salty not sweet is quite sweet

between the stalking and the updating, it's easy to get sucked in if you have facebook.  my husband refuses to set up an account (but instead he helps himself to mine), because he doesn't want to risk being found by old high school "buddies."  i suppose that can be a downside to some.  but one of the things i have come to appreciate about facebook is its networking abilities.

without facebook, i don't know that i would have discovered this sweet, new little shop. 

photo source.

 salty not sweet (you can read a little bit more about here and here) is located in the waterloo arts district on waterloo rd.  coming from the west side, the drive to the shop is not bad at all (20 minutes), since it's right off the freeway, and it was very easy to find. 

this cute little shop offers a great selection of locally made items from soaps and candles by terra verde soap & candle co., unique cards by candra squire and lots of cool, kiddie items: tutus, leg warmers, adorable hair accessories, plush toys...oh yeah, and my stuff is there too. [i know. shameless.]

i love the fact that small, indie shops, that support locally made products are cropping up all over the place (other examples: room service, blush boutique, greensmart gifts...).  it makes me proud to call cleveland home.


late night early start

we took advantage of having good ol' dad home all of saturday by heading out to the rocky river nature center for the north coast nature festival.

there was music and lots and lots of nature-related businesses and art work.

they had a number of kid-friendly activities, and live animal displays.  i think these ones are a new breed of something...i don't know what.

we were directed to one room where they had a screeching owl out for show and tell.  we were ready to say hello when the little guy decides to pull a fast one and drop a surprise.  and boy was it a surprise.  so with the stinky smell seared into our noses, we quickly headed outside to air out and tool around the trails.

later (and i mean later) that evening, aaron a.c. jones and i made our way to the spitfire saloon for the scoliosis jones show.  some family came out to show their support (thanks corrie, lorrie and gram).  and a proud mamaw enjoyed listening to the show via mobile phone (even though it was very late!).  photos were hard to capture with the low light (and my dislike for flash) and stage set up. 

but here's one of the cute, new drummer (post-show)...

it was a fun night, and i enjoyed watching the show.  you can see more great shots of the show on 52 weeks of cleveland's facebook fan page.  we are so thankful for the opportunity to connect wiht more people in the community!

after a late night, we woke up sunday ready to take on our 4 mile march of dimes walk in downtown cleveland.

now i'm ready for a long nap.  emma and gibson, you'll have to put yourselves to bed.


do something: weekend april 24 - 25

some things we're planning to do this weekend:

baby/kids resale in lakewood, avon and rocky river.  i will not be hitting all of them.  in fact, i don't know if i'll be going to any, even though i was really looking forward to this one (my husband doesn't have band practice and spending half the day at a baby resale is not really at the top of my spend-time-together list).  but they're sure to be good.  i went to lakewood's once and found a great jogging stroller for $50.  love these kids resale events.

north coast nature festival runs through tomorrow, put together by cleveland metroparks.  this free nature festival is held at the rocky river nature center 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. today and tomorrow.  you can check-out nature-related vendors and art, see some live animals, and some outdoor hiking to name a few.

enjoy some free jazz music this afternoon from 2:30 - 5:30 p.m. at the tri-c jazzfest downbeat invitational.  from high school all-stars to some special artist in residence, it looks to be an interesting mix of musicians.

after you get your jazz fix, come by the spitfire saloon in the evening where you can fill up on some rockabilly fun and cheap beer (ha!).  scoliosis jones will be headlining this evening, featuring my favorite man on drums (oh yeah!).

the annual march of dimes' march for babies will start with registration at 9 a.m. down at the time warnner cable amphitheater.  our whole family will be ready to tackle this 4 mile walk rain or shine (i'm hoping shine, shine, shine!!).  since registration is the day of, it's not too late to sign up to walk if you're interested in showing your support.  if a 4 mile walk at 10 a.m. doesn't sound appealing to you, you can still show your supporting by donating and helping meet our modest goal.  if 25 people donate $1 each, we will reach our goal...so close!

lakewood public library's sunday with friends program will be hosting uzizi, an alternative rock band with a 12 piece choir performing music derived from the renaissance.  the show will be held at the library's main auditorium from 2-3 p.m.  sounds interesting, and perhaps the perfect end to a music-filled weekend?


wordless wednesday::welcome to the cool people club

birthday sushi...

birthday brownie...

 birthday fun(ny)...

and this is for my mommy (see, i used it!)...

thank you everyone for the love and the laughs!

more wordless wednesday here and here.


top ten tuesday

yesterday i said good-bye to the last day in my twenties.

welcome 3.0.

top ten memories that stand out from the past 30 years (in no particular order):

1. my 16th birthday party. [rollerskating, sleep-over, and all that good stuff.]

