Friends Visit Plus a 5K and Triathlon

To say we had a busy weekend is an understatement. From 5 pm Friday through Sunday, we had something going on pretty much at ALL times! The weekend started with a 5K (for me) and ended with a triathlon (for B), but also included some park time, a cookout and friends visiting.

Friday night started with a race! It was actually my first race since LM was born. One of the boards that B is on was hosting a 5k fundraiser (The Sunset Sprint 5k) to kick off the USA Triathlon weekend that was taking place in Cleveland. The course finished through the triathletes’ finish chute and included most of the sprint’s 5k course.

I was excited to race in my first 5k since baby #2 was born and had really no expectations. I knew it was a semi-hilly course, and my goal was just to not walk it and perhaps get under 10 min/miles (my typical not-sprinting pace these days is slower). AND I was going to be running it with Mary who is faster than I am, so I was hoping to keep up with her for maybe a half a mile or so.

I was pleasantly surprised- maybe it was the race adrenaline, but I finished with a much better time than I expected, including running the first mile in the 8s!

Saturday, we got to spend part of the day with some friends who were in town with their kids. In the morning, we started the day with a playground and park followed by lunch. That night, everyone came over to our house for a cookout. B made chicken, eggplant, green onions, and I made a salad and cookies to go along with the meal.

It was fun to see all the kids together – but wow, 7 kids in our house was a little overwhelming.

Sunday morning started EARLY – I got up at 4:30 to feed LM before getting FW ready — we were headed out to watch B compete in his first triathlon! I’m so proud of B – he didn’t have much time to train after LM was born, and all his runs and bike rides were done with a kid either in a trailer or stroller.

Some of our friends came to celebrate B at the finish line – and brought donuts!

And we got a pic of most of the kids- minus Maddie and LM.

That afternoon, the four of us took a little walk out to lunch. I don’t know how B was still moving after his race but I was happy to get in some activity.

Sunday evening usually includes dinner with B’s family, but this Sunday instead was pizza night! We enjoyed pizza from Geraci’s before taking a family walk. Two family walks in one day (plus a triathlon for B) makes me a happy camper 🙂

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever competed in a triathlon? Which was your hardest event?
  • How often do you eat pizza?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

Fourth of July with the Baby

Well, B and I survived the first week home with the baby! Honestly, I don’t know how single parents do it – this first week was challenging, tiring and rewarding – but I did it all thanks to B. Not sure how I’m going to deal when he goes back to work in a week … but I digress.

We had a great holiday weekend! Showing FW around town, hanging out with my parents (who were visiting again) for the weekend and of course having some family time for the holiday.

Friday started with a trip to the West Side Market – we showed FW around our normal shops.


And a trip to Gallucci’s for some wine and pizza supplies.20160701_134706

Because Friday night was pizza night! B made this awesome pepperoni and mushroom pizza with our new pizza stone. It was the perfect TGIF dinner!20160701_213247

Saturday morning was gorgeous, so we got in a short walk to the water and of course took some pics with FW.


My parents got in that afternoon and they were very excited to see him! 20160703_125523

It stayed gorgeous out all day, so we needed the day with an evening out to dinner – burgers and wine outside downtown. My veggie burger was so good!IMG_20160702_190222

Sunday morning, B’s mom had everyone over for brunch. It was great to introduce the baby the rest of the family – and of course his cousins loved holding him again.20160703_132321

After brunch, we went for a walk around a nearby lake – it was great outside and it’s been so much fun sharing all our favorite spots with FW.

And for dinner? Sushi with my parents. Gotta love being able to eat raw fish again!


Monday started out lazy. I had been up with FW much of Sunday, so we hung low and then got in a walk around downtown before heading to B’s family’s house for the Fourth of July BBQ.


FW even got some bonding time with his great grandma.  He is so lucky to have so many family members nearby and not only all of his grandparents but also a great grandma!


And that was it- a great Fourth of July weekend and FW’s first celebration!

