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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Monday? Bring it.

Monday! I'm ready for you.

I'm ready for you because this weekend was perfect.

The weekend was for a date at Crop Bistro. Sure, it may have taken an hour to dig the car out after Cleveland's plows targeted our poor little Corolla, but lucky for us, a New Yorker with a shovel was roaming the streets and willing to share (but only when he saw us resort to kicking, oh, and pulling a small ironing board out of the trunk).

This weekend was for a good day at work (website coming soon!).

The weekend was for dancing at a bar that plays really weird music.

This weekend was for the hardest yoga class I've ever experienced. Or maybe it was that I had to make up for lost beach time - but I think it was just the hardest.

This weekend was pretty normal. But lucky for me, pretty normal has become pretty wonderful.

(And I feel pretty thankful.)

Cheers, friends!

Wishing you a lovely week (and Cleveland some sunshine),


Chocolate Sea Salt

Photo Courtesy of The Spice & Tea Exchange
Recently, I've been waiting for inspiration to use a set of Gourmet Salts given to me from The Spice and Tea Exchange of Asheville, NC, oneofmyveryfavoritecities. Tonight was the night. With limited ingredients in the kitchen, Chocolate Sea Salt was just what the doctor ordered to save my impromptu vegetarian dinner.  

After throwing together a Water, Chicken Broth, Tomato Paste, Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Black Pepper, and Oregano sauce, I added and sautéed Onion, Celery, Orange Pepper, and fresh Garlic. It was at precisely this moment that I realized that my Cumin needed Dark Chocolate; my Cayenne Pepper needed Dark Chocolate! After adding the salt and letting the sauce simmer while my rice cooked, I added Chickpeas and eventually let some fresh Spinach wilt over the top. The result was a Vegetarian Stew of sorts - yum.

But Chocolate Salt...you have to try it.

Monday, February 21, 2011


John's mom Carolyn was so very gracious to take us to Myrtle Beach this weekend. We had an amazing time with John's family, stocked up on Vitamin D, took a much-needed break, and hung out with some Seagulls! Thank you, Carolyn, for a wonderful, wonderful time.

maggie and milly and molly and may 
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang 
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing 
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone 
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) 
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

                            - e.e. cummings

Beach Love

Beach Joy

Being on a beach makes me happier than I can explain. There's something about the combination of sun-induced endorphins and nature's majesty that is beyond words - inspiring, peaceful, breathtaking. Visiting one of the SC beaches where I grew up made me wonder why I ever thought I could move so far away from the ocean, something I'll be sure to keep in mind. It rejuvenated me, and despite Cleveland's best attempt at crushing my spirits with a welcome-home layer of ice and snow, I just can't wait for more. Bring on the Summer!

5 p.m. Friday

7 a.m. Saturday

7 a.m. Saturday

Unexpected Beauty

People have been telling me to visit Chagrin Falls since I moved to Cleveland. I was making an effort to explore Cleve after we moved, but when cold and snow came I backed off, choosing instead to re-visit the places I already liked (i.e. Tremont). So when I had an afternoon with Ellen last week, it seemed like the perfect time to try a new place. What we found was amazing: a charming little town with waterfalls, one-of-a-kind shops, and yummy food. I'm in love!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blood Orange Chicken

Picture from here.
Need a quick dinner? I did tonight, but as it turns out, I'll dare to recommend what I threw together.

I put Chicken Breast in a roasting dish with Salt and Pepper, searching the kitchen for flavors that might be friends. I came up with Olive Oil (a tiny bit), Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute (a free pour), Grape Tomatoes, Onion, Carrots, and fresh Rosemary. I tossed all of the above together, sprinkled Raisins over the top, and squeezed a Blood Orange all over everything. I finished with slices of the orange resting over the Chicken and veggies. Baked at 350 for 25 minutes - added lightly oiled Asparagus for the last five - and served over Red Quinoa. Et voila. A meal to match the day that told stories of Spring to come.

Sun and Sand!!!!

First of all, it was 50 degrees today. Fifty! My mood was automatically improved by 200%. 

And now I'm gearing up for a big weekend - a day with Ellen and then a weekend in Myrtle Beach with John's family! Somehow I've been at work for ten days straight, and eleven before that? -notthatI'mcounting -so I'm pumped at the thought of leaving town. 

via Fun Beaches

I grew up going to Myrtle Beach regularly, and going back is always an exercise in fun and nostalgia. John's mom is one of the sweetest people I know. Plus, he promised that there will be lots of fresh seafood...and taffy.

