Let’s Taco ‘Bout the Weekend

I had SUCH a wonderful weekend. Seriously. It started with a day off and long walk with B, then chilling with my brother who SURPRISED me with a trip to Cleveland, spending time with my parents and then being showered with love during my taco-themed baby shower! I couldn’t have planned for a better weekend and am still feeling in the love bubble from all the greatness of the weekend! (Or maybe it’s from the tacos ….)

The weekend started with a walk around downtown and the Flats on a gorgeous day….

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Then some coffee shop hopping with Greg.

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Then dinner at Taza with my family.20160520_190112

And dessert at Cowell & Hubbard.20160520_214250

Obligatory family photo! ❤ 20160520_201108(0)

Saturday morning B and I took another walk around downtown.20160521_102241

And then it was shower time! Time for a Mexican fiesta. Yes, that is a taco piñata that the amazing hostess, Cuoghi made.Screenshot 2016-05-21 21.35.51

Cuoghi and I.

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Some of the amazing taco-themed food.Screenshot 2016-05-21 21.10.03

Me and my momma ❤

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And my “aunt” Pam – family friend forever – I can’t believe she made the trip all the way to Cleveland from Connecticut!IMG_2876

Cari and me 🙂

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Me and the “awesome aunts” IMG_0256

And yes, we managed to save room after the shower to get dinner with my family. Superior Pho, again.20160521_194148 20160521_194133

Sunday included some brunch at Phuel (and yes, of course I had my favorite yogurt and granola) and more hanging out with my family. I hate when they leave – and it’s crazy to think the next time I see them all B and I may be a family of 3!

fam chandelier

Followed by a nice walk on a new area of the Towpath.

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And a little work – not that bad when you can be outside enjoying your favorite local tea!

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Dinner was on our own. Since we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and spent most of the day outside (and not cooking) – we had leftovers for dinner. A perfect end to a GREAT weekend with family and friends!

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Some questions for you:

  • What’s the best themed shower you’ve been to?
  • Which cuisine do you prefer – Lebanese, Mexican or Vietnamese?

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

Won’t Let The Rain Keep Us Down

We had a cool, rainy weekend in Cleveland. It was a high of 70 both days – at max – which is 10 degrees cooler than usual. And it rained on and off the entire time.

Starting with that, you’d think I’d say that we spent the entire weekend inside, right? Wrong! My parents were in town and we managed to still get out and do stuff in between (and during) the showers.

Friday morning started with an 8 mile run with Nicole. We discovered a new path with a pretty good view of the city and the river, too.

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Nature! Seen on the run.

Nature! Seen on the run.

Friday night, my parents got into town. We decided to spend the evening at the Asiatown Night Market. We walked over before sunset and were greeted by lots of food, music and other local vendors. We had dinner and dessert there – Vietnamese for me (along with some Chinese dumplings), and then shaved ice. SO good.

delicious ice!

delicious ice!

Night market

Night market

Saturday morning, we got up and trudged in the rain to Phuel for breakfast. I got my usual granola bowl, my parents enjoyed pancakes and eggs.

beautiful momma (and icky rain)

beautiful momma (and icky rain)

After a trip to Heinen’s and some travel planning indoors during the storm, we decided to go to the movies. We saw Spy – pretty funny!

After the movie, we walked around the area and  showed them the pathway to the beach.

selfie on our walk

selfie on our walk

Then, we enjoyed dinner at Luxe and dessert – the Shoreway Sundae at Sweet Moses. So. Good.

dinner

dinner

one of our dishes.  we shared a salad, some seared octopus and two entrees.

one of our dishes. we shared a salad, some seared octopus and two entrees.

bubbly with a straw for me!

bubbly with a straw for me!

dessert!

dessert!

Sunday morning, we got up early, and after breakfast at Phuel (yes, again), my parents were on the road. I got in a short workout and then hung out with B.

Phuel breakfast #2

Phuel breakfast #2

Then, it was time for some meal prep, Netflix binge watching, and when the sun came out again, a walk with Nicole. Followed by an Arctic Zero sundae for dessert. Another weekend, success.

