Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Good Luck & Positivity in AsiaTown CLE!

Wordless Wednesday: Good Luck & Positivity in AsiaTown CLE!

Want some extra luck?
Budda says,  "Rub my belly."
Here's to hoping for more luck and good fortune in CLE! Rub-a-dub!
But wait, there's more...
AsiaTown Cleveland
Taken in CLE's Asian Town Center
Get lucky yourself by visiting this giant Buddha (and many more) in the Asian Town Center in the St. Clair Superior Neighborhood and AsiaTown CLE. And spot the "Year of the Snake" Public Art Project on several street corners too.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, it's the year of the Water Snake. "Snake is a great sign, a positive one, with energy that can help us face all of the challenges ahead of us."
Good luck, positivity, and the energy to face the challenges ahead of me?
 I'll take that for a Wednesday, AsiaTown CLE! Thanks!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wedding Shower Weekend!

Whacky weather lately, huh? On Saturday, despite the unpredictable weather, the day was made extra bright when we celebrated Julie and Ryan's Wedding Shower with friends, family and fun bridesmaids!

I am so honored to be a part of Julie and Ryan's special day, and this weekend we kicked off the festivities!
Bridal Party!

The Happy Couple
The Happy Couple!
Her pink and black color theme carried throughout, from table cloths to pink lemonade!

JP looking like the beautiful bride-to-be
Me being a creeper winking at someone in the background

Adorbs and Delish!
The wedding shower included sweet treats, beautiful flower surprises from the groom, and fun "how well do you know each other" couples' quiz. They looked happy and relaxed and it gave the bridesmaids a chance to catch up and get to know new faces too.
Later that evening, we headed down to W. 25th to have some girls-only fun at the bachelorette party! It started with dinner and drinks in the private room at Bar Cento.  *Shout out to Moira for taking care of us!* :)
OMG! JP is getting Married!
Photo: OMG! JP'S Bachelorette Party :)
Best Bachelorette Party Gift!
After dinner, we had a whirlwind of a time at Market Garden Brewery, awkward encounters at
ABC Tavern and finished the night with an unexpected rain storm on the patio at Nano Brew. It was laughing, fun, not-THAT-obnoxious-party, time. I must say, I'm thankful that Julie is such a laid-back, witty,  sweet, and go-with-the-flow gal. Call her anti-Bridezilla! Yes, I am one grateful bridesmaid (and taking notes for future reference!)

And big thanks to the co-maids of honor Gina and Emily for throwing a rocking wedding shower/bachelorette weekend! Pyaw!
Color me bad!
What was your best/most memorable bachelorette party? Have any fun/cool bridal party tips or traditions I should note for the big day?  Share your positive thoughts!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday: CLE Kids, Keepin It Classy Since 1992

Throwback Thursday: CLE Kids, Keepin It Classy Since 1992

We had just moved into our house in 1992. I'm fairly certain my Mom was trying to take a nice family photo of us in the new backyard to send relatives (see awesome matching sweatshirts, heavy bangs and beloved acid washed jeans). So per usual, my sis and I decided to be total goofballs and put on my Dad's gigantic shoes. "How's this for a family photo, Mom?" :0) CLE Kids...keepin it classy since 1992! XO, Keep JAMmin!
CLE Kids

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

YP Pantry, Cleveland Foodbank

How did 1 year fly by so quickly?! Yes... YP Pantry, Cleveland Foodbank is officially a year old! Gasp! 
Big Surprises for Small Businesses: Part 2
Me too, kid, me too...
Image source:

Last July I became involved with forming a group of young professionals to start a YP networking group in affiliation with the Cleveland Foodbank. Never did I imagine what a tremendously eye-opening experience, adventure, and friendship forming time it would be!

Not familiar with the Cleveland Foodbank or YP Pantry? No problem!

Here's a little history and my top 5 reasons why you should consider getting involved!

The Cleveland Foodbank supplies a majority of the food used in local hot meal sites, shelters, and food pantries throughout Northeast Ohio. In addition, they provide food to child care centers, group homes, and programs for the elderly.

The most astonishing thing I learned after getting involved with the organization is that there IS enough food in Cleveland. Let me reiterate that point,! The issue or challenge, which the Cleveland Foodbank certainly advocates to overcome, is that we need to reconsider and revise the way food is distributed throughout our community.

So who does the Cleveland Foodbank serve? Are people really going hungry in Cleveland? Well, chew on this...
Cleveland Foodbank
Image source: Cleveland Foodbank

WOW! So what can you do to help? There are a variety of ways for you to get involved and contribute. Learn about 5 ways you can help fight hunger here. And if you're a young professional, between ages 21-39 and looking for a group to get involved with, here are my top 5 reasons why you should consider joining YP Pantry, Cleveland Foodbank!

1) Get hands on experience! Unlike some YP groups, where you pay annual dues, slap it on your resume and occassionally go to social outings at local bars, this group encourages you to roll up your sleeves and get involved! I dig being a part of YP Pantry because there are so many opportunities to volunteer at the Cleveland Foodbank warehouse and assist with repack events.
New YP Pantry members packing their first pallet in the warehouse!

