making a party list and checking it twice

Thursday, June 30, 2011

So I'm finally officially having a housewarming party this weekend, albeit 8 months late, but I'm having one regardless and I simply can't wait for all the fun, friends and warming of the house.

It also happens to be on my birthday so it should be a good day all around, right?

And it will be, after I go through my traditional "event" prep freak out.

I'm a great hostess, I can brag about that, I throw great parties, everyone is welcome, there's always awesome (and too much) food, music and libations - I'm a party girl, this shouldn't surprise you all too much.

But with a good party comes planning and thanks to my Mom and entertaining savvy family I was trained very well.

It may sound old fashioned but I still think a woman is judged on her cooking, cleaning and entertaining skills so I try to make everything as perfect as possible while still relaxing and enjoying myself.

I think it's the Greek woman in me.

So while I was making my final check list last night I thought it was entertaining and needed to be shared, heck, maybe you'll learn something.

- Cut grass + edge
- Hang new art in bonus room and bedroom
- Hang lanterns with candles on the pergola
- Put together new bed for the guest bedroom
- Clean, EVERYTHING!
- Make sangria
- Make cheese tortellini pasta salad + get ingredients at grocery
- Set up bar in both kitchen and backyard
- Grocery store, beer, chips, dips, cookies and fruit
- Purchase paper products, cups, plates, plastic wear, napkins
- Pull out serving pieces for food and assign accordingly
- Pick up catered food from Fat Casual BBQ by 12:30pm on Saturday (this is going to be a HUGE help, fyi)
- Set up laptop to flat screen in living room for music and set up Bose ipod doc for outside music
- Get lots and lots of ice for drinks and coolers
- Blow Tony's rival party out. of. the. water.

And to think that's just the list of things that still need to get done, don't even get me started on what's already been done, oy.

But you know what? All this prep makes for a smooth party and then I as the hostess just gets to chug some sangria, eat some BBQ and hangout with my friends and family.

Bring on the holiday weekend, kids!

slow down

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Um, how the hell is Friday July already and how the hell am I already turning 31 on Saturday?

There's something wrong with this picture.

It seems like I turned 30 just yesterday, not a whole year ago.

Can't we all just take a deep breath and slow the heck down?

I'm looking at you, June.

and the summer awesomeness continues

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I drove six hours this past week to visit family and friends and while it made me super tired come Sunday night I would do it again in a heartbeat because it was well worth the drive to meet my little godson and celebrate my little cousin's high school graduation.

Family is what matters after all.

But I'm jumping ahead of myself here - let's rewind.

Thursday night I stayed home and AJP came over and we worked out, ate a healthy dinner and watched SYTYCD, natch. Friday I lunched with KAW at the delicious and awesome Good to Go Cafe and then stayed in again for the night post long bike ride through my 'hood because I had to wake up early for my day trip to meet my godson Bobby.


Since KAW's the mayor and VIP we got special treatment at Good to Go Cafe

Saturday morning, bright and early, I headed to Columbus for a mere 5 hours to Erin and Todd's house to meet 10 day old Bobby! It was awesome to see him, hold him and give him a handful of silver dollars (on top of other presents) because my Thea Eros told me so - it's a Greek thing!


He's so precious I simply can't wait to be his Nouna

After a wonderful visit I headed back to Cleveland because it was time for the Summer Solstice Party at the Cleveland Museum of Art!

I can officially cross the Cleveland Museum of Art off my list of things I need to do in Cleveland, but after last Saturday's party at the CMA I've decided I need to go back ASAP to take everything in all over again without alcohol and loud music both of which are great for partying by not so great for art absorption.

I can't say enough about how wonderful the Summer Solstice Party was. When AJP and I arrived at 6 the vibe was already on. Drinks and food were as plentiful as the music options and the crowd was unparallelled to any I've experienced in Cleveland. I ran into so many fun people/clients/friends and had a smile on my face the entire evening.


If I knew what this was I'd tell you, but it's cool, right? And the marble, oh the marble that makes up the CMA - I felt like I was at my Tia-Jo's house with all the stone.

How beautiful, gorgeous, rad, fun, enter sweet adjective here, is the CMA all lit up and full of people?