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the sun came out again!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite rainy day activity?
  • What is your go-to breakfast order?

Linking up with Running N Reading this week!

It’s SPRING!

First – happy Marathon Monday! Good luck to all the runners competing today and I’m so jealous of all you Bostonians enjoying the day off and cheering on the competitors. It’s been 7 years since I lived in Boston and I still miss Marathon Monday!

Now, onto the weekend. We had the most beautiful warm, sunny, springlike weekend in Cleveland. It was sunny, 60s and just absolutely positively a great weekend to be outside! So of course we tried to get in as much outside time as we could.

Friday night B and I strayed from our usual Flaming Ice Cube (they no longer have my favorite, kalebouli :() and opted to try out some new pre-long run eats – Phuel. I’ve eaten there before, but not before a long run. I had the ratatouille with polenta and a kale salad. Not bad!

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Saturday morning B and I headed out for a 10 mile run. After last week’s failed 9 miler I was not feeling so confident – and I was still somewhat sick – but we got it done! Was it a good run? Notsomuch. But did I complete 10 miles? Yes!

Near the end of my run

Near the end of my run

After the run, it was time to get to the West Side Market to pick up some items for our afternoon plans – making dinner for the women and children at the Moriah House of the West Side Catholic Center. B and I are in charge of the Cleveland Chapter of the Boston College Alumni Association and each year we plan at least one service event and this year was making dinner at the shelter. We had a great turnout and made some delicious chicken, potato salad, bean salad and salad for the families.

preparing dinner (I'm not doing much in the background)

preparing dinner (I’m not doing much in the background)

the whole group

the whole group

Then we headed off to one of my favorite local bars, Platform Brewery, to celebrate. I also got to meet up with Nicole and Reanna – I missed my monthly Ladies Craft Beer Event because of our service event, but we were able to catch up over a few local brews.

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Just a photo of Platform

And then time to celebrate Ali’s birthday at Nano Brew. I’ve known Ali for 7 years and still haven’t met many of her friends, so it was nice to put some faces to names.

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Sunday morning started off slow – I haven’t been out past midnight in a while (#gettingold #turning30) – but still managed to get in an EASY workout –  a little bit of ellipticalizing to shake out my legs after Saturday’s 10 miler.

During the day Sunday, B and I cleaned house. Well, B pretty much did most of the cleaning (he is a cleaning machine!) and I helped out by dusting. Guess spring cleaning was needed – our apartment looks great now! It was also 70 degrees out, so we decided to take a walk down to the lake and enjoy the great temps and get in some steps. Then it was game time! We watched and listened to the Cavs playoff game – they beat the Celtics! Woohoo.

I love water ...

I love water …

great day out!

great day out!

Oh and our evening ended with Sunday family dinner at B’s parents house and Sunday sundaes. All Sundays should end that way, right?

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Some questions for you:

  • Are you watching the Boston Marathon today? Do you know anyone running?
  • What’s your go-to sundae topping? whipped cream and candy 🙂 This week I tried gummy bears – but ate them separate from the ice cream.

 

 

A LOVEly Weekend

I’ll admit it – I like Valentine’s Day. I like any holiday that celebrates love – how can you not? I consider it a day to celebrate ALL love – love of your family, friends, significant others, etc. That’s how I was brought up (yes, my parents still send me a Valentine’s Day card and I send my brother one!) and I LOVE it.

That being said, I’m not one of those people who expects to celebrate myself all weekend long – with Christmas in late December and my birthday being in late January, there’s hardly a reason for me to expect any gifts, a big celebration, etc. BUT I do enjoy celebrating in other ways … like good food, good company, good drinks and well – goodness all around! Luckily, that’s how the weekend turned out.

Friday night was cold and snowy, so B and I decided to stay in, watch the Interview, and get takeout Vietnamese to eat with our new chopsticks we’d bought in Vietnam.

