inspiration this spring

The idea for this post all started when I went the other weekend to ATP Evolution for a day of workouts, nutrition and inspiration from trainer Nicole.

Aren't we all working toward some goal?

It may be saving for the tropical vacation or pair of Kate Spade summer sandals, vowing to get outside and have more fun this spring, making a better go at connecting with old friends or losing those winter pounds. Whatever it may be, we all have them.

How my friend Erin is staying motivated. Idea from the almighty Pinterest
Trainer Nicole suggested creating an inspiration board to help reach whatever goal you may have (she wanted to lose 20 pounds and strive for better balance in her life) and put it in a place so you can look at it every day.

Every single day to remind yourself of that goal.

Think back to when decoupage was popular, you know when you cut out your favorite images and words from magazines and stuck them all over a box or a board? That's what we are talking about here, people. Getting back to art class.

"Fit me" surrounded by other inspiration
My goal is to wear jeans shorts this summer. To wear them with firm and toned legs - after all, I have sturdy legs, as my friend Lia often says about her own self, and mine need some improving. A tune up if you will.

I can't tell you the last time I actually wore shorts. Early college maybe? Running shorts don't count either.

According to my very informal via Twitter, ladies, you seem to be wearing or "never" wearing shorts in the summer.

Exact comments:

"Duh, are you crazy?!? With the exception of jhorts of course."
"Sometimes. I'm a dress or skirt kind of girl."
"Almost never. Really insecure about my legs."
"All the time. White shorts are my favorite (once I get some sun on my translucent legs.)"

My summer staple outfit consists of a light dress or skirt - no shorts. Never any shorts. I always see girls wearing their favorite old pair of cut-off jean shorts and somewhere between my days of shopping at American Eagle and Abercrombie way back when, I stopped wearing them.

My goal this spring and summer -  I want to be the girl wearing a white t-shirt and cut off jean shorts. You know, the casual summer outfit to lounge around in with flip flops and a cross-body purse and bum around to shop, eat ice cream and lunch with friends.

from Pinterest.

There I said it. That's my goal. Now, what are some of your goals?

i have a girl crush on joan rivers

Considering we had amazing weather this past week and a half in Cleveland, you know I'd be the one to go and get one hell of a head cold. I had been fighting my sinuses (and losing) all week long and passed on a former coworker's goodbye happy hour on Thursday (sorry Perk!) but pulled it together later that night when I received an invite from a friend with last-minute tickets to the opening Cleveland International Film Festival Gala.

Um...yes please. Pull yourself together, Allison!

So I walked over to Tower City with Cortney on Thursday to watch "Nesting" which was about an early 30-something couple who were trying to back to how they used to be by revisiting their past lives. It was pretty entertaining, laugh out loud at some parts and did I mention the lead actor was adorable. So damn cute.

hello film fest!

follow the signs...
In an effort to continue to finish decorating my apartment, I picked up a snazzy City Lights picture from Pier 1 and then a kick-ass larger than life mirror for my hallway, mostly because my bedroom isn't big enough to house everything and I need somewhere to critique my outfits.

Dad - I'm looking at you for help with this.

TJ Maxx Home Goods steal at $79
On Saturday evening, I joined friends Suzanne, Lisa and Gina to laugh our asses off to our favorite 78-year-old foul-mouthed sassy grandmother - Joan Rivers - at the Palace Theater.

I think I speak for all the girls when I say - we laughed our f'ing asses off to that woman. She owned that theater, strutting up and down the stage like she was running a marathon in her floor length magenta glitter robe "kicking" out all the Chinese, old and handicapped people, mocking her celebrity friends, accusing the woman in the front of sleeping with her husband and getting on the floor to mimic sexual positions. I hope to have her energy at 78.

Pre show drinks at Chinato followed by post drinks and dinner at Lola
On Sunday, I woke up bright and early to head to the Rocky River Metropark to kick our half-marathon training into high gear to run six miles.

I mean, let's get real, I have seven weeks to build up to 13.1 miles and the farthest I've ran so far was only 5 miles.

Can I do it? Abso-freaking-lutely.

Even with cooler temps and a little drizzle of rain, we completed our run in 1 hour and 2 minutes and we both felt pretty good post run and agreed to meet again next weekend. Strangely enough, it's a hell of a lot easier to run with someone and makes the time go back so much quicker too. This all coming from someone who prefers to run by herself mostly because if I break into song midway, no one can hear me, you know....

