ten things this tuesday: Spring into Spring

Buzzards in Hinckley!!!
Honey Hut Ice Cream opening for the year!!!
Pups on walks with their owners!!!

When those appear after a long, cold stretch of time, it signals the arrival of Spring in Cleveland. And I am grateful for it! With the arrival of a new season, also comes a new listing of fun stuff to do!

Let’s dive right in – you know what’s about to happen here…


1. Ohio Blogging Association March CLE Blogger Meet Up & Volunteer Night on Wednesday, March 23rd: You are coming, right?! And if you are, you’ve filled out the volunteer form on the Foodbank website, right? Just checking…

2. Cleveland International Film Festival from March 24th through April 4th: CONFESSION: I have never attended this well respected festival of film! I’m planning on changing that in 2011, but which films to choose?! At least there’s a listing online to help make this process easier!  

(banner from CIFF website)

Also check out their 2011 Program Guide for more info (opens a PDF file).

3. Gotta Love Chevy NEO Thank You Lunch on Saturday, March 26th: Chevy wants to thank all the OBA volunteers with a nice lunch out after their hard work on the 23rd! Attendees of the March 23rd volunteering night are invited to Aladdin’s Eatery (at 6901 Rockside Road in Independence) on Saturday the 26th at 12:30PM to enjoy some hummus, pita and other treats – all on Chevy!

The connection? Gotta Love Chevy NEO is currently running a Harvest for Hunger campaign of their own: For every new like on their facebook page, they will donate more money to the Foodbank to help feed families in need in northeast Ohio. Click on over to their page to help out the Cleveland Foodbank and the Akron Regional Foodbank!

4. The Great Lakes Theater Festival opening of Two Gentleman of Verona on Friday, April 8th: I’m giddy to see a production of a Shakespeare piece that I have never seen before!

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

(picture from the GLTF website)

Even more exciting, seeing a show that you love, such as the one I’m seeing this upcoming weekend! More on that on Thursday!

5. The 39th Cleveland Spring Classic on Saturday, April 9th: Held by Cleveland West Road Runners Club, this race boasts two distances: a 5K and a ten miler. Here’s your chance to enjoy the Cleveland Metroparks on the Southwest side of town!  Register on the Active.com website.

6. The Opening Night of I Hate This/And Then You Die on Saturday, April 9th: David Hansen is one of my running inspirations, a former coworker of mine, and a pretty fabulous writer. Check out his fabulousness on Facebook. For those reasons and more, I can’t wait to see this production at Cleveland Public Theatre.

More from the show’s page on CPT’s site: David Hansen performs his two award winning solo shows in a single show. One is an exploration of personal loss and recovery, while the other is about obsession and victory. Both shows were developed in CPT’s Big [Box] and have gone on to successful runs at the New York Fringe.

To make a reservation, visit Cleveland Public Theatre’s website today.

7. The next Emerging Chefs event on Wednesday, April 13th: I’ve got the inside scoop on their next event, but I’m not giving you any more info than that! Something to look forward to!

8. The Ohio Blogging Association April CLE Blogger Round Table on April 19th: Taking place at Touch Supper Club, bloggers of all sorts are invited to meet to discuss blogging. New bloggers, old bloggers and everyone inbetween are encouraged to attend to get their thoughts and questions out in the air! Oh, and we’ll enjoy some darn tasty food as well. Check out the Facebook invite for more information and to RSVP today.

9. Spin for Strays: Happy Hour Ride to benefit Secondhand Mutts on Friday, April 22nd: Remember when I went bowling with bloggers? Now I’ll go spinning with them at Ride and Workout (at 18524 Detroit Ave in Lakewood) – it will be my first spin class EVER!

From the Facebook event page: Spin for Strays is the first ever Happy Hour Ride to benefit Secondhand Mutts. Ride + Workout has generously provided their studio for this ride, which will be led by the always FABULOUS Spin Mistress Jennifer Sommers.   RSVP for the event by visiting Secondhand Mutts’ Facebook event page.

10. The Cleveland Arthritis Walk on Saturday, April 30th: Taking place at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the Arthritis Walk is the signature fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation. It’s not just an event, it’s a celebration of year-round movement to help prevent and treat arthritis.

Consider this your invitation to join us that morning, walk our course around our fabulous zoo and do some good for the 1.5 million doctor diagnosed Northeastern Ohioans living with arthritis. Check out the site for more details and to donate today.

…and that’s only through April 30! Part Two is just as crazy as this is! What events are you looking forward to this spring?

The Battle of the Chevys: Cobalt vs. Cruze

It’s crazy to think it’s been almost a week since I said goodbye to the Chevy Cruze:


(picture from Cruze specs site on chevy.com)

Dropping off the car at the dealer wasn’t my LAST duty as a Chevy girl. It wouldn’t have been fair to drive around in the Cruze for a month without giving a full rundown of my thoughts on the car. To help me do so, the lovely folks at Gotta Love Chevy NEO asked me the following questions on my experience:

Did driving the Chevy Cruze change your mind about owning a Chevy?  Would you put Chevy on your shopping list now?

My first car ever was one of these:

(picture source)

That would be a Chevrolet Corsica. Oh, the memories I have from driving around Parma in that car. There aren’t enough blog posts in the world, my friends.

As previously mentioned, I’m a proud Chevy owner as bought my “I’m a big girl now and have a full time job” car in 2006:


(picture from Cobalt specs site on chevy.com)

Interesting to think if I was making that same purchase now, I would have ended up with a Chevy Cruze! Seeing as Hans previously owned a TrailBlazer and is currently driving a HHR, it’s pretty safe to say that we’re a Chevy family!  As our family grows (don’t get excited people, there aren’t any little PIPs on the way), I foresee us trading in the Cobalt for a more “family friendly” car – perhaps a Chevy Traverse? Only time will tell!

