Little by little

I watched a video recently where a woman talked about how you can tackle anything if you’re prepared and I sat there thinking, “Well, duh.” But then I stopped and thought about all the times I thought about doing something, and my brain told me, “No. That’s too hard; we can’t do it.”

Laying the foundation or doing the groundwork often feels like too big of a task to lead you to this goal, so you dismiss it. Last year, I put it into my head that I would run a half marathon. Luckily for me, I was in my best shape since 2009 and laying the foundation (aka putting in the miles) seemed like an easy feat. Spoiler: it wasn’t. But that’s not because it was physically hard – obvi – it’s because I was stubborn about my training and wanted to do this all on my own, simply to prove to myself that I could.

I did it, and on April 30, 2017, I ran my first half marathon. So far it has been my first and only half but I still refer to it as my first because I didn’t hit my goal time and I want to train and run more. I do hope to run a full marathon one day; however, that isn’t in my near future. Because life is never easy, I stopped running right after I crossed the finish line due to an injury… and then I spiraled.

I started eating terribly. I couldn’t exercise for three months when I was doing PT. And I just lost myself. Now, nine months – or 275 days – since that half marathon I am fat, out of shape, and the thought of running anything seems daunting.

But I know one thing about myself: I can do hard things. I can buckle down and spend this year on myself. From 2015 to 2017, I focused on myself. I focused on getting in shape, cutting out bad foods, drinking less. But, like almost anyone who has started a weight loss journey, I wasn’t doing it the “right way.” I added exercise back into my life, something that I did from 7th grade through senior year of high school. I ran cross country, and I was skin and bones in high school, so when I stopped running in college and continued to eat like food was going out of style, I gained around 70 pounds without really noticing. Then, I graduated college and got a desk job where I added another 30 pounds… It’s shocking writing this down because I honestly knew I was gaining weight, but I didn’t know how I could change what I was doing.

So in 2015, two years after graduating college, I decided to change. I joined a gym and got a trainer. My trainer became someone who motivated me, pushed me, and coached me about eating right. He was someone who took me from a girl who could barely press 14 pounds to someone who has a deadlift PB of 225 lbs. From October 2015 to June 2016, I worked out with him twice a week and ran four times a week. We then parted ways when I moved, and I kept up my running so I could run the half in April of 2017. During my time with him, I thought I was eating right. However, looking back I realize that I was almost punishing myself through food and exercise and a little devil called My Fitness Pal. I was addicted to tracking my macros, and I wouldn’t allow myself to eat certain things due to their calorie count.

Fast-forward to now, I’m working out with my trainer again (now at a different gym), still twice a week with the same goal weight in mind. And I’m tackling the nutrition aspect differently. I’m not cutting out foods that I like just because they might have a higher calorie count and I will allow myself to “cheat” and not punish myself by having to workout hard or longer because if it. I am treating my body like the temple that it is, and I’m listening to what it needs vs. the past where I would only eat what an app told me I could.

Here’s the funny thing that no one tells you, weight maintenance is a slippery slope. I thought because I had reached my goal one weight at the half marathon and was working to lose a little more eventually, I could take it easy, and I would be okay during the injury and PT time. But when you stop EVERYTHING (running, lifting, counting macros, etc.) and start eating terrible you will not maintain. You will gain. I had lost 60 lbs, and within nine months I have put back almost 40.

This shook me to my core when I finally hopped on the scale on Jan. 1. I knew I had gained weight. I‘m not an idiot. My clothes weren’t fitting, and I was wearing things that I wore before my weight loss. I think that problem I have/had is that I wasn’t losing the weight the correct way and I didn’t lose the weight for me the first time around. I was losing it for other people.

I didn’t want people to refer to me as their fat friend, I didn’t want my family to be embarrassed by my size, etc. This time around it’s different. I’m doing it for me and only me – much like my half marathon.

But I’m not going to do it alone.

I will be open about my journey. I will share it, and I welcome feedback, I want to grow throughout this process so that I can maintain it. It’s going to be hard work, but you can do anything if you work at it little by little and prepare.



The Roaring Twenties: How we’re all royally screwing it up

I recently read a book by May Jay, Ph.D. entitled, “The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter – and how to make the most of them now.” In it she discusses how a vast majority of twentysomethings are wasting away their twenties because they think that the “thirty-is-the-new-twenty” culture tells us these years don’t matter and that they are to be thrown away. That they are years to be played with – to throw around.

