I looked at our calendars last week and realized that this is B and my last weekend in town with pretty much nothing going on. Eep! I tried not to panic – but the next time we have nothing planned is June. JUNE! So, I was determined to have a productive, but still fun an relaxing weekend. Sure we had stuff planned – a dinner here, movie tickets there – but there was plenty of time to get some other stuff done.
Friday night I was poooooped. I had a rough week sleep-wise and it caught up to me. So, what did the evening entail? A little baking, some Netflix watching and I picked up sushi. I passed out on the couch watching Netflix and am not ashamed.
Saturday we woke up to SNOW. Yes, snow, in April. I was not pleased. I decided to play it safe lame lazy and not go for a run outside as planned (being 7 months pregnant and not wanting to slip is totally a valid excuse right?) and take the day off. Instead, B and I took a little walk, checked out a house we’re interested in, and went to the West Side Market for groceries.
I also got my nails done AND did my first maternity shopping! Yup, I’ve managed to last nearly 8 months without setting foot into a maternity store thanks to friends, hand-me-downs and two online purchases.
guess which color i got?
this great turquoise!
And of course, a little coffee shop action to catch up on work. Decaf latte, please!
Saturday night we had plans with Dave and Anson. We stopped over to hang out with their adorable 5 month old and they made us dinner. Not a bad way to spend a snowy, cold evening.
the PERFECT snowy evening dinner – grilled cheese and soup!
I started my Sunday with an easy indoor workout. It was 20 with 15-20mph winds, so I didn’t feel like going outside. After that, B and I headed to the Cleveland International Film Festival for the last movie for us – The Fencer! It was a really enjoyable Finnish/Estonian/Russian movie.
And then a little meal prep while snacking. I had gotten some great fruit at the West Side Market and enjoyed this yogurt bowl with the mango, kiwi and other fruit I got. SO GOOD.
We finished the afternoon making some meatballs, along with hanging out with our friend Stephanie and their cute new little baby girl. I didn’t get to snap any pictures sadly, I was too busy holding her! And for dinner, we made it over to B’s parents house and celebrated his grandma’s birthday.
And that about sums up the weekend! Not bad for our LAST free weekend. EEP!
And now time for questions-
1. We had red velvet cake to celebrate his grandma’s birthday- what’s your favorite birthday cake?
You know the saying “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb?” Well, not the case with this month … this March definitely is going out like a lion. This weekend was cold, cold, cold … but we still made the most of it!
Friday night started out pretty low key – B and I had plans to run 8 miles on Saturday morning, so we decided to get dinner at my favorite vegan place, the Flaming Ice Cube. They were out of kalebouli, so instead of my typical kalebouli wrap I got a pesto vegan burger.
After dinner, B and I caught up on last season of The Walking Dead. We are finally finished with season 4 … now onto the current season!
Saturday morning B and I hit up the park for 8 miles. We haven’t run outside downtown in FOREVER so it was great to get out in nature.
After our runs, we hit up the West Side Market for some of our weekly groceries. Even though we go to Heinen’s a lot now that they have a downtown location, we still hit up WSM when we can because it’s fun and cheap.
And for lunch? It was a perfect day for soup and bread. The cauliflower chickpea curry soup at The Souper Market was delicious!
After we got back to the apartment, I knew it was time for some baking … I decided to make some lemon bread. It came out delicious!
Saturday night, B and I decided to head to Winking Lizard for a few drinks while watching hockey (and take in the NCAA crowds) and get some wine at Heinen’s before dinner.
B made dinner – mushroom pizza with some leftover homemade sauce. And of course there was lemon cake for dessert!
Sunday morning started out with a walk – it was sunny (but cold!) and Nicole and I had plans for some morning tea at Cleveland Tea Revival.
a whole pot of ginger turmeric for me!
Sunny day for a walk!
Sunday afternoon I ended up having to work so no fun photos of that. But Sunday night B and I grabbed dinner at Heinen’s before heading out to see another movie at the Cleveland Film Festival.
We saw All Stars, which was a really fun movie. I don’t have any hand-eye coordination but still played softball somewhat when I was much younger (my dad was even a coach for a little while!) so it was fun to see a movie like this! Definitely brought back some memories.