Even the bathroom at the Solstice party was bumpin' - please note JV's cuteness in the corner

I already can't wait till next year's party, I'm telling you Cleveland this is a must attend event and I'm so glad my friend Becky got me involved this year.


The evening ended with myself, AJP, seanski, nugget, KAW and JoeG heading to Tina's Nite Club for jello shots and my making of breakfast for AJP and JoeG at my house at 3am - solid ending to the evening.

Sunday I woke up tired but there was no rest for the wicked because it was time for my cousin Jenna's high school graduation party in Canton. My little baby cousin Jenna, sigh. She's all adult-like I can't even handle it. I may or may not have cried looking at all the pictures of her from when she was younger.


See this bouncy thing? Well this was part of Jenna's graduation party and while I was going down the final slide part my oversized shirt blew up over my head flashing my bra to a group of 14 year old boys the entire way down. FREE SHOW! At least my bra was pretty.

And that was the weekend that was and it was glorious.

Happy Tuesday, kids!


Disclosure: I was on a marketing committee of sorts for the 2011 CMA Summer Solstice Party but the thoughts are all my own.

just because they taste good....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

If I had to make an educated guess as to why I'm unable to write a proper recap of my weekend on this fine Sunday evening I'd say it had to do with these:

Tina's Nite Club Jello shots.

Stay tuned.

Have a good week, kids.

where has the blog community gone?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I've been feeling disconnected to the blogger community recently.

Maybe it's because I'm "too old" to be a 20-something-blogger anymore, or I don't have as much time to read other blogs and comment like I used to as those days are sadly long gone.

But I'm still a blogger, no doubt about it.

I surprisingly post very consistently after all these years and my readership is steady if not ever-growing.

Yet I still feel disconnected from the blogger community, outside of my local blogger friends, as a whole.

I try to think about what has changed, pinpoint it down, and it's hard for me not to sounds like an old bitter blogger but I'll try.

When I started my blog back in January of 2008 the art of blogging was still, to an extent, pure. You wrote a blog to connect with people, share your stories and have fun.

Not to get free meals, free swag, or money.

I remember vividly when I got my first "pitch" how shocked I was. They wanted ME to come to their event eat free food, drink free drinks and all I had to do was write about my experience? JACKPOT.

And so it grew...

Once people realized you could actually make money and get free swag from blogging and that anyone with a laptop could instantly become "media", the floodgates opened.

Bloggers, without any real clout behind them, created media kits for their 2 month old blog, contacted restaurants, event promoters, and marketing agencies just trying to get into places.

It seemed slimy and like a short-cut and suddenly blogging became artificial and unauthentic to me.

Where's the story? Who are YOU?

I essentially stopped reading a lot of blogs.

{Editors note: Let me stop my rant for a moment, I have gotten some AMAZING opportunities presented to me through my blog, I have gotten to try rad products, gone to events, and held contests for said events on my blog. Heck, I work at a company that pitches bloggers all the time. But at the end of the day organizations reach out to me, I determine if it's a good fit for my blog/readers and if it's something I want to do, I do. I don't go to the opening of an envelop just for the sake of it.}

To maintain a successful blog it's time consuming and by putting yourself out there for all to read you essentially ask for criticism (point in case, anonymous comments), because of which I'm not against getting a kick back here or there, you earned it - I say go for it.

But to the bloggers out there that are all about the product with no personality, I wish you luck, more power to you... I'm just not going to read you. You aren't doing it for the right reasons.

It's about a balance of personal and promotion, and I'd like to think I do it right.


You guys still get "me posts" and once or twice a month I get to do something cool thanks to my blog and post about it - and that's not going to change.

As I attempt to wrap up this ranty and preachy post though I'm not sure I've done an adequate job using my words to express how I'm feeling (no surprise there).... but the end of the day this whole post is stemming from the fact that I MISS the blogging community, the people, the connections.

Truly.

And I'm having a hard time wading through the murk that can be the internet to find good people to read.

Can you guys help me?

Animals Being Dicks

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Save 45% on a People magazine subscription today.

A lot of you know, but some of you may still be in the dark about my strong dislike of animals.

I don't want to hurt them, I don't want anyone to be mean to them and I suppose at times pets can be cute and I've even been known to pet one or two of them but I'm personally just not into house pets.

