Thursday, August 7, 2014

FREE Movies at Playhouse Square!

I am sure most of you know about the Cleveland Foundation's monthly centennial gifts for each month this year and I've been loving these generous gifts!  Well, for August the centennial gift is given through the Cleveland PlayhouseSquare!  PlayhouseSquare is hosting Cinema at the Square August 7-24 showing popular films from the 30's-80's shown on the largest non-Imax screen in Ohio.  Each movie is only $5 or you can get a voucher 6-pack for $15 to use on any combination of 6 movies!  Before each movie there will be an old-fashioned organ recital and shorts and classic cartoons shown on the big screen!

Thursday, August 21 to Sunday, August 24, the Cleveland Foundation is giving free tickets to five films!  The line-up:

Thursday, August 21 at 7:30PM - Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Friday, August 22 at 7:30PM - Karate Kid
Saturday, August 23 at 3:00PM - The Sound of Music
Saturday, August 23 at 8:00PM - Singin' in the Rain
Sunday, August 24 at 2:00PM - The Muppets Take Manhattan

You must have a ticket for every movie you wish to attend.  The tickets will be available tomorrow, Friday, August 8th at 11:00AM.  You can request up to 6 tickets per movie.

To buy a ticket click here.  Scroll down to Cleveland Foundation Weekend at Cinema at the Square and click on each title you wish to see to reserve your free tickets!

I am so excited and grateful to the Cleveland Foundation for all of their free gifts so far this year and am looking forward to the free Cinema at the Square movies!

**image from PlayhouseSquare website

Monday, August 4, 2014

{FREE} Summer Appreciation Days!

I love free and I am sure everyone else does!  The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is offering daily giveaways Monday, August 4th to Friday, August 15th!  Cleveland Metroparks is doing this for Summer Appreciation Days.  Everyday at 3:00PM Cleveland Metroparks will be posting the giveaway for the following day.  Today, the first 1,000 visitors received free admission to the Rainforest!  Tomorrow (Tuesday, August 5th) the first 300 visitors will be able to feed the lorikeets for free!  All you have to do is be among the first however many visitors stated for the giveaway to visit the Zoo Box Office for a voucher.

Follow this link to check daily for each giveaway - make sure to take advantage of as many as possible!

*picture from the above link

Monday, July 28, 2014

Two Free Events in CLE!

I love free and I love Cle!!  I am so excited to announce that there are two free events in Cleveland (one this week and one next week) :)  Perfect way to end two of your workdays or free days if you're a teacher or just blessed ;)  So, if you're in need of something fun after work on Tuesday,  next Thursday, or both, I have your happy hour planned for both!

Tuesday: If you have been around Downtown Cleveland lately, you should've seen or heard of the new Westin Hotel (777 Superior Avenue NE) and Urban Farmer Cleveland's Steakhouse (1325 East 6th Street).  Well, tomorrow (7/29) the hotel and restaurant are holding a Cleveland TweetUp!  After work, 5-7PM, you can come up to the 6th floor and enjoy free food, drink specials, giveaways, social networking, and meeting Cleveland locals.  Before, during and after the event tweet using #CLEtweetup and a special offer will be tweeted by Westin on Twitter - retweet it for a chance to be entered for a fantastic prize!  You can get more info and RSVP on Facebook.

The hotel is partnered with Aloft and is suppose to be amazing.  A night stay is a little more expensive, but has the largest hotel fitness center in Cleveland and great views of downtown and Lake Erie!  Urban Farmer is one of Cleveland's newest restaurants.  Urban Farmer is a steakhouse that makes relationships with local farms for their ingredients.  I love farm to table restaurants and keeping my food fresh and local!  Both places sound amazing and I cannot wait to check them out!

Thursday, 8/7: YELP is hosting the Budweiser Made in Cleveland Party with Girl Talk at Jacobs Pavilion (2014 sycamore) at 8:00PM. The event is free, but it is 21+ and you must RSVP through YELP and then click on tickets to go to the Budweiser site to RSVP.   Celebrate Cleveland with live music, local food, some buds and more!  You can win a free trip to the Budweiser Made in America music festival!

