Mother’s Day Weekend

For some reason, this year Mother’s Day weekend, felt a little different than past years. I felt much more like a mom this year than I ever have before. Yes, it’s technically my second (or third, depending on who counts) Mother’s Day, but for some reason, I feel much more deserving of the title this year. Maybe because I have a toddler who runs around and calls me mom? Maybe because I’m (as B calls it) 1,000 months pregnant?

Anyway, being a mom is HARD, but some weekends are just great. And this was one of those weekends. It was definitely a weekend where I loved being a mom!

The weekend started actually with Muffins with Mom at school. I got to stop by FW’s classroom on Friday morning before work for breakfast!

And it was a pretty gorgeous day, so after work that night B, FW and I went for a short walk around the neighborhood. FW loves running! 

Saturday started with some flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day 🙂 Call me basic, but I will ALWAYS love a nice bouquet. 

Saturday morning ALSO started with a 5k! There was a race starting a few blocks from our house, so we decided to do it. I haven’t done a race in FOREVER and I knew it was going to be a lot of walking and VERY slow running, but I’m so glad we did it. (Disclosure – B pushed FW in the stroller while I ran)

FW’s favorite part was likely the muffins afterwards 🙂

After the race, we walked back to the house and did some baking! FW helped mix things up.

These were the “muffins” we made. The recipe was for muffins but I’m not too sure what makes these muffins and not cupcakes …

And then, FW decided he was tired and wanted to nap. On me! It’s been a while, and it was actually kind of a nice way to spend an hour. 

Later that afternoon, we went to the West Side Market to pick up some groceries. 

And then Rising Star for some coffee. FW enjoyed his chocolate milk 🙂

And then B made us pizza for dinner! We haven’t had homemade pizza in FOREVER and it was a nice change.

Sunday morning, FW didn’t wake up until around 8 – which was a great Mother’s Day gift! After he woke up, B and FW took a trip to get me a Mother’s Day specialty – a cassata cake doughnut. These are some of the only doughnuts I really enjoy and it’s mainly because of the quantity of frosting and cream.

This photo doesn’t do it justice.

After breakfast (doughnut and some fruit/yogurt per my request), we took a long walk. More than four miles while FW slept in the stroller.

We saw some geese and baby geese on the walk – it was a cute thing to see especially on Mother’s Day!

And then, FW got to spend some time at the nearby playground.

For dinner, we joined B’s family per our Sunday night tradition. B ended up making the whole family dinner and it was delicious – we had two different types of fish, grilled eggplant and an arugula salad.

Baking, a race, a long walk and cassata cake doughnut – for me, that is the perfect Mother’s Day weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like doughnuts? What kind?
  • What makes something a muffin vs. a cupcake?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

First Mother’s Day Weekend

I celebrated my first Mother’s Day with B and FW this weekend! Last year, I was 30+ weeks pregnant and felt funny every time people told me Happy Mother’s Day. But this year, with a 10-month-old boy, things are a little different 🙂

This year, B, FW and I celebrated with a weekend full of things that I enjoy doing.

For example, Friday night we got a beer at one of our favorite local pubs. Oh, and my phone died Friday so all of these photos are from B’s phone – and I was pretty much sans technology all weekend!

Saturday, I had to work in the morning, but was able to meet B and FW for a late lunch. We met up with a friend at Great Lakes Brewing Company before doing some shopping at the West Side Market.

Then, after a little shopping and errand-running, we went to the Indians game! It was FW’s first game. 

 

The weather was great – it was a little chilly but sunny and mild the entire game.

And then, for dinner, B made me pizza!

Sunday morning was GREAT. We started out with a run on the Towpath.

Followed by some donuts from a nearby donut shop. They have a CASSSATA CAKE donut just for Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day and omg it is amazing (not pictured).

And then, some brunch. We feasted on some Mexican Eggs Benedict and shared a pancake as well.

While FW napped, we were also semi-productive; B helped me meal prep for the week and I caught up on some more work. It’s been busy and I’m trying hard not to get behind!

That afternoon, we went over to B’s family’s house for Mother’s Day dinner. We had small plates, a bunch of food that people brought over as a potluck. Some of the goodness included crab cakes, salad, cheese and bread, fruit, shrimp, open-faced steak sandwiches, bruschetta and more!

All in all, it was a great way to spend my first Mother’s Day.

Questions for you:

  • When was the last time you were without a phone or any technology?
  • Do you like cassata cake?

I’m linking up with Katie and the weekly wraps.