They are smelly, take up a lot of time/energy/money and are I don't know, annoying.

I'm just not a pet person.

Specifically CATS, eww.

{Cue comments about how cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute and cuddly cats are and how wonderful they are as pets, blah blah blah blah blah. I get it, cat people (i.e. lots of my very best friends) looooooooooooove their cats. But I don't. Different strokes for different folks. End rant}

Moving on.

So that's essentially the back story of why when my friend Jon shared this website on Facebook I completely freaked out in delight at it's awesomeness.

May I introduce you to Animals Being Dicks which is essentially a series of animated gifs of animals being utter jerks.

And I can't stop laughing at all of them.

Some of my favorites: break dancing kitteh, wait for meeeeeee, and get low.

You must check out the site and I sincerely apologize in advance if I've ruined your productivity at work for the day.

Happy Wednesday, kids.

Summer fun in the CLE

Monday, June 20, 2011

Everybody works for the weekend and I think I successfully got as much out of my weekend that i possibly could.

Thursday, aka MOB's birthday, Seanski and I treated the birthday girl to a glorious lunch at Chinato. It was very delicious and reminded me how I need to get back there for dinner again very soon.

Thursday night CK and I took in a showing of Midnight in Paris at the Capitol Theater and we loooooooooved it. So good, so smart, so cute, sooooooo Woody Allen. Post movie we walked over to XYZ the Tavern for a cocktail and a small bite to eat. Successful Thursday, check.

Friday headed over to MOB and Pete's house in West Park for a little cookout action for MOB's birthday. We ate, we drank, we played with sparklers - can someone say summer?


USA! USA! USA!

My Cleveland UD girls - foxx, beaver, MOB, me, and muffin as we were about to take a birthday bomb.

Post party we headed to Public House where we danced to Enrique's Escape and acted like we were at Tim's. Beaver also may or may not have scared off Brown's head coach Pat Shurmur. You'll have that.

Saturday brought breakfast at home with CK, random errands, and a trip to one of Ohio City's newest retail shops Joy Machine's Bike Shop. This place is so damn cute, and I love the story behind it, so much so that I bought a bike pump (the wrong kind, whoops) but finally purchase a bern helmet which is on order and I'll get this week. Yay!

Saturday afternoon Seanski, CK and I biked into Lakewood for some patio day drinking at Buckeye Beer Engine with timmybennett/Katie, Moe/Mark, Colleen/Joe, Baucco, Cubby and Captain.


Timmybennett loves Mariah Carey, he even has the t-shirt to prove it.

An instagram shot of the Saturday afternoon patio session.

We headed to Cropicana in the evening post Buckeye Beer Engine for fabulous people watching, where we ran into more friends like Kim, and ate a late dinner/4th meal. This was the first time I ate at Cropicana and while my fish tacos weren't what I expected I guess there were edible unlike CK's ribs which were charred to an inedible black crisp. I think I'll just stick to beers at Cropicana from now on...

Sunday brought an impromptu sunday funday in the
D-Sho with AJP where we enjoyed brunch/mojitos/berry isles at Luxe, a viewing of the Green Lantern in 3D at the Capitol Theater and dinner/beer/bubbles at XYZ the Tavern.


I could get used to summer weekends like these in Cleveland...

And to think I have Dinner in the Dark at Flying Fig tonight and the Tribe game tomorrow night.

Summa, summa, summa-time.


Happy Monday, kids!

CMA Summer Solstice Party and the Cleveland Bridge Project

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thanks to all who entered to win a pair of tickets to the Cleveland Museum of Art Summer Solstice Party!

It's my pleasure to announce the winner, who was chosen via random.org, as........ Nadine from Blog - The New Black!

Congrats buddy and be sure to get in contact with me via email and I'll get your Summer Solstice Party tickets to you ASAP.

Sad you didn't win?

Don't worry, there's still time to buy tickets before next weekend's must attend party online here.

Hope you see you all there!

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd in a not so brilliant segue if you have some time this fine Friday can you do me a favor?

The Cleveland Bridge Project is currently in the running to win a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in order to refurbish the Veterans Memorial Bridge, aka Detroit/Superior Bridge, aka the bridge I bike over during my work commute ride, to become a year-round pedestrian/bike walkway.

