Crate&Barrel Lounge II Sofa Review & Buying Guide

Hi guys! After a very long hiatus I am back! For anyone new to my blog – welcome! The past year has been a whirlwind for a few reasons:

1. I got married!!! Yes, my wonderful now- husband Ryan and I tied the knot in May, here in Cleveland. It was wonderful and amazing and just truly the best day.

2. We bought a house!!! Also in Cleveland.

3. I got a new job!

4. Ryan got a new job!

5. We ran our first (and possibly my last) half marathon!

Anyways, those are the big things, I will hopefully do some catch up blog posts on these topics, but I wanted to start off with something a little… easier…. drum roll-

A product review! I am reviewing the couch Ryan and I bought for our new house. I felt there was a lack of available reviews when we were looking, so hopefully I can help everyone out! I did a ton of research, looking everywhere from Ashley Furniture to Restoration Hardware to Wayfair to Ikea and in between. I also read what little information I could find on couch quality and construction.

I looked at dozens of different couches, and we finally decided on the Lounge II sectional from Crate&Barrel – linked below.

Crate&Barrel Lounge II 2 Piece Sectional Sofa

As you can see in the above pic, it is VERY spacious and also very deep. There’s Ryan lounging away (hence the namesake I suppose!).

The fabric we selected was a stock fabric, called Cement. It’s a neutral cream color with both cool and warm tones built into the weave. As you can see it has a slightly nubby texture and is not a solid color. This is ideal for hiding stains or imperfections.

The fabric is soft and comfortable and seems very durable as well.

This shows the depth of the couch (and suggests Ryan should have a career in catalogue modeling!). If you are looking for something that is more shallow, this may not be the couch for you.

We bought the matching ottoman pictured above. It pops open for easy storage and we love it! Also, I hate that ceiling fan staring me in the face 😂.

Pros (there are a lot):

  1. Super comfortable and deep cushions.
  2. More than enough space for two adults to lie down on and completely stretch out.
  3. Although it is super spacious, it doesn’t feel “heavy” because it has nice crisp lines and isn’t overstuffed.
  4. Hides imperfections or stains well because of its textured fabric.
  5. Comes with four matching pillows (if you’re into that, I actually want to add some colorful throw pillows but haven’t gotten around to it).
  6. Price point. This model retails for $2998.00 (which is a sh*tload), BUT for a high quality and large couch, this price is actually (and sadly) towards the more affordable end. Side note: as I write this, it’s marked down $500.00. If you can find a 15% off coupon that would bring it down another $500! Unlike many other stores Crate&Barrel honors coupons on their stock furniture. We combined coupons for ours and saved at least $1,000!
  7. The style definitely leans modern, but modern gal I am not. It works though because it truly goes with any kind of furniture! It doesn’t feel out of place with our other more traditional (or dated 🤣) items.
  8. Quality. This couch literally looks exactly the same as the day it was delivered seven months ago. No wear and tear, no pilling of fabric, no seams coming loose, no cushions caving in, no butt marks whatsoever! The cushions are a foam core wrapped in down cushioning and sturdy.
  9. The couch cushions stay in place. You don’t have to constantly reposition them or fluff them! They just stay, as is. I have maybe readjusted them once or twice.
  10. It’s perfect for lounging. You can easily curl up with some popcorn or red wine (yes we drink it on this couch, just testing our luck I think) and have plenty of room for pillows, blankets, or shifting to a more spread out position.


  1. The price point! Okay, I know this was in the pros, but it can also be a con as well. There are some couches out there that you will find at a better price point (but I really don’t know about better quality!). Personally I think Ikea has some great options, including their Ektorp line (which has a more traditional/overstuffed look). The reviews I read of Ashley furniture and other “discount” furniture stores were *not* glowing- reviews noted how fabric started to fray and fall apart after a few months.
  2. Depth. For some with a narrower space, make sure you look at the measurements. You definitely sink into this couch. If you’re looking for something more formal, I might look at a few other styles as well.

Those are my only two cons!

I am so incredibly picky about furniture and this couch has exceeded my expectations. We have another couch from Crate&Barrel that we love as well and have had that one for nearly 5 years. Picture is below- it’s the Montgomery sofa. I love this whole room honestly- those lamps are so beautiful 😍.

