I’m having a great time on vacation.  Being away has been very nice.  After a week without Stephen we met up with him at the beach house in Delaware on Saturday.  We had a great day at the ocean with the kids yesterday followed by a rain day today.  We are looking forward to another great day at the beach tomorrow.

My sister has done a great job organizing meals and food and it’s been a very nice environment for everyone.  The house is big enough that folks can spread out as desired. Although it’s only Monday, people were already talking about next time we get a beach house.






 Posted by at 8:47 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

Wednesday evening, Stephen and I had the opportunity to attend the Cleveland screening of The Weight of the Nation, a HBO documentary that will air May 14th and 15th.

It was held at the Great Lakes Science Center.  Stephen walked over from work and we met up outside of the entrance.


The documentary is all about the obesity epidemic.  There were posted and facts posted around the reception and theatre.


The amazing food was catered by Chef Rocco Whalen’s Fahrenheit restaurant.  It was so nicely done.  We got to sample shrimp tacos, chicken tacos, pork and sweet potato, hummus and vegetables and more.



The reception was on the lower level.  I took the escalator up to get an overview photo.


I didn’t get a chance to try the smoothies, but I was glad to see a couple of Vitamix blenders.


After the showing of one part of the documentary, there was a panel discussion.  One of the panel members was detained at Reagan National and arrived during the discussion.


We were all given bags upon exiting the theatre.  It’s an insulated bag with a water bottle, pedometer and other information.  Stephen and I took the long way to our car to let the traffic die down and get in a few extra steps.


I learned quite a bit about poverty and how it impacts obesity.  I’m looking forward to seeing the remainder of the documentary.  It is very well done.

HBO has asked the cable companies to make the documentary available to all subscribers.  I’m hoping that all works out and we’ll be able to watch it.  It airs at 8PM on May 14th and 15th.

 Posted by at 9:07 PM

Once a month, I go out to dinner with my mom friends.  We call it Mom’s Night Out.  We have 7 of us that try to get together.  Between us we have 16 kids.  We’ve been getting together since Nick was just 4 months old.  Usually, we pick a restaurant and enjoy a hot meal without interruptions from kids.  We also usually splurge on a glass a wine and/or dessert.

When I saw a blurb about the 2012 Best of the East Party, it looked like fun.  For $20, we received entry to the party, a glass of wine (or two non-alcoholic drinks), an opportunity to taste different foods, etc.  Each attendee would also get a ballot to vote for their favorites.

We all decided it would be fun and different.  On Thursday, we met up for the party at Landerhaven.  We were greeted by a gourmet coffee bar.  Inside, there were tons of people enjoying conversation, music and eats.


We spotted Mitchell’s Ice Cream right away, but decided we should wait until we enjoyed some real food first.  There was also a fun baker from Brugger’s Bagels.


The live band was quite good and it was fun to watch the teeny boppers become groupies.  The JCC was one of the finalists for the fitness category, so there were plenty of familiar faces around the party.  I especially enjoyed getting a photo with Lyle.  For those of you who read regularly, Lyle is the person who taught the lifeguard class.  He’s in charge of the pool and we encourage each other in workouts regularly.


When we first arrived, we weren’t sure if we would get enough to eat to feel like we had dinner.  After just a few minutes, we were sure that we’d be able to eat as much or little as we wanted.  The party was well done and I’d definitely attend again in the future.


On Thursday, a friend and I headed up to Spirit Of Clay on SOM Center Road.  I was there for a project a few years ago.


On Thursday, we decided to do a glass project.  We had lots of choices and could pick between plates, trays, and a variety of other pieces.  I chose a small 6 inch square shallow bowl.  I thought it would be good for putting jewelry in at night.  My friend chose to make a tray.


I decided on clear glass since all of the colors show up nicely.  The person at the studio showed me available glass and how to cut it.  I wasn’t a big fan of cutting the glass.  There were plenty of bowls of pre-cut glass already to go.  I decided to go with the rounded discs.  There were lots of colors available.


I decided on this random but not so random pattern.  Once I had the design how I wanted it, I glued each piece in place.  Then, I sprinkled glass confetti (not the technical term) all around.  It will be fired, shaped and get an additional coat of clear glass before it’s finished.


My friend decided to use cut glass.  She added some discs and glass confetti also.


I’ll have to wait 2 weeks until we can see the finished projects.  I’ll share the end result with you then.

It was nice to have an evening out and do something creative.  Hopefully, we’ll plan another outing soon.

 Posted by at 9:11 PM

On Sunday evening, I attended a meet, tweet and greet event for bloggers at the Insight Learning and Wellness Center.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew there would be familiar faces.  We had about a dozen bloggers at the event and I had met at least 1/2 of them before.  It’s been nice to get to know some of the blogging community in person.  It’s such a great group of people.

First up, there was a selection of food and beverages.  Jody brought a selection of items from Dove Chocolate Discoveries.  The chocolate products were all great and well received.  Next up was granola samples from Twenty-4 Zen.

There was also food from Melt Bar and Grilled which was very odd.  It wasn’t healthy and didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the evening.  It was also cold.  I’m not the type to eat cold grilled cheese and fries.  I had one bite of something and decided there were better options for snacking.  I enjoyed cheese and veggies and granola along with a bottle of water.


