Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Namaste this Friday, April 27

Have after work plans this Friday? Stay for Namaste! I volunteer for an awesome organization called International Partners in Mission (IPM) and want to spread the good word about an upcoming event.

Every year, IPM hosts their annual Namaste fundraising event (and this year is the 10th year so it's going to be great!) I am really excited to be a part of this noteworthy cause, and I have met some wonderful people along the way!

Who: Students, young professionals, do-gooders, those interested in international affairs, those who want to have a stupendous time and meet new people

What: Namaste, One Night for One World, A Cultural Celebration Benefitting IPM's Project Partners

When: Friday, April 27 from 6:30pm-9:30pm

Where: Trinity Commons (downtown located at 2230 Euclid Avenue)

Why: You will meet some great people, support a terrific cause, enjoy live music, delicious food, and the chance to win sweet prizes!

How: Buy your ticket here or call 216-932-4082

Need more?
How about trying some delicious locally-grown food with recipes from around the world--China, Lebanon, El Salvador, Italy, Domincan Republic, Malawi and many more? Yes please!

Or get your groove on with tunes provided by Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band! Get jazzed up by watching footage of their live performances here.

Stay and play at Namaste this Friday. Buy your tickets here and enjoy the good time! Hope to see you there CLE!

Monday, April 23, 2012

EarthFest at the Zoo!

This weekend, I celebrated Earth Day by visiting the zoo with my bff, Jules, from, with her ah-dorable twin baby girls,  Chloe & Lily, and her super sweet sis, Catherine. 

Jules and Miss Chloe!

Me and Miss Lily

The girls are quickly approaching their 1st birthday (omg!) and we took them to their very first zoological encounter at CLE Zoo for the annual EarthFest. There were tons of kids, crafts, live bands, educational workshops, and generally good friendly people.

I hadn't been to the zoo since I was a little tike myself, so I was almost excited as Chloe and Lily about seeing the animals. I particularly wanted to check out the African Elephant Crossing, which recently opened last year, boasting innovative features and housing many of those enormous elephants!

Mom & babies in tow!
Did you know?! An elephant's ear may weigh up to 100 lbs. and an elephant's trunk can grow up to seven feet in length! 
Chloe: Whoa! I am growing fast too, but those elephants are GIGANTIC!
Lily LOVED the flowers in the butterfly house. She is one smart lil cookie, and crawled right up to the flower sharing her namesake and started taking in the smell.

Both girls were big fans of the flamingos, and wiggled right on down to the fence to get some eye level action of the strange pink birds!

The girls were totally mesmerized by the elephants, fascinated by the flamingos, and absolutely amazed by the giraffes. Although they are too young to speak, it was awesome to watch their little minds process these foreign wild creatures! And hats off to Julie, for keeping up with her little monkeys and being such a phenomenal Mom! I am so happy I got to share Earth Day and my "nieces" first trip to the zoo! XOXO!


All the girls, Julie, Lily, Chloe, me, and Catherine! Great girls afternoon!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vegan + Soldiers and Sailors = A Good One

It's a lovely spring day in CLE, so I decided to stroll down to Public Square to grab some grub and take in the nice afternoon. Have you been to Flaming Ice Cube? It's an awesome vegan restaurant right in the hub of downtown, and they serve up delicious dishes--even if you are wary of leaping into the veganism realm, I promise this won't disappoint. Honest to goodness food. I had their buffalo panini sandwich and broccoli pea salad. I am not a vegan or vegetarian by any means, but their flavorful and tasty lunches would surely sway any preconceived notion you may have. It's a must try!
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After picking up my food, I took a few steps across the street to enjoy my lunch at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. I've past it countless times, but finally got to really take in the colossal size and enormous detail put into the memorial.
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Yesterday actually marked the 147th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War.  So I decided to take a quick spin through the interior.
Photo: JAMinCLE
The monument is certainly an interesting link to CLE's history. The memorial honors more than 9,000 residents of Cuyahoga County who particpated in the Civil War. Wow!

Photo: JAMinCLE

My favorite relief inside was the one pictured above where Lincoln is shown breaking the chains of slavery. Honest Abe, Midwestern-minded man, taking a stand against slavery. He was a good guy, as were our soldiers and sailors that served. My vegan lunch from Flaming Ice Cube was a good one done too. Just like my city, and my tomorrow--it's going to be a good one!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Let the Birthdays Begin!

Last night, my gal pals and I got together to kickoff the spring/summer birthdays. T.A. and Steph are both April babes, so we gathered at Tremont Tap House to celebrate. I am so happy when we can coordinate our busy schedules with work, relationships, new homes, and social activities so we can enjoy some quality time post-college days--yay for girl's night!

T.A., me, Steph, Marie, Laura

Tremont Tap House can really hold it's own too with above par food. We shared the mac & cheese with roasted red peppers, spinach, and fresh grated cheese. It was seriously scrumptious! Definitely a must try!

And of course, what kind of birthday celebration is it without some cupcakes?! Marie and I snuck over before dinner to our favorite cupcake shop, A Cookie and a Cupcake, in Tremont to surprise the birthday girls with some sweet treats.

Delicious goodness birthday surprises

Something sweet for someone sweet! Happy birthday girls!
        Eating up her birthday...quite literally
We spent the night laughing, catching up, recalling funny memories from our college days, and counting our blessings for another year of friendship to celebrate. I love these girls!

Sharing the birthday love

We're up next...uh oh!

Let the season of birthdays begin! Cheers to another year girls! Happy birthday! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Holy Cowell!

