A Luau – In Cleveland!

This weekend, B and I attended a luau. In Cleveland. That’s right – one with some cooked pig, leis, dancing, and a beach. Oh, and there were even some grass skirts.

luau banner image

No, I’m not joking. Saturday, B and I scored free tickets (thank you so much Charlene!) to the 9th annual Luau on the Lake, put on by Shoes and Clothes For Kids (SC4K). The summer Hawaiian-themed event takes place on Whiskey Island and is a fundraiser for the local Cleveland charity. Never heard of SC4K? From their website: SC4K is the only non-profit organization in Greater Cleveland providing new shoes and clothes to thousands of children in need at no charge throughout the year. Through a network of 35 distribution partners, SC4K positively impacts the lives of area children by giving them the self-esteem and confidence that comes from having brand new shoes and clothes.

Great organization, right? I know several people on their board. It’s great to see local organizations doing things that impact the people of our city!

Anyway, on to the event. B and I had gone to the Luau on the Lake in 2008 and enjoyed it a lot. BUT it was amazing to see how much had changed in just four years – there were many more people, more activities and more dancing then I remember.

2008 Luau - don't we look the same?

2008 Luau – don’t we look the same?

This year’s Luau was a huge party, outdoors, on the beach and they had sand volleyball, cornhole, giant Jenga, great food, drinks, a limbo competition, dancing and more.

some of the crowd

some of the crowd

corn hole - I didn't partake because I lack those skills.

corn hole – I didn’t partake because I lack those skills.

We enjoyed the food, drinks and even the dancing. And the coconut sorbet for dessert? OMG. I will dream about that for weeks.

Coconut sorbet. SO GOOD.

Coconut sorbet. SO GOOD.

The event was great. I’d highly recommend you go to the 2015 event (and I hope we do too!) if you want to spend some time celebrating summer in Cleveland, enjoying food and entertainment and of course lovely lake views – all for a good cause.

2014 Luau. Nearly the same pose as 2008!

2014 Luau. Nearly the same pose as 2008!

Three Days To Celebrate the Fourth

As I recently (okay and more often than once before have) professed, I love three-day weekends. There are so many great things about them and I find that they allow me to do everything I want to do – be productive (meal prep, catch up on work, laundry and clean), bake, work out, catch up on TV shows, meet up with friends, go out AND relax. For some reason, a two-day weekend just doesn’t come close and the extra day makes all the difference!

This past three-day weekend was the same. It was full of good (and maybe a little too much) food and drinks. Sunshine. The beach. Hanging out with B’s family for the Fourth. Catching an Indians game. A few runs with friends. Lots of Orange Is The New Black (slowly making our way through the 2nd season!) and almost finishing the book I’ve been reading for the past few months.

Here’s a little peek at all that we were able to cram into our three days off!

What would Fourth of July be without some red, white and blue goodies? Of course I couldn’t let a three-day weekend go by without some baking!

blondiesandbark

We enjoyed the Fourth of July and some fireworks with B’s family. They live right next to a park on the lake so we got to enjoy a BBQ and a great fireworks show on their front lawn!b and me on the fourth

I love BBQs as is evidenced by my plate. I ate everything on it minus the beans and the hot dog because I’m weird like that. My eyes were bigger than my stomach. plate on fourth

Saturday included a much needed relaxing beach day. I managed to get in some time on the elliptical before we headed to the beach with Dave and Anson and then back to their house for some pizza and beer on their porch. This time of year I really miss having a porch!20140705_161445

Sunday started out with a nice run with a friend that lives downtown. The weather cooled down during the run (started mid-70s and then got to low 70s) which made for a much more enjoyable run then the past few we’ve had together! Running in sunny, 80-90 degree temps < windy 70 degree temps7 miler with nicole

Then, B and I headed to the afternoon Indians game – and caught a win! We also had amazing club seats, which meant more good food (it’s all you can eat!) – as if my weekend needed it.20140706_153939And speaking of food, Sunday night included roasting a chicken (it’s the third chicken I’ve roasted – and this one was already cleaned and giblet free. I think I’m getting spoiled), prepping some lunches and other meals for the week and catching up on our TV shows. Meaning 24, Damages (we’re on season 3!) and Orange Is The New Black.IMG_20140706_212458

Yup, it really was the perfect weekend – great weather, food, friends, and more. Here’s to hopefully just as great a week!

