Flats East Bank fun + the kiddo turns 6

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Turns out that when I have the opportunity to open mouth kiss my city I choose to only do so one night out of the weekend. You see, when Friday night came, I was T-I-R-E-D and decided to cozy up with Walter White alone on my couch.

It was perfect.

Saturday on the other hand CK and I were all over the place. I spinned at Psycle, we brunched at Dinner on Clifton and shopped from east to west. By the time we got home from our marathon errand session a nap would have been a great idea but a triple date with Katie, Tim, Cara and Keith was in the cards.

Saturday evening the six of us dined at The Willeyville in the new Flats East Bank phase one compound. If I was a food blogger I would have detailed descriptions and photographs of everything we ate, but I'm not, so just trust me when I said we were ALL extremely happy with our meals. 

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I sat down for our meal at The Willeyville but it exceeded my expectations. Fresh, creative concepts and ingredients, nice portions and pricing topped off by ridiculous desserts - I'll definitely be going back. It actually reminded me a little bit of Deagan's.

Post dinner we walked over for a drink at the Aloft Hotel bar, w xyz, before heading to our old and trusty standby Harbor Inn.

Fireball anyone? Katie, me and Cara. + timmybennett making sure everything is a-okay port-side

Sunday, CK, the kiddo and I headed to (North) Canton for some family time at my cousin Cathi and Greg's where we had a super casual 6th birthday celebration for the little one with my immediate family. Naturally, we ate lamb.

The unseasonably cool weather didn't stop pool time, or pinata time or birthday cake time - that's for sure.

Now, as a rule I don't tend to post photos of (or really talk about) my future step-daughter but I couldn't resist - she's just such a cool kid - so incognito ones will have to do.

And that's a wrap, good weekend, good friends and good family. I'm blessed.

Happy Tuesday, kids!

I'm going to open mouth kiss you, Cleveland

Friday, July 26, 2013

Guys, it's Friday.

There's going to be gorgeous weather all weekend and I'll be in town with no crazy plans or responsibilities.

That is a beautiful thing.

What to do? What to do? What to do?

Maybe I'll stop by Burning River Fest on Whiskey Island, take a class at Psycle, enjoy the patio at Nano Brew or clean out my kitchen cabinets. Who knows. The point is, I'll be able to do what I want.

Let's play.

Instagram photo credit: @MWaterhouse

I'm going to open mouth kiss you all weekend long, Cleveland.

Looking for something fun to do over the next few days/weeks? Charity @ iheartcleveland.com knows what's up, Alicia @ Poise in Parma wants you to go to the Zoo and I think that the Indians being in town for a weekend homestead is a happy sign.

Have a good one, kids.

CLE to NYC and back

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The can't stop, won't stop summer keeps truckin' along as I just got back from a long weekend in NYC with Muffin and c-rossi visiting my sissy (who lives in Harlem) and seeing Jay Z and Justin Timberlake in Yankee Stadium.




The whole weekend was in fact. NYC is one of those places I'm deeply in love with, Cleveland is my plum, but damn, NYC is the biggest apple of them all.

Confession: I used to own the URL newyorksaplum.com because in the second half of my 29th year I was all set to move to NYC. I was ready to start over.... then I met CK, the rest is history and I'm still reppin' the city that I love, Cleveland. 

It doesn't mean I can't love and visit NYC frequently though. I've decided that NYC is my mistress. Wait, what's the male version of mistress? My mister?  Whatever, you get the point.

Upon landing in NYC Friday we headed to sissy and Jason's apt, dropped our bags and hopped on the subway to head to SoHo for some lunch, cocktails and shopping. It was a approximately 139 degrees out so we didn't last too long shopping - cocktails at swanky spots sounded more appealing.

It was wine o'clock for Muffin, c-rossi and I at Balthazar Restaurant. Muffin made me take the picture this way, FYI.

