Cleveland Against the World

Yes, I know I’ve been away…for a year or so now I guess…but it feels like the right time to come back. After all, Cleveland has become a Championship City. We’ve faced adversity on the court and on the field and we’ve battled back. And tonight, we have the chance to add another trophy to our case.


I’ve been there the past few years, watching this team battle…make their way back from injuries, sign franchise players and add to our roster. And there’s nothing better than seeing the look of joy on their faces as they play in this World Series. From Frankie to Kippy to Chiz to Nap to Klubs and Bauer. These are our guys. They represent our city – when something goes wrong, we bounce back. When someone says something about us, well we brush it off and continue on.

There’s been nothing better than seeing my city, where I grew up and where I’ve dedicated my life, come back and have so much hope. There’s a relationship between our sports teams and this city. I’ll never forget being at the NBA Championship Parade and feeling something different. Clevelanders walk a little taller these days. We smile a little bit bigger. We know it’s always been Cleveland Against the World but these days, we can take it on. And we can embrace it.


So tonight, and every day, let’s keep this going.


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Now Playing: Pre-Holiday Mix

Before I start blaring Christmas music from my office (which begins November 30th), there are a few other songs I can’t stop playing. Namely the following three albums: 25 from Adele, Delirium from Ellie Goulding and Purpose from the Biebs. I really cannot get enough of all three. Pretty much the three albums have been on repeat for the past three weeks, at least.

My faves from each though:

p.s. Adele, can you come tour America please?

(I’m sorry, but I really can’t stop.)

She can do no wrong in my eyes. How much longer till she’s in CLE?

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Expressing Gratitude

In a day when things often get busy, alarms are going off, social media posts are being scheduled and checked throughout the day and drinks are being had, it’s sometimes hard to stop and think about all I’m thankful for. So when Monina posted the Grateful Challenge, I had to give it a try. 10 minutes – write down as many things as you can think of that you are thankful for.

Here we go:

  1. My family.
  2. A warm home that feels welcoming.
  3. A place to go to work every day with people that I truly admire and enjoy collaborating with.
  4. The ability to be creative daily.
  5. My cousin Meagan, who we joke is the southern version of me.
  6. Text conversations with some of my favorite people.
  7. Monina, cause…#sameperson.
  8. The opportunity to purchase Cavs season tickets.
  9. Cleveland sports in general (though the Browns…)
  10. A good book on a quiet night.
  11. A great glass of wine.
  12. Steffy. Work wife status there.
  13. Shaunte – she keeps me sane, provides me laughs and is always there for me.
  14. Being (almost) six years cancer free.
  15. My thyroid meds.
  16. Days off.
  17. Timehop. Because it reminds me of some fantastic memories.
  18. Michael Symon. (What?!?! Don’t judge.)
  19. No longer having a certain someone in my life.
  20. A planner. Like a real, paper one.
  21. Pop music.
  22. Concerts in Cleveland in the summer. Or really any time.
  23. Summer baseball and beer.
  24. A great patio.
  25. Chris Hodgson – great chef. Even better friend.
  26. Starbucks.
  27. A quiet morning in the office, usually between the hours of 6:30-8am.
  28. To-Do lists.
  29. My car.
  30. Twitter.
  31. Knowing that my best friend’s pregnancy means I have baby cuddling in my near future.
  32. Tremont. I love our little city.
  33. Heels, even though I’m sure I’m doing permanent damage to my feet.
  34. Leggings.
  35. Express.
  36. A financial advisor who keeps me in check.
  37. Grey’s Anatomy and my Thursday evening routine.
  38. Earrings.
  39. New friends introduced by great friends.
  40. Being content in being alone, but not lonely.
  41. Great clients.
  42. Instagram, especially at 3am when I have insomnia.
  43. Work husband.
  44. Mary. Who keeps me sane, makes me laugh and has become a big sister.
  45. Stacey. Cause every advertising/PR woman needs a strong woman to look up to.
  46. Writing and this blog. (Even though I’m not as consistent as I once was.)
  47. Dance party Friday.
  48. Downtown Cleveland.
  49. Kevin Love. (Again, what?!?!?!)

Not bad for 10 minutes, right?

Take a minute tonight, tomorrow or this weekend and think of all we have to be thankful for. It’s easy to forget.

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Nourish Cleveland

As part of my job, I daily get to work with brands – b2b and b2c. And last year I had the opportunity with our team to jump in to work on redefining a local non profit brand, The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland. I’ve volunteered with HNGC for a couple of years and have become good friends with their Director of Fundraising and Public Relations, Angela (hence how we began working together).


Our team at TWIST all worked on this campaign, from start to finish. And we were so lucky to have had the chance to present the campaign to the founder of HNGC before she passed away after a long medical battle. Dana, and the rest of the team at HNGC, all backed this campaign, telling the story of the two Clevelands.


I’ll let the work speak for itself. To learn more, visit HNGC and consider donating during this important time of year when they will feed up to 80,000 people per month.


