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 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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April events for you to enjoy around Greater Cleveland

I’m a bit behind on sharing the array of Cleveland events on my radar screen for the month of April 2012. My apologies, but don’t fret: there’s still plenty of time to plan for the following happenings:

Yuri's Night banner(source)

Saturday, April 7: Yuri’s Night Space Party at the Great Lakes Science Center from 8:00PM – 1:00AM
Featuring: live music by Disco Inferno, Jello shots, Midnight OMNIMAX movie Hubble, adult beverages and hors d’oeuvres, a costume contest, a trivia contest and more!
Buy your tickets here: http://www.museumtix.com/program/program.aspx?vid=803&pid=7752422&pvt=glsc

Monday, April 9: Lake Erie Moose Society April Blogger Meetup at Market Avenue Wine Bar from 6:30PM – 8:30PM
Featuring the following topic: “Let’s talk about maintenance. What should you check periodically to make sure your readers are seeing what you want them to see?” Boy, could have I used this information about two weeks ago…
More info here: http://www.meetup.com/Lake-Erie-Moose-Society/events/53127332/

Monday, April 16: Fundraiser for West Side Community House at Johnny Mango from 11AM – 11PM
The details: Print this flyer (http://www.wschouse.org/images/uploads/Mangos_Flyer_-_2012-04-16.pdf) and dine at Johnny Mango that day so 20% of purchases will be donated to West Side Community House -take out orders also apply for donations!
More info and to access the flyer: https://www.facebook.com/events/350833531619296/

Tuesday, April 17: Ohio Blogging Association April Cleveland Blogger Beer Tasting with The Brewer’s Daughter at Lizardville Beer Store and Whiskey Bar from 6:30PM – 8:30PM
Featuring: a beer tasting lead by Renee from The Brewer’s Daughter: includes five different brews and foos. Cost: $20/per person, payable at the door.
More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/191074104334897/

Wednesday, April 18: Emerging Chefs and AMP 150 Present Garden Party at AMP 150 from 6:00PM – 9:00PM
Featuring: the celebration of “the planting of AMP 150’s garden with a sweet collection of cuisine inspired by the carnival of a Garden Party… With a farm-to-table approach for over 15 years in his restaurants, Chef Jeff Jarrett has spent his life exemplifying how ingredients define the experience.”
To purchase tickets: http://emergingchefs2012-2.eventbrite.com/

Saturday, April 21: 40th Annual Spring Classic 10 mile and 5K at Bonnie Park Pavilion in Strongsville starting at 8:30AM
Featuring: Races of various distances for every walker/runner!
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/262390400495951/
Online Registration: http://www.active.com/running/strongsville-oh/40th-annual-cleveland-spring-classic-2012?int=29-6


Sunday, April 22: Market at the Foodbank at the Cleveland Foodbank from 6:00PM – 8:30PM
Featuring: Food and beverage from 50 local restaurants and distributors, live entertainment, silent auction and more.
To purchase tickets:
TO WIN TICKETS: CLICK ON OVER TO TUESDAY’S PIP POST and leave a comment to enter to win!


Saturday, April 28: MedWish International’s Band-Aid Bash at MedWish Headquarters
Featuring: the transformation of “its global headquarters into a swanky, trendy nightclub”, food from Chef Chris Hodgson, a silent auction, live music, and “a layout that showcases the grassroots nature of the organization and its warehouse”
For more information and to purchase tickets: http://medwish.org/2012-band-aid-bash-party-for-the-planet/

Monday, April 30: Yoga Meditation Workshop at Nishkama Yoga Independence at 7:30PM
More info: Join Tracy as she reviews the basic principles and techniques of this misunderstood and mysterious practice. Even the busiest mind can learn what meditation is and is not, proper posture for meditation, basic breathing techniques (pranayama), simple mantras and use of a mala beads and a practice that integrates the principals and practices presented.
To reserve your spot: visit https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/adm/home.asp?studioid=4086.

As always, so much going down in Ctown! What April event are you looking forward to?

Disclaimer: I work for Nishkama Yoga, am attending Yuri’s Night, Garden Party & Market at the Foodbank c/o of media passes from their respective organizations, and serve as the organizer of the Ohio Blogging Association meetups. I share these so that you can also enjoy them. As always, my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Ohio Blogging Association March Cleveland Blogger Volunteer Night at the Cleveland Foodbank

Another meet up of the Cleveland Chapter of the Ohio Blogging Association is in the books! On Monday, March 12th, bloggers from around Cleveland met at the Cleveland Foodbank to donate a few hours of their time to make a difference:


The blogroll for the evening included:

The Cleveland Foodbank is a local non-profit doing some amazing work in our community. In 2011, the organization distributed products to more than 600 member hunger programs in six counties around Northeast Ohio. Their programs provide food to people of all ages at child care centers, group homes, and senior citizen programs.

We started with a brief orientation & tour of the facilities. The Foodbank depends on their volunteer force to get the job done, which includes more than 11,000 people volunteering annually. Since so many donate their time, this saves the Foodbank the cost of hiring an additional 17 full-time volunteers – allowing them to use those funds towards programming.


There were several groups volunteering at the Foodbank that evening and we were paired with some kind folks from the Kiwanis of Rocky River. Boy, did they get a lesson on blogging that evening! Our task for the evening: preparing packs of food for the Foodbank’s Backpack for Kids program.


The Backpacks for Kids program provides school children with food to take home over the weekend. Each week, each child receives enough food for six full meals. Food included in the packages include a array of items: the bags we packed had cereal, milk, canned corn, canned spaghetti, applesauce and other goods.


According to their website, “on average around 2,300 children each week receive backpacks from the Cleveland Foodbank”. That means we had some serious packing to do! The bloggers took to their respective roles on the assembly lines. Lyn and Sarah kept the assembly line stocked with goods and the majority of the bloggers walked the line, filling each bag with two of each item:


Jen of Why CLE? and Aja of CLE Creativity +


Julie from ROJ Running and Lane from Lane Baldwin Photography

At the end of the line, George from the Kiwanis group and I twist-tied the bags, which were then packed into boxes by John:


After two hours, we packed five pallets of boxes – about 540 individual bags of food! George – one of the Foodbank employees – gave us a compliment, saying that we put forth an impressive effort. He welcomed us back anytime! I think I safely speak for all the bloggers who attended that we’d up for accepting George’s invitation. Volunteering at the Foodbank was a great way for the bloggers to chat away the evening while giving back to the community. All in, a win-win!

Want to learn more about how you can help the Cleveland Foodbank? Visit their website for more information, “like” them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Their next big fundraiser – Market at the Foodbank – is coming up next month. Based on my insider knowledge, it’s looking to be another fun Cleveland food & wine event! Stay tuned to PIP for more details – you have SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO!

Interested in attending an Ohio Blogging Association blogger meetup? Join us for our OBA April Cleveland Blogger Beer Tasting with The Brewer’s Daughter on Tuesday, April 17th. You can find more info over at our OBA Facebook event page. As always, bloggers and “blog supporters” are all welcome to attend!

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