start investing

As someone who can maybe be labeled as an "impulse buyer" as I walk through Target or Sephora, I would assume that many people have my problem with the shiny end caps at the end of every aisle. The end caps always suck me in with their sale on candles or travel-sized body lotions - who can resist?!?

Over the years of wasting money on ridiculous items, I compiled a few things to stop wasting your money on and start investing today. That is, if you can resist the temptation while at the store....

Sports Bras - It's important. Oh my god is it important! As an avid runner, crossfitter and yoga devotee, invest now in a few that will last you a few years versus the non-supportive ones that will slowly unravel with each wash. And keep an eye on We Made Too Much to score a few of my favorite Lululemon ones on a major discount.

Drugstore hair color - Save yourself money and just don't get hooked on this. It's not a quick fix - a $8.99 bottle will turn into one hell of a mess that you will spend over $150 fixing if you grab the wrong color. Instead of using this every month, try finding an Aveda salon where students will cut and style your hair for half the cost, highlight under the first few layers so it grows out more evenly or try a version of ombre.

Shoes - I'm talking the crappy high heels that are such a steal for $29 until you lose circulation in your feet after 6 hours of wear and the next morning you find your feet with indents, reminding yourself to never again buy them because you will never be able to put them back on your feet. You might as well have thrown $29 out the window.

Cheap skin lotions - The watery face ones may be the worst offenders. Or maybe even the said watery ones that you use for a few days until your normal face lotion arrives in the mail or you can get to the store, but before then, you break out like a 7th grader again because your skin is rejecting the watery lotion. Over the past few years, I've narrowed down these bad purchases and stick with Kiehl's for my every day face lotion. It works, it moisturizes and leaves me break-out free.

Bottled water - Let's all agree to just spend money on a water bottle, throw some sliced lemons in it and call it a day. I even like to keep a pack of Nuun with me if I need to pump up my H20 intake.

The sticky and gooey lipgloss - It could be clear or a sheer shade of bright pink that you think will be the perfect-I-don't-care-if-I-lose-it kind until you put it on, walk outside and a light breeze blows your hair right into lips and it sticks permanently. Then, you have to carefully pull it off, wipe it off of the strands so that lip gloss caked strands doesn't get on the other hair. It's a process people! So stick with a Chapstick or throwback to your younger years with your favorite Lip Smacker or the amazing Rosebud Salve. Or, my other fail proof is lipstick - lasts longer with a lip liner and your hair will not get all caught up in it.

things not to waste your money on

one block and a new zipcode

Moving is one of those things that I have managed to do every year for the past three years with the help of very reliable friends and one very amazing brother who still always replies with a "of course I'll move you," when I bring up the topic. I think it really helps my cause that I'm the older sister in this situation.

I was really looking forward to this move. Actually I was all jazzed up about it. I managed to maintain the same city lifestyle by only moving one block and saving a decent chunk of money each month, shrinking my space by 130 square feet and sans patio. What a great adult move I was about to make!

New neighborhood view
I was stoked. I couldn't sign the lease quick enough and started planning my future travel budget and mapping out which cities I wanted to knock off my list with savings.

Then came the moving day. Ask my friends - I was so positive about it and brushing off the notion that moving is stressful, annoying and time consuming. "Oh it will be easy", I'd tell them. "I'm just moving a block" and "I'm basically an expert by now."

Here is how my moving went in hashtags.

9 a.m. - #pickedupthetruck #movingstartsnow #yay

11 a.m. - #firsttruckloadedup #valetislettingusparkthetruck #notthatbad

11:15 a.m. - #mybrotherisgoingtokillmebecausethiselevatorisntverybig #waituntiltheyfindouttherearetwodoors toopenupbeforewegettomyapartment

12 p.m. - #ohmygodmysecuritydepositisshot #rustwaterdrippedoncarpetfrompatiofurniture #sopissed

12:45 p.m. #secondtruckloadallloadedup #crossfitispayingoff #theboysareimpressed

1 p.m. - #theboysarerushingtowatchmarchmadness #theycantbeserious

2:15 p.m. - #boysstopeverythingtosetupTV #theymustlistentogameswhenmoving #aretheyserious?!?

