(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

It’s time for a (nearly) Wordless Wednesday post. This time, I’m sharing a few photos from our long Fourth of July weekend. We had Monday off and my parents were in town, so it made for a really amazing fun and family filled weekend. Here are some photos of our fun, with as few words as possible:

Friday night=homemade pizza night

Grandpa reading to FW

French toast to start our Saturday!

And a fast (for me) four miler.

Standing up – almost ready to walk!

Momma and me

And of course, my Dad

Selfies after a walk

Just glassin’ 

Stroller run

Learning to walk with Daddy

Hope you had a great Fourth of July!! Here’s to a SHORT week.

Some questions for you:

  • Did you see some fireworks this year?
  • Get in any runs during your long weekend?

Tuesdays on the Run: Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!! I’ve taken the last few days off from running, but got in a good amount of mileage last week, with runs nearly every day. I didn’t get in a true long run, but I ended up with nearly 30 miles this week. The runs included:

I only got in one outdoor run this week unfortunately – a 5.5 miler on Saturday. It was misting out but I was still able to get outside and get in 5.5 humid miles in my Jette skirt.

And since it’s July (yikes!) here are two goals for the month:

  • To get in 1-2 outdoor runs a week
  • To do at least one race

Happy Fourth to you!! Some questions for you:

  • Do you do a Fourth of July race?
  • What’s your favorite month for running?

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!

Fourth of July with the Baby

Well, B and I survived the first week home with the baby! Honestly, I don’t know how single parents do it – this first week was challenging, tiring and rewarding – but I did it all thanks to B. Not sure how I’m going to deal when he goes back to work in a week … but I digress.

We had a great holiday weekend! Showing FW around town, hanging out with my parents (who were visiting again) for the weekend and of course having some family time for the holiday.

Friday started with a trip to the West Side Market – we showed FW around our normal shops.


And a trip to Gallucci’s for some wine and pizza supplies.20160701_134706

Because Friday night was pizza night! B made this awesome pepperoni and mushroom pizza with our new pizza stone. It was the perfect TGIF dinner!20160701_213247

Saturday morning was gorgeous, so we got in a short walk to the water and of course took some pics with FW.


My parents got in that afternoon and they were very excited to see him! 20160703_125523

It stayed gorgeous out all day, so we needed the day with an evening out to dinner – burgers and wine outside downtown. My veggie burger was so good!IMG_20160702_190222

Sunday morning, B’s mom had everyone over for brunch. It was great to introduce the baby the rest of the family – and of course his cousins loved holding him again.20160703_132321

After brunch, we went for a walk around a nearby lake – it was great outside and it’s been so much fun sharing all our favorite spots with FW.

And for dinner? Sushi with my parents. Gotta love being able to eat raw fish again!


Monday started out lazy. I had been up with FW much of Sunday, so we hung low and then got in a walk around downtown before heading to B’s family’s house for the Fourth of July BBQ.


FW even got some bonding time with his great grandma.  He is so lucky to have so many family members nearby and not only all of his grandparents but also a great grandma!


And that was it- a great Fourth of July weekend and FW’s first celebration!

I’m linking up today with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

Three Days To Celebrate the Fourth

As I recently (okay and more often than once before have) professed, I love three-day weekends. There are so many great things about them and I find that they allow me to do everything I want to do – be productive (meal prep, catch up on work, laundry and clean), bake, work out, catch up on TV shows, meet up with friends, go out AND relax. For some reason, a two-day weekend just doesn’t come close and the extra day makes all the difference!

This past three-day weekend was the same. It was full of good (and maybe a little too much) food and drinks. Sunshine. The beach. Hanging out with B’s family for the Fourth. Catching an Indians game. A few runs with friends. Lots of Orange Is The New Black (slowly making our way through the 2nd season!) and almost finishing the book I’ve been reading for the past few months.

Here’s a little peek at all that we were able to cram into our three days off!

What would Fourth of July be without some red, white and blue goodies? Of course I couldn’t let a three-day weekend go by without some baking!


