Virabhadrasana = Warrior II Pose

A few years ago, I had no idea what this word meant.  If I had even heard it, which is a big if, it didn’t have much, if any, meaning to me.  I certainly had never spoken the word.

Fast forward to today, and the word “namaste” escapes my lips at least once a week, at the end of a yoga class.  Derived from Sanskrit, namaste literally means “bowing to you”, and is often used to express gratitude.


Adho Mukha Svanasana = Downward Dog

Anyone who knows me well knows two things about me:  I’m Type A, and I love exercise, especially sweaty exercise.  When I first graduated college, I made a few half-hearted attempts at becoming a yogi, attending the occasional class offered at my gym (Lifestyle Family Fitness).  I always made sure to log some miles on the treadmill or elliptical before the class started, and I always left before the class was over.  “That slow stuff at the end?  Who needs it?”, I thought.  Not surprisingly, I never got “hooked” on yoga and eventually stopped going altogether.

Then, at the ripe old age of 25, I was struck with what has become my new normal: back pain.  Not crippling, can’t bend over back pain, but the chronic muscular kind that gets under your skin and stays there.  After multiple doctors visits, physical therapy sessions, blood tests, MRIs, needle-pokings (I tried my luck at acupuncture…with no luck), and massages, I decided I needed a break from it all (well, mostly all – I still get regular massages!).  It was time to try something new.

Enter yoga.  Again.  But this time, I approached it differently.  Rather than take classes at my gym – the same gym where I taught spinning – I decided to find an actual yoga studio.  And rather than just show up to a class and start doing sun salutations, I started at the beginning.  Luckily, Ash, also an inexperienced yogi but less so than me,  was up for a yoga adventure, and agreed to take an eight-week beginners course at Grow Yoga with me.  Eight Sundays in a row we hit our mats for 90 minutes, learning the fundamentals of ashtanga-style yoga.  We focused on our form and our breathing, and on not laughing at the male instructor’s very tight shorts.


Chaturanga Dandasana

By the end of those two months, we both were amazed at how much stronger and leaner we felt.  With no more scheduled beginner’s classes left, it was then that I branched out and discovered the my holy grail of yoga:  hot vinyasa yoga.  Yoga, in a heated room, designed to warm up your muscles and bring up your heart rate?!  Sign me up!  A self-proclaimed cardio junkie, I was thrilled to find that I could challenge my mind / strength / flexibility / balance AND sweat!  No longer did I feel like going to a yoga class meant sacrificing a “good” workout or required a three-mile run beforehand.  With hot yoga, I didn’t feel the need to jump on the treadmill and log a couple of miles before class as I did in my earlier attempts.  The class itself was all the workout I needed.  I was hooked.


Urdhva Mukha Svanasana = Upward Dog

That was over four years ago, and I’m happy to say that I’m still hooked.  At least once a week, I pull on my black lululemon leggings (expensive, but they really are the best…) and hit one of two local studios, V Power Yoga and Grow Yoga (where I took the beginner’s course).  I’m still a slave to the warm, sweaty, powerful flow style of yoga that I fell in love with four years ago, but I’ve come to appreciate a slightly slower, more yoga-ish practice.  Mainly, the classes taught by my favorite yoga instructor, Sally!

Sally, The Best Yoga Instructor!

Sally, The Best Yoga Instructor!

Sally teaches at multiple studios throughout Columbus, and I’m not the only student who follows her all over.  Her style is both challenging and nurturing.  While some instructors teach the same flow every class, Sally mixes it up constantly, leaving your body and mind guessing.  She is an expert at adjustments and isn’t afraid to help move your shoulders into better alignment or push you to a better down-dog stretch.  And best of all, she gives the most amazing neck and shoulder massage during Shavasana (the end of class “corpse” pose).  My days of skipping Shavasana are long-over!

Some may argue that by only practicing heated power yoga, I’m missing out on the true benefits of yoga:  relaxation, mindfulness, stress-reduction, etc, and I can’t disagree.  Would it behoove me to start a hatha or similar style practice?   Probably.  But I still consider it a win that a former yoga quitter like me can slow down once a week, even just a little.  Yoga has improved my upper body strength, my flexibility (poor as it is, it’s better than it was!), and my ability to focus.  And while it hasn’t solved my back problems that brought me to it in the first place, it has given me a way to cope; bridge pose / full wheel for the win!  And in case you’re wondering, I still can’t do a headstand.  One of these days!


Urdhva Dhanurasana = Full Wheel

Tell me – are you a diehard yogi?  Never tried it?  Somewhere in between?


photo credits: Sally Walsh-Roberts







O-HI-30 turns two today, and I, in turn, turn 32!
Although I was at work for 12+ hours today, I still managed to have a nice day.  Of course I made sure everyone at work knew it was my birthday, including a couple of our regular guests :).  My boss even brought cake to our partner meeting this afternoon!  Following work, Karen treated me to a birthday dinner of a burger, fries, and a chocolate milkshake at Bareburger.  And lest you think the celebrating is over, I’ll squeeze in one more day when my parents visit this weekend.  Sure, I might be getting older, but birthdays are still fun!

Last year, on my 31st birthday, I wrote about feelings of “sameness”.  About how I felt like despite growing older, I was the same person – same job, same apartment, same single-status.  But I also realized that although life’s milestones – buying a house, getting married, having children – might not be getting checked off, that didn’t mean I wasn’t growing as a person.  After all, O-HI-30 is about learning to enjoy all of life’s adventures rather than focus on what we perceive to be missing.  It’s about having gratitude.

Fast-forward yet another year.  In many ways, my life is still the same – same apartment, same great cat, same dating woes.  But in one big way, it’s changed significantly.   As you know, I took a leap of faith last fall and left my corporate job of 8+ years to venture into a whole new world of restaurants.  If I was looking for a change, boy did I find one!  Long hours, weird hours, learning curves, new personalities – I’ve never been more challenged in my life.  And although the last eight months have not been easy, I have zero regrets about following my curiosity.

