Friday, November 26, 2010

So You Say You Have Leftovers...

Everyone eats the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.  But what to do with all those cranberries? Apples? Pumpkin and sweet potatoes?  If you've had too much to eat, sit back and relax.  Give yourself a wonderful organic mask and enjoy a cocktail.  You deserve it.

Cranberry Old-Fashioned

8 fresh (or frozen) cranberries
2t sugar
2 dashes angostura bitters
1 strip orange zest
2 oz bourbon

Muddle cranberries, sugar, bitters, orange zest with 2T water in a glass until sugar dissolves.  Add bourbon and ice cubes.  (Also works with cranberry sauce)

for the other cocktails shown, click on link via Martha Stewart

Cranberry Simple Syrup

8 oz fresh or frozen cranberries (or sauce)
1c sugar
1c water

Bring all ingredients to simmer over med heat.  Reduce heat to low and cook until berries are soft but not burst. (about 10 mins)  Cool, then strain through mesh sieve.  Discard cranberries. 
This is also wonderful by using half sugar and half honey as well.
Add to any cocktail, white wine, or just sparkling water for a holiday treat.

The next few absolutely wonderful ideas & recipes are courtesy of Brooke aka The Brow Pixie @ Browtopia.  I can say from experience that these remedies are remarkable!  If you try any of them please leave her a note on her facebook page and let her know what you think.

Click on the highlighted link for recipe:

Cranberry Facial - if your skin is dry and cranky from the cold  and forced-air heat, try this and you'll feel refreshed and sparkly

Cranberry Lipgloss - sounds hard, but super easy to make!  Put in small jars for yourself or a friend.

The Great Pumpkin Facial Mask - don't even get me started.  Oh how I LOVE this! For me, this is the end all, be all for cranky, irritated, tried-to-many-products-and-my-skin-hates-me-moments. 

Apple Mask - fight flakes and dead skin cells with this comforting concoction.

Cranberry Oatmeal Sugar Scrub - better than anything you'll ever buy at Sephora.  Use for face and body.

Go to the Browtopia FB page for more wonderful tricks and treats including awesome sweet potato remedies, her all-in-one cranberry facial, eye treatment & toner and the very festive vanilla cranberry orange body scrub!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Happenings

This week the holidays are upon us.  Finally!!  If that makes you grumble, stop reading.  Come back next week.  If this makes you smile, read on!  There are a ton of events coming up in the CLE and these are a few I'm really looking forward to.

Friday 11/26

Room Service Grand (re)Opening & Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe

Room Service is moving on up from the cute (but small) storefront in Gordon Square to a new 2,000 sq ft spot in the OC Market District! The Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe will be open daily from 11/26-12/24.  Please will be providing Chinese 5 spice apple cider with rum, Belgian black cardamom stout and an array of goodies including duckfat & bourbon caramels and coffee & absinthe caramels....yum. 
(2078 West 25th St)

After party will be held at the Happy Dog  9pm (West 58th & Detroit Ave)

Wine & Design is having their 1st Anniversary celebration 11am-7pm.  Enjoy a bubbly tasting for just $1 and nibble on treats while shopping for some great holiday gifts.

Saturday 12/4

Ohio City Christmas Festival 11:30am-8pm

Sponsored by Great Lakes Brewing Co, this is based on the German Christmas Markets.  Market Ave will be closed to traffic and tents will be up with local vendors selling festive holiday items and giftware.  There will be an appearance by the big man himself, cookie decorating and horse and carriage rides.

That same day is the Ohio City Christmas Walk.  6-8pm  This year they will feature holiday decorated homes on Whitman Ave.  Tickets are $16 in advance or $20 day of.

Banyan Tree Hot Toddy Party 12-9pm (2242 Professor Ave)

Tuesday 12/7

Emerging Chefs Prohibition Party @ Speakeasy 6:30-9:30pm (1948 West 25th St)

Celebrating the 77th Anniversary of prohibition's end, Bar Cento's Michael Novak will serve a multi-course prohibition era themed menu including 2 period cocktails.  The Chef's Table is already sold out, but be sure to grab one of the 36 seats left in the main room.  Tickets are $50 and it's requested that you come in your finest "Boardwalk Empire" attire.

Sunday 12/12

White Christmas @ Capitol Theatre 10am (1390 West 65th St)

Part of their Sunday Classics, Brunch & Movie series.  Present your ticket stub at Luxe for 2 for 1 Bloody Marys, Blinis or Beers or 20% off your brunch entree at Reddstone or Latitude 41n.

Conni's Avant Garde Restaurant - Cleveland Public Theatre (6415 Detroit Ave)
Enjoy a 5 course meal served by performers and a campy cabaret style show.

The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris has been moved from CPT in Gordon Square to Playhouse Square this year.

WinterShow @ Cleveland Botanical Garden

The best holiday displays EVER.  The annual gingerbread display, this year's animal topiaries and a free skate @ Wade Oval with my ticket stub is why I'll be going this year :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Banyan Tree - Tremont

If you haven't yet been to the Banyan Tree in Tremont, I will kindly assume that you live under a rock.  Or have just moved here.  Opened in 2001, this started as a little boutique with artful gifts & housewares.  Over the years they've expanded and started carrying a wonderful array of affordable and chic clothing for men, women and baby. 

Last week this was included in a little mid-week shopping trip that Jen, Kristen & I took.  We hit Lilly's, Geode Gallery and Wine & Design.

