4 Weekends In One

Phew – WHAT a weekend. It was one of those weekends that flew by and was jam packed. I feel like we did enough stuff that it felt somewhat like four or five weekends in one. Here’s a summary of my weekend – in emojis:


Did you get any of that?

Here – see for yourself.

Friday evening started with a nice walk around downtown, followed by an ice cream date. B, FW and I grabbed ice cream after daycare with Dave, Anson and their adorable daughter Celia. The only pics are from the walk and of the ice cream.

Oh, and FW definitely on a sugar high while getting a ride on Dad. 

We ended the night with some pizza and wine on the porch. The weather has been GORGEOUS lately (warm!) and it was nice to sit outside and decompress after the week.

Saturday morning started with a walk to the local nature center to check out some of the paths and exhibits, before picking up a packet for the race I was running Sunday morning. My friend Nicole had encouraged me to sign up for a 10k, even though I hadn’t been running that far. \

Walking around the nature outside!

We then walked over to the local farmers market and picked up some produce and meat for the week. 

Saturday night, B and I were off to a wedding! My friend/former coworker Ali was getting married on a beautiful farmstead south of us. It was a beautiful night for the ceremony and celebration.

They look so happy 🙂 

Me and another coworker were invited … check out the gorgeous scenery!

Sunday morning came a little too early for me. I had agreed to sign up for a 10K and ran it with my friend Nicole. It was my longest run in months – since my piriformis issues – but felt good! It was steamy out, so we took our time, chatted, and stopped for plenty of water. 

Sunday afternoon included a trip to the west side for our monthly Ladies Craft Beer Society! This month we were at Cuoghi’s house to make pickles. Unfortunately, since FW hadn’t had a nap yet, he was very clingy and didn’t want to be put down. Which made making the pickles a little difficult – thankfully Cuoghi and Marissa and other ladies stepped in to help and I went home with some dill pickles, pickled cauliflower AND pickled onions. I can’t wait to try them all!

Sunday night, B’s parents were out of town, so we had our own Sunday dinner at our house. B made sauce from the tomatoes we had bought at the Farmers Market (so completely from scratch!) and made some “fried” eggplant. It was such a good meal. (And yes, I chose the spaghetti emoji because I know what the eggplant emoji means ….)

So that was it! A delicious, fun, busy weekend. Here’s to a good week!

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever made sauce from tomatoes?
  • Have you ever made pickles?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

WIAW #25: Vacation Eats in Mendocino

A very happy What I Ate Wednesday to you! I’m excited to share with you a great day of eats- different than my typical everyday eats – in fact, I’m vacationing with my family in California and we had a great day in Mendocino. A great day with a nice walk around the town, and wonderful eats.

Gorgeous Mendocino!

Gorgeous Mendocino!

The Inn that we were staying at delivered a great breakfast to us in the morning in a cute basket. The Inn boasts 100+ chickens, so of course there were some fresh eggs included with breakfast:

breakfast menu

breakfast menu

Greg carrying our breakfast basket

Greg carrying our breakfast basket

the amazing meal

the amazing meal

We took a great walk after breakfast around downtown Mendocino, all around the Headlands along the ocean. We got hungry along the way and snacked on some Malley’s Dark Chocolate Almonds.

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After our walk, we stopped for lunch at a cafe downtown. My mom and I split a lunch – we got a salad trio, with quinoa, kale and brussels sprouts salad. It was really good and tasted so fresh.


Dinner was so good. We ended up eating at MacCallum House, an inn in town, and had an amazing meal. We enjoyed a bottle of local Pinot Noir, some fresh baked sour dough, and shared a cheese platter.

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My mom and I split the arugula, proscuitto and chèvre salad and ratatouille. I love splitting meals, and it was the perfect way to try a bunch of food without getting too stuffed.

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Dessert was so so so good. We had a fresh blackberry soufflé and split it four ways. Since it had been my mom’s birthday, they put a candle in a side of cream for her to blow out.




That concluded our day in Mendocino. It was such a good day of eats – I really can’t complain! As always, click on the badge below to see what WIAW is all about.

Some questions for you:

  1. What’s the best thing you ate yesterday?
  2. Have you ever been to Mendocino?
  3. Splitting meals – yay or nay?

Running and Wine-ing

How is it TUESDAY already Where did the weekend go? Guess that’s what happens after an awesome weekend! Here are a few scenes from an awesome weekend of running (a 10K race plus 5K before), and wine-ing. Yes,I may have made up that word …

Friday night included my favorite pre-long run meal – a kalebouli and hummus wrap from Flaming Ice Cube.

you've seen this picture before... my favorite- kalebouli! (in the background is the artichoke appetizer we got!)

you’ve seen this picture before… my favorite- kalebouli! (in the background is the artichoke appetizer we got!)

