This is how you baptize in the Greek Orthodox church

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I had the honor of becoming a Nouna (Greek for godmother) this past weekend at the church I grew up in in Canton, St. Haralambos, to the most beautiful baby boy named Bobby.

Bobby's mom Erin and I have known each other from birth, our families are friends, I was a bridesmaid in her wedding to her husband Todd and she's just generally awesome.

I've been looking forward to the baptism weekend for a long time but there was lots of preparation for the Nouna (me) to handle prior to the big day.

Full disclosure: my mom helped, A LOT.

Greek Orthodox godparents have a bit more responsibility in comparison to say a Catholic godparent - not the holy line of thinking but in the gotta buy/organize lots of stuff line of thinking.

The Nouna checklist:
- towels + sheets to clean the oil off the baby and receive the baby post dunking
- a bar of soap to wash the nouna's and the priest's hands post dunking
- olive oil
- new all white outfit including a bonnet, onesie, socks, booties, bib, etc
- baptismal cross and chain
- three candles for the service.... decorated, naturally
- martirika, aka witness pins
- favors for the baptism guests
- become a member of a church if you aren't already (I officially wasn't)
- a fun gift, toy, new outfit, icon, etc

It's lots, but it's tradition and it's ALL worth it.

I told you it was worth it - how could you resist this face?!? Here's me holding Bobby in the beginning of the service at the back of the church. It's around here I was repenting the devil of course.

Various shots from the service - me getting ready to slather Bobby in olive oil, Bobby getting dunked and me ready to receive him, me soothing Bobby (he wasn't too happy after being dunked) and the group taking the traditional three lap walk.

The adorable favors filled with the most delicious of all candies, Lilly Handmade Chocolates, and jordan almonds, the witness pins and the box full of goodies.

After the church we headed to Erin's parents house for lunch and jolly times with friends and family.

It really was the perfect day. Bobby couldn't have been better behaved and I simply can't wait to be a part of his life - it's really an honor.

It's cool to be a Nouna, you guys.

rock and roll hall of fame 2012 nominee announcement

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I've talked about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum many times before here on the plum.

I love literally everything about the place, the location on the lake, the history of everything under its roof, the staff, the free concerts, the mission, the music..... THE MUSIC.

And the fact that the 2012 induction nominees were announced today and this year's induction ceremony is BEING HELD IN CLEVELAND it's officially countdown to the ceremony/party/concert time for me.

The thought of ANY of the following nominees performing in Cleveland during the induction ceremony on April 14, 2012 is beyond exciting for me. Just imagine the awesome jams that could happen....

Beastie Boys
The Cure
Eric B. & Rakim
Guns 'N Roses
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Freddie King
Laura Nyro
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Rufus with Chaka Khan
The Small Faces/The Faces
The Spinners
Donna Summer

Granted, there's a few on the nominee list that I'm not familiar with but seriously I can't even fathom what it would be like for an induction ceremony that included Heart, GNR, Beastie Boys, Joan Jett and RHCP or if Rufus and Chaka Khan sang me Tell Me Something Good or better yet Heart belted out ANYTHING.

I may explode.

Whoever ends up being officially inducted in 2012 (5 to 8 of the 15 nominees, respectively) it's guaranteed to be one hell of a night in Cleveland.


You guys can tell how excited I am solely by the amount of words that I typed in all caps, right?


Now go spend your Tuesday listening to some rock and roll, because as Joan Jett and the Blackhawks say... I love rock and roll (especially when it's in Cleveland) and you should too.

Winner of the Rolling on the River tickets announced...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh my goodness you guys I had the most wonderful weekend baptizing my godson Bobby!

You're going to have to wait until tomorrow to read about it though because I'm flipping exhausted and am going to cuddle with CK instead.


Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut I will let you know who won the pair of tickets to Hunger Network's Rolling on the River event from my contest last week.

