I said that. (An Ohio Blogging Association / ToldCLE Meetup)

“I said that.” It’s a phrase that we all say from time to time. As as Dave, the creator of ToldCLE, noted at the beginning of the Ohio Blogging Association / ToldCLE Meetup at Deagan’s Kitchen and Bar last Wednesday night, the emphasis can change… I said that. I said that. I said that.

toldOBA

The emphasis happens on the last word of that phrase for me more than I’d like to admit as I teach yoga. Attempts at being “inspirational” come out kinda clunky. I repeat myself — a lot. I even make up verbs based on pose names — dolphin-ing, down dog-ing (which I realized quickly upon first saying is probably highly inappropriate). So that evening — with the help of BuzzFeed’s 20 Ludicrous Things Said By Yoga Teachers – I had some enjoyment poking fun at myself that night, even admitting I’ve said at least one of those things. Since giving instruction verbally is such a large part of teaching, it was a fun way to tackle the theme of the evening.

However, I much more enjoyed hearing my fellow bloggers’ tales of what they said: Jen admitting to an accidental moment at a mom-and-baby function. Jill giving us the behind-the-scenes glimpse as life as a movie extra. Kristian sharing that words don’t always translate from English to Italian as you expect them too. Stuart & David telling their stories. Even my mom getting in on the fun and sharing the tale of what our family dog “said” after eating a whole nut roll. And all of us enjoying one another opening up even more than what we’ve read on each others blogs over the years.

This OBA meetup was one of my favorites. As bloggers, we tend to be oversharers, so it’s easy to feel you already know someone from their online persona. But that’s one of the reason why I started planning these meet ups back in 2011: I wanted to know more about all you lovely Northeastern Ohioans that wrote all those fantastic blogs. Even in the  many gatherings we’ve had over the years, I still heard stories and learned things last Wednesday I never knew. Better yet, hearing the inflection and  emotion verbally from the bloggers’ storytellings took the experience to a brand new level. Crazy idea of the day: Maybe we should start a OBA vlogging series next!

LONG STORY SHORT: Great company, stories and food combined to prove for another wonderful Ohio Blogging Association meetup. A special shout out goes out to Jen at WhyCLE for taking the lead on planning this gathering. I’m finally learning how to delegate as I grow older and somewhat wiser, ha!

On behalf of all the OBA members, many thanks again to Dave & ToldCLE. The next public Told event takes place on Thursday, June 18 at Market Garden Brewery. Keep up-to-date by following @toldCLE on Twitter and visiting toldstories.com.

Our next Ohio Blogging Association meetup will take place this Sunday, April 26 at XHIBITION. Come see this Ohio City establishment, see some fashions and enjoy a Jack Flaps brunch. Click here to RSVP, please.

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GIVEAWAY: 21st annual Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party

Spring has sprung, and like clockwork, it’s time to celebrate the best of Cleveland food at an event that is near and dear to my heart: the Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party.

PIPBLOG

Benefiting the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio, this 21st annual event is not one to be missed. It’s been bumped up a few weeks into the month of April, so take note that you get to enjoy all the food and beverage you can enjoy a bit earlier in 2015!

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s event:

  • Date/Time: Wednesday April 29, 2015 from 6-9 p.m. (VIP runs until 10pm!)
  • NEW Location: Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum at the Western Reserve Historical Society in University Circle (10825 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio)
  • The food: Guests will sample delicious signature dishes from 35 plus of Northeast Ohio’s best restaurants and several international wineries including Lola’s Bistro, Edwins, Chinato, Pier W, Ginko, Hofbrauhaus Cleveland, B Spot, Red, The Steakhouse, Melt Bar and Grilled and more!
  • For very important people: The event also includes an exclusive VIP Lounge featuring Adega, Trentina and food pairings from Willoughby Brewing Co. and signature cocktails from Brown Forman and Billy’s Martini Bar!
  • Additional features: includes silent auction and raffles, and the opportunity to ride the historical, newly refurbished Euclid Beach carousel.
  • Why? Event proceeds support local Arthritis Foundation programs, services and research improving the lives of the nearly 1.3 million people of all ages with arthritis in Northeast Ohio.

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Photo by Orville McEachron Photography

Purchase your tickets now at the event website — use the following promo codes to save:

  • Save $15 off General Admission tickets by using the code “PIPBLOG2015GA” – get your ticket for just $85!
  • Save $25 off VIP tickets by using the code “PIPBLOG2015GA” – get your ticket for just $125!

Feeling lucky, you say? Enter to win two general admission tickets here on the blog — enter at the Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The fine print: You have until THIS SUNDAY, April 5th at 11:59PM to enter this giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget. A winner will be announced the next morning, probably on the Poise in Parma Facebook page. As this is a local event taking place in Cleveland, Ohio, I highly encourage entries by those that can attend the event on Friday 4/29/15. 

