What the holiday season looks like

It’s December and I’m fully embracing the holiday season. We’ve been lucky enough to have had seasonably warm weather (for the most part), no snow, and I’ve been loving every minute of it. This past weekend we were able to get out and enjoy some holiday-ish things around town, and it made me so giddy for this time of year.

lights in my neighborhood

lights in my neighborhood

Here’s what a holiday-ish weekend in CLE looks like:

Running a few miles outside. Yes, it’s cold (36 degrees), but there’s still no snow so it was GREAT!

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Baking a bunch of holiday cookies with some wonderful ladies.

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Comfort food out to eat. Superior Pho deliciousness. Plus a stop at the Asian market for some ginger candy.

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A 5 miler with B in 40 degree temps on Sunday. The hat was a little overkill – didn’t need it! It was beautiful out and I’m so grateful it’s not icy or snowy yet and we’re still able to enjoy the outdoors and trail and road runs.

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That afternoon, we met up with Dave and Anson to check out Circlefest and the great holiday events going on in University Circle. We got free admission to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and got to check out their decorated trees and gingerbread houses.

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a MUPPET show decorated gingerbread house!

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Along with ice sculptures outside – in 50 degree weather they were starting to melt!

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For me, the holidays also includes a great Italian meal at Trattoria in Little Italy. Followed by their amazing tiramisu dessert. Their tiramisu is one of the few I like – not too coffee-ish, lots of cream and looks like ice cream ūüôā

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AND Sunday night Cleveland Orchestra holiday concert. A PERFECT ending to a holiday weekend – my favorite concert all year!

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I’m so in the mood for the holidays. How about you? Some questions:

  • What’s one thing you do this time of year that signifies the holiday season?
  • What’s your favorite dish at an Italian restaurant?

Linking up today with Erin for my weekend snapshot post, Katie for MIMM and the weekly wraps.

A wonderful Cleveland holiday

I love the holidays. The lights everywhere. The baked goods. The cookies. The music. The Christmas Ale. The overall warmth and¬†jolliness¬†that everyone seems to espouse (especially after a few cookies and Christmas Ale!). And even though it’s not even the middle of December yet, ¬†I’m already in full blown holiday spirit!

Cleveland public square at night - all lit up

Cleveland during the holiday times is great. Public Square is lit up and there’s so much going on! In addition to a few holiday parties (not mentioned below), here’s how I’ve been celebrating ¬†– with 15 days left until Christmas!

Baking … and more baking! ¬†

Yes, as if I need an excuse for baking … but so far this year I’ve made Oatmeal Scotchies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies¬†and Cherry Almond Chocolate Kisses.¬†¬†When I get back to NY, I’ll likely make some more – probably some lemon bars, thumbprint jam cookies, peanut blossoms, Tuxedo Cookies, and much much more.

Some of the holiday cookies we baked for our office potluck/cookie exchange party

Some of the holiday cookies baked for our office potluck/cookie exchange party

Rocking it at the Cleveland Rocks! Awards

Each year, before the holidays, the Cleveland PRSA Chapter celebrates the best in the year’s programs and invites local PR pros to celebrate as well. This year, projects I worked on won several awards, including Best in Show! Plus, the Silent Auction I helped coordinate garnered a record number of funds to support the chapter’s scholarship fund. It was a great night and definitely wonderful to celebrate with my other coworkers and friends in the business.

Coworkers Goofing Off At Our Photo Booth at the Awards

Coworkers Goofing Off At Our Photo Booth at the Awards

Best In Show winners with our award - a guitar!

Best In Show winners with our award – a guitar!

Enjoying the Cleveland Orchestra’s Holiday Performance

Each year, the ¬†Cleveland Orchestra puts on a performance for St. Ignatius as a fundraiser for student scholarships during the holidays – and it’s amazing! They play holiday concerts during the entire holiday season for the public, but I love the Ignatius concert tradition. We get dinner in Little Italy with B’s entire family (parents, siblings, aunt, uncles, grandma, cousin, etc.), then enjoy a performance in Severance Hall by the Cleveland Orchestra. It’s a great way to get in the holiday spirit – and I love it!

third row at the Cleveland Orchestra!

third row at the Cleveland Orchestra!

Watching A Christmas Carol at Playhouse Square

This weekend, B and I got tickets (THANKS CHRIS!) to see A Christmas Carol, put on by Great Lakes Theater. We made the evening into a date, and got drinks with his brother and parents before, saw the show, and then enjoyed dinner at Cowell & Hubbard. It was a great way to spend a wintry evening ¬†– the show was great (although it made me really want to watch A Muppet Christmas Carol) and dinner was awesome. We enjoyed some beef ceviche, escargot, fois gras donuts and seafood dumplings — all food that I don’t normally order.

Escargot, beef ceviche, seafood dumplings and fois gras doughnuts @ Cowell & Hubbard

Escargot, beef ceviche, seafood dumplings and fois gras doughnuts @ Cowell & Hubbard

Giving Back with Caring Cubs

This weekend, B and I took ourniece and nephew to the zoo! Not only were we there to see some of the animals, but we were there for a Caring Cubs event. Caring Cubs is an organization I became introduced to through Bridge Builders- they¬†hold monthly events for young children, ages 2 to 7, designed to teach various lessons of social responsibility. ¬†We took Oliver and Sofia to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, brought some new and gently used toys that were in turn donated to the Department of Child and Family Services, and then got to enjoy an animal show plus tour of the zoo afterwords. We finished up the afternoon in Little Italy, enjoying some pizza and dessert at ¬†some of our favorites –¬†Mama Santas and Presti’s.

caring cubs

Caring Cubs collected more than 500 toys!

sofia touching armadillo

zooo with children

hmm ... which cookies to choose?

hmm … which cookies to choose?

What about you? What have you been doing to get into the holiday spirit?