Looking Forward to Summer Fashion – Fashion Show at Saks!

As a semi-new mom, I’ll admit I’ve somewhat lost what I believe is my fashion sense. I can’t completely blame it on being a mom – I know many fashionable moms – I just haven’t spent much time recently keeping up-to-date on fashion trends or shopping. And I can honestly say that I’ve spent more on clothes for FW over the past few months than myself.

Who can blame me if I prefer to buy them matching outfits instead of something for me 🙂

So, when I was invited to attend a blogger event at Saks Fifth Avenue at Beachwood to preview some of their new clothes for the summer, I was pretty excited to put on some makeup, put on a dress (and a mom bun) and get up-to-speed on what’s new in the fashion world. I was treated to brunch and mimosas and a mini fashion show!

Here are some of the trends that we saw that I’m excited about:

Embellishments 

Small purses

Sneakers

Gingham

Graphic Tees

Lace

Bare shoulders, lace and florals were some other trends that they shared. You can see a mix of most of those in all of the above!

I looooved seeing all these styles – maybe this will be just what I need to get out of my fashion funk. That gingham one shoulder top with the white capris is my FAVORITE – I can totally see myself wearing that to a summer bbq (4th of July anyone) and even work with a jacket (we’re pretty casual). Some of the brands featured included Gucci, Scripted, YSL, Cinq A Sept and Milly.

I learned some cool things about Saks while I was there – for example, they are really working to meet the needs of a contemporary audience. Yes, they feature well known designers (hello – did you see those Gucci sneakers?! and that YSL bag?), but they also are all about finding new, less known designers to feature and share exclusive lines with their customers. They also have a feature on their website, the It List, where you can shop by trend!  Oh – and you know that “Cleveland or Nowhere” shirt? That’s something you can get at Saks!

Needless to say, I think I now have a shopping bug. And if you are following me on Instagram, you saw in my story some of the other things I was eyeing at the store (including their entire shoe collection!).

So, I guess it’s time to go shopping!! Some questions for you:

  • Which of the looks is your favorite?
  • What trend are you loving right now?

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the Saks Fifth Avenue blogger brunch. In addition to the fun fashion show, I received a Saks t-shirt, some free beauty samples and a gift card. All views are my own. 

I Somehow Became a Smoothie Person (a.k.a. that time I went to Vitamix and brought home the new Ascent Series!!)

I never used to be a smoothie person.

Are you shocked? I don’t know why, but when I used to tell people that “I’m not a smoothie person” they seemed shocked. As if I – a person who loves cooking, healthy eating, fruits and running – couldn’t NOT be a smoothie person.

Well, I wasn’t. Until about 2 years ago. It started with smoothie bowls. Acai bowls. Dragon fruit bowls. I had some and enjoyed them. They were sweet. Refreshing. And (most of the time) healthy!

what's NOT to like about this beautiful bowl?!

what’s NOT to like about this beautiful bowl?!

And then I got pregnant. And suddenly, all I craved was fruit. Fruit and more fruit. And then SMOOOTHIES.

a common pregnancy occurrence - big belly and colorful smoothie!

a common pregnancy occurrence – big belly and colorful smoothie!

Yes, that’s right. I started craving smoothies nearly daily. And then when I stopped being pregnant – the craving didn’t stop!

walking with a new baby (look how little FW is!) and smoothies - waay too often during my leave :)

walking with a new baby (look how little FW is!) and smoothies – waay too often during my leave 🙂

But for the sake of my wallet, I’ve had to curb my habit, as the $9 smoothie a day doesn’t realllllly fit within the whole “let’s save up money and buy a house some day and oh yeah we have a kid who needs to get educated” plan.

BUT – I have big news. I am now the proud owner of the NEW VITAMIX ASCENT SERIES! I was invited to the Vitamix Store in Solon, Ohio this week to try out some Vitamix-made food and drinks, as well as take home my own new blender!

Some cool things about the event:

Michelle and Adam told us about Vitamix. First, it’s a local Cleveland-based company AND they source all their parts locally. Oh yeah, they’re also family owned and operated, which is pretty cool.

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They spoiled us with some delicious food and beverages. I honestly had no idea I could make so much in a blender. We started off with some frosé. This drink was too good – I could have had 10 of them. It may become my go-to summer drink.

