Friday, February 27, 2015

I Woke Up to This: The Journey Through My Four Alarms

If you read the first post in the I woke up to this series, you already know about how I easily sleep through four alarms every morning and that traditional alarm sounds just stopped working for me. I now set my alarm to four songs that I must alternate every 3-4 weeks. Through these posts, you may discover a new song or rediscover an old favorite. Either way, I'm just glad  I get to sleep in tomorrow.

Here's what I've been waking up to this month:

6:00 AM :
Aaliyah feat. R. Kelly - Back and Forth

6:30 AM:
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Fishin in the Dark (I love this song!)

7:00 AM
Beyonce - Sweet Dreams

7:30 AM 
Fairouz - Audak Ranan

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Egg and Avocado Breakfast Toast

Egg and avocado breakfast spreads have been all over Pinterest lately and I was curious to see what the hype was all about. I always have these staple ingredients on hand anyway so I gave it a try this weekend. In conclusion: it's totally worth the Pinterest hype. It's such a simple concept yet extremely filling and delicious. Some people on Instagram suggested adding Siracha sauce, red pepper flakes, and other seasonings. Get as creative as you want!

What you need: 

Toast (I used rye)

What you need to do: 

Many people poach their eggs but I like mine over easy. Toast bread, spread avocado on toast, add egg and you're done! Salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Thrifting 101: Shopping Smarter

Brand new shoes at the Goodwill in Jackson Township for only $6

When you shop at places like Goodwill, you're already a smart and thrifty shopper. But believe it or not, there are tools you can use to become an even smarter thrift shopper. Last month, I mentioned that one of the keys to finding good deals is to shop often but not necessarily buying things every time. Now that you have a good handle on how to navigate a Goodwill store, remember these tips to become a savvy thrifter.
  • Set a budget: Even though the prices are extremely low and affordable at Goodwill GCECO, I always set a spending budget every time I go because I can easily go overboard  buying things that I don't need, just because they were inexpensive. 

  • Understand the tagging system: This is extremely important! Every thrift store has their own tagging system. Goodwill of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio locations use a color tagging system. Every single item is individually priced with a colored price tag. Every week, Goodwill runs in store discounts where a certain color tag is half off and the other is $1.50. Keep an eye out for the colors of the week for even deeper discounts. Right now, Goodwill is running a special where you can save an additional 20% of your purchase! 
$6 brand new shoes at the Goodwill in Jackson Township

  • Donate: I like to donate at least one item every time I visit a thrift store. Not only does this support a good cause, but it also keeps my closet under control! 
  • Buy staples: I try to make the most out of my thrift store purchases by buying items I can wear several different ways. Here, I styled a $5 striped dress five different ways! 
Store Spotlight: Jackson Township (7257 Fulton Drive NW Canton)
I visited the new Goodwill in Jackson Township for the first time recently and was in thrift store heaven! I found so many great deals including a pair of Zara shoes for $7, the striped dress pictured above, and half of the items I need for the fashion show. This store quickly made my list of favorite thrift stores and I can't wait to go back!

You can follow Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio here:
To find a Goodwill Cleveland & Canton store, click here.

This post is part of a Thrifting 101 series for Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Celebrity Thrift Style on New Day Cleveland

My fourth feature on New Day Cleveland was about celebrity thrift style. I selected four of my favorite celebrity looks and replicated them using thrifted clothes. Which one is your favorite?

Email subscribers, if you have trouble viewing the video, please click here.

Blake Lively | Thrifted Version : Blazer $2, Dress, $5 

Gwen Stefani | Thrifted version: Sweater $5, Scarf $1

Jessica Alba | Thrifted version: Dress $4, Jacket $5

Rhianna | Thrifted version: Vest $12, Plaid Shirt $4, Chambray Shirt $5 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Akron2Akron: Downtown Historic Cultural District Tour

The Akron2Akron group toured the Historic Cultural District Downtown Akron on Valentine's Day.  Every tour is led by a neighborhood champion; someone who lives and / or works in the neighborhood and is proud to show it off. Ellen and Pete Nischt are two wonderful people who live in the cultural district downtown. Ellen is the associate director of law at the City of Akron and Pete is the executive director of the Summit County Democratic Party. Kimberly Beckett, who I like to call the downtown guru, co-led the tour and works as the Director of Business Development at the Downtown Akron Partnership. Kimberly is your go-to person for anything downtown.

