Category Archives: Things that make me smile

27

Today is my last day as a 27 year old. Tomorrow is my birthday and I turn 28.  I think that means I can no longer cling to the illusion that I’m in my “mid-20′s.”  It’s official. I’m in my “late-20′s.” Weird.

I thought today would be a good day to look back and see what I did with my 27th year.  It seems we so often look back on a year and can’t remember what we did with our time. Luckily, I take photos obsessively so I’ve got it all documented. Here’s what I found…

I started by 27th year in Charlotte, NC for Katie’s bachelorette party. It was a long drive but a great trip. I had my first experience with crackle nail polish, made some new friends and had the best time ever at Howl at the Moon! I love this group because they just love to have fun (and because I’m not the tallest -LOVE YOU RACH!)

Chris, Tracy, my dad and myself took our annual trip up to the Lake of the Woods. My favorite part of the 2011 trip- wine slushies! This trip is always the most fun, relaxing rejuvenating part of my summer and I cannot wait to go again this year at the end of August!

In late August, I headed off to DC for my first Blogpaws and Lauren’s bachelorette party.  What a whirlwind weekend! And speaking of the winds, Hurricane Irene tried to keep us down. She failed.

Our late summer/early fall was dotted with monthly weddings. We celebrated with 3 sets of friends – Katie & Danny, Russ & Summer and Jack & Lauren.

In December we welcomed the newest addition to the Radak household – Cosmo Kramer!

New Years Eve was its typical ridiculous self. DC. Beer Olympics. Togas. Enough said.

Spring was all about Ragtime. What an amazing experience. It will probably be my fondest memory from my 27th year. Thank you to everyone who made it such an incredible experience- cast, crew, staff, audiences, EVERYONE!

Finally, I have to mention the Eve 6 concert. This felt like a circle being completed. I have waited years to see them live and it was totally worth it. Meeting the guys was definitely a perk as well.

So, what will 28 bring? Well I’m starting off with a little birthday bash at the Tremont Taphouse.  Photos to come, I’m sure!

Blessed… and Exhausted!

After 2 month of intense rehearsal, Ragtime opens tonight.  The last 2 weeks have been some of the most intense of my life. Between constant rehearsals and a trip to DC for work (and a little fun) last weekend, I am exhausted.  My house is a mess, we have no food, I’ve spent very few waking hours at home, and I feel like I’m neglecting my dogs.

All that said, I’m so glad I did this. It has been the best experience. Performing at Near West Theatre feels like the completion of a circle and performing in THIS SHOW is an honor.  The cast is so talented and the music is beautiful.  The story is timeless and the sets & costumes are incredible.

Are you a Clevelander? Do you enjoy theatre?  If so, you should come see Ragtime.  Performances are tonight through May 20. Check out the photos and video below for more info then go purchase your tickets at the Near West Theatre website. I promise you won’t regret it!

"Success" before costumes

“Success” before costumes

“Success” in costume

“The Night that Goldman Spoke at Union Square”

Hans Holznagel at Tateh in “Success”

So will I see you there? (All photos and video by Geoff Short)

Sh*t Girls Say

I was turning on to these videos just today by my fabulous friend and blogging soul mate, Lindsay in Wonderland.  They are laugh out loud funny and I hope they make 50 more!


To see part 2, visit Lindsay’s post.

Foster Fail: Mr. Bo Jangles/Cosmo Kramer

Most people would probably say that this was bound to happen.  We foster a lot of dogs.  We were bound to find one we just couldn’t give up.  However, I must say that I didn’t expect to get that feeling so fast.  Even with Henry, who we fostered-to-adopt- when Becca called after 2 weeks letting us know that there was another family that was interested in him- I hesitated.  Granted, he was still an 8-month old puppy peeing and pooping all over my house and was only starting to master basic commands but with the adorable 3 year old Henry J. Puppypants curled up next to me as  I write this I can’t begin to think about life without him.

