taming the weekend

The weekend, oh the weekend.

Since I've moved downtown, I've had plans almost every night since October for every weekend night. I've wanted to stay in and relax but I've pretty much been on the go for the past three months straight whether it's going out to bars, dinners or entertaining friends at my new place. (Don't worry, I'm not complaining at all!)

I finally spent my first Friday night in with a date night with my DVR and sushi for dinner. A night in was so needed after a busy week and fighting a cold that I believe is still coming on now. (Seriously, this snow then rain then 45 degrees then wind storm isn't helping my sinuses.)

Philly, spicy scallop, crab salad and miso soup. OH MY!

I passed up happy hour invites, invites to east side and movie nights to stay in to lay on my couch, catch up on Grey's Anatomy, Prime Suspect and the Mob Wives while enjoying sushi from Sushi 86, which is a stone's throw away from my place.

Saturday night I turned things up a notch and joined a group of friends at Touch Supper Club for Old School  Hip Hop Night. Holla!

Hip hop hooray,....hooooo....eeehhhhh...ohhhh

That's my best Naughty by Nature impression of course.

We busted a move in the basement for a few hours but my god it gets crowded as hell down there. And, I can't tell you how many guys were in layers after layers with even winter coats on and were dancing in them. In full winter gear! I had on a silk shirt with a blazer and leather leggings and I was DYING after a few minutes of bopping around on the floor.

How the hell did those boys last the whole night in those coats?!?

The back view of my all black ensemble courtesy of Sean

After waking up without the help of an alarm clock, I headed to the wayyyy eastside to my old stomping grounds of Chagrin Falls and joined two friends for a belated birthday brunch at Yours Truly where we were joined by one of their adorable and incredibly animated almost 4-year-old daughter.

little cutie!

I finished Sunday off visiting my friends and little Brooklyn because she just celebrated her 2 week birthday. They just grow up so fast! She's already walking and talking. Just kidding!

apparently i'm more popular when I'm single

While I don't normally pay attention to analytics from this blog, I will occasionally peruse my stats and see when and where people are reading and what seems to be better days to post versus others. (Yes, my dear, I see you!)

When I took a blogging break back in September, everyone took a liking to my new single status and must've shared this blog with everyone and their mothers but I'm not complaining. Keep on reading, friends!

The most popular question I get now from friends is - "Are you dating yet?"

Me: "Nope, not yet."
Random friend: "Youuuuuuu haven't gone any dates."
Me: "Ahh,  no, just not really interested quite yet."
Random friend: "How is that possible? Noooo guys have asked you out yet ?!?"
Me: "Nope, none. I'm pretty sure I have an invisible force field around me that says, 'stay away, stay far away!"

social dating at its best

Hmmmm. Let me be honest here. I'm not going to pull a J.Lo or a Madonna and start dating someone incredibly younger than me to where you all will think, "What the hell has gotten into her?" Will not be happening.

But with the end of a very serious relationship, I'm taking time for myself and doing whatever the hell I want, when I want. I was consistently in relationships for the last eight years, compromising my wants and desires way more than the boys did, and I promised myself I would take at least six months to relax, unwind, reconnect with new and old friends and refocus on what I want before I even think about hopping on the dating scene. No dating, just me, myself and I. (Sing it, Beyonce!)

And........I'm still on the fence about putting myself out in the dating scene, depending on which day it is of course.

Even thinking about it causes some anxiety because I'm not even remotely interested in a relationship.  Commitment. None of it. At this point, I am to dating as what kryptonite is to SuperMan. And, not to mention this all seems so complicatedddddddd and sooooo much work.  Don't text me if you get my number, call me.

Pick. Up. The. Phone. And. Dial. My. Number. Really, what is so hard about that?

Anyway, I'm on the defense and my walls are up pretty high around me. While the walls won't stay up forever, I'm hesitant to take any of my friends up on introducing me to guys, going on blind dates or even calling back those numbers I have mostly because I'm just interested in having fun without the commitment. The last thing I want to do is hurt someone because I'm not in an open and truly trusting mindset quite yet.

I'll get there, I know I will, but I'm completely content and satisfied relishing in my newly found freedom and refined version of myself, which is more fashionable than ever before, if I do say so myself.

So, friends, hold onto those guys that will be PERFECT for me because you know never, I just may take you up on that offer sooner than I even think.

And, of course, I will share about alllllllllllllllllllll the good, bad and ugly dates that take place because if nothing else, I can laugh about the stories I'll have to share.

Update: Shout out to reader Marie who called in last night when Alexa and I appeared on This City show on CSF Radio. Glad I can entertain you and your coworkers!

i heart a birthday celebration

Well, that was amazingly exciting weekend.

