A June weekend in Cleveland

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scenes from a wonderful long weekend in Cleveland.

Cleveland Indians day-game selfie with my Hyland homies - this image lovingly borrowed from my girl, Alana.

"My heel hurts," says Katie. Piggyback to the Clevelander post Indians game it is!

Friends on E 4th Street + Duffy rolling up to marina flex Friday on her Schwinn + Alana holding court during our Rocky River cruise

This is my museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art. Here's a scene from CMA's annual Summer Solstice Party. Just me and 6,000 of my closest Cleveland comrades.

And just think, I didn't take any photos of the baby shower I attended at Gervasi Vineyards, or my week long mother-in-law visit, or the five houses I walked through with my Mom the real estate agent - and the house hunt continues. Fingers-crossed it's over soon.

Mild house stresses aside, this weekend was simply fantastic.

I love this city.

Father's Day: looking to the future

Sunday, June 15, 2014

In honor of Father's Day, and my Facebook feed becoming filled with profile pictures where my beautiful friends are being walked down the aisle by their Dad, I'm going to share how I chose to remember my father on my wedding day.

The following was a letter I wrote to my Dad that was included in our wedding ceremony program.


Dad,

So I'm getting married today and I'm super sad you're not here. In fact my heart aches that you're not and I'm already anticipating tears as Mom walks me down the aisle, but I digress.

In 1988 you made a generous donation of new church bells to our beautiful church, St. Haralambos, in memory of your father, James Marinos. I tucked that fact away for many years, knowing that if I was ever lucky enough to marry, the ceremony would  be held in the church I grew up in and I would ring the heck out of those bells.

While you physically can't be here right now, you are ever present in my life. Today we ring these bells in honor of you. We ring them in celebration. We ring them to acknowledge our beautiful family who has done nothing but support Nicolette and I, while always keeping your memory alive.

I've been sentimental throughout the entire wedding planning process, wishing you could have had the chance to meet my future husband. Know this, Chris Kramer is a wonderful man, he's smart, he's smashingly good looking, has sweet dance moves, is a wonderful father, but most importantly treats your little girl like a queen. I'm the happiest I've ever been and Chris is a big part of that.

I can only hope you're looking down on me today with a smile of satisfaction, knowing your kid did alright for herself.

All of my love, 

Alexa

As I honored my father with words, I was beyond blessed to be able to have my beautiful Mother give me away on my wedding day - and we only ended up crying a little bit, success! 

But for the first time in many years I have a new father to celebrate today, my husband, CK.

I mean look at him....

During the "grand finale" of their father-daughter dance.

Best. Dad. Ever.

I love that Suzuran Photography was able to catch precious moments like these from our wedding - be sure to check out more from our day over on her blog.

Thanks to CK, today isn't as solemn as it has been in the past - he's my new favorite Father to honor and celebrate.

Hug the men in your life today, kids.


#MIXatCMA + Provenance + Canton Greek Fest

Thursday, June 12, 2014

This past weekend was a perfect combination of "adult time" and "family time."

I got to have a fancy dinner with friends but also spend lots of quality time with the kiddo and my big fat Greek family in Canton. See, it can be done!

Friday I had the opportunity to attend my favorite monthly event in Cleveland: Mix at CMA. This time though, via my continued partnership with the Cleveland Museum of art (see: fun + more fun), I was able to enjoy dinner at Provenance.

This month there was a Provenance pop-up event tied into MIX at CMA where an additional restaurant was set up in the museum's atrium - tres chic! 

While my group opted to dine in Provenance proper, it was such a wonderful view to look into the atrium and see all the wonderful guest dining and cocktailing. 

Speaking of cocktailing.... this is my new favorite.

Provenance's Thyme & Ginger: Stolichnaya Vodka, thyme, ginger, lime juice and rocks. Delicious and pretty.

I've always loved the design elements at Provenance, especially when paired with some bubbles. + Summer salad: green city growers bibb, pickled strawberry, cucumber ribbons, cashews, rhubarb vinaigrette. + Heirloom tomato carpaccio: shaved crouton, watercress, parmesan, citrus vinaigrette + Lamb loin: roasted garlic-herb polenta, haricot vert, pink peppercorn jus.

Everything my dinner companions and I had was delicious!!! We unfortunately didn't get to spend much time in the actual at MIX part of the evening due to some kitchen timing issues, but the place was slammed inside and at the pop-up so we just cocktailed a bit more to make up for it. No loss there.

I highly recommend planning a trip to one of my favorite places in the world, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and enjoying brunch, lunch or dinner at Provenance. You won't be disappointed.

Post Provenance/CMA a group of us headed to Market Avenue Wine Bar in Ohio City. Port was enjoyed (Right Nadine?!?) and we were all impressed by their new backroom window addition. It's fantastic and really opens the place up - check it out.

The second half of the weekend involved quality time with the kiddo shopping, getting pedicures and volunteering at the Canton Greek Fest

For years and years and years (see: '08 saganaki flashback post) my family has chaired the saganaki (flaming cheese) booth at our church's festival and this year was no different. 

The volunteer pool is officially growing, the kiddo is branded and ready to sell some saganaki - she was a HUGE help! + My cousin Anthony and my new cousin, his son, Nicholas. I mean, look at the face on that kid, I want to eat him up.

Confession: I ate so much flaming cheese I almost got sick. This is what happens when you only get it once a year, you binge. I just can't control myself around the stuff - it's just so good.

Great weekend, great friends, great family.

Happy Thursday, kids! Just think, our next weekend is right around the corner!

#MrandMrsMayor

Monday, June 9, 2014

Congrats to my girl Erin Archbold, you won a $50 gift card to uncommongoods.com. I have full confidence that you'll find something spectacular!

__________________________________________


Two weekends ago I had the pleasure of being co-matron-of-honor with my friend Birdie for our dear friend Biscuit's wedding and it was AWESOME.

It was a wonderful occasion, beautiful venue, hilarious friends and lots of love shared by all who attended.

Let's get to the most important part though... the party pics.

Rehearsal dinner time, which meant Akron's famous Luigi's Restaurant pizza and lasagne, like the bride and groom's first date all over again. + The bride and her maids (me and Birdie) + The bride, groom and their new bundle of joy, Sienna! + The groomsmen and ushers with their new personalized football jerseys.

Matron-of-honors ready for the big day! Curlers on my head and Starbucks, but of course.

Presenting... Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Oakes!!! Their ceremony venue, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, couldn't have been a more stunning backdrop for the celebration.

The happy Oakes family, look at that little tutu-wearing nugget of cuteness! + The bride and I on our way to the reception... but first let us take a selfie. + Super creative "guestbook" for guests...corn hole boards - awesome.

Group shot of the boys at The Tangier!

Shots, shots, shots, shots for Jaclyn, the bride, me and Birdie + Mrs. O, Mark's head and Birdie + I'm not sure what we are doing here... + Yes, I had to staple my dress strap right before the bridal party was introduced. I'm pretty resourceful, no?

I couldn't have been more happy to witness Cassi and Nate get married. Birdie and I nailed our speech and we can finally stop bugging Mr. North Canton to make an honest woman out of Cassi after 14+ years :)

Having these people in my life makes life better. Great friends, great times.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a plane to London to catch... Cherrio! 

Happy Monday, kids.