Author Archives: charity

  Spring notes!

Hey CLE friends. Hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend, especially with all of our recent hot, summer weather. I personally love it; the sky is blue, the trees have bloomed, I am able to head outside without being bundled in a coat, I’ve even busted out my sandals…everything is good.

I must apologize for being MIA as of late. I have been juggling so many things and something just had to give. Hence my lack of regular postings here on my little place in the social world. So…you might ask what I’ve been up to these last few months? Lots of fun and exciting things I assure you…but here are few things, reviews & reminders!

First off, my husband and I have been spending our weekends truly putting our blood, sweat, and tears into updating and refreshing our Cleveland house..which will soon be hitting the market for sale. The home is located on West 116th, up the street from both the Clifton Ave, Starbucks drive-through and the new Lucky’s market (more to come on that below!) It is a 5 bedroom, 2 bath home and is perfect for someone looking to be close enough to Lakewood, Edgewater and Downtown but is looking for an affordable city option. I will post more details in the coming weeks, I can’t wait to share photos once we have it all set to sell!

These last few weeks have also been filled with new Cleveland, business openings; always a fun time to explore new places. I was invited to attend the opening of Lucky’s Market and it did NOT disappoint. Founded in Boulder, Colorado this grocery store is really cool and super smart. I loved all of their affordable, private labels brands as well as their prepared foods department. I can just imagine, this summer, heading down to Edgewater Beach with a quick pit stop at Lucky’s for “grab and go” picnic supplies. Go check out this new food hub, it’s really nice.

Have you ever been to The Capital Grille at Legacy? OMG! How have I not known about their happy hour until now? A few weeks back I visited for the launch of their new happy hour menu and honestly I was blown away. Not only were the menu selections, the craft cocktails and the wine pairings delicious…it is VERY well priced. Available Monday-Friday in the bar area, the team at Capitol Grille offers bottles of craft cocktails for $10; perfect for sharing! Pair one of these with their “Butcher Boards” of either Mini Tenderloin Sliders ($12) or Korean Fried Chicken Sliders ($10) (both delicious favorites!) and you can honestly have an entire meal for around $25 which is quite the steal for anywhere. Grab your girlfriends and plan to head over to Capital Grille for a solid happy hour feast…did I mention they also a handful for $8 wines? I mean…so GREAT!

Next weekend marks the annual Flyways not Highways benefit for the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. I attended last year and I gotta tell you…SO GOOD! I attend a lot of social functions and fundraisers but this might be my favorite of the entire summer. We can actually walk from our house over to the Nature Center so the walk over starts the fun. The event has a serious cocktail hour, followed by dinner and then a dessert bar and dancing! Oh, and last year we all walked home through the woods…Blair Witch-style…I hope we do that again this year. If this sounds like fun to you, I think they have a few tickets available. Get yours today!

Quick PSA…I went to the North Union Farmers Market at Shaker Square last weekend and they have locally-grown, FRESH strawberries. Go early as they were sold out by 9:30!

Have you ever heard of the fast-casual chain, “Hello Bistro?” Mr. C. and our little Ninja stopped by for their opening event and were pleasantly surprised with all of the healthy options. They have many different salads for when you are feeling like eating healthy and a variety of burgers for when you want a treat. If you are like me you will order a big salad but then snack on a few of their REALLY good fries. It’s all about balance; HA! This new restaurant is located in “Beachwood Place” (La Place) next to a new Orange Theory fitness destination. One fun thing about Hello Bistro is that you can do all of your ordering online and swing in to pick it up..the perfect way to eat from home but not have to cook…or even better…an incredible beach picnic! Give them a try this summer and welcome them to CLE!

As summer approaches I always want to do lots of updo’s and wild, crazy braids to keep my hair out of my face. Over the winter I volunteered to let my long hair be done-up and photographed for a stylists portfolio. I’m so glad I did because Haley at Lather Salon in Rocky River literally does incredible, creative updos & braid crowns that everyone needs to know her. We were having some family photos taken the other night and she gave me the coolest braid crown..I wish I could do that to my hair every day! Thanks, Haley, I can’t wait to come see you again!