If you don’t have time to read the book, Dr. Jay gave a Ted Talk that is a quick peek into what the book entails, in the talk she gave 3 pieces of advice for how twentysomethings can re-claim adulthood in the defining decade of their lives:

  1. Get something Identity Capital. Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that adds value to what you want to do next.
  2. The Urban Tribe is overrated. Look outside your innercircle for next big thing. Look to your weak ties for your next job, your next love – this is not cheating the system… this is using the system.
  3. The time to start picking your family IS now… The time to work on your marriage is before you have one.

The book itself is divided into three sections: Work, Love, and The Brain and the Body

Work talks about increasing your “identity capital”, the value of milking your weak ties, the unhelpful prevalence of Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/general social media comparisons, and seeing a career as the first step in a unique, customized life versus settling down (hey – maybe you can even make blogging a career!).

Love goes into the importance of taking dating seriously in your 20s, compatibility with possible in-laws, how to make sure living together isn’t harmful (e.g., it shouldn’t be something you slip into but something that you do with you after serious thought and consideration) and, obviously, at the heart of the section – choosing the right partner.

The Brain and Body is sort of a miscellaneous collection of pieces centered on how your brain, body and mind works. This section also covered a lot of neuroscience research I wasn’t aware of. For example, your brain undergoes a radical period of reconfiguration in your 20s, which means now is the best opportunity for learning skills. Or, the frontal cortex that controls a lot of our mature responses such as regulating emotions is still developing for most people in their 20s. Besides the physical brain, Dr. Jay also talks about the mind such as learning how to calm yourself down, how to develop confidence (rather than believing it’s fixed), and that you can radically alter how you feel by changing parts of your life.

The final chapter before the epilogue talks about mapping your years to see how limited your time truly is. It seems common for many young people to talk about getting their career in order or going to graduate school eventually, getting married and having kids but not all at the same time. Except, when you’re 25 or 27 saying this, you’ll realize that you’re actually quickly running out of time.

By far my favorite thing that I enjoyed learning from the book was The Big Five. The Big Five refers to the five factors that describe how people interact with the world: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism. Just by reading about the Big Five and considering your own behavior, it is pretty easy to tell whether whether you fall on the high end or the low end, or somewhere in the middle, of the five dimensions.

I suggest you pick up the book, read it – create your timeline. The future isn’t written, there are no guarantees. Claim your life and get to work today.

You are deciding it all – right now, everyday.

Rock you like a hurricane

One year ago, I went on an impromptu trip with my best friend Shannon to New Orleans. The two of us had never gone on a trip together and it was nice to plan a last minute trip to see her and see a new town at the same time. Shannon and I decided we would take a trip every year, or every other year (this year has gotten CRAZY for me with weddings).

I don’t think either of us knew how much fun we would have together or the stories that would come out of our trip to NOLA. I think New Orleans is the Southern Vegas, so some of our stories will stay between the two of us. But the food and PG adventures can be shared with all you strangers!

We encountered the nicest people during our time in New Orleans. Everyone went above and beyond to make our trip so fun and carefree. We got in Thursday night – around 9pm and took the nicest Uber to our AirBnb. Our driver took us on a mini tour of the area pointing out areas we should steer clear of and the areas that we should go. She told us where to go if we wanted to see sites that were still trying to recover from Katrina 12 years later. She was basically our taxi tour guide, she was fantastic. We then met our AirBnb host who was equally fantastic, we stayed in the Arts District – which was cheaper than the French Quarter and a short walk each day. He was a school teacher nearby and lived above the apartment we were staying in. He was also our resident palmetto bug killer because Shannon and I do not mess with that.

And just like the races, we were off and running in NOLA! The night we landed we went to a few bars near our AirBnb, Hi-Ho Lounge and Siberia – both had live music and food which was needed after a day of work/travel. Siberia’s polish menu is weird – but somehow it works and you fall in love with every bite.

The next morning we were off to Café Du Monde, but first we needed to cut through the French Market to take in the sites and to avoid the quick downpour that struck during our walk! But all was forgiven once we ate those delicious beignets, had a heaping coffee and started window shopping (you know, once the rain stopped).

