Loving The Weekends: Comedy, Running, Burgers, Pho and the Beatles

What a GREAT weekend! I would have to say that this may have been one of my most favorite weekends of the summer. The weather was perfect, the food was good, B and I had a nice long run AND my parents were in town. Can’t really think of a better way to spend the weekend, can you?

The weekend, in photos:

My parents came in Friday late afternoon and we were lucky enough to be able to enjoy dinner outside. The weather was great, so we picked up beer and burgers at Dynomite before heading to a comedy show.

Check out my dad’s shirt 🙂

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My veggie burger. SO good. SO big. And yes, I ate it all (fries not pictured).

dynomite veggie burger

After the meal, we headed to Hilarities for a free comedy show. I had won tickets earlier in the week and we were able to see Alonzo Bodden. B and I had seen him at the Laugh Factory in LA and were looking forward to seeing him in Cleveland. Here’ s a clip from one of his shoes from this winter (not this weekend). He was great! My parents loved him!

Saturday morning started early with a 9 mile run with B. Honestly, I was NOT feeling it for the first 5 miles. Yes, 5 miles. But after a short water break at mile 5 I felt so much better and the last 4 were great! Who knows why – sometimes it takes me 2 … or 5 I suppose … miles for my legs to warm up.

9 miles

 

I bought new shoes! I was super pumped to model them (pardon the cheesy pic).

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Post-run, we met up with my parents and headed to Tremont to enjoy some lunch and then the West Side Market for some fresh produce. Of course we had to stop off for tea in the afternoon at our favorite place, Cleveland Tea Revival.

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My mom and I both got some iced tea – ginger and peach. Yum!

my favorite tea

Saturday night, we took my parents to Superior Pho. Since there were four of us, we got a feast! Not everything is pictured. We got a chicken cabbage salad, Bahn Mi,  the spicy pho, egg rolls AND spring rolls.

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I think my dad enjoyed his pho!

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But of course we saved room for dessert. We took a post-dinner walk and  got frozen yogurt at Lemonberry. Confession – you may not be able to see the froyo because I may have taken a little of every candy they had.

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Saturday night after my parents left/went to bed, I decided to use up some of the blueberries we had and made these buttermilk blueberry scones again. Because Sunday mornings with blueberry scones for breakfast = amazing. You should probably make the recipe sometime – it’s very easy and really yummy!

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Sunday after my parents got back on the road to NY (sadness!) B and I took a walk around downtown. It was a GORGEOUS morning! We stopped at my favorite fountain. I don’t know why but I LOVE this fountain – it’s a war memorial as well.

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And then we walked to the harbor. It was SO pretty out! I’m glad we went for a walk – I get sad to see my parents go, and B knows this – I think that’s why he decided to take my mind off them leaving and instead get me a ginormous coffee (I will be drinking it for 3 days) and take me for a walk.

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Sunday afternoon I got in an easy workout (I’m trying to be REALLY good and not run too many miles and days in a row and stay injury free this year!) while B golfed with his family.

After a little work, B and I spent the evening at Blossom! This is my second time this summer going and we this time we sat on the lawn, enjoyed some wine and cheese AND Beatles music. I LOVE the Beatles – they remind me of car trips with my family growing up (The Long And Winding Road has multiple meanings for me – I swear it always came on as we were driving through the long and winding roads of upstate NY) and hearing the Cleveland Orchestra play the songs was awesome. And it was another beautiful night, so we packed a picnic dinner of a great salad, wine and cheese. I had an AMAZING time and seriously almost cried of happiness. Yes, it was that good.

I can’t get enough of the amazing weather we’ve been having. Can’t summer just stay forever?

So this weekend was just what I needed after last week. And now I’m off to start a crazy week –  this week entails some travel for work, some super early morning meetings and even an event for a board I’m on. Yes, I’ll be counting down until Labor Day!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have a favorite comic? Do you go to comedy shows?
  • Did you get in a run this weekend?
  • Just got new running shoes! What shoes are you running in these days? Loving my new sneakers!
  • What’s your go-to Vietnamese food item? I can never decide between pho or bun!
  • Did you do any baking this weekend?
  • Favorite Beatles song?

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.

Why?

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

Spontaneous pizza nights

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Fresh bacon (from Fresh Fork!) for breakfast

fresh bacon for breakfast

Fish faces with kids

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Baking

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More baking

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Reading along the beach

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Selfies in the park

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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!

Want Cookies In Your Mailbox? (Blogger Bake Sale)

Who doesn’t want to open their mailbox to find some delicious cookies? I know, it’s a rhetorical question because the answer is obviously NOBODY. And who doesn’t want to buy cookies for a good cause? Again – NOBODY!

Who wouldn't buy these for a good cause?

Who wouldn’t buy these for a good cause?

That’s why when I saw that one of my favorite local running bloggers was hosting a Blogger Bake Sale to benefit Jordan’s Family Foundation, I was pumped to participate. Here’s some more info about JFF, from Jess’s fundraising website:

JFF primarily provides funding for research, development and education in the field of pediatric cardiology. The organization also conducts heart healthy children’s activities such as Fitness Fits Everyone (formerly Recess ROCKS!), where kids and families come together to play while also learning about healthy living

Anyway, I hope you’ll join in and support the Blogger Bake Sale. You can bid on a ton of delicious goodies, here, including my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. That’s right, I’m baking my favorite peanut butter cookies (B’s friend Steve called them the best peanut butter cookies ever, so I think that’s what I’m calling them when I share the recipe) and you can bid on them for a good cause.

favorite peanut butter cookies - i crashed the web

Yum. You could be enjoying these cookies yourself sometime soon 🙂 Bid on them today! 