The birthday week has ceased and what a kick ass week it was as all the celebrating is complete.

Knowing Saturday was going to get bat shit crazy (and it did), Alexa, Jenn and I decided to stay in and avoid snowmaggdeon by eating Noodlecat, drinking champagne and devouring not one but splitting three ridiculous decadent sundaes from Sweet Moses.

We owned these sundaes.
We thought it would be a great idea to watch a movie, so we rented "The Ides of March" but Alexa and I passed out incredibly quick and I slept over because we were too lazy to move cars - adult sleepover!!! The next morning we continued our relaxing day with brunch at Latitude 41 where we laughed, picked guys who Jenn and I should consider dating and discussed other important topics over coffee.

best brunch ever
Saturday night I gathered a group of friends from work, high school, college and social media peeps and we drank and partied the night away at Market Garden Brewery. Apparently, everyone thought it was my 21st birthday, not my 29th, because several friends thought it would be a GREAT idea to start buying shots for me.

Sidenote: I can't drink like I used to. Not even close. A few drinks and I'm done for it - if I were to take on a bottle of vodka, chances are I'd lose. Very badly. And, I lost to the shots too.

Danielle, Meredith, Katie and me

before the shots, I'm standing tall
Apparently Sean was sleepy, Charity and Ben
Alexa, me and Ahmed - photobomber
And, two friends thought it would be a great idea to scope out the scene for guys and capture as many numbers as they could for me by letting every guy know it was my birthday. I would like to apologize to the bartender who put up with my talkative friends, incessantly asking for his number and giving mine out.

I finished out the weekend with most of it spent in bed on Sunday, then on the couch and then my weekend roommate Danielle and I were functioning by mid afternoon to take ourselves out of my apartment to grab dinner at Tremont Taphouse for some macaroni and cheese and burgers.

We killed it.
A big thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday night, sent a birthday tweet, gave me a sparkly birthday card and made this a fabulous weeklong birthday celebration for me. And, I apologize in advance if I didn't say goodbye to everyone because I KNOW I didn't. I'm pretty sure of that as I recall what happened that night.

most hilarious and appropriate group of cards

one year older.....

.....and a lot wiser, smarter, more sparkly, vivacious and excited for my year as a 29 year-old.

So as I thought of ways to celebrate my impending birthday, I made a pretty extensive list on my iPhone called "presents to buy myself." Pretty straight to the point.

It's been a list I've been building and dreaming of items to add to my wardrobe since the summer time. Just a handy list of shoes, clothes and purses I add to my Pinterest page or something I read about that I must have. Or dream about buying one day.

And on this iPhone list includes.....
  • Tory Burch flats

  • Louis Vuitton Neverfull

  • Tory Burch clutch

  • Alexander McQueen scarf
Because I don't have an unlimited bank account and as my dad says, "Money doesn't grow on trees," I can't pick up everything on my wish list at once but I love having a list to work toward. To reward and treat myself. Treat yo self!

Off my list, I chose a nice piece of jewelry to rock on my wrist alone or with a group of other bracelets depending on my mood. Accessories are key my blog friends. Absolutely key to any outfit.

I can tell time now!

Happy 29th birthday to  me!

onto the next

My weekend kicked off on Thursday night this week with a birthday dinner to celebrate three birthdays because each of my two friends and I turned 29 within the last two months - November, December and now mine in January.

The girls and I hit up Ginko, sipped on complimentary champagne because they overheard me explaining the most lame ticket I've ever been given in my entire driving career minutes before I got there and tasted some of their delicious rolls (thumbs up to the Ginko and Royal crab rolls and spicy scallop chips).

Sushi and drinks! Yes please!

Earlier in the week, I received a text from my friend Carrie asking if I wanted to go see Last Call Cleveland - you know, the group behind some of our the hilarious Cleveland videos. We laughed our asses off for two hours then grabbed a few drinks to round out a busy work week for all four of us.

Saturday night one hundred of Sean's closest friends headed down to the Harbor Inn for Sean's Yacht Club Party (26 + 4). If you follow this boy on FourSquare, you know he was doing something new every night working up until this 30th bday party. Everyone showed up in their nautical best consisting of popped collar polos, striped shirts, top siders and even the occasional shark costume.

Party people!

Lisa, Kelly, Alexa, me and Janet

birthday boy, a dancing machine
Sunday brought an early morning filled with cleaning up all 800 square feet of my apartment, catching up on my DVR and knocking some work out of the way. After all that was complete, I headed to the east side for a few hours to my very good friends' house to meet their baby girl who was born on Friday the 13th. (This girl knows how to make an entrance already after arriving 5 days late.)