Window shopping lead to day drinking at Pat O’Brien’s and somehow we wandered home to shower and get ready for a night out on Bourbon Street! But first, dinner. We dined at Royal House out on the ricketiest patio eating oysters that were the size of our heads and some nice southern meals. We then made our way to Bourbon Street where we started the night at Tickler’s Piano Bar – every night should start at a piano bar that knows the perfect moment to play Hang On Sloopy (I also spent $20 to keep it going because there were some rowdy MSU fans in the house that wanted it off). One thing led to another and we found ourselves part of a bachelor’s party.

If you’ve been to Bourbon Street, this is not hard to do – the entire road is made up on bachelors and bachelorettes. Shannon and I were the freaks for being there on a “girls trip,” and not having 16 other women with us. We mystified people. Well, we mystified men.

We could have fun in a cardboard box. But put us on a dance floor and we will turn it up. Bourbon Street was a rowdy time. From Tickler’s Piano Bar we headed to Razzoo’s at Razzoo’s we ditched Bachelor Party #1 for Bachelor Party #2, then it was on to the Bourbon Bandstand. After the Bourbon Bandstand, we decided to go back to Razzoo’s and we ran into Bachelor Party #1 and it was here that we irish exited Bachelor Party #2 and joined back up with Bachelor party #1 (I don’t understand us either but we were dancing machines and we came to party).

The next morning we were somehow alive and functioning enough to eat lunch and then head to the Garden District to walk around and look at gorgeous homes and check out graves at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.

On to party night number 2! Surprisingly, this night did not involve any bachelor parties… just a group we will call “The Dads” and Rugby Players. In true fashion we started the night with dinner at Adolfo’s on Frenchman Street (this street is so much fun) and the restaurant is cash only, a fact that I’m glad we knew about before we went! Then it was back to Bourbon Street! Once again at our tried and true Tickler’s… where we met the dad’s and on to Razzoo’s we went where this time we got the VIP treatment because Shannon became besties with a bartender the night before. In true Meg and Shan fashion, we ghosted the dad’s at Razzoo’s and were on to the next bar! This one was called the Bourbon Cowboy and it was here that we ran into a herd of Rugby Players from Dallas. These gents were a hoot and a half and could make even 5’8” me feel like a shrimp, they were skyscrapers! And boy, did they love to dance!

We danced the night away with them from bar to bar and then bailed when it got to be really late…

The next morning we were off to brunch at Brennan’s and then a trip to the plantations! Shannon and I went to Oak Alley Plantation to see the rich history of this area, and it was fascinating to learn the stories of these homes. We also had a weird trick of constantly running into Bachelor Parties that we encountered from the nights before… We had our final (amazing) dinner at Café Amelie sitting outside sharing stories from the weekend and laughing too much.

And just like that, our whirlwind adventure in New Orleans came to a close. Not before Shannon got stranded in the NOLA airport due to the flooding in Houston last year… but alas, we all made it out alive and with a few more stories up our sleeves. 🙂


When’s the last time you went on a whirlwind adventure with your bestie?

The Rosy Basic B
Because when you’re tearing it up in New Orleans with your best friend wrecking havoc on unsuspecting souls, the best thing to wash down the stories with is a gin, rosé and lime juice. So pour yourself one and let the stories flow!

Rosy Basic B

The weather is finally getting warm, which means that Patio Season is right around the corner! And when the weather warms up the short shorts and cute, flowy summer dresses are seen a plenty on the streets worn by all the basic betches. I mean if you don’t celebrate the start of the warm weather with a skimpy little dress or your coolest pair of jorts – are you even celebrating properly?

The answer to that question is no of course my loves! And if you’re celebrating the way a Basic Betch would you need to so in style. The Rosy Basic B is named after the sun-kissed cheek glow you will undoubtedly get from sitting on one too many patios in the next few weeks.

Gin – preferably one with piney or citrus notes (think Bombay or Beefeater)
Sparkling Rosé – whichever brand you prefer, it just needs to be a rosé.
Lime, juiced

In a shaker over ice, add 1 oz. of gin, 1 lime juiced and 3 shots of Rosé (or 4.5 oz. if you’re not using my preferred measuring guide aka a shot glass) – gently swirl.

Pour into champagne flute and sip away, you Basic Betch. (serves 1, because a true basic b is comfortable making a classy cocktail for just herself and her RBF.)

In the blink of a… light

Life moves really fast. Some say it moves at the speed of a blink of an eye. For me, the month of March moved at the speed of, let’s say a light moving from yellow to red.

