It’s the Little Things

Sometimes the small things mean the most like:
1. A text from your friend saying she’s proud of you.
2. A dance party to the new Taylor Swift song (whatever – you know this is catching stuff).

3. Sleeping in an extra hour on a Wednesday.
4. Busting through a work to-do list (I live for them).
5. Late night chats with a bestie.

And sometimes it’s the big things like:
1. Going to your doctor just before your 5-year cancer anniversary to have a thyroid ultrasound that shows there is absolutely no cancer or tumors or nodules to be seen. That’s right – cancer free.
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2. And after that, telling your coworkers who seem just as excited as you are, even though you’ve only known them six months and knowing that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
3. And then hearing from your two besties about how excited they are, with one saying she has tears of excitement in her eyes. That’s true friendship.

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Bed Head Be Gone

I really wish I had the secret for not having bed head in the morning. Mostly because I wish I didn’t have to wake up early and immediately head to the shower to try and tame my mostly naturally wavy hair. I’m at this awkward phase of growing out my hair (I need just another 2-3 inches and I’ll be happy…TWSS…..).

Anyway, my friends over at Casper Mattress (more on them soon) asked me to share my secrets for taming bed head. I have a few products and tricks up my sleeve when I just don’t have time in the morning to deal with my hair.

The first being dry shampoo. Now, it’s taken me awhile to find a couple of products that I like but when I’m on my way out the door and my hair is mostly straight from the day/night before, dry shampoo saves my day. Perfect for Sunday brunch when rolling out to have mimosas with the girls!

This look brought to you by dry shampoo and 15 minutes of fighting with my hair.

This look brought to you by dry shampoo and 15 minutes of fighting with my hair.

I’ve dyed my hair more times than I can count over the past 12 years and because of that I have experienced a little bit of damage. Add a bit of Moroccan oil though to the ends, and my hair is good to go! (Both pre and post blow drying.)

The blondest my hair has been the past two years....

The blondest my hair has been the past two years….

And of course, the good old messy bun is always a go-to. Running late, don’t have time to straighten and blow dry? Just throw it up in a top knot or a messy bun (my hair isn’t quite long enough yet for the top knot).

image c/o Casper

image c/o Casper

Obviously, a good night’s sleep is important too. As someone that deals with insomnia on a regular basis, I know the importance of getting at least a few hours of sleep in. Casper is a new sleep start-up company, with a unique mattress made of latex and memory foam. The best part? There’s only one model so you won’t be confused by all of the options!The Casper sits to the right of medium firm- but the materials we’ve chosen for it allow it to responsively provide a great night’s sleep to people of all shapes and sizes.

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own, as usual. Casper just reached out asking for my “advice” when it comes to bed head! 

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Office Style

My Type-A personality needs organization in all aspects of my life. That obviously includes my work space(s). Each client needs a file folders (color coordinated, of course), a client binder and sometimes even color coded pens. I know, it’s sick but it really does help me stay organized and ahead of schedule at times. I even still use an old fashioned calendar/planner.

Urban Girl Office Supply has become a favorite when it comes to supplies for my home office, as well as my office at work. Here are just a few of my favorite things from Urban Girl:

1. Kate Spade File Folders and Nesting File Box – bright colors and gold? Yes, please! And the Nesting File Box? Perfect for storing away catalogs, mail or print samples.

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2. Kate Spade Notebooks – yes, I’m that girl that makes sure my notebooks match my file folders, just for consistency.

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3. The entire SemiKolon desk organization set is needed in my opinion. Fun, bright colors to liven up any desk or office, plus keeps ya organized!

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The best part? All of these items are totally affordable and can help you enjoy working (but for me, I’m not sure it’ll help me with timesheets). How do you stay organized?

Disclosure: Urban Girl Office is holding a bloggers contest to win supplies from Urban Girl Office. I’m obsessed whether or not I win. All opinions are my own. 

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Prepping For The ‘Land

LeBron, Kyrie and K. Love are all calling Cleveland “The ‘Land” now and I sorta love it. Mostly because I love that they are embracing our city – especially Kevin Love who is just experiencing his first year here with the Cavs. There have been a few moments already where I almost forget that LeBron and Kevin are now Cavs players, especially as I’m watching the preseason game. To say I’m beyond excited for the home opener is an understatement. And obviously, I’m already planning and prepping for the big game (October 30th, if you don’t know).

Here’s my list of things to know and do pre-home opener:

1. Don’t park downtown. Let’s all be honest – parking is going to be a nightmare. Best bet? Uber or Lyft. From my house to Downtown, using one of these services will actually be cheaper than parking.

image c/o Quicken Loans Arena

image c/o Quicken Loans Arena

2. Arrive early. Take some PTO. Seriously. It’s going to be one of the biggest nights in CLE sports history – the return of LBJ and the introduction of our new roster. You won’t want to miss it because you are stuck in traffic or trying to get your tab at the bar. I’m already planning on being Downtown by 5pm at the latest.