Congrats to commenter #6 (chosen via Elizabeth S!!! Please email me to claim your prize :)

Sad you didn't win?

You can still attend the fabulous Rolling on the River party for $10 off full price by purchasing your ticket ONLINE HERE and using the promo code "PLUM" at checkout.

Hope to see you there.

Happy Monday, kids.

Because every friday needs random videos

Friday, September 23, 2011

Check out titles like these and save!

In the world of Friday randomness I'm bringing you two videos that caught my attention today.

I love Freddie Mercury of Queen and I love Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam - but the following two videos, that include singers impersonating each artist respectively, has completely weirded me out today due to them being freakishly spot on.

If you close your eyes I swear you'll think Freddie Mercury has risen from the dead instead of Canadian Marc Martel.

If you close your eyes I swear you'll think Eddie Vedder himself is singing to you instead of Chilian born Javier Diaz.

You're welcome.

Happy Friday, kids!

morning shower or evening shower?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

For my whole life I've been a morning showerer. (is that a word?)

You all know the drill, hit snooze 5 times, stumble out of bed and take a shower before heading into work.

Recently though I've been testing out the evening shower sporadically.

I enjoy sleeping in as much as I can and it's super easy to just roll out of bed, throw your hair in a ponytail and walk out the door.

The downfall with evening showering is that I can never have my hair down the next morning, my hair is just sadly too thin to rock the down after I slept look.

But that's the price of an extra 45 minutes of sleep though right?

I'm curious as to what the majority does though...

Morning shower or evening shower?

Win a pair of tickets to Hunger Network's Rolling on the River event

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In my opinion fall is one of the busiest event seasons for Cleveland. It seems like every weekend a great charity is hosting a fabulously fun party to raise funds for a worthy cause and next weekend is no different.

Next Friday, September 30th from 7:30 to 11:30pm the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, whose mission is to reduce hunger in our community, will be holding their annual Rolling on the River fundraising event at Windows on the River in the Flats.

Rolling on the River, presented by US Bank, is a casino themed event where your admission ticket gets you casino games, food, wine + beer, live music and good feeling that all proceeds benefit the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland.

Tickets are currently:

- $65 a piece and can be purchased online here or
better yet only $55 a piece with the promo code "PLUM" entered at check-out when purchasing your tickets online
- $70 a piece at the door the day of the event

- FREE if you win a pair of them here on my blog

You can enter to win a pair of tickets to the Rolling on the River event by doing the following:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite game to play at the casino is.

2. Tweet the following "I want to win tickets to @hungerinfo's Rolling on the River event from @clevelandsaplum" - leaving a comment telling me that you did so.

3. Post about the contest on facebook - leaving a comment telling me you did so.

I'll be announcing the winner of the tickets this upcoming Monday 9/26 so you have until then to enter to win.

Good luck, kids!

Announcing Mr and Mrs Pat Carmody!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I took a little trip to Missouri this past weekend, St. Louis to be specific, for a dear friend from colleges wedding celebration and to visit with CK's family.

CK and I flew in Thursday night after work and headed to his father and stepmom's house where we were greeted with St. Louis's famous
Imo's pizza. It was my first tasting of Imo's and is it bad to say I'm already craving it again?

Two words -
Provel cheese.

Friday afternoon was spent with my good friend Mistiburr and her adorable daughter Layne in Kirkwood. We hit up Starbucks, shopped at adorable boutiques like Blush, ate lunch at Kaldi's and ate our weight in Red Mango.

Little Layne!

Friday night I did a horrible job of picture taking but CK, Mark, Florence and I had dinner at Vin de Set where I drank plenty of Kir Royale and we had a fabulous rooftop meal with a great view of the arch.

Post dinner CK and I headed to meet up with Mexican Cousin, his awesome wife Nicole and Hartbeck at an amazing neighborhood dive bar called Melrose. This place was so fabulous that I can't find a record of it on the internet and I bought a round of cocktails for 6 for $15 and one could smoke in the bar (not that I would ever do that....).