Up until March 8, my trusted mode of transportation was a silver 2014 Ford Escape. This was my adult car. It was the very, first thing I (me, all by myself) purchased when I paid off my student loans and I sobbed in the dealership because I went to “look at cars,” I didn’t think that meant I would purchase something (oh how naive 22-year-old me was).

So I bawled in the dealer, but I never regretted my purchase. Not even when I had to spend an arm and a leg each month on that car payment. I loved everything about that car. I loved it’s sunroof. I loved it’s back-up camera. I loved it’s spacious seats. I loved that I could pack it up. I hated that because I had a small-sized SUV I helped multiple friends move due to my car. That car drove with me for 1.5 hours a day to and from my old job. And then I got a new job and I didn’t drive to work anymore.

But it just made me love my car even more when I drove it on the weekends or at night to the gym where I got super swoll. And then I moved downtown and didn’t need a car at all because I walk everywhere (to work, to the grocery store, etc.). But because this is Cleveland, you can’t actually go car-less so I still had my car and I still loved it just the same. Once you move to downtown Cleveland the thought of getting your car out of the garage and driving to a grocery store out of the city is exhausting. But alas, I try to do it once a week or every other week so I can meal prep or forget to meal prep and then throw away all that food and money.

(Side note: Can we all try and be better meal preppers this year? How do those people meal prep every week, week after week? I am extremely envious of them and their extremely put together lives. As I’m writing this I’m eating an Uncrustable that I consider a meal.)

I got my Ford Escape June 21, 2014. And it met its fateful end 991 days later that March 8 morning.

Luckily, I did not meet my end, so my car did it’s job. But it’s crazy how your life does flash before your eyes as you’re spinning in an intersection and then you end up coming to a stop facing the wrong-way on a one way road. My car was totaled. I on the other hand was not, just a few bruises and scratches from who knows what. I then got to start the fun protocol of dealing with insurance and totaling a car in a city that you don’t live in and getting a new car. For the record, it takes around 2.5 weeks (at least with a reputable and nice insurance company). And then you still have to purchase another car!

So back to the dealers I went, this time older… wiser… able to negotiate harder… and I was not going to cry (at least this is what I told myself over and over again). But, you know what? I was right! I did not cry.

I ended up getting a 2015 Mazda CX-5 in cherry red. I’ve never had such a vibrant car before in my life, I think it means I’m going to have to watch my speed. But here’s to new cars in 2017, and here’s to staying safe on the roads – you might just want to avoid me.


The Drunch Bloody.

Because life comes at you fast. This week, enjoy your weekend brunch with friends and maybe let’s try to DIY it at home… you know, to avoid hitting the roads?


Drunch Bloody

Every great weekend deserves an even better drunk brunch. It’s really the only way to measure if you had a great weekend or not, and no brunch is complete without a Bloody Mary or two… So, without further adieu I bring you an easy and full-proof Drunch Bloody!

Vodka of your choice
Bloody Mix (Zing Zang is the best IMHO and you should always strive to live life on the spicey side)
Worcestershire Sauce
Celery Salt
Garnish with a least a celery stalk, at most a cheeseburger (hey, I’ve seen it!)

In a glass with ice add 4 parts bloody mix to 1 part vodka, then add:

  • 2 good shakes of worcestershire
  • ½ tsp. Horseradish
  • 2 shakes of tabasco

Stir. Sprinkle with celery salt and garnish to taste. 🙂

I’m not exactly saying no… but I’m not saying FUCK YES

I’ve taken a hiatus from a lot of things. It started accidentally – I’m not going to say that I had a grandiose plan to take a break from watching TV every night and instead start running again. I’m not going to say that I decided to cut cold turkey and delete all my dating apps on a whim one night. I’m not going to say that I just cut all the shitty people out of my life, though you know who you are, I’M CALLING YOU OUT (jk). That’s not how it happened, I vowed to keep it real here – actually, I never vowed to do shit with you but I think you and I will keep it real, right? I will tell the truth and you, you will point out in the comments when I spell something wrong. That’s how this works.

What did happen was I slowly started to notice a change in myself in 2017 (I think it’s because I’m reading a lot more and becoming far more self-aware). Well, I noticed that I didn’t want to watch Netflix/Hulu/HBOGO every night, I wanted to start running again, and over time I fell back in love with running. And, through falling in love with running and wanting to train for a half-marathon I had less time for things like going on shitty dates with people that were half-assing something that I thought should require a whole-ass. So I stopped caring about online dating. I know, I’m just as shocked as you are.