I recouped after the long run and invited another fashion-loving friend to attend another CIFF movie - Diana Vreeland - and OMG how I loved everything about it. Truth be told, I didn't know a whole hell of a lot about Diana or her contributions to Harper's Bazaar but was instantly intrigued by the movie to learn more about this lovely woman and added her autobiography, D.V., to my reading list.

friend fashion date
Post movie, I was supposed to meet another friend to see the Hunger Games over on the west side but on my drive over, we both decided we should spend our night sipping on $2 martinis from the grand opening of the Crocker Park Bar Louie. So we sat at the bar, caught up with each other and planned a few summer activities, including Put-In-Bay and how we need to get ourselves to the desert and hang out in Las Vegas for a few days. Done deal, now just need to pick a weekend.

dirty vodka martinis with blue cheesed stuff olives. My favorite.

Here's to only 10 more days with glasses and a quick trip to NYC this week - oh, it's been too long New York!

And a big thank you to all readers who voted me through to the next round of the Cleveland Magazine blogger brackets - it's the final four and here's the link to vote again if you want to vote again.... Just sayin'!

Disclosure: CIFF offered me two complimentary tickets to see a movie of my choice. Get out and go see a movie - you won't be disappointed! P.S. You may want to check out my friend Keith's film, King Me, this coming Thursday too, if you don't have plans.

tim who?

Friday, March 23, 2012
What is all this ruckus with Tim Tebow?

You know when I hear about him - when he is supposedly dating a celebrity. Katy Perry? Kim Kardashian? Snooki?

Let's be honest - that boy's PR team can claim whattttteverrrrr they want to about him but you know he is a freak in the sheets and shaking his tail feather to every cleat chaser who comes into his locker room.

Come on.

He is a pro-athlete, young and did I mention a Pro-athlete?

However, seeing as today starts the weekend and everyone on Twitter is talking about the recent trade, I feel this card is incredibly timely. Don't you agree?

someecards.com - Let's celebrate Tim Tebow's arrival in New York with a night out that would completely mortify Tim Tebow


Here's to the weekend, Tebow-style!

Editor's note - I made it through to the next round in the Cleveland magazine #bloggerbracket contest - thank you for voting - Hop over here to vote for me and your other favorite bloggers.

spring shopping time with the Gap

With this incredible surge of 70 and almost 80 degree weather in Cleveland, I need new spring clothes. Let's just get right to the point. After digging through my knee-high and Hunter boots in my closet, I found two pairs of cheap (and the best) simple Old Navy flip flops to slip on instead of covering my translucent feet with shoes for the past week, reminding me that I need new shoes stat.

Toms - the perfect casual, kick around shoe, don't you think?

I kept digging through to find a mix of black, grey and navy for summer - navy tank dress, black cropped pants, black tank dress, navy skirt and the list goes on.

I'm in need of some color.

Desperately.

With the help of a 25% code at Gap, I picked up a few basics to add to my closet for spring and clearly one choice was vetted by the one and only Cleshopaholic - when in doubt, email or tweet her.

can never have too many basic white tees in my closet

not sure if yellow is my color or not but I'll try anything once

bold colored pants are all the rage

adds instant color to the most boring outfit

Now it's time to update your wardrobe with a pair of jeans from the Gap - colored, blue or black- your choice - one pair up to $90 - could be yours.

How to Enter

Two ways to win:
1) Leave a comment about what pair of jeans you would purchase - the legging jean (my all time favorite was the ponte legging jean), sexy boyfriend, trouser, always skinny, long and lean? Include your Twitter handle or email address in the comment so I can contact you if you win. Got it?

2) OR Tweet the following - @Gap jean me this spring from @allisonpeltz giveaway http://bit.ly/GE0i5F

Enter as many times as you like. Contest ends Wednesday, March 28, and winner will be selected quickly after that. CONTEST CLOSED; winner be will notified.

Disclosure - You better believe I'm a Gap Ambassador and am randomly gifted from the fashion fairies at Gap with jeans, scarves and other surprises for myself and readers. This coupon is one of those gifts to my beautiful readers.

90s R&B and the luck of the irish


Friday night, my friends and I went waaaaaaaay back to 1994 with Boyz II Men and sang our hearts out from the balcony to "I'll Make Love to You, Motown Philly and End of the Road."

The concert was completely sold out - yes, that's right. I'll be the first to admit that played that II CD out in my sweet Sanyo boombox until it skipped. (Don't act like you didn't!) Even though the next day was going to start early in the morning, my friends and I stayed out at House of Blues and danced to old school hip hop in the Foundation Room until the early hours.

Boyz II Men

Danielle, Meredith, Dena and me - fog machine was in full effect
Even though we were out late the night before, I was up and ready to go to prepare my apartment for friends to come over for some breakfast and beer before we started off St. Patrick's Day.

What did we do?