We enjoyed the Fourth of July and some fireworks with B’s family. They live right next to a park on the lake so we got to enjoy a BBQ and a great fireworks show on their front lawn!b and me on the fourth

I love BBQs as is evidenced by my plate. I ate everything on it minus the beans and the hot dog because I’m weird like that. My eyes were bigger than my stomach. plate on fourth

Saturday included a much needed relaxing beach day. I managed to get in some time on the elliptical before we headed to the beach with Dave and Anson and then back to their house for some pizza and beer on their porch. This time of year I really miss having a porch!20140705_161445

Sunday started out with a nice run with a friend that lives downtown. The weather cooled down during the run (started mid-70s and then got to low 70s) which made for a much more enjoyable run then the past few we’ve had together! Running in sunny, 80-90 degree temps < windy 70 degree temps7 miler with nicole

Then, B and I headed to the afternoon Indians game – and caught a win! We also had amazing club seats, which meant more good food (it’s all you can eat!) – as if my weekend needed it.20140706_153939And speaking of food, Sunday night included roasting a chicken (it’s the third chicken I’ve roasted – and this one was already cleaned and giblet free. I think I’m getting spoiled), prepping some lunches and other meals for the week and catching up on our TV shows. Meaning 24, Damages (we’re on season 3!) and Orange Is The New Black.IMG_20140706_212458

Yup, it really was the perfect weekend – great weather, food, friends, and more. Here’s to hopefully just as great a week!

Some questions for you:

  • How did you celebrate your Fourth of July holiday?
  • Do you like fireworks? Did you catch more than 1 show? Yes! I caught the free show downtown with the Orchestra earlier in the week and then the show at the park on the Fourth.
  • Do you like traditional summer bbq foods like hot dogs and burgers? Actually, I’m not a burger fan. Something about ground beef that gets to me every time. Yes, I tried a little piece of burger on Friday, but they’re still not for me! 
  • If you had three days off, what would you do? Do you like to relax? Be productive? Go out? All three and more?


Why Every Weekend Should Be a 3 Day Weekend

It’s already the last day on my amazing three-day weekend, and I can’t help but think how amazing it would be if every weekend were a three-day weekend.


Here are just some of the things that happen on three-day weekends:

Spontaneous pizza nights


Fresh bacon (from Fresh Fork!) for breakfast

fresh bacon for breakfast

Fish faces with kids




More baking


Reading along the beach


Selfies in the park


And that’s all before Sunday.

Don’t worry, a full weekend wrap up post will be coming – but in the meantime, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Fourth of July Recipe Roundup

I can’t believe it’s almost July! This beautiful, amazing summer is flying by. And now that it’s nearly July (ONE more day, ack!), that means Fourth of July is right around the corner. It’s a pretty fun holiday for me in Cleveland, we tend to spend the day with B’s family who lives pretty much on the lake  and enjoy a cookout, live music and fireworks along the water. Oh, and of course some delicious food.

I love Fourth of July themed goodies. Red, white and blue cookies, cupcakes, and more. Here are a few Independence Day recipes I’m eyeing and would love to bake – if only I had all the time in the world AND endless mouths to feed!

Red, White and Blue Sugar Cookie Bars

Red, white and blue Chex

4th of July Bark

Patriotic Spiral Cookies

Red, white and blue blondies

Patriotic Bundt Cake

Cupcakes in a Jar

Don’t those look amazing? If you could pick just one of those, which would you make? Come on, help me – I can’t decide – I want to make them all!!

A Midwest Vacation – Milwaukee (+ Chicago)!

B and I just got back from an amazing vacation. Last year, we took advantage of the Fourth of July holiday to fly to Ireland and spend time in Dublin, Galway, Doolin and even London (yes I know that’s not in Ireland but while we were over there I had to make a stop in London before the Olympics!). This year, we opted to stay in the U.S. but instead drive to a few neighboring cities – Milwaukee and Chicago!

What a great week! We only spent one night in Chicago (we’ve both been there before) and spent the rest of the week in Milwaukee. Meaning I also got to check a NEW state off my list – Wisconsin! (side note to my non Midwest friends and family, Wisconsin is just north/northwest of Illinois! I had no idea either, but now that I live in Ohio I’m becoming much more used to learning about all these states that I never really knew much about as a New Yorker)

DEEP DISH PIZZA IN CHICAGO (yes, CAPS are necessary)

DEEP DISH PIZZA IN CHICAGO (yes, CAPS are necessary)

B and me in the bean!