Hope you come to one or both of these events!  I am definitely excited and cannot wait to enjoy more of Cleveland!

Also, if you're able to, stop by the Tremont Farmers' Market on Tuesday (begins at 4:00PM) before heading down to the TweetUp.  Always a good time with live music, local food to buy and sample, and other local vendors!

Have a great night!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

First Day Of Complete Freedom!

It feels so good to have finally quit the job I was not happy with.  No more talking about resigning or dreaming about extending my summer vacation another month (yes, teacher training would've began August 4th for me).  I am completely free!  I also began my career soul-searching today by reading chapters 1 and 2 of The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nichola Lore.  I am loving the book so far and am excited to see what passion/interest I will be turning into my career.

Now, I am not completely unemployed or broke...I teach Booty Barre multiple times a week and two preschool dance classes.  I enjoy teach fitness classes, so I am happy to say I will either be teaching more Booty Barre classes come this fall or adding new certifications to my name!  I am so pumped to broaden my fitness class offerings!  I will be able to keep stress away while attending classes (for idk what yet) by making money doing something I absolutely love!

Anyway, the best part of Thursday night is planning my weekend in Cleveland!  I love summers in Cleveland because there is always something fascinating to do.  I am not sure what I am doing yet, but I have a pretty good list of things I am interested in and think you may be interested in as well.


Food Truck Friday - Free Stamp 11:30-1:00PM - Food trucks and live music!  The food is delicious and lunch is must better out of the office (or the house) with live music :)

Burning River Fest - Whiskey Island 6:00-11:00PM - Local food, live music, and learning to respect the environment.  $12 tickets or $8 if you take a bike.

The 9th Annual Summer Market - Veteran's Park in Avon 4:00-9:00PM - handmade and vintage items, delicious food, and live music.  Funds raised benefit a local organization.

Romeo and Juliet - Lincoln Park in Tremont 7:00-9:00PM - a more modern take on the Shakespeare classic.  Bring a blanket or chair.

Tastings on the Terrace - Cleveland Museum of Art 5:00-8:00PM - Featured select beverage tasting menu paired with complimentary small bites.  Enjoy wines, beers, and food while taking in art, gardens and lagoons in the open-air terrace.  $8-10 per tasting flight.


Burning River Fest - Whiskey Island 6:00-11:00PM - Local food, live music, and learning to respect the environment.  $12 tickets or $8 if you take a bike.

The 9th Annual Summer Market - Veteran's Park in Avon 9:00AM-5:00PM - handmade and vintage items, delicious food, and live music.  Funds raised benefit a local organization.

Romeo and Juliet - Lincoln Park in Tremont 7:00-9:00PM - a more modern take on the Shakespeare classic.  Bring a blanket or chair.

Blast from the Past - Public Square 4:00-11:00PM - Ultimate 70's Party with a disco ball suspended over the square and an ABBA tribute band.  Dress in your 70's best!  Beer truck and Horseshoe Casino buffet spread for purchase.  21+

M.A.D. About Art - Madison Arts District between Morrison and McKinley 1:00-6:00PM - Artists and independent businesses selling their art and items.  Food trucks and pedicabs will be provided!  Eat local and shop local!

Headlands Beachfest - Mentor Headlands State Park 12:00PM - Spend the day on the beach flying kites, paddling kayaks, building sandcastles and looking for buried treasure.  Enjoy food and live music.  Browse the art vendors.

Summer Movie Series: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - U.S. Bank Plaza 8:00PM - Bring blankets or chairs to the plaza and enjoy some Harry Potter.  Weather permitting.


Romeo and Juliet - Lincoln Park in Tremont 7:00-9:00PM - a more modern take on the Shakespeare classic.  Bring a blanket or chair.

