Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer is turning out to be our most favorite season of all so far. The Little Man has been beyond busy playing
outside, in the pool, and with his little buddies. This is a photo dump update of what it's like to live with the busiest
guy on the block. Quiet moments in the backyard, to filthy playtime covered in crayon and mud. This guy is the best!

Every moment of being mama isn't easy but when I see these photos of my favorite boy, it fills my heart with joy. What
have you been doing to enjoy the summer so far?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Crafting Cards

I know that I've said it before, but I really enjoy making cards. I got very excited when I saw this post via Pinterest 
the other day. I'd been feeling in a rut and wanting to make something but not sure what to make. Do you ever feel 
that way?

Her post discusses her love of cardboard tubes for paper decorating and I couldn't agree more! I was very close to 
pulling all of the toilet paper off of a roll just so I could use one. Calm down husband, I didn't do that. Here's what 
I made!

cardboard tube
paint/stamping ink
teeny hole punch
exacto knife
cutting mat
scrap paper, doilies, whatever you might have
the end piece of a head of lettuce, cabbage

We were in need of a card for an upcoming wedding this weekend (yay Jake & Ashley!) so this was the perfect 
project to get a few made. I used the tube as a stamp to create a repetitive circle pattern. I used the yellow ink because
it reminded my of honey bees and wedding rings, not sure what they have to do with one another but roll just roll with
it, ok? Then I very lightly wrote out the word love in cursive with a pencil. Last I punched out along the pencil line 
with the teeny hole punch. A lovely and simple wedding card in minutes! 

I used the doily as a stamp on the extra cards and created a few fun things.

And for my final and very favorite trick of all! If you cut the end off of a head of lettuce or cabbage you can use it as a 
rose shaped stamp! How fun is that? You just have to let it dry off a bit and then it's good to go.

Naturally, I made extra because you never know when you might need to say hello to a friend or send a quick birthday 
greeting. I hope this inspires you a bit. What have you been up to?

Monday, June 25, 2012


As usual, there is a lot to do in Cleveland and especially this summer! I wanted to start off the week with a something to 
do because this week kicks off the Inaugural ChamberFest Cleveland! This brand new chamber music festival runs 
from June 27-July 1 and features world class musicians in some pretty fun venues around town. Now here's my major
plug, go see my amazingly talented sister-in-law Julie Albers at one of her four performances! I'll be attending the 
Movie Night performance this Thursday, June 28 at the Wine Spot on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Tickets are on
sale now at the Cleveland Institute of Music box office and online here, go!

My family and I attended the 4th annual Larchmere Porchfest last Saturday along with tons of Clevelanders looking 
to check out some free live music. The skies were blue and the sun was warm so it made for a very fun family event.

We saw a few pretty cool bands, had a drink at the new French bistro, Bon Vivant, and danced away the afternoon. 
There were lots of really cool bicycles to see, plus they had bike rentals to get from porch to porch. Check it out next 
year if you missed it! Also this weekend is always impressive Summer Solstice Party at the Cleveland Museum of Art. 
I hope you have your tickets! Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Current Favorite

Is it the summer sun, the hot days at the pool, or just a passing trend that has me obsessed with the color yellow? Even though it can be a hard color to wear, I've always been a fan. But there is something more this summer (now that it's official begun) that keeps me gravitating to it and it's this necklace. I'm practically dreaming about it. Do you ever find yourself wanting something that you just shouldn't buy? Me too.

There's this fine knock-off out there too...but I still hesitate. Then the other day while I was out at my favorite spot, I found a very lovely and affordable alternative. Oh happy day!

P.S. If you are looking for something fun to do tomorrow check Larchmere Porchfest for live music and dancing hosted on 30 different neighborhood porches! You can find the line up here.

Image Sources: top // middle

Thursday, June 21, 2012

You're Invited: Art in the Petit Parc

I mentioned earlier this month that I will be participating in a great event next month! Here is the official invite! If you are in town please come on by! I'm a plan ahead kind of gal, so I figured that the sooner I get the invite out the better. I'm sure it will get mentioned again later too.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sunshine and Flowers

Last week we took a little trip to Grande's Nursery with my mom. This place is immaculate. I could have spent hours snapping photos of their plants and displays! Our plan was to pick up something quickly for my mom, say hi to friend, and head home. But Little Man was having so much fun playing in the little house they have set up that we hung out for awhile. He went in and out ringing the door bell each time, checked out the heavy machinery, and got to chat with a few people. 

It was a perfect little excursion for us all. He got to play, explore, and point to all of the colorful plants and I got to pick up a little something for our patio. It's pretty impossible to leave empty handed from this place! So it you are ever feeling cooped up with your little one, take them to a garden center for a fun learning trip. And if you haven't got a little one then you'll have even more time to find the perfect plant for your garden!

He helped me plant our two new plants. I gave him his own pot to dig in while I worked. I learned my lesson from the last time

I couldn't resist this bright yellow Calibrachoa, Noa Yellow and this whispy Laguna White.

He took a moment to admire his (my) handiwork before heading back to his business of digging. Just look at that belly. Do you like to have potted plants too? They help me make up for my mostly shady yard.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Lake Erie Vacation

I was standing on the beach at 9:30 in the morning yesterday. My husband and I had just enjoyed our first night away from our son. I was incredibly nervous to leave him but he was in good hands with his doting grandparents. 

Once he was dropped off, we drove away feeling excited for our first trip together. We drove just an hour west to Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron. 

