Playhouse Square’s 2017-2018 Broadway Season!

It’s one of my FAVORITE times of year … the time of year when  Playhouse Square announces its next Broadway season! Earlier this week, I was privileged to get a sneak peek at what’s coming to Cleveland at their Broadway Series Launch Party.

20170228_210511This year, I went with Cuoghi and not only did it made for a fun girls night and of course it was great to start to plan which shows I NEED to see!

Oh yeah, and not only did they announce what shows are coming – BUT SARA BAREILLES WAS THERE.  (that’s her below on the left chair)


And not only was Sara Bareilles there (she’s performing as the lead on Broadway starting at the end of March for 6 weeks!), but SHE PERFORMED A SONG FROM THE MUSICAL.

I know, caps overload, but B and I both LOVE Sara and I really liked the movie Waitress back in the day and the song she sang gave me goosebumps.

Besides Waitress, here’s what is coming into town:

On Your Feet


Love Never Dies (did you know there was a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera?!)




The Humans






What shows am I most excited about? In no order:

  • RENT! I love RENT. I saw it many years ago when I was in college and then again when it came to Cleveland a few years ago. I’m so excited it’s back!!!!
  • Hamilton! I mean come on – who isn’t excited about Hamilton? It’s in Cleveland for SIX weeks so I hope I can get tickets!
  • Waitress! Not only did the song that Sara Bareilles sing haunt me (I’m still listening to it!) but who wouldn’t want to see her songs performed live?

Some questions for you:

  • Have you seen any of these shows? Any recommendations?
  • What’s the last (or next!) musical you’ve seen?

Disclosure: I was given two complimentary tickets to Playhouse Square’s Broadway launch party. All views on this post are my own. Interested in seeing any of these shows? The only way to guarantee your seats right now is to get season tickets. 

Announcing Playhouse Square’s 2016-17 Broadway Season!

Hooray! The time is here to announce NEXT year’s Broadway Season in Cleveland!

As you know, one of the things I love about living in Cleveland is the great access I have to the Arts – we have a great variety of museums (including FREE ones), a world class orchestra and amazing theaters and performances that I’m lucky enough to attend and are right outside my apartment. I know I’ve shared this before, but Playhouse Square is the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York City – and it’s just a walk away from where I live!  This year, once again, I was lucky enough to be invited to the 2016-2017 Broadway Series Launch Party. I got to go with Mary for a mini girls night out.


The event was GREAT. We were given early access to a preview of all the shows coming to the theater this coming season AND the post-show media party. Here is a sneak peek of what’s to come!

This year’s event was so much fun, with surprise visits along the way!

Allison, one of the child understudies from Fun Home, wowed us with her performance! (photo from Playhouse Square)

Allison, one of the child understudies from Fun Home, wowed us with her performance! (photo from Playhouse Square)

The Singing Angels got us in the mood for Into The Woods with their rendition of "Children Will Listen" (photo from Playhouse Square)

The Singing Angels got us in the mood for Into The Woods with their rendition of “Children Will Listen” (photo from Playhouse Square)

Trista Moldovan, a Broadway star from Northeast Ohio, did an emotional song from Finding Neverland (photo from Playhouse Square)

Trista Moldovan, a Broadway star from Northeast Ohio, did an emotional song from Finding Neverland (photo from Playhouse Square)

Such a cool event!

It’s hard to say which shows I’m most excited about. BUT If I had to pick THERE shows, which would I pick to see? (this is always a hard question for me…but here’s what I think and some of the music/background info]

  • Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Something Rotten!
  • Finding Neverland

Interested in seeing any of these shows? Get your tickets today by becoming a Season Ticket Holder.

Some questions for you:

  • Have you seen any of these shows? Any recommendations?
  • What’s the last musical you’ve seen? (movie or live)

Disclosure: I was given two complimentary tickets to Playhouse Square’s Broadway launch party, plus access to the post-party media event. All views on this post are my own.

That Time B and I Went Camping

B & I went on a camping trip this weekend with just one another. That’s right, a solo* camping trip. And we survived… As did our marriage!