This lower level bridge renovation would help one of Cleveland's hidden historical gems become a little less hidden which is a win/win for the entire community.

To help simply click through to BridgeVote.com and cast your support via vote for the Cleveland Bridge Project managed by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative & Kent State University.

Thanks in advance, kids and have a great weekend!


fireside chat: volume three mexican fiesta

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm not sure I have words for this...



Oh, the things that happen after a few margaritas.

Happy Wednesday, kids!!

a low key weekend and it felt so good

Monday, June 13, 2011

Have you entered to win a pair of tickets to the Cleveland Museum of Art Summer Solstice Party yet? Click through and comment on this post to enter! ___________________________________________________________________

Not sure how, but I seem to have gotten a bit of a reputation of being a "party girl" and "gadabout".


Well, maybe I do know how, but that's not the point...


The point is that this past weekend if you would have followed me around you would have thought I was the complete opposite of a party girl.


Thursday after a
DCA City Advocates group meeting at Barley House, and a IABC awards ceremony at Velevt Dog I ultimately ended up staying in with CK.

Friday after a post work nap I headed to the
Public House to bid farewell to Ellis before he heads down south to work and live in Florida. Lots of friends were in attendance and while I "didn't want to drink" I somehow ended up being handed a beer and a shot almost immediately upon walking in the door.

I maintained my will power though and didn't drink much but watched my friends be hilarious instead - sometimes that's better.

Ellis in his fancy shirt and lzone - Cleveland will miss you Ellis!

MOB with the best face EVER and lzone being perfectly turned out black swan style.

Saturday at 7am I headed to Canton for a hair cut and color at
GSV before heading back to Cleveland for flower shopping for what seemed like hours and all over northeast Ohio but by the end of the day I had what I needed in preparation for my planting.

Saturday night I biked over to CK's and made dinner then headed home before dark where I contemplated going out for approximately .2 seconds before settling in on my couch - I needed more rest.


Sunday my mom came up to CLE to help me with my mini-yard and we dug holes, planted shrubs/pots, mulched and even laid some sod.

ME.

I sodded and mulched.

I wish someone would have video recorded me.


So as I'm typing this Sunday night I'm already prepping for how sore my back is going to be from yard work tomorrow, but sitting in my pretty backyard will make it worth it.


This low key weekend was EXACTLY what I needed, and I got 3 items on my list crossed off which is more than zero, kids.

And with that my weekend was complete - happy Monday!

what i really should be doing

Friday, June 10, 2011

Things I need to do around my house ASAP.
(alternate title: Things I need to do around my house instead of continuing my procrastination by sitting on my bed whilst watching TV and blogging about all the things I should be doing)

1. Plant my flowers/shrubs/grass - this is priority #1 for the weekend, no excuses.

2. Call my home warranty/insurance and figure out my options for fixing my leaky windows.

3. Clean all three of my bathrooms - not one, not two, but ALL three. (alternate option: hire a cleaning lady)


4. Organize my jewelery - finding matching earrings shouldn't be this hard.

5. Figure out the timers in my backyard - currently they're on during the day and off at night, don't ask why.

6. Swap out my winter clothes/shoes for my summer clothes/shoes - see ya boots.

7. Laundry, lots of it.

Let's try to cross some of this crap off my list this weekend shall we?

But in the meantime I have more basketball to watch. Go Mavs.

do you like my mustache tan?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I'm 100% Greek.

This isn't anything new.

What also isn't new is that stereotypically Greeks are known to be hairy.

Stereotypically.

Thankfully, I am not and my fabulous waxer Kate from Zen Metro Spa can confirm this for you. (tmi?)

Anyways where I'm going with this is that I do not have a mustache and any random hairs I do have up there I take care of. (tmi? again? Ladies, you know what I'm talking about, don't lie.)

But recently now that summer has come and I've been spending more time in the sun catching some prime time rays (PTRs, fyi), and I've noticed that the skin above my upper lip has started getting darker than the rest of my face - like lots of freckles.

Which, from a far looks like... well, you know what.

