there's no sleep at Sundance part 1

If I had a bucket list of items to complete, I would have crossed off attending the Sundance Film Festival off that list this past week. I had the privilege of spending a week in Park City on behalf of a client.  If you work in the PR or event industry, you know that when you go to work an event – you are literally working every minute of the day. There is no down time. You are on all the time, with the client and putting out fires left and right to make sure the consumer experience runs smoothly and maybe sleeping 5-6 hours a night.

Morning view of Main Street
So, my Sundance trip was a bit different than the average attendee and it was utterly exhausting, exhilarating, amazing and an emotional trip from working nonstop to seeing celebs up close and seeing some of the best movies of the festival. There’s something about independent film making that I love. These films are the underdogs of sorts. The films that could, the stories that people believe so passionately in that their project and can take up to 9 years to make (like A.C.O.D (Adult of Child of Divorce) did. These are the producers and directors that you root for and feel that much more connected to once you hear them speak after the film about why this story needed to be told.

at Montage at Deer Valley

Because of our work for the week, my coworker and I were able to see the beautiful mountain views from the Canyons to Deer Valley to the inside of the theaters to dining at some of the most delicious restaurants to the awards ceremony hosted by the scrumptious Joseph Gordon Levitt who “fucking loves independent films.” (He said this about 5 times.)
with my coworker Katelyn at the awards ceremony

And celebrities you wonder? Oh yeah. We saw them up close and personal because they were interviewing where our client was posted up for the 10 days or were lucky to attend the premieres to hear from the cast after the film and the awards ceremony.

Jessica Alba – skinny as hell with a perfect bold lip and a kick ass YSL purse
Stars from A.C.O.D.

Adam Scott – Great head of hair and about 5’10” and made me laugh hysterically through A.C.O.D

Amanda Seyfried – Short and super bubbly and had about 6 handlers with her
Lovelace star with big glasses
January Jones – Needed a vanilla latte to do her interview and is super skinny. The chick had a baby and you would never know – she is back in tip top shape.

Dave Grohl – Probably the most genuine and down-to-earth guy in Hollywood – I mean, he is from Ohio….
Dave Grohl - coolest guy ever

Ashton Kutcher – Ummmmm hello Kelso, you are more gorgeous in person and sans Mila. (Demi came separately earlier in the week.)

Ashton with Josh Gad and writer and director of jObs

Lake Bell – Awesome sleeveless leather dress at the awards ceremony and winner. She seemed a bit spacey but I mean the girl won an award AND was at Sundance for it. She was so genuinely excited when she accepted her award and who didn’t love her in “How to Make it in America” on HBO?

Balthazar Getty – Remember him from Brothers & Sisters. Has that whole salt-and-pepper-hot thing going on.

Peter Sarsgaard– You have one hell of a beard.

Josh Lucas – You stole my heart in Sweet Home and rocked it in Big Sur.

Chris Noth – While we almost ran into each other, I’ll forgive you, Mr. Big. 

Kate Bosworth – Needs to eat some pasta. Holy skinny – her leather or pleather or whatever kind of vegan leather dress she had was literally  hanging off her small frame with these short white go-go boots.
The cast of Big Sur - Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Balthazar Getty

Joseph Gordon Levitt – You have nailed the whole “hipster-adjacent” thing as my client quoted, terrific host of the awards and I wish I could have seen Don John’s addiction.

JGL looking hipster adjacent like

Up next in Part II? The fashion and my best summary/critique of the movies I saw for the week.


someone thought tequila was a great idea.....

The weekend is officially over and that also means that the 30th birthday week celebration is finished. I don't think I can put it all into words how amazing my friends, coworkers and family were starting the week on Monday, kicking off the week's festivities before the actual day on Friday.

Whether it was the crazy singing chicken telegram pictured below who surprised me on  Monday at the office to my mom sending me multiple cards to arrive each day to all my friends coming out on Friday for what was an epic 80s and old school hip hop dance party for Dena and I as we celebrated our birthdays - one 30 and one 31.

Notice the suit with the creepy mask. I heart my coworkers. and their sense of humor.

We decided about two months ago to throw a joint birthday party and had high hopes of having everything from themed drinks to a picture booth set up to glitter bombs throughout the night. (We even created a Pinterest board of all the ideas we wanted to pull off.) After we realllyyyyyy thought about it, we realized that someone would have to actually clean up everything mentioned and we knew neither of us would be in any shape to clean up glitter or whatever photo booth concoction we came up with.

So, instead we kept the decorations minimal and focused on the music list to be a mix of The Outfield meets Depeche Mode meets Bobby Brown meets Outkast meets Nelly, and then added touches from our childhood with 80s themed cupcakes of characters like She-Ra, Jem and the Smurfs.

