GIVEAWAY: Run CLE with Me! Cleveland Marathon Entry Giveaway

The cool weather, shorter days and snow outside only means one thing for runners — it’s spring marathon training time!

That’s right, just when the weather is at it’s pique for running (sense my sarcasm?), it’s time for us runners to start training again. Lucky for us, we’re a crazy crew and we’re ready to take on the challenge! That’s why I’m excited to share that once again I’m returning as a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador!

That means that I get to promote one of my favorite race series – the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, happening May 19, 2019. Not ready to run a marathon? Race weekend has plenty of options, including a Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 8K, 5K, 1-mile and even a Kids’ Run. And there’s my favorite – the Challenge Series events, where if you run both Saturday and Sunday, you get 3 cool medals and a special gift (gifts have included a fleece blanket, hoodie, etc.)!

What’s in it for you? I get to give away one race entry! This year’s giveaway is taking place somewhere new – my Instagram account. That’s right, head on over to @koskim on Instagram to enter.

And while you’re on Instagram, check out the @Clevemarathon account – I’m taking over their stories today!!

Some fun facts about the Cleveland Marathon:

  • The Cleveland Marathon is one of the 50 oldest marathons in the country – it began in 1978 and had the same course until 2004!
  • The race was the first to invite elite runners from the Soviet Union to the marathon during the Cold War.
  • The 10K was added in 1978, the half marathon event was added in 2005 and the 5K added in 2009.

Ready to run? Check out @koskim on Instagram to enter today. The giveaway will run through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, 1/20. And you get a bonus entry just by commenting on this blog post!

Some questions for you:

  • What was the last race you ran?
  • Do you like winter running?

And if you don’t win, you can still get 10% off! Use discount code MC2019 when you register.

Cleveland Marathon Kickoff Weekend

For a wintry weekend, it was a good one. It was fun, we had good food, were productive and we got to spend time outside.

The weekend started with a kickoff run for the Cleveland Marathon. I’m an ambassador again this year and it was fun to see some of my other ambassadors.

And I got to run with this guy in the stroller for half of it.

After the run, when we got home, I did some meal prep, including making muffins for the week.

Then, LM and I got groceries.

That night, the 4 of us went out – to Barroco!

My arepa was pretty amazing … FW stuck to his pouch after not touching any food. Oh well, he’s a pick eater.

Sunday included chores. Mainly more meal prep, laundry and a little cleaning.

B and FW even did some painting.

We ended the day with a Polish feast at B”s parents’ house, including stuffed cabbage and strudel!

Oh, and I even got in a short treadmill run!

Speaking of running, running totals for the entire week looked like this:

Before I know it, I’ll need to start kicking into gear for the spring races and picking up my mileage. But until then, just trying to enjoy it!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you do group runs or workouts? I don’t usually, but the kickoff run was so much fun!
  • Do you like Polish food?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

Give the Gift of CLE

The holidays are sadly over and you may not be thinking about gifts right now, but I certainly am! Why? Because my birthday is just a few weeks away. And as is the curse of having a birthday around the holidays, people often don’t want to celebrate, don’t know what to get me, or even sometimes forget. Do you have a friend or family member who just got everything on their list for the holidays, but has a birthday coming up? Fear not – here’s a potential gift idea … CLE Pack!

CLE Pack is package featuring products from local Cleveland organizations. You can pick a package of 5, 7 or 9 items and they range from foodstuffs (sweet treats and savory snacks), local collateral (like tote bags or can holders or stickers) and other fun items like chapstick, keychains, etc. CLE Pack sent me a package of 7 items to try out for free (thanks, CLE Pack for the early birthday gift!) and I loved it.

Some fun facts about CLE Pack:

  • CLE Pack was just started in August 2018. Igor Oliyarnik is the founder and the idea was born over 4 years ago when he saw a similar business in Baltimore called “Baltimore in a Box”.
  • The most popular items in the package are the food. Bertman Mustard has been the #1 seller, followed by Campbell’s popcorn and Malley’s Chocolates.
  • The founder, Igor Oliyarnik, is not originally from Cleveland. He was born in Ukraine and moved to Cleveland with his parents when he was ten years old. He shared: “I’m now in my 30’s and proud to call Cleveland my home. I think the city has a very unique personality and a bright future because of the people that live here. It has been great watching the city improve in many different ways over the last two decades that I’ve been here.”

The items I chose for my package included:

  • Malley’s CLE Chocolate Bar
  • Fear’s Confections CLE Chocolate Bar
  • Ohio Pure Maple Syrup
  • Crazy Monkey Baking Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookie Crunch
  • Bertman Ball Park Horseradish Sauce
  • Sweet Moses Cleveland Chocolate Bar
  • Cleveland Landmarks Tote Bag

I LOVE that CLE Pack is all local Cleveland items. And while I was familiar with some of the companies they include (like Malley’s, Bertman and Campbell’s), CLE Pack also introduced me to some new local brands, like Crazy Monkey Baking.