My recommendation is to definitely consider this couch, or Crate&Barrel in general, if you are looking for a high quality and long lasting couch. We absolutely love our Lounge II and think it’s money very well spent. Also, their customer service is excellent and the staff are super friendly. The associate who helped us pick out our couch even called us a month later to ask how it was working out for us!

Other options:

Lower Price Point:

  1. IKEA– I have a chair from the Ektorp line and it’s been going strong for 6 years. It’s not quite as comfortable as Crate&Barrel but it clearly lasts. Also, for the whole Ektorp line you can buy different slip covers for a really reasonable refresh at any given time! I also love their Stocksund line which looks almost identical to the other couch we have from Crate&Barrel. Their Farlov and Kivik lines also look really high end and nice to me. I would highly recommend IKEA for a number of furniture products.
  2. Wayfair– You can custom design your own couch on Wayfair. The price point starts under 1,000 but then can creep up a little bit. Lots of positive reviews, but we really wanted to see our couch in person before buying. If that doesn’t matter to you, check this site out! I even ordered fabric samples all of which were beautiful.
  3. I’ve heard great things about Article, and they actually have reviews on their website. Their items trend a little bit more modern but definitely a stylish and affordable option.
  4. Macy’s– They actually have a very good selection of different styles at a great price point. I would recommend reading reviews for the sofa you’re interested in. You can find small sectionals starting at $1200-1500 here.
  5. Not really a store, but if you know any realtors, they often have to stage houses to sell them. They usually get rid of a lot of furniture during certain times of the year and you can get a cheap and amazing couch this way!

If you’re ready to drop some serious dollars 🤣 check out these other options:

  1. Restoration Hardware– Amazing quality and so comfortable. Ryan and I sat on a few of these in their showroom and they did not disappoint. Expect to pay about $6,000-7,000 (starting) for a smaller sectional here. The Cloud line is incredible. Also totally worth it to invest in the RH membership program because it saves you 25% on any purchase for $100/ year.
  2. Serena and Lilly– I love their furniture but no reviews and no showroom in Cleveland makes it difficult to drop thousands of dollars. Their basic non sectional couches start at around $5,000. Also, they just started making furniture recently so may be good to see what’s tried and true in a few more years.
  3. Interior Define– This is another newer company but Ryan’s parents have a beautiful velvet loveseat from here and we love it. These *start* at $2,200 and go from there (actually a more “moderate” price point but can quickly go above $3,000). You can custom design your color and style which is cool!
  4. Arhaus– a classic! Their small sectionals start at around $3,700. This is one of the most respected and long lasting furniture brands in the States. I know several people who have sofas from Arhaus and say they are well worth the investment.
  5. Ethan Allen– another classic. Small sectionals start at $5,500.00 here. I don’t know much about their furniture, but I do see it for resale and in vintage stores, indicating that it is (or at least was) built to last.

Other places to check out: West Elm, CB2, Lulu & Georgia, AllModern (online), Bloomingdales, local furniture stores and interior design studios.

Hopefully this helps anyone in the market for a new couch. It really is a big purchase, and no matter what you spend, an important one! If you’re anything like me, you’re on your couch A LOT… maybe a little too much. In my opinion, the comfort factor, durability, and price point are the biggest factors to think about. You can get a couch for $800, or $8,000 which makes it all the more difficult to choose. Use this as a guide and go from there!

I also recommend going in person to look and test out sofas. This is one of the few things that is truly worth in person shopping it for me.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!

Weekend in NYC

Hi friends!

Hope everyone is doing well. I wanted to write a quick little post about a weekend trip Ryan and I took to visit my sister (Jennie) and her husband (Matt) in NYC- Brooklyn to be exact.

When we arrived in NY around 7 PM, Matt greeted us at their lovely apartment (Jennie was at a class in Manhattan) and we chatted and caught up for a bit.

Soon after we headed out and took the subway to Koreatown (located around midtown Manhattan). For all the times I’ve been to NYC I had never gone to K-town and it was a really cool experience. Two long city blocks filled with Korean restaurants, bars, and shops. We ate at a place called Kinjan (I think) and had delicious piping hot bowls of thinly sliced beef, rice, and vegetables. Topped with a load of sesame oil and chili paste, it made for a great and warming welcome to New York.

Jennie met us at dinner and from there we headed to a nearby bar. The bar was Japanese and had amazing looking food and drink. Ryan and I opted for sake and ice cream (weirdest order ever now that I think about it) but it did not disappoint! We stayed out til about midnight and got home at 1am- a long day and time for bed!