Chagrin Falls Farmers Market - North Franklin Street 10:00AM - delicious local produce, meats, cheeses and bakery.

Electronic Ecstasy - B-Side in Coventry 10:00PM - DJ Eso and Corey Grand spinning every genre during the Sunday night electronic show!

There's your weekend lineup!  Now, make some plans to get out and enjoy the city!  Especially all you office workers ;)  There is too much going on to stay inside all weekend.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Quit My Job, Now What?

Well, I quit my job after spending most of my summer trying to recoup from the past school year.  This is huge!  I hate making big decisions, but after a lot of time spent thinking and worrying I decided to do what's best for me and my well-being.  I had to take a huge hop-jump-leap of faith and trust God to stop being afraid of the unknown.  And I figured this would be the perfect time to begin blogging again...I was so tired from the crazy school year and stressed about returning that I did not want to start back up when the school year ended.

I am going to continue with the Cleveland theme - I still love Cleveland and all of the great things the city has given me to do this summer.  But, I am also going to be writing about my new chapter in life - the awesomeness of finding my passion and what I want to do with the rest of my (hopefully short) working life, the struggle of having a small income, and all the free and cheap things Cleveland has to offer (let's face it, I always need to be doing something).

I am hoping you will join me on this journey.  I also hope that I will be able to help someone (or more) with making a career change or that push to follow your dreams.  I welcome any advice or job leads you may have.

My first step in what may be a long process is to list my passions, interest and talents in a completely random order!  I hope I (or you) can help me figure out what career I should pursue...I am hoping someone can think of an awesome career choice for me!  I believe that other points of view create wonderful ideas.

1. fitness
2. health
3. cooking/baking
4. booty barre instructor
5. reading
6. writing
7. Cleveland
8. Pittsburgh - weird to love both cities!
9. football
10. hockey
11. performing
12. events
13. food - especially healthy and organic
14. travel
15. promoting the things I love and believe in
16. relationship with God
17. exploring cultures
18. meeting new people

I think this is a good start and a good list.  Now, onto the hard part of figuring out what I can do with one or a combination of these things.  Something good will come from this list.

Have you ever made a career decision without a back up plan?  Any ideas of career paths I can take?

Also, if you need something to do this weekend...think beachfest or fundraiser market!  Plus other options...will be posting your weekend guide to Cleveland/NEO tomorrow!  Have a great night!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Free in CLE!

Hi all!

It's been awhile - I just got back from a week long cruise to the Bahamas this past Saturday.  I am still getting back into the groove of things and will be sharing photos and thoughts in a little bit, but I came across a post from Cleveland Magazine that I have to share!

Tomorrow (Thursday, March 19) from noon to 9:00PM, The Sweet Spot will be celebrating the start of Spring by giving everyone who walks into their little shop a free scoop of gelato!  I love free and I love supporting local!  The gelato is made with local milk and organic, natural and local fruit whenever possible :)  What a perfect way to get your Spring started!  There are "normal" flavors and creatively inspired flavors available.  So, treat yourself tomorrow!  I know I will be getting my scoop on after my workout in Lakewood :)

Have an awesome start to your Spring!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Last Full Week of Winter in CLE

Happy Spring Ahead!  I am sure you're not too pumped to lose an hour - but, Spring is just around the corner!  In 11 days we can officially welcome Spring with wide arms!  I am so pumped to say goodbye to winter :)   I've been preparing my sub lessons plans (for two teachers), teaching all week, getting last minute workouts in, and packing for an upcoming vacation which has left no time to blog :(  So, I woke up early on the day we Spring Ahead to give you your to-do list for the next week in CLE!

Orchid Mania - Cleveland Botanical Gardens - Sunday, March 9 - 12:00PM-5:00PM.  TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!! Go see these gorgeous flowers while staying out of the cold.  Cost: $11.00; $3 ages 3-12.

Silly Lilly - Ohio Theatre - Sunday, March 9 - 7:30PM.   Lily Tomlin (from 9 to 5 and guest appearances on Eastbound and Down) is bringing laughs in her one-woman show.  Cost: $10-$55.

