The one where I catch myself on fire

Monday, March 23, 2015

You guys, this past Thursday evening, while cooking dinner for my family, the string on my favorite zip-up hoodie caught fire.

We can blame the damn power boil feature on my fancy new stove for this one.

The thing is, I didn't even realize the string was on fire until I smelled something burning, looked down, and realized it was me... I WAS ON FIRE.

It started spreading so fast!

I fumbled around trying to pat the flame out, but mid-panic decided to run out the backdoor and strip off my burning clothes - a hoodie, t-shirt and bra - ALL on fire mind you. My hair even singed.

I can only image the show my neighbors got.

The image below shows the three non-living layers that got burned. 

Except there's a fourth layer, my skin, that now has blisters over a very, very sensitive area. Ahem.

Photographic evidence, doh.
 
Sweet Jesus.

In hindsight, I probably should have just gone to the sink and simply places the damn hoodie string under some water. Way to buckle under pressure, Alexa.

Genius.  A genius with blisters on her boob.

R.I.P. favorite grey hoodie, you'll be missed.


Window Nation: Cleveland windows

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Who says you can't get new windows in winter?

I didn't, and neither did Window Nation.

As CK and I continue to tackle getting our new home organized, we have a pet renovation project in the works that recently had its first item checked off the (very long) task list: new windows courtesy of Window Nation!

So, there's this "carriage house" on our property. But I'm not sure who are we kidding calling it a "carriage house" though, it's really a lofted garage, but because it's over 105-years-old it once housed carriages/horses. There are even trapdoors for hay distribution and the floor is old sandstone.

Truthfully, I'm shocked it's still standing, having not been given the same proper updating and attention that the home has, but we have a soft spot in our hearts for the thing. There's just so much possibility! 

Now that we have new windows from Window Nation, we just need to drywall (or something to that effect), add some flooring, put in a heat source and BOOM - multipurpose room. I'm thinking a music/game/storage space would just be divine.

But back to the windows, in total we had 8 double-hung windows replaced by our friendly Window Nation team. From start to finish - the measuring, picking out the windows and installation - the team was a dream to work with. Super friendly, professional, knowledgeable and FAST. 

Oh my goodness, SO FAST. I swear I blinked and all the windows were installed.

Kenny from Window Nation tearing out our god knows how old windows and prepping for installation.

TA-DA - new windows! Here's CK and I with the Window Nation installation team upon completion.

I sincerely can't thank the Window Nation team enough, such a pleasure to work with. In fact, I'm already thinking about my next project with Window Nation - vinyl siding for the carriage house. Who knows, by the end of this pet project our #HalleysCarriage may end up being cooler than our actual house!

Stay tuned for updates - I have a feeling this "carriage house" renovation is going to be a fun (and long) one.

Happy Tuesday, kids!

A nice Cleveland-centric weekend in February

Friday, February 13, 2015

People tend to get down in the dumps during Cleveland winters, and while I can wholeheartedly get on the "it's-not-as-fun-as-summer" train, winter doesn't mean we need to sit at home wrapped in blankets waiting for the first sign of spring.

Take this past weekend for example. My sissy was visiting from NYC, my cousin Jenna was visiting from Columbus and we didn't let the cold weather slow us down as we hopped from Cleveland hotspot to Cleveland hotspot.

First stop Friday: MIX at CMA: Soul. This Cleveland Museum of Art monthly event is always a winner in my book, and this month's Soul theme didn't disappoint. I mean, who doesn't love to boogie to soul music? Love, peace and soul baby!

#MIXatCMA

Next stop Friday: Noodlecat + House of Blues Cleveland for Greensky Bluegrass. Warm ramen and steam bums on a cold winter's day? Clicking your heels to some damn good bluegrass? CHECK. If you're really too cold to go out for ramen though, check out Chef Jonathan Sawyer's Noodle Kids cookbook on sale now!


Greensky Bluegrass + Sissy, the Driggs' + CK

First Stop Saturday: Bon Bon Pastry & Cafe + Campbell's + Penzeys Spices. We've been on a big Bon Bon kick in the Marinos/Kramer family and I don't foresee it stopping anytime soon. Campbell's, duh - it's my kryptonite. And Penzeys? I'm proud to say my spice collection is growing. New favorite? Not surprisingly, THE GREEK! 

Sissy and Jenna during brunch at Bon Bon - aren't they pretty?!?

