Summer Weekends Outside

What a FUN weekend in Cleveland! We had such a good time hanging out and doing ALL of the things OUTSIDE. That’s right, we had pretty much perfect weather and hung out outside from Friday through Sunday.

First, I was able to take off early on Friday and surprised FW at daycare pickup early. We hung out for more than an hour at his favorite playground and it was glorious.

Then, on the way home from the playground we picked up pizza and ate it on the porch for dinner. 

LM chewed on her crust for a while. She has been teething for …  months now? We’re still waiting for one of her top teeth to pop. She has had 3 teeth forever it seems!

Saturday morning, FW helped me make some muffins. 

Then, while B mowed the lawn, FW and I did some weeding.

That afternoon, we headed over to my friend Emily’s house for her son’s first birthday! LM loved the food. 

And their dog!

FW loved the kiddie pool.

After the party, it was nap time. Which meant it was time for me to do some more baking!

And when the kids woke up, it was pretty much time for dinner. We ate it once again on the porch.

After dinner, B built a fire and we roasted marshmallows. 

And since it was such a nice night, B and FW decided to camp out in the backyard. 

Sunday ended up being super low-key.  Nobody slept well Saturday night (in the tent or not), so we were all a little grumpy in the morning until nap time. The day included some meal prep, naps for all, and more meals on the porch.

And, a stroller run for the entire family! We hadn’t all run (the 4 of us) in AGES and it made me so happy to be out with everyone.

And per usual, we spent the night at B’s parents’ house, enjoying dinner with B’s family. They have a swing set, so FW got in some more swinging before we ate.

And here we are, back at our week. Weekends go by too fast, don’t they?

Questions for you:

  • If you had the chance to take a half day of vacation, what would you do with your time off?
  • Have you ever camped out in your backyard?

I Love Summertime

Summer is officially my favorite season. I know for many girls it’s fall — but I just love summertime and don’t want to see it end!

We had a wonderful summer weekend here. It started early with a date night for B and me – his mom watched both the kids and we got out for dinner and drinks. Getting out with two kids is HARD and I’m so grateful to have family in town to watch them!

Friday night, we got in some time on our porch after the kids were sleeping. We definitely have not done that enough since we moved in a little under a year ago, and sitting on the porch with white wine was pretty much the best way to spend a summer evening.

Saturday morning, we went for a little walk/run to the nearby farmers market. Yet another reason to love summer – all the local produce!

FW loves peaches, and I don’t blame him for not being able to wait to try one.

Saturday afternoon was my friend Cari’s baby shower! She is due in October and is having a little girl.

I’m so excited for her! She is going to be a great mommy- she already loves babies and kids.

That evening, we had plans to meet up with Dave and Anson for dinner- they had slow cooked a pork shoulder all day long and it was SO good.

This is all the meat that was left-

And I love a good cornbread.

After dinner, the kids played and we went for a little walk to a nearby community garden.

Sunday morning, I went for a run with FW. I pushed him in the stroller for 4 miles, a new postpartum record for me!

That afternoon, we took a walk to the bakery to buy some bread. Then, FW and I baked muffins.

See one missing? Someone had to eat one right when they cooled!

That evening, we enjoyed dinner with B’s family. As always, FW got to spend time with his cousins.

Some questions for you:

  • What’s on your end-of-summer bucket list?
  • Do you have any traveling coming up?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

The Weekend We Got a Pool

Okay, the title is a bit misleading. Why? First, we didn’t get a REAL pool. Just a kiddie pool – but still a big one! Second, we didn’t just get it this weekend – we ordered it on Prime Day and are just finally using it because it’s been relatively cool the past few weekends!

With temps projected to be in the upper 80s to 90s this weekend, we knew it was finally time to blow it up and relax.

Here are a few highlights from the weekend:

Friday night included homemade pizza! B and FW made some pizza and we ended up eating it on the porch.

Saturday morning, B and FW went to get donuts and I stayed in bed (see aforementioned comment about feeling sick). When I did finally get up, I hung out with LM on the porch, made some cookies with FW and then we chilled in the pool.

Saturday night, we already had tickets to the Indians game, so B, FW and I went downtown to cheer on the Tribe (Grandma came over to babysit LM).

It was fun to hang out with just the three of us and I know FW enjoyed being the center of attention for a little bit.

Sunday was another pool day! This time, we invited Dave, Anson and their kids Celia and Maura over for some fun in the sun. We enjoyed lunch, pool time and some wagon rides.

Sunday ended – as usual – with dinner at B’s parents’ house. FW got in some good cousin time, playing games (including dominoes!).

Notice anything missing from our usual weekend activities? A run! I woke up feeling sick Saturday, do I played it pretty low key and only got in a few walls (which tired me out). Hopefully I’ll be feeling better soon!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have a pool?
  • Do you have any weekend traditions?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Friday Five: Summer Favorites – Five Things I’m Looking Forward To This Summer

The official first day of summer is this Sunday and I’m pretty pretty excited for it to begin. Summer in Cleveland is the best. As is spring and fall but I do just LOVE SUMMER. Here are 5 things I’m already excited about- these are my summer favorites!

1.The Beach.

I love going to the beach. Yes, Lake Erie is a lake but this East Coaster grew up with the ocean and still loves Lake Erie. It’s so big that it feels like an ocean at times and just laying out on the sand, relaxing, AND going to events like Edgewater Live where there’s live music and food trucks on the beach make me so excited for summer!

Edgewater Last June ... I need to get back!

