my weekend out & about in #CLE (Groundswell Collective’s #CLEismyOM edition)

Good news: Three months in and I finally feel like Hans and I are getting into the swing of this parenting thing! But a part of my “old normal” that I’ve been craving is time to myself — to specifically fill with movement based activities. While I’ve dabbled with spinning and practicing yoga at home, there’s nothing quite like your grand return to a group setting. When it came to my yoga practice, that first class back had to be taught by one person — my good friend, Ylonda of Awake To My Soul. So when Groundswell Collective announced their second CLE is my OM event at 78th Street Studios, I signed up immediately.

CLE is my OM 78th Street Studios

By 3pm that Sunday, I realized my nervous tic of licking my top lip had taken its toll on my now chapped lips. Why was so I nervous? I had asked a few friends to join me, knew other friendly faces would be there and that there was a high chance that I’d have one hell of a time — so what was my issue?

cle is my om photo by Tim Kelly

Photo by Tim Kelly via his Instagram feed

As we settled in and Ylonda started the practice, I realized why the nerves appeared. I knew it was going to be HARD WORK. Yes, in the physical sense — ’cause when Ylonda tells you that she’s going to throw some “yin” in there, you know it’s going to be after several rounds of horse squats, ha! But what I was nervous — terrified about, apparently — was the mental and emotional work. As a long time student of Yo’s, she has a knack for guiding her students into their un-comfort zones and asking them to stare down their fears. And boy, how she took us there.

ylonda singing bowls gong

Interestingly enough, Yo asked us to use the prayer “I choose me” for the practice. Breathe in “I choose”, breath out “me”. She would nudge us from time to time with the reminder to return back to the prayer to ground ourselves in the importance of what that meant for us. And to end the practice, she bathed us in the glorious sounds of her singing bowls and gong to seal in the practice… or bring the building down (as it started to make these wild settling sounds during the sound bath!!)  By its end, I felt taken care of. Cared for. Embraced in that feeling you get when eat a bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick. All was well within me in that moment. It felt good to feel that way again!

Already physically blissed out from the yoga practice, Mary Beth LaRue and Jacki Carr from Rock Your Bliss took over the reigns to get us grounded in a space of love. In our “bliss tank” at 78th Street, Mary Beth and Jacki teased their Seven Weeks To Bliss program, which includes seven modules to guide you through crafting your bliss filled life. What is unique about Groundswell’s edition is that it will include local ambassadors hosting sweat + social meet-ups during the seven weeks. What a fun way to take the online process offline with like-minded Clevelanders! To learn more or register, visit Groundswell’s website.

In last night’s “bliss tank”, the ladies of RYB asked us to reframe a thought associated with what was holding us back. As shared on Instagram this morning, I came to the realization that I was so used to asking “what’s next”. The planner in me couldn’t give us the enjoyment of having long term goals and taking steps towards achieving them. But if parenting has taught me anything it’s to learn to how to be more in the moment. To not worry so much about the next hour, the next day, the next month. To just STOP and BREATHE and LOOK and ENJOY. So my “what’s next” became “I am here.” Jacki suggested the addition of the word “now” to my phrase to add some urgency and emphasis, which I full supported.

As the formal part of the event ended, I snagged a cup of brew from Cleveland Tea Revival from Sweet Water Caravan‘s station and two half wraps from Cleveland Vegan: the first a spicy Buffalo Tofu, the second a Chickpea Salad. With its combo of chickpeas, carrot, celery, onion, pepper, coconut bacon, greens, tomato and cajun seasons, I’ll be recreating that one at home soon. As I chewed on dinner and chatted with my gal pals, I had my new mantra — and my new prayer, c/o of Ylonda — in my head. I AM HERE NOW. The old, pre-mom me would have never stayed there for long. But this new, #momlife me? She’s enjoying the scenery… and the new member of my support system. Because I choosing me, I’m choosing her. I’m choosing us. I’m choosing RIGHT NOW.

brenna bear February 2017

This is really just an excuse to include a photo of our Brenna Bear.

Many thanks to the ladies at Rock Your Bliss for finding your way to Cleveland again and providing such inspiration and, dare I say, bliss! Follow RYB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be in the know for their programs and offerings.

Follow Groundswell on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out their current event schedule. And if you do ANYTHING after reading this blog post, go take Ylonda’s class at Hedge Gallery, a part of Groundswell’s programming. It starts at 6pm Wednesday, every week.