(Spots directed, shot and edited by Kevin Kerwin.)

Disclosure: The Hunger Network is a client of TWIST Creative, Inc. We’ve worked on this campaign for months and I fully support this organization both professionally and personally. All opinions are my own. 

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25 Years of Jumping Back

Can you believe it’s already time to start planning for Playhouse Square’s Annual Jump Back Ball? It feels like February is a half of a year away still, but soon the snow will be here in Cleveland and we’ll all be looking for a reason or two to get out of the house (I can’t be the only one who gets stir crazy in February).

This year’s Jump Back Ball will take us all Under the Big Top on February 27th, 2016 for one of the greatest parties that Cleveland has to offer. Don’t believe me? Check out last year’s recap of Jump Back Ball.


So why should you attend? Here’s just a few reasons:

1. This is one of the biggest fundraisers for Playhouse Square.
Love the arts? A fan of the Broadway musicals and plays that Playhouse Square brings to CLE every year? Want to make sure that kids in CLE continue to have the chance to head to Playhouse Square every year? This is just one way to support the arts.
2. Party with other YPs.
And by YPs, I mean YPs of all ages. This is one of the parties that bring out a variety of Clevelanders.
3. Like to dance?
This is one of the events where you can leave at the end of the night exhausted from dancing. Your feet will hurt. You may even end up on stage dancing and singing with the band (as Carrie and I can tell you all about…)

Post-dancing and singing Call Me Maybe on stage with the band.

Post-dancing and singing Call Me Maybe on stage with the band.

4. Miss getting dressed up and going out?
Think of this as adult prom. Go with your significant other. Bring a friend. Get a group of girl friends together. It’s up to you. Either way you are going to have a great evening.
So are you ready to attend? Tickets will be on sale soon. Keep checking back, or following me on Twitter and Instagram at @cacoughlin for more information. And let’s all get ready for another epic Jump Back!

Disclaimer: I’m back as a Jump Back Ball blogger! In exchange for promoting the event, I am given one ticket with the purchase of one. All opinions are my own. 

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The Start of a Fun Season

My favorite thing about Cavs season? It literally can extend all four seasons. Especially with this team that we have.

So when Friday’s home opener finally rolled around, I was beyond excited. I took the day off (again this year) to run errands and mentally prepare for all that the Cavs would have in store for this year’s home opener. I knew after last year, that it was going to be fun and after the way we’ve been playing, that chances were good that no matter the score, we were going to enjoy watching the team on the court. (Plus…Kevin Love Body Issue…duh.)

First things first: some Hodge's Punch.

First things first: some Hodge’s Punch.


As a new season ticket holder for the Cavs, I have to say that I’ve been beyond impressed with the experience every step of the way. From my first Wine & Gold United Members Meeting, to my orientation packet to the lovely team shop staff who gave me my discount despite the fact that I forgot my ID badge. The Cavs are serious about giving their fans the best possible experience. Throw in the fact that the Cavs are playing amazing right now and we had a win on Friday night and it’s safe to say that Twitter and I had the best time on Friday.


What you don’t see in this picture? The “Taylor Swift” style bracelets that were handed out to all fans, color coordinated to the action of the game – including the National Anthem, the intro video, time-outs and the BoB concert that was at halftime.

Game 1 of my 22-game season ticket package was the start of what’s going to be a very very fun season.


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The Squad

Friendships are a weird thing as you get older. In high school and college, friendships were easy. You had plenty of opportunity to get to know people through class, dorms, extracurriculars or sports. Some of my closest friends from ages 15-25 were those that I got to know through simple things (like Dawson’s Creek….or soccer…or a mutual friend or two). Friendships were easy almost.

Then things get change. You turn 30(something) and all of the sudden The Squad is different. Some may be married. Some may have kids. And some are happily single. And things change. Maybe you don’t see each other as often. Maybe a significant other is the reason for that. Maybe all of the sudden you don’t have as much in common as you used to.

All the sudden, you have this new group of friends. And in the age of social media and technology, these friends may not have been ones that you even met first in real life. Maybe you both tweeted about a sporting event, a TV show, a CLE restaurant or an upcoming concert. Maybe your new Squad members are ones that you spend 40+ hours with a week, in an office setting, working on the same projects. I’ve formed friendships with some of my closest friends in ways that I wouldn’t have imagined years ago (For instance: I’m fairly certain that Monina and I became friends through tweeting about Greenhouse Tavern.)



But at the root of it all, The Squad is just as important in your 30s as they were in your 20s. I would argue they may be more important. You need those women to lift you up, wipe a tear or two away, encourage you and remind you that it will all eventually come together, more now than ever. The friendships I’ve formed in my 30s, The Squad, knows me best. They’ve seen me in some serious moments of weaknesses (think: finding out that kids may not be happening) as well as great moments. A couple of them I’ve known since I was 15 but our friendships really started in our late 20s and early 30s.

