Crazy Dog Lady

16 Mar

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged… and here’s why – I’ve become a crazy dog lady.  My little buddy has only been in my life for a little over 2 months now, and my life revolves around him.  I spend as much time as I can with him, I change plans and ask friends if I can bring him with me.  I’m telling you, it’s getting a little weird, guys.

The awesomest little pup around^ The Awesomest little pup around ^

I’ve been working with him so he gets used to me, but it’s not just be teaching him things.  Here are the things I’ve learned since getting a dog.

1. Every morning is a good morning when you’re alive.  My alarm goes off at 6:30am every morning.  I used to be queen of the snooze.  Now I have no choice.  My alarm goes off… Bruno’s head pops up and he crawls over to my face and sniffs every inch of my face until I shut it off.  Then he stretches next to me until he sees me start to get up… and he cannot be more excited.  He bounces up and down on the bed as if he’s saying “let’s do this!” and how can I have a bad morning with that kind of wake up call?

2. Sometimes it’s good to just slow down and relax.  I used to be a person who needed to always be on the go, but Bruno taught me that sometimes it’s nice to just chill, put on the fireplace, turn on the Netflix and cuddle on the couch.

3. Nothing beats a good walk and some fresh air.  I got Bruno on a cold day in January and we’ve been so cooped up all winter… now that the weather is warmer, he can’t wait to get outside and play some fetch. I even say the word “outside” and he bolts to the door as fast as he can. Once we’re out there, it’s impossible to get him to come back in – there are just too many corners of the yard to explore!

4. It’s ok to wear your heart on your sleeve. Bruno is loving and unwaveringly loyal and will follow me anywhere (he even waits outside the bathroom for me, adorbs).  He doesn’t know how to lie – when he’s upset he growls, when he’s hungry he nudges the food, when he has to go out he scratches the door, when he’s excited he dances (seriously, he dances), when he’s tired he wedges himself in between me and the couch as close as he can and cuddle up to relax.

5. Don’t worry, be happy.  I know it’s cliche, but it’s true – no matter how bad my day was and no matter how long I was away, when Bruno runs up to greet me with his little tail wagging, my day is instantly better.

Most of all, what I’ve learned is that I’m totally cool with being the crazy dog lady… cause I love my little pup more than anything and wouldn’t trade him for the world!


Just Like Baba’s

9 Jan

So my workplace is having our 2015 kickoff party today to make up for not having a holiday party and my recent scatter-brain forgot to make something to bring (or make my sister make something to bring).  So naturally I hit up my go-to for the best Eastern European desserts outside of baba’s (grandma’s) house – Rudy’s Strudel and Bakery.  Now, full disclosure,  I’m a little biased.  I worked at the bakery for about nine years – all through high school and college I got daily access to the best, meltiest-in-your-mouth kolachki that money can buy. Jealous?  You should be.

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Not into sweets?  No worries.  Rudy’s is pretty much your grandma and would never let you go hungry.  They have display cases full of delicious, savory, buttery perogies in just about any flavor you can want… your typical potato or saurkraut and even some crazy flavors like the LeBron pierogi filled with chicken, broccoli and cheddar cheese.

Not hungry at all, just looking for a good party?  Check out Rudy’s on Fat Tuesday, or better known in the Eastern European crowds as Paczki Day.  Rudy’s is the place to be – every year the small Parma bakery is filled with news crews, workers in babushkas, customers trying to get their hands on a few of the 25 varieties of paczki, and even Cleveland’s famous and favorite polka DJ – DJ Kisha – is there spinning some old polka tunes and entertaining the crowds.  And oh are those paczki delicious.  I wait every year.  Those 25 varieties include Cleveland’s first savory paczki – that we know of – including “The Clevelander” filled with saurkraut and kielbasa, and “The Parma” filled with potato and cheese.

Great, I’m starving now.  Is it lunch time yet?

Don’t take my word for it though… stop by Rudy’s, say hello to my dear friend and owner Lydia, and pick up some amazingly delicious kolachki and perogies.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Rudy’s Strudel and Bakery
5580 Ridge Road, Parma, OH

Welcome to the Family

7 Jan


Meet Bruno – my new main man.  Welcome to the family pup!

Currently Reading: Water for Elephants

30 Dec


So It’s officially break from dance classes, so I have quite the extra time on my hands… which means it’s time to catch up on all those books I’ve been meaning to read and just haven’t gotten to…  I’m pumped!