B and me in the bean!

So after those photos from Chicago, let’s talk Milwaukee. Here are a few highlights from our trip, plus recommendations if you plan on stopping by or planning a Milwaukee visit soon:

7 Ways to Spend A Week in Milwaukee

1. Enjoying the Local Fare and Dining Out: Obviously dining is pretty important. Why visit a place without enjoying the local fare? We ate quite a few good meals out, including Thai food at a restaurant called The King and Thai, dinner at the Brat House (I’ll let you guess what we had there), brunch at a Belgian place called Benelux and more. At the Thai place we shared spring rolls, Tom Yum soup and then I got the spicy tofu/eggplant dish. At Benelux, I had a quinoa/squash breakfast skillet. B also got one of their famous Bloody Marys, which came with a “beer chaser.” Not a bad start to our day! Not pictured, we also enjoyed brunch at a french cafe Coquette, some German food at the local Hofbrau House (including some “pig wings” which B loves, plus reuben rolls which are like spring rolls but have reubens inside) and a pretzel the size of my head … or even bigger … at the Brat House.

Yum. Appetizer at the King and Thai (spring rolls before my eggplant came out)

Yum. Appetizer at the King and Thai (spring rolls before my eggplant came out)

Benelux Bloody Mary and beer chaser. Yum!

Benelux Bloody Mary and beer chaser. Yum!

BEST brunch at Benelux- quinoa, squash and eggs!

BEST brunch at Benelux- quinoa, squash and eggs!

The Brat House special!

The Brat House special!

2. Listening to Music All Day and Outside at Summerfest: One of the reasons we decided to go the Milwaukee (I know, you were wondering how we ended up there for our week off – don’t worry, “Why Milwaukee?” is a completely common question) was that it was their annual Summerfest music festival. For two weeks, there is an all-day (morning through around midnight) music festival right on their lake. And you know how much I love water! Each day there are several stages that feature various bands performing throughout the day, and at night in addition to the smaller stages there are also some larger stages with larger headliners performing (Rush, John Mayer, fun., Tim McGraw, etc.). Oh, and did I mention that it was only $10? Yup. For $10 (plus my $3.75 delicious peanut butter cup ice cream cone and $7 Greek dinner) B and I each got to see about 12 hours of live music, including Barenaked Ladies (hellllo my middleschool years!) and Guster!!! (yes, I loved Guster in college. And saw them several times performing in Boston. Along with almost all other Boston College ladies)

Enjoying Summerfest

Enjoying Summerfest

3. Going For Daily Runs and Walking Around: When we got to our hotel, we parked our car and then didn’t have to take it out again until we left. We walked EVERYWHERE (well except to Miller Park … see below) which I of course love. And Milwaukee has some good walking/running paths – both along the river and along the lake. For walking, I preferred the Riverwalk downtown, but for our morning runs (I got out for a run each day but one) I preferred running to the lake and then taking advantage of their waterfront paths and parks. There is just something I LOVE about running along water, with a city on the other side of me. We also got out for a run along Chicago’s lakefront – check out the view!

Running in Milwaukee

Running in Milwaukee. Love the view of the city and the lake.

Heeeeey, it's the Fonz! (seen along the Riverwalk)

Heeeeey, it’s the Fonz! (seen along the Riverwalk)


LOVE running along the lake. Favorite way to see a city = going for a run.

4. Checking Out the Unique Neighborhoods: Milwaukee didn’t seem to have a real downtown area. They had a few neighborhoods but no real city center. My favorite neighborhood was probably the Historic Third Ward, which reminded me a lot of Ohio City or Tremont (or Tremont in a few years). It had cute little shops, nicer boutiques, nice shopping (hellllo Lululemon and Anthro!), fun dining (including Benelux and Coquette) and my favorite – The Public Market. I’m not a huge brat person, so while B was perfectly content with feasting on brats and beer at the Brat House, I was more excited to take advantage of the fresh salads and other foods at the Public Market. Oh, and just browsing around this covered indoor market was fun – they had candy vendors, food, coffee, spices, souvenirs/apparel, and even a cheese stand with a few samples. Yup, more cheese samples!

