summer nights

How I spent my weekend....

Friday: at the ball park

There is nothing quite like a mild fall summer night to close out a busy work week.

Indians game; letting the chips "bake" in the cheese

Saturday: laying low

Pictureless. The food was just too good! I had a delicious late night dinner with at El Carnicero complete with al pastor (braised pork) taquitos and a amazing dragon-fruit-elderflower margarita with a salt rim - it was fuchsia and delicious.

Why else should you go there? Because Chef Eric responds to consumers and calls them out for their BS poor reviews - Go Eric.

Sunday: trying to get a tan

With four friends and one younger brother, I pulled together a volleyball team for Cupid's Volleyball Tournament to hopefully win the tournament, seeing as my team won our Sunday division for Cleveland Plays.

I blame the Cupid's Undies Punch for our 0-4 record for the day and maybe me not wearing my red sparkly tutu as to why we lost all FOUR games. But you can't say my team didn't have a hell lot of fun out there!

Dancing dog; sibling love; creative little sweat band; alcohol tent with the cupid's punch

No amount of matching sunglasses could help this team...

And to whomever has my red sparkly tutu, I hope you rock that thing with pride around town!

I need more sparkle.

Leading up to my half marathon, I was so incredibly diligent with staying very strict with eating during the week and drinking only selective alcoholic beverages on the weekends. You know, staying away from the ones with all the calories and sticking to the clear ones instead.


I've been on a bit of a hiatus, especially over the past three weeks. My five day yoga/running/crossfit workouts have slipped to four then to two and I am feeling a major difference. All over.

My body is a bit more sluggish, my skin is slightly suffering, I don't feel as energetic as I previously have (and I have some serious energy, people) and it's easier to make bad food choices for some reason when I'm not hitting the gym as hard. An afternoon Pepsi? Pop tarts for breakfast from the vending machine? This is SO not me.

My friend's new shirt. As she says, "you can't slack in that shirt."

With the summer slowly winding down over the next month and in prep for my European adventure in 34 days, it's back to focusing on getting on schedule with my workouts and clean eating like something fierce.

Am I going to beat myself up for falling off the wagon? Hell no.

Am I going to stop going out? Hell no.

Am I going to be better at balancing? Hell yes.

In June, I made some serious progress with my trainer and friend Shelley with her Pure Shelley training program with crossfitting twice a week with two days of running and one yoga class. I saw a difference (total inches to be posted in another month), learned so much from her about how I need to increase my intensity and can't lose that feeling because of a few weeks of being slightly off track.

No way, Jose.

Isn't that the truth?

It's time to get back on the damn track.

Here I go.

JT vs. Jay Z

Dear Chicago,

It had been almost six months since I last saw you when my friends and I rang in the New Year.

Thank you for having fabulous warm summer weather that made for the perfect afternoon for a trip to the Oak st beach with three glorious uninterrupted  of girl talk, continuing into the next day with some shopping and rooftop happy houring with said friends.

perfect Sunday Funday view

rooftop patio happy hour; our host with her new boy; the CLE girls reunited
Thank you for the stars aligning and us purchasing tickets to a sold out show with Jay Z and Justin Timberlake at the one and only Soldier Field. The concert was magical - the perfect mashup of Jay Z and Justin in the beginning with equally as amazing solo performances of their favorite hits for what was truly a "legends of summer" tour.

If I were to pick a winner of who was the best performer of the night, I'd go with Jay Z. I have seen Justin twice and he was phenomenal (don't get me wrong), but there was something about my white girl dancing and rapping to Jay Z that made the show for me. that. much. better.

concert ready; hot and sweat at Jay Z and Justin; Kelly hailing a cab; the most fab concert of the summer

Thank you to the most wonderful and thoughtful CLE transplant in the River North neighborhood who hosted us by making the most delicious brunch and appetizers and navigating us through her new stomping grounds for two full days of laughing so hard that our lack of abs will hurt for days.

Yours truly,

Put on your bikini and get to the beach

It's mid July, hot as hell this whole week and I find myself working incredibly hard at work and in the gym to make it through the week to the weekends. Much like last year, I want to be outside as much as I can on a beach, working on my version of a tan.

In honor of my weekends spent at my favorite little stretch of beach in Cleveland to have a Sunday Funday, here are two beach events happening in the next few weeks.

Remember hearing about the Cupid Undies Run in the winter? The race was the longest mile of my life as I ran freezing with friends and a few hundred other people in our undies through Tremont.

Need Sunday Funday plans? These crazy kids decided to host Cupid's Volleyball Tournament and Beach Party on Sunday, July 28, at Wendy Park so come down and play your best game volleyball in your bedroom best. Or, in my case, your bathing suit to support the Children's Tumor Foundation. It's $120 for a team of 4 or 6 or only $12 for the beach party. You don't want to miss the Lake Erie plunge at 3:30 p.m. do you?!?!

For apparently what is the last one EVER, the annual Krusty's Summer Sauce Camp is happening on Saturday, August 3, at Whiskey Island at 12 p.m. until you can't take the heat anymore. Tickets go on sale soon and can be purchased at local bars throughout the westside and downtown areas for $50 each. I couldn't drink enough beer to keep myself cool last year so my friends and I were basically in the lake last year for most of the event trying to keep cool.

Only place that was cool last year; Lisa brings her own t.p.