Neighborhood champions, Pete and Ellen Nischt lead the tour of the historic cultural district

We started the tour at the Akron-Summit Public Library on High Street where we heard from the executive director, David Jennings and Councilman Rich Swirsky. The Main branch is an absolutely stunning building with accessible parking (free after 6pm and on weekends) and an incredible view of downtown. Not to mention, it offers a variety of activities and is a hub for residents of all walks of life. I mean really, who doesn't love the library?

David Jennings, executive director of the Akron-Summit County Public Library shows the group the Children's Library at the Main Branch

We exited the library on Main Street and made our way to Maiden Lane, a charming alley in the heart of the cultural district and home to many Akron gems including Blu Jazz+, Urban Eats, Musica, 3Point Restaurant and Allie. M Designs. Owners Liz and Jason of Urban Eats provided the freezing group with warm hot chocolate as we made our way upstairs to Rubber City Clothing, where you can find practically anything to help you display your Akron pride.
Maiden Lane is home to many Akron gems

It wasn't pretty at times; the group braved the cold to tour downtown Akron's historic cultural district 

The United courtyard on Main Street is open to the public 

Blu Jazz+, owned by developer Tony Troppe is Akron's newest and most popular jazz club

Next we popped into The Nightlight, Akron's newest independent cinema, where we met owner Steve Felix and heard about his vision with the theater. The Nighlight has helped to make downtown a destination, attracting thousands of movie goers since opening last July.

The iconic Dance sign at Musica on Maiden Lane 

Urban Eats is a cozy cafe on Maiden Lane
Musica hosts many of Akron's arts events including Crafty Mart and the Big Love Fest

Jason, owner of Urban Eats smiles the warmest smile! 
Liz, owner of Urban Eats graciously offers the group hot chocolate

The prettiest little corner at Urban Eats

Councilman Rich Swirsky chats with the owner of Rubber City Clothing

Customers can create their own tee at Rubber City Clothing

One of my favorite stops had to be the Western Fruit Basket. I drive past this place every single day and never knew what it was, let alone that it was even open. This quaint Greek cafe has a full menu including some of the best gyros and pastries in town.

Western Fruit Basket & Pastries on West Market Street offers delicious Greek cuisine 

Baklava at Western Fruit Basket
The wind was truly unkind on the last stretch of the tour as we made our way from the Western Fruit Basket to Greystone Hall where we toured the Actors' Summit Theater, one of Akron's most successful theater groups.  Greystone is such a beautiful building with lots of history. It's available for special event and meeting rentals.
Pete and Ellen share some fun facts about Akron's history

Cristina and Richelle brave the cold! 

We wrapped up the tour at Nuevo restaurant. Here, we first made sure everyone didn't have frost bite and then heard from developer Tony Troppe, a man with incredible vision who is responsible for many of the revitalization efforts in the downtown area.

Tony Troppe redeveloped this building on the corner of Mill and High. The building now houses Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar and Leadership Akron's offices
I had a little time to kill before people arrived for the tour

Since it was Valentine's Day, we asked our guests to share a picture of something they loved in the historic district using the #LoveyourCity tag to win a gift card. Be sure to browse through some of the photos posted on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday.

Downtown Akron retail maps are freshly printed and ready for pick up at the Downtown Akron Partnership

I was truly touched by the fact that nearly 40 people showed up despite the bitter cold temperatures and wind. Not only that, about half of those in attendance were new to the tours, which is really a great thing. A huge thank you to everyone who braved the cold, to the Knight Foundation for supporting this tour, and a mega thank you to the partners who hosted us.

Jason Segedy will lead the next tour of  Wallhaven on March 21, 2015. Registration will become available on the Akron2Akron social media pages soon (@akron2akron).