Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mermaids of Alcatraz Tour (a.k.a. one of the best nights of my life!)

So most of you are probably wondering why I have been going crazy over last night's concert and blowing up your news feed... I mean it was just a concert, right? 


Well, first off I am going to tell you all of the crazy things that happened last night. Then I'll explain why it's such a big deal.

Last night was a celebration for my good friend Erica and I because we both just landed new jobs. We saw Gavin DeGraw last summer at the Ohio State Fair and, being the huge fans that we are, really wanted to see him again. We really like Train, too, so it seemed like the perfect show. Well... Her new job is in Virginia. And she is moving TODAY. (::insert crying emoji here::) So the concert ended up being our last hurrah  together here in Ohio. Because she is moving today, there was some stuff she had to get done last night and we kind of got a late start getting on the road.  Like, 5 o'clock. The concert starts at 7, so no biggie right? Ummm... Yeah, until we hit major traffic on 271 and sat for a long time. THAT was fun. Once we got moving again, we decided to take the back way into Blossom and we got right in until we met up with Steels Corners traffic.  At this point it was 6:45. Remember... concert starts at 7. We were stopped, trying to get into the lanes for general parking, when a lady jumped out of the car in front of us and handed us their extra VIP parking pass! She told us they were going to give it to the car in front of them, but they were smoking. We were not. See? Good health pays off! 

Our golden ticket!

So we made our way to Lot A which put us right into the venue. We rushed in, hit up the bathrooms (hey, it was a long car ride) and as we were coming out of bathroom we heard the opening notes to Gavin DeGraw's set so we rushed to our seats. 

Honestly, without that parking pass we would have had to park way out in the general lots and walk all the way to the venue. We would have missed his whole set. And what was about to happen next. 

Our seats were in the back of the pavilion. Not horrible, but you don't expect the artists to EVER come back there. Gavin is singing and next thing you know, he hops off the stage and is walking into audience. He makes his way to the middle and I just kinda figured he'd head back to the stage. Except HE WAS HEADING RIGHT TOWARD OUR SECTION. The next thing I know, I'm standing right next to him, holding on to his arm. HOLDING ONTO HIS ARM. Mostly to steady myself from all of the girls behind me shoving.... And ok, maybe I did want to touch him ;-) 

Does that curly head look familiar? ;-)
How about that hand? (If you zoom in, you can see my wedding rings...haha)

And THEN he started singing to us... Which was pretty awesome. Even more awesome? He sang Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors." And he did the song justice for sure! 

After GDG was The Script. They put on a pretty good show. We enjoyed it, we just weren't as excited about them. 

And then came Train. They opened  with "Calling All Angels" which I did NOT expect! 

They put on such a good show... There is nothing like being able to stand there and sing at the top of your lungs the songs that you have loved for so long. We also had the pleasure of seeing the lead singer,  Pat Monahan, up close and personal as he visited us there in the back of the pavilion. Again, totally unexpected!  

There was just so much energy, everyone dancing and singing along. I know I sang every word to every song. My voice is paying for it today. 

They closed up the show with "Drops of Jupiter" and then Gavin DeGraw, Danny O'Donoghue from The Script,  and Ashley Monroe joined them to sing a cover of  "The Weight" which was AMAZING and I hope they record it! 

The whole experience was just amazing. Easily one of the best, if not THE best, show I've ever been to and I got to spend it with some great friends.  As for leaving the show, getting out of the parking lot was just as easy as getting in--- always a bonus at Blossom!

Now, here is the big deal behind the concert. If you know me pretty well, or even a little bit, then you know that music is a huge part of who I am. I associate songs with important parts of my life. I have a song for everything and I look to lyrics for inspiration, to cheer me up, whatever.  The thing with Gavin DeGraw... I've been a fan since I was 16.  I can tell you every detail about the day I bought his first album. The short version; I was with my best friend, Carley. I bought it at FYE at the mall and I didn't have a CD player in my car, but I had a tape deck and an adapter that I plugged my portable CD player into. I had the CD unwrapped before we were even back to the car and I haven't stopped listening to it since.  Even as an adult, his songs have held significance:  "More than Anyone" is a special one for my husband and I. There is  the One Tree Hill connection as well (which is HUGE) ... But that's a whole 'notha blog post!