Muffin subway lovin' + c-rossi and Muffin + Gil (who was randomly in NYC from SFO, yay!) and c-rossi + taxi cab debauchery

In addition to our meal at Balthazar we also hit up the bar at the Mondrian SoHo, The Crosby Bar in the Crosby Street Hotel (OBSESSED OBSESSED), Nagomi Sushi (we could walk in for a quick dinner), Employees Only and Upright Brew House.

You could call it a SoHo(ish) pub crawl.

Saturday brought exploring the area around my sissy's apartment including an amazing brunch at the Community Food & Juice (SO GOOD, one of the best brunches I've had in awhile) and exploring the Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Gorgeous.

I felt like I was in a Harry Potter movie walking around the grounds looking at the massive and impressive historical cathedral.

Before the show we headed to Red Rooster Harlem, Chef Marcus Samuelsson's amazingly scrumptious and soulful restaurant in you guessed it, Harlem. We essentially are our faces off, ordering pretty much one of everything but I failed to take any pictures as my cellphone was charging under the table the whole time, Trust me when I tell you to make the trip there next time you're in the area - I'm still dreaming about the shrimp and grits.

Post dinner it was time to head to Yankee Stadium for the Legends of the Summer Tour which did not disappoint. This was my fifth time seeing Jay Z and my third time (if you count an *NSYNC show) seeing Justin Timberlake. I love these men. But as I mentioned on Twitter JT is awesome, but Jay Z will always be my number one - he's just so good live! I love hip hop.

c-rossi, sissy and Muffin outside of Yankee Stadium + the view from our seats

It was non stop dancing for the entire show. Hit after hit after hit after hit. Post show we stopped at Billy's Sports Bar right outside of Yankee Stadium before heading closer to my sissy's for pizza as big as two of our heads at Koronet Pizza

Sunday the gang headed back to CLE and Muffin and I headed directly over to MOB's because we needed to meet her son Jack! In these photos "little" Jack is only 5 days old but he's such a big boy and I can't even handle the cuteness. I'm so happy for MOB and Pete bringing this new bundle of joy into the world, they are going to be AWESOME parents.

And I'm going to spoil this kid rotten. Auntie Alexa has a good ring to it.

Muffin and Jack + Mommy and Jack

Guys, I'm blessed. What a trip.

Happy Wednesday, kids!

Mr. and Mrs. Clark!

Friday, July 19, 2013

This blog has been quiet lately, must be summer!

As the pitches pile up in my inbox, I'm quietly ignoring them (sorry, guys) so I can enjoy time with friends and family in the city that I love. 

Like this past week for example, I went shopping for my bridesmaid dress with bride-to-be Muffin then had a lovely meal at Salmon Dave's with her and Erin. I sushi partied it up with Suzanne and Shibani and had some of the best sushi in Cleveland at Mizu Sushi in Parma. Yes, Parma.

Oh, and my dear friend MOB had a baby!!!!! I can't wait to spoil the crap out of him, squeeze and stare at him. I'm weird. 

But before all of my mid-week fun I got to celebrate the wedding of two dear friends Andy and Ginenne, the new Mr. and Mrs. Clark! These two are the best, their love is real and genuine, they are fun as all get out and have great friends and family surrounding them - I'm lucking to be included in that group.

It's official, here's the new Mr. and Mrs. Clark! Also, how gorgeous is St. James Church in Lakewood?

YAY! Congratulations to Andy and Ginenne!!

Dancing the night away at Windows on the River and night-capping the night away at Harbor Inn - good times.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for me, Muffin and c-rossi to head to NYC this weekend to see sissy, Justin Timberlake and Jay (no hyphen) Z - HOVA!

Like I said, this summer's theme is can't stop won't stop.

Happy Friday and have an awesome weekend, kids.

Phish or bust, CLE to SPAC

Thursday, July 11, 2013

So how was everyone's 4th of July holiday? Mine was filled with family fun time in Canton in advance of my CLE to SPAC road trip.

My little cousins on 4th of July + my not so little cousins Jenna and David who now tower over me at ages 20 and 16.

Sigh, these kids keep growing up on me! With all the fun that was had on the 4th CK and I had to head home early because we had a road trip and a three night Phish run at SPAC ahead of us.