Winter Takes All - Warehouse District - Sunday, March 9 - 2:00PM-6:00PM.  It's time for the 3rd Annual West 6 Winter Olympics among several of the bars.  Festivities include skew ball and bull riding with cash prizes.  Entry fees: $20-$25.

Get Wild - Cleveland Metroparks Zoo - Monday, March 10 - 10:00AM-5:00PM.  See more than 3,000 animals and get up close to one of the largest primate collections in the country.  Admission: FREE!

Movie Mondays - Cleveland Cinemas - Monday, March 10.  See a movie for only $6.00 at participating theaters: Apollo, Capitol, Cedar Lee, Chagrin, Shaker Square, and Tower City.  Many theaters also include discounted concessions!  *Additional charge applies for 3D.

Vegan Mondays - Townhall (Ohio City) - Monday, March 10 - 5:00PM-10:00PM.  Choose options from a delicious and healthy vegan menu and many of the regular menu items can be made vegan!  This Monday is also Craft Beer Night and all 36oz drafts are $3.00.

Trivia Pursuits - Happy Dog - Monday, March 10 - 8:00PM.  Enjoy a design-your-own hot dog and a craft brew while testing your IQ.  There are themed-rounds and general knowledge questions that always seem harder than they are!

Trivia Tuesdays - Nano Brew - Tuesday, March 11 - 8:00PM-10:00PM.  Enjoy some trivia with your friends, fresh craft beer and awesome food!  Bike on over and get half off your first drink when they see your bike helmet - it will be time to start getting your pedal on soon enough!

MAC Madness - Quicken Loans Arena - Wednesday, March 12 - 12:00PM begins top-seeded women's teams and 6:30PM begins top-seeded men's teams.  Tickets: start at $10.00.

Cleveland Trivia - Brew Garden - Wednesday, March 12 - 8:00PM.  Not just your standard IQ trivia, there will also be games, giveaways and contests!  Cost: FREE!

Shaken and Stir Ladies Night - Horseshoe Casino - Thursday, March 13 - 5:00PM-9:00PM.  The casino's Vintage 51 offers $1.00 6oz martinis and a live band plays from 6:00PM-9:00PM.  Guys can also get in on the drink special!

Auto Mania - IX Center - Friday, March 14 - 3:00PM-10:00PM.  The 48th annual Summit Racing Equipment I-X Piston Powered Auto-Rama.  Get a comprehensive look at vehicles of all makes and models, see a plethora of vintage rides on Thunder Row and several different military vehicles.  There will be a soapbox derby race for children.  Cost: $16.00.

Ghost Story - Ohio Theatre - Friday, March 14 - 4:00PM and 8:00PM.  Based on C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, this play offers of humorous look on the afterlife.  Cost: $31.00-$91.00.

The Laughter League - 78th Street Studios - Friday, March 14 - 8:00PM and 10:00PM.  An inappropriately funny evening of local comedians.  Cost: $15.00.

Fun Run - Detroit-Superior Bridge next to St. Malachi Church - Saturday, March 15 - 7:30AM - registration and 9:00AM 2-mile race and 9:45AM 5-mile race.  Participate in the 34th Annual St Malachi Church Run with 2 mile run/walk followed by a 5 mile run/walk.  The race ends near McCarthy's Ale House in the Flats where you can pick up any awards you may have won.  Advanced registration: $30.00.  Registration day-of: $40.00.

Winter Farmer's Market - Crocker Park and Shaker Square - Saturday, March 15 - 9:00AM-12:00PM.  LAST WINTER FARMER"S MARKET OF THE SEASON!  Shop local, support local!  Delicious meats, cheeses, pastas, apples, granolas, bakery, vegetables, and more!

A Flea for All - Now That's Class - Sunday, March 16 - 1:00PM-6:00PM.  You never know what treasures you will find at unbelievable prices!  The club offers up vegan food and drink specials.

