A taste of spring!

Hooray- it warmed up this weekend and B and I got some time outside in the warm temps! Okay, I don’t really know if upper 30s and then 40s is springlike … or warm. But I’ll take it! After some rain (not snow or ice!) Friday night/Saturday morning, we had a pretty clear, beautiful weather weekend and I was so grateful.

Friday night, B and I headed to our favorite pre-race or long run restaurant, The Flaming Ice Cube. The carby goodness if this vegan restaurant is my perfect running fuel.

Appetizers - buffalo "chik'n" dip

Appetizers – buffalo “chik’n” dip

My go-to - half kalebouli wrap and bean/corn salad

My go-to – half kalebouli wrap and bean/corn salad

Saturday morning was rainy and cool – but it cleared up just in time for B and I to head to the start of the St. Malachi Church 5 mile run. The run is the unofficial kickoff of spring running season and the streets were filled with people decked out in the St. Patrick’s Day attire, ready to run.

Some BC Alumni before the 5 miler

Some BC Alumni before the 5 miler

After the race (spoiler: I got a PR and finished in 41:15:55), we headed to the Harp for brunch with some fellow Boston College alumni who had also run the event.

When at an Irish restaurant / bar .... I got a "black velvet" - half guinness, half cider

When at an Irish restaurant / bar …. I got a “black velvet” – half guinness, half cider

After brunch

After brunch

Then, it was time for our normal Saturday morning activities. B and I got in some shopping at the West Side Market and some tea and coffee in Hingtetown before returning back to our apartment for a much needed catnap.

back at the market!

back at the market!

Saturday night, B and I had plans with his parents – we were going to grab dinner, drinks and a show at Great Lakes Theater. Confession – I have a theater that is directly in the building where I live and I haven’t seen a show there since moving here. Thankfully, that’s changed.

The show playbill - Dial M for Murder!

The show playbill – Dial M for Murder!

After the show, B and I decided to grab some after-dinner drinks and watch some basketball before calling it a night. I enjoyed a flight of beer, a side salad and popcorn – the perfect midnight (literally) snack!


Sunday morning I had to wake up early and be productive – I had work to catch up on, blogging, meal prep, an easy workout, laundry and a few other things that needed to get done before dinner with B’s family.

Thankfully, I got most of it done and even had time to get in a short walk in the nice (chilly but sunny) weather before a St. Patrick’s themed dinner with B’s family (corned beef, shamrock shaped ravioli and ice cream with Irish Cream. yum!).

scenes from our walk

scenes from our walk

Spring has to be on its way, huh? Geese and melting ice!

Spring has to be on its way, huh? Geese and melting ice!

How was your weekend?

Some questions for you:

  • How do you motivate yourself when you need to be productive on the weekends? I hate setting an alarm on my days off but sometimes it has to be done. I try to give myself an incentive – like I can work with the TV on if my laundry is on, or I’ll bring some work reading to the gym so I can at least use the elliptical at the same time. I also make a killer snack mix – peanuts, white chocolate chips, craisins and sometimes other goodies to keep me fueled if I’m working during the day.
  • Did you get outside to run this weekend? Hopefully you’re enjoying the weather too!
  • Have you seen Dial M for Murder? B and I had seen the movie and now we’ve seen

Friday Five: Five Things To Do In Cleveland for the Holidays

I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. Yes caps lock is intended.

great holiday sweaters and sweater vests

Okay, I know I’ve said it enough. And the picture above probably says it all anyway. But seriously – it may have been 60 degrees yesterday (and it was amazing – I went for a run in shorts) – but don’t let the weather fool you – the holidays are here. So you missed the Holiday Flea, Winterfest and the Public Square tree lighting ceremony? Don’t worry, there’s still so much more to do in Cleveland to get you in the holiday spirit!  I know quite a few people have shared their favorite holiday activities – here are 5 things that I’m looking forward to:

1. Checking out the holiday decor and lights downtown

I LOVE living downtown – it seems like suddenly overnight the festive lights, trees, and even store windows popped up, all to get us in the holiday spirit. Want to feel the holiday spirit? Start in Playhouse Square (and see a show while you’re there! Spoiler alert – check out #3) at Euclid and 14thish and take the E line trolley until you arrive at Public Square. All along Euclid you’ll see various stores with lights, flower pots overflowing with wintry decor, and more. And when you get to Public Square, get ready to be in awe of all the lights – it’s gorgeous! And don’t forget to check out the big tree, as well as the Holidays at Higbee displays. Not had enough? Head into Tower City to check out Bruce the Talking Spruce, as well as the holiday shows in the food court featuring the Toy Soldier and Fairy Godmother (and more – the whole Tower City list of events is here).

