Monday, October 24, 2011

Cutest Pumpkins in the patch...

It is a dreary Monday morning in Akron - which means one thing - It is definitely time to start thinking about next weekend! ....And with next weekend being Halloween, it makes sense that you would take a few extra days to prepare.

I bought my pumpkins a while ago, but i waited until this week to do the carving so they would look their best for the actual holiday. Anyways, I started searching online for ideas this morning and I found some awesome pumpkin carving templates from They have easy ones and more advanced for the artistes out there, but they are really cute so definitely check them out.

I will post some pics when my pumpkins are done. If all goes well, my doorstep will have a mummy, an owl, a frankenstein, and maybe some bats!! Inside my door, you will probably find me mowing down the baked pumpkin seeds i plan on making after all of the carving is complete :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Its a good day for Akron

In a large pot, heat 1 chopped onion and a handful of celery stalks in  a splash of olive oil. Stir occasionally and cook until softened.
 Add in 2 Tbs. of chili powder. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. 
Add in 2 of those giant juice boxes of Low sodium Chicken broth.
and juice approx. 3 limes into the broth as well.
Make this next step easy on yourself - cheat a little. Shred up a rotisserie chicken and add the pieces to the broth. Get everything up to a nice boil for a few minutes.
 Add in: 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of white Cannellini beans, 1 can of corn, some salt, pepper, and hot sauce (if you want...I use Tapatio - it is THE BEST)
Finish all of this before your baby wakes up from a very well timed nap :)

This is a simple, but delicious version of chicken tortilla soup.

...You can always sprinkle cheese, sour cream, cilantro, avocado, tortilla strips or whatever else sounds good to you, but the soup is good plain also.

....and P.S. - this makes a BOAT Load of soup. I only make soup in that quantity though :)
 You can freeze the leftovers though. If you want individual "pintrest inspired" portions, just use cupcake pans for small portions or a large tupperware if you plan to thaw it all  at once.

 Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bring Your Little Pumpkins! - Graf Growers Fall Outing

I have been consulting with my friends Amanda and Ali on this one and they loved the Graf Grower's Fall outing last year. Since I am a total sucker for all things fall, I want to get a group together for some pumpkin patch play time (this year).

The date and time are TBD...but i would love to know who would be interested in coming out.

Festivities include:

  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Pumpkin Painting
  • Puppet show
  • Gift shop 
  • ....and if we are cool enough and can gather 25 people  A HAYRIDE!!!

please note: ever since i moved from California to the midwest I have dreamed of going on a hayride. I have no idea why but seriously...I think about it in July.

Leave me a message if you want to come...heck - even if i don't know you, but you have the same hayride dreams that i do - leave a message 

(and maybe include some kind of fun fact that proves you aren't a psycho)

....and don't be scared away by the comment thing - you can type in any kind of email address -it doesn't have to be gmail...even though it says gmail :)

Can't wait to hear from you guys!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

what to do when passing through....for dinner

My college roommate's sister's husband (got that?) will be spending a good deal of time in A-K Rowdy in the coming weeks and it was brought to my attention that he may need some good suggestions for places to eat while he is in town. Obvi, fabulous akron is probably his best bet for avoiding some bad choices :) So anyways here is a short-ish list of places that are worth trying:

If you are in the mood for a burger:

  • Swensons - This is a must stop location if you ask me. It has been featured on the food network and in my humble opinion it does not dissapoint. To be honest these are kinda small greeasy little burgers, but sometimes that is just what you want. Order a cheesburger with grilled onions or a "galley boy" if you want the full saucy experience...but regardless of your main course i highly suggest the potato teasers with ranch :)
  • Bricco Pub - This is "in the valley" if you are trying to describe the location to someone and need directions. They have a good menu with lots of different topping options for any kind of burger you want. The decor is all straight from Ireland, and their bar is pretty cool.  I also highly suggest the fried pickles with garlic aioli or the pita triangles with warm goat cheese as an appetizer.
If you want Pizza:
  • Gasoline Alley - Their pizza is beyond delicious. The sauce is really fresh and they will pretty much mix whatever toppings you like. I tend to go for Pepperoni, banana peppers and pineapple, but thats just me. This place also has gigantic stacked sandwiches, delicious soup, oysters if you like them, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. It is sort of a hole in the wall - but one of my favorite places to eat here. Their bloody mary's are tdf and they have every beer in the world to choose from.  
  • Luigi's is famous in Akron. I like it, but to be honest i like their salad more than their pizza. I am in the minority for this though. Everyone else loves Luigi's so it has to be on the list.
If you want a steak:
  • Ken Stewarts Lodge - is hard to beat. The food is ridiculously good. If you get to expense a nice dinner out - this is def where i would go. The decor is cool and lodge-y, the specials list is always like a 10 minute presentation but worth listening too....and their calamari with Jalepeno infused vinegar is one of my favorite things in life!
  • Ken Stewarts grill.....same shtick different location. Great food, but I tend to prefer the Lodge
  • Flemmings - a chain, but a good chain. This is right in the middle of Montrose (an area you will definitely get to know if you are on the road here)...your hotel is probably located somewhere in this stretch ( Montrose is also known as market street and rt.18 FYI)...try the chipotle mac and cheese here.
  • Diamond Grill - to be honest, i haven't been here, but it is super famous in Akron (which might as well mean the universe) so it made the list. You will drive up to it and think to yourself "what the hell is his place" it looks kind of like a crack den next to a shady car dealership BUT  tiger woods loves it, and so do all of the other PGA tour golfers that stop through akron while golfing at Firestone sooo it has to be good right? Tiger woods is obvi the barometer for all things classy.
  • Beaus - this is connected to the Hilton. The food is good and not too expensive. They have a total blast from the past lounge singer that works in the bar. He makes the trip worth while. I would also highly suggest the sea bass with lobster smashed potatoes here.
If you want a margarita:
  • Tito's Mexican Grill - This place is pretty new. The food is good, but their margaritas, chips and salsa are great! it is tucked a little bit off of rt. 18 - they offer strawberry ( my fave) , peach and lime options.
If you want wings and a game to watch:
  • Winking Lizard- this place is fun and has your typical bar food.
  • Rockne's - an akron favorite. You will probably run into my friend mike there. He is always at rockne's
  • Barley House - love their homemade chips, wraps, and burgers.
  • Johnny J's in the valley - they have a lot of tv's and a decent menu. You might feel like you are 100 yrs old though...i did last time i was there. The waitresses wear shorts and tank tops in the winter and many patrons are definitely using their big brothers I.D's 
If you want "artsy fartsy food" as my husband calls it:
  • Bricco - there are a few different locations around town. This one is right in downtown akron next to the minor league baseball stadium. They have delicious pizzas, pasta, bellinis, salads and other stuff oo
  • Crave - i love their steak skewer appetizer that comes with smoked gouda dipping sauce.
If you want sushi:
  • Sakura - very good. Looks weird from the outside, but the inside is nice and the rolls are always very fresh.
So hopefully this helps you Kyle. You are always welcome at the most fabulous place in Akron - Casa de O'Brien :)....Send me a message if you need anything while you are in town!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Monday!

