trying...... to run like the wind

Leading up to my half marathon, I signed up for the 10 miler to test myself and see how far away I was from the goal my running friend and I set of a two hour half marathon. My final time clocked in at one hour and thirty-eight minutes, which is NOT going to work for a 2 hour half, so I have a lot of damn little bit of work to do to see if I can make my goal. Tempo runs and some sprints here and there should help me cut my time down or I can just hope that I get multiple bursts of energy during the race.

Race day bib and shirt

Line for the porta potties always makes me laugh

Post race smiles because the finish line never looked so good

Without a taking a much needed nap, I rallied at night and joined friends to celebrate Danielle's 30th birthday at the new Society Lounge on East 4th. We were set up in a small back room complete with balloons, 30th birthday suckers and a cake to help usher Danielle join the dirty thirty club.

Even though I live steps from the Society Lounge, I haven't been downstairs to check it out but the space is gorgeous with large booths and tables, low lighting and one hell of a lounge singer all Rat-Packed-up in a snazzy bow tie. My friends sipped everything from moscow mules to a few old fashioned cocktails that were quite delicious if I do say so myself.

30th bday cake; Birthday girl Danielle in the center taking a bite out of her fab cake

at the moment

I've become increasingly obsessed with a few items that I have been stalking my favorite sites to add to my closet. Remember when I shared I keep a list of clothes to buy on my iPhone? Yes, I really do that because 1) it helps me stay organized 2) reminds me of what is worthy to splurge or save on.

Let me introduce you to my new favorite accessories store - Accessory Concierge. A trusty Chicago friend introduced me to this page after I repeatedly commented on how I loved the statement necklace I saw in photos.

Like their page and welcome to the amazing world of accessories!

Voila! It was from Accessory Concierge for half the price you would have paid at J. Crew. They have sales on specific days, make sure to be on Facebook when their photo album goes on sale and write "sold" on the photo you want and it will be yours. (You have to install the Soldsie app on your page but it's super simple and let's you order instantly!)

pave necklace and McQueen knock off scarf

my most favorite necklace ordered so far. Perfect for dresses and t-shirts

Over the past few months, Birchbox has introduced me to two staples in my make up bag -
Dr. Lipp nipple lip balm and Dr. Jart BB Cream. You can't go wrong with these products. Really, you simply can't. Your lips feel incredibly luscious, soft with a hint of shine and even the palest skin looks completely even without looking gray with this BB cream.
you won't regret this.

a light layer, every day.

And my last favorite piece so far is my jean jacket from the Gap. It was the perfect price (25% off!) and fit for what has been a staple in my outfits (I wear this in some way at least 2-3 days a week). I can't get enough of it.

Expect to see me in this. A lot!
Happy shopping!

lift, tone and burn (in that order)

"A little inch, just a little inch," are words that inflict pain to my lower half during barre class every single time I go from either Jo Jo or Lori, instructors at the Purre Barre Westlake. Who knew a "little inch" could burn so much!

When the Westlake studio first opened in February, I was lucky enough to win a week from a Facebook contest they held on their page prior to opening because I was dying to try this "ballet" craze I had been reading about online.

I'm up for a fitness challenge. I should say I'm up to try new things that challenge and motivate me to get better with each class. Oh, and having friends that attend help and make the challenging I-want-give-up-and-throw-this-ball-at-you parts not that hard.

red ball of "fun"; 2 lbs get HEAVY realllllly quickly in class, friends.

This, my dear blog readers, is one of those challenges for me so I asked Lori, Pure Barre Westlake owner, to name the top three misconceptions of Barre for those skeptics -

1. "It's a "wimpy" work out and we just "dance around with light hand weights during class."
Although Pure Barre is low impact it is high intensity and one of the fastest ways to change your body and get in shape. It's certainly not for "wimps" ;-)
2. "Barre fitness is only for people who have ballet and dance experience and that we teach using ballet/ dance terms & language"
Barre fitness is inspired by ballet, but the strength and conditioning that is used to trained dancers. We do not use any dance terms and most people who come to Pure Barre have never taken dance or ballet classes.
3. You have to start taking barre class in great shape and that everyone who goes to barre studios are super skinny.
Pure Barre is for people of all shapes and sizes. We help transform bodies and help people reach their fitness goals, so most people come to class in need to get into shape.

Every time I go, I think "I've got this in the bag," and then I'm quickly reminded how ridiculously difficult some of the moves are with the tucking to the front, left and then right with your pelvis while you are on your tippy toes in a squat position with one arm in the air and the other trying not to grip the bar for dear life and not let your legs collapse beneath you all at the same time.

Damn the tuck I tell you!

While I manage to leave in one piece with my entire body still pulsating after busting out the last 4 minutes of working my J.Lo, I'm kindly reminded the next two mornings when I realize I have muscles all over in my back, butt and legs that are sore that I didn't even realize I had.

To keep my fitness routine fresh, I like to balance one class (or two if I'm really lucky) a week in between hot yoga, running and my new group personal fitness classes in preparation for the half marathon on May 19. It's crunch time, people!

Have you added barre class to your fitness routine yet?

Disclosure: I received a free week from a Facebook contest and have since purchased classes to continue my new found love of Barre, red balls and "little inch" leg raises.

My mom is a total boyband fan

What I thought would be a regular afternoon out to the Cleveland Film Festival on Saturday with my aunt and mom, turned into an unforgettable afternoon with the two of them.

I love when my mom comes down to visit me - it's so fun to see how excited she gets over the smallest details of walking down Euclid Ave or through the Arcade and makes me appreciate where I live even more than I already do. And, that we can create new memories while she shares what she remembers of downtown when she was a kid. Sometimes I think she manages to be more excited about my apartment's location than I am - if that's even possible!

