Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ice Cream, the perfect summer time treat

When was the last time you were this happy about ice cream?

Awesome picture.  This totally captures just how happy she is and how much fun she is having.  Juliana is a family friend and one absolutely amazing girl.  She just recently turned five so my sister and I took her out to Malley's for a birthday celebration.

Anytime we go anywhere with her we have a great time.  She is a riot to hang out with and we all have so much fun.  We got to sit on the carousel, which is a pretty cool thing to do at this particular Malley's location.  We ordered ice cream, drank our waters and at lots of pretzels. 

Then, since I set a new goal to take more pictures, I made sure to snap a few shots of us having a great time.  The ice cream was delicious and the company was even better! 

jules and heather

jules and me

I can't wait until we have the chance to go back.  Thanks for a great night :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

the proof is in the pictures

We never get to go out for a date on a Friday night.  I mean never!  That's what happens when you work at a restaurant and I completely understand, having worked in one myself for about 3 years.

Ben actually had Friday night off though since he was leaving for Belize early Saturday morning (sad face).  So we went on a Friday night date, the first in a very very long time.

We decided on a night out in Tremont.  The night started at Southside where we each got $3 draft beers that were on special.  I've been here before but Ben never has so I thought it would be a nice way to start the night.  We had hoped to sit on their beautiful patio but of course it was full because the sun had been shining all day. 

No biggie though.  We found a spot at the bar, enjoyed our beers and then headed off to dinner.

great how sunny it is :)

yummy drinks

We had dinner at Dante which was so delicious.  Our server was great and the food could not have been better.  As per our usual style we ordered four rounds of food and ate until we were stuffed.

Our dinner started with the Morel special appetizer, we then had the calamari and rock shrimp, then a cured meats board, and as more of an entree I had a linguine alla carbonara, and Ben had the forbidden black rice.  I am sure that dessert would have been delicious too but there is no way we could have eaten anything more.

local bread and authentic hummus


stuffed morels

Another great thing about this place is that they get everything they can locally or from somewhere in Ohio.  Way to go Dante!

Instead we left and took a walk down to 806 for one more drink.  We had lots of fun chatting with the bartender and will hopefully be going back soon to enjoy some of their food.

We ended the night pretty early because Ben left bright and early in the morning.  Lucky me, I got to take him to the airport.  I just hope I can make it through this week just Breckyn and I.  She can have a real attitude and Ben is way better at dealing with her than I am.  As of right now, her and I are both looking forward to Sunday when he comes home.

Have a (hopefully) sunny week :)

open your eyes ben!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I will take more pictures

New goal:  I need to take more pictures!

I never have my camera with me.  And even when I do I never break it out.  I am so bad at this.  Why, I don't know, but I am making the decision right now that I will take more pictures.

Of everything.  Family, friends, the dog, places I go, food, restaurants, nature.

This is a serious commitment and I think I can do.  It starts this weekend.  Yesterday Ben and I went to dinner and he (yes, I know this means I really didn't take the pics, but baby steps!) took some pics of our evening. 

They will have to wait for a later blog because right now I am going back outside to enjoy the sunshine (yes sunshine!!) before it goes away.  Very busy weekend that I will be sure to discuss in detail later!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

There's a Baby at Dinner

This month Katie, Mary, Kristen and I decided to meet at Mary's house for our monthly dinner.

She just recently moved in to a new house that her and her fiance built.  It was finally finished and they were all moved, so we thought why not have a little relaxing night in with pizza and good friends?

It was great and we even had a special guest.  Kristen brought her daughter to her first monthly dinner!  She is just about 7 months old and is absolutely adorable.  She was definitely the entertainment for the night.

Between her cute faces, sitting around watching her crawl and playing with her toys we had lots of fun.  We had some good girlfriend talks about boys, weddings, and babies which seems to be what more of our conversations revolve around these days.  We were even talking about how crazy it is that this is what our conversations are about these days.  My how things have changed!

from our annual tribe game this year

Here's to wonderful friends!  I love you girls.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Another Rainy Weekend

The rain hasn't stopped. 

Despite all the wet weather, I had a pretty awesome weekend.

Friday night I ended up meeting Melis, Anthony, and Mark out at Bar Cento for pizzas and drinks.  This is one of my favorite places, obviously because I enjoy visiting Ben while he is working.  We had a great time as always...the service was good and the pizzas were great!

