Showing posts with label it's all about me. Show all posts
Showing posts with label it's all about me. Show all posts

you oughta know

It's a new month.

A new view.

A new winter wardrobe.

January is all about the new years resolution, joining gyms, trying a new diet like the Whole30 and celebrating birthdays for you and all your Capricorn friends.

In my book, January is a FABULOUS month because it's the start of the new year AND my birthday month. I'll be turning 32 in just 12 days and have my birthday week booking up with little and big celebrations all week long.

I go back and forth between making really large and in charge new resolutions. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't but I can tell you I'm going to for sure add more vegan meals each week into my meals. Nothing too crazy or unattainable with these meals but I'm going to make a conscious effort to eat less meat and this one way I can make that happen.

I'm also going to share some of my favorite finds from face creams to movies to fashion to restaurants to desserts to vegan recipes to British pop music and this lovely month I'm sticking to a few favorite Cleveland products that I have either purchased or DESPERATELY want to purchase and have on my "need to buy right this second" list on my phone.

1820 house candles.

Retail at about $20 each candle. 

I first saw these at Blackbird Fly Boutique and grabbed one for myself and a housewarming present in blackberry + arugala and thistle + milk. I'm a sucker for candles. It's the perfect gift to give someone   (as long you don't pick an overwhelming scent). My mom thinks I'm going to burn my down my living arrangements (so she purchased me a Scentsy a few years ago), but I still stock up on candles to burn in my small apartment. They make me feel relaxed, calm and more creative when I'm writing and working at my desk. (It's totally in my mind but I'm going with it.)

blair ritchey bags.

Mini Lulu  $95 (left) and PAK $225 (right)

Way back when, a friend invited a few bloggers to check out a new boutique in Chagrin Falls. That new boutique was Haven Style House - we were treated to makeup touch ups and see their brand new store. There I met the clutch I have been coveting since over a year - the mini Lulu from Blair Ritchey. It's beautiful, hand crafted and needs to be in my closet this winter along with the PAK in black gator. The PAK is like her bigger and sexier sister who wears slightly higher heels with a shorter skirt. It is THE clutch to carry all the damn time and that Blair Ritchey knows it! Even Blair's  key chains are adorable and were Christmas presents this year for a few friends. (Surprise! They are in the mail!)


Don't you want to order one right now? This one is (or was) under $300.
I fell in love with the classic bellfield petite tote as I perused the Cleveland Flea in the summer. You couldn't miss their set up with these beautifully crafted leather totes hanging so perfectly and basically calling out to me to buy and come over and take in the scent of the leather bags. After feeling these bags up like your 7th grade crush did, I instantly added this bag to that ever growing shopping list of handbags to buy in 2015 on my phone. Well, friends, THIS is added to the list along with the Phillip Lim satchel. I really don't know what one is going to come first at this point.

There you have it. Happy spending in your no spend January because these products are worth the splurge, if I do say so myself.

in and out at the Cleveland Flea

If you missed the Cleveland Flea this weekend, you have another chance to pick up so many amazing holiday gifts at the next one which I think is December 13 and 14th. Don't quote me - it was written on a chalkboard as I walked out and I didn't snap a picture!

Rule #1 - Get there early.

Like no, really, when it opens early and plan to stay for about an hour (maybe 2 at the most) because it gets packed. When my friend and I stopped in on Sunday, we got there by 11 and left just at noon and were able to scope out the entire food section and wander our way through the other vendor section to see all the jewelry, vintage clothing, candles and leather handbags with some serious craftsmanship for $350. Why yes, I want one of these fine bags.

Here are some of my favorite finds on Sunday.

Grab some food first before your peruse all the vendors. My vote - a Brewnut is a great choice.

Find a fur coat for $350 that you ABSOLUTELY NEED - OMG it's gorgeous

I could really buy all of Anne's jewelry. It's so delicate and beautiful. 

Those bracelets are my next purchase. 

These remind me of my grandmother's house only they were white and had ornaments on them. 

Picked up 4 tiny magnets from Studio KMR at only $3 each

What other great vendors did I miss?

