two days off and my legs were feeling great.Screenshot 2015-08-02 12.37.00

After work, B and I checked out the Asian Market. I went last month with my parents, and B hadn’t yet gotten a chance to enjoy it. It was great – so many people and great food. I love Snow Bros Shavery and they were there.

my vietnamese cabbage salad

my vietnamese cabbage salad


shaved snow with mango whipped cream and boba…yum!

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Saturday morning, B and I got in an unplanned run – I had forgotten to sign up for the OROC 5k, so we did one on our own.  I was pretty happy to have negative splits.

Screenshot 2015-08-02 12.41.45

After the run, we went to Restore for a feast. Seriously, a feast. We shared the avocado toast, a smoothie and an acai bowl. It was the perfect post-run, hot day treat!


Then, per usual, we hit up the West Side Market for some groceries and spent the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun at the beach! It was windy out, so a little too wavy in the water, but the wind kept us cool.



We decide to make it a night out using our gift cards – For dinner, we had a gift card to Town Hall so enjoyed some patio dinner and drinks there. Next? Using a gift card to Cleveland Cinemas and seeing Trainwreck. If you haven’t seen it yet – you must. It is just TOOOOO good. Especially if you have a Cleveland connection.


After the movie was dessert. A gift card to Sweet Moses meant B and I both got treats – I got salted caramel with toffee and B got and ice cream soda.




Sunday started early. I had plans to run with Mary and my cousin-in-law, Meghan. We had 11 miles on the schedule, so I had plans to run to Mary’s, then run to Meghan’s, and then continue until we got to 11.


It was hot, and I was tired, but we did it! Just a few more weeks until the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame half!

The rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy, but we did get to go to a pizza and pool party at B’s grandma’s house with his cousins and siblings. It was the perfect end to a warm weekend.

what  a great view, huh?

what a great view, huh?

What a great weekend! How was yours?

A few questions:

  • Did you get in any long runs this weekend?
  • Do you like ice cream sodas or floats?
  • Have you ever had shaved ice?

Weekend In Photos

I’m going to attempt to not write a lengthy blog post, and instead share my weekend update with you in mostly photos. My challenge – two sentences per photo. Okay … go!

Friday night we tried out a new vegan restaurant in Cleveland. Vegan is maybe my favorite food to eat before  a long run.


Saturday morning=waking up at 5:35 a.m. to find that it’s already 76 degrees and 70% humidity.

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And you need to get in a 9 mile run.

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So you take a sweaty selfie when you’re done. 9 miles by 8 a.m.


And because you’re already up early, you hit up the West Side Market for breakfast and shopping.


AND Hingetown for coffee and scones.


And kombucha.


80 degrees means a perfect beach day. And yes, I actually went in the water.


And evening walks.


Which lead to patio drinks on the water.


And dinner outdoors. You can see B and my shadow.


And after dinner craft brews.


And more photos of the city on the water. Because why not.


Sunday morning Muppet movie marathon. I love the Muppets so so so much!

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Ladies Craft Beer Society. This month was beers in cans and bracelets.


Another nice day means a walk around some lakes before dinner.


Mexican with B’s family for dinner! Chips and some of my favorite salsa.

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And a gorgeous sunset. Which meant another walk to round about a perfect evening!


That was it! Sums up my weekend. Hope yours was as fabulous!

Some questions for you:

  • Any new favorite summer beers I should try? Two days in a row i’ve had grapefruit beers and loved them!
  • Are you an early riser? Or do you prefer to sleep in on weekends? Definitely prefer to sleep in but waking up at 5:30 on Saturday ended up working out great!

PS – I’ll be linking up with Running N Reading and Her Heartland Soul today :)


Won’t Let The Rain Keep Us Down

We had a cool, rainy weekend in Cleveland. It was a high of 70 both days – at max – which is 10 degrees cooler than usual. And it rained on and off the entire time.

Starting with that, you’d think I’d say that we spent the entire weekend inside, right? Wrong! My parents were in town and we managed to still get out and do stuff in between (and during) the showers.

Friday morning started with an 8 mile run with Nicole. We discovered a new path with a pretty good view of the city and the river, too.


Nature! Seen on the run.

Nature! Seen on the run.

Friday night, my parents got into town. We decided to spend the evening at the Asiatown Night Market. We walked over before sunset and were greeted by lots of food, music and other local vendors. We had dinner and dessert there – Vietnamese for me (along with some Chinese dumplings), and then shaved ice. SO good.

delicious ice!

delicious ice!

Night market

Night market

Saturday morning, we got up and trudged in the rain to Phuel for breakfast. I got my usual granola bowl, my parents enjoyed pancakes and eggs.

beautiful momma (and icky rain)

beautiful momma (and icky rain)

After a trip to Heinen’s and some travel planning indoors during the storm, we decided to go to the movies. We saw Spy – pretty funny!

After the movie, we walked around the area and  showed them the pathway to the beach.

selfie on our walk

selfie on our walk

Then, we enjoyed dinner at Luxe and dessert – the Shoreway Sundae at Sweet Moses. So. Good.



one of our dishes.  we shared a salad, some seared octopus and two entrees.

one of our dishes. we shared a salad, some seared octopus and two entrees.

bubbly with a straw for me!

bubbly with a straw for me!



Sunday morning, we got up early, and after breakfast at Phuel (yes, again), my parents were on the road. I got in a short workout and then hung out with B.