Some questions for you:

  • How did you celebrate your Fourth of July holiday?
  • Do you like fireworks? Did you catch more than 1 show? Yes! I caught the free show downtown with the Orchestra earlier in the week and then the show at the park on the Fourth.
  • Do you like traditional summer bbq foods like hot dogs and burgers? Actually, I’m not a burger fan. Something about ground beef that gets to me every time. Yes, I tried a little piece of burger on Friday, but they’re still not for me! 
  • If you had three days off, what would you do? Do you like to relax? Be productive? Go out? All three and more?

 

C Is For …

I hate to brag, but it was another beautiful weekend in Cleveland. Sunny, 80 degrees, absolutely gorgeous.

So I did what any good native Northeasterner would do when a sunny, warm, beautiful summer weekend rolls around – spend as much of it outside as I can!

The weekend started out with a surprise parade that I encountered on my way home from work that was kicking off Jazz Festival.

And then B and I decided to sit outside, enjoy the weather and enjoy some of the live music that was happening for the festival this weekend. Oh yeah, and some wine. Wine + music meant an excellent start to the evening.

Jazz fest

Jazz fest

We had already planned our dinner – brats and salads from our Fresh Fork share. B made them with some fried onions and they were amazing.

Fresh Fork-inspired dinner - brats, salad and fried onions

Fresh Fork-inspired dinner – brats, salad and fried onions. And yes, more wine.

Saturday started early with a 7 mile run with Nicole. Nicole is starting to train for 50K (yes, 50!) and while I’m not training for anything, I was happy to have someone to do the miles with. Though it was hot, humid and we may have stopped to walk and for water a few times, I was feeling pretty good by the time the run was over and I was ready for the day. Which of course started with my favorite salad at Rothschild Farms.

One of my favorite post-run meals - Rothschild Farms salad

One of my favorite post-run meals – Rothschild Farms salad

And then a quick trip to the West Side Market for an apple fritter and other goodies.

West Side Market goodies

West Side Market goodies

After the market, we headed to Hansa Import Haus to pick up some spicy mustard and summery hefeweizens. I LOVE a good spicy mustard and they have so many to choose from!

Hansa Import Haus - SO MUCH MUSTARD

Hansa Import Haus – SO MUCH MUSTARD

Saturday also happened to be the monthly meetup of the Ladies Craft Beer Society – a few ladies get together craft and drink craft beer. Reanna hosts it in Ohio City and it’s really just an excuse to admire her cute house, drink beer, eat snacks and catch up with other ladies. I am not a crafty person and my crafts never seem to come out (don’t even ask about the mitten I tried to make) … but this one did! Look at my string art!

Me and my craft

Me and my craft (photo credit: Cari!)

I did something crafty!

I did something crafty!

After crafting, I decided to continue to hang out in Ohio City (where crafting was) and enjoy the beautiful weather by finding a patio. My coworker Cari and her fiance joined us and B walked over from downtown. Nano Brew was perfect – their patio was just filling up and I do love their food.

Patio beers

Patio beers

Love being outdoors!

Love being outdoors!

After Nano, we walked back downtown and met up with some other people who were outside at another patio. Beginning to see a theme? I’m envisioning a lot of summertime patios in my future this year.

Sunday started off somewhat early when B went to softball and I decided to be productive in his absence. It included folding clothes, some meal prep for the week (which included soaking beans, making chicken, boiling eggs and massaging kale … I love this stuff!), working out, hanging up my new craft, and some other boring stuff.

Meal prep!

Meal prep!

But when B got home – it was BEACH time! I’m beginning to love this summer tradition. all weekends should end with reading and relaxing on the sand.

The beach was a lot less crowded this weekend

The beach was a lot less crowded this weekend

And of course, after beachtime it was dinnertime with B’s family. This week were at his brother and sister-in-law’s house and enjoyed a super summery meal, followed by strawberry pie on their front porch. Dinners and nights like this make me almost ready to move to the suburbs. But then I remember how much fun we had Friday and Saturday going out and walking around downtown and Ohio City and the feeling quickly fades.

