Ginenne's Bachelorette Party Weekend in Put-in-Bay

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Congratulations to Jen from Why CLE? for winning herself a pair of ticket to see Chicago (the band) from Live Nation Cleveland - thanks for all who entered! 

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I told you guys it was going to be the summer of fun.... and this past weekend proves it just keeps on going with a trip to Put-in-Bay Island to celebrate Ginenne's bachelorette party!

Friday early afternoon Steph, Ginenne and Nina and I stuffed more luggage and supplies into an SUV with four people in it than I ever could have imagine. Not sure how we made it, but we did, just in time for the 2:30pm Miller Boat Line ferry to Put-in-Bay.

Nina, the bachelorette Ginenne and Steph (formerly the Klutz, ha) getting ready to board the ferry

Upon arrival to PIB we headed straight to the Island Club were we checked-in to our rental for the weekend, cracked a beer and waited for more friends to roll in. We also hopped in our 8-person golf cart and cocktailed it up at Mojito Bay, easily one of our favorite spots of the weekend. 



Who loves a boat prop photo opp? We do! + Sisters swinging + part of the jam packed car....

As night fell the Canadian Soldiers/Mayflies/etc fell like a blanket over PIB - good thing we could just dance them away. With stops at The Boathouse Bar for Disco and T&J's Smokehouse for country we showed no music prejudice although Ginenne's heart was with country and the Scott Thompson Band.

The majority of the Friday night crew at T&J's Smokehouse

When I was in college at UD everyone drank Beast Light, I did not like Beast Light, so I drank Andre Spumante - while my taste in bubbles may have evolved from Andre, it started at a very young age. + #WhatDeeryWore poolside on Saturday + the bride-to-be looking stunning and ready for her night on the town

A lot may have gone down between the nice sissy picture of Steph and Ginenne and the shot of Court drawing on a rando's shirt, e.g., getting caught in the rain on a gold cart while being attacked by giant bugs and bull riding - but while I may not have photographic proof of it all it was a DAMN good time!

If the bachelorette party was any indication of the fun that will be had at Ginenne and Andy's wedding in less than a month (!!!!), I simply can't wait. To the bride and groom!

Normally one uses Sunday post-bachelorette party to recuperate - well, not me when there are friends from San Francisco in town. Sunday funday reunited my old boss Gil (and his partner Kyle) and his Scene Magazine ladies at the newly opened Townhall in Ohio City for brunch/lunch and cocktails. It was SO great catching up with everyone, it was like it was '05 all over again!

As for a Townhall review, I will definitely give it another shot, but my experience wasn't all that hot - in summary it was very weak drinks, a very inexperienced waitress and so-so food.


Gil, me, Kyle, JenWhite (one word), Trapp and Bird!

Another awesome weekend in the books... Can't stop, won't stop!

Happy Wednesday, kids.


Let the summer of fun begin

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Can't stop won't stop.

That's the theme of this summer. 

With more weddings, bridal showers, baby showers and bachelorette parties than I even thought was humanly possible to be invited to I'm making it work. I may go broke trying, but with all these awesome people in my life how can I not be excited to celebrate them all?

It's going to be an awesome summer! 

Friday Heather and I short road and boat-tripped it to Kelleys Island, Ohio for our dear friend and generally awesome human being Alana's bachelorette party. While we only could stay for one night that wasn't going to stop us from making it one hell of a good night.

Island life is for me and Alana the sailor bachelorette....

Let the random bachelorette party gifts begin, ya know, like a sailor outfit from Kimi, duh. + Heather on our ferry ride + Kimi and Julie in our spacious swimming pool.

 I'm being kind to Alana by not sharing the rest of her special bachelorette party gifts ;)

It was so great getting to spend time with some of Alana's friends and family I've yet to meet - such a fun Friday night crew! + Mackenzie and Courtney love the "Island Ride"

Dinner at the Island House Martini Bar and Restaurant + strawberry shots at Bag the Moon + Dancing at the Casino = Kelleys Island in a nutshell of fun

Let me just tell you that the 7:30am ferry came QUICK Saturday morning. I'm not sure how we made it, but we did - what a whirlwind celebration and fun all in honor of Alana. It's always a good time when she's around - her future husband Deano isn't too bad either, ha.

