Category Archives: Family

Mallorca

My parents arrived last night to spend the long weekend with Andy and I.  I had not seen them since July while on vacation so I was more than excited to spend some time with them.

Boo and Sophia were also quite excited, as they know Grandma and Grandpa come with gifts 🙂

To kick the weekend off, we headed to a restaurant that none of us had ever been to: Mallorca.  I wanted to try something different and something new for all of us, so I searched Google for a recommended restaurant in Cleveland.

Mallorca is a restaurant that serves Portugal and Spanish dishes.  Since my parents and Andy and I enjoy seafood and meat dishes, it sounded like a restaurant we’d all enjoy.  Plus, the prices on the online menu were not outrageous, and seemed fair for they type of food you get along with the upscale vibe of the restaurant.

I had made reservations online and we arrived about 5 minutes early.  Our table was not ready yet, so we headed to the bar (obviously) and ordered a round of drinks while we waited.

I ordered the homemade Sangria, which was fantastic and not overly sweet.  Andy and my dad ordered a Spanish beer while my mom kept it simple with a glass of red wine.

Before we knew it, our tables were ready.  I was glad too, because I was starving! Good thing they immediately gave us fresh bread with olive oil.  We all dug in!

Appetizers and More

For appetizers we shared a plate of calamari and mussels in green sauce.  I detest mussels, so I didn’t eat them, but everyone else said they were really good.  The calamari was pretty standard. It was just OK to me and the dipping sauce was not very flavorful.

I also ordered the garlic soup to have as an appetizer and I really enjoyed it.  It was a very light soup made with chicken broth and had just the right garlic flavor.  If you love garlic, I’d recommend this soup.

Salads came out next (which I had no idea were served – it was not stated on the menu).  They were light and fresh and I enjoyed it.  However, if I would have known you get a salad with your entree I would have not ate so many appetizers! I was really full by the time my dinner came.

Entrees and Sides

For my entree I ordered the Tilapia Rellena, which was a tilapia fillet stuffed with crab, scallops and shrimp.  It was good, but I could only manage to eat a few bites since I was so full from the appetizers!

My dad and Andy ordered a veal dish that was served in a mozzarella cream sauce.  Andy said it was just OK and that he’d order something different next time.  My dad ate his right up though and said it was great.  Different strokes for different folks I guess! My mom got a shrimp dish that look amazing.  The shrimp were stuffed with moscapone cheese…yum!

All of the entrees came with family style side dishes including rice, steamed veggies, and “spanish potatoes” (which were basically glorified potato chips).  I was not impressed with the sides at all, and would much prefer to have a variety of options to choose from.  I’m not a big rice person and I can get potato chips anywhere.

Dessert and a Shot 

Although I was stuffed, I still ordered dessert to go.  I ordered the caramel cheesecake but unfortunately I didn’t look in the box until I got home and they gave me the wrong kind.  They gave me a raspberry cheesecake.  Although I still ate it, I much would have preferred the caramel one that I ordered.

At the end of the meal, we were each served a complimentary round of almond liquor shots.  I thought this was a fun and unique way to end the meal!

Our dining experience was nice and we did have a good time, but it certainly wasn’t exceptional for how upscale the restaurant is.  I think I expected more from the service (it was slow) and more from the food (I would say it was pretty average – nothing blew me away).

In the car yesterday Andy and I were discussing what we thought about Mallorca and agreed that while it was not a bad meal by any means, it’s jut not somewhere we’d go back to.  There are way too many restaurants in the area that we want to try and this one just wont be a repeat visit.

Greek Festival

For the rest of the weekend we spent time looking at houses online (and went to one Open House) since Andy and I would like to buy a home in the next year or so.

We also hit up a local Greek Festival to get our grub on yet again.

We had a nice time and enjoyed all of the Greek food available (I had two slices of baklava!) The rest of our night was spent watching a movie at home.  The weather was very stormy so we all just curled up on the couch and relaxed.

I had a great weekend with my parents and I already can’t wait to see them again.  Luckily I’ll be seeing them in mid October when I take a visit to Cincy. And though I will certainly miss them dearly, I think Boo and Sophia will miss them a little more, especially tackling my dad in the guest room:

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Question:

What’s something fun you did this weekend?

