Pure Barre Rocky River: New Year, New You!

For those of you that I’m foursquare friends with, it comes as no surprise to you that I’ve fallen in love with Pure Barre Westlake/Avon over the past 10 months or so.   However, it may surprise some of you that are familiar with my rocky history with barre classes :)

maui-honeymoonOwner, Lori Standen, brought her love of barre to northeast Ohio and along with it she hired a group of talented staff in Avon.  I personally have Lori, Maggie, Alice and Jenny to thank for burning me into shape leading up to our July nuptials.  I purchased the Bride-To-Be package because I knew I’d be living in a bikini for almost 2 weeks in Maui!

What exactly is a barre workout?

In just 55 minutes, you will achieve a total body workout targeted at the areas of the body women struggle with most:  seat, hips, thighs, abs, and arms. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretch section, which will help you achieve a long, lean, and strong physique.  

I, for one, feel much stronger than I was a year ago, have more muscle definition and love how warm and welcoming everyone (instructors included) are in the studio.

Lori’s success has led her to opening a second location in downtown Rocky River less than one year after the ribbon-cutting at PB Westlake/Avon.  (If there’s any confusion about the Westlake/Avon name – the studio was originally supposed to be in Westlake, but ended up in Avon.)  Since I spend so much time in Rocky River, I know I’ll be frequenting the new space, but will have the luxury of using my classes in both studios – a rarity in boutique fitness locations.

Pure Barre Rocky River is slated to open on Friday, January 17, 2013.   And I have quite the Pure Barre giveaway for you!

Grand Prize: (value $240)
1 month Unlimited
1 pink PB tank
1 pair of PB sticky socks
1 PB re-useable tote bag
1 PB car decal
2nd Prize: (value $115)
2 weeks unlimited
1 pair of PB sticky socks
1 PB re-useable tote bag
1 PB car decal
Third Prize (value $40)
1 Free Class
1 pair of PB sticky socks
1 PB re-useable tote bag
1 PB car decal

You can enter to be one of the three lucky winners by doing one or all of the following:

1. Post a comment telling me one workout you tried that put you out of your comfort zone (for me that was pure barre!).

2. Tweet the following: I want to win a @PB_RockyRiver package from @dawgpndgirl:  http://wp.me/p1euS9-zw #LiftToneBurn. You can tweet once per day.

3. Follow @PB_RockyRiver on Twitter (leave a separate comment telling me you did so or already do!).

4. Like Pure Barre Rocky River on Facebook (leave a separate comment telling me you did so or already do!).

The contest will run for one full week (January 8, 2014 – January 15, 2014).  Three winners will be randomly selected on Thursday, January 16, 2014 and must claim within 24 hours of posting.

Disclosure: I was gifted one month unlimited to Pure Barre for hosting this giveaway.  All opinions are mine, as always.

A very happy 30th in NYC

This may be 3 weeks late but I’m a crappy blogger so sue me.

For my special friend Alissa’s 30th birthday, her closest friends from near and far joined her for an unforgettable weekend in The Big Apple.  For all intensive purposes, I had never been to the city and was excited one of the girls on the trip lived in Brooklyn – she did all the planning for us! I even got to see my old roomie who now lives in NYC. We met at Rolf’s, aka the bar that Christmas threw up all over:



While we had intentions of sight-seeing and shopping, we we’re too busy having fun to be bothered by any of that.  Instead, we drank plenty of beer and wine, ate New York style pizza, went to the best bottomless Champagne brunch at Harry’s, had our hair blown out and danced until the wee hours of the morning.  And I think Alissa would have it no other way.  The pictures say it all…

The group eating 'za

The group eating ‘za

Cabbin' it.

Cabbin’ it.


Eat here. Just do it.

Eat here. Just do it.

HOTTEST server of all time. Evan.

HOTTEST server of all time. Evan.

Acting like cool kids.

Acting like cool kids.

This girl. I love her.

This girl. I love her.

Alissa has been one of the best friends I could ever ask for.  I’m lucky to have her in my life and can’t wait to make 30 more years of memories with her!  Not only did she travel up to CLE numerous times for wedding festivities this year, she went above and beyond as one of my maid of honors.  Since she’s in Charleston, I’m glad our close-knit group of girlfriends makes time for trips like this.  Happiest of birthdays, my friend.

Do you and your friends take yearly trips?



Rachael Ray comes to Cleveland December 14: Giveaway

I’ve always been a fan of Rachael Ray. EVOO, yummo and all.  I tend to watch 3 channels on TV and the Food Network happens to be one of my favorites.  And when I work from home, I always watch The Rachael Ray Show.  I have an obsession with anything buffalo chicken and I think she shares in my infatuation because she tends to share the most mouth-watering recipes.

