Weekend Recap: Playing Babysitter

It was a great, fun and activity-filled weekend. B and I enjoyed a Friday night out – dinner at Lola, celebrating Pride in Cleveland, the Flea and babysitting our niece and nephew.

Some highlights, in photos:

Started the evening out on East Fourth with  B.


Dinner, at Lola. That’s foie gras. 20150807_194357

And halibut with smoked mussels.IMG_20150807_214152

MY dinner date 🙂20150807_203345

Sunday morning at the market.20150808_113414

Watching the Pride parade.20150808_122033

Happy Pride Cleveland!


Selfie at the Flea with Sofia. 20150808_145638

Niece and nephew and lemonade at the Flea.20150808_151834


Making pizza for dinner.1439073430475

And a fort for bedtime!20150808_205350

And of course pancakes for breakfast.



And an afternoon matinee at the theater – the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie. Always a good movie.


And dinner at a friend’s house. I love love love Mediterranean food so this hit the spot. Grilled lamb, veggies, homemade hummus, a greek cucumber noodle salad homemade flatbread with falafel spiced tomatoes. I can take no credit for any of the deliciousness.20150809_180244

And a great night for a walk, because I haven’t run since my 10 miles Friday morning.


Perfect end to a weekend.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have any friends that love to cook? Yes! I have a few – and I get to benefit 🙂
  • Which Willy Wonka movie do you like more? The original!
  • Did you read Roald Dahl growing up? Do you have a favorite Roald Dahl movie or book? The Witches and Matilda, definitely. I LOVE Roald Dahl! I also love the Twits and BFG but it’s been forever since I read those.

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


Adventures in Babysitting

This weekend outside of running and having a BBQ with B’s softball team, we also got a chance to stay in and have a sleepover. That’s right, we had a sleepover with our niece and nephew.  It was great!

How did we keep two kids, 6 and under, content and happy in our small apartment?

We started off with some Candyland (okay, confession – this was still at their house).

Then followed up with some playing with money. No photo of the money games, but seriously – those kids love handling money.

Then, we headed to the river to watch some boats. And pick up pizza!

Can't handle the cuteness in this photo.

Can’t handle the cuteness in this photo.

Post-pizza it was time for ice cream and a movie. And a fort! We made a fort in our living room to watch the Parent Trap under.

Ice cream!

Ice cream!

Oh, and we also baked cookies. Because what kids don’t like making cookies?  And we all know that I do.

The cookies came out great!

The cookies came out great!

In the morning, we actually had to wake the kids up. Guess we tired them out? But don’t worry – they were cool with it when we made pancakes and bacon. I haven’t made pancakes in probably a million years (don’t ask, but I don’t like pancakes … so I hardly make them. I’m much more of an eggs girl than pancakes or waffles) but they came out pretty awesome. And cute!

They were pretty excited  for their pancakes.

They were pretty excited for their pancakes.

B liked his pancakes too

B liked his pancakes too

So babysitting was a success! I got to enjoy all the things I like (baking, ice cream, movies etc.) as did B (pancakes, pizza).

Some questions for you:

  • Sweet or savory for breakfast? Do you enjoy pancakes, french toast, waffles, etc.? I’m much more a savory breakfast gal. I love me some egg whites or running eggs!
  • Favorite ice cream flavors? I had an amazing balsamic strawberry vanilla twist this weekend. And B’s mom made some mango ice cream that I loved! Yes, it’s not my typical Heath Bar Crunch but they were yummy!
  • What’s your favorite way to keep kids entertained when you babysit? Or any secret activities that seem to keep your own kids content? Money seemed to do the trick. Those kids loved money!

A Midnight Baseball Game, A Bowling Birthday Bash and a Babysitting Adventure

If you want to know what B and I did this weekend, the title really says it all … we went to an Indians Game (which pretty much started after midnight!), went to a Bowling Birthday Party and borrowed our niece and nephew for a downtown sleepover/babysitting adventure. And we (and the kiddos) survived!

Midnight Ball Game

Friday night, B and I had plans to go to the Indians game with B’s sisters, B’s brother and a few of B’s sister’s friends (you follow?). B’s sister Katie’s boyfriend (or boy friend) was in town and the plan was to show him a night out in Cleveland. The plans were to meet for happy hour before the game, and then head to Progressive Field for some $1 hot dogs and cheap seats.

