Welcome HOME Lebron

I don’t have to say much…we all know what is going down at the Q tomorrow. The city is jazzed for Thursday night’s game. There is an energy in the air that is picking us up and moving us forward. I don’t typically believe that one person, one voice can change a community but you can’t deny the power that this talented athlete has on our town.

Lebron, welcome back to Northeast Ohio! We thank you for choosing to come back to play for the CAVS as well as infuse our economy with nothing but greatness. You inspire each of us to play a little nicer, push a bit harder and give back if even just a bit; thank you.

And, if you weren’t feeling like going for that walk, taking that spinning class or getting your Zumba on, perhaps this little video will inspire each of us, if even just for a few minutes. Personally it gave me cold chills and perhaps a few tears of joy…it’s a wonderful video.

Oh and Lebron if you happen to see this, from one parent of a newborn to another…I wish you and your lady a few solid nights of sleep. At 4 months in I’m still sorta a walking zombie. Oh and if Zhuri ever wants to hang with a baby ninja, just give me a ring and we’d be happy to come down for a play date. :)

  the new Phoenix Coffee!

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Hey friends, how are you? It’s been a few days since I’ve checked in and lots has happened. I mean, the BROWNS WIN! The 74 degree WEATHER! Halloween fun! This time of year in the CLE is filled with so much to do and see it’s so hard for me to stay focused and sit still long enough to post. How about you, wouldn’t you rather be out and about in this beautiful fall rather than behind the keyboard? Yep, me too!

However with all that said, I had some very fun experiences over the last few days and I gotta share…

Have you been to the new Phoenix Coffee in Ohio City? I tell you what, it’s not only an ADORABLE space, the staff might be the most FRIENDLY group of barrista’s I’ve ever experienced. The almond milk latte was delicious and I gotta say, there is something relaxing about being tucked away in the busy neighborhood. This new coffee spot it’s the perfect place to meet a friend, have a meeting or even get some solid writing done.

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I hope you have lots of fun Halloween plans this week. I hear it’s going to be a cold one so plan to wear your layers and pour yourself a big mug of hot cider with a splash of something wicked.

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Happy new coffee spot! Happy tricks and treats to you!

  fall happenings

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Hey friends, happy new week to you. It was another great fall weekend to be living in Northeast, Ohio, don’t you agree? Our backyard looks like an abstract painting of yellow, orange and deep red hues as the trees loose their leaves prepping for the impending winter ahead.

Over the weekend we attended the first of hopefully many barn parties at Spice Acres (photo above,) home to Jackie and Ben Bebenroth. Nestled in the Cuyahoga National Valley this farm/homestead is a busy city dwellers dream country escape. If they ever open the farm to the public again you’ve got to try and get a ticket and go explore. Plus, great news…from the ticket sales of the dinner the family was able to buy a new (used) tractor to help in farming the land, congrats you guys!

In addition to the farm dinner, we took a long walk with Baby Ninja in the Rocky River Reservation and again, so many captivating fall colors. We are so lucky to have such a stunning parks system so close and so accessible to everyone. This fall try and get out and go for a walk, a run or a ride on your closest Metropark trails. So pretty.

Besides all of the outdoor fall activities there are a few fall/Halloween-focused events that I wanted to let everyone know about…

>“Shuck yeah!” : This new fall event celebrates oyster time in the CLE. Hosted by Cleveland Scene Magazine and nestled in Tyler Village, come get yourself some oysters, a craft beer, listen to some good tunes and enjoy your fall Saturday (the 25th.) PLUS, after you’ve shucked your oysters, chef Zach Bruell will be hosting an oyster toppings bar complete with many flavor enhancers from the classic mignonette to pesto to a spicy cocktail sauce…go ahead, try them all.

> Boo at the Zoo : Looking to entertain your “little animals” look no further than the Cleveland Metroparks and their annual Boo at the Zoo event. Not only is the month of October free admission for all kids, next weekend; October 23rd-26th is the final weekend for the spook free Halloween celebration. Get your tickets here.

> Westgate Mall Halloween Extravaganza : Saturday, October 25th from 1-3pm, the shopping plaza will host pumpkin carving/decorating, crafts, trick o treating and more. If you need to run to “Tarjay” this would be a great time to drag the kiddo’s with you…getting errands crossed off your list while still satisfying the little ones with, snack size candy bars and pretty pumpkin decorating. Sounds like a win win!

