Last Thursday, I made sure to get in my strength training workout with Jen and my partner in crime before I headed to Baltimore on Friday.  It turned out great since I did mostly walking as activity while I was gone.

I warmed up on a bike for just a few minutes before the workout.

2 sets of the following:

  • Band Lateral Walk + Squat 10lb x length of gym
  • Slider Lateral Lunges x 20ea leg
  • Slider Hamstring Curls (attempt)/bridge hold
    • I really need to work on my hamstrings.  They were sore for days after only “attempting” this exercise.  Both of my legs cramped up just trying it.  Yikes.
  • Kettlebell Swing + Lateral Walk 20lb x 20
  • Scull Crushers + Chest Press 15lb x 20ea
  • Lat. Pulldown 70lb x 20
    • I upped the weight from 50 to 70 on the first set.  I regretted it for a few days.  I only did 50 or 60 on the second set.  The actual lat. pull down wasn’t bad, but when you start combining other arm exercises, it really ups the intensity.
  • Lying Cable Chest Press on ball 20lb x 15ea
  • Ball Push Crunch 2x5lb x 20
  • Bench Plank :30 x 3
  • Wall Ball Squat w/ Press 8lb x 20
  • Birddog on ball x 30ea side

I’m still really enjoying these workouts.  Jen always amazes me with the new things we try each week.  No two workouts are ever the same.

 Posted by at 9:19 PM

Today, the kids and I set out to pick our first Ohio strawberries of the season.  We picked up my mom and headed to Walnut Drive Gardens.  They are located in Mogadore.  Since my mom lives in Akron, this was a good choice for us.  The picking fields are at a different location this year.  For those of you who picked peppers in the past, most of the picking will be at that location this year.  The address for strawberry picking is 2129 Randolph Road.  Randolph Road goes off to the left near route 43.  We actually missed that and kept going straight.  We ended up on Trares Road.  As long as you visualize the directions as you near 43, you’ll be fine.  This sign was near the road where Randolph turns near 43.  There was also a big Strawberries sign with an arrow that we past when we got on the wrong street.  I think Walnut Drive Gardens should think about putting on on Randolph near where it veers left.  It’s much safe to take the diagonal there too.  But, we found it and that’s all that really matters!


These signs were at the road.  You can’t miss it if you are on the correct street.  I will add if you miss where Randolph turns, you’ll come up to Congress Lake Road and it goes all the way through to Randolph.  It comes out near Paradise Lake Golf Course.


We stopped at the new red building and picked up baskets for picking.  The attendant gave us directions to go over the hill and park in the grass.  We were able to pick anywhere and the farther back from parking, the better picking should be.

The kids were excited to have grandma along.



The picking was great.  There were tons of ready to eat berries.


My mom posed with the kids by the field before we left.


Picking was $13.50 for an eight quart basket.  It was an extra $1 for the basket.  We didn’t have to get the berries out of the car to pay.  Instead of weighing them, it’s a flat charge for the full basket.  I’ve read that a quart averages 1.5 pounds.  I had 11 pounds in my basket.  I probably could have fit a few extra berries to make it closer to 12 pounds.


Mom picked a basket as well.  So, we ended up with over 20 pounds of berries during our outing.  The kids had fun and enjoyed a few berries as well.  I was also glad to see a port-a-potty near the picking field.  I didn’t ask if they had bathrooms in the new building, but I will try to find out.

We have several other farms to try out for strawberries this year, but I think Walnut Drive Gardens is probably going to be the most reasonably priced.  Hopefully, we’ll have time to return.

Most of these berries will be eaten in the next couple of days.  The rest will get frozen for smoothies.  I want to make jam again this year, but that’s not in the schedule this week.


It’s finally strawberry picking time!  It’s actually 2-3 weeks early for most farms, but with all of the hot weather, it seems like we’ve been waiting on them.  I was in Maryland over the weekend.  None of the Ohio farms were open for picking when I left (most are open now), but in Maryland picking was already going on for the last week or two.  I researched U-pick farms near Elkridge, where I was staying.  There were really only 2 places.  One was an hour away and Larriland Farm was 30 minutes away.  So, my niece, nephew and I headed to Larriland on Saturday morning.  Picking opened at 9AM, which I thought was a bit late, especially given the expected heat.  We arrived about 5 after nine and there were already lots of cars parked near the fields.


