Cleveland Challenge Recap: Everyone do this race next year!

When I was contacted by Cleveland Challenge Nation about this race, I really didn’t know a lot about it. Scavenger type/Amazing Race style event but I decided to do it because I rarely participate in fun races because I love competing in races so much.

Many people dress up for this race or wear matching shirts, outfits etc. Some came up with some interesting costumes like this guy who was a “wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen”

I heard he only flashed a few people.
I heard he only flashed a few people.

Before the race there is one big meeting. We literally got in 1 very large circle as the clues to the race were passed out.

2photo 2You have to keep your hand in the circle so there is no cheating and reading the clues early.

3photo 3Which really didn’t matter for Francesca and I because we were pretty stumped on most clues. After reading through the clues we decided to just run to the first location we knew and hoped we would figure the rest out as we went.

Luckily on the way to the first clue we also stumbled up a second clue!

4photo 4 Jess and Francesca

After that I’m not sure if we just got smarter or if we just started running around and got lucky finding clues. The clues were pretty tough and rather long to read.

5photo 5 photo 6

There was a lot of selfie taking as you had to take pictures with each of the clues you found.

photo 4 photo 5 photo 7

We ran to each location so we were really getting a good workout/run in. There was also a lot of laughing as we would start running to a location and then realize we had no idea where we were going or would realize we were going in the wrong direction.

photo 8 photo 9

One of the clues you had to find someone with a drivers license from another state that started with the letters N, C, M, T or L. Pretty sure this couple was on the way to a wedding but they let us take pictures with them for the Challenge.

Even though we ran most of this “race” we ran way further than we probably had to. We ended up 19th out of 185ish teams with a time of 1:19. The overall winners finished in 50 mins. I’m not sure how far this race was supposed to be but we ran about 6-6.5 miles.(I fully admit we ran out of the way multiple times so we probably could have knocked off some miles and time.

Next year when this race comes around, everyone gather a team of friends and come run (or walk) around downtown Cleveland and figure out some fun clues. I guarantee you will have a good time!


Rolling in the dough, celebrating and running again

As you know, I bake poticas with my mom every year, we bake for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. This year my little sister took over grinding the nuts and making the filling which was my job for the past 25+ years.

Poticas, bringing sisters together one roll at a time.
Poticas, bringing sisters together one roll at a time.

I took over Moms job and am now rolling the dough. It’s a lot of work and I’m not sure how she makes it look so easy. After rolling out 6 different doughs, I finally got one that was nearly perfect. We roll the dough out to about the length of a table so it’s not easy.

With my almost perfect dough
With my almost perfect dough

My in-laws wanted to take me out for a belated birthday dinner. I had to cancel on the first one due to a freak allergic reaction. However, we rescheduled and I made it out last night. Have I mentioned I won in the in-laws lottery?

Group picture
Group picture

And I’m not saying that because they took us to Strip Steakhouse in Avon yesterday.

IMG_2965 IMG_2967 IMG_2964

Ryan and I were both sporting the collared shirt and sweater combo. I’ve been channeling fashion tips from the new show Ravenswood. My new guilty pleasure show.

And the best news ever, I’m running again!!!! Just a little bit though. I took off a complete week and then Monday and Tuesday I ran 2 miles. Slowly. On the treadmill. Wednesday I ran 3 miles outside and this morning I ran 4 miles outside. In that week off we went from fall like temps to winter temps.

Bodhi's first snow
Bodhi’s first snow

We woke up Tuesday to a couple inches of snow on the ground. I was pretty sure Bodhi would be a wimp about it but he jumped right in and loved it! He was shaking from the cold but still wanted to play.

The goal for running now is to get a longish run in on Saturday and see how my rib cage holds up and if all is well I may be able to get a half marathon in at the end of the month and then start training for the Green Jewel 50K.

Oh and before I forget! I’ll be blogging for the Cleveland Marathon 2014, so happy to be included in this event!

bloggerbadge2014.SRV_1383923707There are 2 discount codes available if you register before November 21st! Use 2014RACM for $10 off the Full Marathon registration price or use 2014RACHM for $5 off the Half Marathon registration.



File this under things I’d never thought I’d say

I’m as old as Plinko!

That’s right! Plinko is also 30.

Actually what I was going to say is 30 isn’t so bad! But now that I know I’m as old as plinko I am re-thinking this 30 thing.

