from my beauty bag to yours

With the help of my monthly Birchbox subscription, I'm introduced to several more beauty products than one girl necessarily needs and that's how I've found two of my favorite new products this from from S.W. Basics and Jouer.

You can never enough lip balm in any given purse, laptop bag or coat pocket at any time so I always have a favorite one at quick disposal. Meet S.W. Basics - the citrus one is used on a daily basis.

I mix my favorite Dr. Jart Black Label BB cream with the Jouer luminizing moisture tint in golden or pearl for my daily routine. It provides a hint of shimmer and light enough coverage.

Even though my hair isn't in the sun for the next six months, I still use the Aveda sun care hair masque once a month to help refresh my locks  - at least I think it works.

new favorite beauty finds. 

Dry skin? I am newly obsessed with this brand. I just happened to pick up Dr. Bronner's soap because I was out of my normal body soap at my grocery store. I'm a sucker for anything almond scented and instantly (no joke) my skin felt smoother and softer after using it once. I'm talking noticeably different after one use.

If you need a 10 minute make up routine, let me introduce you to the Naked Basics palette. I know, I know - it's not Naked 3 but you can't go wrong with these shades. Simple staples for your beauty bag.

My nightly face routine consists of  only two things since I first used these products two years ago - the Swell skin bar to wash my face and then the seabuckthorn oil. That is it. Every night since my esthetician first introduced me to Swell products during a routine facial. My world = changed. P.S. move beyond the unique smell - your skin will thank you later.

From my bathroom to yours, I hope you give one of these products a chance as you search for the next beauty product on your list. Samples are a girls best friend so ask your Nordstrom or Sephora rep for some to test and try out - I promise, you won't regret it!

my weekly dates with crossfit

I drank the kool-aid that is crossfit.

Now before you stop reading this blog or send me texts that I’m going to “get too muscular,” just put your iPhone down and breathe. Better? Ok then.

Over the summer I started training with a friend in crossfit-like sessions with a group of girls. I absolutely loved it. I found myself getting up at 6:15 a.m. (that’s some kind of record for me) twice a week to be at the gym ready to push sleds, push press weight and do an ab routine that would get me Britney abs circa her 2000 VMA performance. (Yes, that one - the one with the most glittery gorgeous body suit that still sticks vividly in mind because still as an almost 31 year old, I'm vying for abs like that.) I even attended a community class on a Saturday at Birdtown and planned on joining the next month.

See? Abs of steel.
Then I made excuses. It’s too expensive. I don’t need it – I’ll do the routines in my gym, add running, Barre classes and keep with my once a week hot vinyasa yoga.

One big fat lie is what that was.

One BIG fat lie.

I wasn’t going in the weight room. I avoided it at all costs. I stuck with running and yoga but all the progress I made was quickly being lost and I realized that:

1) I need a trainer-like environment because I’m not going to do front squats for the hell of it

2) I like working out in a group dynamic and bonus when you are already friends with them

3) I needed to stop making excuses and just make the payment already

Two months ago, I messaged a blogger turned in real life friend and said, “Heather, I want to know what this Birdtown Crossfit is all about” after I saw an article highlighting all the risks involved with starting the crossfit program. She sent it to the BTC trainers and they shared a response with her to send to me. I signed up after reading their take on crossfit and hearing from Heather about the gym atmosphere.

Read Huffington Post and there is probably an article sharing how absolutely intimidating and terrible crossfit is for you. At Birdtown, I don’t find it to be either of those things – I focus on the movements first before I do too much weight incorrectly and blow out my back. 

What I’m not trying to be:
  • An American Gladiator – Don’t you remember how much fun it was to watch the Gladiators compete back in the day on USA? Yeah, well I’m NOT striving to look like Sky or Blaze but I am trying to finish the half marathon in 1:50, slicing 18 minutes off my time this year.
Gun show.
What I’m trying to be:
  • Stronger with every WOD – Do a real strict pull up and one of those kip up things where they swing themselves up over the bar ever so easily. Oh, and my mental inspiration board consists of a behind like J.Lo and abs like Britney.

I mean, after all, it's almost new year's resolution anyway right?

hola, barcelona!