> Fall ice cream : I haven’t been able to check it out personally but I keep hearing wonderful things about the new Mason’s Creamery in Ohio City. This week try and get over to visit this new shop, have a few scoops salty caramel, smores or something pumpkiny. Ice cream is so much more tempting to me rather than Halloween candy.

> Circus in town : This weekend is the annual visit of the Ringling Bros and Barnum Bailey show “Built to Amaze.” Grab your friends and go check out the clowns, elephants and trapeze artists at the Q.

> Chelsea’s : It’s time to get your costumes on for next weeks holiday hoopla. Get yourself over to Chelsea’s Vintage and Costume Rentals for those last minute party rentals or for the perfect costume finishing touches they literally have every costume need possible.

Just a few fall, Halloween events for you to explore. Have a great week everyone. Cheers!

  Garden of Flavor

gardenofflavorHello & happy Thursday everyone. Hope your week  is rounding out to be a good one and you’ve already made some fun plans for the upcoming fall weekend.

I am slowly starting to ease myself back to working out and eating well since Baby Ninja has arrived. I’ve taken a few killer spin classes, gone for many long speed walks, a few yoga classes plus recently I just discovered some amazing quick youtube workouts for in a pinch.

Another thing I am doing to get me feeling better about myself and upping my sleep deprived, energy level is drinking a few green juices. Not as a cleanse but as a supplement to my everyday nutionial intake. Enter the Garden of Flavor cold pressed juices in Mean Green and Green Harmony flavors.

At first I wasn’t a fan of the very herbal tasting green juices, but as the weeks progressed I really got to like them. I didn’t only drink juice, I ate normally but still felt a feeling of accomplishment as I incorporated more greens into my daily menu. I tended to drink the Mean Green in the car on my way into the studio giving me a little boost during the early morning, while the Green Harmony was an afternoon pick-me-up treat. Typically I’m more of a  sweet juices drinker but now I honestly have come to appreciate and even crave the green juices.

And while I was expanding my juice horizon I had never tried Tumeric Tonic and WHOAH…can we say AH. MAZE. ING? While it didn’t feel as clean and refreshing as the green juices, this spicy concoction made me feel sharp, in control and refreshed all the way through every vain.

Never would I have imagine that I actually crave these fresh juices but after having them for a few weeks I actually gravitate to them in the grocery store…in fact after a crazy work day I normally would grab a bottle of vino for a nice glass of red…but today I actually bought the Tumeric Tonic as a treat for getting through the day in one piece.

If you’ve been revisiting your 2014 resolutions as of late and one of the line items was to eat better, to feel better and to east more green leafy vegetables, you really should try and explore the entire line of Garden of Flavor fresh juices. I was a skeptic at first but now I am LOVING them and wishing I could drink more and more of them. Delicious!

*I was invited to experience green juices by Garden of Flavor as part of the companies marketing efforts. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting this business that makes fresh juices in Northeast Ohio great but that also allows me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Dinner out at La Dolce Vita

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The other night I had the pleasure of dining with friends in Little Italy at La Dolce Vita. I have to say the food, the wine but most of all the company was better than any blog post could rightfully do justice.

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Being a westsider, I admittedly forget about this dining destination when it comes to planning a night out. However after the meal we had I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the italian feast destination to everyone.

When we first arrived, we were welcomed by the owner and offered a delicious Protocolo wine. It was lighter than my normal go-to Malbec selection but still very full-bodied and delicious. From the wine, we had a selection of starters including eggplant parmesan, fresh mozzarella  and an heirloom tomato salad, not to mention lots of warm bread…Delicious.

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For dinner we had a selection of prawns and risotto, “Clams Tarantino,”  a little bit of veal and some good pasta with red sauce. I was so full, but there was more…

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For dessert we were treated to Ripasso wine, tiramisu and a small canoli to top off the entire Italian feast. Seriously the food was very good and the company, even better. It’s amazing how a bit of wine, a lot of garlic and some great laughs can really take an okay day and make it over-the-top-wonderful.

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Next time you are looking for a true Italian feast remember the gem that has been nestled at the corner of Murray Hill and Mayfield Road for over twenty five years; La Dolce Vita!

*I was invited to attend dinner at La Dolce Vita as part of the companies marketing efforts. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting this business that makes Italian food in Northeast Ohio great but that also allows me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!