For a while now I’ve been dreading turning an age that starts with 3, moving up an age group for running and just getting older in general.

No idea how old I am here. Possibly 3-4
No idea how old I am here. Possibly 3-4

Maybe I had too much fun in my 20s and wasn’t ready to let that go.

Me and my college roomate, sometime in the 20s
Me and my college roommate, sometime in the 20s

But for 30 days before my birthday, my family did 30 days of 30. Basically you get a small gift everyday for 30 days. Some days it was a box of baking mix, other days chapsticks, candles, candy or odd gems that just made you laugh. Every day it was a reminder that I was getting closer and closer to 30.

Just a few 30 days of 30 gifts. Kinder chocolates was a favorite!
Just a few 30 days of 30 gifts. Kinder chocolates was a favorite!
Apparently at 30 I need help in this department still
Apparently at 30 I need help in this department still. Yes this was a 30 days of 30 gift.

Then my husband threw me a kick ass party last weekend and I realized how awesome my friends and family are. Yesterday I celebrated with some speed work at the track and a great taco Tuesday with friends. Then my husband spoiled me with presents, beer, Dunkin Donuts gift card and a jawbone!


This whole 30 thing isn’t too bad so far.

Can I turn 30 every year now?


My Husband Lied and Kept Secrets From Me!

A few months ago I mention to Ryan that the patio at Rozi’s Wine House is one of my favorite places in Lakewood. Little did I know, that would send a light bulb off in Ryan’s head on where to host a surprise birthday party for me.

This guy, not sure how he did it.
This guy, not sure how he did it.

To get me to Rozi’s he told me they were going to have a special beer on tap. The plan was to stop at Rozi’s for a drink and then he was taking me out for an early birthday dinner.

Pink and Green Birthday cake
Pink and Green Birthday cake

I totally bought his “plan” because last year he took me out for an early birthday dinner! Perhaps he took me out to an early dinner last year to fool me this year….it worked.

He wouldn’t tell me where dinner was, it was supposed to be a surprise (which he did last year too) but told me jeans would be fine. All day I was battling a cold and I think I worried Ryan that I might be too sick to go. He was so nervous that he had to leave for a couple hours to get away from me.

While he was gone I got a few texts to remind me that we were leaving at 6. In my head I was like “sheesh where are we going that we have such a strict reservation.” “Do they have something special on the menu?” “Crab po boys?” “conch fritters?”

Post surprise with my cousins
Post surprise with my cousins

As I started to get dressed I had a girl moment and suddenly had nothing to wear. I started texting my cousin what I was wearing to see what she thought. Little did I know that my cousin was on her way to the surprise party and was laughing that I was texting her, not knowing I would see her soon!

I found out earlier in the day that the beer on tap at Rozi’s was Columbus Brewing Super Fresh Hop. One of my favorite beers that always go fast in the Cleveland area. However, when we got to Rozi’s, Ryan said there was another beer on tap too but it was a surprise. He didn’t want me to see it on the chalk boards so he tried to cover my eyes but practically poked my eyes out so he had me cover my eyes instead.

As he walked me in I could hear people talking, Rozi’s gets pretty busy on Saturday nights and I was kind of embarrassed that he was making me cover my eyes. I was like “these people all think I’m a weirdo” but Ryan said to cover my eyes so I did. I noticed he walked me past the bar and onto the patio. I thought it was kind of weird but thought maybe he wanted me to sit down and he was going to bring me a beer. Next thing I know, I hear SURPRISE!

The Moms!
The Moms!
The Grandmas
The Grandmas!

The most confusing thing about a surprise party is you have no idea it is coming and when you open your eyes it’s so confusing to see all these people you know!

The BFFs
The BFFs
The Sister-My Mom wouldn't let me talk to her all week because she was afraid she would give it away.
The Sister-My Mom wouldn’t let me talk to her all week because she was afraid she would give it away.

Ryan threw me an awesome surprise party and it makes turning 30 today just a little bit easier. I still don’t know how Ryan was able to pull it off and me not have a clue. I know he had help from our family and friends but still a lot of small details that he was able to hide from me.



Special thanks too all of my friends and family for celebrating with me, this easily goes down as my favorite birthday.

We even stopped at Deagans for beers, fries and a sweet potato sundae afterwards. #imspoiled

Sweet Potatoe Sundae at Deagans
Sweet potato Sundae at Deagans

Have you ever had a surprise Birthday party or thrown one?