At this point in our trip, we were a week and a half in and decided we needed more time. More time to explore, to lay on the beach and weren’t ready to head home in just three short days.

Initially, we were headed to Pamplona from Biarritz but luckily we cut out that city and focused on just hitting Barcelona for the remaining trip. Four cities in two weeks was the perfect amount we thought – slightly a little too aggressive - but I’d say three cities in two weeks is the perfect time, averaging about 4 days in each city.
We arrived in Barcelona very late, found our flat complete with a rooftop deck in Las Ramblas, lugged our suitcases up a narrow four flights of stairs and needed beers. Stat. We toasted to our last city on this awesome European adventure over some pizza and were ready to take on the city of Barcelona the next day.

Or so we thought…

Like we did in each city, we narrowed down our sights and set off to the La Sagrada Familia fairly early in the morning. The vibe was all wrong when we set out to Las Ramblas from what we were used to in Biarritz. We came from a relaxed beach town and felt like we were in the middle of Times Square on New Years as we exited our alley into Las Ramblas. It. Was. Nuts.

There were double decker tour buses everywhere and people following you all over to sell trinkets. It was too much all at once. The line at La Sagrada Familia was too long for us so we went to the Gaudi Parc instead and with one walk through the area, we subconsciously knew this wasn’t our day to be tourists.  We stopped, looked at each other as peddlers raced by us to avoid the police and all said some form of “This is too much right now. We need a rooftop pool with a view and bar like now.”

We discovered the most fabulous sangrias at this quaint little caf矇 and plotted our return to France. We needed to go back but we paid for the flat already. We didn’t care and wanted to be back Biarritz. Barcelona wasn’t for us. Get us outta here!

When we found our happy place
After the second sangria about the size of our heads, we decided that we would stay, find the nearest W hotel for the next day’s adventure.

experiencing what the Mediterranean sea has to offer
After spending a day basking in the sun, I convinced my travel partners to give the Sagrada Familia another try and wait in an hour line. Luckily for us, we had two things on our side – it wasn’t too hot yet and the line was ONLY an hour long.
Peek inside and out of the Sagrada Familia construction

This church was stunning. Absolutely stunning from every corner you looked there was something new – the light streamed in different from angles around and the outside was as magnificent as the inside. AND the kicker – it’s not done yet. They are literally still finishing Guadi’s vision so you can watch their work on the towers as you wait in the line that wraps around the whole church.

Even though this trip was three months ago, it feels like we were just boarding the plane for Paris and I remembered I forgot the rail tickets on my counter midway through our flight. We have thrown out ideas for our next trip but unfortunately the next European adventure may have to wait to 2015.

In 2014, we may settle for a two five day trips to a beach and vineyards because after all, this trip reinforced that I can’t get enough of the world’s beaches and wine. So a second trip to Sonoma/Napa and San Francisco to test our knowledge we learned from our very patient tour guide, Mathieu, in Bordeaux.

Where do I want to go next?
  • London, Ireland, Scotland
  • Italy, Greece and Croatia
  • Road trip across the US – rent a Jeep and spend time hitting cities on our way and end in Tahoe or Seattle and fly back home

Instead of those European destinations, my family and I booked a North Carolina beach vacation this summer. It’s been almost 10 years since my extended family and I have been back to Corolla and this time we have few new younger faces joining the beach house for the week.

Celebrating July 4th in Corolla circa 2001

Disclosure – If you are looking to book a vacation, we used Nicole at Paul Klein travel to book all of our hotels, trains and life-changing wine tour in Bordeaux

like eddie murphy said in his 80s hit

Parties are something my friends and I have perfected over the years. It started with throwing unique birthday parties from when we were 21 all the way through 31 to themed bachelorette parties to my Browns breakfast of champions party. We LOVE an excuse to party. But as we grow up, a new certain kind of party has emerged - the gender reveal party.

24th birthday celebration

80s bachelorette party in Folly Beach
When I shared I was going to my first gender reveal party, people either had a look of complete disgust or excitement and asked how the couple would reveal the gender.

With balloons?

A cake?

A singing telegram?

Have you look on Pinterest lately? People go a l-i-t-t-l-e crazy with their reveal ideas. Where do they COME up with these ideas? Or just peruse Buzzfeed for some awesomely bad ideas too.