One week ago we traded foster dogs.  After almost 2 months, I was starting to wonder if our home was the best place for Baba Ganoush.  He’s working on becoming more comfortable with people coming into his space and we just don’t have enough visitors to give him the exposure training he needs.  Days earlier we had learned that Mr. Bo Jangles, a 4 year old Rottweiler was in need of a new foster home.  We met Bo at a Secondhand Mutts fundraising event in November and Chris, Tracy and I instantly fell in love.  Bo’s mild temperament, gentle nature and soulful eyes could make any heart melt.  Frankly, after almost 3 months in the program, we couldn’t understand why he didn’t have a home.  Here he is at the Muttsquerade in October…

So, last  Wednesday, we brought him to our home.  He was the perfect guest.  No jumping, no accidents, no barking.  We were in doggie heaven. That’s when Chris started laying it on real thick about how he always wanted a big dog and how this dog could be HIS dog (though it was often unspoken, Chris now openly admits that Henry is really more often my dog than his).

On Thursday I worked from home and Bo was an angel, sleeping at my feet most of the day.  That was when I started considering keeping him as well.  How could it be that after only 18 hours, I was considering adopting one of our foster dogs?  I had made it through 13 other fosters without breaking!  Was I losing my touch?  Was this dog REALLY THAT AWESOME?!?!


By Friday we were talking about what we would rename him as Bo played at my office with Kayden, a coworker’s pitt mix.  We went through a few names.  First trying to stick with B-O names… Bowie, Bowser, Bosley…. but Chris and I couldn’t agree on any of them.  It wasn’t until we went back to a name that Chris has been claiming for “his dog” all along that we hit something we could agree upon… Cosmo Kramer.  Chris LOVES Seinfeld and can quote large portions of almost every episode.  For some reason, he has always wanted to name a dog Kramer.  And now he finally had the chance. By this time, I was convinced- we were adopting this dog.  I called Secondhand Mutts and told Becca that this was our dog.


So here we are, one week later, with a 70-pound Rottweiler to call our own.  We’ve come a long way… and so has Kramer.  When two Secondhand Mutts volunteers went to the Ashtabula APL to pick up 3 new dogs that were being admitted into the program, Kramer wasn’t on their list.  However, the volunteers were Rottie lovers and saw Kramer in a small yard where dogs are allowed to run around before they are put down. They just couldn’t leave him.  Can you image that?  Our sweet, mellow boy with eyes that could melt your heart was on the verge of being put to sleep!?

Obviously, we’ve still got a lot to learn about Kramer but I can honestly say that I don’t regret the decision to adopt him for one minute.  We’ll be taking a fostering break for a while as we get to know him better but based on his love of other dogs and easygoing temperament, we may be fostering again sooner than you think.  But MARK MY WORDS- we are not adopting any more dogs.  2 is the limit.  Kramer and Henry… that’s it… for as long as they want to call this place home.

Back to Blog–iversary

My fellow bloggers love to celebrate their blog-iversaries.  Who could blame them? It’s like an accomplishment… and it’s fun to look back on where you’ve been and how far you’ ve come.

Well tomorrow is my Back to Blog-iversary.  Why Back to Blog-iversary?

Well, I’ve done this whole blogging thing before- twice.  In college I started out with a Live Journal.  God, I wish I could find that thing.  If any of my old friends have a link to that stored away somewhere PLEASE share it.  I would love to look back and laugh at myself.  I remember years of thinly veiled posts about boys I liked, frustration with roomates, recaps of multi-hour conversations on AIM, the general ridiculousness of college and, ultimately, as with any late-teen/early 20-something girl,  frustration with boys I liked.  Seriously, I would pay someone to find that site for me. 