Bright Pink is really every girl's favorite color

Just a few weeks ago, Cleveland was introduced to Bright Pink and Fab Fest.  I remember hearing about Bright Pink months ago when one of my favorite fitness instructors, Lori Standen of Pure Barre, was named one of the event instructors. I knew Lori so if she was involved, I knew it was an event I didn't want to miss.

What is FabFest you ask? It is the fitness fundraiser for Bright Pink, the only national organization focused on risk reduction and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer. FabFest started in 2009 and 2014 was the first year it came to our great city of Cleveland.

event details

The kick off started with more information and facts than I knew about and the importance of prevention and regular checks. We all nod and say "of course" but do you really take the appropriate steps each year to make sure we are healthy? If you don't, start now and make a year appointment and get to know your breasts as they say. We have to take care of ourselves and I am the first one to cancel and rebook doctor's appointments because 1) I think I'm indestructible and 2)  I push myself to the limits until my body shuts down from one hell of a sinus infection. Cancer does run in my family so it's imperative that we understand our bodies and what is going on in them.

Feeling the burn

The event was a mix of high-intensity 30 minute workouts with yoga, massages and even bra measuring from the girls at Aerie as in American Eagle. (Side note: American Eagle was my JAM back in the day and I still even own a bomber jacket from 1999 that I can't part with because it is coming back in style you guys!)

No makeup selfie in front of a pink glitter curtain
FabFest Cleveland had 150 participants and raised $114,000. Fundraising is still open and you can donate here until October 21, 2014.

Disclosure: I was provided a media pass to attend the event.

a quick weekend getaway

Through several friends who have recently visited this area, I am happy to introduce you to an adorable spot 5 hours west of us that isn't Chicago.

You know those radio ads you have heard for years with "Tim the tool man Taylor" talking about the breeze or leaves or something about the outdoors? The ones that always end with "pure Michigan?"

I finally took good old Tim the Tool Man Taylor up on his offer and my boyfriend and I booked an impromptu weekend getaway. We both had the weekend free - no travel, no weddings and a Browns away game meant it was a sign to take the weekend and get the hell out of downtown Cleveland.

After under an hour of research, we found a small condo in downtown Saugatuck and took off without knowing what exactly we would be doing for two nights. Even though it was raining and sometimes sleeting, we could still experience the how quaint and charming the little downtown was and it reminded me of the set of Dawson's Creek. No joke - I imagine the little town of Wilmington, North Carolina, and Saugatuck have a lot in common with the restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

Accommodations from Bella Vita Spa and Suites

I have a thing for tea and toast and American Spoon is serious about their jam.

The Chocolate Garden - sample truffles for days

As seen at the wineries

While you have to drive almost 1.5 hours to get to the largest cluster of wineries, there are still a few about 45 minutes south of Saugatuck and we made sure to hit four of them on Saturday plus one brewery.

If you want a quiet and affordable weekend, go there - it's only a five hour drive from Cleveland and there is still so much to explore that we couldn't because the weather wasn't cooperating with us for any of the outdoor activities like boat or dune buggy rides.

Go. With your girlfriends for a wine weekend, or mom for a spa weekend or boyfriend for a romantic few days- it's a great little relaxing getaway.


Monday, September 8, 2014

I could have sworn that I have never taken a selfie. I was 100 percent sure that I never took a selfie. With all this talk about Kim Kardashian and her damn #selfie book, I was soooooo sure that I've never taken one and I don't take them now.

"Look, I don't take selfies," I'd say proudly to my friends. I'd leave that to them to do the Kim Kardashian.

I was wrong.

For whatever reason, I was scanning through my past Instagram photos and reminiscing about the past year or two of the trips I've taken and then stumbled upon these photos that would be classified as selfies.

I am appalled.


What the hell was I doing?


The shock.

The horror.

I promise. No more selfies on my Instagram account.

The upside of this is there's not duck or sparrow faces......

taking time to see the lights

Sometimes I can make a million excuses of not getting somewhere or seeing someone and lately it has boiled down to work. Work, work, work and more work.

Work has been dominating my life for the past two months in the best way possible. I have been challenged in every which way, slicing and dicing my time to be as efficient as possible, reinforcing my exhaustion with caffeine from my Pour Coffee and wearing bold lipstick to conquer each day like I imagine Beyonce does.