Truth to be told, I’m pretty sure I convinced my friend to have this one – as if the girl needed another person recommending her have one – but it made for a great excuse for everyone to gather to see the future baby’s sex and watch the OSU game for an interesting Saturday night.

it's a boy, it's a boy!

cake and chocolate covered everything for the reveal

I can't swipe right

Do you Tinder?

You know.... that app that has caught on like wildfire among you and your single friends.

Yesterday, I ran into a friend in my building as I picking up quite the shoe shipment and I hadn't seen in awhile and other than "Hi, how you have been?" the second statement was, "So my brother found you on Tinder over Thanksgiving."

Face palm. Why did I sign up for that again?

Sometime in the summer, my lovely younger brother asked me after if I ever heard of the app "Tinder" after spending the weekend in Chicago and experimenting it with himself.

He spent the weekend tindering with girls in different area codes. Seriously, that's what he and his friends did. So, I decided to listen to him (very rare I swear) and downloaded it to see what all the chatter was about. After all, I'm in the business of social media so it's my job to keep on top of everything like Snapchat, Wechat and even Grindr.

You can literally sign up in about 30 seconds, choose your profile images from Facebook and then you are off to set your settings of sexual preference, age and distance.

Ready, set, go! It is that easy. Like Calgon, Tinder - take me away into a world of single guys who live 25 miles from me and are likely friends of friends!

What's not to love?!? It's like virtual speed dating on steroids all from the palm of our hands. Wrong. 

I've introduced my other single friends to this app and they have become quickly obsessed, logging on daily to see if they see any potential dating material and swipe right if they are interested. They swipe right all the time. They can swipe right in their sleep. They swipe right and so do the potential suitors and

I can't swipe right.

Maybe because I don't take the whole app seriously or because it reminds me a bit too much of a that I choose to be a voyeur versus actually swiping right to make any kind of "connection."

Or maybe because it literally reminds me too much of Facebook, knowing that everyone is using the app (and creeping like me) or to make a Friday night that much more interesting in their local watering hole.

At least that's what my friends and I plan to do this weekend....

coloring outside the lines

I am not artistic.

I'm the farthest thing from it actually. I was always envious of my colder cousin because he could draw fairly well when we were kids and I had a hard time simply shading properly in my Barbie coloring books.

I appreciate art - I appreciate the thought, inspiration, love, sweat and endless hours behind people who can create works of art from paintings to murals to furniture to metal sculptures so that I can purchase it for my living space. It's truly an incredible talent to have.

Friends introduced me to the artists at the BUCKBUCK studio in Ohio City for "Your Show," where guests could literally express their own creativity in the gallery area. There was play dough, markers, crayons, self portraits and yarn set up throughout the space for people to get creative. Or, in my case, at least try to sketch a self portrait.
Your Show at the Buck Buck Gallery; Lindsay leaning in; our artwork

Lindsay in deep thought coloring with friends

I met some new faces and also introduced to Joe Kastelic, owner of Play-haus Design, right next door to the studio who I may have commissioned to build me a custom wine rack for my place. His style is incredible and mixes different reclaimed woods and metals for his custom look - my next place needs to have the dinner table with the trough in the middle. You want to talk about the ultimate dinner party table...

more designs at playhausdesign on Instagram

But for now, I'll start with a wine rack and dream about the table for future dinner parties and flip cup games.

relaxation takes serious practice

How I spent my weekend...

Friday night:
An impromptu girls' night out to cheer on the Cavs with new friends but we weren't the good luck the team needed to pull a win against the Bobcats.

Go Cavs.

Relaxation was finally achieved this weekend in the form of a three-hour pampering session at Charles Scott Salon. My package consisted of a mini facial (by Charmayne), massage (by Kari), manicure and pedicure (by Gia). As my face was lathered in a soothing mud mask with steam blowing on it, Charmayne shared that I should be applying SPF to my face like it's my  job (this I already do), recommends an under eye cream (I have used Skinceuticals A.G.E complex) and a weekly mud mask. You know what I'll be buying myself for Christmas then!

a sample of the pampering: lets see if the CND Vinylux lasts for 7 days with no chipping

Celebrations for friends - a wedding shower and birthday dinner. Let's just pretend we didn't see that Browns game, mmmmk?