So, yesterday at my Thea's house I was complaining to my cousin Cathi about how my skin is getting unevenly darker in places specifically above my lip and she's like, "Oh, I know exactly what you're talking about, I had the same problem as I got older".

Great, as she got older...

Basically she told me that she has to always put SPF 55 above her lip to prevent that from happening.

Awesome, add it to the list of wrinkle creams, night creams, pore shrinkers and anti aging remedies. 

I'm sooooooooooooooooooo looking forward to my 31st birthday that's coming up in a few weeks - can't you tell?

Cleveland Museum of Art Summer Solstice Party 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Cleveland Museum of Art Summer Solstice Party first caught my attention last year but I was unable to attend... cue sad face.

But after reading all the raves reviews of the 2010 event I made sure to mark my calendar in ink a long time in advance for this year's event which will be held at the CMA on Saturday, June 25th from 6pm to 2am.

The Summer Solstice Party celebrates exactly what you think it would, the longest day of the year, and over 4,000 people kick off the long days of summer by taking over the CMA to celebrate with art, music, food and cocktails all night long.


But let's focus on the world class music for a moment shall we?

6pm: Moon Hooch, two saxophonists and a drummer provide an ambiance of shimmy and shuffle straight from the platforms of the New York City subway platforms.

7:30pm: Group Doueh, making their first-ever tour of the US from the desert lands of the Western Sahara, balance Afro-Saharan grooves with transcendental pop and blues elements.

8:30pm: Chicha Libre, are modern day purveyors of Peru's cumbia music - a dynamic and fun melding of Latin music and 1960's South American culture.

9:45pm: Mucca Pazza, from Chicago, ushers in the later hours with brilliantly crafted insanity, updating starchy marching band music with a strong dose of mayhem.

11:15pm: Dam-Funk, a fast-rising star, pulling 70s and 80s style dance floor funk and disco up to the music of right now with a trio that included keyboardist Master Blatzter and drummer J-1.

12:30am: Sofrito Soundsystem, is DJs Hugo Mendez and Frankie Francis, creators of legendary warehouse parties and the Tropical Discotheque in East London. They rejoice in the heaviest rhythms from Africa, the Caribbean and South America and will be bringing their talents to Cleveland for the first time.

Sounds awesome, right? You can also check out this YouTube video featuring additional information and samples of all the music acts for the Summer Solstice Party.


You can choose your admission time and ticket price as there are three different levels of tickets to suit all budgets, all of which are available for purchase online or by calling 216-421-7350. 

Option One: Eventide, 6pm to 2am, general admission is $175 or $125 for CMA members and includes Mediterranean style hors d'oeuvers and open bar. 

Option Two: Twilight, 7:30 to 2am, general admission is $60 per person or $40 for CMA members and includes Latin American style hors d'oeuvers and cash bar. 

Option Three: Solstice, 10pm to 2am, tickets in advance are $15 per person or limited availability $20 tickets at the door which includes snacks and cash bar. 

Option Four: Win a pair of Solstice levels tickets here on the plum!

To enter simply leave a comment on this post telling me which of the music act(s) you're most interested in checking out.

For an additional entry tweet about the contest including a link to this post, http://bit.ly/jJGQvB, @clevelandart and #CMAsummersolstice, then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

For even another additional entry post a link to this giveaway on facebook then leave a separate comment telling me you did so. 
Also, don't forget to leave me your contact information in the comment if I don't already know how to get a hold of you.  

You have until Thursday, June 16th to enter to win and I'll announce the winner on Friday, June 17th.

Good Luck, and I hope to see you all at the Cleveland Museum of Art on June 25th!


What a summer weekend in Cleveland should look like

Monday, June 6, 2011

Oh sweet weekend, why must you be so short?

But also why must you be so jam packed full of fun that it takes me so long to write about you on Sunday that it eats up what precious few hours left in my weekend there are?


Oh, the troubles of a blogger...


#whitewhine

The weekend, per usual, started on Thursday with a Cleveland Museum of Art
Summer Solstice Party meeting at Market Ave Wine Bar. (Spoiler alert: More info on the Summer Solstice Party will be coming soon, read, a giveaway!)