CLE Pack would make a great gift for more than just a friend whose birthday is coming up. In fact, I was thinking that CLE Pack would also be a great unique gift for:

  • A new neighbor, especially one new to the city
  • A friend that has moved away and misses their Cleveland favorites
  • A hostess gift for that family who has everything
  • Members of a wedding party or close family coming into town for a wedding

Some questions for you:

  • What would you choose?
  • Have you had any of these items?

Disclosure: I was asked by CLE Pack to promote their products. In exchange, I recieved a free box for myself. As always, views are my own.

Can Every Winter Weekend Be Like This?

We had a great weekend in CLE. It was seasonably warm (got into the 40s on Saturday!), no snow, and just a few casual plans. Which meant that we got to somewhat relax, spend time outside, get in some exercise and enjoy some family time. AKA – it was my type of weekend.

Friday night included takeout Indian food from a new Indian restaurant in our neighborhood. It was pretty good – but there was no naan on the menu!

Saturday morning started early (LM woke up at 6 and FW shortly after), but FW was easily entertained with some new Christmas toys. He loves his drum set, but it definitely made it hard for B to still sleep!

After B got up, I got in a 5 mile run. Weather in the mid-30s felt GREAT, I was actually hot with my gloves and headband. It was great to run in my new Skirt Sports clothes, too – I love my new capris (you can’t have enough running capris) and the Wonder Wool shirt kept me warm.

After the run, it was time to meet up with friends at the new Van Aiken District food hall. The place was hopping for the morning – and it was actually mostly families with young kids running around.

They have a few non-food shops and a few food places open right now, and a small kids play area. We will definitely be back.

The kids fell asleep in the car on the way back from playing and running around, so our typical afternoon “quiet time” was a little off – but that meant we were able to get in some grocery shopping, plus some “me” time in the car. There was no way I was going to try to move FW from the car seat to his bed, so we stayed in the car. And then, because nap time was done early, were able to get in a little afternoon walk while the weather was still semi-nice. We even stopped at a nearby playground and FW was able to run around and play.

That night, B made a favorite dish of mine – halibut! It was beyond good.

Sunday we had brunch plans with Dave and Anson. It had been a while since FW had seen Celia and he was pretty excited to play with her new toys and run around her house.

While FW was napping, since the weather was still nice out, I decided to take LM for a walk. We ended up walking to the grocery store and picked up a few last minute items to do some meal prep.

I made some egg cups for quick breakfasts. B is back on slow carb, so I’m trying to find easy breakfast that don’t involve bread, etc. for him.

Then, FW’s cousins came over for an inpromptu visit. They stopped by with little gifts, including this cute blanket!

And suddenly, the weekend was over. It went by fast for not having much to do! Some questions for you:

  • Did you get in some outdoor time this weekend? Yes, it was great to get in 2 runs, 2 walks and a trip to the playground.
  • Do you do meal prep? What do you make?

A Very Merry Weekend

Hello from New York! We are currently celebrating the holidays in New York with my family, and I’m off the routine, which means that this week in running will be a little off. But we’re having tons of fun while we’re here. Some of the highlights or our week so far:

FW and LM met Santa! He stopped by school last week and FW asked for some gifts (he asked for “presents.” When Santa prodded, he asked for “books and dinosaurs.”

LM got in some quality Nonna time.

And FW bonded with Uncle Greg over trains and music.

FW even got close to my parents’ dog a few times.

LM got to meet a good college friend of mine, whose parents live nearby.

We had my favorite local pizza, Defazios.

We braved the line and caught the lights in the park. FW loved them!

I also got to run outdoors by myself during the day! Time off from work, plus mild (cold but not snowy) weather, plus grandparents to watch the kids meant I got to spend some time outdoors, running. In fact, last week’s running went really well. We had a warm front and I was able to run outside every day this week, including one stroller run to kick off the week! I got in a 6.3 miler in NY, which put me at my highest post-LM mileage week thus far!

Here’s how the week looked:

I can’t complain! The week was great in running and beyond. I just love this time of year!

Some questions for you:

  • Has the weather been mild around where you are?
  • Are you in the holiday spirit?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

Sick Kids and Cold Weather

As you can see below, I had pretty low mileage week tbis week. For a few reasons.

First, it got cold and snowy and icy and I opted to run inside on the treadmill. All the runs this week were on the treadmill and I’m still getting used to running on the treadmill sonI can’t seem to go more than 2 miles without stopping.

