Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sesame Soba Noodles

I just want to start by giving a huge shout out to Charity for hosting an awesome yoga + wine event last night with cuyaYOGA and the Battery Park Wine Bar.

Yoga and wine are (obviously) two things I'm passionate about (p.s. who's with me on opening an wine bar/yoga studio in CLE?) and a great time was had by all. I've never been to the cuyaYOGA space at Battery Park, but it was a way cool way to practice. Definitely going back.

So anyway, onto the real purpose of this post. I want to introduce to you the one, the only, the soba noodle.

I guess this is a recipe week. I dunno, it's just that' I've actually been COOKING lately. It must be because it's getting colder and darker.

I absolutely LOVE soba noodles. They're higher in protein than regular pasta and they taste freaking awesome because they're made from mostly buckwheat flour. You can do a lot with them, but my favorite is to make any type of Asian dish with them...they can be pretty multi-talented.

Sesame Soba Noodle Salad adapted from Full Measure of Happiness
serves 2

  • 12 oz dry soba noodles
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 small onion, minced finely
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp soy sauce (we use Bragg’s Aminos)
  • 1-2 tsp honey or agave
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • yellow squash, halved and sliced

  1. Cook the soba noodles as instructed. Make sure to rinse the noodles off with cold tap water as soon as you drain them. This will keep them from sticking to each other.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, until they are brown. Be careful not to burn them! They can burn pretty quickly.
  3. Set aside the toasted sesame seeds, and add the onions, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and honey to the skillet over medium heat. After about 5 minutes add the yellow squash and let it cook through.
  4. Pour the squash/sauce over the drained noodles (in a bowl, not the strainer!) and top with sesame seeds.
Do you use soba noodles? What is your favorite soba dish?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

this one's for my gluten free homies

So, I need a vacation from my holiday vacation.

I had the busiest Thanksgiving weekend ever. Between dragging my whiny kids (and by kids, I mean dogs) to Pittsburgh and back on Thursday/Friday, a wedding on Saturday and a Straight No Chaser concert on Sunday (btw...AWESOME) I am wiped out.

Today's recipe might be a bit of a cop out, but it's a great quick one for a day that you don't have a ton of time on your hands.

Perhaps because you are holiday shopping.

Or raking the yard.

Or drinking far too much Christmas Ale.

GF Almond Parmesan Pasta
Adapted from Easy Peasy Organic
Serves 4

  • 1 package brown rice pasta
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 handfuls of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 3 handfuls crushed almonds
  • 1 pinch salt

  1. swirl the egg yolks in the bottom of a large bowl and add the cooked and drained (and still hot) pasta to the bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Serve immediately.
p.s. I had every intention of posting pictures with this post, but apparently changing my camera settings so that it records RAW instead of JPEG pictures makes it impossible for any of my computers to recognize the files.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gobble, gobble!

Happy Turkey Day!

I know that we all have much to be thankful for, so enjoy spending the day with your families and love every minute of it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Butterbeer Cupcakes

I hope you guys enjoyed all of the blog swapping that happened yesterday! I thought it was a great idea and it was a ton of fun!! If you want to recap all the great guest posts, check out Alicia's list of blog swappers!

This weekend was a great weekend to just relax and start mentally prepping for the craziness that is the upcoming holidays. That, and go see a Dave Matthews cover band, the Trippin Billies. It was also a good weekend to try out some new holiday recipes.

Enter Butterbeer Cupcakes.

If you don't know what butterbeer is, pick up a Harry Potter box set, STAT.

A few years ago I found a recipe for Butterbeer that I've always wanted to try, but never got around to it. So when I came across this beauty, it literally took me 0.5 seconds to drive to the store for ingredients and get home to make them. Ok, that's a lie, Brandon went to the store for me and went on an hour and a half long wild goose chase for butter flavoring (in the spice aisle, by the extracts). I bet he's thankful he did though, because this is probably the best cupcake I've ever eaten.