We may have stayed up too late but we sure had a good breakfast the next morning.

Saturday was the Manning-Carmody wedding day!!!!!

Now Laura Marie Manning (aka Miss Manning) and I have been friends since we were freshmen in college at University of Dayton - aka a long ass time ago. And thanks to gchat we can stay in touch daily about the silliest thing and all things Pinterst.

The church ceremony was at
St. Margaret of Scotland and the outdoor reception was at the coolest restaurant in the Maplewood area of STL call the Maya Cafe.

In between the ceremony and the reception CK and I made a trip to his Mom's to visit and hangout with her, his very sweet sister Caroline, and Parker - but after our visit it was party time.

The reception had an old boat as a dance stage, unlimited sargria and margs and karaoke. You read that right, karaoke - bridesmaids even sang Wilson Phillips Hold On a la the movie Bridesmaids - It. Was. Awesome.

I'm gonna just post lots of pics now, ok?

The pint glass favors (which I'm beyond angry I didn't grab on my way out), the programs and seating chart.

Oh the speeches, they were so good! I laughed out loud at both the maids (Susie, Anne and Julie) and the best man (Mike) speeches honoring the bride and groom Laura and Pat. There's so much history here between the two families you can't help but smile at the union.

The girls! Jen, Miss Manning, Jackie, Beth and Me. Myself, Jen and Eddie in the boat/stage. Jen and Jackie being rad.

Let the dancing begin, you guys.

And continue...

We headed to Foley's after the reception but I quickly faded from all the fun that was had and my dogs were sure barkin'.

Sunday CK and I headed to a BW3's for lunch and to watch the Browns win before we headed back to CLE. By the time we got home there was plenty of time to look back on the weekend and think about all the fun that was had.

With both new and old friends it was great to spend some quality time - a little weekend away from home is always a good thing.

Happy Tuesday, you guys!

the top ten movies i will always turn on when i find them on TV

Thursday, September 15, 2011

At any given time while browsing through my DirecTV guide if I see certain movies come across, regardless of at what point in play they are, I will automatically start watching it - even if it's for only ten minutes.

I came to this realization recently while paging through the guide and I came across Home Alone. I didn't care that it's currently not the holiday season, nor that it was already an hour into it - I watched it and it was awesome.

And then, because I have soooooooooooooooo much time on my hands, decided to make a top ten list via the notes app on my iPhone while happily watching Home Alone.

Naturally I'm going to share this list with you, I'm a giver.

Top Ten Movies (in no particular order) that I will always turn on when I randomly come across them on TV.

1. Home Alone
2. Love Actually
2. Shawshank Redemption
3. Parenthood
4. Big
5. The Sandlot
6. Cocktail
7. A League of their Own
8. Groundhog Day
9. Legally Blonde
10. Goonies

Honorable mentions: Literally any sports themed movie (hell, I'll watch The Cutting Edge), When Harry Met Sally (WHMS while being one of my favorite movies is an honorable mention only because sometimes is just too emotional, you guys) and Gladiator (probably my favorite movie of all time, but again, sometimes is just too emotional and draining).

So, what's on your list?

Smooth Ambler Comes to Cleveland

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

There's a new line of Vodka, Gin and White Whiskey in town and it's called Smooth Ambler ladies and gentlemen.

Smooth Ambler is a distillery out of the rural Greenbrier Valley region of West Virginia that is known for it's small batch and handcrafted spirits.

Each bottle is literally signed and dated, you guys. It's pretty cool.

So being a sucker for all things cocktails, when I was approached by Smooth Ambler to see if I would be willing to try some of their new to Cleveland product, the white whiskey and gin respectively, I couldn't be rude and say no now could I?

And I'm glad I accepted.

Having recently become intrigued by Gin the Smooth Ambler version was not to sound cliche... smoooooooooooooooooooth. Having stayed away from Gin for many years I'm glad to have reconnected with it, and it's partners in crime soda and lime. Delish.