Simply put, I wouldn't have my lack of work/life balance any other way right now.

Last night, I took a little break to make it Edgewater LIVE, a happy hour I've tried to make every Thursday but was either out of town or had a prior commitment.  Since the Cleveland Metroparks took over Edgewater, the beach is completely clean and there are more events than ever and people fill up the beach up on Thursdays for live music, SUP lessons and dinner from the food trucks.

It was a beautiful 80 degree day that was begging me to go to the beach and get out of the coffee shop. So, that's what I did and enjoyed dinner from a food truck and kettle corn for dessert by the beach.

Best kind of happy hour

Over the past year, Mall B in downtown has completely transformed in this beautiful mini park in the middle of the city. I frequent this area on my runs and sprint up and down the incline on top of the convention center and will do a few box jumps on the cement benches. Play frisbee, bring a book to read or your beach towel - it's the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon if you want a beautiful place to relax right in the heart of the city.

Last night,  AHA! Festival of Lights officially turned on it's installation during PechaKucha Night event, where 10-12 speakers present rapid presentations (20 slides for 20 seconds each) about the arts, technology, or all about Cleveland in the case of many of the pechakuchas last night. I knew the first two presenters who talked about the Gay Games and Believe in CLE events that kicked off the night with powerful presentations.

Obscura Digital put on this mind-blowing "Transformations" show on the side of the Public Auditorium, which even made the kids who were running around on the light display sit the hell down and watch in awe of how the building was transformed into a living canvas. It was truly incredible to see it switch from scene to scene and my iPhone 5 doesn't even begin to do the show justice.

Light show on the Public Auditorium

The light installation everyone can't stop talking about

We all need a break from the daily grind and must force ourselves to find a way to decompress from the day. Even if it's just an hour or two for yourself, I find I'm more creative, energized and focused when I have an incredibly lengthy list of to dos.

Let's go Friday - I am winning today.

well that was fun.

It's July 28 and the month has absolutely flown the hell by. 

Where have I been? Where have you been?

I've been all over in Cleveland, drove 12 hours southeast to the Outer Banks then just a quick 5 hours west to Chicago for a weekend.

My family descended upon the Outer Banks for a week where we successfully avoided the hurricane, had daily dance parties by our pool, celebrated LeBron's return back to his hometown and went crabbing every night on the beach with my mom and aunt. If you have ever vacationed with your family, I hope you do this - it's absolutely ridiculous where you walk in the beach with flashlights and get "surprised" every time you come across a big ass sand crab. 

Pool time; selfie for Lebron coming home!!!; Peltz family; toddler Ethan looking fierce with water wings

Greg modeling; sunscreen is a family affair; couples; family bonding time

Every Sunday so far this summer has been pretty much spent on the volleyball courts followed by corn hole and our new favorite game, the list, over lots of summer shandy's. We win some games, we lose some games but we always end at Sunset Grille to finish out the weekend. 

This is an intense game.

One Saturday night, we all decided to throw it back like it was Thursday straight to 1983 or '85 or '87, depending on what you were born and partied in our best neon, denim and spandex combination for the Ultimate 80's party.  A little rain couldn't keep us away (or our hair flat) and we danced to Madonna and Whitney mashups like it was nobody's business. 

Don Johnson and me; Tony posing with his flock of seagulls hair; Madonna wins with the best costume of the group; taking over the dance floor like a champ

One of two of my favorite "tastes" happened in Tremont on an absolutely beautiful 80 degree day where I ate my way through the streets of Tremont. And, interestingly enough put on a banana costume and tried to do my best Timberlake impression of "bring it on down to bananaville" instead of omeletteville. Why not I ask you???

View of Professor; my best impersonation; so many choices of where to eat

It's been a busy summer, people! Let's keep it going!

your summer = planned Part II

We are halfway through the summer. Are you bored?

I hope the answer is a resounding "No!"

It's absolutely impossible in my book with the 80 degree weather Cleveland has been receiving, the RNC announcement and the LeBron is coming back any day now to his castle in Bath.

So, you say you need some more events to go to? Choose wisely!

