my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide (for yogis, foodies, Clevelanders & more)

It’s that time of year! I get pretty giddy about showing my gratitude towards my loved ones with tokens of appreciation — even if I generally wait until the last minute to decide what to get them!  Last year’s Holiday Gift Guide was such a huge hit, so I’m sharing round two with some add on categories for 2015. Disclosure: Most photos captured from retailers’ websites — except for Manduka mat and Connor Palace stage photos, which are from my personal collection. 


A crate of Cleveland from The Cleveland Crate Co. filled with a bounty of CLE made products.

A piece of vintage paper art from Paper Cutz — I’m obsessed with the Hanna Theatre piece.

A City Streets Map Table from Citzens Woodshop — another recent Cleveland Flea find, I could have easily gone home with at least five of their times that day.

A Cleveland That I Love Spirit Tee from GVArtwork — Christmas came early when I picked this up for myself at their Lakewood shop recently.

gift guide CLE


A class pass to their favorite yoga studio <<hint hint>>  — support your locally owned location and become a part of their community.

Elena Brower’s Art of Attention cards — a set of stunningly beautiful cards with kind reminders on how to shift your thinking.

Mantra blocks and Intention Block Magnets from Susie Frazier — more opportunity to place inspiration around you.

A mala from OMala Jewelry, locally created by Carrie Treister — such pretty work by another local yoga teacher.

A Manduka mat (disclosure: affiliate link) — my mat of choice, I love this brand so much that I have two.

The Four Desires Workbook — available in the ParaYoga online store, this process was (and still is) a game changer for me and my personal growth.

gift guide yogi


Fig & Cocoa Spread from Pope’s Kitchen — STILL obsessed with this offering from Clark and his team. Goes great on cheesecake, BTW…

Trentina Chef School Cooking Class led by Chef Jonathon Sawyer, Forgaer Jeremy Umansky, and/or Chef Dave Kocab. What an opportunity to learn from some of Cleveland’s best!

The Thug Kitchen cookbook — a friend let me peruse this recently, and it went to the top of my Amazon Wish List.

Soup of the Month from Gina Gucina — some organic goodness and delivered directly to your door.

gift guide foodie


Tickets to a performance: whether it be one of the Playhouse Square HoliDeals, an early surprise with tickets to a holiday concert of the Cleveland Orchestra, enjoying the holiday offerings of Great Lakes Theater with A Christmas Carol and the Cleveland Playhouse with A Christmas Story… I’m just scratching the surface with all our area’s offerings.

Classes or a Workshop at Praxis Fiber Workshop — so many offerings to explore your love of the fiber arts with my gal pal, Jessica, and her team.

A GNO for a Paint and a Pinot — “learn how to paint” workshops are still super popular, one newer offering to CLE is Pinot’s Palette in Olmsted Falls.

gift guide arts


Someone to clean my house — seriously! After having it on the market since Memorial Day, I’m OVER the weekly deep cleanings and up keep. Perhaps Cleveland’s own Cardinal Maids can me help out prep my four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath Colonial for future open houses…

An at home gym set up, complete with a Spinner® Sprint spin bike. Time is my biggest commodity. While I adore getting out and about for classes, adding some kettlebells and this bad boy to our house is on the top of my to-do list and my 2016 fitness goals.

Constellation Cuff from Océanne Jewelry — for us gals who are obsessed with intergalactic accessories. ADORE.

A “puppy brother” for Grady — because eight paws are double the fun.

Health and happiness in 2016 — more on this in a future blog post. You know I love me some goal and intention setting, after all!

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

Disclosures: I work at Evolution Yoga School and Practice Space, one great place to purchase that yoga studio class pass for a friend. Also, I was compensated for sharing information about Cardinal Maids in this post. My thoughts and opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

my weekend out & about (with giraffes, artists, Mother Nature & fire fighters)

As an extrovert living in a city with plenty going on in every neighborhood within a 20-ish minute drive from my house, I knew Friday morning that it was going to be the perfect weekend to take advantage of all that Cleveland had to offer:

zippityzoo 1

Kicking off the weekend Friday night post-yoga class by arriving fashionably late to Cleveland Zoological Society‘s Zippity Zoo Doo at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Crazy to think that Twilight at the Zoo will be here before we know it!

beachland 1

Lunch at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern on Saturday included “pealafel” bites — made with peas and edamame. Fun to run into an old friend and to learn about some neat things that Beachland has in the works. Can’t wait to return!

praxis 1

Grand Opening of Praxis Fiber Workshop in Collinwood  — so so proud of my fellow yoga teacher training sister & Praxis Executive Director Jessica Pinsky on creating her dream via an amazing space, with a rockin’ team and beautiful artwork. 

praxis 2

Tie dying t-shirts (for the first time in decades) at the grand opening. Wishing mine was the one with the cool circles — my finish product is in the bottom right. I like it!

towpath combo

Two separate outdoor adventures: hiking with my guys Saturday afternoon in the Cleveland Metroparks’ Brecksville Reservation, then a Sunday morning towpath bike ride just down the road in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Photo Jun 07, 11 28 57 AM

Holding down the Evolution Yoga vendor table at the Orange Village Fire Department Open House & Health and Wellness Fair on Sunday. Snuck away to get a healthy screening: great blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. The University Hospitals staff member said to me, “whatever you’re doing, keep doing it!”

Cavs Witness

Pictured: My husband, ready to take care of business before last night’s Cavs game. After that win, I’m pretty sure he’s never going to take off that Witness shirt. (Not pictured: me crashing on our family room floor after another great weekend in Northeast Ohio.)

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

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.


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

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.

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...