Lucky for me, Rachael’s PR peeps are sending me a copy of her new book, Week in a Day!  Lucky for you, I have two tickets to giveaway to Rachael’s event in Rocky River on December 14!  All those in attendance will receive their very own signed cookbook.

Saturday, December 14, 7:00 PM

(Doors open at 6:00 p.m.)

Rocky River High School Auditorium

20951 Detroit Road, Rocky River, Ohio 44116

More event info



You can enter win two tickets to her event at Rocky River High School by:

  1. Posting a comment telling me your favorite cookbook.
  2. Tweet the following: I want to win tix to see @rachaelray from @dawgpndigrl: http://bit.ly/1cKbYSU (You can tweet once per day. Leave a comment for EACH tweet).
  3. Follow me and Rachael on Twitter. Leave a comment letting me know you did so (or already do!)
  4. Share this content on Facebook. Leave a comment telling me you shared.

Sweepstakes runs until midnight Tuesday, December 3, 2013. One winner will be randomly selected and must reply within 24 hours to claim tickets.

Good luck!  Whoever wins has to let me know how it is as I’ll be in the Big Apple celebrating my best friend’s 30th!

Disclosure: I was contacted by Rachael Ray’s PR firm to promote her visit to Cleveland and her new cookbook.  Opinions are all mine.

Our wedding vendors

Yes, I work in social media marketing, but nothing beats word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing.  Which is why I trust my friends and online contacts more than a review I’d find on theknot.com or any of the other bajilion bridal websites out there.  That’s why each and every one of our vendors was referred to me by a friend, online connection or they were someone I already knew and trusted.  And I’d fully endorse and refer anyone planning a wedding to each and every one of these talented people.

DJ: Eric Smith from Jerry Bruno Productions

I’ve known Eric for a couple years now.  We met at one of the many #CLEtweetups I organized while working at cleveland.com.  I was beyond intrigued to meet the man (or woman!) behind the hilarious @clepoops Twitter account.  There’s about 2 degrees of seperation in Cleveland and it turned out we know many of the same people, plus, he sold me with his Rod Stewart shout-out in his video. Eric did a fantastic job and even shared his Spotfily playlists with me…I’ll have our songs foreva! He was also great at reigning me in and keeping things on schedule.  Oh yeah, he played Blurred Lines numerous times. Eric was so impressive, he rocked out MacKenzie’s wedding, a marina party while we were honeymooning and at least 3 other events based on my referral (WOM!!!).

The Bearded DJ aka @clepoops

@TheBeardedDJ aka @clepoops

Hair and makeup: Kelley (Munro) Domin and Emily Nowacki

My cousin has done my hair since I was about 15.  She’s an Aveda-trained hair-styling bad ass.  It’s no wonder her clients have always included some Browns players’ wives! Through Kelley, I met her close friend Emily who in-turn became my roommate before I moved in with Dean.  Emily is off in NYC pursuing her makeup dreams.  My bridesmaids and mom looked like babes.

Emily and Ali.

Emily and Ali.

That's all me! Thanks to Kelley!

That’s all my hair! Thanks to Kelley!



Photographer: Tom Forrest Photography

My friend, Janet, was kind enough to not only share her photographer’s info with me, but she also shared her videographer’s digits!  Tom Forrest and Kevin Chuey were awesome.  Again, I knew Kevin from the same cleveland.com TweetUp I met Eric at.  After traveling to Hudson to check out Janet’s photos along with some other albums, Dean and I connected with Tom and appreciated his non-traditional approach to wedding photography.  Kevin spent the first part of his day with the guys while Tom shot the gals getting ready.  Both were professionals but made everyone feel comfortable.  It’s no wonder Tom was already booked when my cousin tried to book him for her 2014 summer wedding.

Tom was all about the natural, candid shots

Tom was all about the natural, candid shots

Love, love, love this.

Love, love, love this.

Florist: Spencer at Life in Bloom

Thanks to Crystal at Eat*Drink*Cleveland, she raved about Spenser out in Avon Lake.  To me, flowers were never important.  Sure, we needed bouquets but we put so much time and effort into other features of the wedding, I didn’t think it was necessary to spend an absurd amount of money on flowers that would die within a week.  Enter Life in Bloom.  Dean and I visited Spencer at her Avon Lake shop in May (less than two months before the wedding).  She told us she could fill each mason jar center piece and the shepherd hook jars with 1-2 blooms per jar for only a around $2 (per jar).  Well, she absolutely outdid herself.  Not only was I in love with our bouquets, the arbor flowers and the boutonnieres, Spencer filled those jars to the brim!  Now, she’s my cousin’s florist!

We saved this!

We saved this!

A pop of pink with the blue mason jars.

A pop of pink with the blue mason jars.