3. Make a reservation now for a local CLE restaurant. My suggestions: Hodge’s, The Greenhouse Tavern, Lola or Flannery’s for pre-game drinks and food. I already have my reservation for Hodge’s, but know every location is going to be jam packed.

This street is going to be jam packed. And I can't wait.

This street is going to be jam packed. And I can’t wait.

4. DVR. Yes, I may DVR this game. You know, in case I miss anything when I’m there in person.

5. Be in your seat before 7:45. Listen, you aren’t going to want to miss that intro video, the new scoreboard and the introduction of that team. I’m getting chills just thinking about it.

6. Wear your CLE gear. Here are just a few of my favorite options (though I think I’m going with my LeBron jersey…welcome home LBJ…welcome home).

Who will I see Downtown on the 30th? What are you most excited about?

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Brunchin’ in the CLE

I love brunch. Seriously. Everything about it…not waking up insanely early, the delicious food and of course, mimosas! (Sorry, I’m just not a Bloody Mary girl.)

And are we lucky in Cleveland or what? We have a ton of amazing options when it comes to brunch locations. I have a list of my favorites and a list of places I still need to go to (hopefully sometime this Fall).

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Some of my favorites:

1. Press Wine Bar, Tremont. First of all, I love Tremont (and am so excited that my work is moving to Tremont). Second of all, I love their mimosa kit, atmosphere, food and the staff. I seriously can’t speak highly enough of how the team (from hostess, to bartenders, to wait staff, to owners) makes you feel at home, especially while watching a Browns away game.

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2. Market, Rocky River. Another favorite with a great mimosa kit and great atmosphere during a Browns game, or even during the Cavs draft this year. This is one of my go-to locations when meting up with west side friends.

3. Flying Fig, Ohio City. Talk about an amazing brunch menu. You can’t go wrong with any of these amazing breakfast or lunch options that Chef Karen Small has come up with. One of my favorite brunches was during a Cleveland snowstorm when the warmth of Flying Fig totally made it feel like the storm was miles away (at least until we stepped outside to go to our next location in Ohio City…). A must visit location!

4. Townhall, Ohio City. Again, a favorite for watching the Browns game with a ton of other fans. Plenty of great beer options and plenty of TVs for watching the big game.

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What CLE location is your go-to when it comes to brunchin’?

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My Thursdays

I’m a bit of a workaholic. This statement is a surprise to no one. But Thursdays…those are my nights. My night to absolutely unwind, relax and take in a few hours in by myself. Included in my Thursday night: wine (usually of the red variety and usually more than two glasses), Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. Yes, that’s right…three glorious hours of dramatic TV.

Danielle and I love us some Grey's

Danielle and I love us some Grey’s

Also included? Note taking. For what the crew at Jen & Tim Show at New 102 Cleveland call the Grey’s Summit. Yes, for two weeks now, I’ve headed to New 102 Cleveland at the crack of dawn with either donuts or coffee for my TBFF (Twitter BFF) Jen and Tim to chat about all things Grey’s. You see, Jen and I bonded over our love of dramatic and reality TV via Twitter a few years ago and well…Tim just hates most of it. And Grey’s is at the top of the list.

I’ve gotta be honest – waking up early on Friday and hanging out with this morning show has been one of my favorite things lately!

Tim's exact words "Charlene's always right."

Tim’s exact words “Charlene’s always right.”

Check out our first installment of the Grey’s Summit here!

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Don’t Mind Me

I’m just over here dancing it out to this one:

 

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Give thanks.

When I was in non-profit life, I always wanted to work at a Children’s Hospital. And even now, one of my dream clients would be to work for one of the amazing Children’s Hospitals that we have in the US. There’s something about the people that work there, their stories and the families and miracles that can come out of those hospitals that I was drawn to wanting to share.

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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospitals is one of those types of locations. I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials before – they really change lives. And you have the opportunity to help raise money for this important organization. On Saturday, Nov. 22nd you can join with friends, family and coworkers and walk to Give Thanks at Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted. The 5k walk in the mall (cause we all know it’s possible it’s snowing that weekend) brought over 600 walkers out last year and this year they are hoping for 800 participants and over $80,000!

Interested in learning more, walking or donating to this worthy cause? Click here for more information and sign-up today!

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A Mood…and Hair Change

The last three weeks I’ve felt sorta over being blonde. Don’t get me wrong – it’s my mostly natural hair color and I do love being blonde but in a moment of panic I texted my hair stylist, Tina, at Charles Scott Salon. Ever have one of those hair rut moments?