Since becoming a restaurant manager last September, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it’s like to feel young(ish).  On one hand, I feel like I’m getting older.  Almost all of my college friends are now married, some have children, and the rest are thinking about having children.  They own houses and take vacations with their in-laws. When I look in the mirror, I see more wrinkles than I’d like to admit, and I’m starting to understand why some women want cosmetic surgery (not that I have any intentions of doing so myself, but I can empathize).  I wear an icy hot patch on my back every single day.  I’ve always enjoyed going to bed early, and more than two drinks (sometimes, just one) leaves me with a headache the next morning.  I’m finding myself craving real partnership, and for the first time in my life, feel my maternal instinct kicking in.

But on the other hand, I’ve never felt younger in my life!  Instead of sitting at a desk all day trying to motivate myself, I’m running around a restaurant putting in 10,000+ steps a day.  I’m busing tables, doing dishes, and sweeping sidewalks.  I’m going to work at 3 PM and sleeping until 10 AM – on a Tuesday.  I’m spending my days with 19-year-olds, and my boss is 27 (or is she 26?).  One of our team members, a recent graduate of OSU, lives in the same house I did on Ohio State’s campus…ten years ago!  I have more in common with 22-year-olds who are renting apartments and kissing boys than I do my peers.

I’m simultaneously craving a more stable lifestyle and relishing in the variety of my current one.  I’m very much longing for a partner, for true intimacy, for someone with whom I want to share my life.  But I’m also as selfish and focused on my own well-being as I have ever been.

I’m 32.  I’m feeling young.  ish.





That’s how many posts I’ve published to O-HI-30 since its birth on May 18, 2014.  Admittedly, over half of those were written in year 1, and all except one were written before 2016.  You could argue that I don’t blog anymore – after all, a post every few months does hardly a blogger make.  But that number – 96!  It’s just so temptingly close to 100.  I can’t resist the desire to hit that number, to be able to say, “I’ve written 100 blog posts”.  How cool would that be?!

So here I find myself once more, on a gloomy, unseasonably cold Sunday afternoon, with the desire to write.  But what does one write about when so much time has passed?  I have a few themed posts in my head, on subjects such as my yoga practice, thoughts on growing older while working in a young industry, and women’s body image issues, all of which I hope to someday put down on paper.  But since it has been so long, I thought it would be more fun to share five random thoughts floating around my mind.  I hope you enjoy the randomness!

1.  Celebrating
Although I’ve been telling everyone from my Northstar teammates to my dentist to my yoga instructor that I’m 32 for the past few months, I won’t officially celebrate the anniversary of my sweet sixteen (and this blog) until Wednesday.  As Ash says, I’m the only person over the age of 21 that actually adds years to her birthday!  What can I say, I guess I just like to get used to the idea months in advance.  Hey, world, I’m 32!

To celebrate, my friends and I dined at an old group favorite: Haiku.  It’s hardly what I’d consider my favorite restaurant anymore, but years of celebrating over big sushi platters and sake bombs have solidified it as our #1 place to laugh as a big group.  There were 13 of us in total, 14 if you include four-week old Oliver, Sarah and Chris’ newborn, who was a perfect angel and slept on Dad’s chest (and Jackie’s) throughout all of dinner.  The highlight of the night, aside from taking group sake bombs and writing filthy haikus, was this amazing rice-krispie treat cake that Jackie made and the wait staff presented while the table sang Happy Birthday:
She’s made penis-shaped cakes for plenty a bachelorette party, but this cat takes the cake if you ask me! (pardon the pun).

Following dinner, some of us headed to a nearby swanky cocktail bar, where I slowly sipped my first-ever manhattan.  A few months of sipping whiskey sours at work to “quality check” them has made me realize that maybe I do like whiskey – or at least could grow to like it in my “older age”.  Zane was all the happier to indulge my new interest and ordered me this manhattan, the best part of which was the cherry, obviously.  Thanks, friends, for celebrating with me!

2.  Ironing
One of less desirable aspects of working as a restaurant manager, aside from long hours and having to pin my bangs back, is the fact that I have to wear a button-down to work.  Aside form just not looking very cute, it requires me to iron.  I absolutely despise ironing.  It takes so much time, and to make matters worse, I”m not even very good at it – five minutes on one shirt and it can look not much better than if I hadn’t taken the time to set up the board and plug in the iron at all.  But luckily, I have a smart boss who introduced me to the world of paying-someone-else-to-do-your-ironing.  Genius!  Why had I not thought of this before?!  So now, I take my shirts to a nearby cleaner to have them do the dirty work.  At $4 a pop, it’s not cheap, but man is it worth it.
And the best part?  I started bringing my own hangers!  I hate those cheap metal ones, and would always take the time to remove them and re-hang the shirts on nice velvet hangers, which was obviously annoying, plus resulted in a ton of leftover wire hangers.  The dry-cleaner was more than happy to use them – it saves them money in wire hangers – and it’s so much easier just to stick them in my closet now.  Try it yourself!

3.  Tires
Along the same lines, another life hack:  the amazing new air pumps at Giant Eagle Get-Go!  One of my car tires seems to leak air at a ridiculously fast rate (note to self:  Ask Dad about this…), and requires air about every two weeks.  This was a task I avoided like the plague until I discovered the amazing air pump at the Giant Eagle Get-Go on 3rd.  The pump is fully automated, so all you have to do is enter your desired PSI (35 for me) and plug the tube into your tire.  The pump will make a beeping noise when the tire is full, and you can move onto the next tire.  Easy-peasy!
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4.  Updates
Having lived in the same apartment for almost as long as the cast of Friends lived in theirs, it’s no wonder that I occasionally have the desire to make some updates.  While on vacation in March, my landlord made a number of updates, including these amazing adult-looking blinds that replaced my shitty metal ones.
I also bought this new rug (which Susan loves) and a real bed (which Susan also loves) to replace my headboard.  I may still be renting, but heck, I’m an adult!  Maybe next I’ll buy new silverware…#noweddingregistryneeded
IMG_3373 IMG_3258
5.  Book
I just finished Curtis Sittenfield’s Eligible, a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and LOVED it!  I haven’t been this obsessed with a book since my Florida vacation last summer.  I found myself hoping for a wait at the doctor’s office so I could sneak in a few minutes of reading.  I read in the mornings, while eating, even while blow-drying my hair!  I didn’t love the ending (won’t say anything more to avoid spoilers), but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book.  If you enjoy a good love story that is well-written and accurate to the world of today’s dating, I highly recommend.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!  Next up – posts #98, 99, and 100!