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

An uneventful weekend (coffee shop hopping)

It was a pretty uneventful weekend for me in Cleveland. The weekend consisted of dinner with friends, baby registry, running, working, crafting, running, working, board meetings and that’s about it. See? Do you really need to see what that looks like?

Well, in case you do, here it is.

B made dinner Friday night for our friends Dave and Anson and their baby girl. We had our own Friday fish fry dinner and it was delicious. They came over to help with our registry – and you know how fun that is! (sorry, registering for baby stuff is less-than-fun for me :))

But dinner was great. Mashed cauliflower, scallops and asparagus.


Saturday morning started out with a run. Even though it’s now official spring (yay!) I woke up to 30 degree temps. Still, I made it outside for a 4.5ish mile run. I definitely am showing in my running clothes now!


After the run, I had some work to catch up on so I hit up a coffee shop, The Gypsy Bean (Coffee Shop #1). This one shop has one of my favorite sandwiches – open faced hummus – and I had that with their quinoa tabbouleh. SO GOOD.


Then it was time for Ladies Craft Beer Society! This month’s “craft” was making homemade cleaning supplies. We had an Irish/St. Patrick’s Day theme, so there was also boozy shamrock shakes (I had a sip of one – they were delish!).20160319_161611

And plenty of treats – some orange chocolate chip scones, as well as pull-apart reuben bread.20160319_163413

I brought cupcakes 🙂


Saturday night was uneventful. I caught up on some college basketball (my bracket isn’t doing so well) and started watching a movie with B before falling asleep. We watched a documentary about the Barkley Marathon – these people are insane! And it’s sooo cool.

Sunday morning included some indoor miles before getting in some more work.


Another day, another coffee shop to catch up on work. This time, my favorite tea at Phoenix Coffee.


After catching up on some work, I had a board meeting to head to. I’m on the executive committee of the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Cleveland, and we had our planning meeting on Sunday.


And then it was time for Sunday dinner. Since I have to get some blood testing done at the doctor tomorrow, I had to stay away from the pasta and dessert 😦 At least the salmon and salad was delicious!

note the one piece of tortellini

note the one piece of tortellini

And that was my weekend! I’m linking up today with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your go-to all purpose cleaning supply?
  • If you have to catch up on work, where do you prefer to go – the office? Coffee shop? Your home?



Getting Back in the Swing of Things

Happy Monday! If you’re like me, you’re back at work after a nice vacation thanks to the Christmas and New Years holidays. Hopefully you’re feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the year – or at least the year!

I had such a great New Years and weekend – the perfect relaxing and productive way to get me ready for the week ahead.

New Years Eve, B and I hung out with his family, family friends and Dave and Anson for an amazing meal, bubbly, drinks and of course, watching the ball drop. I unfortunately didn’t get to snap any pics of the food – but trust me. The seafood paella was the perfect last meal of 2015!


B and I kicking off NYE

New Years morning, I slept in, and then B and I went for a short run around downtown. I’m going to try to be diligent and keep track of my miles in 2016 (unlike 2015…whoops) and since I’m back as a Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador, will be sharing my training with you as the training season begins.

first run of 2016 and loving my new running jacket

first run of 2016 and loving my new running jacket

The rest of the day was really low key. B and I went to his parents’ house and watched a looooot of college football and I caught up on some work and emails. We spent the evening watching movies – I have never seen the full Star Wars movies so we borrowed the tapes (yup, we still have a VCR!) from B’s parents and watched the first (or fourth?) one that evening.


Saturday morning included some shopping at the West Side Market, going for a long walk, stopping for a latte and a scone in Tremont, and cooking some eggplant parmesan to share with friends.


Not a bad day for a walk

Not a bad day for a walk


baking eggplant parm!

baking eggplant parm!

Saturday night, we brought over some eggplant park to friends that had just had a baby. Their newborn is adorable and has a full head of hair – my favorite for babies!

We then enjoyed dinner at Dave and Anson’s with friends. And surprise- they made me hold Celia (I’m getting a little less scared of holding her) AND I even got to feed her!