Actually sorting food, organizing crates, checking labels, and visually seeing the food to be distributed to local pantries makes a huge impact. and raises your awareness of how much need is right in our community!

2) Make a difference in our CLE community! Several YP Pantry community events take place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lakewood. The produce you may have just recently sorted in the Foodbank warehouse is delivered to the church for hot meals and produce distribution. As a Lakewood resident myself, I was completely blown away after attending the first YP Pantry there.  Serving nearly 200 people, who are quite likely your neighbors, is very eye-opening and truly humbling as it magnifies the incredible need right in our own backyards. Make a difference, and feel good serving someone a tasty meal or hand out fresh fruits and vegetables.

Photo Source: YP Pantry Facebook

Community Meals
Peanut butter and jelly pros!
Photo Source: YP Pantry Facebook

Average produce distribution line
Fresh sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes, cucumbers, and apples
from the Cleveland Foodbank
Photo Source: YP Pantry Facebook

3) Volunteer in lieu of dues! As I mentioned before, I really appreciate the hands on experience. So in lieu of dues,  members are required to volunteer 24 hours of their time over the course of a year. And there's plenty of ways to earn it too, doing a repack in the warehouse, assisting with an on-site agency distribution day, and more--check out all of the current event/volunteer listings by visiting the YP Pantry Facebook events page and registering on Eventbrite. If you're just starting out in your career, or paying off student loans--your time is just as valuable as money! So come out and volunteer, and save your due money for other expenses ;)

4) Make new friends! Over the course of the past year, I've met some AMAZING people that I can now call friends. Our common interest was volunteering, but some of those initial volunteer experiences developed into friendships.

Meet other young professionals who enjoy giving back, having fun, and making new friends. The YP Pantry Social Happy Hour events have included some of CLE's best restaurants such as Noodlecat, Bier Markt, and Grovewood Tavern.

Slurp-a-licious time at YP Pantry Social at Noodlecat!

Ale, Cookies, and Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Bier Markt
with YP Pantry Core Council Members, Tracy and Kate

Register for the next YP Pantry Social Happy Hour on July 30 at Light Bistro and see what it's all about. And the best part? Donate 2 boxes of your fave cereal at the event, be entered to win a pair of tickets to the Taste of the Browns, andddd 15% of your bill that evening will be donated directly back to the Foodbank too! That's a major win!

5) Stay updated! So maybe you've attended a few YP events, maybe you're new to the city. Find out other fun things happening in CLE too. Cleveland Foodbank offers other fun ways to volunteer like at Cleveland Indians games too. Fill out an application to be added to the YP Pantry monthly e-newsletter list,  check out other YP Pantry Core Council members awesome blogs all about CLE, like Amanda from Clue Into Cleveland and Jen from Why? CLE, or follow YP Pantry and Cleveland Foodbank on Facebook.

So, hope to see you at an event or volunteer opportunity soon to help support the Cleveland Foodbank mission!

*Full disclosure: I am a YP Pantry Core Council member and volunteer of the Cleveland Foodbank. All opinions expressed are completely my own.*

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Girls Weekend in C-Bus!

As I mentioned before, my college gal pals and I had been planning a girls weekend in Columbus for months, and this weekend the long awaited girls time came (and went with the bat of an eyelash!)

Marissa graciously hosted us at her sweet apartment (and pool!) It was great to catch up with my college roomies and indulge in some tasty margaritas poolside! Gorgeous day, perfect weather, and irreplaceable company! No TVs, no bars, no late nights. I bought an In Style magazine that I didn't even read (gasp) because I was so caught up in just good, relaxing, wholesome, female fun. Now that's a good time!


As cliche as it may sound, life has changed so much since our college years...

The dorm days at JCU!
Marissa's 21st birthday
Yet the instant we get back together, it's as if everything picked up right where we left off. Granted, would we be talking about the horrifying/beautiful act of childbirth, where we want to settle down and buy a home, or the best places to get deals on curtains and home goods. say 4 years ago? Mmmmmmm... my guess is probs not. But that's the thing I love about my friends, we've been through such different phases in life together but still share that common bond.

Needless to say, it was a fantastic girls weekend and just what the doctor ordered! I can't wait for the memories yet to come and where life will lead this group of lovely ladies!! :)

What's your favorite post-college girls' trip? Are you still close with your college roomies?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

4th of July Recap

Is it seriously double digit days in July already?! How did we get here so quickly!! Ahhh if only we could push the slow button on summer!

Over the 4th of July holiday weekend, I was out of town visiting nearby C-Bus. So here is a quick recap of the highlights:

An epic explosive show
at the largest fireworks display in Ohio--Red, White & Boom!
Hiking + tree climbing + intentional dip in the water

Stroll along Creekside

Stop looking at me swan!!
Awesome community gardens!

It was a fun trip and I was able to relax, explore and catch up with the JMK fam. One step at a time, we'll see where the road leads...

Isn't that an O.A.R. song? On the road outside Columbus? Anywayyyy....Yep, I'll be heading back down there this weekend. This time for a girls weekend with 2 of my besties from college. We've been planning it since March, and looking forward to some much-needed girl time and shenanigans :) Now I have to go run and pack!

Can't wait for Club with these lovely ladies!!! Where is that summer slow down button again??