I’m lucky to say that these women are not just friends. They are my life coaches, career advice-givers, therapists, encouragers, inspirations, heroes and in many cases, they have become my sisters. Each plays a significant role in my life that I don’t think I ever imagined needed. Just like T. Swift, I have a Squad that I can depend on.

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#JoyDelivered with Door to Door Organics

There are days when I really do enjoy grocery shopping. And there are days/weeks where I can barely get home in time for dinner, yet alone thing through grocery shopping. Which is why I’ve loved my time with Door to Door Organics. The delivery service literally brings organic, fresh produce (and other groceries) to your doorstep. With a variety of “box sizes” available, you can pick what works best for you and your family. I personally have received the itty bitty box every two weeks, occasionally adding additional fruits and veggies as needed for the week(s). Honestly, the produce that I’ve had delivered are some of the best I can get locally.

The fact that every other Tuesday I can anticipate having the itty bitty box show up on my doorstep is such a life saver. I sign in to my account, see what’s included for the week, substitute as needed and create meals around the delicious foods that arrive.

Talk about Fresh!

Talk about Fresh!

I recently used some of the produce delivered to create one of my favorite breads – a raspberry chocolate chip banana bread (yum, right?!) I started making this a couple of years ago for family functions and it’s literally one of the easiest things to make and with the delicious raspberries and bananas from my itty bitty box, it’s even easier. (I found this recipe a couple of years ago on Pinterest….hence why I heart Pinterest.)

What you need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated white sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup halved raspberries, tossed in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate large bowl, beat the sugar and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Stir in the flour mixture; just until moist. Don’t over-mix. Stir in the chocolate chunks and then gently stir in the raspberries. If you want, you can sprinkle a few additional chocolate chunks and raspberries on the top to make it look pretty.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.

Another way I’m going to use my Door to Door Organics subscription? With this brand new Chef Symon cookbook. I see some delicious dinners in my future.


And guess what? You can try out Door to Door Organics too. A few ways to enter to win one of three $50 subscriptions/gift cards:

  1. Leave a comment sharing what your favorite dish is.
  2. Tweet: “I want #joydelivered to my doorstep with @dtdorganics, @cacoughlin!” Leave a comment letting me know you did so – you can tweet once a day!

Winners will be selected at random on October 5th, 2015.

Good luck and get those recipes ready!

Disclosure: I was given a gift certificate in return for tweeting/blogging about Door to Door Organics. As always, all opinions are my own.

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A #CMWorld Wrap-Up

It’s hard to believe that Content Marketing World has wrapped up. It feels like I’ve been anticipating this conference for months. The conference was completely jam-packed starting with the opening event on Tuesday evening and finishing up with a keynote speaker on Thursday evening.


The team at Content Marketing Institute put together a flawless event…bringing together over 3,500 marketers from over 50 countries to hear from speakers on the b2b and b2c companies, agencies and content marketers.


There are a ton of speakers that I could discuss but my favorite was by far Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the former Washington Post reporter. Rajiv has worked with Starbucks to put together a social issues via a content strategy which has included a book, co-authored by Howard Schultz from Starbucks. The stories he told, and the passion he has, came through in every minute of his speech, captivating the entire audience.

His words “Be Authentic” were repeated, in a variety of ways, throughout the entire conference. A brand that wants to attract and really engage with this customers can only do it by being authentic, and more than anything, making a difference.


Other highlights? John Cleese. Branched Ladies. Nick Offerman. You know, just your typical conference.




Yes, it’s obvious the color of the conference was orange. You think CMI’s founder, Joe Pullizi, likes the color orange a little bit?


If you weren’t able to attend this year, I highly recommend you adding this conference to your 2016 schedule. I can only imagine what the team at CMI is planning for next year!

p.s. Cleveland you did us proud.

Disclaimer: I was invited by CMI to attend this year’s CMW as an official blogger. In return for blogging, tweeting and being social I was given one main conference registration. All opinions are my own, as always.

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Summer Happenings

This summer went entirely too quickly. But it was a fantastic one. In addition to Admerica, the NBA Finals and T. Swift there were a ton of other things that happened that I never really got around to blogging about. (It was a busy one!)

Summer Solstice happened. One of the annual events that Stacey and I go to, we somehow ended up on the Best Dressed list.


I went to a few Tribe games (note: The Indians are a client).



My cousin Meagan came to town and we spent the long weekend visiting some of my favorite Cleveland locations, catching up, laughing a ton and having some bourbon. Our favorite.



I watched the Republican Debate with these guys from work.


Kristen and I went a little bit country at Country Jam. And enjoyed the people watching. The following weekend, Becky and I headed to Rascal Flatts. It was a country sorta week.



Monina and I ended the summer in the front row of the O.A.R. concert. Cause that’s how we roll.



Kristen and some of our friends went on a pedal bar tour of Ohio City. Cause what’s better than friends, beers and great weather?



Like I said…it was a great summer.

Disclosure: The Indians are one of my clients. I received free tickets to Country Jam in exchange for blogging. As always, all opinions are my own. 

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