We picked up boxes and checked out the pricing.  The price seemed reasonable to me.  Later in the weekend, I found $2.99 a pound for CA strawberries on sale in the local grocery store.  To the right is the view of the field as we approached.  The farm was well organized and staffed.


It was L and L’s first time picking.  My niece was really into it.  Both kids did just fine.




I was surprised to end up with almost 12 pounds of berries.  It was very hot and sunny and that made for some tough picking.  We learned on our way out that they were about to turn on the sprinklers.  At $2.59 a pound, we spent $28 on berries.  They have been delicious.  We ate quite a few at my sister’s house this weekend.  We also made strawberry lemonade spritzers to drink.  In addition, I froze a gallon or so.  On our way out, I wanted to check out the U-Pick Swiss chard and spinach.  I had never picked either one.  I knew that I could just eat some spinach for lunch, so we spent a few minutes in the field.


We ended up picking 72 cents worth of spinach.  It was really an afterthought!


Larriland had a nice barn market near the entrance to the fields.  They sell cheese, produce and other items.  I bought some Italian Colby Cheese that was really good. Near the barn, there were port-a-potties set up with running water sinks.  There weren’t restrooms in the fields as far as we could tell.

Unfortunately, there was an accident near the entrance during our stay.  It looked like everyone was ok, but 2 cars were towed.


We had a good time and we’d visit the farm again.  This farm offers U-Pick in many different items.  I could see me taking the kids there again in June and July when I am in town.  I’m hoping for blueberries next!


On Friday, I took an early flight to Baltimore.  I was excited to spend some time with my sister and Erin (AKA the Bride to Be).


My sister Holly was one of the attendants for the wedding. Here’s a great photo of her with the Bride to Be.


I think every bride should be pampered a bit before the big day.  I also think that other attendants and friends should make sure the bride isn’t lonely.

There was a little excitement in the air!


Holly decided on colors.  I’m just relaxing in the massage chair.


We all got “Gelish” manicures after our standard pedicures.  With Gelish, the color is in a opaque white bottle, so our color choices were painted on these sticks.  I had Holly pick out my color – High Voltage.  It’s a glittery reddish pinkish color.  I really like the gel nails since they don’t chip and look really good until your nails start to grow out.


I don’t get my nails done very often.  This was sure a fun treat!

We had a great time at the salon and finished our time with Erin with a lunch at COSI.  It was delicious.  We said our goodbyes to the bride and set out to tackle our to do list.

 Posted by at 9:04 PM



Q O E Z O H H J S I C C F J J 
Z V A A S H U L A E N R Z P S 
N A I O Z I X M E N L A E B Y 
N D J I H G T U G X S Z D P J 
L E G O S Y K S L P Y Z Z E E 
Z O I E Y N D H A A I W R U B 
P R O D U C E R M A R K E T P 
B F Y K T U A O O A Y C N H S 
B C F N L G O O K P K R I O E 
Q D A Y U A J M H W O I R O L 
S I X S Z E W S Z H Y N E P K 
G U I S K C U B R A T S I S C 
T H N D O W T Q I U T V U C I 
S D F G Q R W R L E Q N O A P 



(The solution is on page 2 of this post.)

 Posted by at 11:03 PM

Nick and Sally are enjoying a Daddy weekend and I’m enjoying a weekend away at my sister’s.

  • 4 AM Depart from home
  • 7:10 AM Greeted by sister and niece and nephew in Baltimore
  • Dry cleaners
  • Montessori school tour
  • Pedicure, manicure, and lunch with the bride-to-be
  • Target
  • Haircut
  • Dinner with family
  • Ikea
  • 10 PM Time for bed

P.S. Thanks to Stephen for taking dictation for tonight’s post.

 Posted by at 10:35 PM

On Sunday, Nick went to a birthday party.  It was the first one where a friend picked him up and he attended without a parent.  It sounds like he had a great time.  After Sally woke up from her nap, I told her that we needed to water the plant and we could water her too.

She loved the idea of the sprinkler, but she wasn’t sure about it at first.  She’s usually a bit apprehensive the first few minutes.