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Saturday morning I woke up somewhat early to get in a little treadmill and elliptical action at the gym. I had thought about doing the Chili Bowl 5k (last year, B and I ran it after doing a 9 mile training run) but the weather was cold, super windy (20+mph winds), and snowy so I was happy to stay inside and run while B slept. And of course the elliptical and treadmill helped me work up a hunger for brunch! That’s right, B and I went to Phuel for brunch – I got my favorite (granola, fruit, yogurt and honey) and B got his standard order – banana chocolate chip pancakes.

B and his pancakes. He's probably thinking "Please take the picture so I can eat these soon"

B and his pancakes. He’s probably thinking “Please take the picture so I can eat these soon”

Glorious homemade granola. Not quite as good as my mom's recipe - but the closest thing here :)

Glorious homemade granola. Not quite as good as my mom’s recipe – but the closest thing here 🙂

After brunch it was time to get in some of our weekly shopping at the West Side Market. We picked up some treats too – a cannoli for the night’s dessert. We had plans to cook a homemade Italian dinner and I of course wanted my favorite Italian dessert.

So many types of cannoli!

So many types of cannoli!

After the Market, B stopped in Hingetown for a coffee/tea stop. I decided to try a new tea at Cleveland Tea Revival – not my standard Ginger or Ginger Turmeric – and I wasn’t disappointed. Their Shark Week Tea may be a new favorite of mine.

Shark Week tea. I just googled what that meant and whoops! I'll still drink it.

Shark Week tea. I just googled what that meant and whoops! I’ll still drink it.

cleveland tea revivial

We also were able to stop off at Gallucci’s to pick up some supplies for dinner. I wish I had taken a photo of my cart – Gallucci’s is like Target to me. I go there with the full intent to buy 3-4 things and come out with 10+ items.

I <3 Gallucci's - and not just for their wine.

I

For dinner, B and I prepared an Italian feast together. My favorite way to spend the night! We prepared homemade pasta, sauce and chicken cutlets. With some bubbly and cheese and meat as an appetizer and I was in heaven.

love me some cheese!!!

love me some cheese!!!

Pasta making experts.

Pasta making experts.

Prosecco and crystal. Because why not?

Prosecco and crystal. Because why not?

I love going out to dinner – don’t get me wrong, but there’s just something about spending the time making a meal together – B and I made the pasta and chicken together, so instead of having a 1-2 hour meal at a restaurant, it turned into a whole evening activity. And it was delicious!

Dinner.

Dinner.

The pistachio cannoli from the West Side Market

The pistachio cannoli from the West Side Market – and homemade limoncello

Sunday was another COLD day. And I’m talking super cold – I woke up to -1 degree temps with 15mph winds meaning it “felt like -25”. So of course B and I decided it would be a great day for a “Lazy Sunday.” Which for me meant doing as very little as possible – but enough so that I wouldn’t get bored. I decided to play it safe and run inside again, bringing this week’s mileage to 36!

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After the workout, I wanted to do some meal prep for the week. I roasted a chicken (usually B’s job), sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and acorn squash.

A bit of meal prep

A bit of meal prep

Then it was time for dinner with B’s family. We were celebrating my niece’s birthday (can’t believe she’s SIX!).

my contribution to the dinner - salad!

my contribution to the dinner – salad!

The gorgeous red velvet birthday cake B's mom made

The gorgeous red velvet birthday cake B’s mom made

blowing out the candles!

blowing out the candles!

We go over there almost every week, but this week was special not only for the birthday but it was also a goodbye dinner for B’s brother. He’s is traveling abroad to Germany so we had a big family meal before he leaves this week. I’m so jealous – I loved studying abroad and hope he has as much fun as I did!

A throwback to my days in Ecuador - at a futbol game!

A throwback to my days in Ecuador – at a futbol game!

Some questions for you:

  • Love or hate Valentine’s Day?
  • Did you study abroad?  If not, where do you wish you would have visited?
  • What’s your favorite type of meal to prepare?

 

Why Do Weekends Have To End?