A Weekend With My BFF

One of my best friends, Jane, visited me in CLE this weekend for one last hoorah / girls weekend before the baby is born. It was pretty much the weekend that any pregnant gal could ask for – lots of relaxing, some walking, great weather, tons of food and ice cream.

The weekend was supposed to start with a cooking class – but unfortunately Jane’s flight had a 4 hour delay and she didn’t get in until close to 10 p.m. 😦 We did pick up some delicious Taza, however, and enjoyed catching up over some delicious Lebanese takeout.

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Saturday was gorgeous in the morning, we we decided to walk to Ohio City for brunch and tea. I have never been to the West Side Market Cafe for brunch before and it was great – we split a cornbread waffle and huevos rancheros. The perfect sweet/savory combo!

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Then we hit up the Market for a few goodies, and walked to Cleveland Tea Revival for some iced tea for our walk home.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, gossiping about high school friends, watching Netflix, etc. You know – normal girls weekend activities. It was great! I even snuck in a short nap before dinner – Superior Pho.

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And of course, some ice cream for dessert. Tasters duo at Mitchell’s.

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We stayed up late chatting more and watching The Princess Bride before passing out on the couch.

Sunday morning was pretty lazy as well – we had some breakfast at my apartment before taking a short walk around downtown (again, beautiful blue skies!). Jane had to be at the airport around noon, so after B and I dropped her off, we went for another walk.

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We hit up the local Metroparks and got in a four mile route that we’d done before – usually for running – and of course stopped for a few pictures. I even got a few “Happy Mother’s Day!” comments from strangers. Guess it’s obvious I’m due soon? (kidding)

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I had to catch up on a little work, so we went to Blackbird Bakery, but sadly they were out of pastries (I guess that happens on Mother’s Day …) – I did enjoy a decaf cafe au lait while finishing up a few things from my to do list.

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B also made me a delicious I’m-almost-a-Mother’s Day dinner. It was such a nice day out, I was craving something summery and the ht the spot. And so colorful!

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Questions for you:

  • Have you seen Princess Bride?
  • Have you ever had purple cauliflower?

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

 

Hashtag Bashtag (A.K.A. an awesome weekend)

WOW, what an amazing, fun, busy weekend! It was definitely one of those weekends where I kind of feel like I need a weekend just to relax from my weekend … if you know what I mean?

The past few years I’ve gone to NY for Mother’s Day to spend the weekend with my mom and grandma. My grandmother passed away earlier this year, and my parents visited last weekend, so I decided to spend Mother’s Day weekend in Cleveland with B’s family. While I missed seeing my family, it really was an amazing weekend to be in town. The weather was great for walking to the West Side Market, doing a long pre-work run with Nicole, dancing the night away at the St. Martin De Porres Birthday Bash, walking to Ohio City for brunch AND having an outdoor Mother’s Day Feast.

Okay, that’s already too many words and I have too many photos/things to share. So here’s a glance at our awesome weekend in photos … and a few more words.

"5:24 a.m." Blech.

“5:24 a.m.” Blech.

The weekend started early – well Friday started super early – with a 12ish mile run before work with Nicole. We had planned on doing about 10 to get ready for the Cleveland half marathon we’re doing THIS WEEKEND but somewhere along the route we made a wrong turn and thus the extra mileage. It was super humid out, nearly 70 degrees and both Nicole and I were getting over a cold. Anyway, that meant we could barely breathe, barely talk (okay, who am I kidding, of course we talked the whole time but it wasn’t as much as we used to) and felt awful. Nothing like a  bad long run the week before your race!

Oliver and Sofia enjoying some sugar before bed

Oliver and Sofia enjoying some sugar before bed

Friday night, our niece and nephew were having a sleepover at my brother-in-law’s house. Which meant of course we had to go over and hang out with them for a little bit. Before going back and sleeping in my own bed instead of sleeping on the floor (which was a good call).

My awesome breakfast at Phuel.

My awesome breakfast at Phuel.

Saturday was pretty relaxing. B and I decided to get brunch at the new restaurant that opened across the street from us, Phuel Cafe. GREAT decision. I’m not a big “out-to-brunch” fan but I may have to change my mind so we can go back there often. B had some great pancakes and I had their homemade granola/fruit/yogurt parfait with some lemongrass tea. SO GOOD.

B about to enjoy his dark chocolate pancakes

B about to enjoy his dark chocolate pancakes

After that we decided the weather was warm enough, but not too warm, to walk to the West Side Market and get some groceries. Since I hadn’t planned on going for a run, this was a great decision – days I don’t run I get restless for some reason if we don’t do any sort of activity.

