Finally Feels Like Springtime

I can’t say it enough – but I am so happy that it finally feels like spring is here in Cleveland! Could it possibly snow again? Yes, it’s happened before. But in the meantime, I’m so so ecstatic that we had a weekend where we could spend time outside and even sometimes without coats.

This weekend started out with a long run – 9 miles was on the schedule and I got it in while the whole house was still sleeping.

Friday night was nice out so we got in a family walk around the neighborhood.

And of course, some pizza. Roasted garlic and mushroom from Marotta’s – SO good.

Saturday morning started with an unplanned run. i had planned on taking the day off after my 9 miler, but it was 60 degrees and FW asked me if we could go for a stroller run, so we went out for 3 miles and enjoyed the sun.

We also had some fun indoors

Including a little baking therapy.

And then it was time to be back outside – it was B’s grandma’s 90th birthday and we had a celebration for her. And it was still nice enough to be outside.

We even got a family pic of us all outside! First family photo in forever.

Sunday was another gorgeous day. We started the day with a surprise birthday event — this time for my friend Lulu! Her husband had invited a bunch of her friends to dim sum to celebrate her birthday.

LM ate pretty much everything there was, which was great! I love that so far she’s not a picky eater.

The afternoon included playtime, naptime and some furniture making. B is finishing up some homemade porch furniture- they’re almost done!

And after a homemade dinner on the grill, the day and weekend were over. Here’s to hoping springlike weather stays all week!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like dim sum?
  • Is it spring finally near you?

WIAW: Leftover Chinese Food

Once again – here’s a look at my Monday eats from this week. Enjoy this edition of WIAW!

Monday’s breakfast may look familiar. That’s right – once again, I had egg whites with hot peppers and frozen veggies. And B made it.

Sadly, we had no more leftover spaghetti squash to enjoy – I thought I did but after tasting it I noticed it was bad (ice) so it was just veggies and egg whites. Oh, I also had some coffee again!

For those of you that have read my other WIAW posts, this may look familiar ...

For those of you that have read my other WIAW posts, this may look familiar …

Lunch was leftover Chinese food! B and I had FEASTED at Wonton Gourmet in Asiatown on Saturday night, getting lomein, szechuan fish, Chinese broccoli and more. Thankfully we had leftovers of my favorite – the fish and broccoli.

Not quite sure what kind of "fish" this is?

Not quite sure what kind of “fish” this is?

Snacks during the day included:

A sweet potato with honey and cinnamon and a handful of salted almonds. Sweet and salty ftw!

Probably about a handful of almonds - 12ish? - with my sweet potato. Some are hiding.

Probably about a handful of almonds – 12ish? – with my sweet potato. Some are hiding.

Carrots and cinnamon gum. Not together …

carrots and gum.

carrots and gum.

Homemade caramels – I made them over the weekend at my Ladies Craft Beer event and they are SO DELICIOUS.

Don't worry, I didn't eat ALL of these. Just about 2 or 3 :)

Don’t worry, I didn’t eat ALL of these. Just about 2 or 3 🙂

Some Arctic Zero!

I didn't quite eat the whole pint ..

I didn’t quite eat the whole pint ..

For a Meatless Monday dinner I made some sweet potato zucchini hash with tofu. Yup, more sweet potato. YUM- I topped with cilantro.

I'll be sharing the recipe for this soon - it is so GOOD and i make it all the time!

I’ll be sharing the recipe for this soon – it is so GOOD and i make it all the time!

And for dessert? A small peanut butter cheesecake cookie bar. I’ll be posting the recipe for these asap because they are SO SO amazing.

I swear I only had one small one of these bars. Not the whole plate :)

I swear I only had one small one of these bars. Not the whole plate 🙂

And here’s my fitbit activity for the day- I got in a 4 mile run and short elliptical workout in the morning and that’s about it for activity.


Some questions for you:

  • Do you WIAW? Share the link – I’d love to see!
  • What’s your favorite dessert you’re jamming on right now?
  • Do you eat the same breakfast each day too?


Traveling – Hong Kong!

B and I just got back* from a fabulous, amazing, incredible vacation in Asia. Neither he nor I had been to Asia before and had started planning a trip to Vietnam (plus surrounding areas) earlier last year. Well – we finally booked it and started our trip out east in Hong Kong over the holidays.