More than one-two blooms!

More than one-two blooms!

Wedding cake: Cousin Lori!

Not only was Dean’s cousin a greeter at the wedding, she also designed and made the cake!  It was absolutely picture perfect and tasted amazing.  Lemon cake on a warm July evening?  Yes, please!

Anchors, burlap and a whole lotta love.

Anchors, burlap and a whole lotta love.

All Lori's design!

All Lori’s design!

Bridesmaid dresses: Bella Bridesmaids

Lori is a woman of many talents.  On top of making & transporting the cake and greeting our guests, she was so incredibly vital in picking out the beautiful bridesmaids dresses at the shop she manages.  I wanted each girl to feel comfortable so let them choose their own dresses.  All the girls picked Joanna August dresses.  Plus, the variation looked amazing if I do say so myself!

Ow, ow!

Ow, ow!

I even ordered my rehearsal dinner outfit from Bella!

I even ordered my rehearsal dinner outfit from Bella! Joanna August separates.

And that’s how you get married.

Pinch me…we both got hitched!

This summer year has been CRAZY NUTSO in the best way possible. I married my best (man)friend and my lifelong partner-in-crime wed the guy that makes her the happiest. MacKenzie and I may have kissed a few frogs in our day, but I think we did something right winding up with our dudes.

Since my blogging has been nonexistent this summer/fall, I wanted to share some of my favorite moments from MacKenzie’s Big Day(s) over the past few months:

Shower hugs with bridesmaid Missy!

Shower hugs with bridesmaid Missy!

Bachelorette day one on the water!

Bachelorette day one on the water!

Bachelorette day two began at aLoft.

Bachelorette day two began at aLoft.

Candid rehearsal dinner shot. Love.

Candid rehearsal dinner shot. Love.

1am wedding dress modeling for the girls who hadn't seen the dress...duh.

1am wedding dress modeling for the girls who hadn’t seen the dress…duh.

I didn't combust in Church, but I did hold her hand.

I didn’t combust in Church, but I did hold her hand.

It wouldn't be right without pushups.

It wouldn’t be right without pushups.

Now that we’re both old married ladies, I feel like I have SO much time on my hands. Happy hour, anyone?

Love you Mac!

Boatgating to a Browns win!

These exact words came out of my mouth on September 18, 2013: I AM DONE and will NOT be attending another Browns game this year.

No, I wasn’t cashing in my fan ticket. I was, however, making a decision to save some money, blonde hairs and calories by watching the rest of the season in the comfort of my own home…or a local bar. I, like many other fans, was just rubbed the wrong way with the Richardson trade. I felt the new ‘regime’ (I hate that word) was just throwing the towel in on this year. Did I mention the Browns sent me a Richardson jersey that Monday? Oy.

Truth is, I’ve been gladly eating my words since we beat the Vikings that week.

Sure, call me a hypocrite. Now that we’re tied for 1st place, I’ll be at more games than I ever anticipated this year!

And the best way to head to a game? On a boat!

Boatgating like a boss.

Boatgating like a boss.

Dean and I hitched a ride with his dad and a handful of friends to last week’s nationally televised game. It felt like a summer evening and it was a gorgeous night to have the national spotlight on our town.

Heading into the game, we we’re wowed by the ‘game-day experience’ and got to laugh throughout the game since Rickonia was sitting next to us.


After the Hoyer injury and the Weeden booing ensued, we began drinking heavily. Which made the win even more sweeter. It was something we haven’t experienced in a very, very, long time walking out of the stadium.

Here’s to hoping the Browns can keep this momentum going because this is FUN.


Stitch Fix: I tried it!

‘Hey Trendsetter!’ Those are words that have never been said to me. I don’t expect them to ever be said to me either. Being a fashionista is one thing I am not, and don’t try to be. If you looked through my closet, you’d find a lot of GAP, Banana Republic, Nordstrom & the occasional Michael Kors.

So, when Kimi told me about Stitch Fix, I thought the personal styling service would be perfect for me! Plus, Kimi always looks cute at work. I tend to look like a ‘slob’ (my best friend’s words, not mine :)).

All I had to do was fill out a style profile (took less than 10 minutes) and told them I had a rehearsal dinner coming up that I’d love a new dress for. Ask and you shall receive!

The beautiful Bride. My stitch fix dress & matching earrings.

The beautiful Bride. My stitch fix dress & matching earrings.

I don’t know what I said when I filled out my profile, but I got A LOT OF BLUE! I ended keeping 3 pieces:


Wore this to The Taste of the Browns!

Wore this to The Taste of the Browns!

I also kept the earrings pictured above. Although I love me some nautical wear, this top was a bit over the top for me:

Bling Bling? No thanks.