Hey guys.  Remember me?

No?  Well, I can’t blame you.  After all, it’s been over six weeks since I last showed up on this space.  I had very little interest in doing anything remotely productive over the Holidays (see photo below), and since then I’ve devoted all of my energy to navigating my new workplace – the Northstar Cafe in the Short North!  I’m not going to spend this post delving into the details of my new “home”, but suffice it to say that I’m happy to be there and am officially running my own shifts.  Come visit me!  IMG_3083

I’m off today, and for the first time in a long time I feel relaxed.  My life is basically in order, I don’t work until 3 PM tomorrow, and I finally feel like I have the energy to sit down and write.  Getting started is always the hardest part, but once I get back into this space, it always feel so damn good.

But where to start?  It’s been so long that I hardly know where to begin.  I have some thoughts floating around in my head that deserve their own posts, and hopefully will get them sooner than later.  But for today, I think I’ll start slowly by sharing some of my recent eats and doings – because who doesn’t love reading about what other people eat and do?! (she said with just a slight amount of sarcasm…).

A couple of weeks ago, on a Thursday, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  It was my day off, but I was just crabby and feeling down.  I kind of wanted to stay in bed all day, but that’s just not how I roll.  Instead, I got myself out of bed, put on some leggings and a cozy sweater, grabbed my kindle, and took myself out to breakfast.

Tasi Cafe is this adorable little Brooklyn-style cafe directly behind my apartment.  Although I’ve eaten there many times over the years, I have yet to ever eat there alone.  Not so much because I’m afraid of dining out alone, but because I just find myself eating out with friends enough, and being alone is an opportunity to cook in my own kitchen.  But on this particular Thursday morning, my refrigerator was in a dire state, I was starving, and as I mentioned, I just felt blah.  Taking myself out for breakfast just seemed like the smart thing to do!

I went with my fav:  the greek scrambled eggs with multigrain raisin and walnut bread and a side of fruit (plus coffee, duh).  It hit. the. spot!  And was the perfect fuel the swim workout that followed.  Talk about turning the day around!  And instead of using numbers to find tables like we do at Northstar, Tasi uses dogs – isn’t that cute?!

Later that day I went to Trader Joe’s for a massive restock, and randomly bought mini cinnamon raisin bagels and light whipped cream cheese – it just sounded so good (and no, I’m not pregnant).  Once I got home, I made myself this epic lunch that has manifested itself multiple times since: a mini bagel sandwich with cream cheese, avocado, thinly sliced cheddar, lettuce, and red onion, served with a hard boiled egg, TJ’s roasted root chips (the BEST), and a cara cara orange (just for size comparison, this is an appetizer plate).  A very filling lunch that hit the spot!IMG_3145

I’ve also been munching on the only cookies I ever bake – oatmeal walnut chocolate chip! IMG_3123

Earlier this month I made a batch of these, which was so ridiculous it deserves it’s own post.  The recipe is courtesy of my high school BFF Allison’s mom (minus the spices and with an extra half stick of butter!).  During one visit to her family’s house in 2005, we made these cookies at least three times because I just couldn’t stop eating them.  Those of you who know me well know I HATE to bake, but I LOVE cookies, which means I bake about once a year and then hoard the cookies all to myself, freezing half the batch and rarely giving any away (except I did give Ashely a small handful of these for her birthday – a generous offer of friendship on my part!).  The kitchen was a disaster, I almost forgot the baking soda (or was it powder?!), and I burnt half the batch, but it was all worth it.  Or was it?!

On the fitness front, I’ve been enjoying this warmer weather we’ve been having and have been hitting the pavement for some outdoor runs.  I actually love running in cold weather – I went for a run this morning in 32 degrees – but usually snow and ice complicate things.  Not this winter, and I’m not complaining!  During one particularly nice run I took these photos of my city.  Lookin’ good, Columbus! IMG_3093IMG_3095

Also on the fitness front, this weekend I am competing in my third annual OSU Indoor Triathlon!  Recall that last year I participated and placed second in the swim, third in the run…and SECOND TO LAST in the bike!  WTF.  As a spin instructor, this particularly annoys me.  The bikes are of course stationary, and we are measured on the “distance” we bike in 20 minutes – the distance being a result of resistance and speed.  Apparently I haven’t figured out the key to manipulating the bikes, but I’m determined that this year will be the year!  012

My cousin Emily will be joining me this year, and I’m super excited to have a partner-in-crime!  As an avid cross-fitter and serious runner, she will be some serious competition – friendly competition, that is 🙂  Looking forward, Ems!

That is all for now, friends.  I will leave you with these two amazing pictures of Susan.  #catshavethebestlifeIMG_3101 (1)IMG_3149Happy 2016!


Hello, O-HI-30 readers!  I bet you thought I forgot about you.  I wish I could say “ha, you were wrong!”, but in fact I did “forget” about you there for a few weeks.  Between Thanksgiving and work and my 9th Annual Hanukkah party and more work, I just decided to lay low on my days off and watch the entire first season of “Master of None” on Netflix (for the record, it’s only 10 half-hour episodes).  And not blog.

(Side note – can you spy two miniature cat figurines in the second picture below?  There were at least 100 hidden all over my apartment by my clever friends during my Hanukkah Party – still finding them and it makes me laugh every time!)




Every time over the past few months that I’ve taken a break from blogging, I think maybe I’ll stop writing it all together.  I think, “I’m writing so infrequently, who is even still reading?”.  But then I find myself drawn to the computer, itching to put some words on the page.  My new job doesn’t afford me the opportunity to write much – or do anything particularly intellectual, for that matter – and I miss it.  So low and behold, here I am again.  You just can’t shake me.

Tonight I thought I’d take a post to share my thoughts on the topic that so many interested parties have inquired about these last few months:  my new job.  And more specifically, the hot button question:  “So, Sarah – how do you like your new job?”.  Now that I’m three months in and about to begin my final month of training, I feel as though I’m equipped to answer that question – sort of.