Turkey burgers, quinoa and potato salads = perfect summer meal

Turkey burgers, quinoa and potato salads = perfect summer meal

Some questions for you:

How was your weekend? Tell me something fun you did.

  • In your opinion, what’s your favorite summery meal? Turkey burgers or ribs. Plus a nice salad, pasta or quinoa salad with fresh veggies, corn and sweet potato. 
  • Meal prepping  -yay or nay? Do you enjoy planning and prepping lunches and other meals in advance? Yes – if I have time, I love it. I love preparing the food, getting them ready for the week and the whole planning element.
  • What’s your favorite summery beer? I need suggestions!

A Weekend With Friends in the CLE

Do you have a group of friends or a friend that you don’t see too often (perhaps because you live far apart) but each time you meet up it’s like things have never changed and you can pick up right where you left off? That’s my Jane and Melgar. We’ve been friends since 7th grade and even though we went to different colleges and now live in different cities, we stay in touch and see each other once a year.

Look what I found in my old yearbook! Five high school best friends before junior year prom. LOOK AT THOSE DRESSES.

Look what I found in my old yearbook! Five high school best friends before junior year prom. LOOK AT THOSE DRESSES.

This year, even with Melgar’s wedding, we managed to get together in my current home – Cleveland! It had been 5 or 6 years since they had been in town and it’s crazy to think about how much life has changed since then – not only how much Cleveland has changed but how much we have changed. New jobs, marriage, new significant others, new cities, grad school – seriously, so much has changed.

Obligatory picture of Jane and Melgar and I the last time they were in CLE - posing at Edgewater

Obligatory picture of Jane and Melgar and I the last time they were in CLE – posing at Edgewater. We don’t look that different do we?

Anyway, we had a GREAT weekend, if I do say so myself. We enjoyed time at some downtown bars (from Moriarty’s to Lincoln Tap House to Society Lounge) and restaurants (Greenhouse Tavern, Phuel and Taza), in Ohio City (West Side Market and Town Hall), and even Tremont (Press Wine Bar and Treehouse). Oh yeah, we also went for a run, got to watch some World Cup AND went to the beach. I’d say it was a successful weekend!

Some fabulous photos from the weekend (in no order):

Watching the soccer game at Moriarty's

Watching the soccer game at Moriarty’s

Then fancy cocktails at Society

Then fancy cocktails at Society

Easy run in the morning around downtown

Easy run in the morning around downtown

Catching some rays (and ice cream) on the beach

Catching some rays (and ice cream) on the beach

Walking to the West Side Market and brunch

Walking to the West Side Market and brunch (side note – a runner stopped mid-run and asked if we wanted our photo taken! How nice is that?)

Hanging out at the mini flea market in Ohio City

Hanging out at the mini flea market in Ohio City

brunch at Phuel

brunch at Phuel (pancake not pictured). Also realized I didn’t get a photo of our amazing meals at Greenhouse, Taza OR Town Hall!

patio drinks in Tremont

patio drinks in Tremont

Feeling American watching the World Cup drinking a Bud Light and eating a buffalo chicken salad

AND after they left, I drowned my sorrows in soccer. I felt pretty American watching the World Cup drinking a Bud Light and eating a buffalo chicken salad.

It was a great weekend and I can’t wait until I see these girls again soon. We always have such a great time catching up, relaxing and exploring whatever city we’re in. Where should we meet up next?

Some questions for you (answer in the comments if you can):

How was your weekend?

Did you watch the World Cup?

What’s your idea of “American” food? Beer, soda, wings, buffalo chicken and burgers!

Do you like fancy drinks? What’s your favorite cocktail?

Where is your favorite city to have a girl’s weekend? We need suggestions!

What’s your favorite brunch order? I’m typically a savory bruncher – eggs, sausage, bacon … etc. I got chili for brunch on Saturday and granola on Sunday. 