The White Whiskey? Ooooooo-eeeeeeeeee, this stuff is 100 Proof - 'nuff said.

So the next time you're at your local Cleveland area liquor store and see any of the three Smooth Ambler products, I recommend picking up a bottle, or three.

Plus, the packaging rocks and you'll look oh so cool showing up at your next cocktail party with a bottle.

Thanks again to the Smooth Ambler folks for hooking me up with some samples, I promise you they are going to good use.


It's September in the CLE

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Isn't there an internet meme called "Wordless Wednesday"?

I'm going to try for "Two or Three Word Tuesday"..... aka my weekend in pictures.

Thursday started off right with the Fashion Night Out at Saks in Beachwood to benefit the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland. I was lucky enough to be given a media pass for the evening courtesy of Positively Cleveland and Saks and as you can tell by the above image, they sure knew how to get to my heart.

Friday night was spent with the Aber sisters, Seanski, Nugget, Shane and PJ at XYZ the Tavern for happy hour then meeting up with Lzone, Kelly and Jenny at Tina's Nite Club. The above picture shows Lzone cuddling up with a certain passed out bar patron before his cab driver came and got him.

Saturday/night was spent running various errands, cooking the above sausage tortellini soup for CK and his little one and having a seriously awesome fashion show. I promise the food tasted better than the picture looks.

It's football time in America again and the above image was part of the 9/11 reflection at the Cleveland Browns Stadium on opening day.

My fabulous seatmates for the Browns game, Mr. Gramc, JoeG and CK - nice day huh? Too bad the Brownies lost though.

After the game CK and I headed to Westpark and PJ McIntyre's to celebrate Foxxy's birthday with the rest of the girls - Lisa, MOB, Beaver, Me and Foxxy.

Monday there wasn't any rest for this football fan as I attended the Taste of the Browns event courtesy of the Cleveland Foodbank and if you can tell by the above picture Alana, aka @dawgpndgirl, found her very own dawg.

I think this post may have been more than two or three words...


Happy Tuesday, kids.

9/11 Never Forget

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Browns opening day and while I'm more than ready for some football and tailgating I can't help but reflect on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Where I was (my senior year at University of Dayton), who I was with (my housemates/friends) and how I felt (scared and confused).

While the jets took off from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base we stood on our porches not knowing what danger we may or may not have been in.

There wasn't facebook and twitter to update us ten years ago, we had the new on the television and each other - we couldn't take our eyes of the TV screen.

Much like I can't now.

The sacrifices so many made, the stories of bravery and just doing what is right at the site of all three tragedies is what sticks with me.

As I'm sitting here on Sunday morning watching the Today Show coverage, listening to the Brooklyn Youth Chorus sing our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a tear in my eye.

To the 2,977 people who lost their lives during the attack we all thank you.

Ok, I'll stop crying now.

Hug your loved ones today.

#hollabachnow on kelleys island

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ATTENTION: I highly recommend you listen to Pitbull's Give me Everything while reading the following post because that song was the theme of this past #hollabachnow weekend - "grab somebody sexy tell um hey!"

This past Labor Day weekend was filled with best friends and fun and you know it was a long one when it takes me until Wednesday to post my "Monday Morning Weekend Recap"... you'll have that.

I had the pleasure of heading to Kelleys Island for the first time Friday/Saturday/Sunday for the bachelorette party celebration, aka #hollabachnow, for my dear friend Holler.

Fourteen ladies made appearances throughout the weekend to the "House in the Woods" that we had rented for the party and I can't thank Holler's sissy Kristen for planning the weekend for us and Maureen for driving our butts around everywhere.

On Friday Muffin and I picked up our Chicago friends Shelley and Pichee from the airport and headed west to the lake erie shores to catch the ferry over to Kelleys Island.