Enter Operation Long Hair: A trip to Charles Scott Salon and Spa

A few months ago I was invited to an event at Charles Scott Salon in Rocky River. Shortly after that event I was invited to be a Brand Ambassador for Charles Scott Salon. For being an ambassador you receive 50% off your first visit and 15% off ever visit after that.

I’m quite the “salon jumper”.

sa·lon jump·er

noun \sə-ˈlän, ˈsa-ˌlän, sa-ˈlōⁿ\ˈjəm-pər\

: One who does not have a regular salon
: One who fears getting hair cut and waits til they can’t stand their hair anymore and go to any random salon.
: One who waits too long to get a haircut
: Also known as a “salon nomad”

Being the salon jumper that I am, I waited a solid 5+ months to get a hair cut. I have good reasons though.

Actually, no I don’t.

My reasons are 1.) I wanted my hair a certain length for the wedding. 2.) I was too lazy/busy/lazy to make an appointment to get it cut 3.) I was trying to grow it out to donate.

Just before I got engaged my little sister came to me with an idea. She said that we should grow our hair out and donate it (and blog about it). Immediately, I was like awww how thoughtful and cute that she comes up with blog topics. I also wasn’t ready to cut off all my hair. However, I decided that not donating my hair for no reason, was kind of vain. Also, not a good example to set for my little sister.

Now that the wedding is over I have no reason to keep my hair long, except to be vain and set a bad example.

My sister grew her hair out for the wedding and it was so long that she already donated hers! I think she is growing it out all over again so we can do it together…and blog about it.

Enter Operation Long Hair.

I haven’t had short hair in a very long time so I’m looking forward to cutting it off, having shorter styling/drying time and doing new things with it. Actually, I’m not looking forward to that last part. I’m kind of scared I won’t know how to style it, will make my face look fat or I won’t be able to get it out of my face to run. Clearly all big problems.

The good news is, hair grows back and I’d have to opportunity to help someone else.

IMG_2594IMG_2611The bad news is I need at least 3 more inches before I can even donate. And that is if I go super short!

Christine cut my hair and she is awesome if you are looking for a hair cut. She also has gorgeous super long hair. Go see her and her hair!

Anyone ever donate their hair? Scared of short haircuts?

Disclosure: I have not mastered the “selfie”. I know on the iphone you can press the button and take one of yourself but my arms are short and it’s always too close! All opinions on Charles Scott are my own. I have been going there off and on for years. Best manicures and pedicures I’ve ever had were from Charles Scott.


My Night Out With Elle Magazine & Wella Hair: Turn Any Light Into The Spotlight

Last night, I traded in my sweaty running clothes, put on a dress and heels to attend an event at the Charles Scott Salon in Rocky River. How else would I taper for a marathon just days away?

From Wella Hair USA Facebook page

I’ve been to Charles Scott Salon many times to get my hair and nails done and I’ve always been mega impressed with their salon and professionalism. When Canopi contacted me to attend an event, hosted by Elle Magazine and Wella Hair Professionals, I jumped at the chance to go.

I was aware that they were doing lite apps, drinks and a D.J. but I did not know they were doing hair, makeup and nails for the attendees! I went back with a stylist to get my hair done and she asked what I wanted to do. I responded “just do whatever”. When it doesn’t involve cutting or coloring my hair, I can be pretty brave.

Hanging with some hotties

My stylist, Christine, gave me some beach waves and I love dthem!!! I wear my hair 3 ways, straight, curly or pony tail. But now I need to get myself a styling wand ASAP, to master beach waves for the summer.

I also had the chance to get my nails done. If you know anything about me, I love getting my nails done. When I do my own nails, it looks like a toddler painted them. When I get them done though, I usually chip them within the first 12 hours. But guess what??? It’s been almost 24 hours and I have yet to chip them!

As I was leaving the event, I was handed a goodie bag with hair products from Wella and an issue of Elle Magazine. Looking forward to testing out their products and kicking back with a girlie magazine.

Swag bag
Swag bag

I’d say the worst part of the night was when it was time to go to bed. I loved my hair and didn’t want to mess it up.

So sad
So sad

I was hoping I would wake up in the morning, my hair would have stayed and I could have gone to work with my beach waves. It did not, so it’s back to straight hair for now but I’m coming back for you beach waves!