Booze your face off and eat events:

12th annual Taste of Tremont - It has been a long two years since I've been to the Taste of Tremont. Being out of town the past two years, it is a truly fun and normally sweaty as hell event where Professor Street is packed with people of all ages and parking lots filled of local bands.

When: Taste of Tremont, This Sunday, July 20, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free, parking is just about hilarious over there so I suggest you Lyft of Uber.

Burning River Fest - It's a beer festival to literally remember when our river infamously caught on fire in 1969. I seems to the be the only thing the national media likes to report on so you might as well as take yourself plus friends to the best little part of Cleveland in the summer - Whiskey Island and Wendy Park.

When: Burning River Fest, Saturday, July 25, 6 p.m to 11 p.m. Tickets are $12 to $50. And if you are coming from the west, expect long delays to actually get there because the exit is closed. CLOSED for six months.

Twilight at the Zoo - Years ago I went and had a smashing time with friends but haven't been back because it's the conundrum of two events back to back - Krusty's Summer Camp is the next day. Can you do both? Say it with me, YES YOU CAN! There are 18 brands throughout the zoo and numerous drink stations. See your favorite animals, take some selfies and enjoy a Friday night at the Zoo.

When: Twilight at the Zoo, Friday, August 1, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are sold out but you can try your hand at the giveaway here.

Tastings on the Terrace at the Cleveland Museum of Art - The Art Museum is at it again with a new series of summertime events that I can get behind with Tastings on the Terrace.  Each Friday through 8/29, Provenance will feature a select drink “tasting” menu and pair it with complimentary small bites from the chef served outside on the rooftop terrace. What sounds better than that? Absolutely nothing!

When: Tastings on the Terrace, Friday, July 18, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cost is $8-10 per drink. This week's event will feature summertime wines with a Mediterranean flatbread.

Hydrate, stretch and work off the boozing events:

Believe in CLE - The ladies of Inner Bliss are at it again with another evening outdoor event for early August on Mall B downtown Cleveland. Get ready for a 75 minute vinyasa flow with a surprise speaker to start off the night's event. Remember to sign up here FIRST!

When: Believe in CLE, Friday, August 8, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Free event.

Cupid's Undie Run Volleyball Tournament - You know how much I love playing volleyball if you follow my Instagram feed because Sundays at Wendy Park are my favorite activity in the summer. Join me, grab a team and sign up for the tournament. Last year, there were special drinks and lots of people playing in their underwear. Well, not really but the benefit is the Children's Tumor Foundation.

When: Cupids Volleyball Tournament, Saturday, August 10 at 11 a.m. $140 for a team, $40 for corn hole.

our losing team

Rooftop Yoga with Harness Cycle - My favorite spin studio is bringing rooftop yoga to Clevelanders every Sunday on top of the Federal Knitting Mill in Ohio City.  Make sure to sign up early because this Sunday's event is already wait listed.

When: Rooftop Yoga with Harness Cycle, Every Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

family vacation or bust

Family vacations.

Breathe that phrase in.

For some, it can cause major anxiety because one week with your relatives can be quite interesting, dramatic or down right ridiculous if your family knows how to have a good time.

As a teenager, I loved taking our yearly trips to the Outer Banks with my family, which always consisted of some mix of cousins, aunts, uncles and my brother and I battling it out for who got to bring a friend that summer.

Summer of 1999

Luckily for both of us, our parents were friends with their parents so we always had between one to three friends on our trips. Our first trip was in 1999 and the last one was somewhere around 2003 to the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks.

Summer of 2001

As a 31-year-old, I haven't spent an entire week with my extended family in almost 10 years.

Family photo circa 2001

One beach house.

11 people.

2 kids under the age of 2.5 years old.

2 new significant others.

Even though Hurricane Arthur is threatening our Saturday arrival date, I truly believe we will have no problem at Saturday at 1 p.m. for check-in time for our Corolla beach house.


Because we are years over due for a family vacation and family vacations are where you make memories with the people you don't spend enough time with as an adult. We have work, friends, more work commitments and its easy to let that "other stuff" get in the way of the important parts of life like spending time with the important people.

get me to our pool. now.

I look forward to spending the next 7 days with my family and capturing moments that we will remember forever, laugh about at our next holiday gathering and refer back to for the next 10 years.