Bride and groom (Erin and Nick) and the bridal party

The birthday girl with her fabulous cake and  her adorable daughter

Disclosure: For my blogger partnership with Charles Scott Salon, I will receive discounts on services for the the next year.

my favorite new place to watch the sun set

Remember when I went to Europe?

My friends and I spent a few days in the Bordeaux countryside we needed a relaxing weekend at the beach.  We sufficiently filled our need of vineyards and chateaus for the week so the next logical destination was a beach. So that's exactly how we found the next step on our itinerary - Biarritz, France.

our first afternoon in Biarritz

Biarritz is this small beach town located about a 4 hour train ride south of Paris on the Bay of Biscay. It's where surfing was introduced into France and will likely serve as our fall vacation spot again for 2014. The three of us fell in love with this tiny town with its winding cobblestone streets, turquoise blue water and mix of Spanish and French cuisine.

On our first night, I made my friends rush down to the see the sun set because it was steps from our hotel. We literally rushed down several flights of cement stairs to make it all the way to water. All summer long in Cleveland if I'm on my way home, I stop at a small beach in Rocky River and watch the sun set from the beach and rocks - I have the Instagram photos to prove it! We stood there with our feet in the water, laughed at our view in complete amazement of the ocean and both decided, "this isn't a North Carolina sun set."

Our beach weekend was just that - sun time. We moved between the public beach to tour through the town then back to our hotel to lay and read at our rooftop pool and drink Kir Royales, which I fell in love with, all afternoon long.

Biarritz beach view

ocean for days

Rooftop view at sunset

Told you it wasn't a North Carolina sunset

The weekend we spent in Biarritz may have been my favorite time of the vacation. It was the part I was most looking forward to and didn't disappoint in the three days we spent basking in the sun reading our books. Most afternoons were spent with long times of silence (which you know isn't typical) but I think we each soaked in as much of the beach views as we could, knowing it was going to be a long time until we make it back to beautiful Biarritz.

The three of us did agree that this could be our new "North Carolina" beach vacation. After all, it's only a six hour flight and four hour train ride south to this breathtaking beach town.

Only if we go next time, surfing lessons are a must. We can't leave until we try it.

festivities abound

As I woke up this morning, I somehow developed a wicked head cold from essentially having too much fun this weekend. I am being punished and it was well worth it.

Friday: dinner with college roommates and welcoming a Chicago friend back to her old stomping grounds

Mel and Lissa; dropping in on a Veuve party at Press in Tremont

Saturday: celebrating Diwali traditions with friends. Too much food, laughter and gambling to properly document the occasion.

Indian street food prepared by Cleshopaholic; friends with bindis and the Festival of Lights with sparklers

Finished product of deliciousness

Sunday: braving the elements for my first time finally tailgating in the muni lot this season.

what 41 degree tailgating looks like

Fall weather has kicked in, my wardrobe needs to be updated like woah and my favorite holiday is only 24 days away. Let's get at it, November!

shaken or stirred is the most important question

Next Thursday marks an important day for Clevelanders looking to attend one of the best parties of the winter on February 22.

Jump Back Ball is really the party that gets my friends and I through the long winter months. You have the lovely Christmas then New Years and then a big break of emptiness. No events (except if you could my birthday), staying indoors gets a little redundant and sometimes you just need a party.

Enter the Jump Back Ball. It is the event that leaves you looking forward to something at the end of February. Let's you get dressed up, attend with friends, meet new ones and party in the legendary theater district for a Saturday night.

Why do we all get so excited about this event?

Well, please scan through photos from last year's event to see what an amazing time we all had. Or, you can read about my take on the the past three year's event - Passport to Party in 2011, Through the Looking Glass in 2012, and Jump Back Two Spaces in 2013.

What: Jump Back 0023: Shaken Not Stirred Kickoff Ticket Party

Where: Cibreo Privado (Private Dining Room) 1438 Euclid Ave., downtown Cleveland

When: Thursday, November 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $150 each, VIPs $200 each (Limit 2 tickets per person) VIP tickets allow earlier entry with a private menu provided by Dante Boccuzzi this year. For Partners, tickets are discounted to $115 each.