Entrance to the Historic Third Ward (and see the market in the background!)

Entrance to the Historic Third Ward (and see the market in the background!)

Checking out the neighborhood by the lake. That's the art museum in the background! (yes we went there)

Checking out the neighborhood by the lake. That’s the art museum in the background! (yes we went there)

5. Brewers Game: We were lucky enough to see a Brewer’s game when we were in town! I was pretty excited for the game – not only because they were playing the Mets, but also because I’d heard that tailgating before Brewers games is a pretty common spectacle to expect at Miller Park. While we didn’t end up joining in any tailgates, it was cool to see all the people grilling and drinking before the game, and we also ended up taking a free shuttle from downtown (the Brat House) to the game AND the Mets won. Which my mom was happy about.

my mom was excited

my mom was excited about the Mets win

Brewers game!

Brewers game!

B scored us great seats!

B scored us great seats!

6. Taking in History at the Pabst Mansion: Not only is Milwaukee famous for Miller, but it’s also the home of Pabst! Yes, this town has a lot of beer. One morning B and I decided to walk to the old Pabst mansion to see where the Captain Pabst lived and learn more about the history of the beer all hipsters love, PBR. The mansion offers tours every hour and even though the tour was kinda long (a little over an hour), it was pretty cool. They have restored almost all the rooms in this old mansion so that you can see what life was like when the Pabst family lived there. Our tour guide was a cute old lady who clearly loved her job and knew a ton not only about that historical era, but also the house and the family. Only downside? No beer on the tour (in case you were wondering).

only in Milwaukee ...

only in Milwaukee …

B in front of the Pabst Mansion

B in front of the Pabst Mansion

7. Touring the Lakefront Brewery: B had heard great things about Lakefront Brewery, so we hustled over there for a brewery tour one day. I had a ton of fun at this tour, as our tourguide was super entertaining. Even though nearly all brewery tours are the same (guess what, they all make beer!), this tour was a bargain in terms of what you got for the admission (side note; Great Lakes in Cleveland offers FREE tours)- for $7, you got four drink tokens (each good for a free beer sample) plus two glasses to take home.  Not bad, huh? (and the tour guide may have given B two extra tokens as well … making it an even better deal!)

drinks before the brewery tour. slightly blurry, but the only picture someone took of the two of us!

drinks before the brewery tour. slightly blurry, but the only picture someone took of the two of us!

BONUS-Along the Way: The drive to Milwaukee wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Mars Cheese Castle. That’s right – a castle that sells cheese! I thought that for sure my loyalty to Grandpa’s Cheesebarn would be done for – after all, what chance does a barn have to stand up against a castle? Honestly, if you’re looking for tons of samples of cheese and other deliciousness, my vote still goes for the Cheesebarn (sorry Wisconsin folks!) – the castle had like 4 samples compared to the Cheesebarn’s 4 gazillion samples (no exaggeration there). Though we did pick up a bag of cheese curds and some Spotted Cow and other Wisconsin-only beers to enjoy – so I would still recommend the stop, but don’t go with high sample expectations.


On the way back, we also stopped at the Jelly Belly Factory!! When I saw that there was a Jelly Belly Factory nearby, I told B we had to stop. I am slightly obsessed with jelly belly (I may be chomping on a few now haha) jelly beans, and each Easter my mom would give me a bag or a few in my Easter baskets. Oh, and I almost forgot – they had FREE JELLY BELLY SAMPLES!!


SO many jelly beans!

I hope you all enjoyed your Fourth of July holidays.  Some questions for you:

  • Have you been to Milwaukee? What was your favorite part?
  • Favorite Easter candy?
  • Favorite type of cheese? Have you ever had cheese curds?
  • Do you like to run on vacation? What’s your perfect running location?

A Pre-Trip Weekend Update: An Early July 4th in Cle

It’s Monday night and I’m just now writing my weekend update. But after a great day, fireworks, and a free Cleveland orchestra show I can’t help but feel like the weekend was extended to include Monday — can you blame me?