The last three months have been some of the hardest of my life.  I’ve worked longer and more demanding hours than I ever have before (except for while getting my MBA, but that felt different).  I’ve spent weeks cooking on the line of a busy, bustling, fast-paced, high-quality restaurant, getting constant “coaching” on my burrito rolls, salad heights, pizza crusts, and bun toasts.  I’ve mopped floors, carried 50 lb bags of flour, gone ten hours without eating a thing, and stood in the same spot cutting squash for hours on end.  I’ve even made biscuits and cookies – a real feat for someone who hates to bake!

Having worked at the same company for over eight years, I forgot how it feels to be “new” somewhere.  Being new is hard.  Very hard.  Not having worked in a restaurant before, the learning curve for a brand-new industry has been (and still is) steep.  What some might take for granted as basic knowledge – like what “86” means or what a ninth pan is –  was (and in many cases, still is) completely foreign to me.  Add to that the common challenges of being the “new” person – building relationships, navigating the company culture, deciphering communication styles – and it’s a lot of change to manage.

So when people ask me that simple, inevitable question, “do you like it?”, my honest answer is – I don’t know yet.  But here’s the thing – I also don’t think that matters.  It’s all much too new to really assess whether I like it or not.  What does matter, however, is that I have zero regrets about leaving my less-than-inspiring corporate job behind and making the leap into an industry that excites me with a company I love.

I recently read an article that really spoke to me.  The author wrote about the difference between following your passion and following your curiosity.  She talks about how “following your passion” is such a tall order.  After all, how many of us really know what we’re passionate about?  I sure don’t.  But I do have curiosities – the biggest being food, and restaurants.  I was curious as to what it would be like to work in a restaurant, specifically my favorite restaurant, and I followed that curiosity into a job.  Is restaurant work what I’m truly passionate about?  Probably not.  But it is what I’m curious about – and that’s reason enough to take that road.

With every shift, I feel myself becoming slightly more comfortable, slightly more confident.  I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel – that one day, maybe three months from now, maybe six months from now, maybe two years from now – I’ll really enjoy working in the restaurant.  I’ll be running my own shifts, making hundreds of little decisions throughout the day, forming meaningful relationships with my fellow partners and team members, and creating dining experiences for our guests like the ones that made me a Northstar fan for years before I became a Northstar employee.  And who knows what other doors will open – but I’m confident that with a growing company like ours, they will.

So for now, I’m taking it a day at a time.  I’m about to finish my training at the Beechwold (Clintonville) location and head to the Short North, where I’ll be working as full-time partner starting in January!  I’m thrilled to be working in the Short North, for a variety of reasons – the least of which is that I get to WALK TO WORK!  How cool is that?!  I’m nervous to start fresh with a whole new team, but I’m confident that given time, it’ll all be good.

North Star Cafe

Maybe one day I’ll get this blog back to what it was.  In the meantime – thanks for being here!  See you in the Short North in 2016!




A few weeks ago, on Halloween, while you were probably dressed up as Donald Trump or a banana, I was completely ignoring the holiday.  Instead, I was enjoying a cozy glass of wine and fancy dinner at Third & Hollywood with my dearest Ash!


The owners of Northstar Cafe, where I work, also own (in addition to their/our newest concept, Brassica) a higher-end full-service restaurant called Third & Hollywood, strangely enough on the corner of Third Ave. and Hollywood Pl. in Grandview.  Third & Hollywood opened in 2009, and since its opening I’ve only dined there a handful of times, largely due to its higher price point.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s excellent upscale American fare – but just a bit on the pricey side for me to frequent on a regular basis.
But here’s the good news: I don’t have to pay to dine at Third & Hollywood anymore!  One of the major perks of working at Northstar is the generosity of the executive team.  Each Partner (our term for manager, since most of us are part-owners of the company) is given a Partner Account containing money every three months.  This money is in addition to our shift meals, and is designed to be used on carryout food from Northstar, enjoying meals at Northstar with our family and friends, and dining at Third & Hollywood (referred to as Third by employees) – a real treat.  I won’t get specific with how much money we are given, but suffice it to say it’s hard to actually spend it all!

Enter my hot date with Ashley.  I realized a month or so into my training that my partner account wouldn’t spend itself, and that I should start taking advantage of it!  The account pays for food and drink but no alcohol or tip – still, not too shabby.  That particular day was a busy one at work, and I was there a couple of hours past my shift having eaten nothing more than a smoothie since my bowl of oatmeal at 6 AM.  Needless to say, I was STARVING, and ready to eat the entire menu!  At least three courses of it.

While we were waiting for our table, Ash and I each enjoyed a glass of juicy cabernet, both of our favorites.  We were seated at a roomy, private table towards the front of the restaurant.  One of the things I love most about Third is the warm, cozy atmosphere.  It’s dark but still warm, with a fireplace, comfortable booths, and lots of exposed brick.  A perfect “winter” place to enjoy a drink at the bar!
After perusing the menu (with no regard to price!), we settled on sharing a bunch of items.  We started with the housemate ricotta and toast.  The ricotta is made in-house and is sooo good, especially with the garlicky greens.  Plus, how adorable are these mini cast iron pots?!

We also shared the grilled artichoke starter, which is twice the amount of what is shown here (forgot to take a photo until we had already dived in!).  I grew up eating whole artichokes (#foodiehousehold), but we always enjoyed them steamed.  Grilling them is a new experience for me, and a very tasty one at that!  The grill adds another layer of depth to the flavor of the artichoke, and the remoulade they are served with is excellent.


You know you’re dining at an upscale restaurant when you are provided warm, wet towels in between courses.  #fancy

Next up:  this AMAZING kale caesar salad, easy my favorite dish of the evening.  Now, before you say, “kale, again…really?!”, let me preface this by saying that I am normally not a huge kale fan.  I tend to think it’s way overdone and just a fad.  That being said, this kale caesar was to die for!  It was dressed perfectly and the toasty hazelnuts were a nice change from your typical nuts, and the cheese melted with the warm croutons just every so slightly.  I need to go back stat just to enjoy this salad again!