Lights around the Theatre District

Lights around the Theatre District


storefront window in the Higbee building

2. Enjoying a holiday performance from the Cleveland Orchestra

Did you know that the world famous Cleveland Orchestra and their chorus perform a series of holiday concerts each year? The concerts feature a variety of holiday music in the beautifully decorated Severance Hall. I’m lucky to be married into an Ignatius High School family – the Orchestra performs a private show for Ignatius alums and their family and I look forward to the event each year!

Here’s a sneak peak – disclaimer, I found this video on YouTube, it’s not mine:

3. Seeing a show in the Theatre district

Seeing  A Christmas Carol at the Ohio Theater at Playhouse Square has become a tradition for B and me. This Great Lakes Theater production runs through December 22, and no matter how many times I watch it (or even A Muppet Christmas Carol), it never gets old. Interested in seeing the show? If you call 216-241-6000 or go to http://www.greatlakestheater.org/tickets/shows/a-christmas-carol to order tickets, enter GLT as your promo code for a discount!

Wine @ Gallucci's!

Wine @ Gallucci’s!

4. Feasting on local treats (going to Gallucci’s and the West Side Market)

OK, OK I know you can do this any time of year – but there’s just something SO magical about the West Side Market and Gallucci’s during the holidays. Stands are decorated in the Market, holiday food comes out, and the smell of the Italian food at Gallucci’s just seems more memorable (maybe it’s the fact that I grew up with an Italian mother and those cooking smells likely got stronger during the holidays?). Anyway, one of my favorite traditions that B and I have is going to the Market and Gallucci’s, buying supplies to make pepperoni bread and sauce, and then making the meal, decorating our apartment, and watching Love Actually. Try it. I dare you not to feel in the holiday spirit after doing that!

5. Local shopping

Let’s face it – the holidays wouldn’t be the same without shopping. This year, I’m buying a lot of stuff locally – if possible. The Holiday Flea was awesome, and there are so many other upcoming opportunities to get your holiday (or personal) shopping done:

Ohio City Festival (Dec. 7): Ohio City Festival is THIS weekend! So get your gift list ready and visit local shops like the Cleveland Bazaar and Made in the 216. If that doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, there’s also photos with Santa, Christmas tree sales, horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday crafts for children, a photobooth, carolers, and mulled Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Holiday CircleFest (Dec. 8): Keep the festivities going all weekend long and stop by University Circle on Sunday the 8th for the Holiday CircleFest! In addition to shopping, the event in University Circle will feature horse-drawn carriage rides, ice sculpting, live music, a gingerbread house competition – and more!

Pop Up Shaker (Thurs/Sat/Sun through Dec. 15): Pop Up Shaker started last week along Chagrin Boulevard and I can’t wait to check it out! (Yes I do LEAVE downtown sometimes. See numbers 2 and 4 above) This festive winter pop up combines crafting, food, and shopping and will take place Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays through the 15th.

Tremont Holiday BrewHaHa (Dec. 13-15): In addition to stopping by the BrewHaHa weekend in Tremont for the famous Santa Shuffle (where the picture of  B and me at the beginning of this post is from), I can’t wait to check out the Pop Up Shop and Party on Dec. 13. AND there’s even a Tremont Holiday ArtWalk!

And now, some questions for you:

  • What holiday traditions do you have? Love Actually and holiday decorating. And pepperoni bread. And seeing A Christmas Carol. Use the discount code I shared and see it yourself!
  • Quick! What are five things you are looking forward to about the holidays?
  • What’s your favorite local shop?
  • Do you run in any holiday races?