Friday, March 6, 2015

Try It: 3 ingredient Nutella Cookies

My diet recently has had four main food groups: wine, eggs, cheese and chocolate. One of my favorite things to eat are Nutella cookies--a recipe I discovered on Pinterest a few years ago. Basically, you take 1 cup of nutella, 1 cup of flour and 1 egg, mix it together, form it into little cookie balls, and bake it in a preheated over at 350F for 7-8 minutes.

There you have it. The easiest cookie recipe of all time.

Here's a video (that I didn't create) if you don't believe me.

PS: I didn't smash them or use a fork for the indents. Neither step is necessary.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Subscription boxes: Julep

Last summer, I signed up for a nail polish subscription box-- Julep. Julep is famous for its 4-free colors and striking bottle shape, but back when I signed up, I was really not one for painting my own nails. In fact, I basically sucked at it.  But over 6 months of a subscription (and one Clean Slate Polish Corrector Pen later), I have shown tremendous improvement.

Now, you may be thinking-- how many polishes does one human need? What if I don't like the colors? I'm here to assure you that there is no need to worry. Not only can you customize each box for whatever colors you want, you can also switch it out for beauty products. Personally, I'm a fan of their lip colors, especially their lip crayons that are super hydrating, as well as the pedi creme. And, they usually send you a little gift in each box-- sometimes its candy, but this past month, it was a glitter top coat with tiny hearts in it!!!

Now for the cost: you can get a monthly box for $24.99 (+ tax)/month or you can sign up for 3 months at a time, and the cost per month drops to $19.99 (+ tax).  You can click here* to join!

*If you use the link above, I do get a referral fee (which is open to any Julep Maven who refers her friends to the service)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Get Involved: The Circle

About a year ago, I joined the Board of The Circle, the Young Professionals group of the Cleveland Orchestra. To be honest, classical music isn't something I listen to regularly. But seeing the Cleveland Orchestra live has really changed my perception of classical music in general. For one thing, Severance Hall is a stunningly beautiful space with incredible acoustics. Second, despite perceptions of stuffiness, going to at Orchestra performance is not stuff AT ALL! Not only does the Cleveland Orchestra have one of the youngest Orchestra's in the country,  but we also have one of the youngest audiences in the country. What this means is that while some guests choose to go all out and get dressed up, you will see plenty of jeans and leggings so as to not feel out of place if you choose to go with a more casual dress code. But most of all, the incredible talent performing at each show is something you just have to see and listen to and experience live. 

Membership to the Orchestra is $15/month for a single membership, $20/month for two memberships at the same household. Your membership gets you 12 events a year-- at least half of which are concerts-- if you look at attending the concerts alone, the monthly membership fee is a STEAL! The other half are networking and behind-the-scenes events, which really are a lot of fun! So far we've had tours of Severance Hall and its incredible history, hearing about the upcoming program from the Orchestra members, a behind-the-scenes conversation with Yuval Sharon, director of the Opera The Cunning Little Vixen (which we then got to see with our membership), exclusive discounts on attending the Cleveland Orchestra Gala (which then included a surprise meeting with Lang Lang!!!), happy hours before or after concerts, pre-concert dinner and drinks at Blossom in the summer, volunteering at the Lakewood YMCA--- and this is just a SAMPLE of events. Oh, and you also get 20% off other classical concerts at the Orchestra. 

Our next event is March 13th-- Beethoven's Seventh followed by food, drinks, mingling and more live music. So, if you would like to be a part of the fun, join us by calling Margaret at 216-231-7558. You can find our schedule of upcoming events here, and you can see more of what we've been up to so far on our Facebook page  so please follow us!

I hope to see many more of you at future Circle events!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Listening Now: Alt-J

Happy Tuesday. Today's tunes are not new-- they both came out last year, but the reason I'm including them today is that Alt-J are playing at Playhouse Square on April 1st. I went to their concert in 2013, and they were INCREDIBLE. Such a great live show-- if you are a fan of live music, you should really make every effort to go to this show.

 and another, for good measure:


Enjoy! And I hope to see some of you at the show on April 1st!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Jump Back Ball: We Went Back to the Future

This past Saturday, Playhouse Square played host to the 24th annual Jump Back Ball. The theme this year was Back to the Future-- lots of Doc's and Marty's and even one DeLorean. I had a really fun time hanging out with friends and seeing people I don't get to see very often. In fact, I had a little TOO much fun- note to self: Gin + bubbles will result in no good.