Second, the end of this week brought little sleep. One night, I literally didn’t sleep because I was worried about a sick toddler and felt the need to listen to him breathe. Earlier this week, FW landed at the doctor’s office, with a barking cough and trouble breathing – croup! So we knew that some of our plans for the weeken would be put on hold.

But there was still stuff we had to get done! Luckily, after his meds and some sleep, FW was feeling alright enough to help us with dropping off food, gifts and grocieries for our annual adopt a family program.

It’s a lot of work, but I’m always so glad we are able to be part of this annual tradition.

After drop off, since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to ger some coffee (for B), kombucha (for me), and chocolate milk (free for FW).

And then we popped into the West Side Market. It was a bittersweet visit- we were saying goodbye to some of our favorite stands. Two of them were closing – Rooted in Cle and Basketeria.

After the Market, we grabbed a quick lunch at Boaz. FW feastes on hummus and pita and LM tries her first hummus as well! I think she liked it.

It was a low key afternoon and evening, including some raking, nap time for the kids and dinner at home.

Sunday morning included some pancakes (made by B, but not pictured) and a stroller run with FW. We got in 4 miles and it was 40 degrees, which felt AMAZING. I don’t get in many stroller runs when it’s winter because of the cold and snow, so I really appreciated getting out there.

The afternoon went by quickly, and included attending my nephew’s Christmas pageant and then a baby shower. It was a pirate-themed shower with tons of cute decorations.

And then we finished with dinner and festive fun at B’s parents’ house.

All in all, a good pre-holiday weekend and a pretty good week of runs!

Some questions for you:

  • How do you find time for running when life gets in the way?
  • Do you work out in the morning or evening?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps

Things to Do With a Kid Downtown

Don’t get me wrong – I love our new house in the ‘burbs and all that our new little city has to offer – but I do miss our lives downtown. There was always something to do, always something going on, and it was great walking everywhere (especially to work). And even after we got married and had kids – yes, there was still kid-friendly stuff to do!

Are you thinking of living in downtown CLE with kids? Or just looking for stuff to do with kids downtown? Here are some of the ways we had fun and the things I loved to do downtown with FW:

1. Take advantage of all the free attractions

When you’re a kid, there are so many things that are exciting — and the best part is, so many of these things are free! For example, FW, loves just watching trains, trolleys, buses, boats, etc. These are all things you can see— and ride— downtown. There are several trolleys that ride around downtown for free and you can hop on and hop off whenever you want. Also, FW LOVES looking at pretty much any vehicle, especially trains and boats and airplanes. The best place to do this? Walk down to Voinovich Park. On the walk, you’ll cross over train tracks. At the park you’ll see planes landing into Burke airport as well as boats in the water. If you walk down to the Flats, you’ll also get a glimpse of boats and trains. Walk along the waterfront path near FWD Night Club and you may even be able to catch not only a boat along the water, but also a train cross the bridge. Public Square is also a great, free place for kids. Not only can you watch the buses, but there’s also green space to run around, a splash pad in the summer, ice skating in the winter and plenty of year-round events.

2. Be willing to spend some money

In addition to the free attractions, there are other things to see and do right downtown. Some of the attractions that cater to children include:

3. Know the child-friendly restaurants

My husband and I lived in two apartments downtown, one near East 4th Street and one in Playhouse Square. Both areas had restaurants we’d frequent with our baby and toddler. Some of them include Winking Lizard (they have a kids menu AND a lizard that kids may enjoy checking out), Masthead Brewing Co. (they have high chairs and quick food, which is perfect for kids; it’s also loud, which is great for blending in with your loud baby), Corner Alley (they have games for older kids) and Hofbrauhaus (they have a giant enclosed patio with a playscape and live music). During sporting events or at night, these places can become not as friendly, so we stuck to them mostly during the day. Around the Flats, there also were so many places great for kids because they’re near the water (see above: cool views of boats and trains and bridges) and casual. Some of our favorites include Coastal Taco and Dante’s Inferno. Both are casual, have games for the older kids to play, and are on the louder side, so a screaming child may not get noticed.

There are so many great places to eat downtown, and the best part is, so many of them are child-friendly, especially if you go earlier in the day. If you’re not sure, definitely call ahead and ask.


4. Frequent the family-friendly events

All year long, Cleveland is home to child-friendly events. Most of these are events that people from all over Northeast Ohio attend. Some include:

Whether you’re looking to spend money or not, there’s so much to do in downtown Cleveland year-round. We loved our time living there with our toddler and hope you are able to enjoy some of the fun activities we loved, as well.

Do you live downtown with your baby or small child? OR do you spend a lot of time downtown with your kids? How do you keep them entertained?

A version of this post was shared on NortheastOhioParent.com.