Butterbeer Cupcakes adapted from The Curvy Carrot
Servings: 12 regular and 12 mini cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 egg whites + 1 egg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup cream soda

For the buttercream frosting:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup butterscotch ganache (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • a few drops of milk or cream

For the butterscotch ganache:
  • 1 bag of butterscotch chips, save a few for garnish (or buy two bags, like I did)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

For the cupcakes:  
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degreesand prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the sugar to the butter and continue to mix at medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  5. Add in the eggs whites, mix well then add the last egg and continue mixing.
  6. Add the vanilla and butter flavorings until combined.
  7. Add about one-third of your buttermilk, followed by one-third of the cream soda, and then one-third of the flour mixture. Continue adding the buttermilk, cream soda, and flour in thirds until well-combined.
  8. If you want to, throw a couple of butterscotch chips into each cupcake before baking.
  9. Evenly distribute the cupcake batter among your prepared cupcake pans and bake until a toothpick  inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Remember if you are doing mini cupcakes that they will take less time to cook (I know this because I burnt mine). Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

For the butterscotch ganache:
  1. In a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, mix the butterscotch chips and heavy cream, stirring until smooth.  Let cool.

For the butterscotch frosting:
  1. Cream the butter with your handheld mixer in a medium bowl, for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the cooled butterscotch ganache to the butter and mix well
  3. Add the vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt to the frosting and mix well to combine.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add in the powdered sugar slowly, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  If you need to (and I did) add milk or cream, about a teaspoon at a time, until the desired frosting consistency is reached.
  5. Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes as desired, drizzle with the butterscotch ganache, and top with a few leftover butterscotch chips.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Guest Post: Happiness Is...

Happy Thanksgiving Week, folks! Today I have a special treat for you! The Ohio Blogging Association usually has monthly meet-ups at various places around the CLE, but this month Alicia had the brilliant idea to do a blog swap! Sara, from Sara Finding the Time will be taking over my blog for the day to talk a bit about happiness :) enjoy!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hi! We interrupt your regularly scheduled Peace, Love & Bagels programming for a little guest posting love! I’m Sara from Sara Finding the Time and Becca’s been nice enough to let me write a guest post here as part of the Ohio Blogging Association November Blog Swap. 

Here’s a quick introduction to me and Finding the Time.  I’m a twenty-something girl living in Cleveland suburbia with her handsome husband, Chris, and adorable Beagle mix, Henry (yes, I am biased.  What of it?). J  When I’m not busy working, volunteering or fostering dogs, I like to attempt DIY projects, try new restaurants and travel.  Finding the Time is my outlet to document these little things that make life so great!
When trying to come up with something to talk about in this post, I have to admit that I struggled.  I’ve been reading Peace, Love and Bagels since I met Becca at an OBA Meet-up 2 months ago.  I’m totally impressed with her dedication to healthy living.  I struggle to eat healthy and have never been a runner.  So, what to write about…

Well it seems to me that when it comes down to it, Peace, Love and Bagel’s is about finding what makes you happy.  Now, that I can relate to!  I think that Finding the Time has helped me realize that I am the happiest now that I have ever been.  Don’t get me wrong, life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies but it seems to me that writing about the best things in life(and even the difficult ones) help you appreciate them more. 
So, that was my inspiration.  A post about what happiness is to me.  Hopefully, these are some of the things that exemplify happiness for you too!

Happiness is… Hometown Pride

I grew up in Parma Hts., a suburb of Cleveland but I knew nothing of being a Clevelander.  It wasn’t until I came home from college that I started to embrace what it meant to live in CLE.  This is a great city!  There is always something to do and someplace to eat.  We have 3 professional sport teams that may not win all most much of the time but being a fan is part of being a Clevelander.  We have unique neighborhoods that each provide a different experience for both their residents and visitors.  So get out there, dear reader, try a restaurant, go to an exhibit or a play and experience what this incredible city has to offer!

Happiness is… getting involved!
After the busyness of college (classes, working and theatre), I spent some time reveling in doing absolutely nothing.  However, that revelry only lasted so long.  I cannot tell you how fulfilled I feel when I get involved.  I stay active, meet new people and learn new things.  What could be better?  Personally I  love getting together with the incredible people of the OBA, volunteer  for Near West Theatre, helping to plan Jump Back Ball for Playhouse Square’s Partners and fostering for Secondhand Mutts (the dog rescue in Tremont where we got Henry).  Find something you enjoy and GET INVOLVED!

Happiness is… Puppy Love
I had never had a pet before Henry.  I didn’t understand the connection one could have with a pet.  Oh, how things change.  I love my dog more every day.  His love comes with no expectations, no judgment and no talking back. J  It might seem silly to those who don’t have a pet, but my relationship with my dog has changed my world view.

