eyes front

In case you haven't heard, it's not exactly spring weather in Cleveland, Ohio, which isn't entirely surprising as we are used to this kind of thing. Last year this time, it was somewhere in the 60s and this weekend we still found ourselves clad in winter coats with temperatures reaching a high of 37 degrees. A high!

However on Saturday afternoon, the sun was out and that was enough for this novice runner to put on her American Eagle down vest circa 1999, iPod ready with every British girl pop band you can think and armed with my iPhone to snap a few photos on a 7 mile run. Considering I ran 5 miles in slushy and icy weather last Saturday, I couldn't come up with a good enough excuse to not to get myself out there in much better conditions.

So I put one foot in front of the other and set out to lose myself in my own thoughts for the next hour or so. There is nothing more therapeutic than a good long run, especially when I have felt cooped up with the weather being so cold outside. Make no mistake - I love my faux fur coat and vest but I want to swap those out for a trench coat already.

Although it was only 37 degrees, the sun shining made it feel a little warmer as I monitored my pace, sang out loud to the Saturdays as I ran along the river and started to let my mind wander.....

snapped at 3.5 miles into the run

Earlier this week, I sat through a series of speakers at TedxCle and was completely inspired by them, what they are doing around Cleveland and their general passion for their industries. My mind started working, thinking, brainstorming and dreaming of  a slew of random thoughts and ideas I have had in the back of my mind for awhile, which is what I did again on my run.

Just thinking in that stream of consciousness way, letting my mind drift from topic to topic and moving forward with each step I took along the path and realizing how the small and petty stuff really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

While my time wasn't exactly as fast as I need for my upcoming half marathon, I spent an hour exactly doing exactly what I needed in that afternoon - snapping some photos of the beautiful almost spring scenery, clearing my head and refining my focus for the months ahead.

Focus on my upcoming my races and workouts to make my goal time.

Focus on my decorating plan for my patio for countless summer evenings with friends.

Focus on my savings plan for what will be an unforgettable France and Spain trip.

Focus on clearing the debris out of the way and keep moving forward.

Melted river a-flowing

green and glitter and a weekend a of firsts

Seeing as how I'm a quarter Polish and am a halfway decent judge of fried perch and pierogies, I'm not quite sure how I have never ever ever made it to Sokolowski's. I've driven past the inn hundreds of times on my way to Tremont and mentioned to friends that we "need to go there for one day in the winter" and I finally checked this place off my list this past weekend.

After a quick 30 minutes or so line, I finally sat down with more food than I knew what to do with and seeing as I had a long run the next day, I totally justified eating a major carb overload.
Way too much food than I could ever eat; friend perch and pierogies

Foster's as big as a bicep and some easter presents

In preparation for the half marathon in May, my running partner, Mel, and I are determined to keep to our schedule and get in those weekly miles even if it means signing up for what would be the coldest run of our lives - my first time running in the 33rd annual St. Malachi 5-miler. It was something like 30 degrees with a mix of rain, slush and a little sleet, leaving us running very cautiously through downtown Cleveland. Our goal was to not fall but Mel fell victim to a pothole at 1.5 miles in but being the road warrior that she is, we continued on the course and finished somewhere around 54 minutes.

the coldest and slushiest run of my life

Rain or shine, I was determined to host my first "Pot of Gold" patio party complete with beerpong and champong on a fully decorated patio with lifesize leprechauns with streamers and glitter shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day.

Patio set up with the help of one younger brother

sea of green in my living room

Cheers for green beer day, faux mustaches and irish car bombs

After a few hours of celebrating at my place with breakfast bakes, an assortment of green donuts and amazingly delicious cake pops, my partygoing friends split up between local bars for the rest afternoon in downtown Cleveland.

The good news? No one spilled anything that couldn't be easily cleaned up and nothing was broken amongst 40ish people in my place - I don't know about you, but that is a huge success in my book!

After an hour or two of heavy cleaning, this place is back to looking and smelling as fresh as it was the day I moved in.

spring wardrobe upgrade

If you live in the midwest, you know the weather is up and down like a single girl's dating life. Sometimes you have guys coming out of the woodwork and then it's a complete drought and you find only the strangest of guys coming up to you at bars.

Well, the weather and specifically spring is like that for Clevelanders. For instance, this weekend it was over 60 degrees on Sunday and then only a few days later we have flurries and are bundled up in our wool winter coats and leather gloves.

