Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A gift from Océanne

I know everyone is sick of hearing about this 30th birthday....just want to share a gift I received that is worth mentioning.

Some of you know that my hubby got a tattoo from me for his birthday last month...I gave him a week to design it, told him the time was coming, & then surprised him with about 90 seconds to emotionally prepare himself for the experience.

His design was simple yet really meaningful - an anchor with a J & L that stood for our sons, Jude & Leland.

Friends of ours for my birthday were inspired by the tattoo - she, a jewelry designer, created something similar to be worn around my neck. I am so in love with it! What do you think?

Monday, July 25, 2011


so, I'm 30 now.

I thought it'd hurt way worse.

I thought I'd be all depressed.

I thought I'd consume a whole container of ice cream.

I thought I'd want to lie in bed all day longing for my 20's....

I'm just not.

When I look at what I have (and I mean nothing tangible) I realize I have the most full & rich life a girl could have. I realize I'm walking into (truly) the healthiest time of my life....the most secure time...and am basking in the truth that I am loved. I am a daughter, a mother, a friend, a lover, a sister, a wife, an artist, a chef, a party-planner, an administrator, but most of all I realize today that I am truly loved....which is pretty much the most primitive & basic of all human emotional needs.

I was given a beautiful gift for my birthday - a weekend of downtime - kid-free. Now, on my ACTUAL birthday, we celebrated with my boys....but for 2 nights, we were kid-free and boy oh boy, it was delightful. I slept in....house stayed clean...laundry didn't pile up....baby wipes stayed put....REST.

My husband had tricks up his sleeve all day for me - a refinished touch on my 10-speed bike I used to ride back in the 90's....a bike ride with my love across the Superior/Detroit bridge...down to E. 4th for some lunch at Flannerys...a glorious nap....and then a little mini surprise get-together with some near & dears at Luxe. Shout out to Luxe for having my FAVORITE ALL TIME veggie burger.

The apple doesn't far from the tree.....my son, Jude, had sweet Jewelry for me as my gift...even a necklace with a heart charm & a key since he says 'I have the key to your heart, Mommy." Yes you do, Jude....yes you do.

A great birthday....still grinning.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy 30th Birthday!

I thought I would take this opportunity to guest blog for my amazing wife. Sunday is her 30th birthday. And, though she may feel that her youth is quickly disappearing in the rear view mirror, I have never found her more beautiful & alluring.

Simply put: my wife holds it all together. She juggles caring for our two boys, finances, being a make up artist, having a part-time job, writing a blog and rarely does an evening goes by where I don't come home to an amazing meal. My life would not at all be possible without her as my companion & best friend.

My wife not only holds our family together but I have seen her be a better friend to people than I can ever imagine being. She is gracious, patient and does not think twice about forgiving you when you have hurt her.

When I fell in love with my wife, it was because of her spirit. She is beautiful, caring thoughtful, but her spirit captivated me most of all. Joyous, childish, mischievous, compassionate and hopeful.

So this weekend if you have a moment, send an email, a text, a note to my lovely wife and wish a wonderful 30th birthday!


- joel

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Joel Miller

You know those people who need to find the 'trends' in music, fashion, etc. first?  Just, you know, so they could say they did....

I kind of think that can be pretentious.

But then I realized, I did the same thing about 10 years ago....when I watched & discovered the talented artist lying in my then boyfriend.  I remember the talks we had about doing 'art school' or not.   I remember seeing what interested him and what his teachers said to him about his potential.

Here he is....working at a design firm filled with some of the most talented people alive, (really!)....in fact, you can check out a few blogs that Joel & his buddies, Lee & Mark were featured in.


So proud of this man....and that I discovered him first.

Friday, July 15, 2011

too many peaches? just make guacamole!

ah  -  with freshest of fruits available, I have been over buying and having to throw away food  - or worse, making PIE!  (Not what I need right now)

How much did I love this idea I found while persuing the world wide web....

2 large ripe avocado
1 large peach, diced
1 tbsp jalapeno pepper, minced
2 tbsp red onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp lime juice, fresh is best
1/2c cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mash all but the peaches until all flavors incorporate....add peaches and stir well.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

vegan bean salad

So simple
So vegan
So delicious

Garbonzo Beans
Sweet corn
Black Beans
Red onion, chopped
Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

little men

While summer continues to fly on by....I am so sad that I've hardly taken any pictures this summer of my kids.

Just consumed as of late with other things but trying to make the time for it - it's SO important.

Encouraged always by the wonderful little men we're raising.  They are teaching us a ton about love, kindness, & life.

Jude is my black & white type A personality.
Leland is the hippie baby.

Jude is obsessed with expressing love to his little brother....perhaps to an annoying fault.
Leland is the kid who will make you work for his affections but never for his smile.

I'm in a world of legos...blue's clues...ELMO...suntan lotion....snuggles with blankies...and I'm really happy to be here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


days until we arrive in downtown dublin.

this will be no 'beachy' getaway.  The average temp will be between 55-60 degrees.  The country of Ireland is green for one main reason: It rains ALOT!

Grateful that our castle excursion can be made on any day we choose....

All this information also leads me to the conclusion that along with my ID, Passport, & wallet....I need to bring a great -  no REALLY great Trench coat.

While I do not plan to pay Burberry to make me one....I do love their art of the trench.

Monday, July 11, 2011

the dredgers union

It has been a rare occasion that I have uttered the phrase...'Honey, want to go shopping downtown?"  In fact, I don't remember ever saying that....only hearing my parents say back in the day when Tower City was cool.

Growing up with the idea that downtown was a scary & unsafe place (often times it was)....near that dumb lake which caught on fire doesn't exactly give you that 'I love cleveland' kind of feeling.

As an adult & parent myself, I am pleasantly surprised when I venture downtown only to find kindness in the eyes of strangers....ambassadors keeping our streets safe....restaurants with phenomenal talent...I am pleased to see Cleveland turning into a neighborhood I desire to be a part of.

Last Friday's venture downtown might be one of my favorites yet...we make it downtown at least 3 times a month for dinner or a show...but on Friday, we went shopping

The Dredger's Union opened a few weeks ago but their grand opening was this last weekend at the ever popular 'Made in the 216' event featuring design from CLE-based artists. 

This store is clearly becoming my guilty pleasure.  If you are one of those people who shops to medicate pain.......this is the store for you.  Apparel for men & women that is not only chic but totally wearable and get this: AFFORDABLE! The housewares featured are seriously drool-worthy and if you are a close friend having a baby....get ready for an awesome gift from me! 

My husband & a few of his creative buds teamed up to do the design for this year's event - taking a spin on circus animals and turning them into cute crafters.  Way to go Kiddo!

So inspired by co-owner Danielle DeBoe's spirit as she has, along with dozens of other creatives in this city, helped pave the way into turning Cleveland into a city to be proud of again.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


oh life - you are so crazy busy but I love you.

Joel and I sometimes feel like as soon as the moment our boys go to bed, we must crawl toward the bed to seek comfort & rest from the battles of the day.  Our guilty pleasure has been a total & complete obsession with Showtime's Dexter.  (currently halfway through season 4) 

Amidst the craziness of life, social outings, growing sons, applying makeup on beautiful brides, & keeping the home....we continue to remind one another of the rest we're in for when we board that plane to Dublin, Ireland.

One of the wonderful things I'm looking forward to is this darling little market called Fallon & Byrne.  Just a short walk or bike ride from our hotel downtown.....I have a feeling we'll be paying a visit to this little lovely a time or two to grab some essentials.