Sunday was another SUPER relaxing and low key day. After another short run with B, I spent the afternoon catching up on the Browns, watching the next Star Wars movie, reading, and meal prepping.

Some fun details of my run

Some fun details of my run

roasting some veggies for lunches this week

roasting some veggies for lunches this week

We ended the day with dinner at the best Vietnamese place in town, Superior Pho. Snow had just started to fall lightly, and it was the perfect evening for some rolls and pho.


And that was it! A very relaxing Sunday.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like Pho?
  • Have you seen any of the Star Wars movies? What about the new one?

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

That’s What I Like About Sundays

Ok I know I gave you my weekend update post yesterday,  but this weekend was so great that it needs two posts.

In addition to camping, we had a pretty fun Sunday. We left our campsite first thing and after grabbing breakfast in downtown Ohiopyle, B had a surprise in store- he had made us reservations for a tour of Fallingwater! I had never been there and it was truly incredible.  If you’ve never been there before, I highly recommend it. I don’t want to hype it too much- but it’s a house built basically into a waterfall!  How cool is that?!

The house is literally above a waterfall – you can see the steps in the background of this picture leading to the water:


And the house from afar:IMG_20150816_114147

That wasn’t all the day had in store. After we made it back to Cleveland, we headed down to Blossom. Blossom is the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra and we had tickets to their British Invasion performance. I love the orchestra and love love love The Beatles and Queen and they played both so I was in heaven. Plus,  we had packed a wine and cheese picnic for the show ….

So many of my faves!

So many of my faves!

20150816_191527 20150816_192322 20150816_195216

It was such a great show. We really lucked out with an amazing evening – great music and weather.

And that, concludes my weekend update posts. What a fun-filled, busy weekend! I feel like I may need a weekend just to recover. Yup, I’m ready for another one, already 🙂

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever been to Fallingwater or other Frank Lloyd Wright attractions?
  • What did you do this weekend?
  • What’s your favorite cheese?

Picture Perfect Weekends.

It was a picture perfect weekend in Cleveland. Really – I have no complaints. We had sunshine, blue skies, warm weather, and everything just seemed to work out perfectly. See for yourself – I’ll be linking up with Running N Reading and Her Heartland Soul today again for this weekend update post!

Friday morning started out with 5 miles with Mary before work. It was great to get outside and run after my vacation- I took two days off and my legs were feeling great.Screenshot 2015-08-02 12.37.00

After work, B and I checked out the Asian Market. I went last month with my parents, and B hadn’t yet gotten a chance to enjoy it. It was great – so many people and great food. I love Snow Bros Shavery and they were there.

my vietnamese cabbage salad

my vietnamese cabbage salad


shaved snow with mango whipped cream and boba…yum!

20150731_195355 20150731_200600 20150731_212821

Saturday morning, B and I got in an unplanned run – I had forgotten to sign up for the OROC 5k, so we did one on our own.  I was pretty happy to have negative splits.

Screenshot 2015-08-02 12.41.45

After the run, we went to Restore for a feast. Seriously, a feast. We shared the avocado toast, a smoothie and an acai bowl. It was the perfect post-run, hot day treat!


Then, per usual, we hit up the West Side Market for some groceries and spent the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun at the beach! It was windy out, so a little too wavy in the water, but the wind kept us cool.



We decide to make it a night out using our gift cards – For dinner, we had a gift card to Town Hall so enjoyed some patio dinner and drinks there. Next? Using a gift card to Cleveland Cinemas and seeing Trainwreck. If you haven’t seen it yet – you must. It is just TOOOOO good. Especially if you have a Cleveland connection.


After the movie was dessert. A gift card to Sweet Moses meant B and I both got treats – I got salted caramel with toffee and B got and ice cream soda.




Sunday started early. I had plans to run with Mary and my cousin-in-law, Meghan. We had 11 miles on the schedule, so I had plans to run to Mary’s, then run to Meghan’s, and then continue until we got to 11.


It was hot, and I was tired, but we did it! Just a few more weeks until the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame half!

The rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy, but we did get to go to a pizza and pool party at B’s grandma’s house with his cousins and siblings. It was the perfect end to a warm weekend.

what  a great view, huh?

what a great view, huh?

What a great weekend! How was yours?

A few questions:

  • Did you get in any long runs this weekend?
  • Do you like ice cream sodas or floats?
  • Have you ever had shaved ice?

Cleveland Marathon Weekend Recap

Welp, I survived the Cleveland 2015 Rite Aid Half Marathon! I’ll post a full race recap later, but here is a little about how the amazing weekend went. (spoiler alert- I PRed!)

First, I admit that I was less-than-excited for the race. The weather was due to be humid and drop 30 degrees from my last training run with Nicole! (where we pretend to stand on the finish line)

pretending to stand on the finish

pretending to stand on the finish

Our Wed. run was 39 degrees. Sunday (race day) was forecast to be 77)

Our Wed. run was 39 degrees. Sunday (race day) was forecast to be 77)

Friday B and I had to be in Cincinnati for a funeral – but we somehow made it back up to the CLE for the VIP Reception for the race. As an ambassador, I was lucky enough to get invited and it was such an amazing event! We got to hear the owner of the marathon, Jack Staph, speak, and start our carbo loading early – there was plenty of Great Lakes flowing, a carving station, a pasta station, some salads and amazing desserts. I’m so bummed I didn’t take a food photo (so unlike me, right?!) – but we did grab some ambassador pics and of course a pic near my name 🙂

Mr. Staph's speech. Man, I was getting pumped up!

Mr. Staph’s speech. Man, I was getting pumped up!

Ambassadors all dressed up

Ambassadors all dressed up

You see my name?!

You see my name?!

Saturday, I had to work in the morning, but finally there was no long run scheduled! After working until the mid-afternoon, I grabbed some perfect pre-race fuel (sandwich from Beet Jar and kombucha from Cleveland Tea Revival and a nooma) and was off to the Race Expo.

(kombucha not pictured)

OMG THIS SANDWICH (kombucha not pictured)

Oh my goodness- I don’t know if something changed but the expo this year was SPOT on. I got my nails done, got my cholesterol and body fat checked, tried some yummy samples of gels and bars, and even won a t-shirt from Brooks! I was like a kid in a candy shop.

Great crowds!

Great crowds!

In case I got lost ...

In case I got lost …

B & I at the Expo. American Greetings photo opp!

B & I at the Expo. American Greetings photo opp!

Saturday night, I got a great pre-race meal. I had tickets to the pre-race pasta party, but I’m not big on pasta before races; not sure why, I love pasta any other time – so we headed to Phuel for a healthy carbolicious meal – I opted for their seasonal salad with a portobello panini.

Pre-race "phuel' (get it?)

Pre-race “phuel’ (get it?) Yup- another veggie sandwich.

B and I hit got to bed early, after watching some Luther and a documentary about the NY Marathon (Live to Run). I had some dessert and tea to get relaxed (yup, I love sweets before a race).

Sweet Dreams tea and nails freshly did at the Expo

Sweet Dreams tea and nails freshly did at the Expo

I of course laid out my clothing and everything ahead of time. It was scheduled to be rainy and 70s, so I knew I’d need a hat and a tank top.

flat melissa :)

flat melissa 🙂

Sunday morning was race day! It was drizzling, but looked clear for race time, so I kept the hat at home and off we were. It was a GREAT race. Yes, it was humid. Yes, I hate the rolling hills of the shoreway at the end … but I loved almost every minute of it.

And post-race I kept up with the tradition and made it to brunch with my morning running buddies, Erica and Nicole. Without these ladies, I undoubtedly would not be the runner I am today- so thank you!

post-race refueling. Beers and chorizo bean chili!

post-race refueling. Beers, water with cucumber and chorizo bean chili!

6 a.m. running club!

6 a.m. running club!

Some questions for you:

  • How was your weekend?
  • Do you run with people / have a running group?
  • After a race, how long do you take up?

