Turning 35: A Birthday Wishlist

Friday, June 28, 2019


If you've been reading for long, you might know that I love to do wishlists for birthdays & the winter holidays - not because I expect to get anything, but because I don't think enough adults create wishlists anymore, ya know. And it's fun. Indulgent. Frivolous. And sort of recaptures some of that childlike excitement that used to come with turning another year older. 

I'll be turning 35 in August, & that feels pretty weird, I've got to be honest. I had a total life crisis when I turned 25 because I felt so close to 30 - & now, here I am, a decade late, chuggin' along toward 40. Damn.

So, uh, let's not think about the mortality of it all. Instead, let's think about all the presents I'd buy for myself if I were a rich (wo)man. Cue Tevye.

Wait, I Don't Need a Husband for That

Wednesday, June 26, 2019


For much of my childhood, I grew up with a single mom, & although my mom won't want me to tell you this, she knows it's true: She has never been great at asking for help. She doesn't want to impose on others, & she's so independent that she wants to do everything herself. This is usually fine, because she's always been able to do just about everything by herself, anyway.

But this is, of course, both a strength & a weakness at the same time. It means that my mom does so much on her own - but it also means that, well, she does it all on her own, even when others would be more than happy to help out.

6 Ways I’m Making the Most of My Time Outside this Summer

Monday, June 24, 2019

Sponsored by TIKI Brand BiteFighter Torch Fuel

Summer is officially in full swing, & I’m doing my best to enjoy the outdoors before cold weather returns to CLE (as cold weather limits activities in this fair northern city). Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy the sun, in this city & beyond. How ‘bout you?

1. Just exploring

 If you follow me on Instagram, you know that the activity I love most is exploring – just adventuring & wandering. There’s so much to see & discover here, from restaurants to street art to festivals. One of my favorite things to do is just go – no agenda, just see what I can find.

One of my recent favorite finds is Lady Noel’s mural outside the Masonic building. Let me know if you have a favorite mural I need to check out!

Smile for Me Now: The 6 Products in My Dental Routine

Thursday, June 20, 2019


Why, yes, that title is based on a 2Pac lyric.

It’s been a couple months since my first dentist appointment in a loooong time, & now I’m on my way to a healthy mouth. Woop woop! (If only I could get myself organized enough to find a new gynecologist & go see my allergist again… baby steps, right? Adulthood can be hard.)

At the end of my first appointment at Hudec Dental, my hygienist, Sandra, gave me a product recommendations & a few free samples so I could get a feel for what I liked before sinking my hard-earned money into a bunch of random stuff for my mouth. After trying a few things, recommended by her & by my Aunt Joan, who’s also a trained hygienist, here are the products I’ve settled on (& in case you missed it, here’s how I keep track of my new dental routine).

The Time I Caught a Fish & Ate It for Dinner & Also Cried a Little

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


My dad liked fishing. Even now, all these years later, I can recall the sound of his fly-fishing reel, the buzz & whir it made as it spun out onto the pond behind the cabin we visited every year.

It’s the cabin of a hunting club, sort of like a timeshare; each of the club's members gets their own week at the cabin, to invite whomever they please. My parents first visited in 1976 on my dad's best friend's weekend – them & 13 other couples, no kids – & we still go back today.

My dad didn’t get his own week, though, because my dad didn’t hunt. My dad was a car guy; he drove cars & fixed cars & watched cars & showed cars & obsessed over cars – but he did like to fish. Every summer, when we went up to the cabin, my dad took out his reel & cast it from the dock – buzzing, whirring, waiting.

5 Things the Internet Has Convinced Me to Buy (So Far)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


Lately, I've taken to admitting: I am particularly susceptible to Instagram advertising.

I mean, to some extent, aren't we all? This is a big-money business. In the third quarter of 2018, Instagram generated an estimated $2 billion - which accounted for 15% parent company of Facebook’s $13 billion in ad revenue. And that's only expected to continue to grow.

Something about Instagram ads, in particular, just feels so perfectly targeted. They're always speaking to me, man. I'm a marketer! I should know better! It's embarrassing! And yet, I keep on hitting that "Order" button on products I first discover through social media.

Here are five of the products that snagged me - & whether they were worth it.

Write On: Where to Find My Newest Non-Blog Stuff

Monday, June 10, 2019


I don't know how interested you are in reading more from me, given that I blog here pretty darn often, but in case you are interested, well, I thought I'd share some of the things I've written lately, all rounded up in one easy spot (as much for my benefit as for yours, if I'm being honest).

Yes, I've had a lot of deadlines to meet lately, & sometimes it feels like every spare moment is spent writing something else, but it also feels totally worth it to do what I love & to love what I do, cliches be damned. (Find more of my thoughts about whether or not I am a writer/journalist in the caption of this recent Instagram post).

Here's where (else) you can find me these days...

5 True Crime Stories I Recommend... that AREN'T Murder-Related

Friday, June 7, 2019


When you hear the term "true crime," you probably think murder. With the rise in popularity of podcasts like My Favorite Murder & some of my other faves (check them out here, though I need to update the list), that's the crime most commonly associated with the genre.

But, of course, there's more to crime than murder - & thus, there's more to the genre of true crime pop culture content, too. Here are a few of the things I've been reading / watching / listening to in the genre of true crime that aren't all of the murdery books I've read lately.

Dancing Wheels, the World-Renowned Dance Company Based Right Here in CLE

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


Here's something you may not know about me: One of the issues nearest & dearest to my heart is that of disability rights advocacy.

In 2007, when I started my first job at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, one of the issues in my legislative portfolio was disability rights. I worked with the late Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, who became my friend & mentor, on passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which amended the Americans with Disabilities Act to better protect people with disabilities. One of the biggest honors of my life was to be on Capitol Hill the day that bill became law.

These days, I serve on my company's Disability Inclusion Committee, & I'm still involved in & passionate about disability inclusion. I was thrilled, then, when I was invited to attend a rehearsal of Dancing Wheels, an internationally renowned dance company based in Cleveland - started 38 years ago by one of the world's first professional wheelchair dancers.

6 Small Goals for June

Monday, June 3, 2019


Whoaaaa, hello, summer! As always seems to be the case, this year sure is moving along at a clip... Here's how the last of my spring goals went:
  1. Get my airbags replaced. I'm crossing this off even though it's not yet done. When I finally called, I had to wait for an available appointment - which is happening later this week. Bonus: I had to change the name on my car insurance in order to get a rental car during the airbag replacement; while on the phone with my insurance company, I also upgraded Mike's & my combined insurance, so I completed additional adulthood chores while working on the airbag one! 

What I Read in May

Saturday, June 1, 2019


OK, bear with me: I read a lot of murdery stuff in May, which I know isn't for everyone. I'm still chuggin' away at my Harry Potter reread, but I got in a few more books last month, too, namely because I blew through a few true crime audiobooks while I traveled. So like I said: lotsa murdery stuff.

That said, I have a ton of unread hardcover fiction books here at home, so I'm trying not to borrow or buy anything new until I've made it through at least a few of them in the coming summer months - which means June should be a much less crime-heavy reading month for me. If true crime isn't your jam, don't give up on my reviews yet!
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