I've been listing to Phish since high school, which is a very long time ago, but doesn't mean anything in a Phish phan's world where they gauge your fandom based on how many shows you've seen. You could say I'm a late bloomer to the "tour" scene.

I've seen five shows, which is essentially zero to a "phan", but that doesn't mean I don't love the band and their music. I really love them, not as much as CK as I'm not an encyclopedia of their catalog, but you get the point. (update: read this article on Phish phans secret language and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.)

How about I love them enough to agree to drive eight hours with five friends to Saratoga Springs, NY and see them three nights in a row. Yup.

While I may have been anxious for the drive (I tend to get car sick and claustrophobic), for the house we rented (once the AC kicked in I was good) and for my stamina (partying three nights in a row?!) the trip was so much fun. I'm actually proud of myself for making it through the whole weekend with only a couple meltdowns.  

CLE to SPAC road trip with Stephen, Jen, Jolynn and Brian (me and CK not pictured) + friendly hooligans at the house before a show + Jolynn max and relaxin' in her hammock pre-show + me, Jolynn and Jen + Phish from the back of the Pav + Phish from Page-side of the Lawn at SPAC

The CLE to SPAC crew at our favorite pre-show shaded spot, because why wouldn't we want to pick up Billy?

Good times, good friends and really good music.

What more can you ask for?

Happy Thursday, kids.

Summer in Cleveland continues

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

As I'm recovering from yesterday's birthday Twitter/Instagram #plumroast I realize how many opportunities I give my friends to take inappropriate photos of me.


I suppose there's always payback, just you wait guys :)

So during this short holiday week I don't want to glaze over my last awesome family fun filled weekend as it was wonderful.

On Friday it was c-rossi's surprise 30th birthday party at Hooples!

Saturday I headed to Canton for Katie's fabulous bridal shower. My mom and the bride-to-be + My cousin Kristen and I + Katie's bridesmaids minus my sissy + Kristen and her new baby girl in matching chevron! It was so amazing getting to meet Amelia, her Thea Alexa already love, love, love, love, LOVES her.

CK's little one decided she wanted to start a blog on Sunday - apparently there's a TV show about a Dog and a Blog?!? Who knows, anyways, this is her navigation map that I promise I didn't help her with but I love it. I may have my hands full with her as she gets older, ha. + Lunch + CK helping to calm me down at Nano Brew after some crappy news about our wedding reception venue

And with this update I'm signing off for a few days to go Phishing in NY - lord help me.

Happy 4th of July, kids - stay safe out there!

It's the little things, like a good driver's license photo...

Monday, July 1, 2013

As my 33rd birthday approaches (tomorrow), it's not the normal pomp and circumstance of years past and I'm okay with this.

You see, there's a lot going on in my life. My house is for sale, I'm trying to find a new house to buy, my social calendar is ridiculous and I'm trying to plan (and save money for) a wedding.

I'm also trying to lose 20 lbs before I even think about trying on a wedding dress....

My whole life my weight has been an issue for me. I laugh when my trainer at Fitness Edge Cleveland tells me to think about a time when I was thin in order to visualize "getting my body back" and I'm like.... ummmm..... hmmmm..... yeah, never.

I've been working out a lot the past year and a half and while I'm definitely stronger (and thinner to an extent) I know that my eating (and drinking) is sabotaging any real weight loss.

I'm working on that.

But you see something happened at the BMV last week that quickly put it all in perspective, because even though I look in the mirror and stare at everything that needs improvement, I now realize how far I've come.

Left: my 29th birthday driver's license renewal photo. Right: my 33rd birthday driver's license renewal photo.

Like a fine wine?

I know it's just a silly driver's license picture, but when I consider how my face looked in 2009 verse 2013 I realize that while I still may have a long way to go fitness wise, I AM making improvements.

This is a good thing.

(Blogger note: Here's my 29th birthday weekend recap post that includes my bloated face and LOTS of blast from the past friend photos.)

Now, let's just hope that four years from now when it's time to renew my license again my 37th birthday license photo is even better!

Happy Monday, kids.