Weekend Recap – Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Food – Part 1

What a glorious weekend! I’m back from a three day weekend in NY, visiting friends, hanging out with my brother and celebrating Mother’s Day with my momma. Of course, I’m going to share it all with you.

Thursday

After work, B and I took the rapid to the airport and flew into Laguardia. That’s right, we flew. That may not sound like a big deal, but B and I hardly ever fly together. For some reason, we either fly without one another (like I did a few weeks ago on my trip to Orlando) or we drive places (like we usually do to NY). But this time – we flew! At the airport, we grabbed a quick snack (pretzels and beer!) at Great Lakes and a 6 pack to go! That’s right, you can buy 6 packs to go to drink on the plane to bring for a friend!

After landing in Laguardia 20 minutes early, we hopped in a taxi to our friend Jared’s place, where we were staying for the night. Jared lives basically on Central Park West, so it was a quick taxi ride and a great place to stay. We met up with Jared, who was just coming home from work (yes, at after 10 p.m.) and grabbed some drinks and a quick bite to eat at a local bar.

Friday

Friday, B and I got up early and did some work. I got in a conference call and some emails and had planned on taking the day off to explore and visit with my brother, but after my brother found out he had to work and some of the projects I was working on were on deadline, and some others experienced a mini crisis (of course on my day off), I ended up working most of the day until meeting up with my brother for dinner at 8.  Thank goodness with my job I have the ability to work remotely! I was able to get a lot of stuff done, get on a client call, and answer important emails all from NYC. Plus I got an awesome lunch break – meeting up with my jr high and high school bff (and Maid of Honor) Jane, who lives in New Jersey and came into the city to see me, enjoy Shake Shack. We of course got in a quick trip to J Crew.

Cheeseburger, Shroomburger and Cheesefries

Jane and me – friends for 15 years!

Friday night, I said goodbye to B and met up with my brother at Columbia. He got out of work a little after 8, and then we took a few trains and headed to Williamsburg (Brooklyn) for dinner. My brother had picked out a place for dinner, called Bistro Petit – and it definitely took after it’s name – there were probably 8 seats in the whole restaurant! Luckily, we had made reservations and were even able to sit outside for the first part of our meal – watermelon salad. Okay, I admit, watermelon salad sounds boring. It does. But my brother wanted to order it, so we did. It was anything BUT boring. The watermelon was perfect and came in a spicy watermelon reduction dressing with pickled watermelon rind, grilled halloumi cheese and mint.

watermelon salad from Bistro Petit

Kimchi Bouillabaisse… and bread for dipping

For dinner, my brother got the homemade pasta, and I got the Kimchi Bouillabaisse. Wow. I was greeted with a steaming pot of mussels, scallops, pollack, shrimp, tofu, rice gnocchi (my new favorite thing!), watercress and kimchi. By the end of my meal I could have still drank the broth with a straw – it was so good! The chef came out to ask us how our meal was and explain a little about the pickling and process for making the salad – you could tell he was really into his cooking and it was great to enjoy the fruits of his enthusiasm.

We took a few trains back to Manhattan and I spent the night at Columbia. Ahh, living the life of a college student – for just one night.

More to come … (Update – post completed here)


What’s An Appropriate Response Time?

As many of you may know, I’m getting married in a month. In doing so, I’ve had a chance to to play the role that by working in a PR firm I’m not usually – the client. When dealing with wedding vendors (caterer, baker, DJ, photographer, videographer, etc. the list really is endless), I’m the client. It’s their job to please me and meet my needs.

Now that I’ve gotten through the planning, booking, entering deposit phase, there’s one thing that continues to surprise me – the length of time it takes a vendor to respond to me.

When a client emails me a request, question, etc. I make it a priority to respond within 24 hours, if not 24 hours. Even if I can’t fulfill their request within 24 hours, I’ve been ingrained to at least touch base and confirm that I’ve received their email. I believe this is true client:vendor best practices. I have hardly seen the case to be true with my wedding vendors and at times its 2, 3, or even 4 weeks (after I follow up) until I hear back from an email.

The purpose of this post is not to be a bridezilla and complain – it’s to ask, what IS an appropriate email response time?

Some questions to consider:

  • Does it change by industry? I understand that florists and bakers are probably not sitting at computers 9-5. But still, they do serve clients, who email them, and should be checking their email on at least a semi-regular basis.
  • Are other forms of communication better? Should I be calling my vendors with questions as opposed to using email? I’ve been told that “my generation hates using the phone.” While this may be true some of the time, I’m very comfortable making phone calls (in fact, my fiancé gives me the phone to order food, etc. because he hates the task). When it comes to wedding issues, however, many of which concern money and many different details, I like to have answers in writing for future reference, which is why I prefer email.
  • Is it really just a generational thing? Yes, we Gen-Y-ers grew up with IM, texting, email, and other various forms of instant communication, so we’re accustomed to getting immediate responses. Still, many of my non-Gen-Y-ers (talk about hyphenation!) did not grow up with these things, yet they still respond to email in a timely fashion.

So what do you think? What is the appropriate email response time? Does it change by industry/age/etc.?