Now, Arthur, I'm going to need to swing away from the coast and head out more east. Please and thank you!

start investing

As someone who can maybe be labeled as an "impulse buyer" as I walk through Target or Sephora, I would assume that many people have my problem with the shiny end caps at the end of every aisle. The end caps always suck me in with their sale on candles or travel-sized body lotions - who can resist?!?

Over the years of wasting money on ridiculous items, I compiled a few things to stop wasting your money on and start investing today. That is, if you can resist the temptation while at the store....

Sports Bras - It's important. Oh my god is it important! As an avid runner, crossfitter and yoga devotee, invest now in a few that will last you a few years versus the non-supportive ones that will slowly unravel with each wash. And keep an eye on We Made Too Much to score a few of my favorite Lululemon ones on a major discount.

Drugstore hair color - Save yourself money and just don't get hooked on this. It's not a quick fix - a $8.99 bottle will turn into one hell of a mess that you will spend over $150 fixing if you grab the wrong color. Instead of using this every month, try finding an Aveda salon where students will cut and style your hair for half the cost, highlight under the first few layers so it grows out more evenly or try a version of ombre.

Shoes - I'm talking the crappy high heels that are such a steal for $29 until you lose circulation in your feet after 6 hours of wear and the next morning you find your feet with indents, reminding yourself to never again buy them because you will never be able to put them back on your feet. You might as well have thrown $29 out the window.

Cheap skin lotions - The watery face ones may be the worst offenders. Or maybe even the said watery ones that you use for a few days until your normal face lotion arrives in the mail or you can get to the store, but before then, you break out like a 7th grader again because your skin is rejecting the watery lotion. Over the past few years, I've narrowed down these bad purchases and stick with Kiehl's for my every day face lotion. It works, it moisturizes and leaves me break-out free.

Bottled water - Let's all agree to just spend money on a water bottle, throw some sliced lemons in it and call it a day. I even like to keep a pack of Nuun with me if I need to pump up my H20 intake.

The sticky and gooey lipgloss - It could be clear or a sheer shade of bright pink that you think will be the perfect-I-don't-care-if-I-lose-it kind until you put it on, walk outside and a light breeze blows your hair right into lips and it sticks permanently. Then, you have to carefully pull it off, wipe it off of the strands so that lip gloss caked strands doesn't get on the other hair. It's a process people! So stick with a Chapstick or throwback to your younger years with your favorite Lip Smacker or the amazing Rosebud Salve. Or, my other fail proof is lipstick - lasts longer with a lip liner and your hair will not get all caught up in it.

things not to waste your money on

one block and a new zipcode

Moving is one of those things that I have managed to do every year for the past three years with the help of very reliable friends and one very amazing brother who still always replies with a "of course I'll move you," when I bring up the topic. I think it really helps my cause that I'm the older sister in this situation.

I was really looking forward to this move. Actually I was all jazzed up about it. I managed to maintain the same city lifestyle by only moving one block and saving a decent chunk of money each month, shrinking my space by 130 square feet and sans patio. What a great adult move I was about to make!

New neighborhood view
I was stoked. I couldn't sign the lease quick enough and started planning my future travel budget and mapping out which cities I wanted to knock off my list with savings.

Then came the moving day. Ask my friends - I was so positive about it and brushing off the notion that moving is stressful, annoying and time consuming. "Oh it will be easy", I'd tell them. "I'm just moving a block" and "I'm basically an expert by now."

Here is how my moving went in hashtags.

9 a.m. - #pickedupthetruck #movingstartsnow #yay

11 a.m. - #firsttruckloadedup #valetislettingusparkthetruck #notthatbad

11:15 a.m. - #mybrotherisgoingtokillmebecausethiselevatorisntverybig #waituntiltheyfindouttherearetwodoors toopenupbeforewegettomyapartment

12 p.m. - #ohmygodmysecuritydepositisshot #rustwaterdrippedoncarpetfrompatiofurniture #sopissed

12:45 p.m. #secondtruckloadallloadedup #crossfitispayingoff #theboysareimpressed

1 p.m. - #theboysarerushingtowatchmarchmadness #theycantbeserious

2:15 p.m. - #boysstopeverythingtosetupTV #theymustlistentogameswhenmoving #aretheyserious?!?