2. birthing my children. [the thrill and excitement of meeting them for the first time is unbeatable.]

3. being overly-eager to work early mornings at the coffee shop with this cute guy i had a crush on (which turned out to be my future husband. ha. it worked out, didn't it?). [espresso shots, upturned aprons, white, white legs-not mine, his...punch-drunk and running on caffeine and minimal sleep. we put on a good show for the customers.]

4. my wedding day. [gray, rainy seattle wedding. in august. perfect. and lots of other fun memories...it may require its own top ten!]

5. high school prom. [you can say what you want, but i had a great time on both my junior and senior year proms. but i don't recommend doing a 12K the day after.]

6. astrid's head getting stuck in between the bars of a gate at the cengkareng airport when we were little. [guess her curiosity got the best of her. sorry, sis...i had to put this one in. it's kinda funny.]

7. helping both my sisters from drowning in the pool (2 separate occasions) after falling in accidentally.

8. astrid being taken to the hospital when she was 5 (?) after she fell and hit her chin on the marble floor-stitches were required. [i remember being terribly upset and crying because she was upset and crying.]

9. the first day he said "i love you." [my stomach did flips and i was on cloud 9 (i suppose i still am).]

10. that crazy metallica concert that i wanted to go to in 7th grade but never did. [broken windows (including ours...i have a scar to prove it :) ), burned cars on the street...i guess some people that couldn't go didn't handle it too well.]


an annual tradition?

last year, the family did the 4 mile walk through downtown cleveland for the march of dimes. last year, i was almost 9 months pregnant when i did the walk (hello contractions!).
we will be doing the walk again this year, and gibson will be joining us outside of the womb this time around.

i have never given birth to a premature baby, experienced what it's like to have a child with birth defects, or said good-bye to my baby soon after meeting him (or her) for the first time.

but i do have children. praise God that they're healthy. and praise God that one is happily residing in His presence. this is why i choose to walk this sunday. and i hope this is something we can do every year together as a family.

if you are interested in contributing to our modest goal please visit our fundraising page, or click the march for babies badge to your right. or you are more than welcome to walk with us...9:00 a.m. is registration!


i can't believe there's no butter (or eggs)

brownies.  they are a popular dessert in our house.  birthdays and brownies go hand in hand.  no one ever requests a regular cake.  even chocolate cake. no. one.

i like to bake.  and i like making brownies from scratch because they're easy to make and fulfill my chocolate fix.  i have a recipe that i've used which produces some rich, decadent brownies (in my opinion, at least).  but maybe it's because there's a half stick of butter in there.  it doesn't matter.  as long as it tastes good.

so, when candra asked if anyone was willing to make some goodies for the salty not sweet craft show tomorrow, i happily volunteered to make some brownies.  however, i thought i'd try something different and try my hand at some vegan brownies.  i wanted to make something that everyone can eat (whether you're a meat-eater, vegetarian, vegan or just plain allergic to dairy and/or eggs).

i was mentally prepared to try a few different recipes, and had picked out a few simple ones to make.  but i fell in love with the very first one i tried (you can find the full recipe at eco child's play).  the only thing i changed was not adding the chopped pecans (or walnuts) to the batter.  instead, i sprinkled chopped walnuts on the top of the first batch.

i took one bite and wow.  i mean, really?  i couldn't believe how rich and chew it was.  with no butter?  and no eggs? 

 i want to devour the whole thing.

do something: weekend april 16 - 18

okay folks.  this weekend is p.a.c.k.e.d. no shortage of things to do if you feel like getting out.

tonight, we will be heading over to VANITYLAB for their 2nd anniversary party.  like last year, they will be featuring local artists, raising money for a non-profit organization, and offering raffle prizes.  this year's fundraiser is for the SPCA, and they will have pups and kittens onsite available for adoption.  the event runs from 6 - 9 p.m. check it out and enjoy some music, free food and drinks, and support your local artists and the SPCA!