Sunshine, Beach and Ice Cream … Just Another CLE-weekend

It was another gorgeous weekend in Cleveland. Seriously, these past two weekends have been incredible – sunny days, 70-80 degrees and nothing but blue skies. It almost makes me forget about the less-than-stellar winter we had.

This weekend B and I ended up with NO plans. That’s right – a weekend without really anything on the schedule. And since I’ve been working a lot and B has been picking up the slack in pretty much every area (making me dinner, lunch an breakfast … cleaning the apartment … and being super awesome) I suggested he pick an activity for Friday night and I’d comply, no questions asked. Luckily (for me) the result ended up being a fun Friday night – which led to a great Saturday and Sunday. Basically, an ideal weekend.

Friday night started with happy hour, and then an Indians’ game ($1 dogs!) with B’s brother, sister and a few friends.

Gorgeous sunny skies at the game

Gorgeous sunny skies at the game

An equally amazing sunset - and a win!

An equally amazing sunset – and a win!

Saturday started out with an easy, super slow 4-miler with B (I don’t know how he didn’t kill me – he can run much faster but I wasn’t feeling it) before lunch at Rothschild Farms and one of my favorite salads.

Rothschild Farms House Salad - goat cheese, candied nuts, pears, chicken and pickled onion!

Rothschild Farms House Salad – goat cheese, candied nuts, pears, chicken and pickled onion!

Then a quick trip to the driving range where I hit a few balls for the first time this year, followed by our usual Saturday shopping at the West Side Market.  Our CSA starts this week (yay! we’re resuming our Fresh Fork membership) which means we’ll likely have fewer Saturdays at the Market (boo).

B actually knows how to golf

B actually knows how to golf

Pretending to know how to golf

Pretending to know how to golf

Saturday night, B cooked me an awesome dinner fresh from the Market – salmon, asparagus and roasted cauliflower. It really was the perfect summer meal.

B made me dinner ... again!

B made me dinner … again!

Especially since the meal ended with another trip to Rothschild Farms – this time to their creamery – for dessert. What you see below is bananas foster ice cream with peanut butter topping (for me) and blueberry balsamic twist for B. Both were pretty incredible.

I enjoyed every bit of that peanut butter topping. Peanut butter + banana = perfection.

I enjoyed every bit of that peanut butter topping. Peanut butter + banana = perfection.

Sunday started off pretty lazy – I slept WAY in before getting in a short run and elliptical workout.

And then we spent the day at the beach! They’ve really cleaned up Edgewater Park and the beach and water seemed super clean. I enjoyed some reading and an iced coffee – and even ran into my friend/morning running buddy Nicole!

It was seriously super gorgeous out.  Yes, this is Cleveland.

It was seriously super gorgeous out. Yes, this is Cleveland.

not a bad view!

not a bad view!

Sunday night ended with dinner with B’s family – including MORE homemade ice cream. I ate my homemade strawberry ice cream (B’s mom and sister made it!) too fast to take a picture. But as you can see, my niece enjoyed her homemade chocolate ice cream a little too much

So much chocolate ice cream!

So much chocolate ice cream!

So after two ice creams, one beach day, and a few runs I’d say I had a pretty awesome weekend. How was yours? Some questions for you:

  • Favorite ice cream flavor? Anything with peanut butter, caramel, cookie dough or heath bar – and NOT chocolate. Yup, I don’t like chocolate ice cream.
  • How was your weekend? Did you get to enjoy some time outside?
  • Do you enjoy going to the beach? As long as I can just sit on a towel/blanket and have a good book – count me in! 
  • Any summer reading recommendations?
  • Do you golf? Nope. Driving range is about as far as I go. B loves golfing so it’s a nice compromise. 

Weekend Update – Cleveland Marathon Weekend

I’m still feeling the endorphins from a great half marathon weekend and my second sub-2 hour half marathon for this year. That’s right – even though I didn’t plan on running too fast and just wanted to take it easy, Sunday morning ended with me running another 1:58 half marathon race during the Cleveland marathon. (Mostly because of B’s sister, Mary, but I’ll get to that later)

I knew I wanted to take it easy this weekend – I was just getting over a cold and a few late nights, and I realllly wanted to feel good and rested for my Sunday morning race. That’s code for “I was really boring this weekend.”

