Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cocktail Week Cleveland Is Coming

Get ready girls and boys - Cocktail Week Cleveland is coming! How we haven't celebrated our local cocktail landscape before is beyond me. Kudos to the Cleveland Chapter of United States Bartender's Guild who decided we were long overdue and have partnered with some of the best local businesses to create a 5 day experience to celebrate our cocktail culture. I literally squealed with delight when I heard about this. Pairing my two loves, cocktails and Cleveland, is possibly the best way to wrap up summer.


Cocktail Week Cleveland runs September 4th through 8th. Events run the gamut from educational seminars, happy hours to cocktail competitions and even a ticketed fundraising gala.

Check out all the great events they have lined up for the week here. There's no better place to kick off a celebration like this than the iconic Velvet Tango Room. Meet up at VTR for happy hour before heading over to Crop Bistro for an evening of paired cocktails and courses from over 20 of Cleveland's top chefs and bartenders then top your night off with a midnight toast at Society.

Eliot Ness' Cleveland: Prohibition, Beer and the Torso Murders - 4pm / Velvet Tango Room SOLD OUT
CWC Welcome Happy Hour 4:30-6pm / Velvet Tango Room
Drinks in the Dark - opening night Gala / Crop Bistro 7-10pm
Midnight Welcome Toast / Society Lounge 11:45p

A few more highlights....

Aromatized and Oxidized by Haus Alpen at Katz Club Bar Car / Sept 5th 5-7pm
Pig Roast by Mount Gay Rum / Porco / Sept 6th noon-4pm
Tito's Bloody Mary Battle / Hodge's / Sept 7th 10am-1pm
Cocktails on the Rails / Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad / 4-7:30p
Breakfast for a King (or Queen) by Crown XO / Dante's Next Door / Sept 8th 10:30am-1pm

Events are still being added to the schedule. Be sure to follow CWC on facebook and/or twitter for the most up-to-date details as they become available.

Please drink responsibly and always have a driver. CWC has even paired with the Aloft Hotel to bring you discounted rooms during this time. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

This Is How We Summer

How in the world is it already August? This summer is flying by at a ridiculous pace. Amongst all the pre-fall shopping and the back to school ads, I keep trying to remind myself that technically we still have almost two months of summer left. I adore fall, don't get me wrong. But this summer has been so much fun already that I simply don't want it to end.

Grapes & Ale (benefiting Our Lady of the Wayside)

sun setting on Progressive field (via Charlene) / Charlene and I had made a pre-game plan to taste
 'all the bubbles' /Amanda, Charlene and I

Luau on the Lake (benefiting Shoes & Clothes for Kids)

Wendy Park on Whiskey Island / celebrating 'island life' / this fab crew - Alicia, Charlene, Anna, Rachel /
Alicia getting her limbo on - lesson learned: it's hard to backbend in a maxi dress

Prayers from Maria - Sunflower Wine Festival

my nephew warming up the crowd for his daddy / scenes from the street
Around Town

summer menu goodness at Dante / these guys at Parallax / celebrating LBJ's return to CLE on the Dante patio /
finally meeting this little lady and catching up with my cousin Jess and her husband - in town from L.A.  

Taste of Tremont

Paul. Chris, Fabian & Lifu / the Hickens getting cozy at Wine & Design / all. the. people. /
you know where to find me - #tasteofdante

How has your summer been so far? What are you still looking forward to?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2014

How is it that time of year already? It's Nordstrom Anniversary sale time!! Get a jump start on your fall wardrobe at sale prices (up to 40% off!) that won't be seen until well into winter. That's right, stock up on your fall favorites right as they hit the store. Nordstrom Rewards members have early access this week and the sale opens up to the public on July 18th. Don't delay - prices go up on August 4th.

Be sure to check out the preview catalog that's loaded with a ton of Beauty Exclusives. Here's what I'm lusting over right now...

1. Wildfox sunglasses $169 $112.90 / 2. NARS Schiap Lip & Nail set $52 / 3. Kate Spade Halsey sunglasses $145 $89.90 / 4. Bobbi Brown Nude on Nude $85 / 5. CHLOE medium Marcie hobo $1895 $1322.90 / 6. Friends x We Are Handsome Layla headphones $150 $99.90 / 7. MARC by Marc Jacobs sunglasses $98 $64.90

1. Current/Elliott 'The Stiletto' skinny jeans $188 $119.90 / 2. Barefoot Dreams 'Bamboo Chic' cardigan $90 $59.90 / 3. Mackage 'Henry' coat $690 $449.90 / 4. St. John leather/knit jacket $1499 $899 / 5. Burberry London double-breasted coat $839