Exactly what you did - we drank like it was going out of style on Hodge's patio for pretty much the entire day. The patio was clutch because it wasn't crazy crowded, not too many drunken fools, no ridiculous wait to get a beer and the food trucks were sitting right on Euclid. Plus, with a short nap, my brother, me and a friend made it out for round 2. That's right people, if you pace yourself accordingly with a gatorade in between beers, you too could drink for 12 hours. Without further ado, on with the photo montage!

party time!

girl group shot
best balloon hat, I found Williams, and we devoured the mac and cheese

east 4th craziness
my wingmen needed naps
go go boots spotted, Nadine/me, crowd at Hodge's
After a full night's rest, we continued our drinking at brunch at XYZ followed by more Sunday Funday fun at Market where we wore short-sleeved shirts with sandals (it's only March people) and even my translucent skin probably got a little color.

before the rain came through
snacks, mimosas and shoreway coolers all around

And with that, I, probably like a lot of other people, will be starting a detox for the next week or longer, considering I treated my body like a carnival for the past two days.





st. patrick's day past

This is incredibly sad, pathetic yet true that I haven't fully celebrated a St. Patrick's Day since college. Spring of '06 to be exact.

throwback photo from what I think was st. patrick's day with the beads
Seriously this is true.

Did I have green beer in the years between? Oh, of course!

Did I wear my best green to work? You better believe it.

Did I go out and get blitzed like I did in college wearing too many beads and shamrocks? Hell no.

I've never even attended the actual parade because I never took off work for it, didn't work downtown so we would rule against it because we'd have to fight traffic, so we'd just stay on the east side and have our own little party.

Not this year though! Everyone, literally 300,000 supposedly, will be downtown to drink beer in in the early hours, here for the parade and stay long after the parade ends to drink even more beer and take a few irish car bombs.

I will do my best to pace myself to last all day long.

someecards.com - Let's make this a St. Patrick's Day to remember before we black out

the librarian look is where it's at

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
What is it like to see when you wake up? See crystal clear I mean.

I can't even remember because I mostly see a blurry doorway, outline of a dresser, a blurry light from my iPhone and have to feel my way to turn on the lamp because I make out the silhouette, not the actual on switch.

I've worn glasses since age 11 when I thought I was soooooooo cool to finally be able to get a pair of glasses.

Why on earth did I want glasses as a kid?

Oh yes, that is a jean collared shirt for my 12th birthday and I still love funfetti cakes.

 Before I entered 8th grade, I convinced my parents that I needed contacts so I was the frequent owner of every color from turquoise to blue to purple to green, where I consistently lost one every day because I wasn't that used to the whole thing-in-your-eye situation yet. It takes a minute to get used to contacts and I'm sure my parents loved all the extra costs I incurred as I learned to navigate the new world of contact wearing. Never mind the fact that my actual eyes are an interesting blend of blue/green with yellow in the middle but of course I didn't want my real eye color to show through. Not at all.

Seeing as I have only two pairs of contacts left, I decided to pull the trigger to sign myself up for a LASIK consultation at a fine laser eye establishment.

serious with crooked librarian glasses; laughing about the fact that I'm wearing crooked glasses
 I long to wake up in the morning to see clearly, not worrying about having "travel size" contact solution, or having eye allergies to solutions that apparently one develops over time when they have been wearing contacts for a long period of time. Oh, and did I mention I have an astigmatism but correcting it with contacts causes major headaches and double vision? So I don't have 20/20 vision with my contacts but with my sweet glasses I do!

So, for the next few days, I'll be rocking the glasses, slightly crooked I found out, as I tried to take photos of myself to prepare for what will hopefully be a successful appointment, giving me the green light to have the surgery in just a few short weeks.

Have you had LASIK? Is it one of the best things you've ever done? (I'm hoping you say an excited "yes!")

Editor's note: Thanks to all who voted me to the second round of Cleveland Magazine's blogger bracket and round two has begun. Vote for your favorites here.

anddddd spring has arrived


After completing my first week at the new job with the shortest commute I will ever have in my entire life, my weekend started with a happy hour with  a group of 100+ new coworkers complete with pizza, beer and beer pong - yes, this all happened at work. Not a bad place to work, right?!?

I had to leave the happy hour early to head over to Emerging Chefs event titled Cupcakes and Corks - wine and cupcakes - who doesn't love this combo?
Cara/Kelly, wine selection and the gallery

my favorite - cheddar  cupcake w/ candied pecans and honey blue cheese frosting by Indulgence Cakes
On Friday, downtown was packed with the MAC tournament but unfortunately my KSU Golden Flashes lost but my new apartment was graced with its first ever baby - BKE made an appearance and loved every minute of it. No worries - her mother was with me at all times but I could totally watch her on my own for a few hours.