Friday night B and I went to the movies for the first time in forever. After an amazing (as usual) dinner at Superior Pho, we hit up the movie theater with all the teeny boppers in Cleveland to see Neighbors. Don’t worry, the teeny boppers were seeing Godzilla or something else. The movie was actually pretty good – I didn’t have high expectations but I had a few pretty good laughs out of it. The previews don’t do it justice – it was more than just a stupid movie I promise!

Summer rolls = happiness

Summer rolls = happiness

my favorite salad at Superior Pho

my favorite salad at Superior Pho

Saturday was another lazy day. We walked to brunch at pHuel cafe (yes, again…I know this is two weeks in a row) where I had their granola (yes, again) and B had their pancakes (again … but with banana this time).

Another Saturday, another pHuel Cafe breakfast

Another Saturday, another pHuel Cafe breakfast

Ginger Tea from Cleveland Tea Revival

Ginger Tea from Cleveland Tea Revival

After brunch we headed to the West Side Market to pick up some snacks (Apple Fritters FTW!), but not too many groceries for the week since I’ll be traveling. After the Market it was time for my favorite ginger tea and then laziness time. That’s right, aka Melissa watches several episodes of Damages while waiting for her dinner. We had dinner plans with Mary and a few of her friends at my favorite pre-race dinner place, The Flaming Ice Cube. I swear – they have the perfect pre-long-run dinner and I live by their kalebouli wraps before a race.

Flaming Ice Cube Kalebouli Hummus Wrap

Flaming Ice Cube Kalebouli Hummus Wrap

We came home after dinner to a surprise – my Go Vox Box from Influenster arrived! It was such a perfect pre-race surprise – I can’t wait to try out the orthotics (for walking, I’m not messing with my existing running orthotics) and the protein powder and shaker. B and I have protein we use already, but I’m always up for trying out new ones! And BLUEBERRY almonds? Anyway, I digress.

Check out all these goodies from Influenster!

Check out all these goodies from Influenster!

Sunday morning was race day! I was not looking forward to my 5 a.m. alarm – but Mary and I met up before the race so we could start together. Mary was running the full and I was just planning on running the first 10 easy with her before the half marathoners split up from the full marathoners. Mary had other plans – to aim for a sub-4 hour marathon, a PR of about 20 minutes from her last marathon time (Mary is a beast and this is her third race). And she asked if I’d run the first 10 with her – how could I say no?

Mary and I at the starting corral

Mary and I at the starting corral

So out the door went my “easy, enjoying the sights” half marathon plans .. and instead, I ran with Mary for the first 10, trying to keep up with the 3:55 pacers. We did it, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I breathed (or huffed at this point) a sigh of relief when the marathoners broke up for their final 16 as I finished my final 3ish.  Mile 11-12 was all up hill and in the sun, and I was dying. I felt like I was going at a snail’s pace and don’t know how but I managed to somewhat spring the final mile to the finish. The end result:

A surprise - under 2 hrs!

A surprise – under 2 hrs!

post race photo op with the medal

post race photo op with the medal

Post race, we met up with some of the members of the “Ladies who run in the morning” club (yes, I just came up with that name) for brunch. I know – two weekends in a row, four brunches. Who am I?

Ladies who Run in the Morning together

Ladies who Run in the Morning together

Some questions for you:

  • Drinks at brunch – yes or no? If yes, what’s your drink of choice? Mimosas? Bellinis? Beer?
  • Morning runner or evening workerouter (that’s a word)?
  • What was the last movie you saw?
  • Clevelanders – how did you do this weekend? Did you like the new course? Congrats to all you who participated and thank you to ALL who came out to cheer. It really does make quite a difference in how we feel.
  • Runners – what’s your evening-before-a-race meal of choice?

 

An Evening Out in Uptown – Being Part of the Community Chandelier Project

Living downtown, B and I don’t get to other neighborhoods on a regular basis. It’s just hard,  you know – when nearly everything you want is just a quick walk away, why hop in the car to drive somewhere else?