1. Joe's ankle strap pump $145 $96.90 / 2. Coach Madeleine over-the-knee boot $498 $299.90 / 3. Via Spiga Bijoux bootie $250 $159.90 / 4. Joie Roxie sandal $255 $169.90 / 5. Sam Edelman Zachary pump $140 $89.90 / 6. MICHAEL Michael Kors Guiliana bootie $198 $131.90 

Happy shopping!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Birthdays, Barbecues & Bubbly

Hello lovelies! This long holiday weekend was nothing short of perfection. The skies were blue and the sun was shining. The Husband and I were fortunate to spend three wonderful days with friends and family and we even got a bit of relaxation in too. The theme for the weekend started out with massive amounts of bubbles - just how I like it - and ended with babies, birthdays and even a few of my favorite dogs.

TownHall offered up the perfect holiday brunch complete with bloody marys and beer for the boys and mimosas for the girls.

outdoor brunching at TownHall

An 11am brunch meant we had the entire afternoon to lounge in the yard before hitting two rooftop parties that evening. I pretty much spent the entire afternoon with lots of glossy mags on a picnic blanket in the shade of our huge cherry tree.

talking stock of the bubbly situation

clockwise from top: the husband settling in on a gorgeous Detroit-Shoreway sunset / the party
in full swing / Quintin with his ladies - Nadine, me and Rachael / shoreway and city view from Ohio City

Saturday was all about toasting to Alicia in a #celebrateallyourshit champagne party that she hosts every year.

Alicia doing what she does best / ice cream at the Hansen's means you get an Indians helmet bowl /
the girls and their bubbles

Sunday brought a first birthday celebration for our nephew Tanner. It also meant my brother-in-law broke out the smoker for a good old-fashioned family barbecue. I cannot get enough of these boys! Penton just turned two and it's insane how much fun these guys are. 

big brother has to give little brother's gifts a spin / Billy in action / Penton and Uncle Chris recovering after a wicked water ballon fight / Tank getting his smooch on

my sister-in-law Leah w/ the birthday boy / of course you need a microphone to sing happy birthday 

A long weekend like this makes me very happy that I have the rest of the week off to recover. Summer only lasts a short time here in the CLE and I'll be taking full advantage of every possible moment.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kicking off Summer in the CLE

If last weekend was any indication, this is going to be one fantastic summer. The husband and I ushered in the season with a bevy of fun-filled days and nights in true CLE fashion.

The unofficial kickoff began on Friday night with a yoga class at Evolution and post-class nibbles at Aladdin's where Alicia proved to me that I really don't need pita if I order a veggie plate with my hummus. I've pretty much decided that crisp cucumbers, radishes and pickled turnips are my new favorite dipping tools.

Saturday afternoons have turned into Fresh-Fork-pickup-Wine-Tasting-Time, which is a favorite past time that I'm quite happy Alicia has resurrected with me. We head to pick up our FFM share in Tremont and hit Wine & Design for some mid-day laughs and wine tasting. The husband met up with me and we hit Barrio for cocktails and tacos on the patio. I adore this place. Except for the fact that the drinks are served in mason jars. There - I said it. You can hate me, it's ok. I'm over it. The whole mason jar thing. Everywhere. But I realize I'm the minority so I'll look past said jar and enjoy my tacos. And guacamole. That guacamole!!

new wares at Wine & Design / choosing a few summery whites / Barrio Tremont

Saturday night was Yoga Rocks the Park and I couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate the Summer Solstice.
Yoga Rocks the Park - image c/o Poise in Parma:instagram

Post-yoga we celebrated to Alicia's success with dinner on the patio at Dante. Between four of us we may have needed two tables for all the food we ordered. Not that that's a bad thing....

this patio / this girl - enough said

Sunday had the husband and I hopping on our bikes for a quick ride to the Sunday Market at Hingetown. What a treasure trove of finds. We ran into friends, bought some treats and had brunch, picnic style, on the lawn. I may or may not have grilled the guys at Mason's Creamery to find out when their new shop (just blocks from my house!) will be open.

the sun is always shining on Pope's Kitchen / one of my favorite etsy shops comes to life / you know I had to have this (spot on) tea towel from All Things / darling bracelets from KR Designs

brunch time / gorgeous displays at Urban Orchid / the scene on the street

simply cannot resist Fears' Confections (try the smoked sea salt, dark chocolate caramels) / Mason's Creamery - that will soon be opening in the old Ohio City Ice Cream space (yippee!!!!!) / taking a break in the shade / this rug - WANT

How did you welcome summer?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Yoga Rocks the Park!!