CLE Clothing shop stop for St. Patty's Day gear - the baby loved it!
Saturday morning, I was dragged kicking and screaming convinced by my dear friend, Erin, to join her for a 4-hour workout with an old trainer on the eastside who she said "helped her get it in the best shape of her life." Who can argue with that? Plus, it's always better to work out with a friend for motivation. It was a mix of two workouts followed with a nutrition session and helpful tips to reach our individual training goals. As someone who needs to get her ass in gear, it was a much needed reminder that the 1/2 marathon is only two months away and I have a lot of training to do.

Trainer Nicole knows her workouts and nutrition

New bike = serious fun
Later that night, I party hopped to celebrate a friend's new gig out in Vegas at Market - yes, she gets to live among palm trees, desert and the fun of Vegas full time!

Me, Tanika and the Vegas girl herself, Maureen
I ran across the street to join more friends to celebrate a birthday - you know how much I love birthdays - to say goodbye to her 20s and hello fabulous 30 at ABC Tavern.

Happy Birthday, Janet! Rocking the glittery skirt

I've found that the best Sunday fundays are the ones that you don't plan but rather happen on their own and thrown together at the last minute. No real plans always make for the best days.

I joined my friend Suzanne for brunch at Deagan's finally dressed for spring. No heavy jackets or gloves - it was amazing, 60 and sunny. Ahhhhhh, spring has arrived in Cleveland and it was great to see everyone out and about running and walking their dogs.

hellloooooo eggs benedict
After getting invited a text to join friends at the Cavs game, we met up at the Clevelander to have a few drinks and enjoy being outside. Welllllllll we never actually made it to the game - it was toooo nice to be locked inside the Q so we continued to hang outside and enjoy the weather. Who could blame us?
sunshine, friends and blue moon
We ended the day over in Tremont with pizza, ice cream and cider at Edison's because obviously I learned nothing from the nutrition session I had the day before with trainer Nicole. Look - I can't say no to a mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich and pizza from Edison's. It's like saying no to girl scout cookies - it just doesn't happen for this girl because I love desserts.
Clearly, I wasn't the only one who couldn't resist

So, if you'll excuse me, I'll be planning healthy meals all week and preparing for St. Patty's day with a group of family and friends. Want to bet how long we last on Saturday?

at the moment

Brings me back to my junior year in 1999 for sure. And of course I will be seeing it.




spring is right around the corner and I have my eye on a pair of colored jeans.


Or maybe this pair of salmon/tangerine color with a white blazer.

J Brand Mid Rise Skinny Leg Jeans

a new laptop case to add a bit of color when I lug it around for work or play

Marc by Marc Jacobs at Nordstrom


what single-handly refreshes and rehydrates me after a long weekend...

I prefer the natural Zico flavor


practical magic?

Ever since I can remember, I've always had this fascination with psychics or the mystic world where people claim to have this "gift" where they can predict the future.

In high school after watching "The Craft" and "Practical Magic" one too many times on VHS, I also became incredibly interested in Wicca after I had given up all hope on organized religion and thought "this" would be my new thing. Because that's completely normal, right?

Don't act like you didn't watch Teen Witch! Blake Lively's older sister, ya'll!
Yes, my friends were well aware of my new hobby and yes, I still had friends after they found out about this, but my new interest gave all of my guy friends something to make fun of me for awhile. That's for sure.

So, back to when I thought I was Robyn Lively from Teen Witch..... After casting a few spells with my best friend, (yes, I seriously did this and yes, my mom knew and even gave us candles to use), we quickly lost interest and moved on to the next "new" thing that caught my attention in my teen years, which I'm sure was something equally hilarious yet I can't remember what it was.

Remember this board game?

Right around when my Wicca obsession was burning out, I believe I was invited to see a psychic with friends and I can't tell you a single thing she shared with me other than she looked exactly what you pictured she'd look like - older, a little eclectic with longer rounded nails with slightly frizzy reddish hair. Within the last month, a friend had been talking about this psychic she wanted to go to and invited two of us along for the astrology ride last Friday afternoon.

Astro Sandy - that's her name - was someone recommended by a friend's friend who has consistently seen her over the past few years and has predicted all major life events for her.

(Sidenote: After sharing my psychic encounter with friends, a few people shared that they know people who also see a psychic on a regular basis. Psychics are the new therapists - everyone has one and no one talks about it!)

I didn't have any expectations when seeing her other than I just wanted to see what we should say, see and feel during the half hour we spent together surrounded by a few crystals and candles.