Let me start by saying that for those of you who know me, this will come as no surprise, but I am NOT an outdoorsy person. Yes, I had my stint at Girl Scout camp and have gone camping a few times over the years, but it is never something that I would choose to do just for fun. Sleeping outdoors? No showers? Having to walk to bathrooms? Bugs? Animals? You get the idea. But I know be has been wanting to spend some time outdoors for a while, and since he bought a new tent and hasn’t had a chance to put it to use, I openly suggested we go camping this weekend because it was honestly the only weekend we had free for the rest of the summer.

Guess what? It was fun! Would it be something I’d want to do every weekend? Definitely not in the near future. But hiking with B, roasting marshmallows and enjoying homemade campfire meals were pretty great. Some highlights:

first meal there. Grilled turkey burgers (on the fire!) and salad and bread. Starting off great :)

first meal there. Grilled turkey burgers (on the fire!) and salad and bread. Starting off great 🙂

Making breakfast. Bacon!

Making breakfast. Bacon!

We're dressed for our hike!

We’re dressed for our hike!

Cucumber falls

Cucumber falls

Made it to a great viewpoint.

Made it to a great viewpoint.

B, taking in the view (shh he didn't know i was snapping a photo!)

B, taking in the view (shh he didn’t know i was snapping a photo!)

Selfie along the river

Selfie along the river

<3 Water


On an old train bridge

On an old train bridge

Cooking dinner

Cooking dinner

If you’ve never been to Ohiopyle, I’d definitely recommend it. We stayed at the state park and close enough that we were able to just do a big hike along the trails. We hiked the Great Gorge Trail to Cucumber Falls. Then we took the Meadow Run Trail around the river to downtown. And eventually we made it to the Laurel Highlands Trail. After we made it to our viewpoint, we stopped for lunch and then turned around and hiked back to the park. We had a great day – it was hot (88) but in the trails we were mostly covered and had some great shade. My legs were tired – I had run 12 miles on Friday morning – but really enjoyed the natural scenery!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like camping? Any tips for me the next time that me, a non-outdoorsy person, has to go camping?
  • Are you an outdoorsy person?

Linking up with Her Heartland Soul today again for this weekend update. Have a great week!

*I know this is technically a “couples” camping trip (since it was B AND me) but I think I like calling it a solo camping trip because couples sounds like a few couples and not just one. So a solo couple camping trip is the most correct I guess 🙂

Easter Weekend in San Fran!

How was your weekend? I know it’s a little late for a weekend update, but I’m still getting over a really great weekend in San Francisco with my family.

My little (but taller than me of course) brother moved out to San Fran last year and it’s pretty hard to be a whole coast away. So, when my parents mentioned they were thinking of going out to visit him for Easter, I jumped at the chance to join them, and B came along too!

Me and Greg <3

Me and Greg ❤

We got in early Friday so had the whole day to catch up with my brother, see one of my bffs who lives just outside the city and also get some work done. Oh, and the weather was sunny and in the 60s, so I really couldn’t complain!

cute cafe for work on Fri.

cute cafe for work on Fri.

And they had a garden!

And they had a garden!

Friday started out with a little work, some coffee and getting post-work drinks with Melgar and my brother. My parents didn’t get in until late, so we enjoyed a late dinner before all of us passed out – jet lag!



Saturday was a long but great day. B and I started it out early-ish with a 7.3-something mile run throughout the Presidio and Crissy Field to the Golden Gate Bridge. Stopping to take photos on runs during my vacation is just what I needed. Note to self – there are a lot of hills in San Fran so don’t be discouraged if your “race-pace” run turns into more of interval running.


We also went for a great hike with my parents. We started through the beautiful Golden Gate Park and then ended with a route through Lands End. My brother had planned the hike for us and it was a great way to see the outskirts of the city, the beach, and great views of the water and the bridge.