What’s your favorite way to wear your hair?


What I do when I am sick

Ok so when I thought I was getting over being sick I was really just still sick and didn’t know it. It was a pretty rough couple days but I think finally I am starting to feel like myself again. Running will resume in a couple days just trying to make sure I am 100% and don’t push it.

While being sick the Doctor (who I usually avoid at all costs) told me I just needed to rest and I would get better. I’m really not good at resting but I tried my best. I caught up on my DVR, watched multiple movies (Breaking Dawn, The Bourne Supremacy and Munich) and approximately 11 episodes of The Killing (Season 2 on Netflix). Totally hooked on that show, although it’s not better than The Americans.

I also created a new resume….It’s pretty much the real stuff that should be included in my “real life” resume but people just aren’t ready for this kind of honesty yet. Since we are being so honest, I have left out my real name and address to avoid stalkers

Moja Mala
Cleveland, OH 4411?

Finished high school.  Participated in Volleyball, Soccer, Cheerleading, Gymnastics & Track. Biggest failure was switching from volleyball to soccer when the volleyball team won states that year. SMH.
Finished college. Major Business classes & “Minor” drinking. Played intramural softball and made great friends #teabaggers #RIPpartygirl

Living life


  • Finder of all potholes in Cleveland. Actually, my car finds them not me.
  • Trash Talking. Mostly 12 yr olds while playing call of duty.
  • Pretending to be a 12 yr old when playing call of duty.
  • Time Management. I DVR 95% of the TV I watch and then fast forward through commercials. I also plan to watch DVR’d shows when the DVR is recording 2 shows at once.
  • Pinterest Pro. I know my Pins are valued by the number of repins I get. I’m probably in the top 10 of pinterest users. If you are not on Pinterest, you are wasting your life.
  • Patience. I spend 10 minutes every morning taming my crazy cowlick. It’s mixture of excessive blow-drying, smashing down with bobby pins and copious amounts of hairspray. Maybe this one should be listed under science.
  • The ability to spot someone’s look alike no matter where I go. My newest one is Nick Swisher’s look alike is Joey Lawrence. “WOAH!”.
  • Showering Daily. Well, I’m still working on that one. But I do blow dry the sweat out of my hair. Sometimes.
  • Kolo Dancing Pro. Trust me, this is a skill and not a hobby. 90% of my readers don’t know what this is but trust me, I’m good. Been a skilled kolo dancer since at least 4 years old.
  • Saving Money. I’ve had the same pair of glasses since 2002. Also my work pants are mostly from Express 2006. (maybe 2005). I really know how to make things last.
  • Being Creative. This one is kind of serious, you guys but I’m really good at making photo albums on Shutterfly. Also good at creating worthless typography-type designs in Microsoft Publisher. (maybe that part should be a hobby?)
  • Self Diagnosing. I’m pretty decent at googling my symptoms to figure out what is wrong. Saves me a lot of time and money since I don’t have to go to the doctor. Google is my doctor.
  • CPI Certified. You perhaps don’t know what that is but let’s just say you don’t want to mess with me. I’m pretty badass.
  • Baking. Essentially, this is another serious one. I’m actually a good baker. However, apparently you don’t become a millionaire by baking.
  • Traveling. Notice I did not say vacationing. I’m bad at relaxing. But making travel reservations, planning out schedules and itineraries. I’ve got that down.
  • Knowing 90% of the words to Salt n Pepper’s “Shoop”. I sing it in the car on my way to work. Pumps me up for my “real” job. Sometimes I do the boy part too.


  • Running for really no point other than I think it’s fun. Clearly, I need more hobbies.
  • Related, I’m really good at mapping out runs, making up workouts, talking about running and giving my opinion on every race. Hey! Who wants to talk about running!?!?!
  • Cuddling with puppies. Puppies love me, what more can I say.
  • Polished Painter. Yes, we are talking about nails here. Actually, I not very good at it since I paint my cuticles and sides of my finger. My 9 yr old sister says you shouldn’t do that. But I do keep polish on them most of the time. Chipping or not, my nails are painted.
  • Reading. Mostly teen fiction but it’s better than nothing.


Available upon request. However, the best reference is to meet me in person. OR stalk my facebook account.

So basically that’s what I accomplish when I am sick. What do you do when you are sick? What should be on your resume that isn’t?