Happiness is… getting your hands dirty
My husband and I own our home.  It is both a blessing and a curse and I would not have it any other way.  Every project we complete makes our house feel a little more like a home.  There is just something indescribable about knowing that we planted the tree that’s growing in our front yard and that Chris built the mantle where we’ll hang our stockings this Christmas.  Buying things or having them done for you might get things done but doing them yourself is much more rewarding.

Happiness is…simplicity
Life is complicated.  In this day and age, the world seems to believe that bigger is better.  However, sometimes it’s the simplest things that can bring you the most happiness.  The title of this post, “Happiness is…” came from a song from the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  At the end of the show, the characters sing about the little things that make them happy. I hope this post has made you think about those little things in your life and remember that “happiness is anyone and anything at all, that’s loved by you.”

So, what's your happiness?

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Great No-Poo Disaster

The word "no poo" should have raised some red flags for me from the get-go. Poo = generally a good thing. Let me count the ways:
  1. Poo gets rid of the waste in your body
  2. Poo can alleviate bloating
  3. Your poop is a window to any ailments you might have
  4. Different foods can turn your poo different colors (fun!)
  5. You need poo samples to find out if your dog has parasites
But, I digress. 

What I really wanted to talk about was shampoo.

I heard through the grapevine, that there is a new way to get back in touch with your inner hippie: No-Poo

No-Poo = No Shampoo.

Ok, so before your start rolling your eyes at me, let me explain. Lately, my hair has just been awful. Too dry and damaged after I wash it, but it quickly gets oily and gross. So the idea of not using shampoo seemed pretty appealing to me.

Instead of shampoo I used the following:
  • 1 tbsp baking soda mixed into about a cup of water
Instead of conditioner, I use:
  • 1 tbsp vinegar mixed into about a cup of water

WARNING: If you are going to try this, you definitely don't want to mix the baking soda and vinegar together before you wash. It should be noted that the picture above came from a Science For Preschoolers website. Science experiments are not usually a good thing when it comes to your hair.

It's obviously not going to get all sudsy like shampoo does, but you have to make sure to scrub the baking soda mixture into the roots of your hair, while you work the vinegar mixture into the ends. Much like regular shampoo/conditioner. 

I did this for about two weeks and decided I had to put the kibosh on the whole thing.

At first I really liked it! It made my hair smell good (which was a surprise, given the use of vinegar) and it didn't dry it out. But even though I didn't "wash" my hair everyday, after about a week, the no-poo method made my hair really difficult to deal with. It felt like and oily, gritty, unmanageable mess. 

So now I'm back to regular shampoo and conditioner, but not everyday. I still shower everyday, mind you, but I keep my hair dry and only wash it every three days or so. I wash it when I notice it's getting oily. That is especially helpful since I shower at night and going to bed with a wet head is not conducive to work appropriate hair in the morning.

And that, my friends, is the story of the great No-Poo disaster.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Love and Marriage...and Money?


Brandon and I have spent a lot of time discussing what we're going to do with our finances when we get married and the more we dig into it, the more confusing things get.

Joint account? How will we keep track of cash flow if we are both drawing from the same account?
Savings? Do we each put in a percentage of our paychecks or a dollar amount?
Retirement accounts?
I like to track my purchases in my checkbook, he likes to track his online.

Oh brother! We have, however, managed to come up with a few options. So, if you are in a similar situation as I am - on the verge of two separate incomes becoming one - maybe this will help. Or, maybe it'll just confuse you more.

I've talked to a bunch of different people and distilled all of their advice down to four options...

Option A: Split Down The Middle 
Four different accounts:

  • one family checking account that pays bills (mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc) and pays for groceries and other family things. In this account, you both put in a certain percentage of your take home pay that is enough to cover all expenses. If you pay for most things with credit cards, this account pays the credit card bill if it falls into the family category.
  • one family savings account for a rainy day fund. In this account, you both put in some percentage of your paycheck every pay period. 
  • two personal checking/savings accounts for "fun money", to pay for personal purchases (and gifts that you want to keep secret, of course). In these accounts, the remainder of money left over after bills and savings is split down the middle and deposited into each of your personal fun money accounts
Questions about this:
  • Most of my purchases happen on my credit card, will I need to use two separate cards to differentiate between family stuff and personal stuff and pay the bills from separate accounts?
  • What about savings for kids college or retirement or something else that is money that we don't touch?
  • It's a lot to keep track of, especially since two people are drawing from one account. What if I need to take out cash, or write a check?
  • If there is an income disparity, one person is obviously putting more into the pot that is split evenly between the two of you, so you both have to be okay with that.