Currently Reading: Unbroken

17 Dec


To Learn or Not to Learn

5 Dec

Sharp Colored PencilsMy dad always tells me… “Keep learning, it makes your brain sharp.”

It’s been a while since I graduated college.  A lot has happened since I was a bright and bushy-tailed 2007 graduate of Baldwin-Wallace, a fresh undergrad with a brand new Business Administration degree and the whole world ahead of her.  It’s been almost 8 years (shh, I’m not that old), and I have grown and learned and really found a focus and a passion for what I do.  I think one of the most important things I’ve learned… is that I need to keep learning.  This is REALLY hard for me to admit, but turns out I will never know everything.  What makes a person really good at what they do is their willingness to keep learning.  Experts aren’t experts because they took a couple classes and remembered every word and can regurgitate facts. Experts are people who are passionate about something.  So passionate, in fact, that they want to continue learning about it every day – keep up with trends, find out what’s the new and upcoming, and talk about it all the time… preferably with other people who love it, but usually not too biased.

So I don’t talk about my big-kid job too much on this blog, but turns out I have one and I enjoy it quite a bit.  What do I do?  I’m in marketing and communications… which is probably the most general way of describing it, mostly because I don’t like to zone in on any one part of it.  Content writing, social media, design and layout,  media and public relations, event planning… I like to do a little bit of everything.  What’s really interesting about marketing to me is figuring out how people work – who they are, what they like, why they like it.  Marketing itself is always changing and growing, and it’s fascinating to me to figure out how to do my job better.

So turns out, without even realizing it, I was following my dad’s advice all throughout my career.  I’ve made it a goal of mine to end each day knowing more about something than I did when I woke up.  It has done me well, I think.

Recently, while on the subject of marketing, a friend of mine recommended I check out the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification, a free set of courses designed to teach marketers about inbound marketing – what it is, how it works and how companies and organizations can use it to their advantage.  The course is made up of 11 easy digestible parts, a combination of videos and slides that can be watched at your convenience.  At the end of the course is a 60-question test that proves that you’ve digested the material.  Today, I passed my test, and I truly believe that it was a useful and valuable exercise to help me in my marketing career.

What up.

Here’s what I liked about it:

  • The online course is not too time consuming and can be done at your own pace – all episodes are online to be watched at your convenience
  • In addition to the videos, HubSpot provides slides that are covered as well as tons of other materials and resources to be used for the class and for the future
  • The lectures are done by topical experts and are actually quite interesting – the lecturers give practical advice with real life examples and best practices


All in all, I think this is a useful, interesting and FREE way to gain some additional knowledge about the marketing field – quick and relatively painless.  I highly recommend it… and for full disclosure – I do NOT work for HubSpot or any of it’s partner companies, so all my thoughts here are of my own free will.  What’s cool about this company is that they practice what they preach – check them out here: HubSpot

Anyway, onto finding the next way to sharpen this noggin.

Shop Local

28 Nov

Happy Black Friday!  I’m sure by now everyone is a sweet post-shopping, post-turkey leftover coma and hopefully everyone had some fun buying up all the good deals.  But get ready, the shopping weekend is just getting started people!  Tomorrow is my favorite shopping day of the year: Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is a day to avoid those big box stores and celebrate and support the local businesses in our community.  Studies have shown that more than 70 cents of every dollar spent at local, independently owned stores is retained and recycled through the community.


I’ve made a short list of some of my favorite Cleveland Small Businesses – definitely not an exhaustive list, we’d be here all day cause Cleveland has so, so many wonderful and marvelous small businesses.  Anyway – I highly encourage you to check some of these out – have fun shopping local my friends!

Cleveland Themed:

C.L.E. Clothing Company (342 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115) – A trip downtown isn’t complete without a trip to East 4th Street, home of the C.L.E. Clothing Company.  Anything Cleveland-themed that you can ever imagine can be found here… get a cute t-shirt or a coffee table book for that #1 Cleveland fan.

GV Art and Design (17411 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107) – Another Cleveland themed store, specializing in some very cool Cleveland sports-themed art work.  They also sell some Cleveland swag, including my favorite Cleveland t-shirt – CleveLAND that I love.

Fresh Brewed Tees – has some great Cleveland sports apparel for sale on their website, but they also have a unique selling technique – a truck that comes around during Browns, Indians and Cavs games where you can buy your swag.

Native Cleveland (15813 Waterloo Road Cleveland, Oh 44110) – Carries CLE Clothing company apparel and supports local artists by selling their artwork, buttons, stickers, home décor, jewelry, soaps, and books about Cleveland.