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park

Oh, and we got Umami Burger. I am in LOVE with their food now – their veggie burger and ahi tuna burger (my mom and I got both and split it) were so good, as were their sweet potato fries. And beet salad. #Stuffed

ahi tuna burger

ahi tuna burger

Sunday was a rest day, but rest we did not. After Easter Mass, we enjoyed some breakfast and then another walk throughout downtown! We started off where my brother lives in the Presidio and then walked to downtown until we got to the Ferry Building. We were meeting up with some of my extended family – my dad’s cousin and his wife – for dinner. Our Vietnamese family style 3-course meal at the Slanted Door was amazing – definitely not what I typically eat for Easter but SO SO good!

salad and spring rolls

salad and spring rolls

Some of my entrees

Some of my entrees



extended family

extended family

After dinner, we walked around downtown until it was time to meet up with my brother’s friend Phyllis for drinks. We grabbed lounge seats in a really cool place, The Original Joe’s, and enjoyed cocktails and wine. I loved my dark and stormy 🙂



Monday was a road trip day! After a 5 mile run and breakfast, we were on a mini road trip.

scenes from our Monday morning run

scenes from our Monday morning run

breakfast at a cute coffee shop

breakfast at a cute coffee shop

We took a car and headed to Pescadero and then Capatola. We enjoyed lunch (fresh fish and pie!) and a short walk while taking in the sights and beautiful water and beaches.

Love the scenery!

Love the scenery!

Brian and Melissa in Capitola

Capitola – colorful in the background!


It was a great end to our trip – we got in some walks, some beaches, a lot of great food and quality family time. Even with taking a long weekend, it went by waaay too fast! I can’t wait to do it again.

Some questions for you:

  • How was your weekend?
  • Have you been to SF? Any favorite places?

Playhouse Square’s 2015-16 Broadway Season!

Those of you that know me know that I’ve grown to love and embrace my new (is it still new if I’ve been here 7 years?) city, Cleveland. I’m always celebrating Cleveland and telling friends and family who are not from here how great it is and what the city has to offer.

One of the things I love about this city is our amazing theaters and performances that I’m lucky enough to attend and are literally a walk away from my apartment. As you may know, Playhouse Square is the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York City. This week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the 2015-2016Broadway Series Launch Party AND I got to go with my sister-in-law Mary for a lovely girls night!

Some highlights from the event:

Trying out a selfie stick thanks to the Playhouse Square crew (including a former intern of mine!)


Wearing a media pass! (and being at a non-work related event and doing so)

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 10.49.17 PM

Playing around at the Playhouse Square photo booth!unnamed

AND for what you’ve all been waiting for – at the party, I got to hear what shows are coming to Cleveland next season. Here’s what’s coming to town!


What am I most excited about? If I had to choose only 3:

  1. I’m SO excited for some of these shows, especially Matilda. I LOVED the book growing up and then the movie and am so ready to see the show brought to life on stage!


2. If/Then looks really interesting and good. I love the plot line (a 30-something year old woman trying to determine her future, find herself, etc.) AND I’ve heard it’s MADE for RENT fans (ahem – me!)

3. Phantom. Okay, so I’ll admit I’m not the typical theatre junkie and obsessed with Phantom of the Opera, but B likes it and I want to give it another try. And in all honesty, the sat time I saw it we were behind a family that talked the whole time so hopefully this time with better seats I can enjoy it more.


Bonus: Beautiful. We got to hear several performances from this musical and they were incredible. I don’t know much about Carole King, or her music, but the show looks great and I’d love to learn more!

Interested in seeing any of these shows? Become a Season Ticket holder to secure your seats now!

Some questions for you:

  • Okay, have you seen any of these shows? Any recommendations?
  • Do you have a favorite musical or one you’ve seen over and over again? Wicked and RENT and Newsies. Can I have more than one?
  • Have you used a selfie stick?

Disclosure: I was given two complimentary tickets to Playhouse Square’s Broadway launch party, as well as access to the post-party media event. All views on this post are my own.

Why Do Weekends Have To End?

What a great weekend! It was definitely another one of those great weekends where Sunday night I was sitting on my couch, looking through photos, writing a recap and just thinking – wow. Why does it have to end?