This year, I wore a red Badgley Mischka from Rent the Runway, and of course, lots of sparkle. My bracelet is the Stella & Dot Petra and my ring and earrings are from H&M.

And now, some pictures from our evening!

Clockwise from top left: Nick, Dave and Rich; a mini Miami reunion, posing with Jessi and KK, lovely ladies Charity, Lisa and Kelly

Clockwise from top left: Allison, Christina and Charity, selflies with Jessi, Renee (who is one of my favorite instructors at Harness), the adorable Rebecca and Adam.

From left: with Clefashionista Rachel, Prom posing with Nick

Clockwise from top left: Another pic with Kelly and Lisa, the part of the night when things started to go very wrong :) (damn you champagne bar!!), Jessi and Liz, and yet another selfie to round out the night!

Overall, another fun Jump Back Ball! I know that the Playhouse Square Partners team will be thinking of themes for Jump Back Ball 25, and I would love to see a nautical theme (glamor like the Titanic, but without the sinking, or even pirates!!), or a Superheroes and Supervillians theme, or even old Hollywood glamor!

And while I recover from my hangover today, I'm already looking forward to next year!!

Disclosure: I was offered one ticket in exchange for helping spread word about the event. As always, all opinions are my own, and based on my own experience. Thank you for continuing to support posts like this one! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Try It: Soft Boiled Eggs + Toast Soldiers

When things get tough (see my last post), I find myself gravitating toward comfort food. And soft boiled eggs + toast soldiers are one of my favorite things to eat! My aunt used to eat these all the time, which is where I think my love for these originated. As a bonus, you get to eat them in a fun egg cup!! If you don't know how to make them, here's a quick little video (that I didn't create, but is the recipe I use) to help!

Quick, simple, yummy, and endlessly comforting! And you can find some lovely egg cups on Etsy or at vintage stores! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

An Emotional Week

If you're friends with me IRL, or follow me on Instagram, then you know that a week ago today, Otto was diagnosed with a huge tumor on his spine that was pressing down on his spinal cord. What you may not know is how quickly we got to this point. Exactly 4 weeks ago, Otto came in the house and I noticed that the entire back half of his body was trembling. I turned on the fireplace, but a half hour later, he was still shaking.

We took him to Tremont Animal Clinic the next day, and we started treating Otto for what we believed (and hoped) was a strained back. Failing to respond to meds, he was back a week later to start on steroids. Sadly that didn't work either, and along with our vets, we made the decision to go see a neurologist at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital. A few hours and an MRI later--we had a diagnosis. A huge

Nick and I made the decision to schedule surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible the following Monday. We carefully considered the risks of surgery (paralysis or even death) and then began one of the hardest weekends of our lives. We started to tell friends and family, and the response from everyone was so overwhelming (in a wonderful way). Say what you will about social media, but I cannot even begin to describe what it meant to hear from people that I haven't heard from for a long time. We spoiled Otto rotten, did lots of fun things together, and his favorite people came to visit.

Everything seemed to be going well, and then suddenly on Sunday, Otto couldn't sit or stand. We rushed him down to the ER, where they amped up his pain meds and kept him overnight. To say we were distraught would be an understatement. Even poor Clair was upset-- walking around the house looking for Otto.

Surgery happened on Monday, and then things really started to look up. Not only did the surgery go well, but Otto got to come home on Tuesday, a whole day ahead of schedule! 

As of this writing, he's been home a full two days, and he's doing SO well! He definitely feels more comfortable-- he's supposed to be on bed rest, but he keeps wanting to walk around and play-- I've had to resort to bribing him with treats to lay down!  I'm convinced that it was everyone's thoughts, prayers and energy that are causing his recovery. 

We are still waiting on the results of the biopsy-- I suppose we could have a miracle and it may not be confirmed cancer, but even I am not that optimistic. What I am optimistic about is that Otto is a strong pup, and that the cancer is slow growing (fingers crossed), and that Nick and I (and Clair) are going to make amazing memories with him, for as long as that may be. We are starting a new journey together, and we will carry each other through it. In the mean time, Otto is being Otto-- barking at unauthorized people (the mailman, UPS lady), showing an excessive interest in our food, trying to sneak in licking the dishes as we load the dishwasher -- being the big goofball we know and love. 

So in closing, I just want to thank you for all your love, support and wishes over the past week. I will certainly continue to update you on Otto's condition via social media and you will probably see a few more posts about Otto on this blog.