event recap: 2014 Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis

As I continue to let go of my event planning days, I’m  enjoying being a guest, attendee and participant at local functions again. No longer do I walk into a room and ask “I wonder where they rented their linens from” or “I hope there’s enough space for that restaurant vendor in that corner”. It’s hard to turn off the event-logistics monkey mind!

But in an attending the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis here in Cleveland this past weekend, I would find myself with my biggest post-event-planning-career challenge to date. But as I planned this race in 2012 and in 2013 as a former employee of the organization, I knew it would be easy to fall into the fun.

lets go grady dog picmonkey

 {Grady’s excitement just could not be reigned in.}

Our team — Team Grinch Paws — came together in full force: my husband, my brother, my friends and I joined together on Sunday, December 14th at Legacy Village. We of course started with a pre-race Starbucks pit stop.

baby j's first 5K

I was so happy that Jen from WhyCLE? and her family signed up to walk the one-mile Family Fun Run option. Baby J seemed to love every moment of his first 5K experience. He’ll be running the full 3.1 miles in no time!

As the rest of our team ventured out for the full 5K, Grady and I made up our own two mile version of the course. Grady’s excitement for the day had us power walking at a good clip! As we went along, it was a joy to come across friendly faces, even crossing paths with the event photographer, Orville from Orville McEachron Photography:


{Photo ℅ Orville McEachron Photography — check out all 400+ of the race photos over at his Facebook page.}

Confession: In planning this event twice, Sunday was the first time I actually walked the course. (We drove it several times each year, don’t worry.) I know understand what the runners meant by this being a more challenging 5K than others in the Northeast Ohio area — there are a few rolling hills through the old TRW campus that make for a good hike!

LONG STORY SHORT: Team Grinch Paws did wonderfully at this year’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis! My brother Drew finished second in his age group with a 20:15 — such a speed demon!  Lisa — @lisasands1 over on the Twitter — rocked her first 5K after taking time to train this Fall.  My non-runner husband Hans “enjoyed” his last minute decision to run the 3.1 miles. (We’re working on our post-run stretch routine for next year!)

Photo Dec 14, 10 33 03 AM

As for Grady and I, we walked our two mile course in a little over a half an hour, making time to stop and say hi to some old friends and work colleagues along the way. It felt great to be out in the brisk December air supporting an important cause working towards eliminating a disease that effects more than 1.3 million Northeastern Ohioans. Supporting a local non-profit, getting in some exercise and having a highly enjoyable time? What a great start to our Sunday!

Want to donate to the Arthritis Foundation? You can click over to our team page and still give through this month. Thank you in advance!

Want to stay in the know for 2015?  Keep up to date with all the CLE Jingle Bell Run/Walk happenings by following its Twitter handle at @JingleBellCLE.

Disclosure: I am a former employee of the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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A Holiday Gift Guide (for yogis, foodies & your #crazydoglady)

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday might have been last weekend, but I’m finding myself to be one of those people who wait longer and longer to start their shopping. I’m going to curse myself for this new tendency on December 24th…

Don’t be like me: get a jump on things for these people in your life — that happen to like a lot of the same things I do:


yoga gift combo

Aveda Chakra Sprays – we’re using these at the studio where I work. My personal favorite is number 5.

Subscription to YogaGlo, Elephant Journal and/or Yoga International – my favorite subscription based yoga sites.

The Roll Model by Jill Miller — this woman, this book, her balls are changing my life.

A gift certificate to your favorite yoga studio (COUGH COUGH how about this one COUGH COUGH)


food combo

Pope’s Kitchen’s BBQ Sauce. Seriously. I’m obsessed.

Williams-Sonoma Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Quick Bread Mix – thanks to my girl Kimberly for the introduction!

Campbell’s Dichotomy Corn – The caramel and cheddar blend of this popcorn is different yet delicious.

Dark chocolate from Sweet Designs Chocolatier on the West side. YUM.

Everything on Bite Buff’s Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies!


dog gift combo

Dog breed cookie cutters — custom with your dog’s name. As though Grady wasn’t already getting enough treats…

An iPhone case with a cut out of your dog’s breed. I just ordered one for myself and I adore it.

A lighted marquee – My equivalent of A Christmas Story leg lamp. Yes, I’m this crazy.

What fun items would be on your holiday gift guide??

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Interview with Michael Horsely from White Christmas (a guest post at PlayhouseSquare’s Behind the Curtain blog)

As I serve as a blogger for PlayhouseSquare‘s Community Engagement and Education department this year, I will take you behind the scenes of each KeyBank Broadway Series show and interview a member of the show’s cast, crew or creative team. The third show in the 2014-2015 series is White Christmas.

I have a serious confession to make: before this interview, I had NEVER seen the movie. Thank goodness for Redbox! So while I go add the DVD to my Amazon.com Wish List, you should visit the PlayhouseSquare’s Behind the Curtain blog to read my interview with Michael Horsely, the music director from White Christmas.


White Christmas comes to Cleveland December 2 – 14 as part of the KeyBank Broadway Series at PlayhouseSquare. For more information, please visit the show’s page on the PlayhouseSquare website.

Many thanks yet again to the wonderful staff at PlayhouseSquare for including me as a PlayhouseSquare blog contributor for the Broadway Buzz program KeyBank Broadway Series. Next up:  Pippin…  

Want to read my previous interviews? Check out:

Learn more about PlayhouseSquare with all of their social media happenings: follow PlayhouseSquare on Facebook, on Twitter at @playhousesquare, or on Instagram at @playhousesquare.

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