Soon she was running and laughing and even getting a little wet.



When we moved the sprinkler over, she really liked splashing on the concrete.


After 20 minutes or so, she was done and happy!


The temperature has been very sprinkler friendly this week.  I suspect it will get even more use this weekend.


On Saturday, after the Roxboro Arts Festival, we headed to the Asian Festival.  Everyone was tired, but Nick didn’t want to miss it.  It was hot and we were exhausted, but we went anyway.

Stephen works less than a block from location of the Asian Festival.  We decided that we’d be able to park in his lot.  That turned out to be a great decision.  Our trip to the Asian Festival started out with naps.


By the time we got from Cleveland Heights down to E.30th and Payne, both kids were totally asleep.  I pulled into the shade, rolled down the windows and snoozed a bit myself.  I didn’t really fall asleep, but the calmness and quiet of the breeze was awesome.  It turned out to be a refreshing 45 minutes for everyone.

Once the kids woke up, we headed down the street to the festival.  Nick was excited to see the road closed for the tents.  The festival was well organized with a food court area, entertainment, kids area, and marketplace.  There were also lots of volunteers available to answer questions.


The kids were excited to see inflatables.  We entered the festival near the slide and the kids took a few minutes to wait in line for it.  After their trip down, I realized that many kids and wrist bands and maybe we were supposed to pay for the attractions.  We were hungry and headed to food anyway, so it worked out ok.


The kids were excited to see the Goodyear blimp flying overhead.  Usually, I spot it in the car, but it hides behind a building or tree before they can spot it.


After a quick pastry wrapped hot dog to eat, it was slush time.  It was at least 85 degrees in the sun and a cold drink hit the spot.  It was fun to watch some of the food tents from behind.  These ladies were frying up pot stickers.  Each griddle had 50 or so of them cooking away.


This vendor was frying up egg rolls in huge propane powered woks.  Each wok held at least 20 huge rolls.  There were also two tents with performances.  We took a minute to check out these dancers.  Sally likes everything musical.


Nick has heard of book-mobiles before, but this was his first time seeing one up close.  He loved going up into the bus to check it out.


We really didn’t stay at the festival very long.  Everyone was tired from the busy day, but it was important to make a stop there since it was on our list.  Nick and Sally really like schedules and plans.  (I wonder where they get that from?)


On the way out, we had another peak of the blimp and the marketplace.  I’d definitely try and make it to the festival again next year.  I look forward to trying out some different foods and taking in more of the culture of the festival.


On Saturday, after we went to the Horsefest, we headed to Roxboro Elementary School for their Arts Fest.  Our friend Shayna invited us since she was going to have a booth.  We used our Google directions and ended up parking at the middle school and walking over.  It wasn’t crowded in that lot, so our parking situation was nice.  Unfortunately, it meant we approached the festivities from an awkward direction.  At first it was a little overwhelming, but as we approached, we noticed Shayna’s booth.  Nick was inquisitive about the glass products as soon as we arrived.


Many of these pieces were done by Shayna.  She also had a few things on display from others who share the Superior Glass Studio.


Shayna showed us were restrooms were and pointed us in the direction of tickets.  Basically, you buy a $2 button for each child to enable them access to the crafts.  Then, you buy tickets to purchase things like food, drink and Rocket Car rides.

I spent $22 on tickets and buttons.  We each had a slice of pizza, shared some fruit, had a beverage, and a Rocket Car ride.


I can’t tell if Sally is happy or worried.  Then, we headed to the craft tables.  They each made a paper whale.  I wanted to take them to more crafts after that, but they wanted to play on the playground.


The only problem with the playground was the heat.  It was all in the sun and much too hot.  Soon after that, the Cavalier’s Scream Team was on.  They were loud, rowdy and full of moves.  It was fun to watch them, but Nick and Sally didn’t want to dance.


We checked out the Lego table.  It was hard for Nick and Sally not to touch.


By now, everyone was exhausted and we headed back to the glass booth to say farewell to Shayna.


It looked like she was able to sell a few pieces.


For a PTA fundraiser type of event, this was extremely well done.  I’m not sure if we would go back again, since it occurs on such a busy weekend.  There is so much to do in Cleveland!

 Posted by at 9:35 PM