And for our main course, Ash and I spilt the rainbow trout with fried capers.  This is just a half-portion (same with the kale salad); it was so nice that they spilt the dishes onto two plates (something we also do at Northstar, just ask!).  It was the perfect amount of food, and the fried capers were a nice crispy, salty touch.  We also shared a second glass of wine, which they also brought to us in two glasses.  Classy!
You didn’t think Ash and I could go to dinner, let alone a free dinner, and not get dessert, right?!  We both have major sweet tooths (teeth?) and a weakness for ice cream served over warm baked goods.  Enter this chocolate pecan pie sundae.  Um, yes, please?  No surprise, we ate every last bite, enjoyed with a cup of decaf coffee because we are in our 30s now.


As far as job perks go, I’d say this is a pretty great one!  I still have a decent amount of money to spend before the end of the year…perhaps I should put that on my profile to see if it ups my odds at finding my husband?! 🙂  In the meantime, I’ll just continue to treat my friends and family!  Now, if only I didn’t have to work so much so I had more time to dine at Third…

The next time you want to celebrate something special, or just want to treat yourself to a nice dinner, give Third & Hollywood a try!  And get the biscuits.  We probably should have gotten the biscuits.  Next time…


Hello, O-HI-30 readers!  Ready for some random-ness?

Nash’s Wedding
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, and this time, that’s for good reason.  I’ve been BUSY!  Busy with work, of course, but also busy with my dear friend Laura Nash’s wedding this past weekend!
The fun started Friday morning, when I drove south to the ‘Nati for lunch and mani/pedis, followed by a quick stop back at the hotel (which overlooked the Ohio River and downtown Cincy and was beautiful!) and then the ceremony rehearsal and dinner.  Saturday was a whirlwind, as weddings always are…hair/makeup followed by ceremony followed by limo-ing/pictures followed by partying!  And did I mention speech-giving?!  As her maid-of-honor, it was my honor (along with her sister and two best men) to give a toast to the bride and groom.  And although I felt less prepared for this toast then the other two I’ve given (perhaps I should start a MOH speech writing business?), it was very well-received, and I think I did my relationship with Nash and Kyle proud.  The newlyweds are currently honeymooning in Hawaii…#jealous.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Those of you who follow my personal trainer (aka, me…ghost writer…or is it ghost poster?) on social media (Dustin Kelch @ Sweatbox) have already heard about this one!  Dustin has been preaching the powers of apple cider vinegar for as long as I’ve known him.  Naturalists claim that a tablespoon of the good stuff a day aids digestion, helps keep blood sugar levels in check, boosts metabolism, and strengthens the immune system.  And according to Dustin, is to credit with him warding off even the slightest of colds for 3+ years!
When I felt one coming on last week in the midst of a crazy work schedule and the wedding, I decided it was time to give it a try myself.  A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a day keeps the doctor away?  Who knows if that’s really true, but I figured at the very least it wouldn’t hurt.  I had been avoiding it because I thought it would taste horrible, but guess what?  I actually kind of like it!  I drink mine before I drink my coffee in the morning, with warm water, a squeeze of lemon, and the tiniest bit of honey.  If the thought of drinking it turns you off, check out this article for other ways you can work it into your diet.

I wrote about my company’s latest concept Brassica (love the website!!!) in this post, but after having lunch there with Karen today I thought it deserved another quick shout-out!  If you haven’t checked out Brassica yet, what are you waiting for?!  This veggie-licious chicken salad bowl was packed with flavor.  And don’t forget the special sauce (and fries)!  Also…did I mention it’s my downstairs neighbor?!

Fall Running
I’ve been loving this fall running weather lately!  I’m one of those runners who would take a 40-degree day over an 80-degree one any day of the week.  There are few things I enjoy more than a brisk run through the leaves on a cold day.  It hasn’t actually been that cold, but I’ve still managed to fully enjoy some runs as of late.  A few weeks ago, Ashley, Johnny, and I participated in a 10K trail run north of Columbus at HighBanks metro park.  Having capped most of my runs post-triathlon at four miles, I was completely unprepared for 6.2 miles – let alone 6.2 hilly, trail miles!  But all three of us surprised ourselves, running together and feeling strong and great all the way.  Fun way to spend a Sunday morning!  And then I went to work….and ended up with 31,000 steps that day.  #restaurantlife
I went for a run this morning up to campus and snapped this pic of Mirror Lake.  Come to think of it, back in my day, this would have been the Thursday of the Mirror Lake jump, because we used to play M*ch*gan the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Time and Change….

Fall Uniform
Speaking of fall, I’ve been wearing roughly the same outfit all season and thought it deserved a shout-out! I don’t know about you, but pretty much each season every year I have one or two outfits that I find myself wearing over and over.  It’s never the same outfit from year to year – last year, at this time, I was obsessed with sweater dresses and riding boots and wasn’t wearing jeans much.  But this year?  I’m loving the heck out of my new jeans, booties, and coat!
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Ash, Jackie and I went shopping last month and I treated myself to a new pair of jeans.  My new non-corporate lifestyle has me wearing casual clothes more often (that is, when I’m not wearing khakis and clogs), so I thought a new pair of jeans was only fair.  I purchased these high-waisted dark skinny jeans at J-Crew, and bonus, they were 25% off!  I LOVE them – I’ve been wearing the high-waisted thing for a couple of years now, but these are so comfortable and forgiving.

On my feet I’ve been living in these booties – in two colors!  The tan-ish colored ones I originally bought were so comfortable that I decided a black pair was also in order.  I typically don’t wear heels on a regular basis, but I feel very sturdy and confident in these.  So much so that they’ve become an everyday staple – even just to Sunday brunch (when I’m not serving it, that is!).
And last but definitely not least, my fall coat!  One of the biggest things I noticed when changing jobs was that most of my wardrobe was just too nice for the restaurant.  I don’t want to wear a nice trench coat with my work uniform, especially when it would drag on the floor from the low hanger I hang it on in our tiny office!  Enter this amazing hipster fall coat from Loft (40% off, of course).  I am OBSESSED.   I usually remove my coat immediately upon entering indoors, but not with this coat.  With its soft fleece lining, it’s more like a comfy blanket than a coat.  And at the end of a long workday, it feels so comforting to put this on.  Love!