Arts and Crafts:

78th Street Studios (W. 78th Street is 1300 W. 78th Street, Cleveland OH 44102) – this event features over 170,000 square feet of design showcases, art galleries, design studios, and creative spaces, all under one roof.  Every Third Friday from 5-9PM, it’s basically a giant art walk featuring art, music, food and pop up vendors.  All venues in 78th Street Studios are open Fridays 11AM-4PM and every third Friday from 5-9PM.

Glass Bubble Project (2421 Bridge Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113) – One of the coolest spots in Ohio City, the Glass Bubble Project specializes in creating unique works of art from recycled metal and hand blown glass.  They also have classes available where you can make your own one-of-a-kind glass souvenirs.

Stitch Cleveland (18117 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107) – Here is Stitch your one stop shop for sewing, knitting and crocheting.  Don’t know how to sew?  Take a class and learn!

Clothing and Accessories:

Banyan Tree – (2242 Professor Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113) a quirky Tremont shop with clothing, accessories, home décor and gifts… something for everyone.

Lion & Blue (15106 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH, 44107) – a shop that focuses on fair trade and the environment, this Lakewood store has some beautiful jewelry and accessories.

Yellowcake Shop (6500 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102) – Designs from Project Runway contestant and Clevelander Valerie Mayen.

Books and Music: 

Horizontal Books (1921 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH, 44113) – an Ohio City institution, this shop offers a huge selection of discounted new books.

Music Saves (15801 Waterloo Rd, Cleveland, OH 44110) – a new and used record store in the up and coming Waterloo area in Cleveland.

Must Stop Shops:

Big Fun (East: 1814 Coventry Rd, Cleveland Heights; West: 11512 Clifton Blvd, Cleveland) – a big kids toy store not only has toys and memorabilia, but some throwback candies that you haven’t even thought about in years.  One of my favorite stops – locations on east and west side.

City Buddha (1807 Coventry Rd, Cleveland Hts, OH, 44118) – an eclectic shop with decorations for you and your home from all over the world, including funky sculptures and table decorations as well as some beautiful and reasonably priced jewelry.

5th Street Arcades (530 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115) – this newly rebranded and revitalized shopping area is a one stop shop for great boutiques,  jewelry, desserts and more.  A range of shops to suite anyone’s fancy – from a tea store (The Tea Lab) to a coffee shop (Pour) as well as a cupcake and chocolate shop.

Small Box CLE (W 6th St, Cleveland, OH 44113) – a marketplace of small retail shops made from converted shipping containers in a parking lot on West 6th and St. Clair.  Featuring pop-up shops from the Banyan Tree and the Wandering Wardrobe.

Food and Drink:

Don’t even get me started on the fantastic food in Cleveland. Check out Cleveland Independents for some great suggestions of locally owned restaurants in our great city – and that’s just the beginning.  The suggestions below make for some great Cleveland-based, yummy snacks for the hard to shop for people in our lives.

Campbell’s Sweets Factory (2084 W. 25th St. Cleveland, OH, 44113 and 14730 Detroit Ave. Lakewood, OH 44107)– Also located in the West Side Market,  Campbell’s is the only place to go for gourmet popcorn.  Samples are a must… be sure to try the Dichotomy corn. .. mmm.

Malley’s Chocolates (Various Locations) – This is old school Cleveland. Real and delicious chocolate – my dad swears by it.

Portside Distillery (983 Front Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113, also sold in various Cleveland area restaurants and Giant Eagle)– One of the first distilleries in Cleveland since Prohibition, Portside has some delicious Rum – my favorite is the limited edition Christmas Spirit, just in time for the holidays.  They also brew some tasty beers that can be found in local restaurants and they will be opening a Tasting Room soon – keep an eye out!

Rudy’s Strudel and Bakery (5580 Ridge Rd, Parma, OH 44129) – Last but certainly not least… my favorite Parma spot for all the delicious eastern European food you could ever want.  I have to be honest, my bias comes from my 8 year stint as an employee of good old Rudy’s, but tastebuds don’t lie.  The strudel is light and crisp, the kolachki melt in your mouth.  The perogies – pretty much on par in deliciousness with my grandma’s – are prepared, pinched, boiled and bagged daily (and with lots of love) by the most wonderful ladies.  If you only visit one spot on this list… this should be it.

Make sure to visit your favorite local small business and keep your money close to home!