What to expect: Complimentary appetizers, drink specials and a lot of people AND for the first 250 people who purchase tickets will receive a long sleeve t-shirt that says "Will you be shaken or stirred?"

At the kickoff event, tickets are the lowest price and available for one day only. The price will increase $15 PLUS handling fees after the kick off party.

As if you need more reasons to get your ticket early, this event will sell out. Each year, the event continues to sell our earlier and last year it sold out by December 7.

Don't be the person stalking Twitter looking for tickets. Get yours early.

Disclaimer: I'm partnering with PlayhouseSquare to promote the event in exchange for ticket compensation.

you can spell fall with c-l-a-m-b-a-k-e

Some people check off their fall season by visiting pumpkin patches, drinking apple cider and hopping on a hayride but I can't ignore the obvious-right-in-your-face activity that you must do - eat your face off at a clambake.

Way back in my younger years, I attended a very memorable family clambake where I had an encounter with an angry dog who didn't like me, any of the people around it or maybe the dog simply wasn't a fan of clams. Well, whatever the case was, my face was fixed up nicely with a few stitches and lots of nightly applications of vitamin E oil.

Even a few stitches can't shake my love for a Fall food party!

Get in line early!

guess how much I actually ate?

For an awesome price of $30 at Sokolowski's, friends and I feasted on half a chicken (yes, seriously), sweet potatoes, red skin potatoes, clams, clam chowder, corn and extra clams if you really needed to add anything else to your already overflowing lunch tray.

we took up a table for 6 with only 4 people
Sokolowski's is the place to go in the fall and winter months when all you really want to do is eat what I consider soul food, which is Polish or Hungarian cooking that reminds me of my grandmother. The woman knew her pierogies, goulash and chicken paprikash like no one's business and luckily my dad has perfected her recipe over time.

Word to the wise - if you are in a rush and not at Sokolowski's before 6 p.m., then I suggest you pick a different restaurant in Tremont on a weekend because you can wait a long time if you hit the rush. But, you can always grab a beer or two, stand in line and prepare to be immobile after eating  this comfort food for the next few hours.

Not a bad way to spend the last weekend in October if I do say so myself.

there's a new studio in town

In the fitness realm, there are very few things I wouldn't give a try once or twice for the sake of testing. I'm a huge advocate of running and hot yoga because it allows a person to clear their mind. Well, at least it does for me. You can totally clear your mind by losing yourself running and during yoga poses, even if there is music blasting in the background. I have only tried spinning twice and both times I have loved the energy of the room lit by candles and how intensely sweaty you get only minutes into the workout.

Cleveland has a new cycle studio opening up soon in Hingetown - Harness Cycle - just over the Detroit Bridge at Detroit and W. 29th. As the finishing touches are put on the actual studio space, riders can visit the Cycle LAB set up at 1810 W 25th (almost across the street from Nano Brew). Having met the owner over a year ago at a Bad Girl Ventures class I was speaking at, I'm happy to see all her hard work and spinning dreams finally come to life with her very own studio. And, it doesn't hurt that I can get to her studio with an easy 1.5 mile run from my apartment. That's of course IF I'm feeling up to running there and back AFTER I cycle my J.Lo off for an hour.

Cycle LAB in Ohio City

Instructor Charity setting up a rider before the ride begins

Instructors hosted a family and friends free ride last week and I even skipped a day of crossfit to ride with friends during one of Charity's classes. The next morning my upper body was sore from all the riding push ups and my legs needed some major stretching and H2O intake throughout the day after climbing all those damn hills. All signs of a solid workout.

If you are in the neighborhood or want to try a class because all your friends are doing it, check out the schedule and sign up here over the next few weeks until Harness shifts over into their final home base. I highly recommend all the instructors - you will find me at one of Charity's or Tiffany's classes - I highly recommend these women!

three days in Bordeaux

Bordeaux arrived at my doorstep last week in the form of 12 vibrant bottles of red and white wine from the Saint Emilion wine region.

special arrival from France

It was a pleasant surprise to have them arrive early and sent me back to that afternoon where my friends and I spent an hour in the most beautiful wine shop surrounded by Matt, our incredibly patient and impressive tour guide, and Hugo, the French version of Prince William. Tall, sort of quiet and shy with a full head of sandy hair and very soft blue eyes. I mean...he could be the new Christian Grey since it looks like the role is still open!