After my meeting I was enjoying bubbles on the patio with Reena and Becky when CK and his dear friend Schmitt came and met up with us. The drinking continued across the street at
Great Lakes Brewing Company where CK, Schmitt and I met up with Hartzell, Keith, Biondi, and Salgat.


CK and his bestie Schmitt in from STL at GLBC who will from now on be dubbed Mexican Cousin - aren't they cute?

After GLBC we headed to XYZ the Tavern for some fancy meats and cheeses and whiskey, naturally.

Friday evening brought me, CK, Mexican Cousin and Bob-o to Whiskey Island to spend time at
Cropicana with the midges and then to XYZ the Tavern (again) for some late night munchies and more whiskey/bourbon.

Bob-o, Mexican Cousin (again) and CK at Cropicana

Link
Mexican Cousin creating some chalk art on the XYZ women's bathroom door.

Saturday morning, myself, CK, Bob-o and Mexican Cousin headed to Deagan's for a delicious lunch and beers. I had the soup of the day before my pecan-crusted chicken salad which was a creamy mushroom cup of deliciousness that I'm still thinking about it was that good. Seriously, that place never disappoints.

My Deagan's breakfast of champions instagram shot.

It was at Deagan's that I bid farewell to the boys because they had a Phish show to get ready for and I had Jilly's bachelorette party to get ready for.

For Jilly's bachelorette party we all met in the VIP suite at the Hyatt downtown for games, drinks, apps and presents before heading to Luxe (aka my favorite restaurant in Cleveland these days). I got the short rib gnocchi, natch.

Jilly with some new branded unmentionables. Wedding night perhaps?

Ladies, all the ladies (minus the photographer, me) outside of Luxe.

Post our delicious dinner we walked over to, surprise surprise, XYZ the Tavern (this would be my third night there in a row if you're keeping track...), before about half of us headed to Suite Sixx for dancing and debauchery.

Katy, Beaver, Kristen, Mandy, Jessica and Jilly - former UD roomies reunited again!

Muffin and Jilly love to dance at Suite Sixx...

... but I think Beaver and Katy like to dance a little more I think.

You don't even want to know what the Beav was doing to me or how we even ended up in that position...

Sunday was spent "recovering" with Red Stripes at Cropicana, sunning, biking, and a late dinner at the ParkView, pretty much an all around awesome day.


Sigh, Whiskey Island, how I love you so.

Good weekend, great friends, fun times. Man do I love Cleveland in the summer!

Have a good week, kids.


midges.

Friday, June 3, 2011


As I awoke yesterday morning to find my window screens covered in bugs I involuntarily began to itch.

And as I'm looking at the above picture I'm slightly twitching.

Midges.

They're Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaccccccckkkkkkk.

cleveland loves toronto

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I would like my cousin Melanie to get engaged every year if it means I get to have as fun a weekend again as I did this past weekend.

I had such a good weekend with my family in fact that I'm positive that this blog recap is going to do it little to no justice.

A blog post just can't adequately describe the fun, the laughter, the drinks, the food or the love that was had.


But let's try shall we?


Myself, my Sissy, my Mom, Yiayia Lambo, Thea Eros, Uncle Nick, Thea Beth, Uncle Rog and our priest Father Nick all met at McKinley Air (right next to CAK) to board a private place to Toronto courtesy of the fabulous Kaplanis family for a fun filled engagement celebration for Melanie and Bob.

My Thea Eros and I posing with our bubbles on the plane, natch. While one would think complimentary bubbles would be the best part of our flight for me I'm going to go with not having to go through any security as the #1 perk hands down.

A shot of our plane and car service picking us up in Toronto. Baller.

Upon our arrival in Canada we were greeted by our hosts Marcia and Aris, said our hellos and took the car to our hotel, the Park Hyatt, in the Bloor-Yorkville area of Toronto. We got situated in our hotel, I did a bit of shopping with my Sissy, napped and then got ready for a night out on the town.

The whole Ohio gang plus, our hosts Marcia/Aris, the couple we were celebrating Melanie/Bob and my other cousin Scott and his fabulous girlfriend Davida got comfy at
Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur - aka the most fabulous restaurant in all of Toronto.

Seriously, Opus is AMAZING.
Some of the best food, drinks and service I've ever experienced.

I loved it
my first time and loved it even more the second time.