I'm officially back to yoga. After a very looong break. And it's hard. But good. So very, very good.

Last Saturday I attended my first Yoga Rocks the Park and it was also the first time I practiced outside. I was all kinds of nervous going in. Would it be hot? Cold? Would the sun be in my eyes? Would there be bugs? How would I balance if the ground is uneven? Practicing in a studio is an obsessive's dream. Every little thing is controlled, from temperature to sights and sounds. My fears ended up being for nothing - yes, it was chilly (63 degrees) but that sun came out and warmed us right up. No bugs to be seen and there may have been a rock under my mat, so there's that. But it was the most incredible experience. Live music met with an all-levels practice with people from different backgrounds, ages and abilities came together under the gorgeous June sun in Lincoln Park.

I'm even more excited this week because one of my dearest friends is leading the special Saturday evening practice. Get ready because Alicia Hansen & Christopher Eff will most definitely be rocking this park. Alicia, who also writes the healthy lifestyle blog Poise in Parma, is an incredible teacher. She is known for "sharing concepts that can be applied during a yoga class or in the world outside. She has tendencies to speak in hashtags, play John Mayer slow jams and offer plenty of variations."*

Alicia takes her music very seriously and it's no coincidence that she's partnered with Christopher to bring you a fantastic evening of fun. Get ready!

Yoga Rocks the Park Cleveland
Tremont's Lincoln Park
Saturday Evening Session 6/21 5:30p (registrations begins at 5p)
Suggested Donation - $15 advance / $20 day of / $10 kids

Yoga Rocks the Park is held on Saturdays throughout the summer. Each event is an all-levels 75 minute outdoor yoga class with live music and DJs, highlighting local emerging artists. The entire YRP Community covers 20 cities and donates 10% of net profits of ticket sales to local and national causes.

*You can find Alicia on a regular basis teaching at Evolution Yoga, most likely talking with her hands.

::Disclosure -I was provided with a media pass for the summer season c/o YRP Cleveland. As always, all musings are my own::

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Luau on the Lake Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday! Hasn't this weather just been divine? I'll even take the few extra rain showers for the gorgeous spring-into-summer days we've been having. Once it finally warms up, it seems all of Cleveland heads outdoors. Give me a cocktail out on the patio any day of the week. So it's only fitting that I have a fantastic summertime giveaway that puts that cocktail in hand and a gorgeous lake view as the backdrop.

SC4K (aka Shoes and Clothes for Kids) is having their 9th annual Luau on the Lake at Wendy Park on Whiskey Island, Saturday, July 12th and I have a pair of tickets to give away.

Shoes and Clothes for Kids is the only non-profit in greater Cleveland dedicated to providing income-eligible families with new shoes, clothing and other items for infants and children at no cost to them. Through it's retailer partnerships, SC4K is able to purchase between $15 and $20 worth of brand new clothing for every $1 spent.

Luau on the Lake is a Hawaiian-themed luau complete with great food, drinks, sand volleyball, giveaways and music all while enjoying the incredible views of Lake Erie that Wendy Park provides. Did I mention there is also a limbo competition? I may be game for this after a few island cocktails...
New to this year's event is a 24 team, single elimination cornhole tournament. Winners will receive a cornhole board set with 4 Indian's tickets. Teams can register for $20 each. 

SC4K present the
Saturday, July 12th, 2014
Wendy Park at Whiskey Island
4-9PM (VIP early admission at 3:30P)
beach/casual attire
21 and over only

General Admission: includes food, beer, wine, music, sand volleyball and a souvenir cup. 
$40 before June 13th / $50 through July 7th / $60 July 8 through day of

Big Kahuna VIP: includes all General Admission benefits plus 3 specialty island cocktail tickets, a Hawaiian lei, tote and early admission. 
$50 before June 13th / $60 through July 7th - presale only

How can you beat this gorgeous view??

Last year's Luau. Photo unabashedly stolen from Charlene.
Win yourself a pair of Big Kahuna VIP tickets to this fab summer event!

To Enter: 
1). Tweet: I want to be a Big Kahuna at Luau on the Lake w/ @smittenincle & @SC4K #SC4KLuau14
2). Follow @SC4K on Twitter and/or like them on their facebook page.

One entry per tweet, one tweet per day. A winner will be chosen via from all tweets received. Giveaway ends Tuesday, June 17th at midnight and a winner will be contacted Wednesday, June 18th. 

::Disclosure -  I received two tickets to attend as well as two to give away through a partnership with Shoes and Clothes for Kids. As always, all musings are my own::

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