All different wellness type professionals were present for the evening.  We heard about things like yoga, Reiki, and aromatherapy.  I even had my aura read.  I’m still not sure what to think about it.  I can see the benefit to some things like yoga and meditation, but some of the concepts are a bit much for me to comprehend.


At the end of the evening, we were given a swag bag with a few business cards, coupons and products.


We received a full size bag granola, a sample of Indu lotion, and a box of MagNoodles.  There was some kind of pasta salad made with the MagNoodles in the food area, but I never got a chance to try them out.  We eat tons of pasta at our house, so I am excited to try it out.

I learned quite a bit during the evening.  I gained exposure to new things like Reiki and Aura reading.  Most importantly, I had the opportunity to socialize with other bloggers whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the last year.


Disclosure:  I attended this event for free.  I was given a swag bag as a gift.  All opinions are my own.



 Posted by at 8:48 PM

On Saturday, March 10th, I attended the Cracking of the Cheese at Whole Foods Market.  Since I was a bit short on time, I went to the smaller Woodmere location on Chagrin Blvd.  The entire parking lot was full and I was a bit leery of the crowd that I might find in the store.

Lucky for me, I arrived in time to get a seat right in front of Jason and his 90 block of cheese.  As it turned out, there were only about 15 people there for the event.  I sat next to Sarah from Cooker Girl.  It was nice to run into her.



Jason talked about the history and making of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

  • gets its name from the city of Parma and Reggio
  • dates back to 12th century
  • cows fed only food from the region
  • consortium oversees all of the parts of the operation
  • milk fat is used in butter and mascarpone
  • 90% of the production is consumed in Italy

He also talked about the tools used to crack open a wheel.


As part of the Whole Foods event, every store was cracking a wheel at 3PM Eastern.


90 pounds of deliciousness will run about $1500 retail.


Samples were free.


I was glad that I attended the event and hope to see more of the store demos and events in the future.  Thanks to Jason for sharing his talent and love of cheese with us.

 Posted by at 8:25 PM

Last week, I was at the pool with Sally.  She’s been very interested in swimming since Nick’s taking lessons.  She didn’t even last 5 minutes in the water, but she was so excited to be doing what her brother does.

I ran into one of the lifeguards as we were leaving and she let me know that I needed a new bathing suit.  I was getting worn through from the chlorine in the back.  I thanked her for letting me know.  She said that she feels that its her job to let people know.  I’m glad it sounded like she let someone know everyday.  I never really analyzed my suit before.  I was so self conscious about it after she mentioned it that I threw it away before I left the gym that day.

I knew I had a spare suit at home, so I wasn’t in a hurry to buy another one.  I like having more than one suit, so today I decided to do some shopping.

I spent about 20 minutes shopping on line.  I visited several websites looking for your basic one color, one piece plus size suit that would be appropriate for my water aerobics classes.  One website had an automatic pop up window that offered me an extra 5% discount if I bought the suit on the page.  It popped up every time that I looked up at suit for that website.

I left for a few hours this evening and came back to the computer a few minutes ago.  I still have a few windows open with suits that I am considering.  I was just checking my blog reader and opened a few blogs to read.  There are ads on 2 different blogs for the same swim suits that I was looking at earlier today.  I know that our motions are tracked on the internet.  I am careful to look at legit things.  But, it was very creepy to see myself being targeted.  It kind of makes me want to buy from the company for having good marketing and not buy from them for being creepy at the same time.

Remember, Big Brother is watching!


I’ve been working on a Naturalist Certificate from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  We need to accumulate 150 hours total over a variety of discipline areas.  Most of my hours to date have been from taking classes at the museum.

Yesterday, I ventured out on a hike.  This took place at the Burkholder Preserve in Ashtabula County.  Did you know that the museum owns over 5,000 acres of land in Ohio?  It’s impressive.

This 24.9 acre property was purchased in 2009.  It’s draw was its location along part of the Grand River and some flora that isn’t found at other museum properties.

About 15 people participated in the hike.  I was really glad that it snowed!


All of the participants were dressed properly for the winter weather.


We had many awesome views.




We concluded our hike with a trek back to the road where we had left our cars.


Stanley Stine and Garrett Ormiston led the hike.  I can’t wait for the next one!


It was a beautiful day on Thursday.  We started out with a family hike.  We went to the duck pond at North Chagrin and walked the paved trail.  Somehow, we ended up off the pavement and in the mud!  Stephen had to carry Sally and then Nick a few times to avoid unhappily muddy kids.


We ended up at Buttermilk Falls and then took the paved multipurpose trail back to the car.


Our family Thanksgiving dinner was at 4PM in Munroe Falls.  We arrived just before dinner and found 2 of my uncles at the grill checking on 2 of the meats.  They also made good use of the grill burners.  Inside, Marty slices the pork loin.


Soup and salad is served and the rest of the dinner is buffet.


After dinner, my sister decided that the pie wasn’t worth the calories, but the whipped cream was.  Then, like mother, like daughter.


Grandma and Grandpa at their 65th wedding anniversary.  It’s been so awesome to live close to them my whole life.  My cousin Kristy got engaged Thanksgiving morning.  She’ll always have the memory of getting engaged on our grandparent’s 65th anniversday.  She was surprised with a black diamond ring, but I didn’t get a photo.


Toward the end of the night, we tried for a group shot of cousins and their kids.


It was a great day!

 Posted by at 8:13 PM