Need a visual on college Sara?  Here you go—


That picture of me, Chris and Amy is from September 2003– 3 YEARS before we started dating.  :)

The second coming of my blogging obsession and the origination of Finding the Time was in July 2008 with my Blogger site.  At the time I still had no real direction for my blog.  I knew I liked writing but I had no sense of what a blog should (or could) be and no sense of what I liked in a blog.  I wrote about my life, occasionally complained about work and broke the news of my engagement then disappeared again in December as I got busy with wedding planning.

Finally in October of 2010, after Lindsay P. turned me on to some amazing blogs like Young House Love and Bower Power, I was once again inspired to write.  This time with more dedication and had a clearer vision of what I wanted to do.  This wasn’t just a place to vent or share personal crap but it was where I could document my favorite things, write about the insanity of trying to DIY our first house into something I could be proud of,  fun Cleveland events, the trials and triumphs of life with Henry and our foster dogs – a little bit of everything from my chaotic life. 

With a couple of quick update posts, I was back in business- but by December I remembered how frustrated Blogger made me (you can read my break-up note to Blogger here).  So, I took a leap of faith and transfered to WordPress…and here we are!

It seems to be the custom that on your blog-iversary that you take a look back on your favorite posts from the last year.  Now, that I’ve bored you with history here are some of my best and brightest…

If you are a fan of Friends, you’ll understand my titles.

The One with my First Baking Attempt - December 2010- I made my Grandma’s chocolate chip oatmeal cookies from scratch.  I don’t really bake so this was a big deal for me.

The One with Our First DIY Project- December 2010-  Chris and I built a mantle for our fireplace.  Okay… Chris built a mantle for our fireplace and I directed/documented.  SO excited to be able to hang stocking this year!!


The One with my first GPS- January 2011-  I love music so my first GPS (Guilty Pleasure Song) post was a big deal.  Sharing music is awesome!

The One with my First Guest Post- February 2011-  While I was busy working on Near West Theatre’s benefit,  Lindsay P. stepped in and kept things interesting by sharing her brownie recipe.  YUM! :)


The One that led to our Cali Vacation- March 2011-  I wrote a post about how frustrated I was trying to figure out where Chris and I should go for our anniversary. My friend, Beth, commented saying we should come visit her and the fam in Cali- so we did.  And then I blogged about it- here and here.

The One where I started my Scene Restaurant Challenge- March 2011- I still haven’t finished this challenge but that doesn’t mean I’m not proud of the idea!

The One with my First Non-Real Life Friend Comment- May 2011-  This was a post about the fact that I had substituted ice cream for dinner multiple times in one week.  Not the most compelling content BUT it was the first time that someone I didn’t know in real life- Alicia from Poise in Parma- commented on one of my posts.  Thanks to the fact that I attended my first OBA Meetup last month I now know Alicia in real life, but I didn’t at the time. It felt like a HUGE milestone. :)

The One with my First Giveaway- October 2011-  I was over the moon when Freshpet asked me to review their dog food and treats and even more stoked when they agreed to a giveaway.  Henry was pretty happy too.  BTW- there is ONE MORE WEEK TO ENTER!  I’m picking a winner on Halloween!


So, that’s my recap of my year in blogging.  Did I miss your favorite post?  What was it? Maybe one you were in (those are always my favorite too!).  Here’s to another year of blogging fun!!

Things I’m loving… 9/30/11

Happy Friday Everyone!  Here are just a few things I’m loving today…

1. This pic from icanhascheezburger.com.  It makes me laugh every time…


2. Our new foster dog, Patsy.  She’s so sweet and easy… You can get more information on Patsy on the Secondhand Mutts website

3. Half days working from home!

4. This amazing video featuring fashion and dance that I found on rockstar diaries:

5.  Last, and certainly not least, the fact that I get to meet Madison June Barbicas tonight!!!


Have a great weekend everyone! OH… and pop back over tomorrow morning for a very exciting post!! :)

Life According to my IPhone

Ever since Chris got me my IPhone for Valentine’s Day, I have been completely obsessed.  How did I ever function without this little piece of technology?  Honestly, I functioned quite well, but life just seems a little more fun and the world seems to be a little more at my fingertips since I got it.