Even with our sporadic weather,  I am daydreaming of springtime runs outdoors, Sunday funday  patio brunches, and a lavender pedicure with wedge sandals, bright colored jeans and a sleevless leather shirt in my head. No jacket required!

Each season, I start a running list of clothes, shoes and accessories I want to add to my ever-growing closet. It may be something I see in Lucky, on the Refinery 29 or even what is Harper's (obviously found at an affordable price) so I don't forget and can correctly prioritize on what to splurge on and what to pick up at H&M versus Piperlime. For exampke - do I buy the pair of Ash metallic sneakers or opt for the exact same ones  in black for a quarter of the price at Target? You do the math.

apparently my money is growing on trees on my patio.

A few of my favorites - bold ankle straps, lace, light neutrals and cargo. Leather is optional!

For jewelry, I'm all about the mixed metal look with chains and moving away from the brightly colored bauble necklaces of the past two years. Think double gold cuffs with stackable rings and then a chain party around your neck of rose, titanium and gold.

All jewelry can be found on my new obsession - Baublebar

What's on your shopping list this season? Sneaker wedges? Lace mini dress or a leather mini skirt?

Get out those wallets ladies and let the shopping season begin!

meet my new friend

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I did it.

I finally made the leap.

I am joining thousands of people and finally (yes, finally) cut ties with my cable company. After realizing how much TV I don't watch and how much money I could spending on shoes or saving for Paris, I cut the cord and cancelled it.

Goodbye, Time Warner Cable.

Hello, AppleTV.

Now that I think about it as I catch up on Deception and write this post, why the hell didn't I make the switch before?

I rarely watched live TV and had my recorded list of shows that I only watched. I'm not one of those people who leave the TV for white noise because I'd rather have music playing in the background instead.

I have been the satisfied new owner of the magical little black box for two days, signed up for Hulu Plus and Netflix, and I can't get enough of it.

Do you know ALL SIX SEASONS of Dawson's Creek are on Netflix?

I'm not kidding you. I can be taken back to high school with a click of a button on the tiny little remote it comes with. And I can finally catch up on Mad Men, New Girl, the Mindy Project and even Downton Abbey. I completely understand I'm late to this whole internet-TV-watching phenomenon but times like these, I get all geeked out at the endless possibilities of what movies and TV shows I can add to my queue. It's a movie buff's dream I tell you.

Who needs a boyfriend when you have a shiny new black box that plays whatever you tell it?

My only complaint so far is that sometimes the shows need to buffer but because we are in the beginning stages of our relationship, I don't care if it has to buffer every five minutes. I am in love.

Excuse me while I add my favorite Saturday morning cartoon to my queue - Jem and the Holograms.

spring cleaning my life

So we have spring cleaning our closets, kitchens and bathrooms so why not spend a weekend spring cleaning our lives? From top to bottom. From back to front. From closet to car.

On a daily basis, there are so many tasks that I push to the side or will get to "down the road" and pretty soon those little tasks pile up until I realize that no amount of stuffing it into my drawer will make it go away. It's there and needs to be completed.

I needed an excuse to tell myself to stay in this weekend and after my longggggg list of to do's kept growing that was blatantly staring at me every day on my refrigerator, I could only think of one thing that made sense. One thing I haven't done in months.

Stay in for the weekend.

And get my life organized.

My apartment. My closet. My bathroom. My bills. My taxes. My dry cleaning. My mail.

I needed to cross off to do's that ranged from filing taxes to cancelling cable and getting Apple TV to take in a few items to the dry cleaners that have been sitting in my room since Christmas. (Yes, I'm that bad at my dry cleaning and clearly some chores in general.)

My tasks - front and center

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to accomplish over two days, how much sleep I was able to catch cup on and how I even squeezed in an impromptu late lunch with my parents and a not-so-healthy pizza consumption at Angelo's with friends on Sunday.

Super Deluxe and BBQ chicken from Angelo's

While much of this weekend was about spring cleaning my life and maybe watching a little vampire porn in the form of the last Twilight installment, it was also about getting back on my workout regime and restarting my Saturday two-a-days.

Spring is coming which means the half marathon is a cool 75 days away and our goal is set at 2 hours. That goal isn't going to reach itself without some serious dedication to long runs on Saturday and probably not eating Angelo's until after the race. Good thing I got in my fix this weekend.

So how well did I do? I cut my list in half from what it was and knocking out the rest this week.

Will you be spring cleaning your house or life and how do you stay organized?