Saturday CK, his little one and I all headed to Canton to celebrate Lukas's baptism and his brother (my godson) Bobby's 2nd birthday. Family time is the best time.

Precious Lukas on his baptism day + My not so little anymore cousin Emily and my new little cousin Nicholas being adorable + kids! + Bobby blowing out his birthday candle looking at his Nouna (godmother, me) like what are you doing? I keep telling him he's going to like me one day :)

Sunday was spent spoiling CK with his little one for Father's Day, house hunting and celebrating MOB's birthday at Market Rocky River with CK, Muffin, Beaver and the guest of honor.

And because it was Father's Day here's my favorite shot of my Dad being so 80's awesome - gold chains, open shirt, tinted shades and a cigarette. This photo makes me miss him more than anything simply because it makes me wish I could sit down, split a bottle of wine and just talk about life.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Can't stop won't stop.

Happy Tuesday, kids!

Chicago (the band) ticket giveaway!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I've often said I was born in the wrong era as my music taste has a heavy classic rock and R&B with piano and horns influence. Some of my favorite acts including the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, The Band, ELO, Cat Stevens and Billy Joel.

These also may be some of Stepho's favorite bands so we can blame my mother for my music taste being ingrained in my brain from the womb.

That being said, when I saw the band Chicago was heading to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica this summer it caught my eye.

Hello, gentlemen.

Considering I play Saturday in the Park on repeat some days it's about time I see them live, right?

I got my tickets to the Wednesday, July 24 show - you can buy yours online here - OR win a pair here on the plum courtesy of Live Nation Cleveland.



You have three opportunities to win the pair of tickets:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite Chicago song is.

2. Tweet the following, leaving a comment telling me you did so (you can do this daily for extra entries):


I want @clevelandsaplum + @LiveNationClv to send me to see @ChicagotheBand on 7/24 at Jacobs Pavilion http://bit.ly/11BIQqG

3. Share this giveaway on Facebook - http://bit.ly/11BIQqG - leaving a comment telling me you did so

You have until Thursday June 20 at 5pm to enter to win and I'll announce the winner here on the plum shortly there after.

Good luck, and happy Thursday, kids!


Tell me you'll staaaaaayyyyyy

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The weekend started on Thursday with lots of tears upon signing the papers to list my townhouse that even carried over to Friday evening. 

CK, my fiance, is a saint.

I'm hoping that once I find a new place that I'm excited about it'll be better, but until that day comes I'm allowing myself to pout, cry and moan about the fact that I'm not thrilled with any of the areas I'm "allowed" to live in. Bitter, party of one.

Thankfully my friends the Driggs' were there to make me laugh on Thursday through our slightly inappropriate vines and NKOTB dance party.

Saturday night brought an evening at XYZ the Tavern, Luxe Kitchen & Lounge and Spice Kitchen + Bar with CK, the Alexander's, Beaver, and the soon-to-be Clark's in my beloved Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood for the pARTy in Gordon Square.

Chalk haiku + pARTy + hands in! + Spice patio relaxing


Sunday brought some house-hunting walk-throughs with my real estate extraordinaire mother and last minute tickets to see The Package Tour, aka. Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees and NKOTB at the Q.

I've never heard the Q so loud as during NKOTB's part of the concert, it was deafening. My ears were still ringing Monday morning but it was AWESOME. Still love those boys, er, MEN.

The ladies who suite + random awesome Britney Spears denim vest + CK and Driggs pretending to be in a boy band + the ridiculous crowd at the Q


All in all it was a productive and semi-stressful but yet still fun weekend - thankfully the fun outweighs the stress.

With a pair of bachelorette parties, a baptism, birthday parties and bridal showers on deck for the next two weekends this summer is going to fly-by!

Happy Tuesday, kids.

Operation: sell this house

Thursday, June 6, 2013

When I accepted CK's marriage proposal I gained a handsome future husband, an adorable future step-daughter and the acceptance that I'm going to be selling my townhouse so we can all move into a different house together as a new family.

In the last month or so, between all my travels, I've been slowly but surely prepping my townhouse to be put on my market.
Painting thanks to Paint the USA!