Saturday morning I was up bright and early because I participated in the 16th annual Walk for Stronger Bones.  This is the second year I have participated in this event.  Last year I was invited along with my Girls on the Run group that I help coach.  This year we were again invited to walk, and although our group was a little smaller and it was "misting" the entire time, it was a very nice event.

Ben and I took a little trip to The Westside Market when I got home to get some fresh fruits and veggies and bagels and breads for the week.  We also had some delicious crepes from Crepes Deluxe.  We have never eaten here before and it was great to grab a yummy treat and stand outside the market in the sunshine and enjoy breakfast.

After the shopping trip we went to the second annual Hooley which is located at Kamm's Corner.  They shut down part of Lorain Ave and have lots of different vendors out with a band and even stuff for kids.  We took Breckyn and she did a pretty good job with all the people around.  The skies quickly got dark and we ran back to the car so that we didn't get soaked.  We made it home and lounged around for the rest of the afternoon before Ben went to work.

I grabbed dinner with the parents and sister at Two Dad's Diner (no webpage sorry!)  This is a great little diner that is run by two families and has great food.  We love to go there for breakfast or dinner.  There is never a wait and the food is always good.

I spend the rest of the night in and even got to bed early! (it's okay, I know I'm a big dork)

This morning we met Melis and Anthony at Market for brunch.  Yes, that's right, Market.  I have officially been there for the last 3 Sundays for breakfast. And for happy hour last Thursday. 

Overall, great weekend despite the rain.  At this point in CLE we don't have a choice but to just go out and brave the raindrops!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Can't Shake the Market

Is it wrong to eat at the same restaurant three times in three weeks?  Or maybe it just means I'm a loser.

In my defense the first 2 times I went for brunch, and last night we went for happy hour.  Since we can't do Friday or Saturday night dates, we try for Thursday and Sunday brunches.

After two great brunches we decided to try happy hour at Market.  Three dollars beers, four dollar glasses of wine, and five dollar apps sounded like a delicious night. 

We had a great time and the food wasn't that bad.  The ahi tuna won-ton crisps and mussels were delicious.  The salsa trio and brushetta were just ok, although I will absolutely be going back.

We enjoyed the rest of the night lounging on the couch watching The Office with Breckyn happy to have us home.

As for tonight and the rest of the weekend, not yet sure.  The rain is supposed to be on and off, but Melis is home for the weekend so there is bound to be some good times! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy to see the Sun

Well it was finally a beautiful weekend in Cleveland.  And guess what?  The weather has been nice the last three days!  That's five days of nice weather...I've about lost my mind!

I've spent as much time as possible outside, even if it is just sitting on the patio doing absolutely nothing.  It is so wonderful.  Living in Cleveland really does make you appreciate the seasons.  I am a lover of summer and the sunshine, so when it is nice I go out and do things because here in CLE we don't always have that chance.

But I love fall too and the leaves changing color.  The warm days and cool nights, sitting out by a fire. 

And then there is winter.  The first snowfall is always so pretty even if you aren't the biggest fan.  I always cross my fingers for a little snow on Christmas, and then of course I love having snow days!  What is better than getting a phone call that says you don't have to go to work?  Not much.

Spring though, it isn't my favorite.  I don't even know if I like it at all.  Yes it leads me to summer but there is far to much rain.  Ok, the rain helps my yard and flowers and vegetable garden, so I like it a little.  But if I was ranking the seasons, it would definitely be number 4.

Today though, I am happy with you spring.  Thank you for a few beautiful weather days in a row!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thanks Mom

One day a year is just not enough to thank your mom for all that she does for you.  At least it isn't for my mom.

What a wonderful person she is and getting the chance to celebrate that with her makes me feel extraordinarily lucky.  The sun was shining today and it could not have been a nicer Mother's Day (especially considering all of the rain we have had lately).

We celebrated by enjoying brunch at Market.  Yes, this was my second week in a row having brunch there, but it's just that good.  They gave all moms a complimentary Mimosa, which is so nice and enjoyable as well!  Brunch was delicious of course and mom loved the new edition to her Pandora bracelet.

For the afternoon, my mom, dad, and I headed out to Petitti's so that I could finally get some plants for the back garden.  It was packed but we picked out 10 shrubs/trees that will hopefully complete the backyard garden.  Thank goodness for my dad's truck which helped get everything home.