lakewood public library will be showing 2 films from 7 - 8:30 p.m. as part of whole food's let's retake our plates film series.  if you are interested in learning more about (or are already involved in) supporting sustainable local food systems and why it's important to know your food's history this would be a great opportunity. 

then there's the beachland bluegrass barn dance tonight.  doesn't that just sound fun?  a barn dance.  all ages show with 6 bands.  doors open at 7:30 p.m. with a $7 cover.  bust out your cowboy hat and come on down ya'll!  yeeehaaaww!

in the morning, lakewood public library will be working with stitch cleveland to host a free event on making your very own tote bag.  the class runs from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and you can register through the library.  already know how to make a tote but would still like to get involved?  they are also looking for volunteers to help registered participants learn to sew their totes.

the beck center is hosting a free art-centered activity for young ones and their families from 9 - 11:30 a.m.  a great opportunity to encourage the hidden artist in your young child.

walk all over waterloo monthly event kicks off tomorrow at noon.  it's record store day at music saves and blue arrow recordssalty not sweet will be holding a craft show from 12 - 8 p.m.   and the galleries all have exhibits for you to see.  music saves has a very comprehensive list for the walk all over waterloo event.  we'll be heading over as soon as kids are done with naps and aaron is done with practice.  maybe we'll bump into each other.  or not.

lake erie nature and science center will be bringing out their screech owl at 3 p.m. as part of their free, meet an animal program.  get up close and personal with this hooter.

we had some great success at the north olmsted early childhood pta kids resale last saturday (even found something for ty), and there are 3 going on for the 17th.  not sure if we'll be making it out to any this time, but you really can find some great deals at these resales.  westlake early childhood pta will be having theirs from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. at westlake high schoollake county early childhood pta will be having theirs from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the willoughby hills community centernorth royalton early childhood pta will be having theirs from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at north royalton high school

i mentioned last week that we would be attending bat boy: the musical.  if you're looking for a good laugh i recommend going to this show (even if you're not a fan of musicals, this might be the only musical you might actually enjoy).  they've got a matinee show at 3 p.m.  if sunday afternoon isn't a good day, they've got a show friday night, saturday afternoon and saturday night.  and the performance runs through may 16, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to see it (or see it again).  schedule and tickets are here.

there are plenty more around but here's what i've got this weekend.  have fun, yo!  see you on the flip side.


an hour at the zoo...what do we do?

blaze through the flamingos...

 to see the lions...

ooops.  not those "lions."  these lions...

say a quick hello to the kangaroos...

then speedwalk to see some monkeys...

this goose wanted to see the animals too...

and gibson enjoyed his first visit to the zoo...

after all that power-walking, we took the tram back to the exit...

worldess wednesday::the view at the zoo

more wordless wednesday here and here.


top ten tuesday

yesterday, i received a package in the mail.  i had been waiting for it almost a whole week.  the package was filled with flavors that reminded me of jakarta.

my mommy had gone home to visit family last week.  she left with 1 suitcase and came back with 2 because of all the consumable goodies she had to bring back (we all put in our requests!).

opening that package reminded me of all the unique indonesian flavors and food that i miss (it's worse when i'm pregnant and i get horrible cravings for it).  flavors that bring back childhood memories, or moments in time during our visits back "to the homeland..."

top 10 favorite indonesian goodies:

1. krupuk. [i can find something similar here at the asian grocery store, but it's not quite like the ones they have in indo.]

2. klepon. [i could eat these yummy indonesian dessert every day.  they are so good!]

photo source.

3. chocolate sprinkles. [these aren't your ordinary chocolate sprinkles that you find at the grocery store.  no.  originally introduced by the dutch, these are 100 times better.  one of my favorite "snacks" as a child (and even now, when i can get it) is buttered bread with chocolate sprinkles.  it's even better when you use the green (pandan) bread.]

4. roti pandan. [transaleted: pandan bread.  i have the means to try and make this (found some frozen pandan leaves at the asian grocery store), but i'm afraid it might not turn out as good.  this was one of the things that came in the package yesterday.  my mother brought 6 loaves home.  can you guess why she had to take 2 suitcases?]


photo source.

5. mie bakso. [i have had some success in recreating this dish here, thanks to the asian grocery store.  it came in handy when i had severe indonesian food cravings with gibson.]

6. gula jawa. [literal translation: javanese sugar.  it's actually palm sugar.  pretty similar to brown sugar, but i think it's got a sweeter flavor (i don't know how sugar can be any sweeter, but that's the only way i know to describe it.  this is what makes the peanut sauce!]