Jules and my aunt with Freda Kelly, the Beatles' fan club secretary and star of Good Ol' Freda who never sold her story for a book deal. Ever. And talked candidly about her ride along Beatles mania for 10 years.

The 2nd annual Bay Village bonfire (hosted by the fabulous Alana and her fiance) turned into quite the dance party on Saturday night. There's nothing quite like trying to twerk it with your friends as you post Vine after Vine after Vine of your friends' dance moves on a well Pledged coffee table that's the size of a door.

Pudding shots fit for 200 people; the chunky monkey ones were strong. very strong.

Joe being all manly; dance party on the coffee table; Alana's welcome board

Just like last Sunday, I was hoping to bum around town and enjoy 60 degree weather on a plethora of undetermined patios buttttt the weather wasn't really calling for that. It wasn't too cold by any means but it also wasn't exactly patio-Sunday-Funday- weather just yet.

Sunday brunch at Deagan's - hot pink cactus flower mimosa, yes please!

A peek at my favorite beach in need of some TLC

Still confused how two ropes turned into three and 2 bunnies into 10 at West Park Station

Terminal Tower a-glow on a Sunday drive home

an apple a day

Monday marked two important milestones - attending my first Indians opening day and finding the best prop to pick up guys with at the bar.

view from Section 303

An apple, ladies.

A damn apple made more guys stop me than my J.Lo behind in leather leggings with my highest heels on.

A piece of fruit.

What you pick in the fall.

What put Snow White to sleep for god's sake.

Single girls - we have been missing out.  I have been missing out. Who knew that carrying a low-calorie snack in your purse could serve as such a conversation starter or sorts with the Indians home opener crowd.

I did one lap looking for my friends and counted five guys who stopped me to ask if they could bite my apple, ask me where they could get an apple or try to pry it from my hands.

Maybe it had something to do with it being 65 degrees or that I was clad in head to toe casual (and approachable as my friend pointed out) Indians gear or that these boys had likely been drinking for the past seven hours and were up for anything but however you slice it, I recommend trying out this tactic at your next happy hour, baseball game or girls' night out.

If you bring it, they will come ladies. They will come.

view of the Clevelander crowd; Lisa and Jen using her monocle to see better

the one where it feels like spring

Something amazing happened over the past two days here in Cleveland.

It looks like warmer temperatures are slooooowly creeping up on us, which made for my first outdoor Sunday Funday of 2013 where we played five games of cornhole, rocked flip flops and maybe even got a little sunburned from that thing-called-the-sun that I haven't felt on my face in months. I'm not exactly sure Sunday Fundaying qualifies as an American past time but it sure as hell does in my book.

Saturday brought two of my favorite things - films and birthdays - with the Cleveland Film Festival officially open for business and my dear friend Kelly turning the ripe age of 24.

Buy your tickets if you can!; First movie of the festival - Anita

Birthday cocktails for Kelly - our little 24 year old Italian

Up until Sunday, I had been following my training calendar pretty closely for the half marathon but I broke down.

Am I going to beat myself up about it? No, I will not but I will add more mileage this week to make up for it.

Because the sun made it feel like beach weather on my patio, I decided to ignore the 9 miles glaring at me from my training calendar and skipped the workout entirely to spend the day shopping, outside dominating cornhole while stopping randomly around Lakewood bars with friends.

If you ever in the Hudson area, make a stop at B. Lux Boutique at First & Main to pick up a few shirts and bracelets for this coming season. I have been looking for a sleeveless sheer white shirt and ta-dah - I found it for half the price I was going to pay on Piperlime at my friends' store.

New clothes in light colors for spring; customer appreciation with mini cupcakes

summer shandys; gargoyling; cornhole; breaktime
Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be enjoying America's actual favorite past time - baseball - for the Cleveland Indians Home Opener today.

eddie money meets the easter bunny

The city of Chicago blew in a friend this past weekend to celebrate the lovely Easter holiday but also brought to town one of our favorite performers - Eddie freaking Money.

I can't remember when my love of Eddie Money started but I'm going to say it was somewhere around my 2nd grade year where I likely begged my mom to blare whatever his latest single at the time was entirely too loudly. Last year, my friends and I went and made sure to scoop up tickets when we found he was coming back into town.

As seen from Euclid

As my friend Kelly so poignantly says, "you can't NOT be happy when you are listening to gangster rap" and I think the same applies when listening to Eddie Money. You can't be sad. Ever.

For Lissa's hometown return from the windy city, I hosted my friends before the concert with a few bottles of wine, my favorite Trader Joe's pizzas and a bottle of champagne to toast her return.

The concert was exactly what we expected - an epic dance party with strangers complete with Bud Light 40 ounces for all. Although I will say we weren't expecting the animosity from a few people as we moved toward the stage - calm down ladies! No need to throw down at the concert!

Group shot; Mel and Julie's dance moves

Eddie rocking out on stage; Kelly, Lissa and Mel; Eddie signed HIS shirt!; leather sandwich

Easter is one of those holidays that isn't as big of a production with my family anymore as we normally have switched up a party at a family member's house for a decadent brunch somewhere downtown Cleveland.

Earlier in the month I get a text from my mom, "Easter at Aunt Renee's at 3 p.m. Dad is making lamb," and I couldn't have been happier with the change in holiday plans.

kitchen prep; dining area; my mom and I in matching outfits (completely unplanned); my Dad, the chef

It was a laid back afternoon of a delicious early dinner, reminiscing about past family Outer Banks vacations (involving broken ankles and hospital visits) and watching a little tournament action with the boys because I am sooooo winning my bracket.

Now....what prank to pull off on this April Fools' day......