2:30 p.m. - #truckreturned #isthisoveryet? #shitIhavetocleanmyoldapartment

4 p.m. - #stillmadabouttherustwatercarpetstain #stupidpatio

4:45 p.m - #lastcarloaddone #getmedinner #nevermovingagain #worstideaever

Not a bad new view

Here's to staying in my new place for at least one year. Maybe two this time in the same apartment even. Novel idea, maybe I'll even try it out for once. 

luck of the irish

How many times can one celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

To be specific, three days is the perfect amount of time to celebrate a holiday that is known with anything and everything to do with leprechauns, green beer and corned beef sandwiches.

Day 1: Celebrate with a 5 mile race, family and your favorite running partner followed by a carb-fueled brunch, lots of laughing, consistent ordering of bloody marys and mimosas and summer vacation planning.

Running partner Melissa; best costumes I saw; runners at the 2 mile mark

Family of a few first timers for the St. Malachi race

Day 2: Celebrate with a Sunday Funday with friends and a box of Lucky Charms because it props make anything better.
Bar snacks; the double selfie goes viral; mustache straws

Day 3: Celebrate with a single Guinness, tater tots with corn beef and cabbage for a low-key celebration in 20 degree weather

no green beer for this girl

One of these years, I'll finally make it to the parade that is only a few streets away my house and check that off my Cleveland bucket list.

spending freeze is over and so should this weather

For the whole entire month of January,  I put myself on a shopping freeze. A real freeze - not a frost bite but a real down-and-dirty-ignoring-all-promotional-holiday-emails type of freeze.

No clothes, no shoes, no faux leather sweatpants and absolutely NO amazing jewel encrusted statement necklaces or arm party bangle bracelets no matter how many times I wanted to write "sold" in the comments section from Accessory Concierge Mondays and Wednesdays nights at 8 p.m. CST.

It appears we are approaching Spring or should at least be approaching the new season based on the calendar year, however, Mother Nature seems to have something different in mind for the Midwest with storm Vulcan heading our way this week.

I'm closing my ears, ignoring weather updates and focusing on light colors, wedge sandals, dresses, skirts and bare legs because at some point, spring must grace us with her presence and I need to ease some color back into my dark grey, black and leather staples from this winter season.

Even if it isn't well into April until I consistently feel a balmy 54 degrees on my translucent skin, I'm ready to spend those Piperlime rewards on a pair of open-toed Rachel Roy nude heels that I have patiently waiting in my cart to go on sale.

Until then, I'm dreaming of these pieces and much much more.

spring me forward

the one where I take off my shoes

I knew these shoes were trouble when I purchased them at the last minute for the Jump Back Ball.

death to those strappy black shoes for a steal of $20
On Friday evening, it became very apparent that no matter how much I begged and pleaded with UPS to release my gold and black sparkly Nicole Miller Rent the Runway dress, they were going to hold it hostage and miss my delivery date for the event. I may or may have not held a small pity party for myself but quickly realized I had a beautiful David Meister back up dress and just needed a pair of heels to pull off my new look.

Little padding and a high heel = shoe-i-cide.

I found out just how truly uncomfortable the shoes were at hour four of wearing them and did the unthinkable inside the beautifully historic State Theater. I carefully peeled my shoes from my aching feet revealing two thick indents over my toes where the straps were and went barefoot for the rest of the night.

Yes, gasp all you want (I still am at myself) but oh how amazing my feet felt when they could breathe and function again. Also, for those ladies who are shaking their heads in disapproval of me, I even reinforced these shoes with gel inserts but without a platform toe, I was doomed from the start.

Still shaking my head at myself for this!

Aside from being THAT girl who was barefoot with friends dancing in front of the speakers to a remix of Baby One More Time, take a look through my iPhone's photos to see what my friends and I were up to for other portions of the 23rd annual Jump Back Ball: Shaken not Stirred.