My last tidbit of fun stuff (besides the new West Elm opening in Pinecrest!!!)  is a reminder for all of you runners out there to sign up for Cleveland’s 18th Annual Race for the Place next Sunday, June 3rd to support the Gathering Place;  a place for people who have been touched by cancer. In celebration of National Cancer Survivors Day, the event offers a one-mile and chip-timed 5K for walkers and runners alike. I am looking forward to hitting up the course with my little runner for a quick run and a longer afternoon give-back celebration! For race details and sponsorship opportunities visit their site.

So…that’s what I’ve been into! Looking forward to summer-half-day Fridays in our design studio as a fun way to truly embrace all that Cleveland summers have to offer. Fingers crossed you have a great weekend. Happy kick off to summer to everyone!

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  What I learned from Whole 30!

Hi, my name is Charity and as of today I am a proud “graduate” of the Whole 30, healthy living program.

Have you heard of Whole 30 before? In short, the program is a short-term nutrition reset, designed to help end unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism and balance the immune system. You practice this way of eating for 30 solid days to complete the entire program.

The program consists of selecting foods that are clean. Fruits, veggies, and proteins (chicken, shrimp, steak & eggs) while eliminating any processed foods, dairy, alcohol and sugar or soy.

While I thought I was going to be lost without my morning yogurt, evening cheese, and red wine, I found other yummy things to substitute just fine. Pinterest & the Whole 30 website became great sources of recipe inspiration. Mr. C and I had a shared page for all sorts of recipes that we would share with one another to keep mealtimes creative and super yummy.

Everyone keeps asking if it was “hard” and to be honest it really wasn’t. I’m not saying it wasn’t full of situations when I wanted to quit…it totally was. It was SUPER tempting to dip into my sons Easter basket for leftover chocolate eggs and jelly beans but I resisted. It was not super fun to stay home while everyone celebrated Tribe Opening Day. I had to pass up a few fun bloggers dinners (and drinks) out and that was very unlike me. And…OMG…the cooking and cleaning up and cooking and prepping was OUT OF CONTROL, but we made it.

So while it wasn’t HARD per say, it was a focused effort for 30 days to eat clean and control exactly what went into my body.

My 3 biggest takeaways from our Whole 30 experience.

#1 Meal prep is key.
Sunday evenings were reserved for chopping, dicing, hard boiling, roasting and grilling. I tried my best to make a weeks worth of “grab-&-go” breakfasts as well as some key dinner options that would eventually roll into leftover lunches. If I wasn’t able to get all my prep done, it really made for some late weeknights. There is no way around this part of the experience, there are no shortcuts to eating clean just a bunch of cooking and even more clean up.

#2. The scale isn’t the only validation.
If you know anything about Whole 30 you know you are NOT supposed to step on a scale the entire 30 days. As someone who has always had the case of the “yo yo’s” I HAD to know how all the clean eating was affecting my weight. To be honest, in the end, it didn’t make a huge difference, a nominal weight loss but there were many other motivators. One afternoon I got a “congratulations” notification from my Fitbit that my resting heart rate had dramatically dropped so that we pretty cool. I also saw a difference in my blood pressure and as someone who has a family history of high blood pressure, this was assuring. So while I didn’t loose a bunch of lbs, I gained health measurements that made all scrubbing pots and pans worth it.

#3. Better sleep. Glowing skin.
Since I wasn’t being “over-served” for 30 days, morning wake-ups were easy peasy. Weekend mornings I bounced out of bed ready to take on the day and I could go strong into the night not feeling sluggish or tired. I don’t think I ever experienced the infamous Whole 30 “tigers blood” but instead for sure had a level of alertness that carried me through the entire 30 days. My skin also benefitted from the clean eating approach. I’m not sure if it was all of the kombucha mocktails or the lack of baked goods, but I don’t think I had one imperfection during the month. I actually had a few “your skin looks great” compliments and I just smiled and chalked it up to lack of alcohol, pizza, and chocolate.

Next steps? So what’s my strategy for next steps? I plan to eat mostly gluten and dairy-free and to limit my alcohol, grain, and legume intake. Eating things like bread, beans, and rice only a couple of times a month, rather than daily. I will slowly re-introduce alcohol but not every night, two glasses approach…at least not for now. Have you done Whole 30? Have any special tips for me? Want to geek out and talk about ghee and coconut aminos? Drop me a note and we can all geek out together!