It’s Not a Wedding Without a Line Dance

This weekend sure flew by! It seemed as if I was always on the go.  I definitely enjoy weekends like these because I feel so accomplished.  But I also really love my lazy weekends and so far not much is on the agenda for next weekend. I hope my couch is ready for me because I have some serious reality TV to catch up on 😉

Saturday

To start my busy weekend off I headed to a free Yoga class at Puma Yoga Studio in Lakewood, Ohio.

I had never been to this studio before and I was excited to give it a try.  My boss recommend I go since they were having free classes on Saturday.  I can’t pass up a free class!

I’m glad I didn’t pass up the free class because it was a good one.  The class was called Rise and Shine since it was at 7:30AM. I prefer doing Yoga early in the morning when I have not had anything to eat.  My stomach definitely appreciates it too 😉

The class was a nice blend of flowing poses, holding poses, and deep breathing and relaxation.  I would definitely recommend this studio to anyone in the Cleveland area. It had a great atmosphere and the staff working were very friendly and helpful. Plus their prices for classes when not free seem pretty reasonable.

After Yoga I hit up a local Starbucks to get myself a hot coffee and to surprise Andy with one of his favorite treats: a Mocha Frappucinno (also scoring some major girlfriend points if I do say so myself!)

A Yoga class and a Starbucks coffee was a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Wedding

Saturday night we had yet another wedding to attend.  This makes it three for the summer. But I’m certainly not complaining.  What’s not to love about busting some serious moves on the dance floor, eating great food, and boozing my face off? Nothing!!

Andy’s family friend was getting married to his long-time girlfriend.  Andy’s parents, brother Joe, and sister-in-law Lindsay were also attending so I was looking forward to spending time with everyone.

Andy and I

Lindsay and I

Andy and his parents

The wedding and reception were both held at the same place, a local Hilton Hotel.  In fact, all three of the weddings I attending this summer (See Kelly’s here and Sam’s here) were also this way.  I really liked not having to travel from place to place.  Super convenient, especially for out of town guests.

The wedding ceremony was short, sweet, and beautiful.  We had a cocktail hour shortly after where we munched on cheese, crackers, fruit, bruschetta, and mini egg rolls.

We also spent a lot of time at the bar…Naturally 😉

The families of the bride and groom sure like to party…there was a great assortment of beer, wine, and tons of liquor.

Our Table

The dinner was served buffet style and there was an array of options including chicken, salmon, some kind of red meat (which I don’t eat so I didn’t really take a good look!), mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, salad, and rolls.  It was all pretty good but I especially loved the salad since there was fresh parmesan cheese available to top it with. Yum!

The wedding cake was amaretto flavored which I’m not a huge fan of so I only had a bite.  However, it was certainly a beautifully decorated cake!


The rest of the night was spent out on the dance floor where I showed off my line dancing skills busting out the “Cupid Shuffle” and “The Booty Call”.  It wouldn’t be a wedding without those line dances! 🙂

Sunday

Andy I woke up late on Sunday and made a hangover special breakfast:

  • Cheesy eggs
  • Home Fries
  • English Muffin with butter
  • Extra grease for the headache

After breakfast we had to get ready to attend my friend Megan’s baby’s first birthday party. Andy was not wanting to get up:

But too bad, I made him come along with me.  We ended up having a nice day out visiting with friends and celebrating little Lena’s 1st birthday.

Megan and her husband Dan provided a wonderful assortment of food and goodies to eat:

There were sandwiches, potato salad, chicken wings, chicken sausage, chips and dip, and my favorite: cake pops! I ate three of those little suckers.  They are delicious (and highly addicting!)

While the adults ate lunch miss Lena had a blast eating her birthday cupcake

And then shoving it into her uncle’s eye:

What an angel 🙂

But after all the gift opening and excitement, this little one was ready for nap time:

Lena and Mom

That was our cue to go so we said goodbye to everyone and headed out to run some Sunday errands.

