We’ve been so crazy busy lately that we’ve hardly had a chance to slow down. It’s my own fault, really. I’m a chronic over-scheduler. It’s a blessing and a curse, friends. It really is.

See, I thrive on the crazy; I need the busy days. I need them because they make me feel accomplished. And slowing down just isn’t in my vocabulary. At least, not in this current season of my life.

So here’s what we’ve been up to as of late:

Lots and lots and lots of playing with the kids. Lucky for me, we have a standing playdate at the YMCA every day but Sunday (because, well, I’m there for 4-6 hours a day). So both kids really love (and need) this time with their friends.

But it’s been HOT, friends. Like, hot and crazy humid. Which has truly limited our outdoor play. However, I have felt a bit more comfortable playing outdoors with the kiddos knowing that Miss Bea is wearing moisture-wicking baby clothes from Lark.

If you haven’t heard of Lark, their mission is to make quality baby clothes that can easily endure the daily life of an active infant or toddler. They have developed a proprietary natural, eco-friendly moisture wicking fabric. Safer for babies sensitive skin than some of the synthetic wear that adults wear when outside or working out! Awesome, right!?

Well Miss Bea is truly comfortable in her rompers and bodysuits from Lark. And I breathe easy knowing the fabric is not only breathable, but free of synthetic fabric and chemicals, and is made in the USA!

And you can get free shipping on any order using this code: SHIPPING. Go support this awesome business, friends!

Living in my SOAK sandals. So I am weird about shoes. See, when I find shoes I love, I live in them. Like, I wear holes in my flats because I wear them every day and literally nothing else. So when I was offered a pair of slides from SOAK, a company right here in the United States, I truly didn’t know what to expect.

See, I have super high arches in my feet and it makes wearing anything slip-on quite difficult (and sometimes painful). But I’ve worn these every single day for the last 30 days and I’m in love.

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They’re comfortable, incredibly stylish, and crunchy-mama-friendly! Yep, not only are they made in Maine, but they are made from BPA-free recycled materials!

And so versatile! I’ve worn them with dresses and to my yoga classes! Seriously the only shoe I’ve needed (well, except for my running shoes to, well, run!).

Check out their full line of slides here and use code CHIC15 to save 15% off!

Yoga. Not quite #yogaeverydamnday, but my fire for yoga has been reignited, thanks to a couple of amazing yoga classes.

Last week I went to Elevate Akron, an annual outdoor yoga event here in my amazing city. It was powerful, friends. So powerful! I realized that all of the cycling, running, and strength training I’ve been doing has totally made me more physically fit — in ways I didn’t even realize before! I am so much stronger than I’d recently given myself credit for.

Oh, and I’m certain that the stretching and conditioning alongside the gymnasts I coach doesn’t hurt!

But then I decided to go, solo, to my first Yoga on Tap/Balance and Brews event. See, here in Northeast Ohio, we’ve been on the beer + yoga train for a long time — at least the last 4 years! But, sadly, I’ve never been able to actually make a class.

Well, that changed yesterday. I was elated to find out that Melissa of Balance and Brews was teaching a class right here in my own town, at HiHo Brewing Co.!

It was a great class and ended with a complimentary beer (the Smash Smash Pilz Pilz double pilsner was the bomb!).

So many markets! Guys, I’m a sucker for a good farmers market. Throw in some hand-crafted goodies? Double-sold.

Between the Cleveland Flea, the Akron Honey Market, and the Countryside Conservancy Market in Highland Square? We’ve been biz-zeeee! Busy getting delicious food, ya’ll!

Cycling. Kickboxing. and Gymnastics, Oh My! I’ve been working out non-stop and, like I said, I’m feeling so much stronger! One thing that’s truly been helping is how much I’ve been trying to remain committed to my schedule of workouts. At times it’s been a struggle, but it’s also been a saving grace during the crazy moments. As much as, in those moments, I want to just hide or cry or sleep, I find myself working out all of my frustrations and it’s helped me tremendously.

Sure, we’ve been busy. But it’s been perfect. Perfect chaos! So tell me — Do you thrive on chaos, like me? Or do you prefer to have unscheduled days and relaxing weekends!?

 

 

 

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After growing up in Northeast Ohio and after years of living in Cuyahoga Falls, I finally took an adventure I’d been meaning to for ages — I visited the Western Reserve Historical Society Hale Farm + Village! It did not disappoint, friends!

The Hale Farm + Village is located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and was the original homestead and farm of Jonathan Hale. It became the property of the Western Reserve Historical Society, whose main focus is to preserve the history and artifacts of the historic western reserve.

Remy and I decided to go on a relaxed visit one Sunday afternoon while the boys went to the movies. We saw glassblowing demonstrations, weaving demonstrations, candle-making demonstrations, and even an old-school musket demonstration!