The plans didn’t quite work out … the weather turned Friday afternoon from sunny and 80s to chilly and torrential downpours – which caused a rain delay. And then another rain delay. And then another rain delay! We made it over to the game for the new 9 p.m. start time, and ended up watching two innings before another rain delay – this time for about two more hours! Determined not to waste our evening, we feasted on $1 — er, now 50 cent — hot dogs, pop corn, beer, and waited. At about 11 p.m. we decided to leave. JUST as we left the stadium, they lifted up the tarp – they were going to play again! We decided to wait the next hour at a bar while they dried up the field. B’s brother headed home, and I was getting tired, so I confess – I didn’t make the end of the game. B and his sister and her boyfriend were troopers – they stayed until nearly 3 a.m. when the game was over!

50 cent hot dogs? I’ll have 6!

Waited it out. For a long time. The game ended at nearly 3 a.m.! (I’m sure the people behind us in the photo are leaving. )

AH! Oh no. Not the tarp again!

AH! Oh no. Not the tarp again!

Bowling Birthday Bash

Caring Cubs, an organization that I’m involved in thanks to Bridge Builders (and posted about before, here) was hosting their 5th Birthday celebration this weekend. Part of my Bridge Builders project was actually to help them come up with something that would help them fund-raise (they mostly rely on community donations and occasional grants!)  – and the options were endless! We eventually came up with an event with a silent auction – and Saturday’s Bowling Birthday Bash was born. Even though I was volunteering at the event, B also attended and we brought our niece and nephew to the festivities. Why not? It included bowling, bumpers for the kids, pizza, birthday cake, crafts, facepaint AND even an appearance by a Care Bear! It was definitely fun  – and I’m proud that my efforts are contributing to the sustainability of this organization.

My helper at the check-in table!

My helper at the check-in table!

A real Care Bear! (Side note – I had to show them who the Care Bears were on my phone before the event)

Hanging out at the Bowling Birthday Bash!

Hanging out at the Bowling Birthday Bash!

What's a birthday party without cake?

What’s a birthday party without cake?

24 Hours in Babysitting

After the Bowling Bash, B and I had plans to have his niece and nephew sleep over. Their parents were out of town, and (admittedly, after a few Memorial Day glasses of wine) we volunteered to babysit them from Saturday through Sunday. I was a little nervous leading up to the weekend – I hadn’t officially babysat in years (in college I used to babysit an infant and eventually toddler pretty much once a week, and summers I would babysit two elementary school girls 2-3 full days during the summer — but that was years ago!) and B’s nephew can be a handful sometimes. It was actually a lot of fun and I have to give B credit – it seemed like he did most of the work, and I had most of the fun! From painting nails, to baking cookies, to walking to the lake and taking the trolley (the kids were super impressed with the “big trains,” “big buildings,” and pretty much everything about downtown), to running on the treadmill and B watching the kids (they did like watching me for a little!), to watching The Muppet Movie  to hanging out in the homemade fort – it was really a fun weekend! No temper tantrums, no bruises and we all (yes, all four of us) survived.

This photo is completely normal.

This photo is completely normal.

Some of the awesome ways we spent our night -  face paint, trolley rides, baking cookies, Muppet movies and fort making!

Some of the awesome ways we spent our night – face paint, trolley rides, baking cookies, Muppet movies and fort making!

Watching the boats on the lake

Watching the boats on the lake

They loved the trolley!

They loved the trolley!

Will we be watching them again anytime soon? I asked B – he said “that depends on what they report back to their parents.”  Hmm … not sure if that’s a yes, but it’s definitely not a no!

How was your weekend? Some questions to ponder:

  • Did you used to babysit? Did you ever take the Red Cross Babysitting Course? Yes I did! I took it in 5th grade and babysat through college. I’m a little rusty, though…
  • What’s your favorite kind of birthday cake? I love ice cream cake! Vanilla heath bar crunch ice cream please. OR I’ll settle for a cassata cake 🙂
  • What’s the latest you’ve ever watched a baseball game?
  • How many hot dogs do you chow down on during $1 dog night? Have you ever seen 50 cent dog night?
  • What’s your favorite baseball game snack? It used to be the pretzels with mustard – but now that I found the tri-colored popcorn stands (cheddar, caramel and regular) I may have a new treat!