Earlier this week, though, B and I spent the night out in Uptown, another one of Cleveland’s wildly changing and developing neighborhoods. We were invited to the Chandelier Project Closing Party at MOCA and took the opportunity to help with the project and visit the area.

Are you familiar with the Community Chandelier Project? For the past few months, members from the community have been helping hand make a beaded chandelier for Trentina, the Amelia and Chef Jonathon Sawyer restaurant opening super soon in the neighborhood.

I know what you’re thinking … my craft-making skills are pretty bad … have you seen the pair of mittens I tired to make? But I was assured we’d just be putting beads on strings, and getting to have some drinks and try some of the new Trentina food – plus get free admission to MOCA for the evening (after hours!) – so I happily accepted the invite.

It was a great, intimate event. MOCA is a gorgeous building – inside and out – and we got to see their current exhibit, Dirge, which had more meaning to me than it would have several months ago. Several other bloggers and members of the media were at the event, along with Chef Sawyer, Amelia and their adroable (and super well-behaved) children. The couple gave a heartwarming thanks to everyone who helped them bring this dream to life. We learned that more than 500 people had participated in this community chandelier project – I can’t wait to see it brought to life in the restaurant in the coming months!

prosecco

We were greeted with prosecco and appetizers! Prosecco the night before a long run = always a good decision.

my beadwork

my beadwork / strand for the Community Chandelier at Trentina

b beading

B busy with his strand

every colored bead on the strands represent a new person who helped out.

every colored bead on the strands represent a new person who helped out.

 

beading

pretending to be crafty

IMG_20140508_185346

polenta crisp appetizer, drink and completed beadwork

The amazing couple - Chef Sawyer and Amelia share their story and thank everyone for helping with the Community Chandelier

The amazing couple – Chef Sawyer and Amelia share their story and thank everyone for helping with the Community Chandelier

After the event and exploring the museum, B and I strolled around midtown.

Selfies outside MOCA (the building is reflective!)

Selfies outside MOCA (the building is reflective!)

Walking around Midtown

Walking around Midtown

And of course stopped for some dessert at Coquette Patisserie.

Dessert from Coquette Patisserie

Dessert from Coquette

 

It was a great, beautiful evening and reminded me I really need to get out and explore more. After all, one of my favorite neighborhoods outside of downtown was just named one of THE up-and-coming neighborhoods in the nation by USA Today. If that’s not a reason to leave downtown on occasion, I don’t know what is!

A few questions for you to answer:

  • Favorite neighborhood near where you live … go!
  • Modern Art – how do you feel about it? Do you go to modern art museums?
  • Is the weather finally getting warm where you are? It was sunny and in the 80s when B and I were exploring the area!
  • What’s one good thing you have going on this weekend/week? This weekend I hope to get back to the Cleveland Flea! We’re also going to a benefit, so B and I can get dressed up and be fancy one evening.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Chandelier Closing Project by MOCA and received free admission into the museum. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions/thoughts/photos/other randomness are my own.

A Dazzzzzzling Weekend

Wow, what a weekend. It was SO awesome that I’m pretty much speechless. Okay, not really – but I am suffering from some minor laryngitis … for real. But at least I can type, right?

Friday started with a 10.5 mileish run BEFORE work. Yes, that’s right – I ran before work with Nicole, a girl I’ve been running with who also signed up for the Cleveland Half Marathon (in less than two weeks!). We both had bus weekends planned so decided to get in a run before work early Friday morning. It was so nice to know that we’d done 10 miles before 7:30 a.m.!

10 early morning miles with Nicole

10 early morning miles with Nicole

Friday night was amazing. My parents were in town (YAY!!!) so we enjoyed dinner at Saigon, and then took in the Dazzle the District celebration. The live music, performances, crowds and of course the actual lighting and fireworks were incredible. For those that don’t know – my neighborhood is now home to the world’s largest outdoor chandelier. And not only did I get to enjoy the lighting of the chandelier, but I got to go with my parents who were in from NY.

Jamie (lives in my building) had a Dazzle pre-party

Jamie (lives in my building) had a Dazzle pre-party

Pho for dinner

Pho for dinner

before

before

Chandelier is lit!

Chandelier is lit!

