Only Three More Yoga Brunch Sessions Left in 2017!

FYI Cleveland: There are only THREE MORE chances to catch my Yoga Brunch classes in 2017:

  • THIS SUNDAY, November 19th
  • Sunday, December 3rd
  • Sunday, December 17th

Just in case you’re stumbling upon this for the first time: I teach a 60-minutes all-levels yoga class starting at 9:30am every other Sunday at The Cultural Center above Dante Next Door in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. Cost for class is $15 and your class registration includes a complimentary mimosa or coffee at brunch after!

Too busy to stay for brunch? No worries — just come for class and be on your way after!

Ready to sign up? Register today at the Eventbrite page.

Please note: Pre-registration is required either by signing up at the Eventbrite page or emailing me in advance at 

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my weekend out & about in #CLE (the Banyan Tree Holiday Preview edition)

The area near the corner of Literary Road and Professor Avenue in Tremont has a lot to offer: restaurants, bars, art galleries, yoga classes (ahem ahem) and one incredible lifestyle and clothing boutique, Banyan Tree. I’ve had the pleasure of shopping at Banyan Tree from time to time (mostly after Yoga Brunches last year!) but this Sunday evening, I had the special opportunity to shop with some fellow local bloggers at Banyan Tree’s Holiday Preview. My plus one for the evening? You guessed it — the stylish one year old in the Hansen household… Baby B.

Banyan Tree brings together women’s fashion, modern housewares and great gifts for men and children. Established in 2001, t​​​​​heir clothing ranges from classic comfortable day wear to on-trend styles that are perfect for special occasions – plus all of the accessories to match. Based on their inventory, you can tell they love local designers and creators – always a plus when you’re looking for cool Cleveland gear!

I had my hands full as Brenna explored the boutique as I tried my best to listen to Banyan Tree’s founder Christie and her team share about how the store was founded, their concepts, how they source their products and what they are featuring for the holiday season. Lucky for me, the staff at Banyan Tree is uber family friendly – they didn’t even bat an eyelash when Brenna just had to walk all over the entire store, several times over!

Banyan Tree’s Alicia & Christie on left; myself and B in center; & Aubrey from @thatswhatsheeats on right

As you can see in the pictures above, there’s so much incredible pieces in their inventory — they have you covered for all your holiday parties, festivities and every gathering in-between. And as most of my wardrobe centers around comfort, I had to snag this knit top that evening. Perfect for event set ups, teaching yoga, running errands and general #momlife, I wish it came in more colors… but who am I kidding — grey shirts and sweaters are the staples of my wardrobe these days!

You too can get in on the holiday shopping fun — Banyan Tree wants to offer you 20% all merchandise at Banyan Tree’s three locations (in Tremont, at Legacy Village and at Crocker Park) through Black Friday! You can just show this graphic below at the check-out counter to redeem this offer.

Stay up-to-date with all that Banyan Tree is up to: visit their website at and follow the stores on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A special thank you to Christie, Alicia and the entire Banyan Tree team for their hospitality at their Holiday Preview!

Disclosure: Professional photos c/o Banyan Tree and FACTEUR. I was invited to attend Banyan Tree’s Holiday Preview and received a thank you gift at the event and the opportunity to share a discount with my blog readers. All thoughts and opinions are always my own. 

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#CLEfood: eating around Ohio City including The Cleveland Flea & Ohio City Provisions

As you can see, a happy baby makes for a happy weekend! How was yours?  This little stinker and I had quite the fun few days and yesterday was extra enjoyable as we visited Ohio City – along with Grandma (AKA my mom) – for a morning of culinary exploring at a few fun options…

We started by making our monthly visit to The Cleveland Flea. In case you didn’t hear, the Flea has taken over the old Unique / Pick-N-Pay building on Lorain Avenue for their winter home. This past weekend was their November Flea, but it will also be hosting their Friendsgiving Flea, December Flea and December Makers Market between now and the end of the year in the space.

I will admit that what got me to the Flea was the lure of the City Girl Donuts I kept seeing all over social media…

…put when placed next to Cleveland Field Kitchen‘s menu promising From-Stratch-Made Chicken Pot Pie, my pie crust loving heart is easily swayed.

Us trio of gals shared the pie and we were pretty pleased with its combo of flaky crust and flavorful filling. Somehow though my mother was reading my mind, commenting how she hadn’t made hers in a long time, followed by my secret wishing of her baking it soon!

After a lap around the vendor stands, we visited the Spice Kitchen + Bar booth. In another case of I-see-it-on-the-menu-and-I-have-to-order-it, we were splitting one of their Smoked Turkey Sandwiches.

I really enjoyed the combination of the baguette, juicy turkey, field greens, apple cranberry relish and roasted garlic aioli. Grandma and Baby B agreed!

From the Flea, we walked over to Ohio City Provisions – half butcher, half grocery, all local and PLENTY of items to choose from:

I had been wanting to stop by for awhile and my mom had a friend recently suggest their meat products, so it was meant to be as a part of our CLE food excursion that Sunday! Their staff was so helpful, they made it incredible easy to select something from their wide array of offerings.

An Ohio City Provisions fun fact: the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo tigers are BIG fans of their products — they love the OCP beef so much, the zookeepers have rearranged the food budget to make room for their high quality offerings!

So that was our Sunday morning out and about in Ohio City… where did your travels take you this weekend?

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How to DIY a Cake Smash Backdrop for Baby’s First Birthday

When I scheduled good friend and local Cleveland photographer Dale McDonald to come over to get some first birthday photos of our Baby Brenna, I knew I wanted to do something special to end the shoot. And what’s better way to make something fun than to add cake?! I saw so many shots of baby smash cake experiences on Pinterest, so I thought why not figure out How to DIY a Cake Smash Backdrop for Baby’s First Birthday…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A cake or supplies to make a cake (bonus if you have a cake stand too)
  • A place to set up your tablecloths (& items to hold it in place, i.e. tape, heavy stuff)
  • Two tablecloths
  • Decorations: balloons, paper garland, streamers, etc.
  • An adorable baby

Step One: Prep your cake. Many bakeries will sell you a “smash cake” – a 6″ single layer cake with a TON of frosting, or you can get your bake on and make your own. I’m still pretty proud of this double layer Funfetti cake I made. My mom had this lovely cake stand which added some height and interest to the shots.

Step Two: Assembly of the scene…

One tablecloth will be used as your backdrop, the second will be used as a drop cloth. You’ll want to find a way to hang the first cloth — I have a shelf in my kitchen leading into the dining area, so I was able to drape it from that shelf down to the floor. You can see in the picture below I had to find some random items to keep it there, but I’m sure some heavy duty tape would have done the trick! Then, lay the second tablecloth on the floor, “poofing” (that’s a technical linen term, BTW) the cloth around to add interest to the scene.

Once your tablecloths are in their spots, drape your decorations accordingly. I grabbed two kitchen table chairs to hang a garland I made from organza sashes, but I also considered hanging this tissue garland from Oriental Trading.

When everything is in place, set the cake in the center of the drop cloth right before you’re ready to take some photos.

Last and most important step: Add in the baby and let her go at it!

The end result of seeing your little one with frosting and cake all over is worth the effort of the clean up after!

Professional photos by Dale McDonald Photographer.

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