Some questions for you:
Do you like tea? What’s your favorite type?
Favorite pizza toppings? I love lots of veggies and meat on my pizza. A pizza with just cheese is boring and uninviting to me. Since I gave up meat for Lent, pizza with mushrooms (And tons of cheese!) hit the spot.
Happy First Weekend of Spring! Yahoo – it’s finally here. Spring is here, spring is here.
We kicked off spring with a pretty fun weekend full of food, friends and films (yup, I did that alliteration on purpose because I’m fancy like that).
Friday night started off with some drinks with coworkers to celebrate the weekend. I don’t know what it is but all of us had seemed to have a crazy week and were happy to be able to kick off and relax. The bar in our building where I work has some good happy hour specials so it was great to finally take advantage of them!
Then it was time to meet up with our friend Steve! Steve was in town for work but had the weekend free so of course we were able to show him a fun weekend. Which meant that Friday night also involved some drinks at Parnells and dinner at Barrio. I headed to bed earlier than the guys and they spent some more night out on the town.
Bols at Barrio!
Always the best Guinness pour
Saturday morning I texted Erica to see if she was running again – and she was! I met up with her and the weather was chilly but again, so nice to be outside. We got in a 6+ mile run and then went and saw a movie at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Erica had an extra pass and I was so happy to take it and see the movie I’d been wanting to see – Limited Partnership. Here’s the trailer:
It was a really good pic and the director stuck around afar the movie as part of a panel discussion that was also really good.
Saturday afternoon was my monthly Ladies Craft Beer event – this time Cuoghi hosted it and put together quite the spread – this girl knows how to cook and entertain! She also taught me how to use a sewing machine, and I successfully finished our craft – homemade scarves!
so much good food!
OMG I’m sewing!
some of the ladies and our scarves
At night, I met up with B, Steve, Dave, Anson and Joey for some drinks at Nano Brew and March Madness, followed by some late-night TV watching of Doogie Howser because why not?
Sunday, B, Steve and I got brunch at Phuel before Steve had to fly back to DC.
I’m a creature of habit – always order the same granola bowl and love it every time.
B and I spent the rest of the day at the Cleveland Film Festival – we caught two movies and bought tickets for quite a few more this week. I love love love the Film Festival and am so glad we actually made time to see some movies this year!
Some questions for you:
What’s your favorite international or independent film?
Today’s What I Ate Wednesday features some of my eats from the start of this week. And it includes some meals that are NOT homemade for once! Woohooo! Because that’s how my Monday was.
I woke up hungry! I don’t typically eat anything if I’m running early and it’s not a long run, but I grabbed a handful of trail mix from this pack that I had gotten at the St. Malachi race. I had eaten part of the package on Sunday at the movies and was happy to have a few nuts and pieces of dried fruit to quell my hunger before a 4 mile outdoor run. Per usual, my breakfast was eaten at my desk and included egg whites and veggies, made by B. We had run out of frozen veggies, so I had made some Brussels sprouts Sunday evening and B cooked up some spinach. I had a busy morning and was pretty hungry when lunch rolled around. I had some leftover soup that I had frozen – some black bean, butternut squash soup.
Disclaimer – this is not the pic from my lunch. this is the pic I took from the night before. But still just as yummy!
And since I was hungry for lunch, I was super hungry for afternoon snacks. I had a bunch of smoked almonds (from the office), a pear, a sweet potato, some tea, and lots of carrots. I had already eaten half the almonds and carrots by the time I took this pic.
snack one. already had eaten some almonds and carrots before taking the pic.
Half a sweet potato with cinnamon and honey. SO good.
After work I had a board meeting meet up at Heinen’s. I enjoyed a few glasses of wine with the glorious view of the new grocery store!