It doesn't hurt that my Uncle Aris is very good friends with the owner of Opus, Tony, and we drank magnums of '90
Dom Perignon and rare CARM Douro Reserva and endless bottles of Chateau Montelena Chardonnay (BOTTLE SHOCK!).

And that's just the drinks... the foie gras, the oysters, the lamb, the lobster can't be forgotten - it's a foodies dream and if you're ever in Toronto trust me and go to Opus.


Please pardon the fuzzy nature of this photo, but based on the hats my sissy and i REALLY do love Opus.

The newly engaged couple and the reason for all this celebration my cousin Melanie and soon to be cousin Bob!

Post Opus the "youngsters" poured our selves out onto the street and headed to the Bedford Academy where I found out that if you order a Hoegaarden you don't automatically get it in a pint glass you get it in a GIANT Hoegaarden glass that's like 3 pint glasses. Good think we had liquid cocaine shots as chasers.

And then it was morning...

The aforementioned giant Hoegaarden and liquid cocaine shot.

Saturday myself, Sissy, my Mom, Thea Eros and Uncle Nick found a place for brunch solely based on Yelp and Foursquare recommendations. We ended up at
Auntie and Uncles where we waited longer than we wanted to to get seated but the fabulous food quickly wiped our memory of the wait.


We walked around Greektown Toronto next (natch) and then headed back to the Bloor-Yorkville area where we found a rooftop patio to drink on called Remy's a block from our hotel.

But soon it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready because it was the official engagement party time!

As we walked over to the Hazelton Hotel, where the party was being held in a private room of ONE Restaurant, we passed cars parked in valet that cost more than my 5 year salary totaled. We're talking SWANKY.

Obviously I fit right in.

Well, maybe I would have fit in more if Muffin was walking next to me, but that's beside the point.

The room was gorgeous, the cocktails were flowing as much as the food and OMG, the food. Lobster tacos, lamp chops, flatbread, frites, shrimp and greek pastries galore.


MOH Stephanie, my Yiayia Lambo, me, Melanie and my Mom chillin' at ONE.

A wonderful shot of my Yiayia Lambo and my sissy.

The Sissy photo shoot continues with her and our cousin Scott looking oh so dapper.

It was around this time that the wheels began to come off and the Greeks began to come out.

After a brief Greek dance lesson with our non-Greek friends we may or may not have broken some plates....


OPA!

Sissy, Melanie, Thea Eros and Uncle Aris dominating the dance floor.

Aris armed with an Ouzo touting holster and shot glass "ammunition" was like a shot fairy posing with one of Bob's sisters Jill.

We had so much fun at ONE that saying we had so much fun isn't nearly enough, but we danced our butts off, enjoyed each others company and even had a Mark Wahlberg sighting.

Yes, that Mark Wahlberg.


Mark was staying at the Hazelton Hotel and was kind enough to chat it up and pose for a picture with Melanie who thanks to the party photographer was able to make this image her FB profile pic the very next day.

Post picture taking we may or may not have had the party DJ play Good Vibrations... too bad Mark didn't stick around for the dance party.

By 2am we headed back to the hotel (with my Yiayia in tow!) and slept like babies.

Sunday morning we headed to Marcia and Aris's house for brunch, because we clearly hadn't been eating and drinking enough, before heading to the airport for our trip back to the states.

Our trip home we had to stop in Erie, PA to go through customs before heading back to Canton and while we were waiting this happened....


That would be my sissy and the plane's co-pilot getting comfortable on the wing. Totally normal...

Once we got situated in Canton there was no rest for the wicked because there was another 20+ person celebration starting at Macaroni Grille because my baby cousin Jenna graduated high school!

My little Jenna is all grown up! TEAR!

After dinner me, sissy and CK headed to Panini's in belden village for amazing people watching on the patio.

The patio party continued on Monday while we headed to my old stomping grounds of Don Pablo's for sangria and a late lunch before taking in a viewing of Bridesmaids. Bridesmaids was meh, in my humble opinion.

Phew. End Scene.

Now that's what I call a Memorial Day weekend to remember.

I can't thank the Kaplanis family enough for all the hospitality in Toronto - let the countdown to the wedding in Naples begin!