(photo of homemade pickles…I also have become a huge fan of homemade ketchup…both without any sugars!)

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  Next generation of Women; presented by the Sherwin-Williams Co.

Hey friends. Happy Monday. Wasn’t last Friday’s weather so wonderful? Everyone had their car windows rolled down and was smiling and happy…fingers crossed we get more of those spring temps soon.

Today I want to invite all of you to join me this Thursday at the Engage Cleveland’s signature event called “Next Generation of Women.”
Navigating your career and personal life in your 20s & 30s can be rough..I mean even in my (early) 40’s it’s challenging. But we are lucky enough to have Engage Cleveland who carefully crafted a women’s forum tailored to the emerging female professional in Cleveland.

Unlike your typical women in leadership event, they’ve created a half-day experience consisting of nothing but professional and personal advice to help guide the up-and-coming women in Cleveland, featuring some of the area’s most noteworthy female professionals across all industries. A few of the topics they are going to cover are : What do you want to be known for? (by my friend Lisa Zone!) How to prioritize your personal, civic and professional responsibilities? and How to effectively make decisions to navigate your career and personal life. Plus many more interesting topics.

I hope to see many of you this Thursday. I plan to take lots of notes, to be energized and inspired! I will also be insta-storying while I am thereso tune in for lots of fun stuff! If you want to get yourself a ticket they still have a few available to purchase. Visit their Eventbrite page here for the details.

  Kendra Scott : You’re invited!

Hey friends! I am so excited and honored to be hosting an evening at the new Kendra Scott store in Eton. Please join me and their very fun team Wednesday night, April 25 from 6-8pm for some bubbly a few sweet treats and most importantly the new 2018 summer collection. OMG…the purple earrings!!!

All guests will receive 15% off your purchase. It is the perfect time to get your Mothers’ Day or spring graduation gifts covered for all the stylish ladies in your life. I gotta say, I am a big fan of this national jewelry brand. I love her more trend-focused collections and can’t wait to see what else she has designed for the entire summer look. PLUS, I can’t wait to check out her new candle line..of course I am a sucker for great packaging and a fresh scent.

Although the brand today is pretty recognizable, did you know Kendra started off in 2002 as an entrepreneur with a small start-up investment in her spare bedroom? It is such a great story of one Mom’s use of her creativity and passion for gemstones that made the store what it is today.

I am really looking forward to visiting and hanging out with the new team. I hope you can swing by and visit, they have a pretty great night planned for us! Sweets, surprises and shopping…sounds like a fun way to spend a Wednesday evening with your friends. Hope to see you there!

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  Our Indian Adventure!!!

Warning, this is probably my LONGEST post I have written in the eight years I have been writing this blog. I wrote it for those of you who may be interested in our trip, but I also wrote it so that I personally didn’t forget any little travel details as a  journal for myself. I hope you enjoy!

Today is exactly a month from our return from southern India. It seems like only just yesterday I had butterfly’s of excitement deep down in my belly as we landed in Bangalore around midnight on a warm spring evening. So many friends have asked me to tell them about our trip that I thought I would write a few fun stories down. While this isn’t a true Cleveland-centric post, it’s about an experience that has provided me a new perspective on the world and I hope you enjoy it.

You see…in 2008; just a bit over ten years ago, I was a proud Cleveland Bridge Builders participant. If you don’t know what “Bridge Builders” is, it’s basically a young-professionals, leadership organization where you have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with a handful of other passionate Clevelanders for a solid year of programming. In this group I met a friend, he was an undergrad student at CASE and we were placed in the same small group project. I am happy to say that while the project wasn’t super successful our friendship has endured for just about ten years.

Last year, around Christmas I got a phone call from my friend who had since moved to NYC and it was kinda odd he was calling me since we typically text nowadays. I answered immediately worried something was wrong; but just the opposite…he was engaged and wanted to personally invite me and Mr. C to his wedding celebration abroad and just like that…we were going to India! MORE! →