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They also had some great appetizers, veggies and crudite. With dips of course made by the Vitamix. And a veggie burger, strawberry “ice cream” and chocolate butterscotch mousse – also made in the blender! 20170223_191545

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I also learned some things that blew my mind. For example, did you know that you can make your own powdered sugar? It’s just sugar blended! That’s right – they blended sugar in the Vitamix and made powdered sugar! Also, you can make your own cornmeal. It’s just popping corn (not popped :)) blended.

It was so great to learn more about Vitamix, get spoiled by the delicious food and drink and get one of the Ascent series of my very own!!20170223_201434

For those of you new to Vitamix, the Ascent Series is basically the Cadillac of blenders.  Not only is it a sexy looking blender (never thought I’d utter those words), but it also has some cool features like a built-in timer, wireless technology and a variety of containers you can use.  (Oh, and they let me in on a secret – the Vitamix Store will be having a two-day sale on March 3rd and 4th!)

I can NOT wait to test it out. I’m going to make smoothies and baby food to start. Some questions for you:

  • Do you have a Vitamix?  Any suggestions on how to use it?
  • Any smoothie recipe recommendations?
  • What’s something cool you make in a blender?

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Vitamix event and was provided with a Vitamix goodie bag, which includes my own Vitamix Ascent Series blender. All opinions are my own.

An Evening at the Ronald McDonald House

In case you haven’t noticed, besides running, I love cooking and baking. There’s just something about food and creating (and sharing) a meal that makes me happy. So this week, when I was asked to help prepare a meal at the local Ronald McDonald House with several other bloggers, I knew it was something I couldn’t say no to.

fine chopping skillz

fine chopping skillz

veggie platter almost done!

veggie platter almost done!

Ashley (from Teamtaseff) and I with our veggie platter

Ashley (from TeamTaseff) and I with our veggie platter

Are you familiar with Ronald McDonald House Charities? Many people aren’t. Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) helps families with sick children. When a child is fighting an illness, the last thing a family should have to worry about is financial strain. That’s where RMHC comes in. There are more than 338 Ronald McDonald Houses around the world, including Cleveland, that allow families to stay together near a hospitalized child. The House its services can help alleviate expensive travel costs, and most importantly, allows families to spend more time with their child as they heal. So instead of having to stay in (and pay for) a hotel or travel far to be near a sick child, a family (including their other children) stay at the House for nearly free (and they don’t turn anyone away who can’t afford to pay the donation). The Cleveland House was the 9th Ronald McDonald House built in the country AND these days typically has families from multiple states and 5-10 countries staying in there at a time!

This week, I met with a few other bloggers for a tour of the House and to make dinner and dessert for those staying here. Jacquie from Cleveland Kiddos helped organize the event, including planning the menu for the evening that we would use to feed the 70 or so people staying at the House. I was a terrible food blogger and did not take pictures of our food (except the dessert!) but we prepared fruit salad, a veggie crudite, steamed green beans, fried chicken fingers and homemade mac and cheese.

This is what cupcakes for 50 families looks like. We had a blast decorating them with the kids!

This is what cupcakes for 50 families looks like. We had a blast decorating them with the kids!

I also helped prepare the chicken

I also helped prepare the chicken

The group of us after cooking

The group of us after cooking

It was a great event. I really enjoyed meeting the other bloggers, getting a tour of the House and its facilities (they have a meeting room and kitchen that’s for rent too!), and hanging out with the families (after dinner I spent some time decorating cupcakes with the kids). I feel so fortunate to have been able to attend and participate, as well as help spread awareness of the House and the services it provides to those in the community. If you’re interested in volunteering for the House, you can learn more here, and also check out how to donate money or supplies to the House.

Me and Laura, a friend from DCA City Advocates AND the House's Communications and Marketing person

Me and the amazing Laura, a friend from DCA City Advocates AND the House’s Communications and Marketing person

Some questions for you:

  • Are you familiar with the Ronald McDonald House? Did you know what services they provide?
  • Have you ever cooked a meal for 70 people?
  • Do you regularly volunteer? Which charity do you volunteer with?
  • What’s something you did this week that you feel good about?