Thinking of All That’s Good … A Pretty Good Weekend

I know it’s a few days late, but I feel compelled to share a weekend wrap up post. It’s been a while since I’ve shared one, and frankly – I had a pretty good weekend.

I feel like I haven’t been posting as much … but the last few weeks have been pretty rough. My grandmother just passed away, and I still haven’t gotten used to the fact that I can’t just call her up a few times a week. My dog had to be put to sleep on Monday, and I don’t want to think about what it will be like when I return home next week and she’s not there. Yes, this is sounding like another one of those “I don’t usually post about this not-so-happy stuff” posts – which is why I’m turning it into a more positive one. Despite being emotional (THANK YOU to all that are putting up with me), I’m thinking about the positives … and remembering and writing down the goodness helps. So here are 5 good things from my pretty good weekend.

1. Friday night B made sure I had a pretty awesome Valentine’s Day, including flowers, chocolate and a homemade steak dinner. I have to admit, I’m a pretty lucky gal.

B made me steak with mushrooms, avocado and salad.

B made me steak with mushrooms, avocado and salad.

Local chocolates! From Chocolate 76

Local chocolates! From Chocolate 76 and yes they are half eaten. Sorry 🙂

2. Saturday morning we ran outside! We ran outside! We ran outside! Can you tell how excited I am? It was cold, snowy, and really NOT enjoyable – but I LOVED not having to be indoors.

12 miles

3. I did my first double digit run in forever – and ended with the first race of 2014, the Chili Bowl 5k.  9 snowy miles + 5k on Saturday = happiness

Tired but happy the 12 miles are done.

Tired but happy the 12 miles are done. Not pictured — Doritos, beer AND veggie chili that we got after the race!

4. We celebrated AGAIN on Saturday night with some fancy drinks at Society Lounge AND a delicious seafood dinner at Blue Point Grille.

Drinks @ Society Lounge

Drinks @ Society Lounge

Dinner at Blue Point! Not pictured: Creme Brulee.

Dinner at Blue Point! Not pictured: Creme Brulee.

5. Sunday was my niece’s birthday and I got to see her TWICE this weekend. She and her brother came over on Saturday afternoon to see our apartment for the first time and Sunday we celebrated her 6th birthday at B’s parents’ house.  Lasagna + cake + ice cream + seeing her open her gifts = great way to end the weekend.

A throwback photo - Sofia and I were twin!

A throwback photo from 2010 – Sofia and I were twins (unintentionally)!

I remember when she was born!

I remember when she was born!


Some questions for you:

  • Have you gotten in any outdoor workouts?
  • What are 5 good things about your past week?
  • We’re halfway through the week! What are you doing this weekend? I’m excited to hopefully get in ANOTHER outdoor run and enjoy the warmer temps!
  • Honestly, I’m not usually a sad person. How do you cope when sad things happen? Baking and running. Plus, writing about them helps. As does writing about and talking about all of the good things in my life 🙂 Thanks for putting up with me!
  • What did you do for Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day? Do you like chocolates?

Scenes From A Busy Weekend

HOW is the weekend over already? I have no idea where this weekend went at all – seriously, it flew by! Here’s just a snippet of what we did:

Flaming Ice Cube Friday! I’m starting to love this tradition B and I have – each Friday night we’ve been getting Flaming Ice Cube takeout. The downtown vegan restaurant is literally next door and it’s nice to just relax with some healthy takeout after a crazy week. Plus, I am addicted to their kalebouli!

Kalebouli and couscous from The Flaming Ice Cube

Kalebouli and couscous from The Flaming Ice Cube

B, Mary and I met early Saturday morning for a 10k through Ohio City and Tremont. We’re on pace for a sub-two hour half marathon … but it’s going to be tough!

Splits according to Brian's garmin

Splits according to Brian’s garmin

B and I made pizza! Well, B did. We  got fresh dough, mozzarella cheese, sausage and tomatoes in our CSA this week and it was perfect to make two little pizzas for us to enjoy. We even made our own sauce from the fresh tomatoes.

prepping tomatoes for homemade sauce

prepping tomatoes for homemade sauce

fresh pizza!

fresh pizza!