This weekend B and I had a few things we needed to do before our upcoming travels – mainly packing, cleaning, and eating everything in our fridge. And after a somewhat stressful and busy week,  I was ready to start our weekend a little early – which means that by Thursday evening, I was needing a happy hour beverage. So Thursday night, B and I headed to Greenhouse Tavern’s rooftop to enjoy a few drinks and some warm weather on the roof.

Friday, I worked from home around a few dr appointments including a physical therapy appointment I had scheduled (hey, gotta get my leg better right?). Despite my doctor appointments, a few phone calls (for work) and a quick Skype call with my mom, by 4 p.m. I was super lonely (I don’t get how people work remotely all the time! I give them a lot of credit for not going insane) so I made my way to Erie Island Coffee for the rest of my afternoon work. After finishing up some projects, I got dressed (yes, after 5 p.m. … don’t judge me- I had to wear workout clothes for my PT appt) and B and I headed out for a date night. We enjoyed an AMAZING meal at Prime Rib Steakhouse, and then a few after dinner drinks at D’vine. If you haven’t yet been to Prime Rib Steakhouse and enjoy red meat – you MUST go there. The meat was SO tender, and so delicious, that it cut with my fork and butter knife. Seriously. Plus I cleaned my entire plate – and practically licked it – which is embarrassing if you see what I had, below.

Best dinner you’ve never heard of in Cleveland: Prime Rib Steakhouse

Saturday was a busy day. Well, busier than my usual Saturday which typically includes working out, grocery shopping and maybe a nap. B loves golfing and has been dying to drag me along with him, so I finally agreed to go with him. We woke up early (for a Saturday) and hit a local golf course and played 9 holes. Yes, I played 9 holes of golf. And if you look at the photos, it looks like I actually know what I’m doing!

After golfing, B and I stopped by Second Sole to get some new sneakers. The PT had recommended new shoes with my current orthotics, and B’s shoes had worn down after his marathon training/race.

After picking up our sneakers, B and I grabbed lunch and some groceries at Heinen’s and then headed home so I could get some last minute work done before our trip. After putting in a few hours, it was still early (rememeber, I said I woke up early for golf), so I decided to test my new shoes out and go for a run/walk on the treadmill. Success! I may not be in marathon-training running shape yet, but I WILL get there.

Loving my new running shoes enough to hop on the treadmill for a run/walk!

After working out, I decided to get some baking done. We had planned to have a few friends over to watch fireworks before we left for our trip, so of course I made some Fourth of July themed cookies. They came out cute – and tasty. I also ended up baking some of my favorite Banana Muffins, not pictured here.

After baking, it was time to clean the apartment and start to think about packing. At which point, I realized it was 9 p.m. and I should probably make dinner for finishing the night.

Sunday I tried out another short run on the treadmill and the shoes were still great! I finished up some more work, before B and I headed to the west side for B to try out driving a manual transmission car in prep for our trip abroad. It was a little jerky and uncomfortable at first, but I’m amazed at how quickly he grasped the concept of driving the car. We then enjoyed a Sunday night dinner with some of B’s family, before heading back downtown.

Monday was Monday – so it wasn’t quite the weekend, but the night felt like one! After work, downtown Cleveland was buzzing! B and I had friends over to enjoy some early Fourth of July festivities. The food trucks were all over Public Square and B picked me up an awesome sandwich – chorizo sausage, with a fried egg and goat cheese. Yes, it was amazing. After eating, the group of us (B, his brother, Dave, Anson, Devin, Samantha) and I headed to the porch and listened to the orchestra give a free concert and then watch the free fireworks show that followed. I had heard that the fireworks would be set off directly across the street from our balcony – and I had heard right. We had better than a front row seat for the action and it was truly an incredible show downtown. Definitely one of those nights when I’m SO happy and feel so lucky to be living in downtown Cleveland.

Fireworks show, view from sitting on my patio. Awesome.

And now I’m off on vacation. I’ll be back in a few weeks and will be sure to update you when I return. In town for the holiday? Here’s a list of everything going on. Hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July!