Saturday I woke up with no voice. Like literally no voice at all. So instead of going for a run and playing tour guide, I took it easy. We went to West Side Market with my parents, then of course I had to take them to Cleveland Tea Revival (my mom’s new favorite place!) and then we walked around a bit and explored Ohio City.

YUM! Bread at West Side Market

YUM! Bread at West Side Market

Pizza at Biermarkt

Pizza at Biermarkt

We enjoyed some pizza for lunch at BierMarkt and then it was on to the Indians game!  B got us great seats (4 rows back on the first base side) AND we won. My parents loved sitting so close – and taking home a win is always great.

All wearing Indians hats

All wearing Indians hats

Indians Win!

Indians Win!

Sunday my parents left pretty early – which was sad, but okay because I had an event to go to. I’m on the board of the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Cleveland and Sunday was our annual Scholarship Banquet. Each year, our organization recognizes 100+ local outstanding high school seniors and awards one a $4,000 scholarship. It was a great event and it was so nice to “talk” (my voice was still coming back) to the young students, their parents and hear what they had planned for their future.

Hundreds of people at the PBK Scholastic Awards - Students, Parents, Teachers

Hundreds of people at the PBK Scholastic Awards – Students, Parents, Teachers

Sunday night ended with some work and of course dinner at B’s parents house.

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday … we’re already halfway through this week and soon ready for the upcoming weekend!  Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever lost your voice? What did you do to get it back? I’ve been drinking tons of tea and honey and trying to suck on tons of cough drops to prevent from constantly coughing/clearing my throat.
  • Are you Phi Beta Kappa?
  • Plans for Mother’s Day? We will be hanging out with B’s family. Since I saw my parents last weekend, and I’ll be seeing them again in a few weeks, we won’t be seeing them for Mother’s Day.
  • Have you ever done a long run before a work day as opposed to on the weekend? Would you do it again?
  • What are you looking forward to this May?

2 Races, 1 Weekend

Phew, we’re back from a pretty busy/nonstop weekend. The past few days have included some good meals, some art, a comedy show, and two races (including one PR!). Here are some picture to give you an idea:

Our weekend “started” on Thursday with a night at the Cleveland Art Museum with B’s work. We were treated to a peek at their Van Gogh exhibit, appetizers, and drinks in the gorgeous Atrium.

Checking out the pretty awesome Van Gough exhibit at the Cleveland Art museum

Checking out the pretty awesome Van Gough exhibit at the Cleveland Art museum

Friday night included another Flaming Ice Cube meal AND another comedy show, this time we saw a “Mom-ic” (mom-comic) who was a lot funnier than I expected.

Saturday morning was an early one – we started with the Cleveland 10 Miler!

hermes 10 miler cleveland

B and I post Saturday’s 10 mile race. Feeling good! (and there’s a photobomber!)

Oh yeah, and B and I PRed in our Cleveland 10 miler time. It wasn’t our best pace ever (it wasn’t our half-marathon pace) but apparently the past few times we’ve done the 10 miler we were a lot slower. Check out the difference:

Past years:

Past few years' times

Past few years’ times

This year my finish time: 1:31:43. Yes, that’s more than a 10 minute PR. 

Rothschild Farms

post-run yumyums – my favorite salad at Rothschild Farms

That was just race #1 of the weekend. Saturday evening we headed down to Columbus and Sunday morning included Race #2: a 5k in Columbus to participate in a race B’s aunt was organizing that supported the local autism society.

the whole group of us at the race

the whole group of us at the race

Autism awareness 5k

Autism awareness 5k – me and my “cousin-in-law” Steph – check out her cool socks!

 

B's aunt took this photo of me crossing the finish - I took First Female!