As for Train, I can hear Drops of Jupiter or any song from My Private Nation and instantly think back to that summer when I was 16.. It was a good summer :-)  

To be able to see the artists I love and have loved for so long play live, to meet them and be so close to them, to hear the songs that mean so much to me--- there is nothing like it.  So while it might appear to most that I am crazy, I'm okay with that because my heart is so happy right now. 

Gavin DeGraw setlist:

In love with a girl
Make a move
Save us
I don't want to be
Best I ever had
Not over you

Train setlist:
Calling all angels
50 ways
If it's love
Get to me
Meet Virginia 
Feels good at first
Save me San Francisco 
Weed instead of roses (w/ Ashley Monroe)
Drum solo
California 37
Soul sister/can't hold us
Drive by

Encore :
We were made for this
Drops of Jupiter 
The weight

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A wonderful day!

My husband has been working a lot of overtime lately and we have hardly seen each other the past couple of weeks. He wanted to do something special for me, so he surprised me with a trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art. I have been dying to check out Gallery One, the new exhibit that allows you to use experiences with technology to emphasize engagement. I had some fun (as you'll see in the picture below...the piece is Kottobos Element of a Dancing Satyr
470–450 BC, Italy, Etruscan, 1974.16) with the "embodying the art" interactive area. The best part is, it's free! If you live in Cleveland and you've never been... what are you waiting for? Anyway, it was really great to spend the afternoon surrounded by such beauty and history. It's one of my favorite places to be!

Our trip was followed by dinner at B Spot. The food is so simple, yet creative and super yummy! We both had Lola burgers (minus the bun for me... yayyy gluten free) and Lola fries. I love eating there, but we try to save it as a special treat... Even though I've eaten there twice in a month. Oh well. : )

All in all, it was a really special day and I'm so happy that he planned this. I'm a pretty lucky gal!

Enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gluten Free Banana Protein Muffins

I was so excited when I saw this recipe in my email. I have been craving muffins lately, but I can't freely indulge in them due to my low carb/gluten free diet. Not anymore! These little gems are perfect.


3/4 cup ripe banana (about 1 large banana)
3/4 cup egg whites
1/2 cup plain low fat greek yogurt (I used plain Chobani yogurt)
3/4 cup oats (use gluten free if sensitive to gluten)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used Designer Whey, or you could use any flavor you would like!)
12-14 packets stevia (or 1/2 cup sweetener of choice)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, or line with silicone or foil liners, (spray liners if using).

2. Place all of the ingredients in a blender, (or food processor), and blend until mixture is smooth.

3. Divide mixture evenly between 12 muffin tins. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

(Note: be sure to use either silicone or foil liners with the paper insert removed because they will stick, as does any muffin made with oats rather than flour!)

Servings: 12 (full size) muffins

Calories: 58 calories each (9 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar each)

(Recipe via

Monday, January 28, 2013

Meatless Monday: Mediterranean style!

Here at the Beris household, we have decided to participate in Meatless Monday! You're probably wondering "Why the heck would you do that?!" Well, going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. So it's good for you AND good for the planet... Score!

Now, my husband is a meat eater. He would eat meat with a side of meat if he could. And he was a little less than thrilled with the introduction of MM. BUT when you make meals that are super yummy and filling, you don't even miss the meat.

This week we decided to take a Greek spin on chili. We used canned beans/tomatoes this time because we were short on time, but you can always use fresh! Since I have to eat gluten free, we used a Mediterranean blend of quinoa and it was DELISH! Here's the recipe:

2 cans garbanzo beans
2 cans diced tomatoes with roasted garlic and onion
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
8 cups spinach
1/2 feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat and allow mixture to simmer for 20 minutes. Add in spinach, cooking for one minute or until wilted. Sprinkle with feta and serve with quinoa, rice, or couscous. Serves 4 (1 1/4 serving)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happiness is more.

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.
Denis Waitley