Wine at Heinen’s! (Another disclaimer – this pic is from another time…again I forgot to take a photo of my wine but I assure you I had some red wine at Heinen’s)
After happy hour B and I had tickets to the Cleveland Film Festival. For my fourth film (yup, I love CIFF!), we saw the Hollywood Shorts. Oh my goodness – they were so good! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shorts program where I enjoyed all the movies, but they each kept getting better and better! My favorites were Today’s the Day and Dragula. The movie didn’t get out until after 9 and of course I was hungry again. I had finished the breakfast trail mix already and wanted something quick and ready (not something I’d have to make at 9:30 p.m. at night). The solution? Noodlecat! I picked up my favorite salad, the Super Salad. Its description:
w/ adzuki bean, curly kale, blueberry, green tea granola, avocado, citrus & ancient grain
And here’s what it looks like when you get it to-go:
Noodlecat’s Super Salad.
We didn’t finish eating until after 10 and I wanted something else, so I satisfied myself with some more citrus. I’m not typically a huge orange fan, but maybe the orange and grapefruit on the salad got my in the mood? I would’ve gone for a peanut butter brownie bar that I had made last week, but B and his friend had eaten them all over the weekend. 😦
“Dessert” – okay not really but just some fruit to finish off my meal.
AND here is an update of my Fitbit for the day! My morning run, plus walking to and from my happy hour and the movies, put me at a weekday high – I never get this high unless I have a weekend (and lots of walking around) or a long run.
Some questions for you:
Do you have a fitbit?
Do you have a go-to quick and easy takeout meal for nights when you didn’t plan a meal and don’t have time to cook?
This year, for various reasons (aka extremely busy schedules) B and I only had time to fit in 2 films at the festival. We opted for two pick-me-ups, or at least humorous/happy films (so often we see somewhat upsetting or more educational movies when we go to film festivalst) which proved to be a good choice. The films were both different from one another yet both absolutely incredible, however, so I wanted to share some info about them with you in case you have an opportunity to see them! AND since the festival is not over (it ends the 30th) so you have some time to catch some films yourself!
Hopeless Hopeful (La Espera Desespera)
The film opens when Jorge, a pretty ordinary guy, learns that his wife Lisa is in need of a life-saving heart surgery – and a surgery he can by no means afford. Yes, I said we saw humorous/happy films – and I promise you this movie is just that. Because Jorge decides to go about getting the money in a somewhat funny way – robbing a bank. Check out the trailer:
This movie is playing TONIGHT so you should definitely go see it if you haven’t been to the festival already.
The Ballad of Shovels and Rope
This movie follows the story of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, husband and wife duo that formed the band Shovels and Rope. I had never heard of the band – but I guess they’re pretty well known in the Americana music circle – so it was fun watch where they came from, how they started playing with one another and watch them put together an album. Oh yeah, and the music was good too!
Some questions for you:
Do you watch independent or foreign films? Any favorites? One of my favorites still from a past festival was Primos. Such a fun, humorous Spanish-language film!
Subtitles or dubbing for foreign films? Subtitles all the way! I much prefer to listen to the natural language. But it makes it hard to multitask during a movie.
What was the last movie you saw?
What are you looking forward to this weekend?
Clevelanders- have you been to CIFF yet? Which movies have you seen?
I’m always surprised by how many people complain that there’s nothing to do in Cleveland, yet don’t go out and DO anything or check out any of the cool things that are actually happening! A prime example of one of those amazing things to do that happens every year around this time is the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF)!
The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
In other words, we present the newest and best films from around the world, and we do everything in our power to make sure that our audience learns something along the way – about other cultures, about the topic at hand, about the experience from the filmmakers themselves.
Why do I like CIFF?
Because I can walk about a hundred feet and be at the movie theater and swept away to foreign countries, introduced to new themes, and of course, there’s always the popcorn and other movie theater treats. I really do love sitting in a theater, and learning so much about a new culture, a new topic, or even just a new person. Here’s my review from last year’s festival.
Why should you check out CIFF?
There really is a movie in there for everyone. I know, sometimes people hear “independent film festival” and think “you mean I have to watch a sad movie that makes me think about my life?” or think “you mean I have to read subtitles?” THIS IS NOT TRUE. There are movies about gangs. Movies in English about all the cool things happening in cities around the U.S. Short films so even if you don’t have the attention span required to sit through a 1-2 hour movie you can watch a series of shorts!