Tour guide Matt was right - he did have quite beautiful eyes that sold us three cases of wine and shipped across the Atlantic.

After three very touristy days spent in Paris, we arrived with Matt, our private tour guide, waiting to take us on our first day of wine tastings to the Medoc region, which was about forty minutes away from our hotel in Bouilac, just above the city of Bordeaux. Kudos to my friend Lindsay who suggested hiring a private tour guide because Matt was worth every s-i-n-g-l-e penny for his rich history knowledge of wine, Bordeaux and slow but stellar driving skills where he happily let us hop out and take EVERY single chateau photo we wanted along our drive.
Medoc region wine tasting

Chateau hopping in the Medoc region

A trip to France wouldn't have been complete if we left without taking cooking lessons from our hotel, Le Saint James, which overlooks the city of Bordeaux with the most breathtaking views at sunset. Out of all the hotels we stayed at, this was truly the most amazing one with impeccable service and an outstanding garden view that looked over the city with vineyards and twinkle lights when the sun finally went down over the patio.

Foie gras two ways and Lissa assisting Chef Ben

Celebrating Lindsay's birthday at our hotel restaurant

After spending five hours with us, tour guide Matt decided he could handle my friends and I for another day so he drove us to Saint Emilion for the afternoon with a guided tour in a 12th century church, catacombs, a leisurely lunch, the wine store with Hugo and a chance to sit on the steps of a medieval castle.

Touring a 12th century church in St. Emilion

The  most adorable and chic wine store

dream come true sitting in front of the castle

After three days, we wined and dined ourselves into the most delicious food and wine comas we could have asked for in Bordeaux. Next, we headed to the beach for the weekend to continue a little R&R in Biarritz, a small beach town along the coast of the Bay of Biscay that is NOT to be missed if you are in France.

Juice me for a day

I don't know about you, but I love the sample stations at my local grocery store, Heinen's, and literally slowly stroll by each station to see if it's worth trying as I peruse through the store picking up my weekly items.

After leaving the produce section, I passed by soon-to-be new juice friend, Keith, who was sampling, "would you like to try our mean green juice?" Instantly, I was interested because 1) what a cool name and 2) based on a quick glance of the products, packaging and display, I knew it was something super ridiculously healthy that likely needed to be added to my refrigerator. The juice extraordinaire also explained how the juice is raw (never heated) and cold pressed slowly to keep all the nutrients intact from the organic fruit and vegetables. Sold!

Let me introduce you to Garden of Flavor - locally produced raw juice made right here in Cleveland by a lifelong Clevelander sold in Whole Foods, Heinen's and Mustard Seed.

After sampling a few juices, I decided to put back my one bottle and go all in with a one day juice cleanse for $44 to kick start my week and blast my system with pounds and pounds of fruits and vegetables. Now, if you follow my blog closely, you know how I feel about any type of long-term cleanse after I miserably failed the Dr. Oz one two months ago. I'm just not that into them. Cleanses and I aren't friends - I have no will power for that type of thing.

However, a one day cleanse is the sort of thing I can get behind because it's just one day. Right? Well, that's exactly what I told myself Sunday night and Monday morning as I sipped on the first drink marked #1 in the six drink package.

Goji Pineapple - Probably the best zing I have had in the morning with the ginger addition. Not too sweet, perfect substitute for your morning OJ with the pineapple and goji berries.
Rating: A+

Cucumber Refresh - This just has fresh written all over it. Clean, fresh taste and easy peasy to drink.
Rating: A

Mean Green - This was pretty good considering all it had was vegetables in it - romaine, kale, celery, cucumber, spinach and lemon. I definitely felt pretty damn healthy after drinking this one for lunch. Rating: B+

Twisted Roots - Look, I love a beet salad with walnuts and gorgonzola as the next girl but I would not normally drink my beets. But drink #4 called for me to do so and I did at 3 p.m. for my afternoon pick me up. It's a combo of straight beets and carrots with lemon. This was my least favorite but I'll try anything once for the sake of being healthy.
Rating: C+