Friday afternoon started off with a block party in my neighborhood! That’s right, there was a party for downtown residents in my ‘hood that included free food, drinks, live music and more. The food was great – it was a compilation from some of our neighborhood chefs and restaurants – so there was chicken salad from Rothschild Farms, kale salad and more from Phuel, full size sausages, salmon sliders from Chris Hodgson, meatballs from Cibreo, some spicy chicken from Sung’s House and more. Seriously good stuff.

As part of the party, we got to take a tour of the new Hofbrauhaus that is going into our neighborhood! B has been counting down the days until this new beer hall opens. Unfortunately it looks like it won’t be ready in time for his birthday – but we are keeping our fingers crossed that it does, indeed, open this month. It looks like they do have some work to do though.


After the tour of the Hofbrauhaus B and I decided to grab a beer and watch the BC home opener at Parnell’s. Sadly, we lost. Ah well – hopefully another game will be on TV this season.

Parnells - always the perfect pour.

Parnells – always the perfect pour.

Saturday started with an easy workout while B cleaned the apartment. Yes, I am that lucky (he cleans while I get to workout). Then it was my favorite event of the month  (maybe an exaggeration) – Ladies Craft Beer Society! A few ladies meet up once a month to drink craft beer, eat goodies (wish I had taken a pic of the food – this month everyone went all out it seemed!) and do something crafty. This month? We made lemoncello!

in one month this will be lemoncello!

in one month this will be lemoncello!

Saturday night was AWESOME. Our friend Joey had scored tickets to The Black Keys homecoming concert (they’re from Northeast Ohio) and not only were they free tickets – but they were suite seats. So even though I wasn’t a hardcore Black Keys fan, I made sure to listen to a bunch of tunes last week and get in the spirit.

The Black Keys!

The Black Keys!

They put on a great performance and I had so much fun. It really did amaze me how different my concert experience is in my late twenties – compared to in high school. In high school I was really into punk shows and went to concerts monthly it seemed. I was always standing, always on the floor, with mosh pits and crowd surfing. It’s funny to see how things have changed, isn’t it?

Apologies for the big blurry mess that is the stage in the following video. But at least the sound is great

Sunday was pretty laid back. The morning started off with an spontaneous seven mile run with B. It was nice not to have a route planned, or any mileage – instead we just enjoyed the weather and the scenery.

After our run, we enjoyed brunch at Phuel. I LOVE their food and typically go for their granola and yogurt parfait, but it was nice to get lunch food.

Tabbouli, lentil soup and kale salad for brunch at Phuel.

Tabbouli, lentil soup and kale salad for brunch at Phuel.

And then we hit up the North Union Farmers Market in Ohio City. We had gone to check out the Cleveland Kraut stand, but unfortunately they weren’t there. It’s okay – we ended up getting some apples, salsa and beef jerky.

Sunday evening included some cookie baking and dinner with B’s family. Not a bad way to end my weekend, if I do say so myself.

chocolate chip cookie recipetesting

chocolate chip cookie recipetesting

Some questions for you:

  • How was your weekend?
  • Did you go to concerts in high school? What kind of music did you like? Have your tastes changed? Yes, I lived for concerts in high school. Favorite bands I saw in concert were probably Dropkick Murphys, Taking Back Sunday, The Starting Line, Weezer, Midtown, Saves the Day, NOFX … the list goes on and on. My tastes haven’t realllly changed today – they’ve just broadened. I still love some good old school punk and even today’s somewhat pop punk, but I’m a fan of so many other kinds of music today.
  • Which do you prefer – following a running schedule or keeping up with unplanned runs? Do I have to decide?
  • Do you know the Black Keys? Favorite song?
  • What recipe could you make over. and over. and over again? Chocolate chip cookies or chocolate chip blondies. They’re a staple!

Tunes Thursday: My Latest Running Mix

I’m running a half marathon this weekend. B and I signed up a few weeks ago, and I’m so excited! After last year’s marathon-training-gone-wrong, I have been weary of running long distances. We have done a handful of 5ks and other short runs since my tibia and metatarsal have healed – but a long run? Like double digit? Not until last month. And it has been fine! So, I was eager to get a race on our schedule and this weekend’s race fits in perfectly with our training runs – AND B’s sister is running it too!