Mark your calendars, buy your tickets and hope to see you there!

pool bars and bicycle parties

This weekend was primarily spent celebrating birthdays with an adult trip to Soak City and a bike tour around Ohio City in Cleveland.

In all my years, I don't think I've ever actually been to a water park and was obviously was not that excited after I initially agreed to go because of the whole public-pool-water-thing that I still have not gotten over.

All creepy pool water aside, the four of us (including the birthday boy Mike) had a lot of fun, spent about an hour on the slides and then hung out at the adult pool with swim up bar for the rest of the afternoon drinking some rum concoction called "kick in the head."

Soak City park and pool bar; friends wading in the pool

To celebrate Gina's 31st birthday, she wanted to do something completely different and found Cleveland Cycle Tours to start off the celebration with a trip to three bars in Ohio City while the group pedaled throughout the neighborhood.

Bike group tour; Gina the birthday girl ringing in 31

Were we actually pedaling? Yes - for sure we were and I was so happy it wasn't too hot at night because you get quite the workout!

Can you bring alcohol on it? Nope - in other cities you can but not in Cleveland.

Can you hook up your iPod? You better believe it and we blared old school hip hop from Johnny Mango's to Nano Brew to Great Lakes Brewery for our two hour trip.

Was it fun? It was definitely an experience! If you are getting a group of friends together, it is the perfect group activity - I would highly recommend it for your next outing if you can!

five days of PTO well spent

Off for a week and what is a girl to do?

Day 1 

The girls Put-in-Bay trip was canceled because of the not-so-optimal weather, so instead I met my lovely mother for a much overdue birthday lunch and shopping followed by deep cleaning my apartment (oh yes, I went there) on a rainy day. And then joined two friends walked down to Public Square to catch the Orchestra live with fireworks to kick off the holiday week.

Dena and Amanda soaking in the music; fireworks and Terminal Tower lit up

Day 2

Determined to catch up with out of town girl friends on the beach, the sun finally peeked through the clouds after we had covered every topic from summer plans, beer making, my dating life to me signing up for a triathlon in a four hour time period and each of us were left with actual sunburns - vacation tan complete!

Cloudy beach; our spot; and Percy with the seat coolers

Day 3

Spent the morning at Pure Barre Westlake toning and sculpting (or at least trying to) then with my mom for pedicures, some beach time and then a night out with some eastside friends.

Pedicures and Jules' quality time

With Michelle, Lia and their fab husbands

Day 4

To ring in the 4th, I indirectly started it off with a trip to the impound lot, where my car was conveniently located because the lot I safely left it in overnight has started to tow. I'm looking at you West Side Market!

Friendly game of golf; hello flats tow yard; missing flip flop; cheering on the 4th

Grilling buddies; the most patriotic party goer; rooftop fireworks and light sabers

To watch the fireworks, we went to a friend's rooftop in Lakewood where we could see at least 6 or 8 fireworks shows at the same time - awesome, awesome spot!

Day 5

PIB canceled yet again but was rescheduled for Saturday so instead of going to the Indians game, I chose to stay in and make it an early night knowing that the day was starting bright and early at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

Ran into Percy with more friends at Panini's

more patio friends pregaming for the Indians game

Day 6

Something just did not want me to check off Put-in-Bay off my vacation check list because my friends had to cancel literally at the last minute - the hour before we were scheduled to leave. Instead a quick trip to the Tall Ships was in store with my young cousin's high school graduation party before the storms rolled in to the area in the evening. While I wanted to act like Captain Jack Sparrow and get behind the wheel, I couldn't even think about waiting in the lines for the ships - some looked at least an hour long!

majestic looking vessels in the humid heat

in your average dragster; race themed cupcakes; Matt, the graduate, with his mom and older sister, Lauren
Day 7
Sunday concluded what was an very refreshing week off with a day in the yoga studio to sweat out all the toxins I had consumed the days prior and two hours of volleyball at my favorite sand courts in downtown Cleveland. The sun even made it's way out for the last hour of our games, wrapping up a perfectly planned with some surprise plans week off.

Back to the daily grind I go!

it's a volleyball, not a baby

To kick off my week vacation, some friends and I went back to our roots this weekend and went to the Lorain International Festival, which I haven't been too since I was a teenager. It's the sort of festival that kicks off summer festivals in Lorain where you can eat your favorite ethnic food for three whole days. Chicken paprikash, pierogies, fried rice, funnel cakes, stuffed cabbage and a bunch other ridiculously unhealthy yet delish food you want to eat. all. the. time.

Lorain International Festival; cousin Megan 3rd runner up; paprikash, fried rice; one of my favorite Polish pastries from Kiedrowki's Bakery in Lorain

Saturday afternoon I spent working with the Gay Games 2014 booth at Pride Cleveland, specifically the photo booth with three of the best volunteers you could ask for. We danced, pranced, drank gallons of water and mingled in the hot sun with some new friends.

Get your Gay Games photo on

After winning another two games of volleyball, my winning team and I continued to enjoy the milder summer weather at Sunset Grille but not before things got a little more interesting as someone accidentally kicked a volleyball into the marina water. You know, the gross part of the marina water where there is seaweed and other gross objects randomly floating in the water.

It's not a party until someone gets out of control. Or jumps in the lake to "save a volleyball and not a child," as you can hear my friend yelling at her boyfriend in the water.

Scott saving Wilson