The next morning we got breakfast at a cute café on the way to the subway and headed to Battery Park to explore. I had only been to this area once and it was cold and blustery (right near the waterfront at the tip of southern Manhattan and very close to Wall Street). We walked around a lot and found some really cute old streets. I loved the juxtaposition of old and new here- it’s evident throughout all of NYC but especially on these streets.

Jennie and Matt walking on Stone Street:

Another pic of Stone Street (which kind of reminds me of Diagon Alley)

We also wandered to another cute little area:

I love this museum exterior (pictured above). It was cool to see a lot of places we hadn’t been before on this trip.

From Battery Park- we walked to nearby Chinatown for dim sum at Nom Wah Tea Parlor. Can you tell a lot of our trips revolve around food?? That’s a rhetorical question… Dim sum might be one of my favorite kind of meals – or maybe it’s because we went to an excellent restaurant.

Nom Wah is the oldest Tea Parlor in Manhattan- it opened in 1920 on Doyers Street. The street is also known as the “bloody angle,” stemming from the sharp angle the street makes, and the gangs who fought here in decades past.

Doyers Street (note the angle- kind of hard to see from this shot but the curvature is still visible!):

We also happened to go to Chinatown right at the start of the lunar new year- so there were lively crowds, noisemakers and firecrackers!

Store front on Doyers Street:

Another pic with confetti!:

Classic shot of china town street:

Okay- back to the dim sum! For those reading who are not familiar with dim sum- here’s the deal:

During the times of the Silk Road, teahouses opened to accommodate weary travellers. Also, farmers, exhausted after long hours in the fields, would head to the local teahouse for an afternoon of tea and conversation to unwind. Over the course of several centuries, the culinary art of dim sum would develop.

The above quote comes from Nom Wah’s website and I think it’s an interesting bit of history!

We ordered a ton of food and it was all so amazing. I especially loved the pork dumplings, green onion pancakes, and cilantro rice pancakes. The jasmine tea was the perfect accompaniment to stuffing our faces.

The cutest window sign!

Eeeeeats !

Also, how cute are the china dishes at this place?

After our meal we walked around a little bit more.

More old and new being mixed ^ . Love it.

After a bit more exploring, we went back to Brooklyn and just hung out for the rest of the evening. We watched some curling (2018 winter Olympic Games were happening!) and ordered pizza (which I was too full to even eat- probably a lifetime first). I honestly had (and have) zero interest in curling but I have to say – wow – it gives you an appreciation for athletes of any sport. It was really fun to watch and actually see the different teams interacting.

The next morning we geared up for another fun day. We had plans to meet my friend from Columbus for brunch at Russ & Daughters Café at 1PM so we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (one of my favorite things to do!) and soaked up the warm sunshine. The views from the bridge are incredible – you can see everything from 1 World Trade to the Chrysler building (another personal favorite!).

Here are a few snaps from the bridge:

I love how the sky goes from super saturated on the left to a lighter color on the right. Don’t mind the ugly Verizon Tower 😦

I loved this sign below- especially because we ended up getting lox later!

Love the warm light in this one- we had such a beautiful day and weekend for this trip!

Ryan, Matt and Jen

What 99% of our pictures look like:

Anddd a normal one 🙂

After we walked the bridge we made our way to brunch.

Beautiful buildings on our walk:

Almost forgot this hilarious pic of Ryan:

The wait for brunch at Russ & Daughters was an hour and a half so we went to a nearby bar and had a couple of Guinness’s. It was so great to catch up with Jillian and her husband Clark- always such a fun friend to see.

Obligatory brunch pic :

Post brunch photo opp:

After brunch we stopped for Black & White cookies (amazing NYC treat) aaaaand then stopped again for donuts from Donut Plant. They were ah-maz-ing. Finally, we could eat no more- we said our goodbyes to Jillian and Clark and headed back to Brooklyn for more relaxing. The sheer volume of food we ate did not lend itself to being very active at night haha.

Monday (our last day) was also super fun. Matt had to work so we got coffee and pastries and parted ways. Jennie took us to an incredible exhibit at the Met displaying a vast collection of works by David Hockney- a British pop artist. This collection was incredibly well curated and so informative.

Maybe the most relaxing piece of art I’ve laid eyes upon- seriously keep coming back to this pic!

