Vegas + Moving + NYC

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's Wednesday night as I type this, I'm sitting on my favorite old couch that's fresh out of being in storage for the past year. I'm also drinking a nice red blend out of my gorgeous new wine glasses, fresh out being in my Mom's garage since my wedding shower in March

I cooked a homemade dinner for my family on my new stove, in my new house and I didn't even care that my kitchen is still in semi-disarray.

YOU GUYS, I'm happy.

Now, let it be known there is still a TON of work to do.... decorating, painting, etc., but man oh man we are making progress, I see a light at the end of the tunnel and it's exciting.

So, where have I been these past few weeks that have caused me to slack in the blogging realm? Well, I've been to Florida, Las Vegas, London and NYC. All while trying to organize and execute a move. No big deal. Actually, saying I've been "busy" would be a gross understatement and I'm excited to get back to my routine.

But let's take a brief moment to reflect on where I've been and believe me when I tell you these a mere fraction of the photos I've captured over the last month.

What happens when nine of your best girlfriends from college (University of Dayton) gather from across the country in Vegas to see Britney Spears? A WHOLE LOT OF FUN and a fantastic hashtag: #HitMeDaytonOneMoreTime. From The Chandelier, House of Blues Foundation Room and sushi at Koi Las Vegas we laughed the entire time.

I was extremely skeptical to see Britney: Pieces of Me in Vegas but she delivered a super entertaining, energetic and sing-a-long worth show that we all really enjoyed. Good times!

Cabana life at Mandalay Bay + Valentino Rockstud failure after dancing the night away at Hakkasan + Being serenaded at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. which is a fantastic dining experience that I highly recommend

In between Vegas and the above boxes on boxes on boxes I traveled to London for work, but the trip was only a three night stay and with not a ton of sightseeing opportunities the pics were slim - I was there though, I'll show you my passport stamp if you'd like, ha ha.

Three days after our move CK and I hopped on a plane to NYC to help celebrate (and surprise) a very important person, my cousin Cathi! Surprise - all of your family is in NYC - Happy 50th Birthday!! David Burke Kitchen in The James Hotel in SoHo was our venue and the private room with balcony was the perfect setting.

Before Cathi's party we got to spend some time with our cousins Scott and Davida from Toronto who also just so happened to be visiting NYC, so we hung out in Harlem near my Sissy's. Being a family friendly trip, we also enjoyed Frrrozen Hot Chocolates at Serendipity 3 and a trip to Dylan's Candy Bar.

Our NYC trip also included bowling at Frames with inappropriate bowling names like "E-BOWL-A" + a stop at Eataly and Birreria + video games and walking around the grounds of my favorite church in NYC

Guys, it has been a whirlwind of fun and I am so excited that this month happened - I'm also excited for everything to slow down for a bit.

Nesting, cooking, watching football, going to movies and snuggling with CK are calling my name this fall.

Happy Thursday, kids.

Random musings on a fall evening

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Random musings on a fall evening in September.

I can't wait to decorate my new house. We're officially homeowners and my excitement level for this move has grown exponentially. I can't wait to start this phase of our lives.

I also can't wait to put our shower and wedding gifts to use. My bridal shower was in March and our wedding was in May and since then, all of our fantastic gifts have been living in my Mom's garage. Not for long!

My new iPhone 6 is pretty swell. It's gold with a clear case and it's sexy.

How does one gain 15lbs over the course of a summer? No seriously, HOW?!? Over it.

I'm traveling to Las Vegas with some UD girlfriends next week and it's going to be a fantastic adventure full of mauling, bubbles and dancing. The post-Vegas work trip to the UK is going to also be fantastic but potentially in a more physically exhausted state.

I still know every word to Disney's Beauty and the Beast. This was proven this evening while my family and I watched it. They weren't too keen on my singing though..... rude!

The joy that television brings me is at a fever pitch in September because all my shows, glorious shows are back!!!!

The Cleveland Browns have given me a lot of anxiety their first three games but I'll be the first to admit that it's at least been semi-entertaining to watch.

The Mindy Project makes me laugh out loud more than any other sitcom in recent memory.

I'm proud of myself for walking out of Conrad's when they tried to charge me $90 to replace the headlight on my Volvo s40. Straight to AutoZone I went where I bought the replacement bulb for $13.99 plus tax and the kind gentleman at the counter installed it for free in five minutes. Thanks, AutoZone!

So, what's on your mind today? 

New house: an update

Monday, September 15, 2014

Never did I think that when my Detroit-Shoreway townhouse sold and I moved into CK's apartment in Brooklyn that I would be sitting in the same aforementioned apartment typing this blog post almost a year later.

I haven't talked much about the struggle that CK and I have had finding a house on this blog because, quite frankly, it's been too painful, stressful and miserable.

I didn't realize how much the idea of moving to the south suburbs would affect me. I can be honest and say I wanted nothing to do with it. I want to stay in Cleveland proper, close to the lake, close to my friends, closer to the life that I've made for myself the past eight years in this fantastic city I call home. Not the 'burbs, ugh.

But when I met (and married) CK I was, by proxy, agreeing to move closer to where my step-daughter's mom decided to buy a house and where the kiddo goes to school.