We had four full days in Hong Kong and the city did NOT disappoint. From the moment we got off the plane I could feel the excitement (We’re in ASIA! I whispered probably too loud to B) and when the Airport Express train went above ground and the blue sky, blue water and SO MANY tremendously large and wild looking buildings came into sight I was pumped.

Some highlights from the trip:

The food (for the most part):

Because our hotel package came with a pretty good free breakfast (western, european AND hong kong style – congee), we didn’t end up going out for breakfast or dim sum during our time in Hong Kong. We did, however, have some other great meals including awesome dumplings (my favorite!), fresh duck, tons of soups and noodles and some pretty interesting meals as well (including a few places where we pointed to pictures on the wall because the menu was not in English). B did end up getting food poisoning on our last night – but we had eaten the same food all day long so I’m not sure what did him in.

restaurant with no english at all

One restaurant we ate at with no english at all

inside said restaurant - great noodle soup!

great noodle soup!

first meal - spicy cauliflower!

first meal – spicy cauliflower!

Spending a day in Kowloon

Kowloon is another island that’s part of Hong Kong. I really loved Kowloon! The island was bumping, crowded, energizing, etc. To get there, we took the Star Ferry across the harbor and spent pretty much the whole day there. While there we checked out the bird market (so many birds just flying around and in cages!), flower market, the local parks, the jade markets (and did some bargaining), the Promenade, the Avenue of the Stars and more.

so many goldfish on this one street

so many goldfish on this one street



one of the many bird cages on this street in kowloon

some of the many bird cages on this street in Kowloon

playing the role of tourist on the Avenue of the Stars - me and Jackie Chan!

playing the role of tourist on the Avenue of the Stars – me and Jackie Chan (and tons of other Asian tourists)

Walking around Kowloon

Walking around Kowloon

Viewing the city from the top of Victoria Peak

B and I took the tram up to Victoria Peak on our first full day in Hong Kong and it was a great way to start off our trip. We walked to the tram station from our hotel (about a 40 min walk) and got a great view of the entire city (and it was so clear out!) during the walk and from our viewpoint atop the mountain. At the top, there are also self guided tours you can take that point out what you’re seeing in the distance – again, great way to start the trip and get our bearings.

B and I and the view!

B and I and the view!

The view from the top. So lucky to have a gorgeous, clear day!

The view from the top. So lucky to have a gorgeous, clear day!

Day Trips – Stanley and Aberdeen and the Big Buddha!

We spent most of our time in the central main district and in the western part of Hong Kong (where we were staying) so on our last full day there we decided to take the public transportation system to other parts of the island, including Stanley and Aberdeen. Aberdeen used to be a fishing district and it was cool to see the people still fishing (and then filleting) their meal. Stanley is a gorgeous beach town with upscale shops, touristy areas, a market and a few beaches for locals and tourists to enjoy. Both cities offered a different view than we had witnessed during our stay in the other parts of the island and on Kowloon.

Beach Day! Spending Jan. 1 in Stanley.

Beach Day! Spending Jan. 1 in Stanley.

Loved the streets of Stanley

Loved the streets of Stanley

Selfie in Aberdeen

Selfie in Aberdeen – check out all the boats behind us. Some had people fishing, some had people filleting their fish!

Another day we trekked to yet another island, Lantau Island, to the top of a hill to find the Po Lin Monastery, famous for its Big Buddha. The monastery and some temples sit on top of a large mountain with great views of the surrounding areas, a temple with many gold Buddhas and more and of course- the Big Buddha.

At the top of the hill

At the top of the hill – monastery behind me ad mountains

Also at the top - great views!

Also at the top – great views!

B looking at the Big Buddha

B looking at the Big Buddha

The light show at night on the harbor

Each night, there is a light show over the waterfront between Kowloon and Hong Kong. It’s not like anything I had ever seen before – it’s lights (not fireworks, as I at first thought), lasers, and the buildings are also all lit up. Because it was the holidays the buildings were all lit up with “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year” – something I had not expected to see while in Hong Kong!