80s themed cupcakes by Sweets by Maggie; Party hosts pictured

Nic with Nadine pawing it up; old coworkers turned out to party
Here's how much we had - neither one of us ate a cupcake or even got a chance to cut the cake, which by the end of the night we assume was stolen because it vanished into thin air like Manti Te'o's girlfriend.

Even now thinking about it, if someone did take it, I'm not sure how exactly someone walked up the stairs, through Bier Markt and out the door with a two-tiered leopard cake with a shoe cookie on top of it and no one said anything....

(Update: the cake was in fact NOT stolen but rather devoured by the staff. Mystery solved!)

But, I mean, it's a hysterical story and totally fits in with all the other debauchery that took place that night that luckily will not see the light of day on here. However, it will be memorable happy hour conversations between friends and lesson learned - we can't take tequila shots like we once could in our early 20s. But we can sure as hell try our hardest!

Leopard cake by Stan's Bakery in Northfield; Erin, Nadine and my dance off with her husband of course

Editor's note: Thank you to everyone who came out and celebrated our birthdays and also to Matt and the staff at Bier Markt/Speakeasy for storing our gifts and shutting down the place for a few hours while we partied the night away.

Giveaway update: Congrats to Mel for winning the OneStyling giveaway!

wash, rinse, repeat

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Way back when, I'm talking WAYYYY back in March of last year, I attended a product launch of One styling products with a lovely group of  of fellow Cleveland bloggers.

We were introduced to a new line of products that you have likely seen in stores called Onestyling tools. Onestyling has everything from hair dryers to flat irons to a few texture irons that may or may not look like an adult toy.

A new year can mean more besides getting fit and several of you ladies out there may be interested in a new look. That may mean updating your closet, refining your style or simply changing your hair for a completely new style for 2013.

hair product overload

I had such high hopes of using one of the texture irons we were gifted when my hair grew out to be long and flowy like Rachel Bilson but that hasn't actually happened yet.

Bubble Wand up for one lucky reader
Because my hair is likely NEVER going to grow (because I can't stop twirling it), here is your chance to win a new VERGE Bubble Wand to try those beach waves that I covet and hope to have some day in the next six to eight months. (Whether that's my actual hair or some newly purchased extensions!)" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest details: Enter by 1/19/13 at 12 a.m. midnight.

Disclosure: I was gifted several Onestyle products after attending their event this past March that I continue to use every day.

From 1 to 31

Ahhh the weekend.

You came and went so fast.

This weekend was the last one in my 20s as I approach my birthday this week. The LAST ONE! So how did I prepare for my upcoming celebration?

After waiting patiently for 15 months, everything finally fell into place when my dream apartment #2 opened up in my building. Every time someone came to my previous apartment, I would point them to look down and always say, "My goal is to get myself into one of those next year," because there was outdoor living space. Read - a big ass space that I needed.

How clutch is patio space in the middle of the city? It's absolutely priceless for me and you rarely come across something this size and was well worth moving Friday evening and Saturday morning down a floor with the help of my brother and his friend.

Patio = sun time, lounging while reading, writing on a Sunday evening, sipping evening cocktails with friends, tiki torch party, cookouts, maybe even adding a blow up pool for those hot summer days. I mean... really the opportunities are absolutely endless at this point.

naked patio
My friends pointed out that the above photo is a bit depressing - just a sad, lonely and blank piece of concrete - but I have so many party and decoration ideas already working around in my brain and can't wait until Spring. I'm talking about real spring... not the random 58 degree Saturday we experienced in Cleveland. After posting this boring patio shot on Instagram, I have my first party planned out post St. Patrick's Day of course. I bring you - Spring Champong 2013 - beer pong with champagne says the Jenn and Jen. Sounds like the most amazing idea ever, right?!

Sunday was a celebration of firsts - a first birthday for baby Brooklyn and a 31st birthday Sunday Funday for Sean. One was filled with pink cakes, candy and tutus and one was not.

BFFs and parents to BKE; BKE not loving her smash cake; presents galore

Just an extravagant candy table for an adorable; cakes galore;  BKE being a ballerina

After leaving what I hope to properly explain to Brooklyn one day as one of the most over the top parties I've ever attended, I headed to a little bit more of an adult party for the one and only Sean. Last year, he threw one hell of a nautical themed party and I'm such a great friend I didn't take a single picture of my friend rocking the ever chic double vneck with a cardigan. I hope you enjoyed your Sunday Funday to ring in your 31st birthday!

because you know resolutions just don't work.

It's been seven days into the new year and I'm sure most of us have fallen off whatever lofty wagon we put ourselves on for our 2013 goals.