Although I was kept up-to-date via Facebook and pictures from my friend (the new mom!), I couldn't wait to get over and meet this adorable baby who it felt like took forever to come into this world. I'm now to the point where the majority of my friends are married and we are onto babies. (Sounds so adult, right?)

It's so surreal to see my friends have babies, especially after you've been talking about the unnamed baby girl for months! Well, the wait is over and baby Brooklyn is finally here. She is healthy at 7 pounds, some ounces and all sorts of adorableness.

Baby Brooklyn, making her blog debut!

After successfully holding a very cute infant without being too weirded out by it (they scare me!), I joined a lovely group of ladies to judge, critique and ultimately determine that every celebrity should've asked us what they should've worn at the Golden Globes at Charity's house.

champagne, sugar free jello and wine

group shot checking phones and Twitter

Two things -

1) All the ladies apparently had two color choices - Nude or Navy.

2) All the men apparently wanted to go with the "glow look" and were all specially spray tanned today.

While this weekend has come to a close, this week kicks off my birthday week with me officially turning 29 on Wednesday!!!! I'm super pumped, love celebrating birthdays and may or may not take a whole week to celebrate my birth with friends and end the week with a party on Saturday night.

where you should be on February 25

Where will you be on February 25th?

Do you know?

Do you want plans?

I will be with 800+ other people dancing the night away, sipping martinis out of ice luges and hanging out at the 21st annual Jump Back Ball. The party consists of two amazing bands, Tricky Dick and the Cover Ups (late night band) and RadioActive (main stage), who played the event last year.

So much fun.

There's also delicious food and open bar which is included in your ticket price, and the VIP food will be catered by AMP 150 again this year. All this fun can be yours for either VIP tickets for $200 or general admission at $170 each. (That's my best Price is Right impersonation!) The money raised from this event goes to PlayHouseSquare's not-for-profit mission and raised $140,000 last year.

Last year, I was chosen as one of the JBB bloggers where I shared about the event and kicked myself for not going sooner to this party that I heard all my downtown friends talk about.

Typically overheard from my friends:

"You'vvvvvvvvvveeee never been?"

"How is thissssss even possible?"

After attending last year and inviting a group of new attendees, that same group purchased tickets again for this year and we've already started to plan our outfits as to what we will wear. (Fascinator anyone?)

My friend Katie found her dress last year at Nordstrom's and realized she needed to pick that up for this year's party upon seeing a girl wear it at the event and she looked hot. The theme is Through the Looking Glass and some people do get dressed up in theme, which is totally awesome by the way, so I hope someone comes dressed as the Queen of Hearts or the Mad Hatter or even Alice for that matter.

So last year, I posted a few dresses as possible options and I'm leaning toward officially doing Rent the Runway for reals this year.

Black Tibi Black Mini Dress

Gold Glimmer Herve Leger
Navy Yigal Azrouel with chain shoulder detail

Nicole Miller from the front

From the back

While I have over a month to find a dress, I guarantee you that I will be scrambling last minute to find something to wear out of my friends' closets as the date comes closer.

And, if you are interested in coming, I suggest you purchase your tickets very quickly. If you are on the fence, you should come and here's a first timer's guide to answer any of your questions. The event sells out so it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when the event sells out and you don't want to miss this either.

Disclosure: I received a free ticket in exchange for blogging about this fabulous event I was going to attend. I'm bringing a girl friend who hasn't been and is equally excited to attend her first JBB.

party rock

Dear Allison of four months ago -

While you are debating on moving downtown or staying in your comfort zone on the east side, your future self is loving her downtown life and is thanking you on a daily basis for taking the leap.

You will make excuses that it's too much money.

It doesn't make sense.

Maybe you should buy a condo somewhere instead of renting.

But ultimately you take a chance. You have more parties to attend, happy hours to hit up and bars to go to then you know what to do with.

Jenn's birthday dinner at Crop on Friday

Shibani, Jen and the birthday girl in green and 28!

Your downtown friends are super cool and since you only hang out them once in awhile based on your current zipcode, you will hang out with them all the time and love and appreciate them more than you know. A bunch of cool kids indeed....

Damn Alexa for introducing me this amazing beer to replace my Lambic addiction
While you have to drive farther to work, your car will stay put in the garage most of the weekend, which causes you confusion when trying to find said car on Monday mornings because you often forget what floor you parked on.

Saturday night fun

So when you do make the move, live it up like you are 25, drink too many vodka sodas, stay out to make it to after hours and dance the whole night away because you deserve it. After all, it's about time you relax, soak in your success and how much you love the present.