We were greeted by the ladies with hand-painted wine glasses (with stuff to put in them too) courtesy of Kristen - let the girl bonding begin.

Let the party begin!

We reminisced talking about old crushes and loves, laughed at our UD stupidities, wondered aloud how we all made it out alive and became nauseous thinking about it being our ten-year college reunion this year. Good times.

Saturday we woke up to a delicious breakfast, some people went for runs and me, Muffin, MOB and Beaver rented some bikes and went for a long ride + sightseeing + house tour all over the island.

Beaver, Muffin and MOB pedaling along.

We even found a lemonade stand at the perfect time for optimal thirst quenching.

Once we got back from the ride all the girls walked over to the lake for laying out and beers on the beach - nothing wrong with that at all, nothing.

Soon it was getting ready time - cue showering x 12 and cooking.

When everyone got ready we ate, drank and showered Holler with presents. We also participated in watching an adorable question and answer video session courtesy of Kristen interviewing Doyle, Holler's fiancee. The whole thing was swoon worthy and the love and compatibility between these two is just wonderful.

The bride-to-be in all her Holler glory!

BFF-4-EVA: Holler and Maureen being awesome.

All the Holler ladies, including the newest Holler family addition, sissy-in-law Lisa, with Holler and Kristen. How gorgeous, right?

Our oh so sassy entertainment for the evening, Beaver.... in my old ballet costume. Classic Keri Strug, fyi.

All the #hollabachnow ladies before we headed to the bars - please note our adorable colored "ray-bans" that Kristen also made for us, love. Also, thanks to our cab driver for being our photographer.

We started out at Bag the Moon with too many strawberry shots to count and listening/jamming to a truly horrible band. Our next and final stop was The Casino for a serious dance party and "the push heard round the world".

The impending thunderstorm didn't break our stride as we danced right through it. The DJ played all our requests, even Enrique, and we decided that our next bachelorette party on Kelleys Island we aren't even going to waste the time getting beautified and hoosier it out like the rest of the "locals".

Holler, Shelley and Muffin.

This shot can pretty much sum up the fun that was had during the whole #hollabachnow weekend - it's a HOLLA HOOP!

Sunday morning we left the island and headed home after such a wonderful time with good friends - too bad Holler can't get married every year cause the party would sure be worth it.

I spent all of Sunday afternoon/evening watching countless episodes of Pawn Stars by myself, because I can.

Labor Day was spent properly with a cookout at the Verdova's in North Ridgeville where I made the Pioneer Woman's spicy pasta salad with smoked gouda and failed to take a single picture.

Because the need to continue the long weekend was necessary I spent last night at The Greenhouse Tavern with some of my favorite Cleveland Bloggers on behalf of Nescafe Dolce Gusto (more to come on that later) where we ate Greenhouse Tavern standard fare like pomme frites + wings and even got a steak tartar making lesson from Chef Sawyer himself.

And y'all wonder why I'm running short on time to blog these days. As my friend Cubby told me today, "Life comes first, documenting it comes second".

Amen to that.

Have a great rest of your week, kids!

Sorry pots

Monday, September 5, 2011

You will find the title you desire at a great price!

Proof that summer is pretty much over: I've stopped watering the pots on the balcony off my kitchen.

What once was pretty....

Gorgeous in July, right?

Is now, not so pretty...

Looks like someone stopped watering these about two weeks ago.

By the end of August/early September I can't help but get tired of watering my pots - this happens almost every year.

You'll have that.

I suppose now it's time to dig everything up...

But not today, I'm heading over to the Verdova's for a cookout - Happy Labor Day everyone!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

This is an image of what my laptop screen looks like when I'm staring at the backend interface of my blog.

A giant blank white box screaming "write something!" while I flip through the TV in my bedroom, scroll through facebook and twitter and look for inspiration of something to write.

So yeah, there's that.

Too bad I'm not an anonymous blogger.... we could have had some real fun with this post.

Thirsty Thursday anyone?