Well, have fun!  And remember there are warmer days this week so get outside - visit one of the may metroparks in the region!  Now go and enjoy your city!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What's up, CLE Weekend?

Happy hump day!   I am sure excited that there are only two more days left until the weekend!  It has been such a crazy week - my internet and phone was out the entire weekend and I have been getting ready for my pre-conference and observation (which occurred today and I feel good about it)!   I also had a farewell dinner with a family friend after school Monday and an amazing barre workout last night.

Anyway, how was your weekend?  I am hoping you enjoyed one or some of the awesome things that went on in Cleveland this past weekend.  I attended the Cleveland State vs Milwaukee game Saturday - well, I cheered in it!  The cheerleading alumni game took place Saturday and it was a blast!  I was able to pull my round-off back handspring and liberty stunt (hoping to share pictures soon - they are on actual cameras that do not belong to me)!  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take part in any other fun event because of make-up high school basketball games (I coach cheer) and preparing for my observation.

Now, here is your Get-Out-Of-The-House To-Do List for the weekend!

RESTAURANT WEEK ENDS SUNDAY MARCH 2ND!!  I will be taking part in this amazing event this weekend for my mom's birthday!  Click here for participating restaurants and menus!

Whiskey Business - Friday, February 28 at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium - 7:00PM.  A Mardi Gras themed whiskey and bourbon tasting plus light hors d'oeuvres.  Cost: $42.00, $22.00 for designated drivers (please take one or a cab)!  Admission includes 20 sampling tickets and a souvenir glass.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Utah Jazz - Friday, February 28 at Quicken Loans Arena - 7:30PM.  Go enjoy some basketball!  Cost: $10.00-$206.00.

North Union Farmers Market Indoor Market at Crocker Park - Saturday, March 1 - 9:00AM-12:00PM.  Shop local, eat local!  Free parking and a short walk to get in the warmth and support local! The food is so fresh you will forget it is winter!  Cost: varies based on purchase(s).  Click here for more info.

North Union Farmers Market Indoor Market at Shaker Square - Saturday, March 1 located indoors at Shaker Square's Northeast Quadrant - 9:00AM-12:00PM.  Shop local, eat local!  It is never too cold for a farmer's market, especially when it is indoors!  Enjoy some delicious local food without worrying about catching a cold or worse!  Cost: varies based on purchase(s).  Click here for more info.

Cleveland Arctic Plunge 2014 - Saturday, March 1 at Edgewater State Park - Registration: 10:30AM and Plunge Time: 12:00PM.  Someone thinks it's a good idea to jump into Edgewater when it is freezing outside!  I won't argue that it is for a good cause - raise money and awareness for The JDRF and Team Fox.   Cost: $25 in advance, $30 day of; for students $20 fin advance, $25 day of.  Click here for more info.

Gala Benefit for The Conservatory For Performing Arts - Saturday, March 1 at Mayfield Village Civic Center - 6:45PM-11:00PM.  Enjoy an evening of events, entertainment, "Taste of the Village" featuring local vendors, a silent auction, raffles and giveaways throughout the evening - all while supporting The Conservatory For Performing Arts.  Cost: $22.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door (cash only).  Click here for more info and to reserve tickets.

Cleveland Auto Show - Saturday, March 1-Sunday, March 9 at the IX Center - 11:00AM-10:00PM (Mon-Sat), 11:00-8:00PM (Sun).  Ride N' Drives, Car Giveaways, Classic Car Competition, and Millionaire's Row.  Special appearances and autograph sessions: Kyrie Irving, Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine, QBs Brian Hoyer and Bernie Kosar, T-shirt Tuesday, Family Day, Cleveland Football Legends autograph session featuring Hanford Dixon, Doug Dieken, Kevin Mack, Dick Ambrose, and Al "Bubba" Baker, Cleveland Browns: Mingo and Hughes, and Richard Rawlings.  Cost: GA: $13.00, Seniors (62+): $11.00,  Preteen (7-12): $11.00, Kids (6 and under): Free.  FREE PARKING.  Click here for more info and appearance/autograph session dates, times and locations.

