Sunday, September 30, 2012

YP Pantry, Pizza for the Soul, Aurora Farms Shopping Spree, & Predicting My Future with Turkish Coffee Grounds

I kicked off my weekend a tad early on Thursday night at our first (and SELL-OUT!) social event of YP Pantry. I am a council member of the newly formed Young Professionals group that focuses on the Cleveland Foodbank mission and engaging young CLE professionals in nutrition, community giving and networking.

The event took place at the Grovewood Tavern (ah-dorable). We had an awesome turn out of people and I met old friends and new ones there too.

IRL meeting with friends, yay! Crystal of Eat*Drink*Cleveland and Katrina of BiteBuff
Considering I've only been blogging for under a year--I was astounded and humbled when I (finally) met some friends in real life who recognized me from my blog! What a terrific feeling of connecting with my readers and fellow bloggers in real life--and all for a good cause!

YP Council Member and fellow blogger, Amanda of ClueIntoCleveland, Sarah of CookerGirl, me, Crystal of Eat*Drink*Cleveland, Julie of WearingMascara, and Katrina of BiteBuff
Friday rolled around and I stopped over my bff, Catie's house. Not only is she an awesome friend, but she is also an OUTSTANDING cook! Her trade by day is a nutritionist and it surely shows in her ability to whip up the healthiest version of a fresh pizza. Yummm.
Chef Catie approved!
Freshly made whole wheat pizza dough, artichokes, fresh basil from her garden, garlic, black olives, and fresh broccoli. Deeeeelish! 
Gabbing with your besties (Catie & Jules) while eating homemade pizza, glass of vino, and decompressing is some serious nourishment for the soul!
C'est la vie!!
I also scooped up some sweet dollar deals from The Exchange, and provided some reminiscent tunes from our high school days for the evening! Totally JAMmin!
Clockwise from top left: Romeo Must Die Soundtrack, No Doubt, Incubus, The Allman Brothers, Phish.
Good times!
After dinner, I headed back to Lakewood to meet up with fellow sister duo, Stacy and Kelly. We decided to try out the Brother's Lounge based on other's recommendations despite never going there before ourselves.

"It's whatever. It's a hair flip!
Happiness is only a hair flip away!"
It was an eclectic crowd of people along with a live band playing. Think we would have experienced a much different evening had there been a different band playing. Maybe not. Either way--we had a good goofy girls night time...and had the pleasure of meeting this interesting fellow:

Nuff said.
Saturday morning arrived quickly. And I headed out to do some retail therapy with my mom and sis at Aurora Farms. It was a gorgeous fall day and I was totally in the mood to add some snuggly fall apparel to my wardrobe. I love fall fashion!!!!
Birds of a feather, shop together!
At Aurora Farms
The three of us always have a blast shopping together & haven't gone in far too long. Who will snag the best deal!?! Well I scored: 2 fall sweaters, 1 versatile jacket, 2 dressy work tops, a pair of flats, and a bracelet for...$150.00!!! Wooo! My best deal was a to-die-for swing two toned jacket from the Banana Republic outlet. Originally $120.00 for $35.00! Don't mind if I do, Banana.

After our afternoon of power shopping, we decided to take it easy. My sis and I headed over to her bf's (Danny) family's house. His family is so sweet and genuine. His Mom, Noha, cooked up a feast of Lebanese food (we all know my love for Mideastern food!!!) including baby eggplant, stuffed with beef and spices, served over rice,  Man, I am so lucky to have such great cooks in my life :)
From left to right: Noha the multi-faceted woman (Danny and Gizelle's mom, phenomenal cook, and coffee ground reader,) me, Danielle, my sis, Gizelle, and Mrs. K with our coffee cup fortunes
After dinner, Noha made Turkish coffee for everyone out of these outrageously cool golden cups straight from Egypt. (I WILL get there someday!)
G sipping her Turkish coffee
 We had so much fun together. Gizelle, Danny's sister, asked her mom to "read our Turkish coffee grounds." I had never heard of this tradition before--but it is SO COOL! It's a Mideastern tradition specific to Turkish coffee that allows you to "read your future, by examing the images and shapes left in your coffee grounds." After drinking your cup, you flip it over, and wait for the grounds to dry. Then someone trained in the tradition (Noha, in this instance) uses the coffee grounds as a method of fortune telling by determining images in the grounds.

Noha reading the grounds

Us girls were all for the good fun and decided to do it. Results: shivering, baffling, and spot-on! Laughter, tears and hopefulness.
Coffee ground reading
Mine is the far left cup
So what did Noha see in my grounds? That I am going through a period of sadness and turmoil, but based one the whiteness on the top of my cup--the period will pass and open up to peace soon. Also, saw Jesus. I was ready to stop right there--pretty tough to beat that one! Lord knows I have been praying! And it surely brought me comfort. Then she saw this:

Two roosters in my cup. Top left hand side. That is a symbol of two similarly stubborn people who are fighting or ready to battle. Not good. And in the middle--a tall, dark, handsome man extending his arms to comfort me. Wowzer. But--I will turn away towards something better for myself. Pretty crazy. It was all in good fun though, and all open for interpretation. I am usually not into that kind of stuff, but Noha seemed to be pretty accurate with each of our readings and we definitely had a good time doing it. What a great evening and entertaining hostess! I love the opportunity to learn about other cultures, food and try new things! Be open!

Today, I really kept it low-key...and think I am beginning to battle the flu bug everyone has had. Bummer, but I am so happy for all the nourishment and love and new experiences I had in CLE this weekend. What did you do? Have you ever scored big at Aurora Farms? Has anyone ever read your coffee grounds or told you your fortune? How did it turn out? Keep JAMmin, CLE!

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