Thanks Matt and Jen for suggesting the exhibit!

After the Met we walked around Central Park and got some great tourist shots.

Gotta love portrait mode 🙂

I love this candid ryan snapped of me! (Below)

The Plaza! Ryan and I stayed here the first time we ever came here together and it’s such a historic beautiful place. I’ll never forget our weekend here and it was great to revisit on our walk 🙂

After Central Park we did some shopping and ended the trip with a stop at Shake Shack*drools on iphone.* I am actually soooo glad there’s not one near me because it would be way too dangerous. So good.

Tasty burgers and shakes were a great way to end another amazing trip. So happy Matt and Jen could host us and double as tour guides too.

Have you guys been to New York?

What are some of your favorite things to do?

Comment below!

Hope you all had an amazing weekend.

Xx Molly

Wintery weekend in CLE

Hi friends!

Not many updates here but just wanted to post a couple of pictures I took of some flowers while playing around with my camera.

Ryan got these flowers for me a week ago (yay!) and on Friday I finally was able to see the Lilly bloom in daylight (slightly depressing since it’s dark when I go to work and dark when I come home!).

Flower picture 1:

Flower pic 2:

Flower pic #3

One more:

I also finally picked up the watercolor painting we got in Paris as a souvenir. We got it custom framed and it turned out beautifully! We started getting artwork from various cities we travel to for a memento and have started quite a collection.

Framed watercolor print:

We found this piece in Montmartre and chatted with the artist. I love the happy colors and all three of the monuments he highlighted (especially that one in the middle!). Added bonus: Every time I look at it it reminds me of the best trip of my life.

We also purchased a vintage map of Paris and will hopefully have that framed soon too. Not sure where the watercolor print’s permanent home will be yet but for now it’s resting on our mantle.

I also recently had a replica Jacques Majorelle print I purchased in Morocco custom matted and framed as well and it turned out amazing. Don’t mind the glare/ angle :).

Jacques Majorelle was a French painter who had a huge villa complete with stunning gardens in Marrakech. This print depicts the spectacular Atlas Mountains which you can see from almost anywhere in Marrakech.

I think I need to do a full blog post on Morocco- but here are a couple of pics from the Majorelle gardens.

Walking into the garden/ residence area:

Walking around the gardens. The colors everywhere are stunning and the house itself is painted entirely in this rich cobalt blue color.

Here I am! I loved this color combination. The pictures don’t really do it justice.

Reflecting pool with Lilly pads and palm trees.

Anyways (totally went off topic here!) I love having little memories of past trips scattered throughout our home as artwork.

On Saturday, my mom came over and we went and picked up my wedding dress! It was so exciting and just as beautiful as I remember it. After that we went to a cute little shop/cafe called Nature’s Oasis for something to eat.

I didn’t have my camera but the iPhone takes amazing pictures and I had to capture this delicious looking meal. Mmm I want to jump through the screen and devour this waffle!

My mom had some great wedding advice and ideas in general so we talked for a while while enjoying our meals and drinks. By the way- I had a “ginger turmeric chai latte” (whatever the F that is,) and it was soooo good. It tasted similar to chai tea but with the added kick and freshness of ginger. Highly recommend- apparently this drink is a thing now so you can probably find it in a cafe near you!

After breakfast I went back home and Ryan and I met up with friends for duck pin bowling. It was really fun and good to see some people we hadn’t seen in a few months.

Finally, that evening we had dinner with our future wedding officiant and his wife down in Medina. Dinner was wonderful and it was great to catch up with them. Our officiant, Aaron , worked with both of us at KeyBank and him and Ryan have kept in touch over the years. Talking about our wedding made us both really excited, and also we realized it will be here before we know it!

Today is Super Bowl Sunday and I really could care less about the game but have always been a huge fan of super bowl snacks. We are going to a friends house tonight and that’s pretty much our whole weekend! It’s been great and productive so far. Hope yours was fantastic as well.


“Little Fires Everywhere” Book Review

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday! We made it- halfway through the week- and through the hardest half . Today is my first book review blog post! I am going to incorporate my thoughts on books that I read on my blog, hereinafter known as dun-dun-duh: #OHLBookReviews.