Some Like It Spicy: Mardi Gras - Sunday, March 2 at Indigo Perfumery - 2:00PM-4:00PM.  Celebrate Mardi Gras with spicy fragrances, gumbo and jambalaya -all inspired by New Orleans!  I am always game for some jambalaya!  Cost: $10 (which goes toward a future perfume purchase made by March 9).  Click here for more info and to RSVP.

Enjoy your weekend and please consider partaking in one, some or all events listed above!  You won't be disappointed - get out and enjoy your city!

I will be enjoying a spa weekend at an area spa and cannot wait to fill you in on my experience!  I definitely need this weekend with the demanding job I have!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Your CLE Weekend To-Do!

There are so many awesome things going on every weekend in Cleveland.  As promised, I will provide you with your weekend to-do in the CLE!


Lake Erie Monsters vs Iowa Wild - Quicken Loans Arena - 7:30PM  Cost: $10-$67.  Neon Night - 90's night.  Neon Sunglasses giveaway.  Players to wear specialty jerseys and jersey auction.  Dollar Dog & Dollar Soda Night.  Post-game skate.  Click here for more details.

Greater Cleveland Golf Show - IX Center - Friday, 2/21-Sunday, 2/23 - Fri. 12:00PM-8:00PM, Sat. 10:00AM-6:00PM, Sun. 10:00AM-5:00PM.  Cost: $10.  Golf related exhibit booths, displays, activities, challenges, presentations, competitions, and more!  Click here for more details.

7th Annual Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week - Friday, 2/21-Sunday, 3/2 - experience awesome food with $30 3-course dinner menus and $15 lunch specials at select restaurants!  Cost: $15-30 per meal + tip  Click here for participating restaurants.  One of the best weeks in Cleveland!  


Great Lakes Science Center - Everyone gets in free!  Presented by the Cleveland Foundation.  Cost: Free.  Click here for more details.  

Beauty Bash @ Landerhaven - 9:30AM-12:30PM - enjoy pampering with complimentary pastries and mimosas!  Cost: Free. Click here for more details

North Union Farmers Market Winter Indoor Market at Crocker Park - 9:00AM-12:00PM - Cost: varies depending on purchases.  Click here for more details.  The best apples from Woolfs Farm!  Try the Melrose :)  I also get my pasta, meats, lettuce, almond butter, and cheese here!

North Union Farmers Market Winter Indoor Market at Shaker Square - 9:00AM - 12:00PM - Cost: varies depending on purchases.  Click here for more details.  This is the bigger of the two markets.

Cleveland State Vikings vs Milwaukee Panthers - 2:00PM - Cost: $10-$20.  Cleveland State Athletics Hall of Fame Induction.  Family Value Weekend - free kidzone with inflatables, balloon artist, magician and more!  Plus $1 hotdogs!  The alumni cheerleaders will be performing!  Click here for more details.

Lake Erie Monsters vs Iowa Wild - Quicken Loans Arena - 7:00PM.  Cost: $10-$67.  Football Night.  Hoe Haden Bobblehead Giveaway.  Click here for more details.

Short.Sweet.Film.Fest - The Market Garden Brewery - Saturday, 2/22-Sunday, 2/23 - Showcase up and coming local, national, and international filmmakers. 12:00PM-5:00PM doors open at 11:00AM - Cost: $12.  Click here for more details.


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Everyone gets in free!  Presented by the Cleveland Foundation.  Click here for more details.

