How to Send Long-Distance Love to a Friend Who's Struggling

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


As I recover from a few weeks of medical bullsh!t, I feel extremely grateful for the love & support of the friends, family, & coworkers, who have sent that love & support in various ways. Some have visited, bearing flowers & frozen dumplings, while others have texted from afar, sent Instagram messages, & even deposited a little something extra into my Starbucks account.

Anyone who knows me knows that sending gifts is my Love Language®, not sorry - & while I am far less accustomed to receiving gifts, I have been, truly, blown away by the kindness & creativity of some of the ways people have reached out to us. I thought I'd share with you some of the ways people sent things - so that you know that these services exist, too, should you ever want to support a friend in a similar way.

Going Full Hufflepuff: Taking a Wreath-Making Class with Friends

Friday, February 14, 2020


I recently complained to Mike, "I don't make anything! I have no creative output! What are my hobbies?!" Fine, I might've been a few drinks in - but my point stands. I don't do that much.

My friend Erin, pictured second from right above, makes a lot of things. She knits sweaters. She recently gave me a bag of homemade marshmallows. She has a little home garden. And she's an artist. "I want to be more like Erin!" I told Mike. "I need to find things to make!"

Conveniently, that week, Erin invited a few friends to an air plant wreath-making class at Lakewood Plant Company. I was enthusiastically on board, happily shelling out the $50 even in the midst of my "modified no-spend month" because this counts as "activities with friends."

Second Annual BFF Trip to Bal Harbour, FL

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Last January, my friend Rebecca's dad passed away. I told her I'd be wherever she needed me to be - Minnesota, where he lived, or Brooklyn, she she lives - but they weren't having a memorial ceremony until spring.

Instead, she asked, would I be willing to come on vacation with her for a long weekend? She had her annual solo trip planned, but she didn't want to be alone.

Of course I said yes - because I love her & I love a sunshiny vacation, especially during mid-winter in Cleveland. It was such a nice, relaxing, rejuvenating time, & it didn't hurt that we stayed in a very fancy hotel.

So this January, we decided we should do it all over again.

Second Thoughts & Paper Hearts: Remembering Dave, 15 Years Later

Monday, February 10, 2020


"I always thought it was weird that you wrote about him so much," a friend admitted to me recently. "I just felt like... it was so long ago, hasn't she moved on? But now I feel guilty for ever thinking that. I get it now."

My friend's words, just a few months ago, frankly spoke to one of my deepest fears when it comes to my writing about my late boyfriend, Dave, who died by suicide in 2005: "Hasn't she moved on? Why does she still have so many feelings?"

I worry, sometimes, that I look like a crazy person for talking about it over & over again, year after year, 15 years later.

Fifteen years later. Today.

Sipping, Swapping, & Shopping Out of Other People's Jewelry Boxes

Thursday, February 6, 2020


Shibani of Bombay Taxi Boutique & Kimberly of Modern Musings - two of the most glamorous bloggers in the CLE - teamed up to host a jewelry & accessory swap! Even though I'd just given three biiiig bags of stuff to Goodwill, I managed to scrounged up... well, an appalling amount of stuff I still didn't want or need.

Armed with two bags of stuff, I showed up at the GreenRoom, a co-working space in Gordon Square, promptly at 9:30 a.m. Shibani & Kimberly were hard at work, setting up everyone's stuff & putting out a spread of seltzers, juice, champagne, & snacks, including tiny donuts (my fave). My friends Lilly & Stephanie were already there, too.

The group was small, but between us, we brought a ton of stuff to the (literal) table(s) - literally three big tables, laid out with all kinds of goodies.

I'm Doing a No-Spend Month... Sort Of.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020


Hellooooo, February! Inspired by the ever-stylish, world-traveling Priya over at Priya the Blog, I've decided to take on a modified no-spend month. 

Yeah, yeah, maybe you wouldn't call that a no-spend month, but... bear with me, OK? Life isn't black & white! I'm trying here!

So what does a "modified no-spend month" mean to me? As Priya outlined in her recap of a "no-buy year" - that's right, she did this for all of 2019 - I've set a few rules for myself. I'm not saying I can't buy anything because A) that's absurd, & B) that's setting myself up to fail, like suddenly starting a celery-only diet when all you've been eating is pizza.

What I Read: January 2020

Sunday, February 2, 2020


One month of 2020 down, & I'm six books in - & they were all damn good!

I also started the 2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, which I've tried to do in years past & not completed. In these monthly recaps, I'll be including which challenge prompt each book fulfills (if any), & you can follow my challenge progress on my designated 2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge page. (P.S.: If you're doing the challenge, too, I'd love your recs for any of my incomplete prompts!)

Without further ado, here are the six books that kicked off 2020.

7 Great Real-Life Dates in Cleveland, for All You Skeptical "Bachelor" Viewers

Wednesday, January 29, 2020


Monday's episode of The Bachelor hit the road, with Pilot Pete & his crew of young, whiny, thus-far-universally-terrible women making their way from sunny Los Angeles to not-quite-as-sunny Cleveland, Ohio. The reactions were... as expected, I guess, & thus infuriating.

I am surprised, honestly, that after all this time, the rest of the country is still so happily shitting on this great city, which is not only inexpensive & easily accessible to the East Coast, but is also actually full of really fun things to do. And we're Midwestern, so you know we're friendly, unlike some cities. (Lookin' at you, coastal elites.)

Also, need I remind you that recent seasons of Bachelor shows visited Virginia & Rhode Island, for crying out loud? Don't talk to me about "exciting," please.

What I'm Watching: Early 2020

Monday, January 27, 2020


I always say that I don't watch a lot of TV, but it's possible that I watch a lot of TV? It's weird because I'm always doing something else; I never just stop & sit & focus on what I'm watching. I'm always multi-tasking, always doing two or three things at once, & so, as a result, I can really only watch shows that don't require a ton of attention... which means I watch a lot of bad TV. Or at least extremely basic TV.

But you know what? One of my new year's resolutions was not to be ashamed anymore of my guilty pleasures or to feel pressured to like the pop culture phenomenons that everyone else seems to love - which includes "deep" TV shows. Here are the very not-deep shows I've been watching lately, each of them as entertaining as the last.

When You Have to Cancel Everything To Take Care of Yourself

Thursday, January 23, 2020


People talk a lot about self-care. Heck, I talk a lot about self-care. Everybody loves a bath bomb & lavender essential oils & a solo movie night.

And I've talked, too, about the kind of self-care that comes with true mental health issues - the times when you need to talk a day off work & sleep for hours, or when you need to force yourself to shower, or when all you can do is zone out in front of the TV & at least make sure you eat & drink.

And then there are times when self-care is just about self-maintenance. About not letting yourself drown. About keeping your head above water until a rescue dinghy comes out to grab you & you can breathe easy again. Sometimes your legs hurt & your lungs are burning while you tread water, & self-care is just making sure you don't let the waves take you under.

And that's where I am right now.
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