Would you recommend the Chevy Cruze to your friends?  Did you get any feedback from your friends?

I would definitely recommend the Chevy Cruze to my friends, especially those looking to purchase their first car. As for feedback from loved ones:

  • Every single person commented on how much room they had in the Cruze. My friends and family were surprised by the amount of space in the interior – both front and back seat areas – compared to my Cobalt.
  • My passengers appreciated the heated seats, although the powerful Cruze got really hot very quickly! Make sure to adjust your thermostats accordingly people!
  • The placement of the lock & unlock buttons on the main console (under the radio & heating displays, instead of on each door) was not my favorite feature placement. I’m a bit OCD when leaving my car, wanting to hit the lock button on my way out as well as hitting the key ring lock button. I missed having the locking function on the actual car door.
  • My brother loved the XM, especially all the news channel live feeds.
  • Surprisingly, I get better gas mileage in my Cobalt compared to the Cruze. In the Cruze, I averaged just under 24 miles per gallon. In the Cobalt, I average 27 MPG. I have no explanation for it – just noting it for you, interested reader.

What were the three best things about your Chevy vehicle in order of importance?

  1. The hands-free Bluetooth: as I described in my Keep Your Hands On The Wheel & Off Your Phone post, I fell in love with this feature. I don’t think I can go back to talking on the phone while driving without it.
  2. The amount of cargo space and trunk opening gap: The best improvement on this end of things is the gap opening of the trunk. The Cruze’s gap is SO MUCH BIGGER than the Cobalt’s. I could actually fit much larger objects in the Cruze because I had the opening to get them in the trunk. Check out my Girls Gotta Shop post for the video on just how much room I had back there!
  3. The heated seats: December in Cleveland equals the start of a cold, long winter. While I loved how speedy the seats headed up, I actually found Another Use For My Cruze’s Heated Seats when I fell on an icy patch of sidewalk – it was like having a built-in heating pad in the car!

Want to know what other features I really enjoyed? Check out my posts over at the Gotta Love Chevy NEO blog on all the features the Cruze has to offer:

Make sure to “like” Gotta Love Chevy NEO on Facebook to keep tabs on all the future Chevy girls & their adventures around the CLE!

Again, a HUGE thank you to the Northeastern Ohio Area Chevy Dealers for an amazing experience. The entire PIP family thanks you for a rockin’ month in the Chevy Cruze!

Disclosure: The Gotta Love Chevy NEO program is being sponsored by Northeastern Ohio Area Chevy Dealers . They gave me a 2011 Chevy Cruze to test drive for one month and blog about my experience. Through this program, I was asked to complete missions, and was provided with gift cards to do so. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

ten things this thursday: my musical goodbye to the Chevy Cruze

As my final official task as a Chevy girl for the month of December, I had to return the Chevy Cruze. Cue the waterworks.

I’ve been VERY lucky in love and managed to snag this hot guy before any other girls could get to him.

Alicia & Hans Fun Fact: we’re high school sweethearts and "celebrated” the ELEVEN YEAR anniversary of our first date on Tuesday! (And when I say “celebrate”, I mean Hans said “happy anniversary” as I hacked up a lung on the couch. Very romantic. Moving on…)

I was pretty rocked by my pending separation from my new found car love. I needed some emotional support for my last journey driving it back to the dealership. So in the usual Tuesday fashion, yet again on a Thursday, I present:


First, check out my last official video as a Chevy Girl for Gotta Love Chevy NEO!

Now for the songs…

How Many Times by Zack Hexum
how many times will I fall in love today…
RANDOM THOUGHT: Best free iTunes Song of the Day download EVER.

Memories by David Guetta
…those would be the best memories
RANDOM THOUGHT: also a new addition to my half-marathon playlist.

Hanging On Too Long by Duffy
I was a fool for you right from the start
I was a fool for you hoping for a spark
For some kind of sign that you would be mine
RANDOM THOUGHT: I love this entire album to set a relaxing vibe at work during the afternoons.

Flashing Lights by Kayne West (feat. Dwele)
As I recall, I know you love to show off but I never thought that you would take it this far
RANDOM THOUGHT: …because no playlist is complete without Kayne busting in half way through…

King of Anything by Sara Bareilles
So let me thank you for your time…and get out of here fast
RANDOM THOUGHT: LOVE LOVE LOVE her. I feel like if I ever really learned how to play the piano, I’d be writing music like hers.

Misery by Maroon 5
So let me be and I’ll set you free
RANDOM THOUGHT: Adam Levine = HOTT. Sorry Hans.

Please Don’t Go by Mike Posner
…baby please don’t go…
RANDOM THOUGHT: Another carry over from my running playlist. It’s just too darn catchy to get it out of my head.

Hummingbird by John Mayer
Just because I said I didn’t want her doesn’t mean I want her to go
In fact I quite depended on her but that I didn’t want her to know
RANDOM THOUGHT: This should be no surprise to anyone who really knows me. I’ll always love me some JM. This is a personal all time favorite and hardly known gem of his. Definitely worth checking out.

Love Is My Disease by Alicia Keys
When your gone it feels like my whole worlds gone with you
I thought love would be my cure but now its my disease
RANDOM THOUGHT: Another at-work album to slow jam the day away.

Cool by Gwen Stefani
After all that we’ve been through I know we’re cool
RANDOM THOUGHT: …at least I still have my Cobalt!

When you are feeling down, how to do cope? An emotional music playlist? A good workout? A long bubble bath? Me: kickboxing always gets the aggression out!!

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