7. cap bango brand kecap manis. [sweet soy sauce...a staple in any indonesian home (at least i think so).  if i had a choice i would only use the cap bango brand, but sadly they only import the ABC brand here in the states.]

8. rambutan. [this fruit grows in indonesia and thailand.  it's never in season when we visit so i've had to settle for the canned version here in the states.  emma and i ate a whole can of them one time.  but it tastes so much better fresh!]

9. manggis. [this fruit is also quite tasty...very juicy like when you're tryin to eat a ripe peach (though it doesn't taste at all like a peach).  i like the sweet flavor of this fruit.  trader joe's used to sell freeze-dried manggis, and i would buy them all the time.  too bad they discontinued it.]

10. es cendol. [this sweet, cold drink/dessert is tasty, tasty.  a perfect way to cool off from all the hot, humid jakarta weather.]

after all this, i think we might just have some indonesian food for dinner tonight!


hold the bat boy, touch the bat boy...

date night with my man saturday night took us to the opening night of bat boy the musical.  it was a christmas present from my in laws: a night out to see one of our favorite plays while they take care of the kiddies.

we haven't seen bat boy since 2003, when it was performed at cain park.  we weren't even living in cleveland back then.  when we found out great lakes theater was putting it on for their spring season, we were pretty excited.  and we were especially excited that corrie was going to stage manage the production again (and aaron was giddy that fabio polanco was coming back to reprise his roles in the play).

we were pretty close to pulling a repeat of 2003 (when we showed up a little late for the show and corrie held the show for us...helps to have connections!), since little agent gibs is still attached to me for bed time.  thankfully, we made it with about 1 minute to spare.

the play was fabulous and full of energy.  i thought everyone (actors and crew) did fantastic.  i loved the new choreography for the dance numbers, and there were plenty of funny moments to make you laugh until you cried (well, i was brought to tears at times).  everything was as good as i remembered 7 years ago, if not better.

the hanna theater is gorgeous!  i especially love the ornate ceilings.  they've also added some fun features to enhance your visit to the theater.  on performance day, you can arrive early to watch cast and crew prepare for the show while enjoying a nice beverage from the bar (inside the theater itself).  and in the lobby, you can purchase little snacks to enjoy during the show.  how cool is that?

after the show, we met up with corrie and walked over to bricco for the after-party.  the place was packed, but it was fun to be able to chat with some of the actors and crew members.  a big thank you goes out to pap for hanging out at the house while we were on our date.

photo source.

 it was without a doubt a fun-filled and enjoyable evening!


2 years

around this time in april, for the past couple years, has been a bittersweet moment (mostly sweet, though) for me.

2 years ago, i was pregnant.  and 2 years ago, at 10 weeks pregnant, we said good-bye to our little bean.  how do you love someone with all of your heart that you have never met before?  how do you miss someone so much that you've never even met?  i don't know.  and i don't know if over time, you finally get over it.  or if the memory of it all begins to blur so that with each passing year not every little thing will be a reminder of that experience.  it was only one miscarriage.  i admire mamas who have persevered through more.  it took a lot out of me to deal with one, i can't imagine how you would get through two, or three, or four...

i suppose i'm not really sad about it, because i know i'll meet this sweet baby eventually.  but everyday, there are reminders of this baby all around me.  the orchid we received from a friend when we found out about the loss.  it blooms every year (and i'm not that great at caring for orchids).  the change in the weather as spring arrives reminds my senses of that particular time.  seeing my nephew, sam, who was supposed to share the same due date as our little bean.  and holding my sweet baby gibson...

i don't see these constant reminders as a bad thing.  it doesn't bring me sorrow or pain.  sure, i have a few cry-fest moments during this particular week in april.  but most of all, these constant reminders, brings me sweet memories.  sweet memories of God's love and His mercy.  sweet memories of his constant faithfulness in our lives.  sweet memories of His kindness through our friends and family that supported us through that time.  sweet memories of how He works all things out for good...