White Knight - Like the dessert I was craving all day, I blended this with some ice and cinnamon after a fellow juicer suggested it and it was sweet, nutty, filling and may be my favorite one of the set. Rating: A+

Lemon Pepp - Remember how the Master Cleanse was made popular a few years ago? The lemon/cayenne pepper/agave combination reminded me of that and much like the Cucumber Refresh, this was very easy to drink at the end of the night and perfect after my hot yoga class to hydrate as well.
Rating: A

In my non-expert opinion, the one day cleanse is perfect for someone like me who doesn't want to do days of smoothies but can still eat fruit throughout the day if needed. Over the course of the day, I felt energized and never tired from missing out on my morning caffeinated green tea either.
While I'll likely try my hand at the day cleanse in the near future, I'll definitely add  a mix of Mean Green, Goji Berry and Lemon Pepp to my shopping list for next week.

Juicers - what's your favorite brand to use? Or do you just add the juices into your daily diet instead?

a little mix of this and that

My response to my friends who asked me what my plans for the past two days were simple - I wanted a "boring yet productive weekend." I was serious. It was go time.

Friday: an evening with fashion and fetish at the Western Reserve Historical Society

Who would really say no to this? After being emailed about the event from the social media coordinator, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to hear about fashion and fetish from Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). The chat lasted about 45 minutes where Valerie showed images of early fetish magazines from the 1920s all the way to the the 90s era where Gaultier brought corsets back from the Victorian times with Madonna and her Blonde Ambition tour.

Queen of Pop; 1920s festih magazine

Saturday: productivity like no other

An early crossfit workout and a three-hour brunch with my aunt, I escaped home just before it started to rain again to take on my to-do list. I crossed and checked off line items and kept my weekend plans true going to dinner with friends at Humble Wine Bar.

Have you been?

Get over there on a date, for happy hour or to meet up with girlfriends for a few bottles of wine and some of the most delicious neapolitan style pizzas. It's the perfect setting with a large and open floor plan, chandeliers with wine bottles and did I mention they have charcuterie plates?

a good looking charcuterie plates

can you smell the garlic from the quatro formaggio on the right?

Sunday: it's really not a Sunday Funday without a mimosa

Sunday morning was for the sweatiest hot follow-the-yogi class at Inner Bliss Yoga to sweat out all the garlic I ate the night before and to enjoy a grand marnier, angry orchard and raspberry mimosa at Market in Rocky River.

Namaste, yes, namaste.

Disclosure: I was contacted by the social media coordinator at Western Reserve Historical Society and offered discounted tickets to attend the Fetish show. And, yes, I'm so glad I decided to go because it really was amazing to see a fashion historian up close and personal.

the ultimate Sunday Fundays are really in fall

One of exciting thing to look forward to when I returned home to Cleveland was knowing that my most favorite season of the year would be in full swing. While I loved soaking up the last bits of summer on the beach in France and Spain, I was secretly longing to be in layers with scarves, sweaters and my Hunter boots at football games. (I know, call me crazy, right?!?)

Seeing as I missed the home opener, I knew my first Breakfast of Champions party needed to have an extra kick to it so throw in two friends who were having 30th birthdays and a mom who was more excited to be downtown than all your friends combined, and you instantly more fun reason to get up at 8 am on a Sunday to prep for the party.

Sam Adams getting in on the action; ladies sitting pretty; mel and me in matching shirts; Amherst families unite w/ birthday boy #1

patio holds at least 23 people; erin being fabulous; birthday boy #2 turning 30
Because of the beautiful 75 degree weather and intense games of beer pong, most of my party didn't make it to tailgating but we did make it in time to our seats to see kick off and the Browns pull out another win for the second week in a row.

But while observing my friends on Sunday, I think I've cooked up another few party ideas for the fall, knowing that I can fit about 25 people sitting or standing outside. Sure - I should have likely thrown more parties over the summer but I wanted to be anywhere but in my apartment - I wanted to be on the beach, playing volleyball or sitting on someone else's patio.

Apartment clambake anyone? This could be a winner!