What a great weekend! It was definitely another one of those great weekends where Sunday night I was sitting on my couch, looking through photos, writing a recap and just thinking – wow. Why does it have to end?

Friday afternoon started off with a block party in my neighborhood! That’s right, there was a party for downtown residents in my ‘hood that included free food, drinks, live music and more. The food was great – it was a compilation from some of our neighborhood chefs and restaurants – so there was chicken salad from Rothschild Farms, kale salad and more from Phuel, full size sausages, salmon sliders from Chris Hodgson, meatballs from Cibreo, some spicy chicken from Sung’s House and more. Seriously good stuff.

As part of the party, we got to take a tour of the new Hofbrauhaus that is going into our neighborhood! B has been counting down the days until this new beer hall opens. Unfortunately it looks like it won’t be ready in time for his birthday – but we are keeping our fingers crossed that it does, indeed, open this month. It looks like they do have some work to do though.

hofbrau

After the tour of the Hofbrauhaus B and I decided to grab a beer and watch the BC home opener at Parnell’s. Sadly, we lost. Ah well – hopefully another game will be on TV this season.

Parnells - always the perfect pour.

Parnells – always the perfect pour.

Saturday started with an easy workout while B cleaned the apartment. Yes, I am that lucky (he cleans while I get to workout). Then it was my favorite event of the month  (maybe an exaggeration) – Ladies Craft Beer Society! A few ladies meet up once a month to drink craft beer, eat goodies (wish I had taken a pic of the food – this month everyone went all out it seemed!) and do something crafty. This month? We made lemoncello!

in one month this will be lemoncello!

in one month this will be lemoncello!

Saturday night was AWESOME. Our friend Joey had scored tickets to The Black Keys homecoming concert (they’re from Northeast Ohio) and not only were they free tickets – but they were suite seats. So even though I wasn’t a hardcore Black Keys fan, I made sure to listen to a bunch of tunes last week and get in the spirit.

The Black Keys!

The Black Keys!

They put on a great performance and I had so much fun. It really did amaze me how different my concert experience is in my late twenties – compared to in high school. In high school I was really into punk shows and went to concerts monthly it seemed. I was always standing, always on the floor, with mosh pits and crowd surfing. It’s funny to see how things have changed, isn’t it?

Apologies for the big blurry mess that is the stage in the following video. But at least the sound is great

Sunday was pretty laid back. The morning started off with an spontaneous seven mile run with B. It was nice not to have a route planned, or any mileage – instead we just enjoyed the weather and the scenery.

After our run, we enjoyed brunch at Phuel. I LOVE their food and typically go for their granola and yogurt parfait, but it was nice to get lunch food.

Tabbouli, lentil soup and kale salad for brunch at Phuel.

Tabbouli, lentil soup and kale salad for brunch at Phuel.

And then we hit up the North Union Farmers Market in Ohio City. We had gone to check out the Cleveland Kraut stand, but unfortunately they weren’t there. It’s okay – we ended up getting some apples, salsa and beef jerky.

Sunday evening included some cookie baking and dinner with B’s family. Not a bad way to end my weekend, if I do say so myself.

chocolate chip cookie recipetesting

chocolate chip cookie recipetesting

Some questions for you:

  • How was your weekend?
  • Did you go to concerts in high school? What kind of music did you like? Have your tastes changed? Yes, I lived for concerts in high school. Favorite bands I saw in concert were probably Dropkick Murphys, Taking Back Sunday, The Starting Line, Weezer, Midtown, Saves the Day, NOFX … the list goes on and on. My tastes haven’t realllly changed today – they’ve just broadened. I still love some good old school punk and even today’s somewhat pop punk, but I’m a fan of so many other kinds of music today.
  • Which do you prefer – following a running schedule or keeping up with unplanned runs? Do I have to decide?
  • Do you know the Black Keys? Favorite song?
  • What recipe could you make over. and over. and over again? Chocolate chip cookies or chocolate chip blondies. They’re a staple!