Dress Up

After running errands Andy and I vegged on the couch and ate some leftover pizza (from Pizza Friday) for dinner.  Then we decided it was time to dress up Boo and Sophia in this crazy bow tie:

Boo the Circus Clown

Sophia’s turn was next:

I kinda hate you right now

If I dance this thing comes off....got it?

Andy and I are easily amused (or getting really lame!)

This better not be on the blog

I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Question of the Day:

What is your favorite kind of cake? I’m a cheesecake kind of girl!

It's Not a Wedding Without a Line Dance

This weekend sure flew by! It seemed as if I was always on the go.  I definitely enjoy weekends like these because I feel so accomplished.  But I also really love my lazy weekends and so far not much is on the agenda for next weekend. I hope my couch is ready for me because I have some serious reality TV to catch up on 😉

Saturday

To start my busy weekend off I headed to a free Yoga class at Puma Yoga Studio in Lakewood, Ohio.

I had never been to this studio before and I was excited to give it a try.  My boss recommend I go since they were having free classes on Saturday.  I can’t pass up a free class!

I’m glad I didn’t pass up the free class because it was a good one.  The class was called Rise and Shine since it was at 7:30AM. I prefer doing Yoga early in the morning when I have not had anything to eat.  My stomach definitely appreciates it too 😉

The class was a nice blend of flowing poses, holding poses, and deep breathing and relaxation.  I would definitely recommend this studio to anyone in the Cleveland area. It had a great atmosphere and the staff working were very friendly and helpful. Plus their prices for classes when not free seem pretty reasonable.

After Yoga I hit up a local Starbucks to get myself a hot coffee and to surprise Andy with one of his favorite treats: a Mocha Frappucinno (also scoring some major girlfriend points if I do say so myself!)

A Yoga class and a Starbucks coffee was a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Wedding

Saturday night we had yet another wedding to attend.  This makes it three for the summer. But I’m certainly not complaining.  What’s not to love about busting some serious moves on the dance floor, eating great food, and boozing my face off? Nothing!!

Andy’s family friend was getting married to his long-time girlfriend.  Andy’s parents, brother Joe, and sister-in-law Lindsay were also attending so I was looking forward to spending time with everyone.

Andy and I

Lindsay and I

Andy and his parents

The wedding and reception were both held at the same place, a local Hilton Hotel.  In fact, all three of the weddings I attending this summer (See Kelly’s here and Sam’s here) were also this way.  I really liked not having to travel from place to place.  Super convenient, especially for out of town guests.

The wedding ceremony was short, sweet, and beautiful.  We had a cocktail hour shortly after where we munched on cheese, crackers, fruit, bruschetta, and mini egg rolls.

We also spent a lot of time at the bar…Naturally 😉

The families of the bride and groom sure like to party…there was a great assortment of beer, wine, and tons of liquor.

Our Table

The dinner was served buffet style and there was an array of options including chicken, salmon, some kind of red meat (which I don’t eat so I didn’t really take a good look!), mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, salad, and rolls.  It was all pretty good but I especially loved the salad since there was fresh parmesan cheese available to top it with. Yum!

The wedding cake was amaretto flavored which I’m not a huge fan of so I only had a bite.  However, it was certainly a beautifully decorated cake!


The rest of the night was spent out on the dance floor where I showed off my line dancing skills busting out the “Cupid Shuffle” and “The Booty Call”.  It wouldn’t be a wedding without those line dances! 🙂

Sunday

Andy I woke up late on Sunday and made a hangover special breakfast:

  • Cheesy eggs
  • Home Fries
  • English Muffin with butter
  • Extra grease for the headache

After breakfast we had to get ready to attend my friend Megan’s baby’s first birthday party. Andy was not wanting to get up:

But too bad, I made him come along with me.  We ended up having a nice day out visiting with friends and celebrating little Lena’s 1st birthday.

Megan and her husband Dan provided a wonderful assortment of food and goodies to eat:

There were sandwiches, potato salad, chicken wings, chicken sausage, chips and dip, and my favorite: cake pops! I ate three of those little suckers.  They are delicious (and highly addicting!)