SO, what have I seen so far? And what do I think?
Live Action Shorts
I am typically a fan of shorts because of the varying lengths, topics, genres, etc. This grouping was pretty good – not all of them were my favorite, but that’s the point of seeing a series of shorts. Some you like, some you don’t! The ones I didn’t really like will remain nameless … but I DID really like Sandbox. Very cute!
My rating? 3.5 / 5
Were The World Mine
Don’t tell the director of the movie I said this, but imagine this as an early look at what Glee The Movie could be. Plus some magic. And that’s this. I saw don’t tell the director, because he actually spoke to the audience after the movie and talked about how they had pitched the movie as a TV show before making the movie and was rejected, so they made it clear that the movie was B.G. (before Glee).
My rating? 4.5 / 5
I really really liked this! I had no idea what to expect and found the movie interesting and funny at times. AND I could (for the most part) actually understand what they were saying, despite my usual issue with comprehending British accents.
My rating? 4.5 / 5
(sorry you’ll have to watch the preview for this actually on YouTube)
Red, White and Blueprints
The overall message in the film was good. It was an optimistic look at the movement happening in Rust Belt Cities (Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, St. Louis, Buffalo) and showcased a few of the people in these cities and what they were doing to help make change happen. They even featured the Cleveland Colectivo, an organization I’ve been trying to learn more about. I saw the movie with one of my City Advocate friends (Naturally!), Laura, and after the movie we sat in on a film forum where the director and a few local civically engaged people were interviewed. Laura and I grabbed drinks after the movie and talked about its strengths (the overall message) and weaknesses (the film’s editing and lack of actual call to action – the director even admitted at the talk afterwards that it was just a piece of propaganda). Thanks, Laura for the movie tickets 🙂
My rating? 4 / 5 (I’m all for a feel good “yay cleveland” movie anytime!)
Tonight, B and I are going to see another movie, and then hopefully some more this weekend. My goal was to beat my 5 movie streak last year, and I’m well on my way! AND you should be too – I highly recommend you GET YOURSELF TO TOWER CITY and check out some films before the festival is over!
Some thoughts to ponder:
For Clevelanders – what’s your favorite CIFF film thus far this year?
Have you been to CIFF or another film festival before? What’s your favorite thing about film festivals?
Do you like foreign films? Why / why not? Do you have a favorite?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, I’m not talking about the holidays or Christmas (but those are wonderful times of year as well) – but I’m talking about the time of year when downtown and Tower City comes alive with activity – when people who don’t normally make the trip downtown spend hours at a time strolling around – when it’s socially acceptable to sit for hours in the dark and eating popcorn. The Cleveland International Film Festival!
Each year, B and I see one or two films. This year, now that we’re finally living downtown, we got to see even more! We saw 5 total, but I would’ve loved to see a few more. One of these years we are going to get a pass and take off of work and see all the movies we want – but until then, five movies in one week will have to do. Here’s a quick review and summary of the films we opted to see. DISCLAIMER: I was not paid to see or review any of these films. I’m also not a professional film critic (far from it!) so take these as the opinions of an average mid-late 20-something female.
If a Bank Burglar Hall of Fame is ever built, it has to be placed in Collinwood, OH. The Cleveland neighborhood is home to some of the U.S.’s most prolific and daring bank robbers of all time—the most famous of whom is Phil Christopher, who pulled off a bank job in Laguna Niguel, California for a record-setting $30 million in 1972. SUPERTHIEF is a documentary about the men who put together one of the most enterprising and remarkable bank burglaries of all time, as well as the men tasked with bringing the crooks to justice …
Overall it was a good, entertaining film. Kind of like Ocean’s 11 meets that History Channel show, I (Almost) Got Away With it. The Northeast Ohio connection made the film even more enjoyable. It was fun to hear from Phil Christopher himself bout how he committed the crime, the mistakes he made that got him caught, and where he is now. It was also amusing to hear from the police officers and other enforcement that were interviewed – any of them spoke very highly of him, almost as if he weren’t a convicted criminal.