Your turn – what’s random in your life?


Happy Saturday, O-HI-30 readers!  I am currently waiting on my dear friend Cullen (and fellow spin instructor!) to arrive from Cleveland.  We are going to the OSU game tonight, a somewhat annual tradition that we’re both really looking forward to.  I’m not sure if we’ll meet up with friends for a beer on campus before the game, or enjoy a nice red wine dinner like the 31-year-olds we are 🙂  Either way, it’s sure to be fun!

I don’t have much time, but thought I’d try quick blogging as opposed to the 1.5-2 hour posts that I’m accustomed to.  Something is better than nothing, right?!

I’ve been working nights this past week.  My shifts at Northstar Cafe are either open (7-4, in theory) or close (3-12, in theory), and are typically varied throughout the week.  But sometimes I have a string of days or a string of nights in a row, as I did this past week.  Tuesday – Friday I closed, which means my days looked something like this:  wake up around 8:30-9, exercise, run an errand or two or meet a friend for lunch (I had lunch with my old co-workers on Wednesday!), and go into work around 2:30.  Get home around 12:15-30, eat, and go to bed around 1.  Repeat.  Basically, everything I used to do in the evenings after work I do in the mornings before work.  Not too shabby.

Since I’m eating a meal around 1-1:30 before I go into work, it’s no surprise that by the time I get home after midnight I’m starving.  We don’t take formal meal breaks like I did in the corporate world, which is something I’ve adjusted to easier than I expected (future post).  We simply can’t stop serving dinner to our guests just because we want to eat our own!  Of course, there is always time to step away after the dinner rush to drink a quick smoothie (we make them fresh) or house a granola bar – or one of our amazing, butter laden cookies (I had more than my fair share this week).  But even so, I’m always ready for something more substantial when I finally get home after a long day.

Enter this grilled cheese sandwich.  And I’m not talking just any old grilled cheese.  I’m talking grilled cheese, Laurie Chait style – I could write a whole post on my Mom’s grilled cheese sandwiches!  But I have Bobby Flay to credit with this idea (sorry, Mom).  On Wednesday morning when I was getting ready for work, rather than watch CNN as I should, I watched Cooking Channel’s “Brunch at Bobby’s”, one of my favorite shows.  Bobby Flay’s (or as my dad pronounces it, Filet) food always looks SO good.  On Wednesday, he made a grilled cheese sandwich with apples and brie on cinnamon raisin bread.  Sweet & Savory!  Brilliant!

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So when I got home after work on Wednesday and was contemplating what to eat, I realized that I actually had cinnamon raisin bread, thanks to my Mom who brought me some from a local bakery (they make the BEST bread.  The cinnamon raisin and english muffin bread are my favorites).  And I also had cheddar cheese.  And honey crisp apples!  And this amazing grilled cheese was born.

Just thinly slice up half an apple or so, butter your bread, and layer on your cheese and apples.  I also added a very thin smear of mustard, because everything is better with a little mustard.  Grill over medium-low heat for ~5 min per side (patience is key here), until the cheese is melted and the bread toasty but not burnt.  Enjoy while catching up on your favorite blogs (O-HI-30, perhaps?), then crawl into bed full and happy.

What’s your favorite late-night snack?


SATC = Sex and the City!

Sex and the City TV series (1998-2004) starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw, Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones, Kristin Davis as Charlotte York and Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes -

I’ve been planning on writing this post since day one – a post about my favorite television show of all time, Sex and the City!  If you have never seen the comedy that aired on HBO from 1998 – 2004, I implore you to stop reading this post immediately and instead, curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and all six seasons, now available to stream free with an Amazon Prime membership (which, if you don’t already have, you should also get pronto).

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, I’ll give you a very short background.  The show features four strong, independent, single women living their lives and searching for love in New York City.  It is narrated by Carrie Bradshaw, the protagonist played by Sarah Jessica Parker, and follows her life as well as the lives of her three dearest friends, Miranda Hobbs, Charlotte York, and Samantha Jones.  Miranda, my personal favorite character, is a Harvard Law grad, cynical, jaded, and has a dry sense of humor. Charlotte is a hopeless romantic who is the epitome of a WASP, and Samantha doesn’t-give-a-f*ck what anyone thinks of her and sleeps with most of Manhattan.  And then there’s Carrie, everyone’s best friend, a writer who somehow can afford her closet full of $400 shoes.  Each episode attempts to answer a question that Carrie poses for her column in the New York Star – questions like, “do you have to play games to make a relationship work?” and “can you ever really forgive, if you can’t forget?”. It’s both laugh-out-loud funny and can make you cry, sometimes all in the same episode.  In short – it’s an amazing television series.

from left to right: Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda, and Samantha

from left to right: Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda, and Samantha

I, for one, did not watch the show when it originally aired.  I was in 8th grade when the series started, and my Mom barely allowed me to watch Felicity, let alone SATC.  We also didn’t have HBO.  I discovered the show in college thanks to our college friend Rita, who was ahead of the curve on both designer jeans and designer television.  But it’s Jackie whom I have to credit with making me fall in love with the show.  She purchased some bootleg DVD’s from China that we started watching when we became roommates junior year of college.  Since then, I’ve seen each of the 94 episodes an average of 20 times each – some many more.  I would be remiss to not also mention Caitlin, another SATC diehard fan who’s impersonations of Samantha are dead on – I can’t help but think of her and crack up almost every episode!  One of my favorites: “F* me badly once, shame on you.  F* me badly twice, shame on me”.  If that’s not a motto for life, I don’t know what is.

Although I’ve spent hundreds – no, thousands – of hours watching Sex and the City, it’s worth noting that I rarely give my undivided attention to the show anymore, and haven’t for years.  Instead, it serves as a background as I clean and fold laundry – and as a mantra for my life.  Just last weekend, I was cleaning and listening to one of my favorite episodes (see below) when it hit me.  Carrie turns 35 in the episode, which means that when the series started, Carrie was likely in hear early 30s – 31 or 32, assuming she ages a year each season.  And then it hit me.  No longer am I watching a show about four women older than me, to whom I can relate but only distantly – at least I am in my 20s and have plenty of time to date and find my husband, right?  Except now, I AM Carrie Bradshaw and all of her friends – early 30s, single, and looking for love. When did that happen?!