Oh, we also took a break from working to grab a few flights of wine and champagne. It was a beautiful day to enjoy some bubbly on the patio! I love just walking to the grocery store and grabbing drinks on the way. Seriously, I am so in love with downtown living in the summer!

perfect weather for some flights

perfect weather for some flights

We also attempted some packing. I’m starting to feel like I’m in an episode of Hoarders walking through my apartment, climbing over boxes, etc. I really need more time before we move this week to get packing!

Hoarders? No, just moving!

Hoarders? No, just moving! And yes, B already boxed up my Kitchenaid 😦 

How was your weekend? Not pictured- drinks at Noodlecat with B’s parents and their friends, plus a bbq at B’s parents house with his softball team. I meant to take pics of the delicious food and fun company .. but enjoyed myself too much to stop and document!

Running and Feasting – Another Fun Weekend in the CLE

Any weekend recap post that includes “running” and “feasting” in the title has to be a good weekend, right? I mean, what else is there?

Here are some highlights from the weekend.

Okay, the weekend may have started with a little bit of working late. But check out the view from our office as the sun sets – how gorgeous is that?

working late sky

AND I still got out in time to enjoy some patio beverages. I know summer is coming to an end so I am savoring all the remaining patio days!


B and I went for an 8 miler on Sunday. And it was a beautiful day! I love days like this:views on running

And I got to try out some of my new running gear! Like the hot orange shorts? (please ignore the orange lighting in my hallway)
new running clothes

After our run we headed to the West Side Market to pick up some fresh veggies, chicken and a snack (or two). We made sure to stop at Ohio City Farm to get some SUPER local produce, including a huge yellow squash (which prompted B to say, Do you even know what to do with that?).

west side market ohio city veggies

Check it out – it’s Ohio City Farm! Their stand is open next to the West Side Market on Sundays.  They also have a CSA which I want to try – the program goes to support the refugees who live in Cleveland work there. I highly recommend you stop by their location on your next visit to the market.


Sunday included a short recovery run and some more weightlifting at the gym followed by Nike Training Club activities. And some baking. Because Sundays and baking seem to go hand-in-hand don’t they?

homemade biscotti! (recipe posted soon)

And while I was baking I caught the movie, Something Borrowed, on TV. Which was pretty awesome because I read the book years ago and forgot that they had made it into a movie. Who doesn’t like baking AND a chick flick? (PS – I think Kate Hudson plays the same character in nearly every movie)

B and I were also invited to my City Advocate friend Laura’s house in Little Italy to celebrate the Feast! So Sunday afternoon we hopped on the bus and found ourselves in the crowded streets of Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood. One of my favorite festivals in Cleveland is the Feast of the Assumption. I ❤ everything Italian and it’s probably the one festival where I could (and try to) eat everything in sight. Give me a cannoli, gelato and some Italian sausage and I’m a happy girl 🙂

The Feast!

Laura even had green, white and red-themed food at her house!  (not pictured – her delicious green white and red flatbread and pasta salad)


Laura is awesome. The veggies came from her CSA and the basil was from her patio herb garden!

We still of course had to stop for a meatball sub on the way back.


B bought this. But he graciously let me have a bite.

And that was it! How was your weekend?  Some questions for you: (and my responses in italic because I know you’re dying to know even more about me) i’d love to hear about you!

  • What’s your favorite type of ethnic food? My favorite – Italian! And then sushi, Mediterranean, and Vietnamese tied for second. 
  • Least favorite type of ethnic food? English. Or German. Or Irish. Not a fan of any of those foods! 
  • Do you go to cultural celebrations in your city? Which ones? We most frequently attend the Feast, Oktoberfest and then the Irish festival. See above for my thoughts on the food at the other festivals 🙂
  • Do you have any Sunday or weekend routines? Lately my Sundays have involved waking up somewhat early and then lifting weights and baking/watching a girly movie while B is at softball. I could get used to that!
  • Do you have any idea what type of squash that is?