So in honor of this week’s race, I’m sharing a super belated Running Mix. Some of these songs are old by now, but I’ve slowly been adding them to my playlist and as the runs grow longer, so does the list. They’re a mix of upbeat happy songs that make me want to move. As always, these songs are on my What I’m Listening to Spotify playlist (among other songs).

Rockstar – A Great Big World (one of my new fave bands)

Wings – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (Really, I just love Macklemore. Otherside and Same Love are also AMAZING)

The House That Heaven Built – Japandroids

Only Wanna Dance With You – Ke$ha

I Love It – Icona Pop (the lyrics sometimes just pump me up and remind me to ENJOY my runs)

This is The New Year – A Great Big World

Round and Round – Imagine Dragons (this one is good for a lonnnnng hill)

Some thoughts to ponder:

What’s on your Running Mix?

Do you have any races coming up?

What do you consider a “long run” vs. “short run”?

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Music

I’m officially on winter vacation! Despite a few loose ends from work I’m tying up, I’m back home in New York trying to work as little as possible, spend as much time with family and friends, and get into the holiday spirit. To help get in the mood for Christmas (while it’s 40 degrees out), I’m sharing some of my favorite holiday tunes for today’s (semi)Wordless Wednesday post. Warning – these may not be the traditional tunes you listen to year in and out. A playlist with a few of these songs, and some more, can be found here.

All I Want for Christmas Is You (Love Actually version … my favorite!)

One of my favorites from The Nutcracker – Pas De Deux  

Michael Buble – Baby Please Come Home

Last Christmas (The Glee version … only version worth listening to in my opinion)

Straight No Chaser – 12 Days of Christmas

Blues Traveler – Christmas

Transiberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve in Sarajevo (Carol of the Bells) (one of B’s favorite Christmas songs)

March of the Wooden Soldiers (from one of my dad’s favorite Christmas movies, Babes in Toyland)

Baby It’s Cold Outside (Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw) 

It Feels Like Christmas (from the Muppet Christmas Carol)

The Chieftains – Il Est Ne (we would listen to this album each year when putting up our tree…  I swear hearing this song makes me smell pine needles!)

Weezer – We Wish You a Merry Christmas 


Tunes Thursday: Pre-Vacay Edition

That’s right – I’m leaving for vacation (AGAIN) in less than a week. While work is pretty crazy right now, I’m finally getting excited for my trip! So this week’s Tunes Thursday (sorry I couldn’t get my act together in time to make this a Tunes Tuesday post) is full of some of my favorite light, fun summertime songs that keep me working, bopping my head at my desk and getting excited for my next trip. As always, listen to the playlist, here.

Rita Ora – How We Do

Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen – Good Time 

Cher Lloyd – Want You Back

MGK – End of the Road

Okay, this song is neither new nor light-hearted … but it’s been on my playlist this week anyway.

Grouplove – Tongue Tied

The video is wild.

Nicki and Bieber – Beauty and a Beat

Across The Universe – With A Little Help From My Friends

Last, but not least, an oldie – but something I’ve been listening to again this week. Enjoy!

Tunes Tuesday – FUN Edition

This Thursday, I’m excited to be going to see one of my favorite bands, Fun., at the House of Blues Cleveland! It sold out right away but I was able to snag tickets for me, a coworker, Cari, her boyfriend, and my former coworker Ali.  In honor of the awesome band and their amazing music, this week’s Tunes Tuesday will feature some of my favorite Fun. and old Format songs. Enjoy! And for some more Fun. and Format songs, here’s my Spotify playlist.

Walking the Dog

This was the first Fun. song I listened to – my brother introduced it to me a few years ago!

All the Pretty Girls

Some Nights 

This is the official video, but the sound doesn’t start until like a minute or so in. It’s my favorite song off their new CD. I get chills every time it starts!

It Gets Better

Can’t find the official video on YouTube, but this live version makes me SO excited to see them!

Carry On

Another acoustic that is just unbelievable. In my opinion.

Believe In Me

Light a Roman Candle With Me

She Doesn’t Get It – The Format

The First Single – The Format