For those of you who haven’t seen the show or are only casual watchers, what I’m about to say might seem silly to you.  Sex and the City means so much more to me than just entertainment.  The themes explored throughout the six seasons, questions discussed, and situations encountered are a reflection of my own life.  I cannot express the number of times that I’ve experienced something in my real life and thought to myself, “there is a SATC episode just like this!”  As ridiculous as it may sound, the show has provided me with a bit of free therapy.  Although the characters are fictional, the ups and downs of their lives are based on the lives of real women like me, and knowing that I’m not alone in my struggles – even if only through the television – is very cathartic.

I thought it would be fun to share my top five favorite episodes.  Although there are many that I love, these five consistently rise to the top on my most-watched list!

Sarah’s Top Five Sex and the City Episodes

#5: The Real Me [season 4, episode 2]
Season-Four-Real-MeThis episode is Jackie’s favorite (at least it used to be…but maybe that has changed?!).  In The Real Me, Carrie is asked to participate in a fashion show that features a mix of real models and regular people, of which she is the latter.  The episode attempts to answer the question, “No matter how hard we look, do we ever see ourselves clearly?”  Despite not seeing herself as a model, Carrie agrees to walk the runway – and becomes “fashion roadkill” when she falls and Heidi Klum has to walk over her.  I also love when Miranda says that she can’t believe a man finds her sexy, and says that “sexy is what I try to get them to see me as after I’ve won them over with my personality”, to which Carrie replies, “you win men over with your personality?”  It’s a fun, lighthearted episode, and anytime I hear the song “Got to be Real” by Cheryl Lynn, I think of it and smile.

#4: Plus One is the Loneliest Number [season 5, episode 5]
Now we’re getting into the serious stuff.  I chose this episode because it hits a nerve with me, as I imagine it does with many single women.  Carrie has a party thrown in honor of her new book release, and although her career is going as well as ever, she can’t help but be saddened by the fact that she doesn’t have a “plus one” to her party.  Carrie muses, ” In New York, they say you’re always looking for a job, a boyfriend, or an apartment. So, let’s say you have two out of three, and they’re fabulous. Why do we let the one thing we don’t have affect how we feel about all the things we do have?  Why does one minus a plus one feel like it adds up to zero?”  This is also the episode in which Samantha gets a chemical peel that goes wrong, and tells Carrie, “it was an impulse purchase”, to which Carrie replies, “GUM is an impulse purchase”.  Makes me laugh every time!

#3: They Shoot Single People, Don’t They? [season 2, episode 4]
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“Single and Fabulous?  That question mark is hostile!”  Ah, what a fabulous episode.  Carrie and the girls go out for a night on the town, which turns into an all-nighter, causing Carrie to arrive late to a photo shoot looking like shit.  The cover was supposed to read “Single and Fabulous!” but instead swapped the exclamation point for a hostile question mark.  The experience makes all of the girls question their single status and reach for the company of men whom they are only so-so about.  Carrie stops short of sleeping with a man, “I realized if I went home with him, it’d be the only time I’d ever had sex to validate my life. The question mark would no longer be a question, it would be a fact.”  The episode poses the question, “is it better to fake it than to be alone?” – a question that I’ve explored myself on this very blog.

#2: The Agony and the “Ex”-Tacy [season 4, episode. 1]
I LOVE this episode, largely because just like #4, it hits close to home.  This is the episode I referenced earlier in this post, in which Carrie turns 35 and no one shows up to her birthday dinner due to unforeseen circumstances.  Carrie admits to her friends later that night that, ” I hate myself a little for saying this but… it felt really sad not to have a man in my life who cares about me. No special guy to wish me happy birthday. No goddamn soulmate… and I don’t even know if I believe in soulmates.”  The scene is so real, so raw, that I can’t help but get emotional almost every time I watch it.  A truly great episode that epitomizes what the show is really all about – not just sex and men, but real friendship – and the relationship one has with one’s self.

#1:  Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda [season 4, episode. 11]
And, finally, my all-time favorite episode.  There is just so much good stuff in this episode!  The main storyline is that of Miranda finding out she is pregnant with Steve’s baby and deciding to get an abortion.  Charlotte, on the other hand, wants to be a mother but is having trouble conceiving.  The emotions between the two characters are raw, and the effect the story line has on Carrie is very real.  Ultimately, after much agonizing debate, Miranda decides to keep the baby.  I love the way the writer handles these complex topics in a way that makes them very relatable to the viewer.  To balance out the heavy storyline, Samantha comes to the rescue with a classic Samantha story line.  She uses her status as Lucy Liu’s publicist to get herself a Birkan bag, which, just like most Samantha story lines, is hilarious.  “How the fuck long does Lucy Liu have to wait for that Birkin? If they’re so hard to get, maybe you can explain why I just saw a fucking nobody in a track suit carrying the exact one we want!”  Love it.


So, tell me – are you a Sex and the City fan?  What are your favorite episodes?!



I’m alive (barely).  Thanks to lots of this:
Yes, O-HI-30 readers (if there are still any of you…), I’m alive.  It’s no coincidence that my last post on this once twice-weekly blog was the day before I started my new job five and a half weeks ago.  The fact is, I simply haven’t found the time or the energy for this space until today.  But I’m here now!

I knew that making a change as big as the one I made was going to be hard.  I knew I was going to be challenged in ways that I hadn’t been before, that I was going to be working longer and harder hours, and that at times I’d question why the heck I made such a crazy decision.  I took three and a half weeks off of work between jobs so I could mentally decompress and rebuild.  But despite all of this, I still couldn’t fully prepare myself for the enormity of this change.