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#ClevelandGoesRed: 2017 National Wear Red Day is today!

Today is National Wear Red Day! The Hansen ladies are painting the town red and dressing the part:

AHA Go Red Wear Red

Wearing red today? Join in by sharing your outfit online with the hashtags #GoRedWearRed and #ClevelandGoesRed. Like Go Red For Women on Facebook and follow on Instagram &  Twitter to get daily inspiration, photos, quotes, heart disease news, healthy living tips and more all February long.

Speaking of February, my good friends at Citrus Social are going over and above to support the American Heart Association’s Cleveland office this month by selling this Valentine’s Day card! Be a deer and buy a pack for only $12.99:

Citrus Social American Heart Fundraiser 2017

PURCHASE the Citrus Social Valentine’s Day Cards HERE

Donate directly to Go Red For Women at the American Heart Association website 

Many thanks to the Cleveland American Heart Association for their partnership! Follow the non-profit locally on Facebook, Twitter at @ClevelandAHA and Instagram at @ClevelandAHA.

Looking for ways to keep your heart active? Check out my Heart Healthy Yoga Poses post here!

Disclosure: Cleveland American Heart Association invited me (and other local bloggers) to help promote the Go Red for Women campaign and luncheon on February 10th.  In exchange, I received a swag bag and a complimentary ticket to the 2017 Cleveland Go Red for Women Expo and Luncheon. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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my weekend out & about in #CLE (the Boutique Bridal Bazaar edition)

Hey, remember when I used to write these “weekend out and about” features? It’s been awhile! Since my weekdays are now full with a full-time job and trying to get a nearly 3 month old and her dad out the door to day care M-F, the weekends are my opportunities to get out and about these days. So why not bring it back?!

Let’s kick off 2017 with my Sunday spent at the Boutique Bridal Bazaar, a boutique bridal show featuring Northeast Ohio’s finest wedding vendors.

BBB balloons

Each year, the gals at Something White, A Bridal Boutique put together a collection of incredible local vendors at a unique space in the Greater Cleveland area. This year, they selected the Cleveland Public Library. I was pretty pumped to not only get out and talk to brides and their families, but also to check out a local institution I’ve never been to before.

cleveland public library hall ceiling

Vendor booths were carefully laid out in the foyer of the library as well as in the Brett Memorial Hall. Its historic architecture, detailed ceilings, incredible chandeliers and detailed murals made for quite the viewing as attendees checked out the offerings. Vendors, too, even had the chance to chat with one another. It was so nice to spend time with:

  • All Events Planned — Brandi’s energy is contagious!
  • Bombay Taxi — fellow CLE blogger Shibani’s jewelry collection is so carefully curated — such lovely pieces!
  • Borrow Rentals — the sweetest group of gals imaginable and I love their unique rental items.
  • Harness Cycle — great to finally meet owner/operator, Annie! Side note: I gotta get back on a spin bike, STAT.
  • LockKeepers — whose desserts are quickly becoming my favorite (p.s. did you know they have private dining space available at the restaurant?)
  • Oak & Honey Events — Melanie is as sweet at the second item in her company’s name. LOVED her booth design.
  • Spice Catering Co. — On behalf of everyone at the show, I like to publicly thank them for providing the best charcuterie board imaginable. That Great Lakes Cheddar, to die for.
  • Urban Orchid, who designed a floral archway that was pure perfection:

urban orchid florist archway

I had the pleasure of representing L’Nique Specialty Linen Rental, where we featured the oh-so-popular blush, silver and white color palette. It’s easy to see why those shades never go out of style for weddings! We had fun custom creating some unique items for the show. I just may have to use that chair bow for a certain little girl’s first birthday party! (Yes, I’m already planning it. #eventprofproblems)

BBB lnique

I was so busy chatting with brides, their guests and fellow vendors that I somehow forgot to get a good look at all of Something White’s beautiful array of bridal gowns! I did notice their touches of creative decor throughout the space though. Who knew that we’d still be able to use paper chain links after all these years?!

boutique bridal bazaar decor

Many thanks to the ladies at Something White for their energy in coordinating another fantastic show. Follow Boutique Bridal Bazaar on Facebook and Instagram to be in the know for next year’s event. Follow Cleveland Public Library on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and go see their beautiful facility in person next time you’re downtown.

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