Option BAll-in-One (, Two)

Two different accounts:

  • one family checking account that pays bills (mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc) and pays for groceries and other family things. This account is also for fun money and personal purchases. In this account, you both put in a certain percentage of your take home pay that is enough to cover all expenses. 
  • one family savings account for a rainy day fund. In this account, you both put in some percentage of your pay. 
Questions about this:
  • Again, what is the best way to keep track of an account that two people could be drawing from at the same time?
  • This is essentially the same as option A, but a tiny bit less confusing because there are less accounts to keep track of
  • What if I want to buy Brandon a birthday gift? How do I keep it a secret?
Option C: Status Quo (because chances are your accounts are currently separate)

Several different accounts:

  • separate personal checking or savings accounts that are linked. If you do it like this, you can just decide who pays what bills, but you always have the option to transfer money to other accounts if there isn't enough in one.
Questions about this:
  • It could possibly cause a bit of tension because someone is always going more or less money than the other person
  • You really have to decide who is going to pay certain bills, to make sure they get paid every month
Option D: More with Less

Two different accounts:

  • one family checking account to pay all monthly expenses. The money in this account is one person's entire paycheck - likely the person who earns more money. None of this person's money will go into savings, maybe some of it goes into a retirement account if it is taken directly from their pay.
  • one family savings account for rainy days, the future, etc. The money in this account is the other person's entire paycheck. 
Questions about this:
  • It's really only an option if you can comfortably live off of one salary instead of two. You could probably do all of one person's salary and some percentage of the other's if you can't live off of one salary.
  • The checking account probably needs to be a joint account that both people can access - so you still need to figure out who is in charge of paying bills and how to keep track of an account that two people are drawing from.

I have come to realize that every couple does post-marriage finances different so it really comes down to doing what works for you. I would suggest mapping out your monthly expenses as a couple and figuring out exactly how much you need to pay the bills and how much (if any) you can/want to put in savings.

Again, there is not a "one size fits all" solution for this. If you're married, how do you/did you deal with finances??

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Race Recap: Twinsburg Turkey Trot

Saturday was the first of this year's fall/winter races! Boy, we lucked out. It was sunny, probably 55 degrees and simply beautiful out.

I wish I had more pictures of the run, but I can't stand bringing my phone with me. It was a little paved trail, a little road, and a lot of fall colors!

A few things I loved about this race:

  1. It started at 10 am, so it wasn't an excruciatingly early Saturday morning
  2. They had results scrolling on a TV screen as soon as you finished
  3. 5 miles is an awesome distance
  4. I couldn't have spent a million bucks to get a nicer fall day in Northeast Ohio (ok, so that one wasn't a function of the race itself)
My biggest dilemma was trying to figure out what to wear. In the sun it was warm, but the wind was pretty biting. I decided on cold gear spandex pants with a tech-tee longsleeve shirt, gloves and a fleece headband. I figured if I got too hot, I could take the headband and the gloves off. Actually, it was a bit colder than I expected at the start of the race, but once we got started, it warmed up fast. I was dressed appropriately.

I didn't know what I was in for as far as the course was concerned. We started on the roads, got onto a trail that was nothing to sneeze at and then meandered through some neighborhoods and then back onto a more paved trail. The first trail was a bit of a beast though, there was a good chunk of uphill during the second mile, but as soon as the trail ended it was pretty much smooth sailing downhill. 

I was definitely feeling a bit parched though. I should have had more to drink before the race, for starters. There was a water station at mile 2.5 and then at about mile 4.2ish. Of course, that's all speculation because I haven't worn my garmin since my last marathon. Brandon and I were both getting that sticky phlegmy saliva by the end of the race, which resulted in Brandon chugging a cup of water at the last water station then promptly losing all that water at the end of the race. Poor guy :)

Overall, it just felt pretty good. It wasn't a PR ( PR is in the 41 minute range and I don't have high hopes for ever busting out a 5-miler that fast anymore) but I was happy to just enjoy the course and enjoy a run with Brandon. 

Plus, a 9:14/mile average isn't half bad! 