Saturday started EARLY at least for me. The 6 a.m. alarm was NOT welcome, but we had plans to fit in a 3-4 mile run before our 10K race we had signed up for. We only ended up getting in a 5k beforehand, but that put the day at 9.3ish miles. Not too bad! Oh, and I think that 10K is my least favorite racing distance. Too quick to enjoy/pace yourself (like a 10 miler or half) and too long to go all out (like a 5k).

Being silly with B an Mary after our run.

Being silly with B an Mary after our run.

Post-race photo opp! So cold.

Post-race photo opp! So cold.

Saturday afternoon came and it was time to head out for my froworker Cari’s bachelorette party! Of course, we all know what happens at bachelorette parties STAYS at bachelorette parties, but here are a few highlights to share 🙂

some wine samples. classy with a diet coke, plastic cups and goldfish :)

some wine samples. classy with a diet coke (i was tired after waking up early and our run!), plastic cups and goldfish 🙂

Me and the gorgeous bride-to-be! Can't believe she's getting married in a week!!

Me and the gorgeous bride-to-be! Can’t believe she’s getting married in a week!!

What bachelorette party would be complete without Ryan Gosling?

What bachelorette party would be complete without Ryan Gosling?

We got to see how the wine was made!

We got to see how the wine was made!


I stole this photo ... but it's during our private wine tour!

I stole this photo … but it’s during our private wine tour!

Sunday morning we woke up with a beauttttiful view. I mean how awesome is this view from where we stayed?

view from window at the lodge geneva

Anyway, Sunday was a LAZY day. After getting back from the wine weekend, I pretty much spent the day prepping for a presentation I had on Monday, doing laundry, getting in an easy workout (the elliptical is my best friend the day after a long run) and then of course dinner with B’s family. The weekend went by WAY too fast!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite race distance? Least favorite? 10K  is definitely my least favorite as of now. Maybe I can work on liking it – by preparing for my next one! Any tips for how?
  • What’s your favorite way to spend a lazy day? I need at least part of my day to be productive – so even if it’s just doing laundry or baking, I need to get something done (to justify all the couch-sitting going on)!


Weekends = Whiskey Island + Wine Festivals + Food + Sunshine

What a great weekend! Despite a few rain showers, it was another one of those weekends where I couldn’t help but say, multiple times, “There’s so much going on in Cleveland!”

The weekend started Friday afternoon at my office, where we ended the work day early for some Friday afternoon beers and Pictionary! Yes, that’s how we do it. And we take Pictionary VERY seriously in my office. Case in point – the smack talk that was going down even early on in the week: (photo courtesy of @sarah_lack)

After Pictionary, I met up with B and we headed to Whiskey Island for a work event he had – dinner, beach volleyball, and drinks on Wendy Park! It would’ve been a great event – if it hadn’t started POURING rain, blowing wind, and thundering and lightning the second we got there. Literally the second we got there, we had to hide under the food tent and wait nearly an hour for the rain to stop. Luckily I was able to create a makeshift rain coat, and the party continued through the night as the rain cleared up.

Rain gear?

Saturday morning, it was still raining so B and I got in a quick morning work out at the gym. Post-workout it started to clear up so we headed to the driving range to hit a few balls. I’ve only golfed twice before, but it was still nice to enjoy the sunshine and laugh at my still nonexistent skills. After golf, we of course enjoyed some soft serve (seriously, how can you not get ice cream after going to a driving range on a summer day?).

I kind of look like I know what I’m doing …?

Saturday afternoon, B and I met up with Dave and Anson for the Cleveland Wine Festival! Held at Voinovich Park, and sponsored by Giant Eagle, the festival features 200 international wines, food, music and 10 tastings. What a fun way to spend a beautiful evening! We sipped wine from so many great vendors (my favorite non-Ohio wines were Chateau St. Michelle and Francis Coppola) and enjoyed a fun live band. After closing down the wine festival we headed over to Map Room for some post-wine tasting beers and pizza.

Sunset over Lake Erie at Cleveland Wine Festival … shortly after this photo a guy jumped into the lake

Photo opp at Chateau Ste. Michelle's booth!

Photo opp at Chateau Ste. Michelle’s booth!

Sunday was pretty leisurely. I slept in while B played softball, and hit the gym for a workout while catching up on past episodes of Luther on the iPad. After working out, we headed to Edgewater Park to catch up on some reading and some rays for most of the afternoon. It was a great day and it seemed everyone was out at the park – swimming, boating flying kites, and having picnics.