2:30 p.m. - #truckreturned #isthisoveryet? #shitIhavetocleanmyoldapartment

4 p.m. - #stillmadabouttherustwatercarpetstain #stupidpatio

4:45 p.m - #lastcarloaddone #getmedinner #nevermovingagain #worstideaever

Not a bad new view

Here's to staying in my new place for at least one year. Maybe two this time in the same apartment even. Novel idea, maybe I'll even try it out for once. 

luck of the irish

How many times can one celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

To be specific, three days is the perfect amount of time to celebrate a holiday that is known with anything and everything to do with leprechauns, green beer and corned beef sandwiches.

Day 1: Celebrate with a 5 mile race, family and your favorite running partner followed by a carb-fueled brunch, lots of laughing, consistent ordering of bloody marys and mimosas and summer vacation planning.

Running partner Melissa; best costumes I saw; runners at the 2 mile mark

Family of a few first timers for the St. Malachi race

Day 2: Celebrate with a Sunday Funday with friends and a box of Lucky Charms because it props make anything better.
Bar snacks; the double selfie goes viral; mustache straws

Day 3: Celebrate with a single Guinness, tater tots with corn beef and cabbage for a low-key celebration in 20 degree weather

no green beer for this girl

One of these years, I'll finally make it to the parade that is only a few streets away my house and check that off my Cleveland bucket list.

coffee, art and films

Besides the beach, where I'm known to spend a considerable amount of my time in the summer, coffee shops, libraries and museums are a few of my other favorite spots where I love to spend a lazy afternoon any time of the year. Grab a book, a journal,  a coffee and you can literally get lost for a few hours.

As a kid, my grandma would take me to a local coffee shop where she would get an adult caffeinated option and I would choose a flavored hot chocolate, which was either amaretto or my favorite to this day, hazelnut. I vividly remember sitting at a window seat and being told over and over to "stop staring at the barista" who had a bright purple pixie cut. The chick had purple hair and to an eight-year-old, I was fascinated that one could dye their hair that color, seeing as purple was my favorite color at the time.

One of those coffee shops I frequent is Pour Cleveland on Euclid. It's part of the new 5th Street Arcades and located just around the corner from East 4th. My coffee of choice is a 6 oz espresso with almond milk and mocha. This is not Starbucks ladies and gentlemen - it is a flavorful, rich blend of espresso with hints of chocolate then you choose your additions or don't, depending on how you take your cup of coffee. (There is a whole detailed process that I watch barista (and owner) Charlie do when I'm there, but I can't articulate what he is actually doing other than making me a sinfully delicious beverage.)

Brewnuts, coffee, coffee and more coffee

I always intend to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art more often than I do, especially in the winter because there is something about wandering through the galleries while it's snowing that makes me feel artistic. Seriously, yes it sometimes can. With the addition of the Provenance Cafe, you can move your Sunday brunch ritual to the museum and browse a new gallery or get lost playing with Gallery One. It's this amazing exploration at your fingertips that keeps you wanting to stay longer and learn more with with connection wall.

Friends; croque madame, more croissants and coffee and mimosas galore

While at a bloggers brunch with friends, we were treated to brunch as well as one of the 90 films the museum shows throughout the year. Full disclosure - I had no idea the Art Museum showed movies throughout the year and it's one of the oldest museum film programs in the US. Just a little knowledge bomb for you there.

My friends and I saw Mademoiselle C - a film chronicling the French fashionista Carine Roitfeld making her first fashion magazine of her own.

It was a lovely afternoon indeed.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the bloggers brunch with a movie in exchange for nothing, however, when you like something, you must tell all your friends about the experience.

31 with a side mucinex, advil and nasal sprays

For most of the winter, I've been lucky enough to avoid the flu - you know that little cold that knocks people out for a week at a time. No one freak out right this second but I'm also the same person who doesn't routinely go get her yearly physical or flu shot. Yes, we do exist.

However, I wasn't savvy enough to evade one hell of a sinus virus over my birthday weekend. Upon picking up my dear friend on Friday morning for our Chicago road trip, the sniffles already started so I packed a box of Kleenex and my friend brought allergy medicine and honey and lemon cough drops to get me through the weekend.