Some guys were painting a sign along our walk so I snapped a photo.

Some guys were painting a sign along our walk so I snapped a photo.

Saturday night was the St. Martin De Porres Birthday Bash! It was a benefit for my sister-in-law’s school and a really fun event. We bid on some items at the silent auction, enjoyed the gorgeous scene at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Atrium and even got in some dancing. It was fun to get dressed up and go out with B’s family 🙂

B's family - all dressed up!

B’s family – all dressed up!

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We took the bus to the event ... and of course I snapped a photo with the chandelier while we were waiting

We took the bus to the event … and of course I snapped a photo with the chandelier while we were waiting

Sunday morning we woke up to another gorgeous day – meaning it was another perfect excuse to walk to Ohio City and get brunch. After stopping at my favorite tea shop and B’s favorite coffee shop, we headed to Town Hall to enjoy their patio and some food. I ❤ patio weather!

Seen from our walk - a great view of downtown

Seen from our walk – a great view of downtown

That night we went over to B’s parents house for Sunday dinner-  but this time all the kids had prepared some food in honor of Mother’s Day. The theme was “paleo small plates” so we brought over some pork with a cabbage slaw. The entire set up was so colorful and we ended up eating outside, which was perfect.

Paleo small plates and our outdoor Mother's Day dinner

Paleo small plates and our outdoor Mother’s Day dinner

 

Bacon wrapped squash = amazing.

Bacon-wrapped squash = amazing.

 

Some questions for you:

What do you do the week before  a race? Do you eat/drink/do anything differently? My goal this week is to actually get sleep. Meaning not work until midnight and not wake up at 5:30 to run 😉 We’ll see if it happens – but since I’m typing it I’M GOING TO DO IT. (wishful thinking)

Any paleo-friendly foods you recommend? It sounds like we may have a few more paleo-themed gatherings coming up and finding small plates that were still substantial was somewhat difficult!

Have you ever had bacon-wrapped squash? IT WAS AMAZING. What’s your favorite thing to wrap in bacon?

Are you a bruncher? What’s your favorite brunch order? I’m not a brunch-goer typically, mainly because I don’t really enjoy going out for breakfast. I tend to enjoy lunch/dinner foods more – savory over sweet. 

Weekends In My Second Home – New York (Part Two)

Friday night I had planned on staying with my brother in his dorm room. I did it last year, and post-dinner we had just hung out, chatted and gone to bed, which is kinda what I thought we were going to do this year. I was wrong! This year, Greg wanted to take me out with his friends. I’m clearly not in college anymore. His friends were meeting at 11 p.m. to go out … yes, 11, which is later than I typically go out now. We went to a bar only a few blocks away from campus, a bar that gave out free shots of anything (including tequila) if you friended them on Facebook. And then it started pouring out, and none of us had umbrellas. You can tell from those last two sentences how my night was. It was a good time – I enjoyed meeting my brothers’ friends, partying like a college student for one night and getting stuck in the rain.

this is what happens when Greg and I hangout... a photoshoot

this is what happens when Greg and I hang out

Saturday morning we woke up pretty early (sleeping on a dorm room floor isn’t easy, even if you have a blow up mattress), and Greg suggested we go for a quick, short run while he waited for his laundry. Another impromptu, unplanned run in New York? Score! After the run, we enjoyed breakfast and then it was time to say goodbye as my parents and B were on their way to pick me up to visit my grandma while my brother studied for finals.

Grandma, dad and me

Grandma, dad and me

My grandma lives in an assisted living home with a lot of other elderly people. It was SO nice to see her – it’d been a few months – but it’s always hard seeing her living there, as opposed to the apartment I saw her in when I was growing up. I hope that when I’m old and if I’m living in an assisted living home I take advantage of all the activities they have. Posted in the elevator I saw the schedule for the weekend included crafts, live music, a morning walk, and even some fresh-baked apple pie BEFORE dinner.

After visiting my grandma we headed back up to Albany and went out to a really delicious dinner at a Turkish restaurant. My parents went to Turkey last year to visit my brother who had an internship there over the summer (see how cool he is?) and I’m convinced that since then they enjoy Turkish food more. Anyway, I gobbled it all  up before taking any photos because I was so hungry after smelling the warm apple pie cooking all afternoon. I fell asleep on the couch at home (see, this time home means in Albany!) after a tiring but relaxing day.