While the adults ate lunch miss Lena had a blast eating her birthday cupcake

And then shoving it into her uncle’s eye:

What an angel 🙂

But after all the gift opening and excitement, this little one was ready for nap time:

Lena and Mom

That was our cue to go so we said goodbye to everyone and headed out to run some Sunday errands.

Dress Up

After running errands Andy and I vegged on the couch and ate some leftover pizza (from Pizza Friday) for dinner.  Then we decided it was time to dress up Boo and Sophia in this crazy bow tie:

Boo the Circus Clown

Sophia’s turn was next:

I kinda hate you right now

If I dance this thing comes off....got it?

Andy and I are easily amused (or getting really lame!)

This better not be on the blog

I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Question of the Day:

What is your favorite kind of cake? I’m a cheesecake kind of girl!

Weekend of Babies

My weekend was filled to the brim with babies!

Baby Shower

Saturday was Andy’s cousin Melissa’s baby shower.  She’s due in September and is having a boy.

Melissa and her mom

The shower’s theme was “A Star is Born”, which I though was so cute.

The room was filled with lots of decor that matched the star theme, including these delicious homemade cookies and cake pops:

During the shower we played a few games including baby bingo and guessing the baby pictures of celebrities.

My love for trashy reality TV and celebrity gossip came in handy (for once) and I got most of them right!

For each correct answer you got you earned a raffle ticket for a prize auction.  I put my tickets into numerous prize options that were available:

I was feeling lucky on Saturday and my name was drawn three times! I only accepted one prize though, which was a basket of books.  I can’t wait to get started on some new novels!

Food

A party would not be a party without food.  And  Andy’s family never disappoints in the food department! We had an assortment of goodies including Lobster Bisque (my favorite), sandwiches, potato salad, pasta salads, pin wheels, fruit, and desserts.

It was a great baby shower and I’m happy I got to be a part of it.

Baby Sitter’s Club

On Sunday Andy’s sister-in-Law, Lindsay, and his parents were volunteering at an event and his brother had to work.  That meant that Andy and I were the last resort to baby sit.  With no experience in the baby department, Andy and I went into the situation having no clue what to expect.  We certainly would not have been members of the Baby Sitter’s Club!

When we arrived, little Claire was taking a nap.  The day was off to an uneventful start (which I certainly appreciated!)

Andy and I settled in at his brother’s house and began watching some TV.  But before we knew it, Claire was up and ready to play!

Claire loved this toy and bounced her little heart out:

She also enjoyed playing with her fury sibling, Buddy:

After playing for a bit and eating, she was ready for another nap:

She ended up napping three times while Andy and I were there.  Baby’s are so sleepy (although I could have used a nap too!)

It was a fun day and I’m glad Andy and I got to experience our first baby sitting job together!  What a team we made 🙂

Vacation Plans

Wednesday I’m leaving again for another vacation, although this one will be a bit shorter.  Andy and I are going to San Diego, California for my good friend Sam’s wedding.  I can not wait!  Sam and I were roommates in college and sorority sisters.  A lot of our college friends will be attending as well and it’s going to be a great little reunion!  Now I just need to focus on my work today and tomorrow (which is not easy! I’m so excited) and soon enough it will be party time!

Question:

Have you been to San Diego? If so, what is a “must see” there?

Unplugged

I’m so happy that I got to spend an entire week with my family at the beach in Emerald Isle, North Carolina.

Isn’t my little God Son, Beau, a cutie!?

I spend the majority of the week completely unplugged from the internet.  Sometimes it feels so good to do that (although I did miss reading blogs and I’m excited to get caught up with everyone!)

I didn’t blog on vacation because I wanted to fully relax and enjoy being with my family.  Being on the computer was not on my “to do list”.

I also didn’t blog daily because I literally did the same things day after day.  Those things included:

  • Running on the beach
  • Drinking on the beach
  • Napping on the beach
  • Eating on the beach
  • Eating at the house
  • Eating out at restaurants

You get the idea 😉

Do you notice a theme in the above pictures? 😉 I promise we did drink some water during the day too!

Some people love to have very active vacations and explore their destination.  I’m someone who loves to relax and sit on the beach. Call me crazy, but I love doing nothing! I can spend hours on the beach. 