I received the recently released, “Little Fires Everywhere,” as a Christmas gift and started it right away. I originally saw this book featured on @ReeseWitherspoon’s feed, and wanted to give it a read myself since everything Reese touches is gold, IMO. So, without further ado…

I read, “Little Fires Everywhere,” in probablyyy three evenings and likely could have read it faster but was trying to pace myself! This book is beautifully written and hard to put down. It takes place in Shaker Heights, Ohio (almost exactly where I grew up so extra- personal for me!) and the author Celeste Ng describes this area extremely accurately- almost viscerally, and paints a vivid picture of the town. It focuses on two different families, both of whom reside in Shaker Heights. One family who has been rooted in SH since the Village was laid out, and another who has yet to lay down roots anywhere and is just passing through- or so we think.

Celeste develops all of the characters so well, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to not relate to one of the main characters on some level. Whether that is Pearl, the young, bright daughter of the nomadic artist Mia, or Mrs. Richardson, the perfectly manicured matriarch of a Shaker Heights family rooted in tradition and nobility. Each character is developed in a multifaceted way such that I connected with several (if not all) of characters throughout.

Without giving too much away, the crux of the story involves race, morality, motherhood, and purpose. I was very invested in the characters themselves regardless of where the story went (and it does go to a dramatic and thrilling place) in my opinion. The writing around motherhood and family was particularly moving to me, and struck a chord deep in my heart. The teenage angst depicted in the halls of Shaker High brought me back to my middle and high school days- because honestly, who hasn’t felt like the “new kid,” at some point in their lives?

My only criticism is that the author Celeste builds up such a beautiful network of people and places, and the ending seems to come a bit too soon for me. I think more pages could have been dedicated to the conclusion and events that took place both prior to the ending, and afterwards as well. Perhaps a lack of complete clarity is what the author (and many writers) intended. Perhaps she wanted the readers to paint possibilities in our own minds, but to me it almost lacked good closure and seemed a bit forced after such a thoughtful and tense build up.

Overall, I would still recommend this book for an easy, exhilarating, and raw look at the ties that bind us all. The relationships that Ng builds are her strength. Hint: book pairs perfectly with a cup of tea or cocktail 😉.

If you’ve read this or have any suggestions- leave a comment below!


Long weekend

Hi 👋🏻 all!

Hope everyone had a nice (potentially) long weekend!

We enjoyed a relaxing 3-day weekend here in Cleveland with hardly any plans on the calendar (a rarity these days ).

On Friday Ryan and I both worked from home due to an impending ice and snow storm. We got about 6+ inches here in Lakewood, prefaced by a solid sheet of ice.

We took it easy and stayed in watching “Planet Earth,” on Netflix all night. PE came out 10+ years ago but wow, is it amazing (and terrifying at times)! The photographic prowess of the videographers is seriously awe-inspiring and I’ve learned a lot to boot! My favorite part thus far has been watching the elephants and penguins make their journeys across their respective habitats.

Saturday we had our wedding cake design session at Wild Flour Bakery. I was blown away by the store and staff. Our wedding cake coordinator Liz was so friendly, warm and helpful. We basically picked out the aesthetic design in the store, and they sent us home an entire cake to sample. Each piece of the cake was a different flavor and each flavor was amazing.

We also got to try the frostings and OMG- so delicious. We picked out our cake and frosting after trying every single possible combination, multiple times, on Saturday evening.

It was so fun to pick out our wedding cake because it’s one of the less mundane “tasks,” if you will, involved in planning a wedding. Between reserving hotel rooms and figuring out our table linens, the idea of selecting a cake really stands out as a fun thing to do. It also allowed us to be creative and have fun. It’s so important to not get bogged down in the “tasks,” of wedding planning and remember what it’s all about- for me, a life long union with my partner and best friend, celebrated with us by our friends and family. Just typing that makes me so happy!

Also – All of the cakes were so beautiful in the shop!

Gorgeous cake:

More beauties:

A little detail- insane that this is edible!

A classic looking confection below:

I happened to have my camera on my from last weekend and was glad I did because after we designed our wedding cake- we did what all people do- got donuts!

We went to a donut place in Rocky River called, “City Girl Donuts.” I got a glazed donut and cinnamon roll donut and Ryan got an apple fritter and chocolate Long John (whatever that is!). They were aaaaamazing! If you are anywhere near the area I highly recommend!

My glazed beauty:

Donuts for daysss:

I’m drooling 🤤

After our donut excursion we cleaned and relaxed the rest of the day (and had our cake later that evening). We also watched “The Fugitive,” which I hadn’t seen in at least ten years. Still. So. Good.