Phuel breakfast #2

Phuel breakfast #2

Then, it was time for some meal prep, Netflix binge watching, and when the sun came out again, a walk with Nicole. Followed by an Arctic Zero sundae for dessert. Another weekend, success.


the sun came out again!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite rainy day activity?
  • What is your go-to breakfast order?

Linking up with Running N Reading this week!

Friday Five: Summer Favorites – Five Things I’m Looking Forward To This Summer

The official first day of summer is this Sunday and I’m pretty pretty excited for it to begin. Summer in Cleveland is the best. As is spring and fall but I do just LOVE SUMMER. Here are 5 things I’m already excited about- these are my summer favorites!

1.The Beach.

I love going to the beach. Yes, Lake Erie is a lake but this East Coaster grew up with the ocean and still loves Lake Erie. It’s so big that it feels like an ocean at times and just laying out on the sand, relaxing, AND going to events like Edgewater Live where there’s live music and food trucks on the beach make me so excited for summer!

Edgewater Last June ... I need to get back!

Edgewater Last June … I need to get back!

2. Summer Vacations.

B and I took a big trip to Asia early in the year so we don’t have anything huge planned for summer, but I do have a few trips already on our agenda:

– Milwaukee for  Summerfest – just a drive away and a great music festival on their water. Plus beer, cheese curds and Jelly Belly! (Here’s a recap from the last time we went)

Last Milwaukee Vacay

Last Milwaukee Vacay

– California to visit my brother – for my mom’s birthday, our family is taking a trip out west again and spending some time with my brother who lives in SF. We’ll be doing a few days in the Redwoods before I head back to CLE (they’re taking a longer trip and have a few more adventures planned).

Last Cali trip with the fan

Last Cali trip with the fam

– Camping with friends – B rented a cabin for us and a few other couples to enjoy a weekend in the woods.

3. Ice Cream.

Yes, I enjoy ice cream year round, but there’s just something about an afternoon walk to our favorite ice cream shop that just screams summer, amiright?

I realllly reallly really love ice cream ..

I realllly reallly really love ice cream ..

4. Running.

Yes, summer running can be hot, humid and less-than-stellar but the days are longer, mornings are brighter and paths are clear of ice and I definitely appreciate it. And since I’m running a half in August, training starts two weeks ago now! And my running bff signed up for a full so that means we’ll be sure to get in some early morning longish runs together hopefully.

see! I sweat .. a lot.

see! I sweat .. a lot. but i’m still smiling!

5. Blossom/Outdoor Music.

I love patios. And backyards. There’s just something so relaxing and freeing about sitting outside and enjoying live music. The Cleveland Orchestra’s summer home is at Blossom, and last year B and I went to two shows where we sat on the lawn, brought some wine and cheese and snacks, and listened to the orchestra perform. BEST way to spend a summer night!

A shot of the lawn - packed with people!

A shot of the lawn – packed with people!

Some questions for you:

  1. What are you most looking forward to for summer?
  2. Do you have any summer vacation plans?
  3. Do you like running in the summer? If not, what’s your preferred season for running?
  4. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Shout out to the Dancing Runner for inspiring me to write this post! AND linking up today with this fabulous blog – Running for Cupcakes!.

Friday Five: May Randomness

As we get to the unofficial start of summer, I realize I haven’t been so great about my weekend recap posts this month. Jinkies! (yes, cue the Mystery Machine) So here is a random Friday Five to catch you up to speed. Don’t worry – I hope have more weekend update posts AND some new baked goods recipes coming soon (butterscotch chocolate chip cookies and ginger cookies!).

Friday 5: 5 Random Things

1. I signed up for the new Rock Hall Half Marathon! Blame it on the runner’s high –  last weekend was the Cleveland Marathon (recap here). I was lucky enough to be an Ambassador and hang out with these lovely people AND run with B. (Yes, I did write about this but I just had to share it again because I’m still feeling the high from the event!)

Some of my fellow ambassadors the night before the race - we clean up good!

Some of my fellow ambassadors the night before the race – we clean up good!

Me and Nicole. We're running buddies.

Me and Nicole. We’re running buddies.

2. Earlier this month was the St. Martin De Porres Birthday Bash. I went with B and his family and we got all dressed up and celebrated/raised money for St. Martin De Porres High School at the Cleveland Art Museum. Such a great venue – and a great cause!

B and me at the bash

B and me at the bash

Some of us ladies at the event

Some of us ladies at the event

3. I’ve been baking up a storm this month. Some things have included ginger chocolate biscotti, butterscotch cookies, butterscotch chocolate chip cookies, triple ginger cookies. Yum! Recipes coming soon (hopefully).

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4. B and I finally got around to making one of the recipes we learned in Vietnam this year – spring rolls! Our contribution to Mother’s Day (theme: small plates) were these shrimp and pork spring rolls with peanut sauce. So delicious!


5. A client of mine, Donate Life Ohio, recently kicked off a #DonateKindness campaign. They are encouraging people to take 2 minutes of their day to commit to an act of kindness toward someone else. (And of course, it only takes 2 minutes to do the ultimate act of kindness – register as an organ, eye or tissue donor) I participated already and can’t wait to do it again – I shipped some baked goods (see aforementioned treats) to some friends and family as a surprise!

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Some questions for you:

  1. Have you done any random acts of kindness lately? What have you done?
  2. What is a good Memorial Day appetizer or dessert to bring to a party? I need ideas!