Edgewater Last June … I need to get back!

2. Summer Vacations.

B and I took a big trip to Asia early in the year so we don’t have anything huge planned for summer, but I do have a few trips already on our agenda:

– Milwaukee for  Summerfest – just a drive away and a great music festival on their water. Plus beer, cheese curds and Jelly Belly! (Here’s a recap from the last time we went)

Last Milwaukee Vacay

Last Milwaukee Vacay

– California to visit my brother – for my mom’s birthday, our family is taking a trip out west again and spending some time with my brother who lives in SF. We’ll be doing a few days in the Redwoods before I head back to CLE (they’re taking a longer trip and have a few more adventures planned).

Last Cali trip with the fan

Last Cali trip with the fam

– Camping with friends – B rented a cabin for us and a few other couples to enjoy a weekend in the woods.

3. Ice Cream.

Yes, I enjoy ice cream year round, but there’s just something about an afternoon walk to our favorite ice cream shop that just screams summer, amiright?

I realllly reallly really love ice cream ..

I realllly reallly really love ice cream ..

4. Running.

Yes, summer running can be hot, humid and less-than-stellar but the days are longer, mornings are brighter and paths are clear of ice and I definitely appreciate it. And since I’m running a half in August, training starts two weeks ago now! And my running bff signed up for a full so that means we’ll be sure to get in some early morning longish runs together hopefully.

see! I sweat .. a lot.

see! I sweat .. a lot. but i’m still smiling!

5. Blossom/Outdoor Music.

I love patios. And backyards. There’s just something so relaxing and freeing about sitting outside and enjoying live music. The Cleveland Orchestra’s summer home is at Blossom, and last year B and I went to two shows where we sat on the lawn, brought some wine and cheese and snacks, and listened to the orchestra perform. BEST way to spend a summer night!

A shot of the lawn - packed with people!

A shot of the lawn – packed with people!

Some questions for you:

  1. What are you most looking forward to for summer?
  2. Do you have any summer vacation plans?
  3. Do you like running in the summer? If not, what’s your preferred season for running?
  4. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Shout out to the Dancing Runner for inspiring me to write this post! AND linking up today with this fabulous blog – Running for Cupcakes!.

Ladies Craft Beer Society Takes on the Burbs

Friday night was a beautiful night – a little chilly but that didn’t stop B and me from finding a patio for a few drinks. It had been a long week at work and I was very much looking forward to the weekend and relaxing and sleeping in. Rooftop beers sounded like the perfect way to kick off my Friday!

Rooftop Patio Beers at GHT

Rooftop Patio Beers at GHT

As did sushi.

20150605_203222 20150605_203227

Saturday morning started out with a nice run. It was a beautiful morning – 60s, a cool breeze – and my legs were happy to get outside for a run at my own pace. I also was able to catch up on my favorite podcast – which meant I was laughing while running at some points – guess that was a better workout, huh?

7 miler

Then we hit up the West Side Market for a few groceries.

westsidemarket

And then it was imd for the Ladies Craft Beer Society’s monthly meeting! This month Cari hosted us in her new home in the ‘burbs! Cari used to live downtown but recently moved about 25 minutes south of the city. We obviously got lost on our drive down but it was great to see Cari’s new home, do some cork crafts and drink some beers. Definitely a success!

Ladies and our crats

Ladies and our crats

finished work

finished work

After getting back downtown, I watched the Belmont Stakes (did you see the Triple Crown win?!) and enjoyed dinner and drinks.

Just saw a Triple Crown!

Just saw a Triple Crown!

I love buff chick salads

I love buff chick salads

Sunday was a truly gorgeous and HOT day. It started off with an easy 3 miles while watching Black Mirror on Netflix. Have you ever seen that show? Oh my goodness. I watched the first episode on the treadmill and then hit the elliptical. Wow.

Sunday afternoon B and I had tickets to the Indians game and had plans to go with his coworker. It was HOT and we lost but it was fun to go with the guys. We sat in the 3rd row so we had pretty amazing seats. I had a veggie burger too – I’m so glad the Indians stadium finally got veggie burgers and dogs and I love them!

20150607_132007 20150607_132202

Sunday evening ended with a summery dinner at B’s parents, complete with brownies and ice cream of course.

part of dinner - beautiful salad!

part of dinner – beautiful salad!

And then it was Cavs game time!  The games get me so riled up that I don’t know how I sleep or how I can make it through the series. Thank goodness they won. I can’t wait until Tuesday and our first home game!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have any cork crafts you can recommend with my leftover corks?
  • Do you have any favorite podcasts for while you workout? OR just in general?
  • Are you watching the NBA finals?

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!

Tunes Thursday: Pre-Vacay Edition

That’s right – I’m leaving for vacation (AGAIN) in less than a week. While work is pretty crazy right now, I’m finally getting excited for my trip! So this week’s Tunes Thursday (sorry I couldn’t get my act together in time to make this a Tunes Tuesday post) is full of some of my favorite light, fun summertime songs that keep me working, bopping my head at my desk and getting excited for my next trip. As always, listen to the playlist, here.

Rita Ora – How We Do

Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen – Good Time 

Cher Lloyd – Want You Back

MGK – End of the Road

Okay, this song is neither new nor light-hearted … but it’s been on my playlist this week anyway.

Grouplove – Tongue Tied

The video is wild.

Nicki and Bieber – Beauty and a Beat

Across The Universe – With A Little Help From My Friends

Last, but not least, an oldie – but something I’ve been listening to again this week. Enjoy!