I love photos.  I could look at photos all day long.  I often find myself going through the photos on my Iphone in my spare time. You know, those moments when you are sitting in a waiting room or in the car and you’ve already played all your opponents in Words with Friends???  Oh, is that just me?

I often wonder about what people would think if they had only the photos on my Iphone to go by.  So, I decided to post an assortment here in this new series, “Life According to My Iphone.”  Judge me as you will.  Oh, and don’t just judge me… with my Cali vacation on the horizon (3 days!), I’ve enlisted a few friends to share their life in pictures while I’m gone.  My super awesome and hilarious friend, Candice, will be posting her Iphone pics and Lindsay (of Lindsay in Wonderland) will be contributing her life according to her Blackberry.

So, without further ado…

Lovely tulips I planted 2 years ago. I heart perennials.

At a Season Brochure photo shoot for work.

Tracy & Poe at Andy's birthday party.

I bought this at 12:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. It's 5:00 somewhere??

My cookies n' creme shake from Sweet Moses

Henry on a hot day.

Russ with his $20 lottery ticket at a rest stop in Lima, OH.

My thoughts? I AM AWESOME (but I may be biased). JK!  However, these photos do make me smile. So, what do you think these photos say about me?  If you say that I like food, booze and dogs- you would be right.  But that’s not all I am.  :)

Lindsay & Candice… tag! you’re it!

You, me & Tracee

(In this post’s title, my sister’s name should be pronounced like Deupree. “You, Me & Tracee,” get it???? Did I reach for this one? Yes. Does having to explain the joke ruin it?  Probably.)

It’s official- my sister lives with us!  Over the last 3 weeks we have been tranforming our guest room and over the weekend the official move happened.  It truly feels like we have been talking about this FOREVER.  I thought it was never going to happen… but it has!

Chris’s friends are already refering to Tracy as Deupree.  She seems fine with it.  I’ll ask her how she feels about it again  in 3 months.

So- guest room transformation in pictures? But, of course!

Here is where we started.  Standard guest room.  Only room in the house we had not painting.

Then we emptied the room.  Henry was pretty well devastated about the loss of his bed.  It was probably his favorite place in the whole house (except maybe when he is allowed in our bed). I’m hoping he’ll be able to get past it soon.  The bed & side table went back to Chris’s parent’s house.  The TV table went back to my parent’s house.  The wardrobe (not pictured!) went into the office. 

    

Next, I demanded suggested my sister paint the room.  Give it a fresh start. Make it her own.  I don’t remember the name of the color she chose.  If I were to name it, I think I would call it “Papa John’s Butter Sauce Yellow.”  It makes me hungry for pizza.

  

Then the official move in started.  Tracy comes over often enough that she was able to slowly transition her stuff into our house, 1 car load at a time, over about 2 weeks.

   

Finally, last weekend, Tracy, myself & our manual labor (aka- her bf, Brian & my dad), moved in the big stuff.  In just a few trips back and forth, the deed was done… and ever since I have been begging her to finish setting up so I could take pictures.    Yesterday, she got sick of listening to me and did it!  (Still happy with your choice of living arrangements, sister dear???) :)

  

    

My favorite part of the room?  The closet.  Tracy transitioned it to a 2 tiered system because SHE HAS SOOOO MANY CLOTHES.  All of which I intend to borrow!  I have deemed this Second Closet.  It is fabulous.

So far, Tracy living with us feels like a novelty.  It still hasn’t really sunk in yet that she is here to stay.  I’m sure it will at some awkward inopportune time.  Until then, I’m having fun!

Let them eat Yellowcake!

Personally, I’m a chocolate cake fan.  I love pretty much anything that involves chocolate.  In my world, chocolate cake is to dessert what tomatos/ketchup/salsa/marinara sauce is to every other meal.  Those who know me can attest to this.  Anybody hungry for chocolate cake now?  I am.