View from Kowloon - all the buildings lit up

View from Kowloon – all the buildings lit up

What a great way to kick off our Asia trip. Despite B’s sickness, we had a great time. I really enjoyed the metropolitan feel for Hong Kong,  the gorgeous and really cool architecture, how efficient everything was, how easy it was to take the busses and train everywhere, and how walkable the city was.

cool buildings

cool buildings

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever been to Asia?
  • What’s your favorite type of Chinese food? Least favorite? I tend to like spicy dishes or dumplings. Least favorite? Anything with rice or sweet and sour chicken.

Coming up next – some recaps on the rest of our trip – Vietnam, Cambodia and Macau!

*full disclosure – while you’re reading this, if travel plans work out right, I may be in an airplane flying above you – I was able to write this post while abroad!

Tiny Beers, Big Game and Year of the Horse

Wow – January flew by, didn’t it? My birthday month came and went and I’m another year older and another year closer to having to change my bio because I’ll no longer being a “20-something blogger.”

How was your weekend? Mine was definitely fun and proof that there’s always something to do in Cleveland in the winter.

It started out Friday night at the Cleveland Winter Beerfest. B and I went with several of his coworkers and the night included quite a few beer tastings, dancing and other shenanigans. Definitely a fun event and it was awesome to see the new convention center so full! The night ended at what’s becoming one of our favorite local spots, Parnell’s.

tiny beers!

tiny beers!


Saturday started out somewhat slowly. We had done the weekend’s “long” run on Friday so we took the day off (yes, be proud of me) but eventually made it out of the apartment for a trip to the West Side Market to pick up this week’s groceries, a visit to Rising Star for some much needed caffeine, some baking (Ground Hog Day Cookies!) and then a succulent Chinese dinner with B’s friend from high school. B’s friend Joe moved abroad after graduating college, teaching English in Asia. It was in Taiwan that he met his wife, Ariel, and the couple now lives in Cleveland! We hit up one of our favorite Chinese food restaurants to enjoy some dinner in honor of the Chinese New Year!  Ariel ordered a great selection for us, and we had waaay too much good food.

Love my Rising Star almond milk lattes

Love my Rising Star almond milk lattes

groundhog day cookies

groundhog day cookies

The "After" picture from our Chinese feast

The “After” picture from our Chinese feast. There was tofu, fish, beef, veggies, soup, chicken and noodles.

Sunday included an easy workout (3.5 slow miles and then 25 minutes on the elliptical while watching Bones!), some cleaning, and then enjoying the Super Bowl with some friends while staying downtown. Not a terribly exciting game … or too many exciting ads, but I enjoyed the halftime show AND the online action. This year was definitely a year when most brands took time to tweet (still TBD how successful it was) during the game and even respond to one another and other ads.

A few of my favorite ads that I didn’t watch ahead of time (Cheerios and Budweiser ads were definitely awe-worthy, but I watched them in advance):

They even had a great online pay off- if you tweeted at @Radioshack during the evening you could win one of a few 80s-themed prizes that were announced during the evening on the microsite. It’s nice when an ad doesn’t just stand alone 🙂

I’m a sucker for anything with the Muppets.

I’ve been hearing Squarespace ads for a while now on podcasts and it was nice to see them playing with the big boys. And it was definitely a memorable ad for me.

Favorite tweets:

And Tide was allllllll over the Twitterverse (and Vineverse?) last night. They commented on almost every ad. It was fun to see them being so nimble, but they went overboard in my opinion. I think 3-5 tweets would’ve been enough. Here’s one of my favorites

Some questions for you:

  • What were your favorite Super Bowl ads? Who were you cheering for?
  • Are you ready for spring? The groundhog says 6 more weeks of winter … but I’m ready for the warm weather, thawed ground and running outside! No brainer.
  • What year (in the Chinese New Year) are you? I don’t know. I thought I was an ox. Then I thought I was a rat. Now I think I’m an ox again. Clearly I have multiple-personality disorder. 
  • What’s your favorite type of beer? I like sweet, light beers. And non-hoppy IPAs. So Bell’s Two Hearted – or any sweet wintry OR summer beer. 
  • Favorite tweets? Least favorite? I wasn’t a fan of the JC Penney stunt. I thought the Tweeting with Mittens concept was a little bit of a stretch and poorly executed. It did get everybody talking (and quite a few brands responding to their “drunken” tweets) but it just made me groan.