Next Stop on Saturday: Platform Beer Co. where we sat and drank too many beers to count for too many hours. Well, I didn't drink beer - I drank mead, because we all know how I feel about beer. Luckily I'm in the minority though, because even at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon Platform was bumpin'. It's such a wonderful place and has a good vibe with a friendly staff.

Bopping around Ohio City on a Saturday afternoon will always be one of my favorite pastimes. 

CK, Sissy and Jenna posing with a map of Cleveland's near west side that I admittedly tried to steal. I need one of these.

After successfully achieving a day buzz - my Mom even joined us later in the day - we headed to our house to eat Romito's Pizza and make cookies for a very special church service on Sunday.

Family fun time at it's best.

So, instead of staying in all weekend with a blanket because Lord know it's going to be FREEZING this weekend in Cleveland I recommend layering up and enjoying this fine city we call home.

Have a good one, kids!

#CIFF39: Get Shorty Giveaway

Thursday, January 15, 2015


[The ticket giveaway is now closed, congrats to @HeyEscapist whose comment was chosen via random.org]

It's January in Cleveland which means it's almost time for the 39th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF). 

Can you believe it?! Yippee! 

This year's CIFF, which runs March 18-29, will again make its home at Tower City Cinemas with over 350+ films being shown on premises. Neighborhood theaters/venues will also be getting some love with film events at Beachland Ballroom, Cedar Lee Theatre, Chagrin Cinemas and the Akron Art Museum.

One thing I've always respected about CIFF is that it does such a great job with its events. It's more than just films and it's more than just a singular event during the proper festival. Case in point the Film Feasts series sponsored by Hyland, creator of OnBase (full disclosure, I work at Hyland), where for the 12th consecutive year an opportunity is provided to engage the community, celebrate the arts in Cleveland and cultivate new film buffs. 

The Film Feast I'm most looking forward to this year (and have attended in the past) is Get Shorty. On Thursday, January 29 at 7p.m., my beloved Capitol Theater will play host to the Get Shorty event where attendees will gather to view a selection of short films, vote on their favorites and actually have a say in what films get screened at this year's CIFF. 

In addition to films, Get Shorty attendees will be served up an array of food and beverages provided by Culinary Occasions.

Tickets are $100 a piece and can be purchased online here - OR - you can win a pair here on the plum!

So if you want to join me, CK and lots of other fun Clevelanders at this year's CIFF Get Shorty Film Feasts - here's your chance.

1. Leave a mandatory comment on this post telling me your favorite movie(s) of all time. 
2. Follow CIFF on Twitter and/or Instagram, leaving a new comment on this post telling me you did so.
3. Tweet the following, leaving a new comment telling me you did so:

Hey, @clevelandsaplum, I want to go to @CIFF's Get Shorty Film Feasts at @CapitolW65th! #CIFF39 http://bit.ly/157Qp0H

You can tweet daily for extra entries, leaving a new comment on this post each time you do so.

Entries will be accepted until end of day Thursday, January 22, with the winner being announced the following day. Best of luck to all!

Happy Thursday, kids.

This is the year

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Wait, where am I? What month is this? What year is this?

Have I really gone a solid month without posting? This surely is a first. 

Thankfully, I'm still a sharing fool on my @clevelandsaplum Twitter and Instagram. Other social media platforms notwithstanding, I missed the original plum channel turning seven last week - SEVEN. This little piece of the internet is officially as old as my step-daughter. My how different my life was back then
.


So, instead of trying to recap a month of memories via photo montage recap post, just head over to my Instagram to catch up. I promise you I've had a lot of fun this holiday season, there was even champagne jello-o shots.

As I look to 2015 there's much to look forward to - settling into our home, decorating said home (!!!) and finally taking a honeymoon with my handsome husband.

Today I'm reminded of something that CK so elegantly said on New Year's Eve, "2015 is the year we've been working for."

2014 was full of happiness (getting married, new house), but it was also the most trying year I've had in my adult life. Between starting a new job, planning a wedding, house hunting, purchasing and moving into a new home, becoming a step-mom, starting to live with a man and a kid.... 

I could go on, but let's just agree that it was a year. A hard, challenging, makes you second guess everything you thought was holy kind of year.

But as I begin to settle into my new home and my role as a wife and step-mom, I agree with CK. This is the year we've been working for. The hard shit is behind us and this is the year, god willing, that we get to just... live.

Happy 2015, kids. Let's make it a good one because we only get one shot to do so.