SACRIFICE, an adaptation of Orphan of Zhao (the first Chinese opera to become known in Europe), dominated Chinese theaters upon its release and is sure to impress American viewers with its dramatic performances, alluring ancient Chinese scenery and absorbing Shakespearean plot. It is a complex tale of betrayals and revenge, as the jealous court official Tu Angu (Wang Xueqi) seeks to eradicate his prosperous enemies, the Zhao clan. Weaving together traps, poisons, sword fights, and all out warfare, Tu almost succeeds with his devious schemes, but the upright physician Cheng Ying (Ge You) has mercy on the infant child carrying the last remaining Zhao blood …
Meh. It wasn’t a bad film – in fact the first hour or so captivated me as I got a great look into ancient China. I think any fan of Chinese films, especially those that involve fighting, would appreciate the film. I have never been a fan of the genre, however so I don’t think I’m the right audience. B enjoyed the action and I liked viewing the beautiful scenery.
Neal is a good guy pushed too far in MISSED CONNECTIONS, a comedic romance for today’s internet savvy dating scene. He’s recovering from a gruesome breakup and a banal job, but rather than confront his problems head on, with the help of some loyal friends Neal finds the perfect distraction on the Craigslist Missed Connections page. Lonely women write posts describing details of chance encounters, a little eye contact, or a passing glance that could have been their knight in shining armor, only he got away. Now they are hoping he’s searching the same internet back pages. What could be easier than swooping in to the rescue as a woman awaits a date who you know won’t show …
I really enjoyed this film. I’ve been a fan of Craigslist’s Missed Connections for years (come on, don’t tell me you haven’t scrolled through the pages just to see who was writing what, and to whom?) and it was fun to see a movie about the site. The characters were likeable, and relatable, and the plotline followed that of a predictable romantic comedy. If you’re looking for something, light, funny and entertaining, this is it.
COUSINHOOD is an American-style bromantic comedy with an added dash of Spanish cojones. It’s the story of three party dudes, loyal cousins who have each other’s backs. When thirtysomething Diego is left standing at the altar, macho Julian has a remedy for his broken heart. They begin by drowning their sorrows and dragging their cousin José Miguel to the seaside town where they grew up. A boozy summer festival is in full swing, where they revel with childhood friends and begin reconnecting with local traditions. Diego rediscovers his attraction to lovely Martina, who lives in his former house. Julian finds that his old friend is now the town drunk and the father of a sultry prostitute. José Miguel, a hypochondriac perpetually out of his comfort zone, bonds with Martina’s young son over their mutual fears. As a new day dawns for these endearing buffoons, it looks like they might be growing up in spite of themselves.
You MUST see this film. If you’re looking for a hilarious, heartwarming movie that is entertaining for girls, and guys, here it is. It had me laughing, and crying (from laughing so hard) at parts. Seriously- any film that has cute Spanish men singing the Backstreet Boys is a winner in my book. It’s the best comedy I’ve seen since Bridesmaids and I’m not just counting international films, I mean best comedy out of all movies.
Rutger Hauer gives one of the most intense and powerful performances of his long career in this Dutch film based on true events from 1983. Hauer plays Alfred Heineken, president of Heineken International and heir to the family’s beer fortune. When Heineken gets kidnapped by four young men, he must bide his time in a small cell hoping his company and family pay the ransom. One of the kidnappers, Rem Humbrechts, has plans of his own and they involve revenge. An incredibly intense and dark crime thriller, THE HEINEKEN KIDNAPPING grabs you from the very beginning and doesn’t let go of its grip. Brilliantly directed by Maarten Treurniet, what begins as a caper film quickly becomes a film of deep-seeded vengeance. After being released, Heineken must deal with the trauma of his ordeal and the only way to get the horrors out of his head is to see them extinguished.
I was pleasantly surprised with the movie (even though the word “pleasant” hardly belongs in a review of this intense movie) – I had seen a cleveland.com review of the film beforehand and wasn’t expecting much. Despite some slow parts, the movie held my attention and kept me on edge the entire time. I was so involved with the film, I ended up peeling off all the nail polish from my nails – that’s how insense it was!