Tina, of course, was able to pull together a look that I’ve fallen in love with. I had an idea of wanting to go darker but wasn’t sure exactly what shade and where/how to add dimension to the color.

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So from a Monday to Tuesday morning, I went from blonde to brunette with some seriously awesome dimensions.

Disclaimer: I’m one of the Charles Scott Brand Ambassadors and as such receive a discount on all services. All opinions are my own. 

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An Outsider’s Perspective on The CLE

When Charlene asked me to guest post for her, naturally I was excited at the chance. I have followed her blog for some 3 or 4 years now, so the opportunity to put my somewhat awkward and mostly eccentric fingerprint on it seemed like a pretty cool gig.

And then I asked if she had a topic that she’d like me to write about.

“What about what impresses you about Cle?”

Again, naturally, I jumped at the chance to ask her what in the hell she just texted to me. Our arguments are a strange combination of married couple, long-time friends, and sibling rivalry. I guess that goes back to the first time we met and I wrote “poop” in her notebook that she was trying to keep all nice and neat (keep in mind, it was a college class). But that’s just the kind of interaction I have come to know and appreciate from her.

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However, I think I got the gist of the direction she was headed in. So with that, I am going to try to give my outsider’s impression of the things I have come to really like about the city she, and so many of you out there I’m sure, have come to be so proud of.

The first thing that I think really impressed me about Cleveland is the food. I love my food. And thanks to my dearly missed great-grandmother Ruthie, I have inherited a love for cooking for others. Charlene can attest to my cooking game. Yes, I actually call it that. I think that what’s even more impressive than the restaurants (which, I visited Lolita when I was last there and loved it), is the West Side Market and how you can get ANYTHING there. I felt almost obligated to try to come up with the most completely random food item I could think of, just in an attempt to find the one thing that place DIDN’T have. Sure, we have farmers’ markets here in Fort Wayne, but nothing even comes close to what the West Side Market has. Is that a product of being over 100 years old? Maybe, but I doubt it.

"Cooking Game" (everything purchased from WSM)

“Cooking Game” (everything purchased from WSM)

West Side Market

West Side Market

Speaking of things in the city to do and see though, I was and continue to be impressed with the Cleveland Museum of Art. I can’t lie, I think I like going there the most just so I can see Charlene’s face when I try to touch the art. Most of all though, the exhibits are always appealing to an art fan like myself and the updated atrium is absolutely gorgeous. The unfortunate thing is that I wasn’t able to go to the Museum of Contemporary Art, but hey, you can’t win them all I suppose. Aside from that, there’s Playhouse Square, where I have thoroughly enjoyed the Jump Back Ball. It’s such a cool place and the concept of the ball is pretty rad in itself.

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I’m a Packer fan. Always have been, always will be. I know that Charlene has tried to convert me and most likely considered removing this section of my post, but I will say that the Cleveland Browns would definitely have a chance at being my second favorite team. If for no other reason than because of the dedication you fans have for your team, there’s a measure of respect that’s due. And who wouldn’t like tailgating with you guys? Oh, and you guys have a guy that dresses up as Macho Man Randy Savage. That in itself adds a ton of cool points to the experience.

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The sports teams, delicious food, artistic, and otherwise cool aspects of the city notwithstanding; I think the attitude of Clevelanders is what I find the most intriguing and what draws me to want to come back again and again. It resonates with me deeply, mostly because it seems to me like it’s more of a “take it or leave it” attitude. I dig that, a lot. Being that we are in the Midwest, I think the hardworking attitude is pretty much a cultural universal, however I think that it’s something different in Cleveland.

You guys have a chip on your shoulder. Something to prove. Something to hit people in the face with and then ask them “What you wanna do?” And. I. Dig. That. That’s the kind of attitude that gets things done, not just talked about. I’m a native of Texas, so naturally I have somewhat of a chip on my shoulder as well, but it’s different. It’s more of a cocky, “you can’t out-Texas me” attitude. You Clevelanders are confident, and there is definitely a difference in the two terms. It’s the “Ohio Vs. The World” kind of mindset that I have the most respect for, because then you guys just go out and do it. Sadly, it’s something that I don’t see enough of around these parts, only in small doses. Attitudes, and people like that draw me in. I guess that’s why I always enjoy my time out there among you Clevelanders as much as I do.

Maybe I’ll see you around in the near future? The one thing though that I won’t be looking forward to, is that Lake Erie snow and cold. But hey, I think I can put up with that one thing in exchange for all the other awesome things your city has to offer.

Read more of Chris’ thoughts at his blog, The Pursuit of Somebodyness.

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