I agreed kicking and screaming though.

I'm self aware enough to say that I'm still kicking and screaming about this proposed move even though we're under contract on a house I'm lukewarm on.

I know I'll grow to love our new home because my family will be there, but I can't help but feel like I'm losing my Cleveland identity because of decisions that weren't my own.

Are these feelings selfish? Perhaps, probably. But it doesn't mean they aren't real, that they aren't mine.

I'm a recovering control freak, I was a single business woman until I was 30. I made my own decisions and did what I wanted to. Now I'm a wife, who can generally still do what she wants to, except for that whole buy a home in my preferred community thing.

It's time to get over it. 

The outlook isn't promising for me to live where I'd prefer, but I suppose that's okay because I have my family. They are the ones who are going to get me through this transition. I'm doing it for them, not for me. I'm going to adjust to my new commute, to the south suburbs, to the new house we're buying.

I'm going to look to our promising future and things like getting my belongings out of storage, moving into a house instead of a 700 square foot apartment and FINALLY being able to entertain again. I can't wait.

So, to Independence we go. As far as locations between Westlake (where I work) and Fairlawn (where the kiddo goes to school) we couldn't have a better compromise. It's a fantastic community that I'm excited to be a part of and I can still be in Downtown Cleveland in 10 minutes - BOOM!

This blog has always been my little slice of the internet, a place that I can be me. I tend to blog less when I'm down in the dumps, as I try to keep this place as positive as possible, so hopefully once the chains of apartment living are off I'll feel the urge to write more.

One can only hope.

So here's to new beginnings and walking up and down these 105-year-old backdoor stairs thousands of times in good health and happiness.




August Shenanigans

Friday, August 29, 2014

Man, this summer has been fantastic. I can't believe it's Labor Day Weekend all ready. 

How the heck did that happen? Well, let's look at some photos from the last month and try to piece it all together.

Interested in hearing the loudest screams and squeals you've ever heard? Surprise your step-daughter on her 7th birthday with a trip to Cedar Point. The kiddo had the best time ever, conquered new roller coasters like the Gemini (the real one not the photo-op one) and ate the biggest snow cone I've ever seen. Making memories at Cedar Point is one of my favorite pastimes.

Marina at Westlake Flex Friday with great friends turned into Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites at The Beachland Ballroom. Dock drinks + Colleen, me and Alana + Me and CK

Canton family fun = cousins, swimming and cake, lots of cake.

Apparently I'm an equal opportunity hydration professional. From my new favorite anytime drink, Nooma, to tequila cocktails at Urban Farmer to a Mike's Hard buffet at the marina. Stay thirsty my friends.

Yep, just what I thought, a chock full of fun August.

Enjoy your long holiday weekend, kids. Stay safe out there!

Westin + Urban Farmer Cleveland

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Recently, CK and I had the opportunity to spend a lovely evening at the new Westin Cleveland Downtown Hotel property including a night in swanky suite and dinner at Urban Farmer - oh, what a treat it was.

First impression? It didn't feel like I was in Cleveland. Second impression? I was in Cleveland (cue smiling, happy staff, reasonable prices and plenty of stunning Downtown Cleveland views) and it was FANTASTIC.

There's local art throughout the hotel space curated by LAND Studio and Epstein Design Partners, gorgeous interiors with modern amenities and an overall attention to detail that one has come to expect from the Westin brand.

The signature Westin green wall + a deconstructed chandelier, chandelier + art in the form of a giant head made of slices of tree trunks and sticks + hotel check-in lobby intriguing floor tile work

Once we completed the seamless check-in process we explored our spacious club-level suite and made our way to the club lounge for a happy hour cocktail and bite to eat.


Lake Erie view from the club lounge + my handsome husband, CK, helping himself to a cocktail + the appetizer spread, all of which was scrumptious and paired perfectly with our beverage options

After cocktails and snacks in the lounge, the group, including fellow blogger Courtney, her husband and Westin general manager Alan and his lovely wife, headed to Urban Farmer Steakhouse

Oh, Urban Farmer, how I love thee.

I've been to a fair share of steakhouses in my day, the dark interior, the old school men's club feel, the stuffy service. Urban Farmer Cleveland is not that, and in my humble opinion, that's a good thing.

It's a Cleveland steakhouse revolution, guys! It's farm-to-table centric, appeals to it's new Ohio patrons, serves up a fantastic cut of meat and I'm still dreaming about the cornbread.


A feel of the Urban Farmer brand from their menu suite and fashionable interior seating options (this place is huge). The finishes are spectacular.

I could easily share 20+ more food and cocktail photos, we ate and drank so well during our evening at Urban Farmer. These are some of my favorites though: shrimp seasoned to perfection, table side cheese presentation, prime beef tartare, American Gothic cocktail and 24oz Ohio Proud bone-in ribeye with candied bacon addition.

Being a Westin Ambassador I was granted an unforgettable experience in my beloved Downtown Cleveland - and I'm not just saying that because I've partnered with the organization. I'm saying it because it's a top notch hotel and restaurant and we're lucky that they have decided to make a home in the CLE.

Man, these photos are making me want to go back, good thing I have a happy hour planned a Urban Farmer next week!

Happy Wednesday, kids.