Then my wonderful parents helped plant all the new shrubs/trees!  It was so nice out that spending the days indoors was not an option and since they are so wonderful they are always willing to help out in anyway they can.  So we spent the afternoon digging holes and planting plants.

The garden looks pretty good.  Of course everything is small right now but will hopefully grow over the next few years and be a nice colorful place to enjoy.

The day was beautiful, and spending it with my wonderful mom made it even better.  One day of thanks a year will never be enough, because my mom deserves a thank you everyday for all that she does for everyone around her.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cinco de Margarita

Well the sun in Cleveland finally came out.  At least for one day, but that is reason to celebrate.

So is Cinco de Mayo.  Why do we celebrate this?  What does it really mean?  Does anyone have the answers to these questions or are we just happy that we have an excuse to drink?

After a long day of work, a little running to practice for the next GOTR race, sitting outside in the backyard smelling the freshly cut grass thanks to Ben, we finally headed out to dinner.

Of course deciding to go to a Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo at 6 is a recipe for waiting an hour.  And that's what we did.  Having worked in restaurants for a long time, we understand this though and have lots of patience.

After a pitcher of margarita's and a spicy burrito, I was a happy girl and the sun was still shining.

Today is a different story...the rain is back and it looks like it's here to stay.  Thanks a lot Cleveland.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Dog's Life

As I sit here watching Breckyn relax on the couch (yes that's right, my dog is a furniture dog), I randomly think how awesome it must be to live a dog's life.

Now don't get me wrong, I love being a human and consider myself to be an extremely happy and blessed individual.  But to lay around all day, have someone clean up after me, take me for walks, play with me in the yard, go for long car rides where I get to stick my head out the window and enjoy the fresh air...well all of that sounds pretty good.

Today we went for a walk in the Metroparks, which is something we do as often as possible once the weather breaks.  Of course when you live in Cleveland that means it has to be at least May if not June for that to happen, so we snuck in a walk while we had the chance.

She LOVES walks, and walks in the Metroparks are like the best thing ever.  She thinks everyone she sees is a friend and wants to play.  Today we were walking past the golf course and she was staring down two guys that were on the green putting.  I'm pretty sure she was wondering why they weren't throwing the ball to her so that she could play.

Now she is just hanging out relaxing and soon we will be headed to bed.  She will jump up on the bed and stretch herself out completely across the bottom, or middle, or wherever she feels like laying for the night that is an inconvenience to you.  Then she will look at you with those cute blue puppy dog eyes and fall asleep.

It's the best and I don't mind sharing bed space with her at all.

stretching out on the couch

there's those puppy dog eyes

enjoying a car ride


Monday, May 2, 2011

Goodbye April...Hello May!

What a wonderful weekend!

Friday night was the annual Tribe game with the girls.  This was the first time we've ever gone in April, but we had great seats for a great price.  It was a little chilly out but not too bad.  I loved seeing the girls because it has been awhile and the game was great!

We won in the bottom of the 9th with a walk off grand slam!  Oh yea!  The Tribe is killing it this season so far and I'm looking forward to watching them this season.

I finished up the night by meeting up with another group of friends at Happy Dog.  While there we had a little argument about the neighborhood the bar is in.  I'm pretty sure it is located in the Gordan Square District/Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood but one of the boys was positive it is part of Ohio City.  He was super stubborn about it, and I still think I'm right.

My best friend was in town this weekend from Columbus so we grabbed a quick breakfast Saturday morning at The Red Chimney.  I'd never been before but her husband grew up in the neighborhood and loves the restaurant.  It was the cheapest breakfast we've probably ever had and it was perfect.  Yummy diner food that hit the spot.

I spent the rest of the afternoon with Ben working in the yard and hanging out with the dog.  We planted some flowers and moved some stuff in the yard.  We're still working on what is going to happen with that back garden we have and need to decide what veggies we are planting this year.  Since it is still ridiculously cold, I think we have time.

Saturday night I participated in a Cornhole Tournament at The Slovenian National Home and of course lost in the first round.  It was hosted by the best friends husband and was a definite success.

I finished off the weekend with a late Brunch at Market with Ben and the best friend and her husband.  I cannot say enough good things about this place and will be going back there this Sunday for Mother's Day.

Sorry for the long post, but it was a busy weekend!  Happy to see May on the calendar...makes summer break seem so much closer!