"Wordless Wednesday" Post

To die for dish from Cowell & Hubbard!
Crispy Pork Stack, Vegetable Risotto, & One-Hour Egg
Cowell & Hubbard Restaurant.
Successful Cleveland restaurateur Zack Bruell's latest dining destination in the PlayhouseSquare District. Delicious 2 thumbs up!
Click here for the history of Cowell & Hubbard in Cleveland.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hold Fast to Dreams: A CLE Renaissance

One of my favorite quotes. I will always have a sweet spot for Langston Hughes--a prolific writer, innovative poet, perservering pioneer, and original renaissance man with some CLE history in him too! After spending a wonderful weekend with JMK's family and celebrating the Easter season, I can't help but experience a renewed sense of hope, positivity, and perserverance. Entering into my own personal renaissance, if you will.

"Langston Hughes spent his youth in Cleveland. While a teen at Central High School in 1917, Hughes lived in the attic of the home at 2266 East 86th Street after his mother and stepfather left Cleveland."
And Cleveland is certainly going through an exciting renaissance phase as well. The redevelopment and construction plans renew hope and economic development for our area. Last year the city of Cleveland had condemned Langston's east side home. But good news-- the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation hopes to renovate it. It was nominated by the Cleveland Landmarks Commission to be a designated landmark. Read more about Langston's CLE connections in this awesome article here. Hold fast to your dreams, CLE! For if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird, that cannot fly. Embrace your renaissance!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gotta Love the Grub!

Last night, one of my fave gal pals, Marie,  came over to check out the new pad. (I can't wait for more girls nights to come!!!) It was great to catch up, have some girl talk, and enjoy her delicious surprise too....
Boo for cell phone images being dark...

She is incredibly thoughtful and brought over some absolutely ah-mazing homemade Lebanese food. In case you didn't know...I LOVE Middle Eastern food. Thanks to the influence of the Persian part of the family, hummus and pita, stuffed olives, mujadara and spicy lamb kebabs are just a portion of Mid Eastern food my palate craves...YUMMMM! I was so pumped when she surprised me with a dish I had never tried before...and let me tell you...I hoovered them down so quickly because they were AWESOME!

These are called kousa mihshi (stuffed zucchini). They're filled with meat, rice, tomatoes, and secret spices. I found the recipe online, but will try to get her to spill the family recipe too since they were so downright delightful!

I have to give our great city of CLE some credit too, because we have some delicious Middle Eastern cuisine represented here. Judy's Oasis is a must stop anytime I go to the West Side Market.

Anatolia Cafe in the Cedar-Lee District is my go to date place with JMK, and their Sigara Böreği is literally out of this world good!

 Aladdin's Eatery, which has multiple locations in the area, has some standard wraps & pita pockets--my tasty reliable choice is the Falaffel Pocket. Never fails me!

Ranging from Lebanese, to Persian, to Turkish, and other Middle Easter cuisine--Cleveland certainly has a wide variety of ethnic cuisine that I can't get enough of!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Heelin into Home: Tribe Home Opener

I came across these randomly on Pinterest and could not resist sharing! With the smell of Ball Park Franks in the air, and the Tribe home opener just around the corner, I thought you fellow fashionistas and die-hard Tribe fans would sure get a kick out of these!
HERSTAR™ Women's Cleveland Indians High Heel Suede Pumps

You can purchase them here and rock that Tribe Pride all game long! Now just click your heels three times for a home run, and be sure to not spill any stadium mustard on the Chief. With these ridiculous kicks, you'll be sure to give the Indians a real leg up this season! Go Tribe!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012


As I sit here at Panera, trying desperately to focus on tackling my taxes--I of course look for any distraction and a pick me up from one of my least favorite activities. Filing taxes...booo! But we all have to do it, and I have been procrastinating, so as the dreaded day grows near, I thought my other fellow taxed taxees could use a little laugh to get through the insurmountable task too. You are not alone, fellow Clevelanders and US citizens, BELIEVE! You will get through it, and you will have a nice chunk of change after staggering through your tax files. And if all else fails, go to your local H&R Block. Or just pull a Jimmy Dimora. (Kidding on that last part)

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 Here are some great tax tips for all the late filers too!  Hope you had a little laugh and learned some helpful tips too! May your refund find its way back to you rapidly!

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Movin and Shakin!

Between working extra hours with our biggest event of the year, and battling a 3 week viral infection, I'll admit, I have not been Susie Homemaker with our new place. So I am happy we made some serious headway this weekend. I must give a huge round of applause to JMK because he did a tremendous job with the place too. (I'm more of an eye-baller-I-hate-math-kinda gal, where he is the patient-accurate-measure-everything-do-it-right-once-hanger. Luckily, he makes up where I lack, and vice versa). So check out the living room!

Those leaded glass windows are totally what sold me on this place. I came home late one night from work to the wonderful surprise of lovely new curtains for those gigantic windows. And yes, JMK picked them out himself, along with window sheers, AND hung them! For the win! They look GREAT! He sure is a keeper! (Thanks for giving him those innate design skills, Jeannine!!!)

Also got to try out our new fireplace. Wow, does it make the place feel cozy and homey! I took all these pics on my phone so it really doesn't do it justice, but there is beautiful terracotta lining the fireplace along with a coat of arms emblem on the chimney. Gotta love these historical homes!

Exposed brick in the kitchen and ridiculous amount of counter space? Yes please!

And we were both so excited about our 3 season porch! We were able to go buy an outdoor bench and patio chairs last night and cannot wait for things to heat back up and enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of our cozy porch. I'm so eager to garden again and build our urban jungle! By the way, every porch needs an outdoor lantern (Thanks for the housewarming gift, Mom!) and we can't wait for those late summer nights with our friends and family! It's all coming together, yay!