…and now that that tangent is out of the way…

What I am a fan of is Project Runway and especially season 8′s Valerie Mayen.

I loved Valerie’s spunky personality on the show and the fact that she was from Cleveland made it easy to pick her as my favorite contestant of the season.  Sadly, Heidi said “alveterzane” to Valerie much too soon and her quirky commentary was much missed in the last 4 weeks of the show.

But fear not!  Valerie has brought her impeccable construction skills and amazing outerwear back to Believeland with her deliciously delectable Yellowcake line!

The Yellowcake shop has been popping up all over town since the holidays and I got to stop in at her current Gordon Square location yesterday. Valerie herself welcomed my coworker, Lindsay, and me into the delightfully decorated boutique with a smile and caramel corn in adorable waffle cone bowls from Sweet Moses (Detroit Shoreway’s enchanting new soda fountain!)-  things were off to a good start!

I perused for a while looking at the adorable pompom pins, handcrafted headbands and lovely gold jewelry.  Mostly, I perused these items first because I assumed they would be the only things in my price range (just behind honest).  My attention then went to a vibrant flowing black and yellow top with ruffle detailing.

I was intrigued- but there were no sizes?!  I asked Valerie if it was one size fits all.  It was.  I’ll be honest- one size fits all sends up red flags for me.  It’s just so ambiguous.  Does it mean one size fits Valerie Mayen- 5’2″ish and probably about 95 lbs???  Does it mean one size fits the average Cleveland woman- about 5’6″ and 160 lbs (sorry to my fellow Cleveland ladies but it’s probably true)???  That “one size” very rarely fits me- 5’10″ and a weight somewhere between the other two.

I was a skeptical, but with encouragement from Lindsay, I tried it on.  Love.  That is all I can say.  Perfect fit.  Totally flattering.  The clothing gods were smiling on me- something they so rarely do. All I needed were my new jeggings, a pair of black heels and a 40 degree jump in the temperate outside and I would have worn that thing out of the store!

Sadly, love at first sight doesn’t come cheap.  The price of love? $58.  I justified it by calling it one of a kind (there were probably about 5 in the store but you get what I mean…). I justified it by saying I was buying local!  I justified it by saying I HAVE TO HAVE THIS.  And so I bought it.  This pretty little piece is sitting in my closet just waiting for an opportunity to make an appearance.  Any opportunity. Quick, someone invite me somewhere fun and flirty!

Oh! I also bought some fabulous gold earrings…

… but my true love is that ruffly top.  It makes me happy.

The moral of the story?  Stop in the Yellowcake pop-up shop in the Gordon Square Arts District (next to the Capitol Theatre) now thru April 3o!  The sweet treats and welcoming environment will put you in just the right mood to buy- and with 5% of all purchases going to charity- you’re shopping for a good cause!

BYOBolo- IBL 2011 Recap

What an amazing experience Indian Bear Lodge was this year.  There are hardly words.  I only see some of these people one time a year and every time we leave feeling like best friends.  There is just something awesome about a group of 27 ridicuous individuals that can come together in the middle of nowhere- play some whiffle ball, drink some Seagram’s, play some beer pong and flip cup, hot tub it, play poker, make meals, make fun of each other and GET ALONG doing it all. 

Highlights of the weekend???

  • We met another AWESOME crazy couple from Charlotte. 
  • I actually contributed in beer pong!!! 
  • The 9 inning wiffle ball game featuring an epic slide by Drew and some quality commentating by Casey. 
  • Amazing group meals. 
  • Laughing and passing around a mango Seagram’s Escape on the porch.
  • “Hey, I can ride the Magnum!!”

Thanks to everyone who was there! You are all AMAZING! A very special thank you goes out to Mike and Hannah Belsito for planning this incredible weekend year after year! I can’t wait for IBL 2012!!!!

I think the story plays out best in pictures…





Some photos stolen AGAIN from Dr. Lisa Molinero Strump!

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