Races are so much fun. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

What's in Season? Sweet Potatoes!

Welcome to the November edition of...




(If you could imagine those words flying in from off the screen to an announcer's voice a la The Price Is Right, that would be awesome)

This month, we're gonna talk sweet potatoes. Honestly, my little "what's in season" cheat sheet does not say that sweet taters are in season here right now, but I'm judging my what is available at the farmer's market...and I want some sweet potatoes!

I came across a recipe for sweet potato hummus that piqued my interested a few days ago and I really wanted to make it, but when I got home after yoga one I realized I didn't have a key hummus ingredient: tahini.

My brilliant housemate, Doug, suggested that I use peanut butter instead. A suggestion which I initially scoffed at, but after forcefully trying to make my blender blend 3 cups of hummus at once, I caved and tried the addition of peanut butter.

It was, in a word, divine.

Thanks Doug :) I miss you already.

Sweet Potato Hummus
adapted from My New Roots

Makes 3 cups

  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes or yams
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • salt, to taste
  • water - as much as you need to get it blended

  • Bake sweet potatoes (or nuke them, or boil them) until they’re cooked through. Let them cool and scoop the innards out into a food processor or blender
  • add the rest of the ingredients and blend until you get your desired consistency. Add water as necessary to aid in the blending process - or do it in batches.
NOTE: the measurements in this recipe are more of a guideline than a hard rule, just add the amount you want/need or what you think tastes good!

Alright guys, sound off about sweet taters! How do you use them? Tell me how by
  1. commenting! Tell me and other PL&B readers what you like to do with sweet potatoes
  2. posting a picture on the Peace, Love & Bagels facebook page of a dish you used sweet potatoes in
  3. mentioning @peaclovebagels in a tweet about how you use sweet potatoes
  4. adding a picture or discussion topic to the What's In Season? Flickr group
  5. leave a recipe in any of the above forums

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veg Blog Love

As I sit here devouring roasted brussels sprouts, a conversation with my fellow TT's about veganism comes to mind. Many of us expressed a struggle with trying to eat a vegan diet and I think to many it was something so new to them that some of that resistance came from just not knowing what to make. So, what do you think my contribution to alleviating that resistance was? Sharing my favorite vegan blogs of course!

These bloggers' recipes are tried, true and f***ing delicious. So, even if you are not vegan, they are definitely worth a try.

Mama Pea is wonderfully hilarious! I don't think I've tried a single recipe of hers that I haven't fallen in love with immediately.

Angela has a ridiculous wealth of recipes. If you want to go vegan but don't want to think about coming up with meals - all you really have to do is check out her site. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, she's got you covered.

This is one of the very first blogs I started following and it's one of my favorite. Not all of Ashley and Stephen's recipes are vegan, but many of them are and they're noted in the recipe index.

Emily's a super cute new mommy and has some really awesome recipes. I don't think they are all vegan, but you can find the vegan ones really easily on her recipe page (powered by Recipage - which was also she and her husband's marvelous brainchild).

Probably the most thorough vegan recipes blog out there. Isa also has written several awesome vegan cookbooks, if you want something more tangible.

Lindsay is someone I have featured right here on PL&B. I often go to her recipes when I need an easy meal with stuff I probably already have in my pantry. 

Those are definitely some of the bigger names in vegan food blogs - so it's really just a start. Perfect to share with anyone who wants to dip a toe into veganism. 

Your turn to sound off! Who am I missing? What is your favorite vegan food blog??

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Discovering Yoga in CLE


Last week was a totally ridiculous for reasons I'm not going to disclose just yet, but apparently blogging came up last on the priority list, huh? This is something I probably would have posted last week if I was in the right frame of mind to do so...

When I decided to look into yoga teacher training, I came up with a plan. There are lots of yoga studios in Cleveland (and, I mean lots) and many of them have their own TT programs. I wanted to go to as many studios as possible and feel out where I fit in the melting pot of yoga that lives in Cleveland.

If you're looking to try a new studio or just want to see what else is out there - I did a little of the legwork for you. Here is a yoga cheat sheet

Cleveland Yoga Beachwood, OH - probably Cleveland's most well known yoga Baptiste studio. It is HUGE! The desk yogis are very helpful and nice (specifically, Jesse was the one who helped me out - he was wonderful!) I took a power vinyasa class with Marni Task, which I enjoyed and it was very challenging, but I wasn't crazy about how it was geared more towards "getting a workout" rather than bringing yogic philosophy onto the mat. I think that's what the Cleveland Yoga constituents go there for anyway. I'm okay with that, sometimes you just need a workout! Drop-in classes are $15 and then the prices go up from there if you get a class package.