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Photo by Orville McEachron Photography. Get a glimpse into last year’s festivities by visiting his Facebook photo album.

Who will be there on April 29th? Enter today — it could be you! Stay in-the-know and follow:

Disclosure: In return for offering this giveaway for two general admission tickets to the event, I will receive two VIP passes to attend this year’s Silver Spoon Awards Party. As a former employee of the Arthritis Foundation and now volunteer, it’s a joy to continue to support the organization. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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that time we time traveled (a PlayhouseSquare Jump Back Ball 24 event recap)

I had high hopes for myself in planning our attendance for this year’s PlayhouseSquare‘s Jump Back Ball. With our previous years’ visits in 2011, 2013 and 2014, I knew my over-scheduled life usually leads to last-minute planning tendencies. As much as I reminded myself that “Jump Back Ball is coming”, unfortunately my time management skills were tested again… so much so, it even felt like we were the ones time traveling — quite fitting for this year’s theme, Back To The Future. How the day flew by…

2:30PM Starting my day at the yoga studio, I finish leading my sankalpa workshop — by going a half an hour over… this should have been my first indicator of how the day would go. Clean up, wrap up and am on my way home…

4:00PM At the gym, I’ve got one last attempt to get those Michelle Obama arms to round out my  new Ralph Lauren dress, picked out by Hans and purchased in the past 72 hours.

5:30PM After one last errand to TJMaxx to buy a handbag, it’s time to curler it up. (These are my mom’s — she received them as a wedding shower present in 1980.)

JBB24 curlers

6:30PM Hair done and fully dressed, we jump in our car and head on north towards downtown… with one quick stop.

6:40PM Drive-by my mom’s to borrow a pair of dangly earrings — and let her take a photo of us similar to one that she used to take before our high school dances. She’s the cutest! 

7:10PM We arrive at PlayhouseSquare, find our way to the State Theatre and meet our friends up on the stage.

JBB24 TWC

We then head right over to the buffet tables featuring the delicious offerings from Driftwood Restaurant Group. From their signature cornbread, I loved all the options like trout, chicken ala king, cornbread, whipped potatoes and broccoli. I could have gone for seconds, but I knew they’d had treats later on in the evening to enjoy.

7:40PM Time to take a moment for a formal picture before things got going. This threw one of us for a loop.

JBB24 collage

8:00PM As the snacks are one of Hans’ favorite parts of Jump Back Ball, we stop for Pretzel Check Number One. Won’t be ready for awhile — come back later we were kindly told. We wander around a bit and head back to the stage.

JBB24 trio

9:00PM Pretzel Check Number Two — still not ready. Come back at 10PM. To the bar we go… We run into a little bit of everyone — one of Hans’ coworkers, CLE blogger and social media users, many of the hard-working staff members of PlayhouseSquare that I’ve gotten to know over the years… plus complete strangers that become fast friends. I adore this part of events like this — getting to catch up, to chat and to connect again.

9:57PM It’s a well documented fact that we’re suckers for a photo booth:

10:05PM PRETZEL TIME for Hans! Driftwood dessert table time for me! #MiniCheescakesFTW

JBB24 pretzel

I might have grabbed a tater tot or two as well…

10:15PM I borrowed someone’s hover board and met up with Doc Brown and the rest of our friends in the State Theatre lobby for the last night dance party — and selfie session. #sorrynotsorry

JBB24 lobby

We danced. We sang. We laughed. The late night dance party is always our favorite part of JBB.

11:40PM Hans and I meander back into the State Theatre for a bit more photo fun.

JBB24 fun

On the left: At the clock tower. On the right: you can take the yogi out of the yoga studio…

12:00PM With big smiles and sore feet, it was time to jump in our DeLorean and head home for the night, but not without one last moment soaking it all in.

JBB24 end of night

LONG STORY SHORT: Great Scott, did we have a great time enjoying ourselves at this year’s fundraiser! Congrats to all the PlayhouseSquare Partners, the volunteers who worked so hard to create a fun night for Clevelanders to enjoy. Thanks again to the entire team at the non-profit — I love working with them on so many projects and being able to support an organization that has provided so many memories over the years.

Want to know more about PlayhouseSquare? Stay up-to-date with all of their social media happenings: follow PlayhouseSquare on Facebook, on Twitter at @playhousesquare, or on Instagram at @playhousesquare.

Disclosure: I was asked by PlayhouseSquare to serve as an official blogger for the 2015 Jump Back Ball event and to help promote the event and related happenings. In exchange for sharing  information and purchasing one event ticket, I received one complimentary ticket to the event. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

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