event recap: FabFest2014 Cleveland (to benefit Bright Pink)

Congrats to Joe V. – @jvalenti on Twitter — you won two general admission tickets to Cleveland Magazine‘s Best of Cleveland Party on October 10th! You’re not Joe, you say? You can still purchase tickets at clevelandmagazine.com/bestof.


Waking up early on Sundays isn’t too far out of my usual routine. Hopping in my car and heading downtown before 9AM is. But for a good cause and a festive event — filled with plenty of healthy living — that adjustment to my normal Sunday could be easily made.

Heading into the day, I knew Bright Pink‘s FabFest had a full schedule, jam-packed with fitness classes for everyone: yoga, barre, tabata, Zumba and more.

bright pink 2014 Cleveland schedule

 (photo source: Bright Pink’s FabFest event details page)

As I arrived at the Marriott Downtown Cleveland at Key Tower, it was neat to see how the organization used the ballroom spaces: part group activities room, the other half transformed into a Beauty and Wellness Area, with the foyer spaces around those included snacks, lunch, vendors and a photo booth. And all of it was covered in pink and ready for a fun day to celebrate the 250 people who fundraised for the non-profit’s mission “to save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively at a young age.”


I’m a sucker for a photo booth, what can I say?

As Nadine, Allison and I chatted, we enjoyed snacks and conversation with vendors including Cleveland Vegan (whatever gluten free baked good they served was seriously on-point for a GF treat), Vitamix (a fruit smoothie pairs with a workout so well!) and NOOMA (love to hang out with the Smith brothers whenever I can!)

I really wanted to sit down at the Paul Mitchell “braid bar”, but was having too much fun chatting it up before heading over for Jen Yuhas’ vinyasa yoga session.

Out of all those fitness activities, I only did the two yoga sessions. (#shocker, right?) As my knee slowly starts to heal itself and as I take care of it by not over-doing it, I knew Tami’s and Jen’s sessions would be the perfect way for me to partake in the exercise components day. I’ve taken both of their classes before at their respective studios, so it’s always great to have the opportunity to see familiar faces again — especially out supporting the community.

It was also great to finally meet Lori Standen (@loristanden on IG) from Pure Barre Westlake and Rocky River. What a lovely lady (with some seriously killer eyelashes!) – I can’t wait to head out West to go take her class soon.  She had her group working hard (but all with smiles on their faces) during her session when I popped in to check out her barre offering to the FabFest crowd.

Before heading out for the day, I did sneak in a chair massage from Dawn from Sacred Hour in Rocky River — it was the perfect treat to have their company there providing massages, facials, manicures and more. The participants left looking refreshed and incredibly blissed out. What better way to start a Sunday Funday?!

LONG STORY SHORT: Bright Pink‘s first Cleveland FabFest seemed to be a huge success from the POV of this event attendee. Many thanks to the organization for allowing me to join in on the fun! But non-profits like this depend on the dollars raised in the spirit of this function to really reach their goals. Consider supporting the cause — and especially now during Breast Cancer Awareness Month — by visiting the Cleveland FabFest page before October 21st.

Stay-in-the-know: Like Bright Pink on Facebook, and/or follow the organization at @BeBrightPink on Twitter and Instagram.

Disclosure:  In sharing information before the event, I received a media pass to attend the 2014 Cleveland Bright Pink FabFest and a swag bag of items to share with a reader. I also received a swag bag at the event. As always, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

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coming clean: three years later

Three years ago, I lost complete control of my life in one massive anxiety attack.

Two years ago on the last Friday of September, I reflected on how far I had come in that year. I was scared – very scared – that I was going to fall back into those old patterns.

Last year, it was easy to see all of those baby steps were getting me closer to being on the path to acceptance of who I really am.

small steps big step

(Photo source: the Yogi Times FB page)

It hasn’t been the smoothest sail in the past twelve months, and there have been re-routings that I could have NEVER seen coming. I didn’t always get my way and the Universe tested my patience. But I would remember the sankulpa – the meaningful intention – I set at the Rod Stryker Four Desire workshop last September, and I knew that what felt like missteps were actually part of the path. Those alternative ways of getting here today were vital in my accepting this perfectly imperfect soul that is me.