I started getting annoyed at the dating apps. So one-by-one I started deactivating and deleting them. Until one day there were none left on my phone. And you know what happened to me? Nothing. I noticed that I looked at my phone less. I cared about my friends more.

Then the next thing I realized was that I was more invested in my friends when we were together because I wasn’t distracted by my phone – C R A Z Y, I know. And you know what I realized? My friends are shitty people. Just kidding. Or am I? When you aren’t distracted by technology and you are all in – you’re officially the person you want everyone else to be.

Always be the person you want others to be, fully-invested and always game. Whole-assed.

I recently stumbled upon Mark Manson’s blog discussing this theory. In it he states, “The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them. The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” also states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, THEY must respond with a “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.

Just, like, this. Soak it in. Think about it.

In all things, just take a second to remember about this. We are all crazy busy people in an even more chaotic world, if you don’t feel something with every fiber of your being that makes you say FUCK YES 100% I’m all in! Then it’s a no. This could be a new job, a new lover, a new car, a pet, drinks after work, getting up early to go for a run, etc.

When you say no to things that you are either wishy-washy about or don’t like, it leaves more time and energy to throw yourself at the FUCK YES things.

Moving forward, if you don’t feel it in your core… if it doesn’t make you say, “FUCK YES!!” – it’s a no.


When was the last time you said no to something? And when was the last time it made you incredibly happy to do so? And not cancelling on a friend, that doesn’t count.

January Reads

Reading and RamenWhen did reading stop becoming something we did every summer? I used to look forward to my summer reading list like a giddy school girl, then again I was also the girl who look forward to the first day of school each year because of all the new school supplies… so maybe I was just weird? Actually, no. New school supplies smell so good, I will not apologize for my weirdness. I know I’m weird, but it’s our weirdness that makes us great! My parents used to take away all technology and my library books when I got in trouble as a kid, imagine doing that now. “No junior, you can’t read your printed books, I know you want to, but no reading for you – no expanding your mind and becoming a speed reader by the age of 11!” But somewhere along the way I stopped reading for pleasure, I’m going to blame college (news alert: when in doubt, always blame college).

So, to rectify this, my New Year’s Resolution in 2016 was to read a book a month. I stuck to this, except during October baseball (it was really hard to do anything except root for the Indians during that time). But one book a month actually was too easy for me, I could do that within the first week or weekend, so in 2017 I wanted a little more of a challenge. My 2017 New Year’s Resolution is to read at least 2 books a month (ideally a book a week, but maybe that will be the 2018 goal).

I bring you the the January book reviews:

Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shetterly:
I knew that before I could watch this movie, I *had*  to read the book, and let’s be clear reading a book is like watching a movie in your head, but so. much. better. The movie in my head is always more dramatic, more crisp, always exactly as I imagined.

I read this book at the perfect time, right before Trump took office (ah, to go back to that era). This book inspired me. It instilled in me a great hope, to dream big, achieve greatness. Set my mind for the stars. The women in this story were achieving greatness well before we heard about MLK Jr. In fact, from a quote in the book:

“But before a computer became an inanimate object, and before Mission Control landed in Houston; before Sputnik changed the course of history, and before the NACA became NASA; before the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka established that separate was in fact not equal, and before the poetry of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech rang out over the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Langley’s West Computers were helping America dominate aeronautics, space research, and computer technology, carving out a place for themselves as female mathematicians who were also black, black mathematicians who were also female.”

This is the book that inspired me and will continue to inspire me to fight for others in all that I do. I will always fight alongside my fellow women for women.

“Women, on the other hand, had to wield their intellects like a scythe, hacking away against the stubborn underbrush of low expectations.”

Before you watch the movie, please – please, always read the book.

I Had a Nice Time And Other Lies…: How to find love & sh*t like that, The Betches
This book was a great comedic relief in my January reads. As the book states, “I’m not a stop along the way. I’m a destination,” and somewhere in the middle of January I felt like a stop for some people. This was a great book to read to learn how to change my outlook on dating… Well, not really change my outlook on dating, I’ve always been a realist/pessimist in life.