They always have fantastic window displays and they were busy putting out the holiday decorations.  You can see an array of the newest holiday treasures on their facebook page.  But, seriously, how cute is this outfit in the window?  I'll take it all.

On one side they have women's clothing, accessories and jewelry.  This is where the infamous CLE necklace came from.  This summer I stalked it and had to wait for it to come back in stock.  Finally it did and the Husband was kind enough to buy it for me.

There are so many local artisans and talent here and they are showcased beautifully.

They launched their own line of clothing and jewelry, Figwood, this summer.  The clothes are fashionable, flowy, cozy and yet still have an urban edge to them.  And check out the amazing jewelry!!  We are so lucky to have such a wonderfully made line based right here in the CLE.

There's something here for everyone in every price range. Walk to the other side and it's filled with a small but top-notch men's collection. There's usually only 1 or 2 of each size, so if you see something, pick it up or it will be gone when you come back!  On this side they have home goods, baby clothes and gifts.

As if I can't make it a week without stopping in here, Cleveland's a Plum is having a shopping event tonight (11/17) from 6-9PM.  There will be drinks, apps and discount coupons from 10-40% off!!!!  Check out all the details here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lilly's Chocolates - Tremont

Lilly Handmade Chocolates.  Where does a girl even begin? From the minute this shop opened I knew I'd fall in love.  With the hot pink brocade-striped wallpaper to the glittery gorgeous confections, Cleveland was in for a treat.  The handmade artisan chocolates (meant to be paired with beer or wine) are almost too gorgeous to eat.  But you will, oh yes, you will.  These beautiful creations  hold sweet and savory flavors blended to perfection. 

Some favorites:
The Southern Gentleman -  Makers Mark bourbon, milk chocolate fresh roasted buttered pecans
After Midnight - bitter stout, dark chocolate
Forty Winks - fresh lavender infused double-chocolate ganache, dark chocolate
The Redhead (of course!) - vintage port ganache, dried blueberries, dark chocolate
Hawaii 216 - milk chocolate, house made pineapple jam, smoked bacon, five spiced milk chocolate ganache
The Black Diamond - black perigord truffle infused honey, dark chocolate

These are not your average chocolates.

The offerings of the day with specially paired wine & beer.

And this month they've upped the fun with Craft Beer & Fine Wine Tastings on the weekends.  Last Friday a few girlfriends & I stopped in and sampled.  There were 2 wines & 2 beers each paired with a truffle. (the offerings change weekly) Priced at $14 for the flight or $4 individually. 

A large selection of wine and beer...

Sparklers, Sake & Elixers...

Holiday offerings...

love this light fixture

Jen came outfitted in her pink & black sparkly fingerless gloves.
Her 'texting gloves' as she calls them!

It's a wonderful place to sit, enjoy a chocolate and a sip of wine.  Especially since they're already bedecked for the holiday.  Just let the pink Christmas tree guide your way.

761 Starkweather Ave - Cleveland

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Henri Bendel Holiday

I'm a catalog girl.  Especially when it comes to the holidays.  I never got those people who could make their Christmas list in October, when the holiday catalogs haven't even arrived. 

So each November I run to the postbox, excited to find what goodies have been delivered that day.  This year there have been hits and misses already.  But one of the big hits and a current obsession for me is Henri Bendel.  Once I saw the 2010 Holiday Catalog it was all over.  Slam dunk.  I want to be be a Bendel girl.

For those not in the know,  Bendel's was originally an upscale women's store selling everything from clothing to cosmetics, accessories and gourmet food gifts.  Started in 1895,  Henri Bendel was a milliner that reportedly was the first retailer to bring Coco Chanel's fashions from Paris to the U.S.  In 1985, Limited Brands bought the company and in 2009 the decision was made to stop carrying apparel and focus on accessories, cosmetics and gifts.

The stores are gorgeous.  A cornucopia of girlish whimsy.  Everywhere you turn, something else catches your eye.  And everything is packaged beautifully in those brown and white awning-striped boxes.  Here are some great gifts for the girls on your list.

e-Reader Case $88
Go Anywhere Travel Set $38 (coated canvas)

Bendel Girl Wellies $88
more colors available

Medium Hinge Leather Bangle w/ Swarovski $98 more colors available
Handcuff Chain Bracelet $68

Brown & White Hobo $325

Taxi Girl Desk Diary $95

Cashmere Slippers $98, Eyemask $68

Paula Dorf Beautiful Lips Kit $22

Campfire Couture S'mores Kit $22

Faux Fur Earmuffs $68

The Cool Cat Velvet Bracelet $68
more colors available

Debutante Asymmetric Clutch - Haircalf $298

Bamboo Stacking Ring $68
more colors available

Friday, November 5, 2010

12 Jackets under $100 (& a few for the guys, too)

Fall weather has officially hit the CLE.  And it's that "not quite fall/not quite winter weather".  Before you break out the big heavy winter coats, check out these great finds, some of which are heavily marked down.  Pair them with a sweater, scarf and some gloves and they'll take you right into winter.


Tweed Moto Jacket $89.50

(for him) Wool Private Jacket $89.60

(for him) Wool Blend Herringbone $98

Cropped Tweed Jacket $49.99

Tweed Jacket w/ Chain Detail $59.99

Classic Trench $69.95

Admiral Peacoat $99.95

(for him) Peacoat $99.95

Piped Military $79.90

Quilted Military Jacket $98

Grosgrain Triomphe Jacket $69.99

BB Dakota Romaine Coat $68

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