I Was Supposed to Be in Israel Right Now, But...

Sunday, March 22, 2020


Mike & I were supposed to go to Israel on March 19th. Did I tell you that? Well, we were. Following a surprisingly rigorous application & interview process, we were absolutely thrilled to be selected as participants on a Honeymoon Israel trip with a bus full of other couples from Cleveland.

We were scheduled to spend 10 days in Israel – 10 whole days of shuk shopping, camel riding, history learning, Goldstar drinking, Masada climbing, falafel eating, & friend making in the Holy Land.

And then coronavirus started to spread.

What I Read: February 2020

Sunday, March 1, 2020


I finished a significant number of books (six), given that I mostly felt like I didn't do any reading whatsoever. Guess I must've!

I'm still making my way through two book club books: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi for my work book club & A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles for my book club with friends.

What are you reading? Give me a follow me on Goodreads and/or let me know where to find you there so we can keep in touch...

What Are You Looking Forward To?

Thursday, February 20, 2020


The last few months have been weird. Is it a cop-out to say that? I mean, when it comes to feeling a little "off," a few days or a couple weeks - even a month or two - is one thing. But a weird six months? At what point does it stop being a phase & start being, just... life?

Still, I have faith, that things are starting to go back to the version of normal with which I am most comfortable. After a lot of travel & some big shake-ups at work & the health issues I've experienced thus far in 2020, life is finally starting to feel familiar again - & one of the ways I'm trying to help it along is by putting some things on my calendar that I can be really excited about.

Here are a few of the things I'm looking forward to in the coming weeks. What about you? Do you, like me, try to stay positive by having stuff to look forward to?

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.
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