You can't log online without seeing RESOLUTIONS in all caps on or your Facebook newsfeed to see people talking about their failed  attempts at their resolutions on day 7. And gyms? You walk into your gym or yoga studio or even the local Whole Foods and notice the very full spaces, bustling with many more people than you remember from a week ago trying to keep to those resolutions.

Instead of making ridiculous resolutions that we can all admit we will not keep (or maybe that's just me), my friends and I came up with writing a list of intentions versus resolutions on one of our many leisurely lunches while in Chicago.

Quite frankly, intentions feel less rigid and more attainable versus beating yourself up when you eat too many Swedish fish on a random Sunday watching football with your brother and his friends or have one too many dirty martinis instead of glass of antioxidant filled petit sirah at a Thursday happy hour.

So, while we were enjoying a very unhealthy meal of bacon cheddar burgers with onion rings in Chicago, my friends and I got down to business and wrote out a few our own intentions and since last week, I added a few more of my own.

  • Continue to attend hot yoga once a week. Preferably on Saturdays because it gets me up early and I get to downward dog it with CLEshopaholic
  • Get to my goal weight that I set two months back for myself. Almost there...
  • Make a realistic health regime - yoga, trainer once a week, planning meals, allowing myself to cheat.
  • Crossword puzzles, sudoku or any kind of brain teasers to improve my memory
  • Be more forgiving of myself and others (a girl needs her chocolate and you never know what the other person has going on in their lives)
  • Write more - in my journal and here
  • Navigating myself through sticking to a budget for upcoming trips
  • Drinking more green tea, watching all of the
  • Head to France in the fall for one hell of an adventure, along with Nashville, Vegas, and a tropical vacation thrown in there if I can stick to my savings plan
Did you create any resolutions or write intentions for this upcoming week, month or year?

Editor's note: I'm sticking this sucker on my refrigerator or taped up in my bathroom mirror so I see it every day and can't forget about it. Daily reminders... it's all about the daily reminders and for those of you who are fans of Gabrielle Bernstein, try downloading her Spirit Junkie alarm clock app.

.....when you treat your body like a carnival...

How can you simply sum up the last two weeks? The holiday celebrations, the high tea with my cousins at the Ritz, a bakery party and mini grade school reunion (yes, really a party in Kiedrowski's bakery on Christmas night) and brunches and lunches with out of town friends....the list goes on and on.

Let's start with how my two girlfriends and I rang in the big new year before I came down with a serious case of the almost 30s a head cold that continues to plague me for the third day.

If you know me even a little bit, you know 1) love any excuse for a party 2) love New Years and 3) doesn't necessarily need an excuse to wear a sparkly dress.

About two months ago, my friends and I decided to celebrate the beginning of 2013 in Chicago since a friend had just made the leap to move from her adorable loft in Tremont all the way to a condo in the River North neighborhood.

Cheers to 2013 with Lissa and Nadine

After much research and some pointers from friends, we decided on the party package at the Drake Hotel to ring in 2013 with 2,400 of our closest friends and dance and sip champagne in five different rooms for the whole night.

Necklace from Top Shop and mottof of the night and view of the room

One of the few shots of the group at the Drake

I wish the next part of this story was more blurry than it actually was - I guess enough champagne wasn't consumed yet.

After previously meeting the boy we referred to as "North Carolina" the night before at another bar, he somehow found us on the main dance floor with his southern-young-Donald-Trump-like self with two drinks in hand. He was actually quite a character and full of stories that I'm going to say either never happened or were somehow a huge exaggeration of the truth. For instance,  he told me after not asking anything related to his work that he makes "stupid amounts of money" and just sold "a romcom screenplay for $350k." See what I'm saying.....

Our group of three quickly became the four amigos as we went around looking for a midnight kiss for him and each of us. When midnight came along each of had a kiss between James Van Der Beek and the Frenchman (who likely was not French), I'm pretty sure no one's story beats the fact my new friend North Carolina back planted after kissing me at midnight.

Yep, that's right. BACK PLANTED. Are you embarrassed for me yet?

Picture this to understand how truly hilarious and embarrassing this was - more for him less for me. North Carolina pulls away, tries to go in for round 2 and either slips or is pulled down by someone else because the kid fell down so fast and with such force it caused multiple people to turn around to help him out, almost knocking my drink out of my hand. It happened so quickly that I looked at my friends and we looked at each other with this sense of horror and amusement all at the same time wondering if that really just happened.

I couldn't do anything! I couldn't move because I was so shocked so I sipped my drink and tried to keep from laughing and wondering if he was injured. He got up, walked away and we thought he'd rejoin our group but that was it. We didn't see him the rest of the night.

That's all that North Carolina wrote.

It's your turn - best New Years kiss story!