My initial checklist:

- Exterior painting and sealing - CHECK 
- Interior painting and touch-ups - CHECK 
- Carpet cleaning - CHECK 
- Hire a cleaning service for a good deep cleaning - CHECK 
- Plant flowers and mulch - CHECK
- Pick a real estate agent - CHECK 
- De-clutter closets - almost a check but not quite done

All in all I'm feeling good, CK and I are trying to figure out our budget, have been browsing listings for our possible next home and are anxiously waiting to finally be under the same roof after 3+ years of dating.

That being said, it could be months till that actually happens. Who knows when my place will sell or when we'll find something we both like to buy.

I also may or may not be secretly hoping it doesn't sell until after summer so I can enjoy my little urban backyard and the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood for as long as possible.

It'll happen when it happens though - wish me luck and let me know if I'm missing anything!

Happy Thursday, kids.


#Stepho60 in Northern California

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I'm writing this Monday evening, post red-eye back from California, post full day at work, post fabulous fabulous fabulous weekend celebrating my mother Stephanie.

I'm super tired, but in the way that it was so worth it.

My Mommy, or Stepho according to many, turned 60 this past weekend and to celebrate sissy and I whisked her away to Northern California for a long weekend trip.

We hit up Sonoma, Napa Valley, Yountville, Sausalito and San Francisco. We hit up quite a few wineries, restaurants and shops too. It was your stereotypical girls trip filled with driving up the coast, fun, sun, a little bit of arguing (because that's what we do best), laughs and about ten pounds gained.

I probably took about 273 photos and videos but the following accurately take you through the journey that was #Stepho60.

Happy birthday, Mom. I hope your 60th year is your best yet! xoxo

First stop, Sonoma. Home to a picturesque and quaint downtown and the girl & the fig - a DELICIOUS (zomg the chicken liver) start to our trip. I mean, they had Barbie and Ken(?) guiding the way to the restroom.

Next stop, Yountville. A beautiful, swanky and place I want to move to town where we kicked off our start at the North Block Hotel with a massage for us all. The hotel grounds were amazing as was the service. A short walk to Bottega, Chef Michael Chiarello Napa Valley mainstay got us buzzed on cocktails and filled with unique and fulfilling food. This trip was off to a great start - jet lag be damned!

We spent our morning in Yountville at the famous Bouchon Bakery where we ordered pretty much one of everything and the quiche ruined all other quiches moving forward for me.

By now you guys know my love of bubbles, so naturally our first winery was Domaine Chandon.

Next stop, Darioush Winery - FANCY pants here, delicious wine and $550 candles ;). We got back to normal for a second with PlumpJack Winery before we went right back to the ritzy vineyards.

Opus One Winery needs no introduction in wine circles - it's world renowned and such a treat. We took a grand tour at this stop and learned all about the history and the process of making Opus One - it's a big deal! Also, please note the sky in the top left photo, it looks fake, right? So beautiful in Napa Valley.

With the wine tasting time winding down we headed to Rutherford Grill where I had the best french dip sandwich in the universe before getting on the road to San Francisco. After a bit of unexpected traffic we finally got to the W San Francisco  and passed the eff out. We had grand plans of dinner reservations but after a day of vineyards and driving the jet lag did catch up with us.

Not to fear though, we had a fun day planned for the morning.

On Saturday we played locals with our friends Gil and Kyle who moved from CLE to SFO about six years ago and I still miss them in Cleveland! We got to cocktail at Balboa Cafe and party at the Union Street Festival and various other local haunts (including their awesome apartment rooftop) before having a wonderful dinner at A16.

Sunday we played tourist in Washington Park and the Ferry Building and had a defining brunch (in my opinion the best meal of the whole trip) at Park Tavern  with my dear friend Tigger who was kind enough to join us even at 8 months pregnant. So good seeing her - love, love, love!

Our final meal was that the Greek (how fitting) hot spot Kokkari where the above image only covers about half of what we ordered. I could eat lamb off a spit for days.

After too many glasses of wine and the meat sweats the Marinos girls boarded the red-eye home back to Cleveland, Canton and NYC respectively. Such a great trip celebrating such a great Mom, let's do it again at 65, okay?

Happy Tuesday, kids!