Perhaps I’m sounding a bit dramatic.  Afterall, plenty of people work a lot and change jobs often.  But the fact remains that justified or not, this change has been harder than I expected.  The transition from a cushy ~40 HR work week to a ~60 HR one has been a real butt-kicker.  Hence the reason it’s taken me 5.5 weeks to figure out how to fit my beloved blog back into my life (and hopefully not temporarily)!  The learning curve in a completely new and foreign to me industry has been steep (although not unsurmountable).  And of course, there’s the new people.  Often the most overlooked of challenges, navigating the dynamics of an organization and building new relationships is never easy, even for an outgoing person like myself. Combine all of these changes, and needless to say, it’s been a rough month and a half.  When faced with unknown challenges, I think it’s rare that we can ever really prepare ourselves for the road that lies ahead.  All we can do it attempt to keep our heads held high and our feet moving forward.

I taught spinning this morning, and post-class I mentioned to my loyal spin student, blog reader, and friend Lindsey that I was thinking about blogging again today.  She made an excellent point:  that even though my life is crazy and hard right now, there is still a lot of good in it, and maybe posting about those good things would be a helpful reminder of all that I have for which to be grateful.  Wow!  What thoughtful and insightful words.

So with that in mind, I’d like to share some recent happenings, big and small.

Nash BACH in Nashville!
My dear friend Laura Nash (aka Nash) is getting married three weeks from today!  A couple of weekends ago, Nash and 18 of her closet friends hit the skies and the roads from all over the country to congregate in Nashville, TN for her bachelorette party!  If you’re like most people, your reaction to this is, “NINETEEN people?!”  Yes, indeed, Nash is one popular girl, with many close friends who love her dearly and wouldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate such a momentous occasion.
As her maid-of-honor, it was my honor (and duty:)) to plan Nash BACH, along with her sister and matron-of-honor Libby and her four other bridesmaids.  Special thanks to Libby, a Nashville local, with who’s help this amazing weekend could not have been pulled off.  So how does one plan a bachelorette party for 19 girls?!  A daunting task indeed, but one made much easier by Airbnb.  A number of months ago, Libby and I found this spectacular 5 BR / 5.5 BA Victorian, located just a couple of miles from downtown and perfectly suited to our massive party.  Rather than spilt the group into overpriced hotel rooms, this beautiful home allowed us to all be together under one (very spacious) roof.  It’s as beautiful in person as the photos on the website, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the space.

IMG_2799Per usual, I failed capture photos of every aspect of the weekend, but suffice it say we ate well, drank well, and danced even better!  The live music in Nashville is all it’s cracked up to be, and this coming from a girl who doesn’t even like country music!  We even took a “redneck bus tour” Saturday afternoon, which while far from the best sightseeing tour out there, was a fun and humorous way to spend a couple of hours together.

It’s not easy to plan a weekend for 19 girls, but I was pleasantly surprised with how easy everything came together.  Kudos to Nash’s friends for being so easy-going, just like Nash herself!  And most importantly, the bride-to-be had a wonderful time.  Next up, WEDDING!

If you know me at all, you know that my favorite day of the year is not Christmas (and that’s not just because I’m Jewish) – it’s the TAILGATE!  Ash’s husband Johnny and his brother Warren have been hosting their annual tailgate for a whopping ten years, and every year it’s gotten bigger and crazier!  Recall that last year I actually missed the tailgate when I was in Spain, (a fact I am still upset about), so needless to say I was very excited to be in Columbus and off work last Saturday!

The day started as it always does – with a five mile run with Ash in the crisp fall (more like winter – it was 30 degrees!) weather.  What followed was pure debauchery!  We piled on the layers and the drinks and partied all. day. long.  I had to work early the next morning, so the night ended early for me, but I still managed to squeeze in about nine hours of tailgating.  We missed you, Pam!  Till next year – GO BUCKS!


Spinning Love
One of my spinning regulars is a kind, quiet, older gentleman named Alan.  Alan is a hardcore marathoner, having run numerous marathons including Boston.  A few years ago, Alan credited my spinning class with helping him set a new personal record (PR) for himself in the Boston Marathon.  Well, it appears that PR is no longer valid anymore – he set a new PR a few weekends ago running the Chicago Marathon, with a whopping time of 3:01:41 – a ~6:50 min/mile pace!!! After my class on Monday night, Alan handed me a piece of paper – his official results from the marathon, with a hand-written note thanking me for his new PR.  I hardly think my once weekly spin class is to credit for his stellar record-breaking performance, but I’m honored to have contributed even a little to his physical and mental preparedness.  I was so touched that he not only took the time to tell me this, but to print out his results and hand write a note.  It was incredibly thoughtful and made my day!  Congrats, Alan!

Greek Salad Dressing
I have my friend Sarah to credit with finally transitioning me away from bottled salad dressings to homemade ones!  I started making this greek salad dressing after she brought it to Memorial Day weekend at the Ash’s lake house, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.  What has me really geeking out, though, is the new tool I bought to make it even easier to make: a juicer!  Nothing fancy, just a handheld manual juicer.  And I have work to credit for that discovery.  After working the “bev” station for a few shifts, I discovered how freaking amazing this simple kitchen tool is.  No, squeezing lemons is not a difficult task, but it’s made infinitely faster and easier with this tool.  I highly recommend!  I bought this $12 one on amazon and while it’s not as nice as the one we use at work, it does the job.
As for the dressing, it’s very simple: equal parts lemon juice and olive oil, oregano, and kosher salt.  The amount of the latter two depends on how much lemon and oil you use, but for reference, to one cup of liquid (1/2 cup of each), add 1 TBSP of oregano and 1.5 tsp of salt.  I squeeze the lemons directly into a mason jar with measurements etched into the side (love), so that way I just add  an equal amount of olive oil and modify the seasonings as necessary.  These two lemons made a little less than 1/2 cup of juice.  The dressing keeps in the fridge for a week or two and is super yummy!  No more bottled dressings!


Alright, folks, that’s all – for now.  Time to make guacamole and head over to Caitlin and Zane’s for an outdoor football watching party – they are projecting the game on their garage!  And if any of you are reading in the Columbus area, I work my last front-of-house brunch shift tomorrow, so come visit the Beechwold location and get yourself a Big Burrito!  Next up: back of house – aka, trial by fire 🙂