The Winter Jam 2014 Tour Spectacular - CSU Wolstein Center - 6:00PM  Doors: 5:00PM.  Cost: $10 at the door.  10 Artists: Newsboys, Lecrae, Tenth Avenue North, Thousand Foot Krutch, Plumb, Newsong and Colton Dixon and the iDisciple App Pre-Jam Party: Love & The Outcome,  Everfound and Derek Minor.  Plus, a special message from leading young evangelist Nick Hall.  Click here for more details.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Washington Wizards - Quicken Loans Arena - 6:00PM. Cost: $10-$145.  EveryFAN celebrating Local Heroes Night. Fan Free Throw.  Click here for more details.

I hope you find something on this list you are going to attend or participate in!  I know I will be partaking in 1-3 of these for sure!  Have a great weekend :)

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers - I have a full day ahead beginning with teaching all day, an interview right after (for a part-time homework center coordinator position), and then coaching right after that!  I cannot wait to get some sleep tomorrow night!! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Day, New Blog!

Welcome to the first day of Jess In CLE!  I decided to change things up a bit for my blog.  Here are the reasons:  I have not been able to keep up with posts because with being so busy I do not always have meaningful posts about fitness and recipes - which is sad.  I have missed posting so much that I decided a change was in order.  Also, I realized that my love for this city grows by the day and I am always finding new and exciting things to eat and do here and want to share it with everyone - locals or not!

Jess In CLE will be about my adventures in the city - my love for local restaurants, farmer's markets. different events and festivals going on throughout the year.  I will make sure to keep you in the know of what is going on in YOUR city, so you can enjoy everything this great NEO has to offer!  And if you do not live here, well, now you have a reason to visit and maybe you will plan a long weekend trip around the different events going on around here!  I am so excited for this new blogging adventure!

Please stay tuned for my first new post - I have some exciting news for this weekend and that you may want to take advantage of!

Happy President's Day!!

Watch out for a possible SNOW day or delay tomorrow morning!  I am praying for one of these :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

FLOURISH - 2014 Goal Check-In

Well, with school starting back up it has been nearly impossible to take the time to post.  School has been very busy with preparing report cards and administering the NWEA (MAP) testing.  I have also been busy getting my girls ready for our pep rally next Friday.  I feel like I am bring pulled so many different directions because I also need family/friend time and me time.

Anyway, I have been thinking about the goals I have made for myself in the new year and I want to share my progress towards each.

1.  Keep a regular workout schedule:  I have not done this - not regularly anyway.  When I get a chance I do a dance workout or lots of squats.  I keep making excuses about being too tired or busy - I need to make it a point to workout while catching up on my shows!  I also finally recieved my 6 Barre DVDs so I am definitely excited to put my new "barre studio" to work!

2.  Make healthy choices - I have done this - not through the Daniel Fast (I will have to time my own after grocery shopping or else I will just go hungry)!  I have been saying no more to sweets and carbs - which is what works best for my body!

3. Get closer to God - I have been praying more.  I just need to get in the word more often and make time to get involved with a Connect Group at church (after pep rally I will have my Thursdays back).

4.  Figure out my career - I have a few options within reach, but too early to know which direction I will be moving.

5.  To have as much fun as I can - I have been enjoying myself even though everything that I am really looking forward to lies ahead.  I have been enjoying the city of Cleveland and my 3 snows days - more to come probably next week :)  And I just reserved my floating mat for one of the islands and bought my pass to the floating water park!  I also just booked a weeklong trip to NC/SC with my family after spring break!

6.  Make better financial decisions - I have definitely been doing this.  I am no longer impulse buying or giving in to my (what we like to call) "want monster".  I am very proud of myself and am excited to continue my journey with Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University.

I am not as disciplined in all areas that I have goals, but earlier this week my principal talked about One Little Word.  Every year people make resolution(s) or things they want to change about themselves and by January those resolutions are forgotten.  Instead, pick One Word to focus on and means something to you.  This little word will stick with you and help you achieve the results to reach you goal(s).