I mean I’m a firm believer that, “the only reason you should be in a relationship is because your boyfriend/fiancé/husband/lover adds something awesome to your life, not because he completes it.” So, it was great to read a book that affirmed these thoughts and expounded upon them. It was basically like reading a book written by my snarky sister or best friend.

I would recommend this book to any betch who likes to drink a bottle of wine in a night and understands that sarcasm needs its own font from time to time (like when you’re at a music festival and you comment on a boss ass betch’s awesome scarf and it’s sweet triangle pattern… and then jokingly ask if she’s in the illuminati). It’s also important to note that this is not a book that you can tell people you are reading at an important dinner party or work function – have another book on your back burner to talk about. Or just use the Trump line, “I never have [time to read]. I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy, I guess, than ever before.” I mean people liked that line enough they elected him President and he doesn’t even know how to read (allegedly).

Anyway, this book was a great comedic escape from a somewhat cold January on the Lake and an even colder storm-front brewing in my black heart. I would definitely recommend it to any of my girlfriends.

Lily and the Octopus, Steven Rowley
Full-disclosure you will cry your eyes out reading this book – like full-blown, blowing your nose, red eyes, can barely talking because you’re a blubbering mess – cry. But in the best way possible. Lily is Ted’s dachshund and in all stories about animals you probably have an idea of how this will end. It isn’t just a typical story about a man and a dog – this book will take you an a grandiose fantasy adventure. So buckle up and enjoy the ride.

I read this book around 3 months after my own family dog passed away and there were so many quotes in this book that hit home. I loved the way that Steven wrote Lily’s voice, in all temperaments. Each voice was so incredibly accurate if you’ve ever had and loved a dog.

“Because dogs live in the present. Because dogs don’t hold grudges. Because dogs let go of all of their anger daily, hourly, and never let it fester. They absolve and forgive with each passing minute. Every turn of a corner is the opportunity for a clean slate. Every bounce of a ball brings joy and the promise of a fresh chase.”

Remember to hold your dogs close, and give this book a read this spring or summer – I promise you won’t regret it.

Lily looked at me with her soulful, almond-shaped eyes. “We’re going on different adventures?”

Next on the docket…

  • Wild (*really looking forward to this in my current mental state*)
  • Letters to a Young Poet (*really looking forward to this in my current mental state*)
  • Running with a Police Escort
  • Universal Harvester
  • Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time
  • Ella Minnow Pea
  • The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now (*really looking forward to this in my current mental state*)

Queen of the First Dates

Take me to any bar in Cleveland and I can tell you the perfect table to sit at for a first date. I can tell you which side of the table to sit on so you’re not distracted by a TV or a view and you can devote your attention to the person you’re with. I can pick out a back-up location within the bar or restaurant in case it’s crowded and they don’t take reservations and it’s an hour wait and you need to find a space at the bar (a corner spot is best or an end spot).

But you have to find this spot and let the guy think it was his decision to sit there… I’m not new to this.

I’ve been online dating/blind dating in Cleveland for over two years. It’s a party, you guys. I mean this half sarcastically and half whole-heartedly, 50 percent of the time the men are very sweet, kind, and looking to date and 50 percent of the time they just say that on their profile to get in your pants or they have the intelligence of a third grader. Okay, actually these percentages should read 20 percent kind and somewhat intelligent and 80 percent can barely find a doorknob. Read any news article and they will tell you that 70 percent of Cleveland isn’t married, which bodes well if you also aren’t married and are looking to catch one of those fish in this proverbial sea. So, what’s better than being cold? ICE COLD! a town that is 70 percent single? Being a city that seventh place in’s ‘Best Food Cities’ in America.

That’s a town to date in people! I could eat my way through anything. Except onions, god onions are awful – I mean I understand their importance in meals but do they have to do so with such a disgusting texture raw and cooked? I might as well eat my way though Cleveland, one terrible date at a time…

That’s a lie, sometimes there have been good dates and I have been terrible, but at least I’m self aware? Yeah, let’s convince ourselves that being aware of the issue makes us less of a shitty person! So, what are the tips to have a good first date?

1.) Set yourself up to not fail. Notice how I didn’t say “set yourself up to succeed?” No one wins at first dates – a successful first date is one where you leave with promise. One where you leave not feeling like you wasted your afternoon or evening. One where you actually, maybe, want to see the person again. A dream first date leaves with a call or text or SnapChat to the besties where you actually say, “I had a great first date!” Go in with low expectations, leave pleasantly surprised. Basically go in with the Hot Tub Time Machine outlook – expect the worst, if it is you were right – if not, hey! It wasn’t a waste of your time!