Another day on Lake Erie

Sunday night we joined B’s family out for dinner at Washington Place, a great restaurant in Little Italy – formerly the Baricelli Inn. B’s grandmother was treating everyone to a dinner out – and the food was amazing! The bread (supposedly from Stone Oven) was SO good, and we ordered mussels, a cheese plate and pierogies for appetizers. I ordered the scallops with black rice (I subbed quinoa) for dinner – which was perfectly cooked – and B and  I split the Presti’s donut bread pudding for dessert (yes, I even convinced B to join me in dessert. There’s a first for everything – and usually that first involves donuts and bread pudding!). It was the perfect end to my last weekend in July …  are you ready for August?

Weekend Recap: Northeast Ohio Wine Country

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m relatively new to the Cleveland area and always on the lookout for cool things to do. So, when I saw this article in last week’s SCENE magazine and heard food editor Doug Trattner on Majic 105.7 talk about his trips to local wineries, I knew just what my weekend would have in store – lots of wine!

My boyfriend recently built a “buffet” (as he calls it) for our dining area, (see below) which is really a glorified wine rack/alcohol holder/etc. and is always looking for wine to fill it with.


So, after reading the article and talking with an awesome coworker who has done many a trip to the wine area, I decided to tweet to discover where other people recommended. Reason #5204 why I love twitter: people give honest, open, and quick feedback! And, as usual, the responses were amazing! twitterwine

So, taking all that into account, my trip was planned and it was decided we would visit Debonne, South River, Markko and Harpersfield. Are you making a trip to Ohio wine country anytime soon? Here are my reviews… I’ve rated the scene and the wine:


Scene: FUN! It happened to be pet day at Debonne – meaning TONS of interesting people with their pets, mostly dogs. People watching was a must here, because not only were the dogs a fun sight, but the people at Debonne were definitely the most entertaining of all the wineries I visited. Live music was just starting as I was leaving. PLUS, Debonne had tons of food options (breads, cheeses, meats, a full grill), which is nice when you’re drinking wine!debonne wine sampler

Wine: SO-SO I only tried one of their wine tasting trays ($6), but nothing impressed me too much. Not bad, but not my favorite. Also tried a beer sampler (the winery also is home to a Cellar Rats Brewery), which the boyfriend liked.

South River

Scene: BEAUTIFUL This was definitely the most beautiful place we visited. Set in a beautiful old church, the place itself is beautiful inside, furnished all in wood. You can sit indoors, on their back porch that overlooks the grape fields, or in a covered area on the lawn (complete with wooden lawn chairs!) right next to the fields.

The only downside – no food! And by this time I was hungry (and we had a good drive to the next winery), so this was a negative.southriver

Wine: YUM! I tried three wines (it was three tastings for a small fee, unless you buy something), their Karma (blend of Merlot and Cabernet) and their two ice wines (Concord and Blush), which were delicious. I ended up buying a glass of their Concord ice wine, but couldn’t stomach more than that (too sweet!). We left with a bottle of the Karma wine.


Scene: WOW Our next stop was a little different than the first two. A hike away from the other wineries, in Conneaut, Markko is set into the woods and apart from the paved road. Literally. You have to go on a dirt road to get there. When we got there, there were no cars (no parking lot either!) and a big dog sitting out in front of what looked like a big wooden shack. But don’t let looks fool you – the woman who did our tasting was phenomenal and the wine was great as well. Again, we had no food, but I’m not sure what the offerings MAY have been if we got there earlier than 5:45 (they close early, at 6 p.m. on Saturdays).

IMG_3666Wine: THE BEST The best wine by far was at Markko. The tasting was great – it was no charge to taste any reds and whites we wanted, and we were given in depth explanations of why certain wines tasted certain ways, how different wines were made, etc. We left with a bottle of the Cabernet Reserve.


Scene: VERY NICE Harpersfield offers indoor and outdoor seating and there was live music when we arrived. There were tons of people outdoors and indoors, so finding a seat was near impossible. Picnic tables, outdoor tables and tables in a covered area were scares. The indoors offered some comfy couches and more traditional wooden table seating as well.

IMG_3668The food was great – we ordered their artichoke and parmesan pizza and a starter of a cheese platter which came with sliced apple, three types of cheese and a slice of warm pepperoni bread.

Wine: GOOD The place was mobbed so we didn’t get great explanation of what we were tasting or what we should taste, but I ordered a glass of their Cabernet. It was pretty good and went well with our pizza and cheese platter – but left me no desire to buy a bottle.

All in all, a great trip. Have you been to any wineries in NE Ohio before? How do they compare to others you’ve been to in other parts of the country (or world)? Which ones would you recommend?

A disclaimer: I am not a food or wine critic. Just a young professional who likes wine and enjoys food even more. So I’m sorry if you’re offended or disagree with my opinions — they’re mine and mine alone! Feel free to let me know your own impressions of any of the places I mention.