Mother's Day Brunch

Mother’s Day Brunch

Sunday I woke up and my parents were getting ready to go for their usual hour and a half walk around the neighborhood. I decided to join them, but go on a run first and meet them halfway. For some reason (perhaps fueled by the amazing Turkish food?), I ran faster than I normally do – my MapMyRun app clocked me at running 4.75 miles in under 42 minutes! After my faster-than-usual run, I found my parents and enjoyed a leisurely walk home with them.

sunday run splits

Check out my splits for the run! I’m not typically this fast unless it’s a race.

After our walk/run, we went out to Mother’s Day brunch in downtown Albany. We had reservations at Justin’s on Lark Street, which had a great breakfast and live piano music. I enjoyed a latte, some cornbread and a great brunch of eggs over easy, french toast, bacon, potatoes and toast. I was starving (again!) and finished it all. Post-brunch, the weather looked nice, so we headed over to Washington Park where Tulip Fest was going on. The Tulip Festival happens every spring in Albany and features live music, food vendors, family-friendly activities during the day and other activities at night, and even the crowning of a Tulip Queen. We only had time to walk around for a little before it was time to head back home, pack and head to the airport.

mom dad me tulips

As always, it was sad to leave my parents and head back to Cleveland. But it was such a beautiful weekend and I had such a good time, which made leaving easier. I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day weekend as well!

And since there are no food photos in this post, I’ll leave you with what B and I enjoyed for dinner after we got off the plane late Sunday evening for dinner – Vietnamese.

I <3 Vietnamese Food

I ❤ Vietnamese Food

Some questions:

  • Do you live in the same city as your parents/siblings? If not, do you visit them often? My family is all in New York, but I try to get out there a few times a year. I also love hosting them in Cleveland! 
  • What time is too late to go out at night? No time – but I think getting ready to go out at 11 p.m. is too late for me now. I guess I’m getting old!
  • Do your parents work out or have a work out routine that they stick to? Yes! They have for as long as I remembered. We would go to the YMCA as a family when I was young or go on long walks. Which is probably why I have always felt the need to stay active and get in a run or some other activity every day.
  • Do you enjoy brunch food? What’s your favorite? I typically enjoy the more savory brunch foods like eggs – I don’t really like pancakes, waffles, french toast, etc.

Weekend Recap – Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Food – Part 2

Sorry, folks, the other post was just getting to long and I (and you) probably needed a break. Anyways, after an awesome Thursday and Friday in the city, I was looking forward to seeing the rest of my family later in the weekend.

Saturday

I stayed overnight in my brother’s dorm room Friday night and we woke up early Saturday to pack up his stuff and help him move out of his dorm. We grabbed a quick breakfast at Westside Market (no, not the Cleveland landmark) before meeting up with my parents to pack up his stuff into their rented van. My brother had to work again, so my parents, B and I headed to the High Line to explore the green area on what was turning out to be a gorgeous, 70something degree day. The High Line was beautiful – for you non-NYers, the High Line is a park/walking route in on an old, abandoned above-ground and above the streets train tracks. The tracks are no longer in use, and instead of tearing them down, the city decided to turn the overgrown tracks into a park-like walking area, above the city. There are gorgeous plants, vendors selling food and cute artsy stuff, sprinklers for kids to run through, and more, all along the walkway.

We spent a few hours walking, grabbed a quick lunch at The Park in Chelsea (they have “Garden Seating,” a tree in the middle of the dining room, a ricotta salada and beet salad, and serve banana bread with the meal – need I say more?), walked a little more, and then headed to visit my Grandma and meet up with the rest of my family for an early Mother’s Day dinner at our Riverdale staple – Nonno Tony’s (and yes, Nonno Tony knows my Grandma and the rest of my family, they go there so often). After stuffing ourselves with pizza and salad, B and I got dropped off at Penn Station and took the train up to Albany.

Sunday

Sunday, I woke up in Albany and spent most of the day relaxing with my family. The four of us (my mom, dad, brother and I) hadn’t been together since Christmas and likely won’t be all together for another few months (my brother is spending his summer in Jordan, Istanbul, Edinborough, London and more) so it was great. In the morning, B,  my parents and I took a leisurely 5-6 mi walk around the area. Then, we enjoyed a Mother’s Day lunch at Risotto, a new restaurant in Albany before B and I returned to the airport for our flight back to Cleveland.

My chicken and risotto .. at Risotto

What a great Mother’s Day weekend! Were you able to spend it with your mom? Did you do anything special?