B’s aunt took this photo of me crossing the finish – I took First Female!

after the race we enjoyed a nice light meal. KIDDING. My brunch was pretty delicious!

after the race we enjoyed a nice light meal. KIDDING. My brunch was pretty delicious! That may or may not be Irish coffee in the background …

That’s about it! How was your weekend? Some questions for you:

  • Have you run 2 races in one weekend? First time ever! And it wasn’t sooooo bad (though I may be in pain today …)
  • Favorite brunch food? I prefer eggs (over easy or sunny side up) to sweet breakfast items like pancakes or french toast. 
  • Favorite post-run food? I typically crave salads with tons of toppings and of course a hunk of bread. But eggs are nice too :)
  • Last art exhibit you went to?
  • May is THIS WEEK! What’s something fun you’re doing? Running the Cleveland half marathon; seeing my brother graduate; seeing my family in NY AND in Cleveland … so much fun stuff going on!

 

 

Weekend Update: It’s Been 5 Weeks …

It’s been FIVE whole weeks since I’ve spent a weekend in Cleveland. Oh boy! No wonder I was feeling super excited and almost giddy for a weekend of staying home and enjoying what looked like an amazing weather forecast:

costa rica weather

Okay, okay – you got me. That’s not Cleveland. But it was darn close – this weekend we saw sunny, 70 degree temps BOTH DAYS. For my friends in Southern California I know that’s not a big deal – but holy cow, it felt great here!

Some highlights from the weekend:

Friday night started with dinner at Flaming Ice Cube with a few other friends. Oh kalebouli hummus wrap – how I have missed thee!

Kalebouli humus wrap from the Flaming Ice Cube

Kalebouli humus wrap from the Flaming Ice Cube

And then a comedy show – Marc Maron was in town! B got me hooked on his stuff – his podcast and show are both pretty funny – and then of course I loved his act. I was crying of laughter at his last bit, where he talked about his Time Warner Cable customer service experience.

(not from the show i saw but from his TV show)

Saturday morning started with an 8 mile run – in a SHORT sleeved shirt and capris. Yes – it was finally warm enough to run without leggings, a jacket, gloves, etc. Hooray!

post-run sweaty pic

post-run unflattering sweaty pic

And then B and I hit the first Cleveland Flea of the year. It was super crowded – I guess word has caught on and combined with the good weather, it seems like everyone was there.

perfect day for the first Cleveland Flea.

perfect day for the first Cleveland Flea.

After the Flea we headed to the West Side Market to pick up groceries of the week. I still can’t believe it’s been five weeks since I’ve been there! Oh, and of course we had to stop for some lunch at the Souper Market.

awesome veggie lentil soup and amazing hunk of bread.

awesome veggie lentil soup and amazing hunk of bread.

No trip to Ohio City is complete without a stop at Rising Star

No trip to Ohio City is complete without a stop at Rising Star

Friday night we ended up hanging in, enjoying homemade pizza and wine and catching up on some episodes of Game of Thrones. No spoilers – we’re only on season 2!

one of too many slices :) homemade mushroom zaa!

one of too many slices :) homemade mushroom zaa!

Sunday was another gorgeous day, so after Palm Sunday Mass, B and I decided to take a walk to the lake. I love living so close to water – there’s just something so relaxing about big bodies of water, isn’t there? (Lake Erie is huge – it feels like an ocean, it’s not like I can see Canada)

They've really revamped the Cleveland Theater District this year - coming soon ... a chandelier!

They’ve really revamped the Cleveland Theater District this year – coming soon … a chandelier!

view from the water

view from the water

We also enjoyed some of our favorite Lebanese food for lunch. Yes, I had hummus twice this weekend and I’m not ashamed. This time it was my favorite hummus, at my favorite Lebanese place (look at those pita pillows!), Taza.

my favorite hummus.

my favorite hummus.

And some baking. I don’t think a weekend would be complete without at least some baking – don’t you agree?

Here's what I ended up making - cookie dough easter eggs!

Here’s what I ended up making – cookie dough easter eggs! I’ll share the recipe tomorrow

Some questions for you:

Did you enjoy some good weather this weekend? Were you able to get outside? A run and outdoor market on Saturday, a long walk with B on Sunday. Simply marvelous!

What sort of things do you buy at flea markets? I’ve never bought anything for myself at the Flea (well besides fruits/veggies from local farm stands) – just gifts. What do you buy at flea markets?

Is it ever too warm for soup? I don’t think so! I love soup year round – even in the summer.

Do you like comedy shows?Are you a Marc Maron fan?