After looking back at my goals, I have chosen the word FLOURISH.  v. to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, esp. as the result of a particularly favorable environment. n. an instance of suddenly performing or developing in an impressively successful way.  I want to flourish in every area of my life and especially in the goals I have for myself.  God wants us to flourish and I am going to flourish with his help.  FLOURISH will help me stay on track with all of my goals!  I am going to etsy to get a nice (vintage-inspired) necklace with FLOURISH engraved on it :)

I suggest you join me in picking a word to help you accomplish and focus on achieving what you want in life - from anywhere to health and wellness to financial peace to career goals.

A few more words I was contemplating - strength, results, accomplish and thrive.  There are so many encouraging words out there!

Have a great week!  I hope to get on sometime soon to share my barre workouts!  I also have a few local restaurants to share with you :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year, New Me

I am so happy it's a new year - I mean last year was pretty awesome and I have so many great memories, but now my school year is almost halfway over and I am excited for new job opportunities to begin opening up!   I also have some goals (I don't use the word resolution) for the new year.

1. Keep a regular workout schedule:  We just installed a barre/workout area in our basement (I won an gift card from a blog I follow).  We have the workout floor, mirrors and barre up and ready for workouts.  We also moved all of the workout equipment we acquired over the years: hand weights, resistance bands, medicine ball, stability balls, Bosu ball, foam roller, hula hoops, etc.  I am so excited about our new workout area and I even found the "dance music" TV station to keep us motivated!

Oh yea, we have an ab lounger for some reason ;)

2.  Make healthy choices:  I need to stay more disciplined when I go out to eat.  I love food and eating local, but I still need to mainly order salads and free-range meats.  I am beginning the Daniel Fast with my sister and our church next week to kick off the New Year.  We were suppose to begin today, but we didn't have much notice to go grocery shopping to make sure we have enough items to keep us satisfied - no meats, sugars, processed foods, milk, etc.  We need a lot of veggies, fruits, whole wheat, tofu, and nuts/seeds.  Anyway, it's a 21-day fast for the spirit, soul and body and there is a specific item to pray for each day (on top of what you normally pray for).  Which brings me to my next goal:

3.  Get closer to God:  I am looking to develop a closer relationship with God this year.   I am going to start devotions each day and be sure to pray daily - I can always make time for it.  I am also going to regularly attend a CORE group at my church for 20-30 somethings.  I am excited to grow in my faith with a group of like-minded people my age.

4.  Figure out my career:  I am not very happy with my career path.  I strongly dislike my job and it is beginning to effect me personally and emotionally.  A lot of the time I cant even enjoy my weekends because I am already dreading the school week ahead.  I try to stay positive and live for the moment, but my job is just so negative and not for me - it's really hard to ignore it (you can imagine I have enjoyed my Christmas break and these two snow days soooo much!)  So, there are a few avenues I would like to explore - personal trainer, fitness class instructor, sub (pick my days), baker, city ambassador, or something at the art museum or a library.  Hopefully, I figure out what I want to do soon because I cannot deal with what I am dealing with much longer.

5.  To have as much fun as I can - I have an amazing vacation for my birthday booked and I am so excited!  I get to leave this amazing winter weather for a cruise to the Bahamas - a week of sun and beach!  I have a total of 15-17 days either off of school or with no kids and about 95 days left of teaching.  I have a whole summer off (which is definitely needed to recuperate)!  I am also looking to get to Disney, Vegas, or Montreal this year.  I have plans to attend many Pirates games and to spend a week with my Aunt exploring Pittsburgh.  There are so many awesome things to look forward to in Cleveland this year.

Where I will be in two months!  I can feel the sun now :)

6.   Make better financial decisions:  I finished the Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and I learned a lot.  I am looking forward to getting my student loans paid down, my car almost paid off, and to start saving for the future.  I am looking forward to making a budget and sticking with it!

Those are my goals for the year!  They are all easily attainable and sharing them with you will help me remain accountable.  I cannot wait to look back in a month, six months, and even one year from now and see where I am with each of my goals!  How exciting to think I have a whole new year to look forward to and do what makes me happy!  I hope everyone had a great New Years and whether you have goals or not are excited for the year ahead!