Sunday was more of the same- I went shopping and got ingredients to make Thai Coconut Curry at Trader Joe’s. It was literally one of the best homemade meals we’ve ever had, ever.

I also picked up some goodies at Sephora. I may or may not do a beauty review in the near future. I’ve been obsessed with good skincare products lately, specifically the Korean skincare regimen (thanks to my sister!).

Later on, my mom came over and we all went for a walk at our usual tried and true location- Lakewood Park. We never would have guessed this when we left, but Lake Erie looked like the most beautiful glacial field I have ever seen since living over here.

The lake was perfectly calm and reflected like a mirror, broken up by giant sheets of ice. It seriously looked like what I imagine Iceland might (I know it’s nothing actually like Iceland but a girl can dream!). We even saw a piece of ice break off, creating a tiny ripple in the otherwise glass like surface. Some pics are below, but it was honestly hard to capture on camera. The colors of the sky grew warmer as the sun sank lower in the sky, reflecting warm and gold in the icy water. It was truly something to behold in person.

Lake Erie.

#2 #3 #4 #5 I have 70+ pics from our walk because I was in such awe. Incredible and definitely solidifies my desire to go to Iceland or Greenland or somewhere remote. It was beautiful and incredibly peaceful- probably because it was in the 13 degree range!

Monday was filled with more relaxing and eating (it’s a lifestyle 😂).

Avo toast:

I also recently finished a book, called, “Little Fires Everywhere.” It was really good and I’ll do a book review (no spoilers) soon.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend! Stay warm.


Weekend in Pittsburgh

This past weekend Ryan and I went to Pittsburgh to visit my bestie from college and her hubs. We always have such a great time there, probably because we are usually stuffing our faces with delicious food and drinks with the best company.

Our friends live in the cutest neighborhood in Pittsburgh, called Shadyside. It is super close to downtown and yet it has a really nice neighborhood-y feel to it. The houses there are beautiful and old, many of them look like Victorian era homes. I always love walking around the neighborhood and taking in the scenery.

We arrived around 7:30PM having left directly from work. After an uneventful drive, Sarah and Brandon greeted us with whiskey sours and champagne- talk about a warm welcome! This was especially nice because the temperatures outside maxed out at 4 degrees. After our drink and catching up, we walked to a delicious Italian restaurant called Girasole. I love this place and always want to go when I’m in town.

Pasta at Girasole

We were joined by another good friend and all caught up while enjoying a bottle of Chianti. Perfect first evening in #daBurgh as I like to call it.

The next day, we got coffee at a local coffee place called, “Jitters” (seriously love that name) and drove out to a nearby suburb to visit Sarah’s sister and her new baby boy. I was loving her home decor and snapped a few pics for future home inspo.

Love these drapes- they pop well with the neutral color palette and are so unique!

Also loving the Christmas decor!

A beautiful holiday bouquet:

After our visit with Sarah’s fam and the cute little tots, we headed backdown to an Argentinian BBQ place for lunch, called “Gaucho.” It was amazing. I got a skirt steak sandwich with carmelized onions and grilled red peppers (the only bell peppers that really matter IMO) and a Mexican coke. Ryan and I also split a side of potatoes with roasted garlic that were crispy and delicious.


My delicious sammie:

Yummy potatoes:

After lunch – we headed to a bowling alley in Lawrenceville- another town adjacent to Shadyside. I hadn’t bowled in probably two years, and before that probably not in 5 or 10? Not sure but I somehow got a score of 134! It was really fun and we met up with some other friends of Sarah and Brandon’s while honing our skills. I think I need to look into a league here in Cleveland- preferably one that indulges in White Russians whilst bowling!

We headed back to S&B’s place to relax before dinner. I snapped a couple of more pics around their house just to practice using my camera. Also more #homeinspo.

Love this little bit of green in the doldrums of winter:

Had to document their cute bar set up! Ryan and I have similar napkins and love them.

After relaxing for a bit, we got ready for dinner and headed out for a truly incredible meal at a restaurant called Soba in Shadyside. I didn’t take any pictures- way too dark and just didn’t feel like it 😂. I had a “Khaleesi” cocktail which was amazing- gin, citrus juice and simple syrup with jalapeño- yummy and again, perfect for the freezing temps because winter is definitely here (couldn’t help myself!). Ryan and I split a bunch of food: a delicious California roll with real lump crab meat, a chopped salad with papaya and avocado, veal medallions over grits, and the ‘piece de resistance’- Pad Thai! The Pad Thai was incredible- full of flavor and bursting with shrimp, chicken, veggies… and of course loads of noods. Sarah and Brandon loved their dishes too and the atmosphere at the restaurant was perfect for chatting and enjoying friendly company.