Your future self

what didn't happen last year...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012
It's about that time when everyone starts reflecting on the past year, making new year's resolutions or just plain breaking them after only a few days. (Sidenote - I can't believe it's 2012 and I have yet to make a resolution.)

By having this blog, I can look back over the past year and recount what I did with friends and family and where my head was at in March, May or July. That's one great thing about having a blog - you can always read through the past events whenever you want.

Looking back at my posts, I had a pretty kick ass time (yes, I said kick ass and mean it) and I wouldn't take anything back. Not a damn thing or wish anything happened differently because it was a roller coaster of a time.

I attended the Jump Back Ball for the first year with friends and realized how much I was missing by not attending sooner and a Lexus Dark Ride event at the Playhouse, where we saw Dev and Jay Sean perform a few songs. My high school friends and I met up in DC for a weekend of laughs, wine and dancing and I sang my ass off to my third Lady Gaga concert. I watched my younger brother's law school graduation (he did it!) and purchased the LV bag I've been dreaming of for four flipping years. I continued my summer of concerts with attending both Britney Spears and New Kids on the Block in the same week.

In August, I started the beginning of my summer/fall travel with heading to BlogHer for the first time to meet up with fabulous bloggers followed by attending two Indians games in the Social Suite and then celebrating two friend's birthdays to round out the month.

In September, I jetted down to Folly Beach, S.C., for a very good friend's bachelorette party for Labor Day weekend and what a weekend it was then got up bright and early to tailgate for the Browns home opener.

In mid September, I shared my most personal post in all four years of writing this blog about my break up. And, it turns out that the demise of my relationship proved pretty popular with all of you because I had a daily record of people visiting!!! I kid you not.

I took some much needed time off and came back a month later with a new design, new apartment and a refreshed perspective and a hot new style to boot.

In November, I celebrated one of my best friend's birthdays and headed south to Punta Cana with another friend to get our grooves back after experiencing ridiculous eerily similar breakups within months of each other. With the holidays approaching, I finished up most of my apartment decorating and only have a few more things to purchase until I'm onto the bedroom.

Phew.... Are you still with me?

So where will this year take me?

Up to the fabulous age of 29. 14 days and counting!

A ski trip. Check!

Jump Back Ball. Check!

Girls' weekend in DC. Third year in a row!

(And that's just the first three months.)

Dating cute boys. Well, not yet.

So, I'll let you friends play match maker. Why not, right?

the one where we partied all night long

Monday, January 2, 2012
What a new years that was!

To ring in 2012, I spent two days going to parties including a Holladays party on New Year's Eve Eve and spending the night with a group of girls for New Year's Eve - one of my favorite nights out.

The fabulous Lisa and Alexa hosted their third annual New Year's Eve Eve Holla days Festival of Awesomeness (best event name ever!) and I joined 100 other peeps to drink, be merry and wear sparkles in the new Spice Kitchen and Bar.

Me and Shibani; One half of the hosts; the crowd
Dance party to Rihanna

For New Year's Eve, I hosted a group of girls at my place for apps and chocolate martinis and then we hit up W.25th and W.6th bars and drank enough champagne, vodka martinis and Coronas for five guys.

friends; Best tux of the night; Touch; me and Danielle
We were at Market for a few shoreway coolers then ran across the street to Bier Markt and Speakeasy but that place was CRAZY packed like it was a summer night on the rooftop of Velvet Dog. .

Group shot at Market
We ditched that place to head to Touch to ring in 1/1/12 and catch the end of Lady Gaga's performance (you better believe I watched it then next day hungover) then danced like it was 1998 to old school hip hop in the basement.

Like fools, we went to W.6th  and met up with my brother and his friends at Liquid. He is essentially my wing man since I've moved downtown because he's either out with me and his friends or he's calling me to come over for "breakfast" when I don't even know he's down here. Guess that's what older sisters are for.....

Yep, that's him!

What turned out to be a late night turned into another lonnnnngggg day that started with a home cooked breakfast then a walk to Panini's down the street to watch the Browns with my brother and his friends, which then turned into receiving impromptu Cavs tickets (Thanks Amanda, Kristina and Kandis!) to watch them win against the Nets.

Go Browns!
For some reason, everyone was booing Kris Humphries but I still don't understand why because if they boo him, they better be booing Kim for the sham wedding that is still covering all the gossip rags.

My pseudo roommate, Danielle; go cavs!

Like so many other people, I was lucky enough to have the day off on this lovely Monday to pull my apartment back together, take down my Christmas decorations, organize my overflowing closet all while watching a Sex and the City marathon.

Have I mentioned I love living downtown? Because I do! Here we go 2012!