2.) Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I mean this in two ways. 1.) Don’t take big bites of your food – slow the fuck down and talk while you eat. Jiminy crickets – I know that pasta is, like, the best you’ve ever had but you’re here to get to know someone not stuff your face until you become Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (side note: which one are you supposed to reference when there are two movies and you like both the OG and the remake for different reasons?).

Listen, I have to take my own advice here from time to time, I love food – but we’re on a date not Survivor and this is not the first real meal I’ve eaten in weeks… slow. it. down. babes. 2.) Don’t try to do too much with your dates early on! I’ve always been a big fan of coffee or cocktails as date one, dinner or activity as date two, movie and a nicer dinner as date three, and then BAM! big activity for date four. Get your head out of the gutter. Slow it down… get to know someone before you want to take in an Indians game with them, if you do that for date one you might hate them by the 3rd inning and you don’t want to tarnish your love affair with your precious Indians because of some terrible date! Take it slow, this is a marathon – not a sprint.

3.) Talk less, smile more. Okay, really this is more about how the person who does a majority of the talking feels that they had a better time, but in all honesty you should both be talking equally. So, listen to Aaron Burr (sir) here from my favorite musical that I haven’t seen because I am not the luckiest person in the world and talk less, after all… fool’s who run their mouths often wind up dead. No wait, that’s still Hamilton. Okay, give me a second. Talk less – do not monopolize the conversation. Ask questions and get to know the person you are with equally. And at the end of the day, a smile never hurts. Also don’t end up in a duel, that’s just good life advice, it’s not privy to dating.

4.) Go where you know. You’re most comfortable and relaxed at places you’ve been before. So when in doubt – go to places you have been before! It’s a great idea to have a few spots up your sleeve for a first date that you have eaten at and know what you like or what you don’t like, especially if you’re the one doing the asking out.

5.) Have an easy out. When all else fails it’s a great idea to have an easy out. “It’s getting late and I have work in the morning,” is always a nice way to wrap up a dinner date – it also shows that I’m employed and like to be somewhat timely in the morning. If it’s a daydate, “I’m really sorry but I have to meet a friend at ______ in 20 minutes, but I had a great time with you!” Is also a great way to wrap that up. I cannot stress this enough, you cannot give your excuse for leaving at the beginning of the date – unless it’s real. For example, I have a friend coming into town for the weekend but I don’t want to cancel a date because the guy is actually a decent human being who I can chat with (crazy, I know!) but if it starts getting too late, I will just say that I’m really sorry to do that but I have to meet up with some friends who are in from out of town and might have to cut the night short. Now, because this isn’t a lie it can be said at any point in the evening. I know it’s confusing, but it’s just an unspoken rule.

I hope these help you get out there and have fun in the dating scene! I promise it’s not as scary as people make it out to be.

What tips have helped you get through a first date?

About Accepting Loss

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-11-11-11-pmThis is my third time writing this post. Each time I’ve sat down to write it I end up sobbing and I can’t fathom completing the task at hand. Death is funny that way. Each time you talk about it, it’s like losing them all over again. Well, on October 12 my family dog died.

I know to some of you this isn’t a big deal, but her and I were pretty damn close. Even though I moved out of my parents’ house a few years ago that dog was my main squeeze. And if you know me at all, you know I love animals more than all humans. So, this loss hit me pretty hard. This was the first “family member” in my adult life that died, and if you’re a pet owner, they’re a family member, and I didn’t really know how to cope.

I pretty much disappeared from the world for 36 hours where I tried to figure out how I, this decently terrible basic bitch will live in a world where these perfect creatures leave before us. And I decided that I would do my best to honor my dog in all that I do everyday – I mean it’s what she would have want.

So, now when I go for a run I stop to admire the view. I sometimes stray from the course and take a different path. I sniff people’s butts, wait I mean… I stop and say hello to people on my way to and from work. Basically, I’m trying to be the best dog I can be, to honor my old dog. I think it’s what she would have wanted. I’m just glad we were able to give her one last amazing weekend; some dogs don’t get that.

Anyway, we got her ashes back this week and it hurt all over again.