This year, it’s a different story.  Last night, when I realized I was coming upon this anniversary, I was shaken at first. But then a sense of confidence came over me.  I am not scared of the anxiety in a way I previous was. As I consider myself now in “maintenance mode”, the sense of panic that overcomes me occasionally gets easier to shake off — and with a hip shake a la Taylor Swift style, of course. I know what tools to use, what breathing patterns and yoga poses to do, and who to lean on when I’ve entered what I lovingly call “bat sh*t crazy land”.

For the longest time, I wanted to label what I was fighting against. I wanted something to be mad at, to yell at, to cry over. But holding on to all of that negative energy is EXHAUSTING. So I’m throwing the need to define it, to label it, to “own” it right out the window.

I took it off.

(Photo source: the Yogi Times FB page)

…mostly because that’s no longer me.  For the first time in a long time, I have vision of where I’m headed, where I’m going, who I’m meant to be. That comes from having a clear perception — and full belief that you are serving the world in a way that comes from the most authentic part of you:  your soul and its desires.

So on this final Friday of September — and every last Friday in the month of September — I will always be called to STOP. But I’m never going to stay in that moment long. Ain’t nobody got time for that. And neither do you.

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GIVEAWAY: Cleveland Magazine’s 2014 Best of Cleveland Party

With the arrival of a new season yesterday, it’s official: Fall event season is upon Cleveland, my friends!  So many to choose from, why not save-the-date now for the best of the best? Get ready for Cleveland Magazine‘s Best of Cleveland Party - presented by The Collection Auto Group:

Join Cleveland Magazine and The Collection Auto Group for the 9th annual event on Friday, October 10, 2014 at Public Hall in downtown Cleveland. This event brings together the tip top that Cleveland has to offer – based on reader and editor picks from the October issue of Cleveland Magazine.  Hans and I attended the 2013 event and had a wonderful time:

Best of CLE VIP

The 2014 event has another impressive list of participating winners. I’m looking forward to visiting the tables of:

  • Agrarian Collective — met these kind folks at the OBA Mitchell’s Edible Cleveland “sweet-up” 
  • Cleveland Pickle — because who doesn’t love pickles?
  • Clover Road Cream Cheese — one of my vices!
  • Garden of Flavor — currently diggin’ on their juices as mid-day snacks
  • GV Art & Design — I do need to buy another CLE inspired tshirt…
  • Harness Cycle — gotta get myself back to spinning this winter
  • Jack Flaps — pancakes FTW
  • Manna Food Truck — enjoyed their food at the Sunflower Festival this July
  • The Wandering Wardrobe — cutest traveling boutique here in CLE!

…plus some of my favorites in the SpaWest VIP Lounge.  Where else can you dine on Red, the Steakhouse beef tartar AND get your hair done?

This year’s event again benefits Breakthrough Schools of Greater Cleveland, the highest-rated network of free, non-profit, public charter schools in Cleveland. Meet some of their students via this YouTube video:

Ready to buy your tickets? General admission is $75 and SpaWest VIP Lounge access is $150 - tickets can be purchased at clevelandmagazine.com/bestof.

…or you can win two general admission tickets to the Best of Cleveland Party this week here on the blog! Process your entries at the Rafflecopter widget…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until THIS SUNDAY, September 28 at 11:59PM to enter. A winner will be announced the next morning. As this is a local event taking place in Cleveland, Ohio, I highly encourage entries by those that can attend the event on Friday 10/10/14. 

Get ready to celebrate all that is the BEST of Cleveland with Cleveland MagazineLike the event’s Facebook page, follow the event’s Twitter feed (@BestOfCLE) and keep an eye on Cleveland Magazine‘s Instagram feed for even more information.

Disclosure: Event logo care of Cleveland Magazine. I was asked by the publication to help promote this event via a ticket giveaway here on the blog. In return, I will receive two tickets to attend this event. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

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