I hope that everyone had an awesome weekend.  Seriously, how gorgeous was it outside? Blue skies, 70 degrees and i swear it even started to smell like fall :)
I tried to get out of the house as much as possible. On friday i met up with a whole gaggle of moms to walk on Sand Run and let me tell you - we weren't messing around. We had 7 babies in tow....which is not good for conversation or easy maneuvering on a narrow trail, BUT it does make for a pretty cute picture with all of the strollers :)

In other news - I got  emailed a great tip for some "indoor exercise"  from my buddy Melissa Adams. Melissa is another friend I met through Junior League and now i just stalk her incessantly on pintrest :) Seriously she has the best stuff on there!!

So any ways here is her tip - and its a good one! Its hard to beat $5 Yoga on:

"I have a great yoga jem for you to share with everyone. I love love love yoga. I think it is one of the best exercises anyone can do, and it's so trendy right now with all these local yoga studios popping up...the problem is they can be so expensive..I mean $70.00 for a monthly membership? Seriously?!?!?!? So with that being said I have to tell you about my yoga instructor...First of all her name is Alice and she is from Akron and I actually went to high school with her. Anyway, she was a dancer for Walt Disney World for like 6 years and just moved back to the area this past summer. She decided that she wanted to give up the dancer lifestyle but still do it for one of the things she is doing is teaching a yoga class at Martell School of Dance ( in Highland Square) on Monday and Wednesday nights and Saturday Mornings. and here is the best thing.... it's $5.00 per class and the class is about and hour long.

On Wednesday nights its from 8:30-9:30 p.m.( I go to this class) but it's earlier on Monday Nights and early on Saturday Mornings. I don't have exact times yet on the Monday and Saturday, they are figuring it out around the dance class schedule, but should know more next week. Or people can always call and ask when Alice's yoga classes are (330) 253-9900. She is really good too, she goes to NYC like once a month and trains at some amazing yoga studio.

I will be sure to send you anything else I know or think of for the blog.-- Melissa"

I love it... and i think i will probably be going to that class some time very soon. Hope to see some of you there too!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy Thursday

Can you believe it is only Thursday? Okay actually it is 11:30 on Wednesday night, but i am guessing that it will be Thursday by the time you read this.....soooo any ideas for the weekend???

Business Review: Frisch Creative Services

One of my goals with this site is to get some info out about fabulous local businesses that provide excellent services....When I thought about who i wanted to spotlight first, I immediately thought of my friend Kristen. Kristen and I worked together pre-babies at a local ad agency. I asked her to write a little "diddy" about her awesome design company and she politely obliged.  She does it all: wedding invitations, birthday party invites, birth announcements, Holiday name it she can design it!

So anyways, here is what you need to know - straight from Kristen herself :)

"Frisch Creative Services was started in 2009 by myself, and a good friend of mine, Sarah Fraley, who I went to college with. We both have design degrees from Kent and had our typical design jobs right out of school, but when my first baby came I decided it was time to pursue my dream of having my own business and staying home for my family.

We create all kinds of graphic design, including logos, business cards, websites and marketing materials, but we are putting the majority of our efforts into invitations and stationery design. Our passion is in working with couples on wedding invitations and creating beautiful announcements for the arrival of a new bundle of joy. Currently we create only completely custom invitation designs, no picking out of a book and dropping your information in. Everything is totally tailored to our clients wants and needs. We work with our clients' ideas to come up with something beautiful and unique that they will treasure forever. We have showcased at several area bridal shows in the last 2 years and are on and Earlier this year, a surprise came in the award for 2011 pick for's best of weddings as voted by local brides!!! We hope to continue this for many years as our company grows!!!

For more, please visit our website:"

....and i highly suggest you call her now. Or maybe 10 minutes from now, because I want to call her to do my christmas card first (because it is September and -yes- I am already thinking about Christmas...thats how i roll)

Birthday Invite

Birth Announcement

Wedding Invitation

Wedding Invite, Place Card, Table Number

Wedding Invitation

Wedding Invite

Sarah and Kristen