Right off the bat, she shared a few things matter of factly like, "Ohhhhh, I see you started a new job," among other things that came to her upon me saying my given name with our hands touching, shuffling tarot cards and dropping rocks onto her astrology chart.

She also shared I'd be taking a European vacation, that a planned trip with a group of people would fall through, I'd attend a wedding, I'm going back to school, that I would meet a guy through work with the first name starting with a "P" somewhere on the east side in the Coventry area and said a few other poignant statements that she couldn't have guessed. There's no way because it was so spot on. They were directly related to me, my past and current events in my life. Strange, right?

After I shared my reading with a few people and listened to the recording again..... was I connecting comments she said to people or situations in my life, was I just finding a connection to what she said?

It's easy to draw conclusions to a general statement like, "You like to splurge on yourself and equally as much on others," but as a friend pointed out, she just could've taken a look at my purse and made an educated guess. Right?

Will I only be interested in guys with the name beginning with the letter "P?" Of course not.

Do I absolutely think my Europe trip will happen? I hope but you never know.

Am I planning on going back to school? Um, no, sorry I'm not. I read, yes, so maybe that's why she saw open books and I'm finally reading the first Hunger Games one now.

But, what if it wasn't an educated guess or broad comment. What if she did predict the next few months of each of our lives? Just what if?

Are you a believer, a non-believer and have you ever seen a psychic?

reenergized and reloaded

Zen.

Relaxation.

I loved the past week off. You have no idea.

Oh, how I enjoyed not waking up to my iPhone alarm, checking email every 5 minutes or hearing the beeping of my calendar to run to the next meeting.

Thursday night I joined friends at the House of Blues for the Eddie Money concert. While I know I don't "scream" an Eddie Money fan, I, along with most people my age, love me some 80s music. I heart the 80s. Seriously, I do. Remember the 80s themed bachelorette party? Cyndi Lauper, The Outfield, Debbie Gibson - you name it.

Who knew $35 would be so worth it....

My friends and I sang our hearts out with a bunch of 25 year olds guys who we met while we formed our own little dance party in the middle of the crowd with quite the eclectic group of general Eddie Money fans.
I was the only one who wore leather for the 80s.
On rainy Friday, Cleshopaholic and I met up after my psychic reading (more to come on that later) where we lunched and shopped the day away, literally, for almost five hours and finished it out with a much needed pedicure. She's like this magic little shopping fairy because I scored major deals on workout clothes from the Gap, then picked up a spring fisherman-esque mossy brown/greenish spring jacket at J. Crew and two semi-sheer tunics in blush and navy from H&M that she insisted I buy in both colors. (Never argue with that girl, just nod and do as you are told. You won't regret it!)

Sales, sales and more sales!
Friday night some blog friends turned real life friends and I joined Allison to wish her a happy 30th birthday at Battery Park Wine Bar. Her dad put together quite the awesome slideshow of Allison through the years complete with She-Ra outfits so I couldn't help but snap a few photos of her grade school years.....
Look how adorable she is!

Allison rocking the sparkle dress for her 30th

To finish out my second to last day of vacation, I started out with a belated birthday brunch with my aunt and an hour and a half massage from Jeanette at Oaks Botanical Spa. My god, does this woman know her massages. With my upcoming half marathon, I'm making it a focus to stay with monthly massages to help take care of my body as I try to be a "runner" again for the second time. Fellow seriously athletic runner, Heather, recommended Jeanette and she wasn't playing around - she is phenomenal at her craft.

A group of girlfriends plus two amazing guys (one boyfriend, one husband) celebrated the first Saturday in March with dinner and drinks at Luxe, then continued the night to w. 25th bars where our mission was to find my friend Katie a date by locating guys and sending a different one of us after each of them. It kept the night interesting to say the least.

three blondes, two brunettes and two awesome guys (not pictured)
outfit approved by Cleshopaholic - faux fur, sheer shirt, leather leggings, black croc booties
On Sunday, I slowed the weekend down with brunch with my brother then visiting my little cousin who I hadn't met yet and was born about a month ago. I know, I'm a terrible cousin!

baby ethan with my brother -  he's single ladies......
Over the past week, I've thoroughly enjoyed my time off from the 9 to 5 and feel completely invigorated by having just a few days of down time. It's amazing what a difference it can make when you put yourself first and focus on the little things that make you happy whether that's scheduling that facial you've been wanting, reconnecting with that friend you haven't talked to in quite awhile or checking a few of those books off your reading list. I've checked a ton of little places and things off my list over the past week and added even more places to go. ahem....summer European adventure.....

And it's back to reality I go.