You can learn a lot about a person based on...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

They say you can learn a lot about a person based on the car they drive, where they went to college, the zip code they grew up in, Myers-Briggs type, yada, yada, yada.

And while the descriptors above provide a fair amount of context (Volvo S60, University of Dayton, 44709 and ESFJ), I have a new favorite get-to-know-you question.

Actually two questions, that I've been using interchangeably. 
- What radio stations are programmed in your car?
- What's on your DVR?

What I actually enjoy most is when someone says, "I don't have a car" or "I don't have DVR," because then you can take the conversation a million different directions. 

But for the purpose of this post, I'm going to share my answer to the first question, because you can tell a heck of a lot about a person's interests based on what they listen to in the car.

Let's set the stage: I love my SiriusXM Satellite Radio and I would be lost without it.

Alexa's Sirius Radio Programmed Channels (in no particular order):
1. Jam_On - Jam Bands
2. SiriusXM FLY - Hip-Hop/R&B from the 90s & 00s
3. Howard 100 - The Howard Stern Show
4. Entertainment Weekly Radio - Entertainment talk and news
5. Business Radio - Business powered by Wharton
6. Grateful Dead Channel - Grateful Dead 24/7
7. NPR Now - NPR News & Conversation
8. '90s on 9 - '90s pop hits
9. Classic Vinyl - '60s & '70s Classic Rock
10. Radio Andy - Andy Cohen/Pop Culture

Based on the above, one could gather that I'm a foul-mouthed, liberal-minded, business woman who would be equally starstruck meeting Missy Elliot or Trey Anastasio and has seen every Golden Globe nominated movie and television show.

I'm totally on board with that description. 

Your turn. What are you listening to in the car these days?


Surprise! I'm back.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

It's been almost a year to the date since I published my last post on Cleveland's a Plum.

Shall we blame 2016 for my absence? Sure. Let's simply pretend that the election year was so traumatic I couldn't muster up the energy to write. 

Truthfully? Blogging just wasn't a priority. Social media has changed so much since I started this little slice of the internet in 2008, and I found myself experimenting with more real-time platforms like Snapchat and Instagram Stories.

But you know what? I miss blogging, so I'm going to put my $10 clevelandsaplum.com annual domain name renewal fee to good use and write for me.

It's factual that as my day job writing responsibilities increased, my bandwidth for personal writing decreased. And while I've never been comfortable saying, "I'm a writer," it sure does make me happy.

So here we are, nine years, 1,139 posts and a year-long sabbatical from blogging later and I'm back!

And the good news is.... Cleveland is still a Plum, except that now I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a blog design to update and personal goals to set.

Happy Thursday, kids.


Cardinal Maids Cleveland -- Get Your Time Back!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy 2016, kids! I hope your holiday was as wonderful and family filled as mine.

I must admit though, as magical as the month of December was, it was also overwhelmingly busy. Between work travel to San Francisco and extended holiday visits in St. Louis and Canton, I'm surprised I found enough time to decorate our home and purchase and gift wrap presents for over 30 people.

Luckily, there was one thing that helped me find the time to get every thing knocked out and alleviate some of the stress. Cardinal Maids, a Cleveland-based professional cleaning service came to my home on a Friday morning and cleaned it from top to bottom while I was out running errands.  

You guys have no idea what a relief it was to not spend my weekend cleaning bathrooms and mopping floors. You see, I'm not much of a cleaner. I grew up with a cleaning service coming to the house every two weeks. I'm excellent at picking up clutter, not so much at scrubbing tile.


Enter Cardinal Maids.

Without a question the professional cleaners are good at what they do, my house was immaculate, but what I think really differentiates their offering is the easy online ordering process. Simply provide the details of your home, any add-ons that you may want, pick an available date and time and you're done. It's that easy!

If you're in the Cleveland area and looking to recoup some of your precious time, I highly recommend you hire Cardinal Maids - you deserve it.

Confession time, I'm about to share my ulterior motive here, so do you want to know the real best part of this experience? CK loved it so much he has agreed to bring Cardinal Maids back once a month. No joke, he kept mentioning over and over again how nice it was to not have to clean and how he didn't feel guilty relaxing on a Saturday afternoon. He's officially a convert.

Praise the cleaning gods (hands in the air emoji)!!!

Disclosure: I was offered a complimentary house cleaning in exchange for this post. As always, the opinions expressed are my own.


Five Below Fun for the Family

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I'm going to brag on my step-daughter for a moment here. 

When the kind people of Five Below reached out about a partnership that included a $50 shopping spree for my step-kiddo I couldn't wait to tell her.



She loves shopping at Five Below and points it out to me every time we drive by, so I knew this truly would make her day. Trust me when I tell you, there was quite the high pitch scream of excitement when I gave her the good news!

What I didn't expect was what came out of her mouth next, "Can I give one of the gift cards to another kid shopping in the store? Like a RAKE (Random Act of Kindness)!"

My eyes immediately teared up. Here I am all excited to give HER the opportunity to pick out fun, high quality gear at an amazing price and she's excited to give the opportunity to another kid.

Melt my heart, sweet child, MELT IT.

I didn't want to capture a photo of the family that Maria gave a $10 Five Below gift card, but I smile just thinking about it.


We had so much fun shopping at Five Below. Admittedly, I don't go there often without the kiddo, but after this most recent trip that will change. I'm already thinking about stocking stuffers and gifts for my nieces and nephew.

From collectible Pokemon trading cards and Shopkins to room decor to media accessories to sports there's something for every kid or tween on your list. Plus, kids can go in there and spend their own money because all items are $1 to $5.


Talk about a haul right? A poster, super cool safe, Shopkins, Duct Tape that we used for our Halloween costume, Cleveland Cavaliers cup, neon bouncy ball, Ty plush cat, "#" battery powered light for her room, sunglasses and a hilarious pizza themed t-shirt for CK.

Maria would have brought the whole Five Below store home with her if she could, and to think that she could have had more but decided to make someone else's day makes me very proud to be her step-mom.

Thanks to the great people of She Speaks and Five Below for providing this fun and unique opportunity for my family, it's one we won't soon forget.

Editors note: This is a sponsored post, but as always, opinions are 100% my own.

#MyCLEPhoto + Hilton Cleveland Downtown Getaway

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Interested in a free weekend stay for two in Downtown Cleveland? Who wouldn't be?

The oh-so-close-to-being-completed Hilton Cleveland Downtown is sponsoring a contest to help curate art for the hotel. They're asking Clevelanders to submit photos in and around Cleveland showing their CLE pride in front of their favorite locations and landmarks. Selfies work too!

The final product will be a swanky mural full of submitted photos that will be unveiled when the Hilton opens in Downtown Cleveland in June 2016. 

There are two ways to submit your photos to not only be included in the art, but also to win that fabulous getaway:

1. Upload your photo via the My Cleveland Photo website

2. Use the hashtag #MyCLEPhoto on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Admittedly, I had more fun than anticipated looking through my semi-recent Instagram photos, tagging some of my favorites for inclusion in the mural.

Case in points:

Fun at the inaugural Ohio City Street Festival with Shibani and the kiddo!
Taken from my car on West 25th Street in Ohio City post-morning Harness Cycle spin class. The West Side Market was just about to wake up, guys.

That Corn Maze Life at Mapleside Farms
Scene from one of my bike rides in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath

I mean, these are all #MyCLEPhoto worthy, right?

So what photos will you be adding to the Cleveland Hilton's mural? I bet you have more than you think on your iPhone, add them today and who knows, you just may be the grand prize winner!