We ate fairly late and were pooped from our busy day so we hit the hay right when we got home. Plus I’m old- so I hit the hay early and often.

On Sunday, we got Jitters coffee (again!) and went to brunch with Sarah’s family and said our goodbyes. Another fun weekend in the books! But the fun wasn’t quite over 😉. Ryan and I stopped at IKEA on the way home, since I have been needing a new dresser to keep all my clothes in (in our guest room).

I took a few snaps whilst walking through the maze that is ikea. I loved this island:

And table- would be so cute with either modern chairs or chairs upholstered in a fun printed fabric. I picture it with a runner and some ceramic vases filled with fresh flowers. It doesn’t look like much but is very similar to a Pottery Barn table that goes for way more and is made from solid wood.

Finally- I got my dresser assembled! It has so much more storage and looks great.

Anyways- it made for a full and fun weekend. I always love visiting my friends and seeing new places.


Home for the Holidays

Hi friends! With the winter holidays wrapping up, I wanted to write a quick recap on the holiday season and post some fun pictures I took around town.

As the song goes, “There’s no place like home for the holidays!” For me home is who you are with and what memories and experiences you share vs. where you are. Ryan and I spent Christmas in Cleveland which was so nice and relaxing. We were able to see his family on Christmas Eve, my Dad and stepmom Ruth on Christmas Day, and my mom and sister/ her hubs a week later when they visited from NYC.

The entire family got together for New Year’s Day to watch football (thankfully Premier League soccer, not the NFL- because the Browns are awful) and eat delicious food. Mimosas and a good time were had by all.

Usually I find the holidays to be incredibly hectic but this year everything seemed more relaxed and spreading out all of the celebrations kept everyone much more sane (in my humble opinion- or maybe it was just me!).

I took the below pictures of a gorgeous and weathered barn on the way home from my Dad’s house. I’ve seen it dozens of times and have always loved it. On this particular sighting it just looked so peaceful (and Christmas-y with that little pop of color!) that I stopped on the side of the road and snapped a few quick pictures! It was ten degrees out so I had to be super fast.

Ryan and I also walked around Chagrin Falls. Chagrin Falls is a small, picturesque town on the east side of Cleveland. Ryan went to high school there and my grandparents lived in the area when I was younger. Now my Dad lives out this way as well, so safe to say there’s a connection to this quaint little village for me. It always looks so cute around the holidays (honestly, it looks cute all year) so we decided to spend some time walking around and exploring! Pics are below.

The Chagrin Falls popcorn shop- so cute and classic!

A candid I snapped of Ryan while walking around 😍.

rom Chagrin Falls. The community takes its name from the waterfall on the Chagrin River (pictured below).

We ate lunch at Yours Truly- a Cleveland staple that serves delicious diner food – and then walked and shopped. We picked up a few Christmas gifts from the local bookshop “Fireside Books,” and sipped hot cocoa as we strolled around the historical little town. We had a wonderful time exploring, even with the temperatures dropping down to single digits. Near the end of our adventure we stopped for ice cream at Jeni’s. I had peppermint dark chocolate and salted peanut butter. Amazing!

We also went for some winter strolls around my Dad’s house, which is very close to Chagrin Falls. The area is wooded and rural- quite different from Lakewood, where I live. When we went for a walk, it had just snowed at least eight inches and it was so serene and peaceful (and cold- seeing a theme here?).

It’s important to take care of yourself during this time (and all year). It’s so easy to get wrapped up thinking of when you’re expected somewhere, or what gift you are buying for whom and what their expectations may be, etc.

I took some time for myself the week before Christmas to do absolutely nothing (except binge watch (admittedly awful) Hallmark movies and curl up under my blanket) and it left me feeling seriously relaxed and recharged.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and a chance to reconnect to whomever or whatever makes them happy. To me there is nothing better than getting outside, relaxing by a fireplace, and spending some time with family and friends.

Cheers to 2018!


p.s. sorry if the formatting is off- still learning the ropes 😄