Cheers! Have a lovely weekend, everyone.
                                                    xoxo - Lauren

Monday, February 14, 2011


There's been a lot of buzz in the style world about Anthropologie's new wedding company, BHLDN. I've noticed -- and have been excited. I love their aesthetic, and it just might be a nice corollary to my own. But, I didn't necessarily think it would make it to my blog. It's been on everyone else's blog, for one, and I assume people can find it for themselves. But...these. THESE.

These I cannot ignore. These I must wear on my wedding day. These are amazing.


But he left me..for the city of *Cleveland.*

Liz Lemon says it all.

Like I said, celebrate Love however it works for you. 
Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day to us all!

Dear Valentines!

Wishing you a day of celebrating those you love, however you please. If it means wearing two different reds or eating a ridiculously exorbitant chocolate dessert, then so be it. 

Happy, happy Love Day!

Read about the (awesome) Olivetti Valentine Typewriter here - and maybe here.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday + Sun = Happy

Sometimes other people in the blog world post photos that I find inspiring, and then I re-post them to share with you. Enjoy, lovely friends!

Classic Loyalty
via Old Faithful Shop

Classic Elegance
via Cotton-Hearted

Classic Beachy Morning
via For Me For You

Classic Masculinity
via Cotton-Hearted

Friday, February 11, 2011

Atypical Friday Night

John's out of town, so I'm taking a break from our usual Friday night shenanigans. I am home with the dogs, car stuck in the ice, getting lots of work done. And I love it when Herbie plays neckwarmer.

There's a blog you should know about...

...and it has a post that I'll dedicate to John.

It's really fun. Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves. Check it out on your Sunday afternoon?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cleveland Restaurant Week

Cleveland Restaurant Week is coming up, and I don't know about you, but to me that sounds like a great excuse to visit one of the restaurants that have been on my Must-Try list for months. But it'll be a tough call.

Michael Symon's Lola? The hip fresh/local food veggie joint Crop Bistro? I mean...bowling and a vodka tasting at The Corner Alley with John sounds like a pretty good time, too.

For me it will be between Lola and Crop, dying to try both, but the list of participants is a pretty nice one. Good job, Cleve!

Crop might get my vote simply for using this photo as their website's header.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chosen Day

John's family always celebrates the day he came to them from Korea. Chosen Day. Hearing his mom talk about it will get you right in the heart. It's incredibly sweet. And this year, I'm very happy to be celebrating too. 

If I hadn't been a musician, I wouldn't have met John. If I hadn't gone to Converse, I wouldn't have gone to the Performing Arts Institute, which is (indirectly!) how we met. Same for him - conducting took him to Yale which took him to me. It took many years and states and schools and plans to get us together, even though we grew up only three hours apart. Funny how that works.

Alladin's for lunch - where they puff up a toasted pita and fill it with greens.

Tokyobay watch for John - obviously made for him. I've been wanting to buy it for months.

The dogs love John a little bit extra today, too.

Herbie hugs John.

the sweetest
Lucy and Mahler 4
 superhero get-up

Eric @ Cleveland Yoga

So this is my favorite teacher at Cleveland Yoga. He's never fake-preachy, and he gives a nice, fast-paced workout. He's ridiculously strong, so this video doesn't scream yoga, but yoga it is. Check out his amazing float back to Chaturanga Dandasana - the upper body strength is crazy. No elephant jumps here.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Yay Herbie

So this is mostly for our Moms. And probably Maggie. The rest of you might find it boring, unless you are particularly entertained by crazy dogs, or John Concklin's struggles with a digital camera.

Herbie is the dog who insists on holding my hand every day. He licks everyone incessantly, and he always puts a paw on my leg or his head in my lap if I cry. But like I've said before, Herbie wants to rid the world of other dogs. As a rescue who was kept in a closet and never socialized, his fear of dogs sometimes brings aggression. Needless to say, "playing" with another dog was out of the question.

And, okay, I'll admit that the tug-of-war pictured a few weeks ago was prompted by me. But believe it or not, Herbie and Lucy now play. Like, playing with one toy -- together. It's a canine miracle.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Little darlin'...

The sun is shining in Cleve today. There's a soundtrack playing in my head of sun-related Beatles songs,  I've got dinner plans with my lovely boyfriend, and tomorrow's the first day off I've had in a while. Life is good.

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