Bling Bling? No thanks.

And this dress was so unflattering! A cute color and style, but not for me:



The pieces I received were priced $19-$99. Naturally, the dress I kept was the most expensive item. However, it was totally worth it. You pay a $20 styling fee per box. In my opinion, it’s $20 well spent. You get the luxury of someone else doing the shopping for you and changing in the comfort of your own home. Plus, who doesn’t love opening a package full of unknown goodies?

Another bonus? You won’t see everyone at Crocker Park wearing the goods from Stitch Fix! I hadn’t heard of any of the designers from my first box.

I am already excited for box #2! Next time you see me, just call me fashionista…(not!)

If you want to try Stitch Fix, let me know and I’ll send you my link!

Browns home-opening weekend!

**Congrats to @Timzaun for winning the Browns tickets to the Lions game!

The Browns have always been great at taking us to the highest-of-highs (I’m talking a couple of first downs) and plumetting us into the lowest-of-lows before we can even finish celebrating something semi-positive they did on the field. Do I sound bitter? I’m really not. I fully acknowledge the fact that I choose to put myself (and all of those who are lucky to be around me!) through this each and every year.

You know what though? I probably will never change. They don’t call me dawgpndgirl for nothin’! And the Browns Home Opener is essentially Christmas in Cleveland! I would never miss Christmas! So, my new bro-in-law and I headed downtown to paint the town Orange and Brown…

Cousin Lori and Browns fan CP!

Cousin Lori and Browns fan CP!

Tailgating in the tailgate.

Tailgating in the tailgate.

I even invited my brother…my hubs was too busy hanging out at the marina!


Dave and I enjoyed the first half and then I decided to compare wedding rings with Sarah Haden…and asked her to wear my sunglasses. I’m sure that humbled her.

Summer 2013 weddings...now friends?

Summer 2013 weddings…now friends? Next week we may share shoes.

After waking up with a Monday morning Browns hangover, I got through the day because I knew we had my favorite fundraising event of the year to look forward to: The 2013 Taste of the Browns!

That's A LOT of meals.

That’s A LOT of meals.


We ate well, we drank a bit and we ran into a lot of our friends. Including Chud and Joe Thomas’ wives (see Dean looking like a shrimp above). Living the high life, people!

When the Browns eventually win the home opener, we’re going to be there and it’s going to be awesome! Until then, I’ll pretend I’m friends with Joe Thomas, John Greco, Alex Mack, Bubba Baker, Hanford Dixon, Bill Duff, Kevin Mack…all while embarrassing Heatha.

Did you know? The Browns are tied for first in the AFC North! GO BROWNS!!!!

Cleveland Browns Ticket Giveaway and Fan Appreciation Week

I’m VERY excited to let you all in on what the Browns are up to leading up to their season/home opener on Sept. 8. In a mission to thank Browns fans on how much the organization appreciates our lifelong, dedicated support (and to show the rest of the country why the home-field advantage lives in Cleveland), there will be a week-long series of fan appreciation events and activities leading up to kickoff!

Paint The Town Browns LogoEach day, an activity will be announced on paintthetownbrowns.com. Be sure to check the URL out daily for exciting events that will be taking place and while you’re at it, brag about how truly awesome we are with the #WeAreCleveland hashtag.

In addition to these daily activities, I’m giving away TWO BROWNS TICKETS to the Lions game on October 13, 2013 and it’s easy to enter:

1. Like The Browns on Facebook
2. Follow them on Twitter
3. Follow them on Instagram
4. Tweet the following: ‘I want to win Browns tix from @dawgpndgirl because #WeAreCleveland and we are awesome http://bit.ly/185j95G‘ (You can tweet daily)
5. Leave a comment telling me who your favorite Browns player of all time is and why

You can enter until midnight on Friday, September 6, 2013. Winners will be announced shortly after!

Good luck…and represent Cleveland, Dawg Pound!

Damn right, we're from Cleveland and we're proud of it!

Damn right, we’re from Cleveland and we’re proud of it!

Disclaimer: I was provided with Cleveland Browns swag in exchange for hosting this giveaway. It goes without saying, that I support this team through thick and thin!

A Hawaiian Honeymoon

After the best day and night of our lives, Dean and I knew our adventure was just beginning. For starters, we had (have) the roller coaster of life ahead of ourselves. Not to mention, we were heading to Maui for 12 (TWELVE!) days of tropical-paradise-Heaven. I could go on. And on. And on. And I will, eventually.

But for now, I’ll share some ridiculous photos before divulging a few of our favorite things about Maui:












Not a one of these photos have a filter on them. They were all taken on my iPhone Camera+ app. I packed my DSLR but instantly became a minimalist in Maui (wore makeup once and never dried my hair). I’m ready to go back!