That’s not even half of it! We explored the 90 acres of the Hale Farm while learning all about the agricultural practices and the life of our early settlers!

We loved it so much that I told Chad we absolutely needed to allgo as a family — and so just 6 short days after my initial visit, we found ourselves right back at Hale Farm!

We happened to be there during the Music in the Valley Folk + Wine Festival! Although we decided not to sample any wine, we did have a wonderful time listening to the folk musicians and creating our homemade musical instruments like they would in the old days!

In addition to Hale Farm + Village, the WRHS also includes the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel, the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, Costume Collection, Hay-McKinney and Bingham-Hanna Mansions, Kidzbits Family Hands-on Center and the Research Library!

We are beyond lucky to have this gem located right in our very own backyards! And their newest exhibit, Cleveland Starts Here, explores the history of Northeast Ohio and aims to help place historical context into our lives today! I cannot wait to check it out!

As a local institution, the WRHS wants to better-know it’s visitors and membership, so they are conducting a survey which is located here. One lucky survey participant will win a membership to the Western Reserve Historical Society (which includes the Hale Farm and Village as well as all of the other WRHS sites!).

In addition to that giveaway, I’m hosting another membership giveaway to the WRHS! — Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below! Winner from the rafflecopter giveaway will be announced and notified on 7/25/17.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

 

 

 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but I did receive a complimentary membership to the WRHS as an acting social media partner. As always, all opinions herein are my own.

 

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I have to admit — I’m really loving this “Explore Ohio” series! Not only does it give me a chance to give ya’ll a virtual tour of my favorite places, but it’s a way of reminding myself exactly why I love living here. There is always somewhere new to explore — like these kid-friendly things to do in Amish country!

Well on my recent trip to Wayne County I spent a whole 24-hours in Wooster, Ohio. Wooster, pronounced Wuh-stir, is just 35-miles southwest of Akron — but, until recently, I had never been!

These were my honest thoughts of Wooster, prior to my visit: “It’s a place where people go to camp, right??” I’m not certain why I thought that, but I did.

Boy was I surprised!

Besides surprised, I was also very nervous because this trip to Wooster was an overnight — and would mean my very first overnight without Miss Bea. But upon check-in at the St. Paul Hotel, I completely ‘checked out’ from my children. No joke.

First of all, the St. Paul Hotel?? Gorgeous! Absolutely stunning. With 17, newly renovated rooms, this unique boutique hotel has culture written all over it!

Our room featured a luxurious king-sized bed amidst a rustic, rust-belt-chic setting. And the bathroom? Heated… freaking… floors! And a TV in the mirror, ya’ll!

And don’t even get me started on this shower! My only disappointment was that I couldn’t spend more time snuggled up in this bed. No joke. I mean, for us, we could have spent an entire week inside this hotel room! That’s how bad we needed a getaway!

Here are my other must-see spots in Wooster, Ohio!

Broken Rocks CafeFresh baked bread, exposed brick, delicious seasonal eats — what more could you want!? I had the chicken salad sandwich (which comes on amazing focaccia!) and a side of jojos. Jojos are basically seasoned + deep fried potato wedges. It’s a regional thing to call them jojos. I never understood it until I moved to Akron.

Chad had the Kung Pao Woodfired Pizza. It was amazing! The sauce was beautifully balanced with the crispy veggies and crust!

The Ohio Light Opera. This professional opera company is located on the Wooster College campus and features operettas and musical theater from June through August. They perform several shows a day, and several different shows at a time!

We happened to catch them during a rehearsal for Say Anything, and, even though we only caught about 30 minutes, I seriously could have stayed and watched them perform all day!

Our group was lucky enough to also go on a little backstage tour, where we saw so many people hard at work! Costume design, set design, and all of the props!

It was an amazing experience, and I have so much more respect for those who work in the theater industry! It’s clear they do it out of passion!

Faithful Little Cupcake. A bakery that specializes in all kinds of specialty cakes, but also sells cupcakes in their storefront, has a passion for ‘paying it forward.’ For every wedding cake sold, the bakers donate a birthday cake to a child that, otherwise, wouldn’t have one.

PS. Their cupcakes are the bomb. THE bomb.

Blue Spruce  Boutique. This boutique is life, y’all. I mean, imagine a smaller, more inexpensive version of Anthropologie + Magnolia combined into one! I could have spent hours and all of my bank account in this store! In fact, the next time I’m in the market for something fancy shmancy, I’m heading here!

Spoon Market. The small-town market of my dreams… We stopped here real quick for a drink at their bar before dinner. They have a full bar with craft beer on tap, craft beer in bottles, and make cocktails to order. The bar only seats about 10-14 people, but the market itself has tables lined up throughout.