When we arrived, they provided us with a sweet picnic lunch filled with cheese, fruit, and wine. We immediately went to find the beach. I managed to get a ride on a golf cart since I was lugging this giant basket solo while my husband parked the car.  I found us a nice spot overlooking the lake and we enjoyed a quiet lunch.

Here I am admiring all the boats in the water and wondering how we can get ourselves a ride on one. No luck, so we headed back to the hotel to check out the pool.

In the morning after eleven hours, yes eleven, of sleep we headed back to the beach to catch the only twenty minutes of sunshine that whole morning. I liked this sign and it sparked some discussion about our friend's giant bike trip because they are riding farther than Key West was from this spot!

We had visions of having lunch before heading home to pick up the babe, but once we were in the car, we were ready to get some baby hugs. It was a great first trip away, we relaxed, lounged and enjoyed some poolside cocktails. It doesn't get much better! I hope you enjoyed your weekend and had a happy Father's Day too!

Friday, June 15, 2012

When we bought our home almost six years ago there was some minor hesitation on my part. Signing a thirty year mortgage is overwhelming and made me think the most obvious thought "This is where I live." It was both a good and bad feeling. I mean how wonderful to own a home with my husband near our friends and our families. But there was the other feeling that made me realize that for now we weren't going to be moving away to a sun-filled beach town. Reality check. But that said I have to just give some major props to Cleveland. Not only do we live here, we love here. There are so many fun and adventurous things to do. And now that summer is here again we are out and about everyday experiencing the little and big things that this city has to offer.

On Tuesday we saw an amazing show at The Grog Shop with friends. Then Wednesday kicked off our very favorite summer tradition of Wade Oval Wednesdays. It's a free event held on the lawn between the museums in University Circle. Families and friends gather with picnics to listen to live music and sometimes even watch a movie on a giant screen. Our little guy had fun playing with his BFF, dancing in the grass, and seeing so many familiar faces. If you've never been you should check it out! And this concludes yet another of my Odes to Cleveland. Also if you are looking for something to do, check out Made in the 216 this weekend! Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pickled Red Onions, Please

Whenever I go to one of my favorite restaurants in Cleveland, Momocho, I always order myself a side of pickled red onions. They are a brightly colored and flavorful addition to any Mexican inspired dish. They are tangy and delicious so I decided that I must try to make them at home. The recipe is pretty simple and really made our homemade tacos taste magnificent!

1-2 sliced red onions
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
A few juniper berries and/or a sprig of thyme

Thinly slice the onions. Blanch the onions in boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain into a colander and return to the pan. Add vinegar and salt, add enough cold water to just cover the onions. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Transfer onions and brine into glass jars. Let them cool then refrigerate for 24 hrs. They should keep in the fridge for about a week. I found another tasty looking recipe here! We had ours with pinto bean and veggie tacos topped with queso blanco. Yum!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On The Table: Iced Coffee

The weather is getting warmer and it's been harder for me to want that necessary cup of hot coffee every morning. Or maybe it's the mid-afternoon pick me up that I like to be iced. Either way I have a perfectly simple iced coffee recipe for you! It does require some overnight prep time but it's definitely worth it. All you need is a French press, your favorite ground coffee and a little bit of time.


1/2 cup freshly ground coffee
4 cups cold water

Grind up your coffee and dump it into the French Press. Add cold water. Press down the damper and put the whole thing in your refrigerator overnight. In the morning, pour it into your favorite mug, and add ice. My favorite part of iced coffee is adding the milk and watching it swirl in! This recipe brews a strong, cold cup of coffee. Which I think is way better than brewing a hot pot and then trying to ice it down. All that does is make a watery cup of coffee and that's just not as good! Add your milk and sugar, if you like it, and you're ready to go.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy Father's Day Gifts

This Sunday is Father's Day! What will you do to celebrate the man that raised you? I am lucky enough to have a wonderfully involved and loving dad! He's the best grandpa too! It's also pretty amazing to watch my husband, the man I fell in love with, the cute kid I met in first grade, the funny guy that I saw that night at the bar, become an amazing father to our son. He's active, fun, and always willing to play hide and go seek with our little guy. 

To show my appreciation, I gathered a few fun presents that I think would make for a great father's day treat. But most of all I think that most Dad's just want to spend time with their kids. Have a great day!

Gift guide image sources: Beer tasting// Desk Lion// wooden wallet// Swedish Guy Designs// six pack carrier// Pizza stone

Monday, June 11, 2012

Over the Weekend

This weekend felt like summer indeed. The sun was shining brightly and there were popsicles, pool parties, BBQs, and fun. Ours started out with the arrival of these incredibly cute toddler suspenders and some backyard fun.

On Saturday we attended the 23rd Annual Parade the Circle. This was unfortunately the best photo that I got because there was just too much going on to get pictures this year. Chasing a babe really changes things.

We headed to a baby pool party where the kids had the run of the backyard. Little Man fell in love with this motorcycle and discovered how awesome a Big Wheel can really be. Please note the blackberry war paint that he's wearing. Unbeknownst to me, he and his buddy entered into a blackberry eating contest and he wore the evidence all night.

We had a Sunday lunch date and Oliver enjoyed sitting near the open kitchen at Melt. On our walk home we discovered a lemonade stand! We got two cups of juice and bubbles for a steal. I loved their sign.

Then we had another pool party at a family friend's house. She built this amazing working stream filled with trucks and pebbles for the kiddos to play in. This was serious business for O. He conked out on the drive home and ended up sleeping for 12 hours! He missed dinner and everything. So needless to say last weekend was a blast and we look forward to many more!