Yoga Bliss Akron Akron, OH - What a beautiful studio! They've got a little self-serve cafe, a whole bunch of amenities (showers, towels, etc.) and a cute little boutique. I especially liked how there were no mirrors in the room, and for a 6:30 pm class in the middle of the summer, it wasn't too hot and we didn't need to put any lights on. I'm a big fan of naturally lit yoga. The room that I was in had big frosted windows that let a lot of natural light in. Maria's class was perfectly what my body needed that day - not an overly challenging class, but it was perfect after I took a short run, because I needed a good, grounding stretch! Drop-in prices here are also $15 and then there are packages you can buy.

Agni Yoga Studio Mayfield Heights, OH - I think this is a newer studio (though I could be totally mistaken). Something I loved about it here was that they have all kinds of Ayurveda products...including complementary Ayurveda tea to have while you are waiting for class to start. Very relaxing. The class that I took wasn't my favorite as far as yoga goes, but I bought the Groupon, so I have some more classes to try out. The studio is really neat, with huge windows on the north end of the studio that let in a lot of beautiful, natural light! Drop-in fee is $15 (hmm, starting to see a trend).

Evolution Yoga Beachwood, OH - I was actually really surprised about this studio. It's in Eton (the mall part). I thought it was closer to Trader Joe's (nope - that's lululemon) and I didn't even know there is a whole mall in the complex! Ha! So, the studio looks like just another store in the mall on first glance, but there are two studio rooms AND ONE IS HUGE! I was pleasantly shocked. My other favorite part about this studio was that some of the ceiling panels were swapped out for panels with a picture of the sky and clouds. Very neat. I took Marni's Jivamukti class, which, of course, was wonderful. Drop-in classes here are also $15.

The Yoga Room Little Italy, Cleveland, OH - The Yoga Room is where my teacher training sessions are every month. The first time I went there was when a few other tt's were getting together to practice. It is one room in an old school building in Little Italy and it is beautiful. The big windows let a bunch of natural light in and every about this single room sets a calm, collected and serene ambiance for a yoga practice. It's very quaint and I love it. I am allowed to take classes there for free because of teacher training, but I'm not really sure how one would pay if they were to go there for a class, since nobody is really there to check you in...something to ask the teacher I suppose. I believe drop-ins here are $10 and you can be sets of classes as well. 

Westside Yoga Lakewood, OH - as far as I know this is the only Anusara inspired studio in Cleveland. I went to this studio for an Anusara workshop a few weeks ago and I fell in love with it. The owner, Evin, is adorably amazing and the studio is a cute little space right in the heart of Lakewood. If I lived on the westside, this is probably where I would take classes. They have a $12 drop in rate, but if you're a new student, you can spend $10 and use it for 10 days. Worth it.

The Atma Center Cleveland Heights, OH - This is another studio that I haven't taken a traditional class at, only workshops. The Atma Center is a Satyananda Yoga(R) Studio and has a store with tons of great yoga gear out front and a few studios in the back. My only not 100% positive statement about the Atma Center is that while we were in workshops, you could hear the class in the studio next door, because there wasn't a solid wall to separate them, only one of those ballrooom dividers - my teachers were just concerned about being too loud while they were chanting. There is a pup that hangs out at Atma that knows how to down dog on command...I've been trying to teach my dogs that since I got them! The other cool thing is that they do $5 cash classes, for different featured classes each week - I think that's a great way to get students to go to different classes! Drop in is $15 and packages are available!

Nishkama Yoga Independence, OH - I've only been to Nishkama once, but I already know how wonderful the owner is because (with the help of the yogini goddess, Alicia) she is allowing me to practicing teaching a yoga class to my friends at the studio! I really enjoyed this space, because you basically just walk right into the studio, there's no front room. I was a little confused at how to get into the building at first, but someone else taking the class helped me out! Drop ins are $15.

Ok, I know there are many, many more studios in the area. This is just a small slice of the heaven that is Cleveland yoga.

What is your favorite yoga studio in Cleveland?
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