...and life is good.


do something: weekend april 9 - april 11

alrighty folks...here are some of the things going on this weekend:

if you have a teen planning to attend prom, lakewood public library is putting on a super cool event today from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.  they have over 200 prom dresses that they are giving away for free!  that's right.  bring your daughter over and let her peruse the vast selection of gowns without you spending a penny.  surely, she will find the perfect one for that special night.

tremont artwalk is tonight from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  this event occurs the 2nd friday of every month (snow, sleet, or sunshine does not stop this recurring event!).  we still have yet to check this out.  hopefully we can come down tonight depending on how well the chunk monster napped.  i love, love the tremont and ohio city neighborhoods for its mixture of old homes and modern, thriving businesses.  if you've never been down this area, the artwalk is the perfect opportunity to visit this neighborhood.

opening night for bat boy: the musical is tomorrow at the hanna theatre at 7:30 p.m.  the show is put on by the great lakes theater festival and stage managed by my dear sister-in-law.  we originally saw this show 7 years ago, while visiting cleveland, in cain park as part of their summer season.  we were actually about 5 mintues (or so) late for the show, but since corrie was the stage manager she held the show until she knew we had arrived (how awesome is that?).  don't worry, corrie.  we wont' be late for tomorrow's show (and aaron can't wait to see fabio!).

feeling crafty?  stitch cleveland is offering an applique pillow workshop tomorrow, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and sunday the 11th, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.  cost is $65 and you should have registered by the 6th.  but if you call, maybe there are still spots available?  as a side note, they are also going to start a hand-sewing club in may (yay!!!).  it will be offered every first thursday from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  i'm hoping i can drop by every once in a while to do some embroidery.

if you're like me and enjoy thrifting, garage sale-ing, or finding a great deal, you might find kids resale events exciting.  i already missed a bunch last month (so sad), but i'm going to keep my eye out for the ones this month.  and i'll be sure to share them here, too.  so, tomorrow, north olmsted early childhood pta will be having their spring kids resale event at st. clarence church from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  early birds (8:00 - 9:00 a.m.) pay a $5 cover and $1 if you come after that.

inlet dance theatre and verb ballets will be featured at the cleveland public theatre this weekend as part of their danceworks program.  for more information on seeing inlet dance go here.  for more information on seeing verb ballets go here.  *sigh* i miss performing.

just a handful to get you started.  enjoy your weekend!


top ten tuesday

yesterday, we walked down to have dinner at the melt (ooh, that grilled cheese sandwich with mushroom and caramelized onions washed down with a cold, smooth ale sounded sooooo good).

photo source.

"party of 3?  it will be an hour to an hour and a half wait."

1. hour.  at 5 p.m.  i should have known (how i long for the the days when they were first open and we could get a seat in 15 minutes.).  we had the little ones with us and potentially waiting over an hour probably would not go over so well.  then again it might have.  we just have never tried.


top 10 alternate plans when you get shot down at the melt:

1. go home and try to re-create what you were craving.  [we tried this once.  didn't work.]

2. go for sushi or hibachi.  or both!  [nothing curbs the melt craving like sushi??]

3. el jalapeno on 117th.

4. order the melt take-out.  [the wait for this is still an hour, but at least you can feed the kids and keep them entertained easier when you're waiting at home.]

5. the beer engine.  [they have been our plan b a few times before.]

6. press your face against their front window and watch people eat.  drool optional. [maybe it will make them eat faster, which will free up more seats, which may make the wait shorter.]

7. five guys burgers.  [it's a chain, yes.  but they have pretty good burgers.  and you can add mushrooms!]

8. put the kids to bed, find someone to fire-sit and go back to the melt.  at least this time around we could wait at the bar.  [never tried this one, but it sounds like a good idea to me.]

9. use lots of money, your charm and good looks (or threats if the first approach didn't work) to get someone to give up their spot in line.  [i don't know how well this one will fly, but desperate times call for desperate measures.]

10. go to aladdin's just down the street.  [this is what we did this time around since we walked.  another family favorite for some delicious dining.]

oh eastside melt, please open soon!  not for me but for the east siders that come over to enjoy some grilled cheese goodness.  but i don't even know if that will really make a difference since that place is so good!


linner or dunch?

so is it early dinner or late lunch? what do you call that?  linner? dunch? i don't know. but we did just that yesterday at my in-law's house (a.k.a. gram and pap).

it was a glorious, glorious day. not only was it glorious that it was easter, but it was glorious that easter was not accompanied by snow or cold.

the food was plentiful and scrumptious as always. and then the little ones enjoyed some play time outside testing out the new, ginormous, air-filled slide...

 ...i think they liked it.
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