The vibe is chill. Very, very, chill. A few of us decided to play a game of Cards Against Humanity (I mean, how can you not when the cards are just sitting there on the bar!?) and it was a blast.

The next day I came back to shop even more. They offer Jeni’s ice cream, a full deli, and eclectic wine selection. Basically, the perfect place to swing by and pick up a bottle of wine and some cheese before your next dinner party.

Tulipan Hungarian Pastry and Coffee Shop. Think of the most divine little coffee shop and pastry shop. This. This is it. The pastries and intricate, hand-painted cookies were not only beautiful to look at, but were some of the best flaky baked goods I’ve ever eaten.

We were tempted to come back the next morning for their chicken paprikash crepes, but we opted to sleep in instead!

Basil Asian Bistro. I’m a bit tough on Asian restaurants, but this one meets the cut 100%! They offer all kinds of sushi, traditional asian dishes, as well as thai dishes!

We may have tried a little bit of everything and this is what I can tell you:

1  You must try the dry ice martinis.

2  The calamari is the best I’ve ever had. Perfect amount of spices/salt/pepper and crunch!

3  My pad thai was on par with what I hold to very very snobbishly high pad thai standards. I can’t help it. I just really love pad thai! 😛

We were excited to hear that the owner of this restaurant also owns two more closer to us in Akron, so we’ll definitely be back to see him very very soon!

Sure House Coffee. On a whim I swung into this coffee shop near our hotel. I walked in and I totally knew it was my kind of coffee shop. With air plants on the wall and a limited menu (think pour overs, brewed coffee, and simple espresso combinations), I could tell the coffee would be fabulous. So I ordered a coconut milk latté to-go, but I so wish I could have stayed!

And I’m SO excited to hear that they are opening up a second location in the Northside District in Akron! Hooray! My dreams have come true!


Even though our kids were not with us on this trip to Wooster, there was not one single place on this trip that I wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing them along. And I just love finding new family-friendly day-trip destinations! I can’t wait to come back and explore more.


And now, a giveaway! That’s right – I’m hosting a giveaway for a $25 gift card to one of my favorite places to shop here in Ohio (and they do have a lot of locations elsewhere, too!) — Giant Eagle! Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

 

Thank you to HER Realtors for sponsoring todays post and giveaway. As always, all opinions herein are my own!

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Accountability // Health + Fitness Update #2

July 11, 2017

It’s been a whole month since my first health + fitness update, so I guess it’s time for some accountability. Right? Ugh. Right. Here’s the thing — the scale? It’s only moved a tiny bit. Like, only a pound and a half lost in 4 weeks. But? I’ve gained strength + muscle and I’ve lost […]

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How To Totally Ruin Pinterest Crafts in 4 Simple Steps //

July 5, 2017

Let me quickly set the stage — Ari wants to do a Fourth of July craft and I want to oblige. I mean, I’m a crafty mom, right? I do a quick pinterest search, locate a ‘firework’ paint craft, and gather our supplies. Easy peasey! Or, it should have been. But guys — here’s the […]

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Explore Ohio // Wayne County

July 3, 2017

Confession: I grew up in Amish country. Okay, so many of you may already know that about me; but some of you may not know what exactly that means. It means that our high school consisted of students from 3 different towns coming together to attend school (but still only graduating with 83 people); it […]

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Weekly Mantra //

June 26, 2017

I can’t believe this is the last week of June. I mean, really. How? HOW!? It truly has been a crazy month. I don’t really understand why, though, because it feels like I’ve accomplished nothing. But that’s motherhood, I guess. It all feels crazy when you’re lugging two kids around, am I right!? Here’s June […]

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The Perfect Date Night (Cook)Out // PLUS Party-Perfect Potato Salad RECIPE

June 20, 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GrillNGear #CollectiveBias Summer has officially arrived in Northeast Ohio, and one thing that my husband and I love to do in the summer, is use our grill and entertain friends. Well, since Remy was born (yes, 16.5 months […]

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The Perfect Monday Mantra // and a life update

June 19, 2017

Guys, I’d be lying if I said anything other than the fact that this past week was… challenging. And I’m going into this week 100% exhausted. Remy Bea was running a pretty high fever from Monday through Wednesday of last week. It turns out she had a pretty bad double ear infection. I had no idea! […]

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June Goals // Just Keep Moving Forward

June 16, 2017

Let’s get right to the Real Talk, y’all — May flew by faster than April and we’re already 16 days into June. What the eff. Like, how is that even possible?! Taking a look back at my May goals, they didn’t seem lofty at the time; but they were. Because, apparently, I’m the worst at […]

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