Donna, Kelly, Lisa and Shibani; Carrie and Donna dancing with the band; vodka galore
Everyone wanted to rock the Pharrell's hat we brought, even the singer from Your Villian My Hero

Tara, Carrie, Donna and me; cocktails all around; Donna with the best prop of the night

Another February, another Jump Back Ball down for the books. If you missed out this year, keep your eyes peeled for the ticket kick off party next November because it may just sell out faster than 10 days for next year's event.

Disclaimer: As part of my partnership with PlayHouse Square for Jump Back Ball, I was contracted to write about the event how I see fit. Hat not included. Hair provided by Laine at Charles Scott Salon and Spa in Westlake - I absolutely loved the curly wrapped wave thing I had going on.

still not a skier

February is the time where most people will have officially given up on new years resolutions. If it's working out, you will likely notice your gym being a lot less full this month, especially after Valentine's Day.

Last year when I returned from my second annual Snowshoe vacation, I vowed that I would get on a pair of skis. 2014 would be the year I declared!

Bree, organizer extraordinaire Gretchen; dance party; a few straggling pudding shots 

Ummmmmmm I can add that a list of my failed resolutions for my third trip to Snowshoe. I was reallllllly close to saying "screw it" and sign up for lessons and literally hope I became instantly more athletic and ski all day with my friends.

Now that I joined reality again, I realized that taking a few lessons at Brandywine may make more sense instead of pretending to be anything representing some sort of junior high version of Picabo Street. And quite honestly, I would more than likely be like the kindergarten version of her instead of the 13-year-old version.

No kids were harmed in my attempts to snow tube. 

Every year brings new friends to the house, which can really mean anything when you spend 36 hours with with complete strangers. But one couple out did themselves (even with my addition of my delicious chocolate fireall and pistachio pudding shots) by bringing out the GoPro and setting up a Real World style confessional in the laundry room. Two nights, 24 people, two kegs, countless pudding shots and late night pizza.... I can't wait to see the edited version.

Make shift Real World confessional = best idea yet

coffee, art and films

Besides the beach, where I'm known to spend a considerable amount of my time in the summer, coffee shops, libraries and museums are a few of my other favorite spots where I love to spend a lazy afternoon any time of the year. Grab a book, a journal,  a coffee and you can literally get lost for a few hours.

As a kid, my grandma would take me to a local coffee shop where she would get an adult caffeinated option and I would choose a flavored hot chocolate, which was either amaretto or my favorite to this day, hazelnut. I vividly remember sitting at a window seat and being told over and over to "stop staring at the barista" who had a bright purple pixie cut. The chick had purple hair and to an eight-year-old, I was fascinated that one could dye their hair that color, seeing as purple was my favorite color at the time.

One of those coffee shops I frequent is Pour Cleveland on Euclid. It's part of the new 5th Street Arcades and located just around the corner from East 4th. My coffee of choice is a 6 oz espresso with almond milk and mocha. This is not Starbucks ladies and gentlemen - it is a flavorful, rich blend of espresso with hints of chocolate then you choose your additions or don't, depending on how you take your cup of coffee. (There is a whole detailed process that I watch barista (and owner) Charlie do when I'm there, but I can't articulate what he is actually doing other than making me a sinfully delicious beverage.)

Brewnuts, coffee, coffee and more coffee

I always intend to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art more often than I do, especially in the winter because there is something about wandering through the galleries while it's snowing that makes me feel artistic. Seriously, yes it sometimes can. With the addition of the Provenance Cafe, you can move your Sunday brunch ritual to the museum and browse a new gallery or get lost playing with Gallery One. It's this amazing exploration at your fingertips that keeps you wanting to stay longer and learn more with with connection wall.

Friends; croque madame, more croissants and coffee and mimosas galore

While at a bloggers brunch with friends, we were treated to brunch as well as one of the 90 films the museum shows throughout the year. Full disclosure - I had no idea the Art Museum showed movies throughout the year and it's one of the oldest museum film programs in the US. Just a little knowledge bomb for you there.

My friends and I saw Mademoiselle C - a film chronicling the French fashionista Carine Roitfeld making her first fashion magazine of her own.

It was a lovely afternoon indeed.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the bloggers brunch with a movie in exchange for nothing, however, when you like something, you must tell all your friends about the experience.