Guess what today is…

I will be accepting all gifts in half-form today. Including a half-dozen roses, half a sheet cake, and of course, a half million dollars.

Juuuuuust kidding.

Seriously, today actually is something special. It’s actually my half-versary (ok I’m done) of being pop/soda/coke free!

I gave up pop at the being of the year and haven’t looked back. To some people that’s not a big deal, but I used to drink a significant amount of it.

Honestly, it adds nothing to your life and you are better without it.

Have a happy and healthy July!

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my drunk kitchen.

Ya’ll need to get up to speed on this internet sensation.


She’s hilarious and kind of my hero. Check it.

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tour de cleve.

Dear Cleveland,
On July 29, 2011 – you must do this.

…and if you don’t live in Cleveland, find your local chapter and get involved.

I participated in Cleveland Critical Mass last night. Critical Mass is a bicycling event typically held the last Friday of every month in over 300 cities around the world.


(Check out my Peugeot! I’m in love.)

CCM meets downtown in Public Square.

This month’s ride was extra special for a couple riders, they got married! Sadly I missed the wedding but I heard it was super cute.

At 6:30pm we were off!

We rode around downtown for a bit before circling back to Public Square to meet up with another group ready to go at 7pm.

The destination this month was the Larchmere neighborhood in Cleveland near Shaker Heights.

Along the way we were greeted with lots of waves, words of encouragement, friendly honks, and curious bystanders. It was amazing to see how supportive and happy most motorists and locals were. I heard so many people inquire about what was going on and how they could get involved. I talked with a couple ladies who were working at a local shop, giving them the information and encouragement to join us next month. I hope they weren’t too offended by my sweaty helmet hair.

After an hour and 15 minutes and 12.29 miles, we made it!

Our grumbling tummies and need for rehydration led us to Academy Tavern on Larchmere Blvd.

Their fish and chips special and a tall brew made this lady very happy.

So seriously, July 29 – be there. And don’t worry if you don’t have a bike, you can contact Great Lakes Touring Company to rent one! They will deliver a bike for you at Public Square and pick it up at the end of the ride.

I’ve done a lot of cool things in this city, but I don’t know if CCM can be topped. Ride on.


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salmon cakes.

Want to fluff up some canned tuna/salmon?

Here ya go.

Salmon Cakes

1 can salmon packed in water
1 egg
1/3 cup breadcumbs
seasoning of choice

Put all the ingredients in a bowl:

Mix and season. I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning because it rules:

Form into patties and cook in a lightly oiled skillet:

Brown on both sides and eat!


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yeti battle 2011.

Why hello beautiful…

I spent the holiday weekend breathing the glorious mountain air near Kinzua Dam in the Alleghenies.

Also – getting eaten by bugs, falling down mountains, suffering from smoke eyes, eating way too many hot dogs, almost peeing my pants 378 times, not fishing on a fishing boat, laughing at other people falling, witnessing a super vornato, not taking a shower, unplugging from the world, and fighting a Yeti.

You see, I got pretty banged up Saturday evening. An innocent romp in the woods turned into an epic battle of girl vs. beast.

This is basically a perfect re-creation of what went down…

Ok, fine. There wasn’t a Yeti. No epic war between species. Just a clumsy gal trying to walk in the forest back to her tent.

A tree branch grabbed my leg (I swear) and took me down into a leafy ditch. No one saw this beautiful fall, but they heard it. Fellow camper, Middle Mike, described the event as such, “I’ll never forget the sound that made. Leafy footstep, leafy footstep, kaTHUD……(silence)…….leafy footstep, leafy footstep.” I’ll save you from having to look at my Jupiter-like bruises, just know they are AWESOME.

I’m beginning to think Kinzua is an enchanted evil forest.  The Yeti’s are involved in some crazy karmatic witchcraft. I laugh at a friend for falling off the boat into mud and later that evening…destroyed.

Don’t mess with Yeti’s, man. They mean serious business.

Anyway, camping was amazing as always. The much-needed escape comes at the perfect time every year. Good company, good food, good times.


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pretzel cookies you say?

I know I named my blog “Hip & Healthy”, but I love to bake so you’re going to get a lot of very unhealthy things.

Today I wanted to experiment, so that’s exactly what I did.

Oatmeal Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chips and Pretzel bits (yeah!)

Who doesn’t love chocolate covered pretzels? I know I really do!

Like I said earlier, these aren’t healthy BUT there are exactly two ways these are semi-healthy.

  1. With the addition to Oatmeal I am not tempted to eat the dough. Uncooked oatmeal isn’t the most pleasurable thing to nosh on.
  2. Oatmeal adds a significant amount of fiber to the cookies. We all know fiber = goooood.

I started with the Quaker Oats Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe. I reduced the salt to a 1/4 teaspoon (since there is salt on the pretzel sticks), obviously replaced the raisins with chocolate chips, and added chopped/crushed pretzels.

I wasn’t sure if adding the pretzel bits to the dough would result in them being soggy, so I tested the pretzels inside and outside.

Aaaaaand the winner is…

Pretzel outside!

Just sprinkle pretzel pieces on top of cookie dough before baking. They come out crunchy and salty and all around perfect.

The cutest kid ever approves (aka my nephew, A.J.)

He never tasted the cookies, he’s just cute.

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french connection.

Apparently some looney tunes are saying the world is ending Saturday. Where did they come up with this? I really wish people would stop being crazy and just float along quietly like the rest of us.

If this is true, I will be sooo pissed. There are still so many things to do and see.

Yesterday I watched the first Paris episode of No Reservations. I love Anthony Bourdain, he gets it. To me, he knows how to live life (minus the smoking, he really should stop smoking). Tony explained why Paris (Europe in general) is awesome. They have such appreciation for life. Days aren’t wasted away working or mindlessly watching TV. They talk, laugh, eat, and drink with such passion. Passion for the good things in life.

If any of you know me well, you know that I am insanely obsessed with Paris. I’ve never been, I only admire from a far. I hope to get there soon, and I imagine this is how it will be:

(I recently started making MS Paint cartoons – you will see more, many more)

Paris oozes romance to me, and I am a sucker for romance.  I want to dance in the streets like they do in old movies, eat at an adorable cafe, drink wine on a balcony as the Eiffel Tower and I gaze into each others eyes. Sigh. Some day soon, my love.

Maybe this whole thing will teach us to appreciate life more. Live every week like the world is ending Saturday. Get off Facebook and actually talk to someone, eat really good food, play outside, love someone, do something that scares you.

Live life like the Parisians do.

Au revoir!

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