Or so we thought....
New wrap bracelet and tshirt - no filter could help this natural skin color

Our over-the-counter concoction of pills simply wasn't enough to combat whatever the hell virus had crept itself into my sinuses, throat and ears. Instead of bumming around Chicago to Core Power yoga for a yoga fusion class then Eataly for a long and lengthy lunch, my friends and I opted for Thai takeout and happily binge watched the entire season three of Game of Thrones because I couldn't pry myself from the couch until dinner time.

hot and sour soup; pad thai and spicy basil race PLUS the best girlfriends = priceless
We cut back our pre and post dinner drinks for a two-hour dinner at a French restaurant called Maudes liquor bar. I wish I just could have truly tasted more of the oysters, old fashioneds, shaved salads, foie gras, steak tartare and roast chicken because that point my taste buds were all but disappearing right in front of my eyes.

Even though I've only been a year older and wiser for four days, I have learned (and was reminded) of a few things in those short days:

1) Ice cream, saltine crackers and ginger ale may not be a part of many food groups but sometimes it's all a person can tolerate while sick.

2) Air humidifers may be the secret my mom was keeping from me all these years. Why on earth haven't I been sleeping with one of these every night each winter is beyond me?! No more of that.

3) Good friends will do whatever it takes for you. No matter if you drove 5 hours to end up sitting in a condo watching the snow fall, exposed to one heavily infected friend who couldn't stop blowing her nose and watching TV for 10 hours. It's those kinds of friends you want around at the good, bad and all boring times inbetween.

RIP Forever 21

I am a short time away from turning 31.

Approximately three short days.

Thirty one. Three and a 1. 3-1.

I don't know exactly what bothers me about that number but I'm not a fan of it all just yet.

I have time, you see, because I technically still have three days.

I loved turning 30. I looked forward to it. I embraced it. I had a week of celebrations leading up to it and I couldn't wait until my joint birthday celebration with a friend who was turning 31. She didn't seem to care she was turning the odd number at all. But it's a different story with me.

There is just something that feels off with the odd number. It's like that annoying wake-up call that says a Gretchen Weiners voice, "Ummm congrats, you really officially out of your 20s and officially in a whole new world of digits."

Since the allure of turning 30 has officially passed me with this birthday, I suppose there are many things that I can't get away with anymore and this particular one is a hard thing to break up with.

I guess it's about time I broke up with Forever21.

We have had quite the long run together where I would search through racks to find a normal human size that would fit something other than simply my left leg for only $21.50. Or buy a steal of a necklace that ONLY cost me $10.80 but then a crystal accidentally fell out after the first wear and no matter how many times I twisted it around my neck to hide the missing jewel, the missing one still stuck out like a light bulb.

So goodbye Forever21, I will trade you in for the massive sales I score on Piperlime, swap in Asos to replace you and add in a pinch of Accessory Concierge.

Hello 31 - You don't look marvelous but should look marvelous and turning you this weekend in the Windy City is the perfect weekend getaway with the best travel companions a girl could want.

rich kids comes to Cleveland

It's not secret the much of the country is being locked indoors for the next two days because of the polar vortex. Or as I like to call it "the most ridiculously cold way to kick off 2014." No one will forget how it began now will they?

Before this very frigid storm blew into town, the lovely people of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills decided to do some promotion in my lovely city. Scroll through your Instagram page and you really never know what you will find. Apparently I was somehow following the new TV show and saw they were in wintery Cleveland and were posting about a scavenger hunt of designer gifts strategically placed at different city landmarks.

Seeing as I'm about 10 minutes walking from most landmarks, I saw one of the Fountain of Eternal Youth down by Marriott at Key Center, threw on my warmest coat and marched down a few blocks through slush and snow to hopefully get my hands on a new watch. What did I have to lose right?

Hello new Burberry watch.

Ta dah! Success! After a brisk walk, I met the rich kids reps and was gifted this beautiful Burberry men's watch because I was the first person to arrive to the location. I was so excited to win something - you have NO idea. Me? A random winner? Say it isn't so!

Imitating the fountain

And who says being glued to your phone doesn't have its perks every now and then?

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?