Exercising on Vacation

Because I really do sit on my butt all day, I do enjoy getting out early and going for beach runs. This past week I split my workout up by running half of the time on the road and the other half on the beach covering right around 3.5 miles.

During the first half of my run I took in the sights of all the beautiful beach houses:

Then I ran up the public beach access board walk to get to the beach:

The last half of the run is along the water on the “harder” sand:

I love being right next to the ocean!

Can’t beat this view! I tackled 6 beach runs during my stay in Emerald Isle, NC (which took about 40 minutes each morning) and enjoyed every one of them.  I swear my body loves being by the water!

Post Vacation Blues

As my plane touched down in Cleveland yesterday I felt the “post vacation blues” setting in.  Luckily I had Andy and the pups to greet me and that cheered me up! I missed my little family while I was away! I told Andy that next year we both need to plan a week long vacation together.  This summer we’ve both had different activities going on and used our vacation hours for all sorts of things like weddings and camping trips. However we’re both heading to San Diego next weekend for a friend’s wedding. Neither of us have been there so I’m excited to see a new place!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Question:

Do you prefer vacations where there are lots of activities (such as sight seeing and exploring) or vacations that are spent lying on the beach relaxing?

Hello from Emerald Isle!

I made it to Emerald Isle, NC early Saturday morning and have been enjoying my time at the beach ever since. 

Hello from the beach!

I can sum up my vacation in just a few words:

Beach:

Family:

My God Son

And of course…BOOZE!

My mom and my cousin John

I’m off to enjoy another beautiful day at the beach! Hope you’re having a great week so far!

Question:

If you like seafood….what is your favorite? I’m all about the seafood bisque and crab cakes!

Cookout and a Crazy Dog Park

After having an already fun and crazy holiday weekend, it was then topped off with a cookout at Andy’s parent’s house.

Andy and I

There was so much food! We munched on grilled chicken (with different sauces to dip in), hot dogs, potato salad, pasta salad, chips and salsa, deviled eggs, and watermelon.  To drink we had an assortment of beer and wine as well as iced tea, water and soda.

My favorite was the potato salad as well as the homemade salsas that Andy’s sister-in-law, Lindsay, made.

I think I ate my weight in the chips n’ salsa!

Homemade salsas

I filled my plate with a bit of everything:

We brought our dogs, Boo and Sophia, over for the day.  Andy’s parents have three dogs and Andy’s brother Joe and his wife, Lindsay, have one.  It was a like a crazy dog park!

The dogs literally played non-stop for 5 hours.  Boo is really fast (and knows it…he’s not very modest!) so he enjoyed running at full speed being chased by the others:

Just try and catch me Sammy and Buddy!

Baby Claire (Andy’s niece and God daughter) was also enjoying the 4th of July cookout and dressed the part:

Boo made sure to tell Claire that he loved her outfit:

Isn’t Claire so cute?! I just love her!

Claire with mom and dad:

The adorable family!

Besides eating (which we did a lot of!), we played games of Bocce Ball as we enjoyed the perfect, sunny weather.   Then we went back to eating when Andy’s mom brought out this beautiful and festive dessert:

This deliciousness was filled with berries, whipped cream and angel food cake.  It was awesome!

Boo and Sophia said their favorite was the watermelon:

We love watermelon!

When Sophia wasn’t munching on watermelon or eating the millions of treats that were given to her, she was doing what she does best: Looking cute and begging for more food!

Please, I have not had anything to eat in days....

If Sophia wasn’t bad enough, she invited her partner in crime, Bernie, to help beg:

Begging partner!

What little goobers! (But I love them of course 🙂 )

I have to say that this weekend was filled with so much fun, friends, family, and food.  What more could you ask for?

I had a great time celebrating and being with loved ones, even when this guy won’t smile for any of the pictures I take:

Take 1

Take 2

Take 3: Eyes are closed, but I'll take it!

Now it’s time for me to get my booty to work.  I only have a three-day week since I am taking Friday off for a wedding in Cincinnati. More celebrations to come! Have a great day everyone! 

Question of the Day:

I’m in need of book suggestions for my upcoming vacation to North Carolina.  Do you have any book recommendations?