Chip, Chip, Hooray! Attending a Very Fun, Tex-Mex-Themed Wedding

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

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If you follow me on Instagram, you might've seen that this weekend, I attended one of the most fun weddings ever, that of my friends Emily & Ron. They dubbed the entire event #guacdowntheaisle, & it was just such a blast. 

The reception took place at a Tex-Mex restaurant (we'll get to that in a minute), & the festivities included a number of unusual elements that I feel it my duty to share with you, good people of the Internet. How could I keep something this fun & joyful confined to Instagram & my own memory?!
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70 of My Favorite Ways to Take Care of Myself

Thursday, October 24, 2019

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I've been thinking a lot about the ways I take care of myself: not "self-care" in the trendy "treat yo'self" sense of the term that it seems to have become, but in the true "What do I need in order to be the healthiest version of myself?" kind of way. 

There's nothing I love quite as much as a good list, so I recently started keeping track of them all... & thought I'd share them hear with you.
  1. Take a really hot shower... & sit down in it!
  2. Do a clay face mask. I like this one from Revive, a Cleveland-based company.
  3. Lose myself in a good book
  4. Buy a plant. I'm partial to small succulents.
  5. Put a cold towel on my face.
  6. Put a heating pad on my back.
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Fun in the CLE: 1970 vs. Now with "Hey, You Punks!"

Friday, October 18, 2019

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I haven't done much yet with this idea, but in the last year, I've been thinking about writing a blog post featuring books I've enjoyed written by Cleveland-based authors. The list is longer than I'd expected - I hadn't realized I'd even read so many local books! - & I'm going to keep expanding it for a bit before I write that post.

For now, though, I want to highlight one: Hey, You Punks!, a graphic novel set on Cleveland's West Side - including Tremont, the area where I live. The author, Don Billie, grew up in this area in the late 1960s & early '70s, & he's set his coming-of-age antics into comic form with the help of Cleveland Institute of Art grad Gloria Pridemore.

When Don reached out to ask if I'd be interested in his book, I was excited to see what life was like in this area "back in the day." (Sorry, Don!) If you're a millennial-or-younger who's ever wondered what, exactly, kids did for fun in the days before smartphones & video games, this book is an interesting - if, at times, alarming - look at the shenanigans "young punks" got into back then.
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Smile Big: I Got My Two Front Teeth Fixed!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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A few months before Mike & I got married, I chipped one of my front teeth. Again.

That’s right, my front teeth were already slightly chipped, & then I went & made it worse. How, exactly, did I chip my teeth not once but twice? Good question, I have no idea.

OK, I know one of the answers: The first time, I bummed one of my front teeth on one of Mike’s front teeth when I went in for a kiss. On our fourth date. Not embarrassing at all.

The second time, though, I was standing in my driveway, talking to friends, when all of a sudden, I felt a little piece of my tooth come loose. When I spit it out into my hand, conversation stopped. “Did you just chip your tooth?” a friend asked. “And… how?!?!”
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My Own Personal Best of CLE(veland Magazine)

Monday, October 14, 2019

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Cleveland Magazine's Best of CLE issue is out now, & it's always been my favorite issue of the year - first as a reader & now as a freelancer for them. It's just so much fun, & it's the perfect way to discover new products, people, & places with which you weren't yet familiar.

This year's issue features three of the CLE's own bloggers on the cover, photographed by the talented Angelo Merendino. From left to right, they are: Shibani of Bombay Taxi Boutique, Romance of Hey, Curlie, & Kimberly of Modern Musings. Lookin' good, ladies!

As much as I like seeing local bloggers on the cover, though, the inside of this issue is pretty personally important to me, too, because I did a lot of writing for it - all different, all interesting, all a privilege. Inside this issue, from me, you'll find:
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When Instagram Kinda Hurts Your Feelings

Thursday, October 10, 2019

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I try to be a person who doesn't care about social media numbers, about blog traffic. Someone who is driven by words & connections & relationships instead of by engagement rates & analytics & followers numbers.

But man, sometimes it's hard.

Lately I've felt like I'm following too many Instagram accounts. You know how it is: You fall for an ad, or you follow a celebrity you're briefly interested in, or you enter some giveaway... & before you know it, you're following 500 randos.

To clean house, I downloaded an app that lets me batch un-follow whichever accounts I select (rather than going through & unfollowing one by one, as you have to do within the Instagram app. Who has time for that?!) This third-party app shows me two things: a circular green arrow over "mutual follow" accounts & a one-way orange arrow under accounts I follow that don't follow me back.

"Fine," you're thinking. "What's the big deal?" And there's no big deal, really. Let me reiterate: It is not a big deal.

And yet.
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6 Small Goals for October

Monday, October 7, 2019

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After missing the mark on all of my August goals, I set three big but vague ones for September in an effort to reset & restart. I'm happy to report that September was muuuuch more chill & emotionally successful than the hectic, crazed month that preceded it.

In all, I feel prepared to set six regular goals for myself for October, like I usually do - which means that September was a successful reset! Here's how things went:
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What's It Like to Have Idiopathic Hypersomnia? My Life with a Rare Sleep Disorder

Friday, October 4, 2019

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It's been about 10 months - nearly an entire year - since I started medication to treat my idiopathic hypersomnia (IH), a neurological condition that causes my body to need/want more sleep than your average bear - literally, almost like a bear, all my brain wants to do is hibernate.

I now take medication every morning to try to control my condition - & truly, I have never felt better. Are things perfect? No, & I still follow up with my neurologists every two months to address ongoing concerns. But for the most part, things are better than they ever have been, awakeness-wise.

I started to put together a big, long Q&A answering questions about life with IH, but I realized I had more to say than fit into a single blog post. Instead, this post is going to be the start of a long series in which I answer those questions & break them down into smaller, more readable categories.

So today, let's talk about the general gist of idiopathic hypersomnia: what it is, what it does, & how it affects me, in particular. As they say, your mileage may vary.
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Sweat It Out: My Experience in an Infrared Sauna with Color & Sound Therapy

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

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I've never been a big salon-&-spa kinda gal. I can count on two hands the number of times I've gotten my nails done in my life; I get my hair cut about once a year, & I have it professionally colored approximately never; I get massages here & there, & I recently tried cupping, but I've never had a facial or done any other kind of spa services.

All that to say that when I had the opportunity to book an appointment with j. bellezza, a local boutique, salon, & beauty lounge, to try an infrared sauna session, I was really excited about it... but I had no idea what to expect. I'd never done a regular sauna session, much less an infrared one!
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