Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sephora & Beauty Swag Giveaway

I'm back! I didn't think I would make it in time, my internet has been down for days. Thankfully they came out and got it all fixed today. You didn't think I'd miss the last giveaway in my 'month of gifting' did you? All month I've been giving away some of my favorite things. A 3 month subscription to Birchbox, a Cleveland Independents Deck, and now my most favorite place of all.....Sephora.



Not only am I giving away a $25 Sephora gift card, but you'll also receive the following beauty swag:


Included:
Serge Lutens - L'Eau .03oz
Dr. Dennis Gross - Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel (2 treatments)
Clinique - Even Better skin tone corrector .5oz
Smashbox - Photo Finish .25oz
Dr. Defense - Hydroshield Ultra Moisturizing Serum .3oz
Kerstin Florian - Rehydrating Neroli Cleansing Milk 1oz
Benefit - So Hooked on Carmella, Garden of Good and Eva, Lookin' to Rock Rita .05oz each
John Frieda - Root Awakening strength restoring smoothing lotion .7oz
Shu Uemura - Phyto-black Lift .4oz
Dermalogica - Daily Microfoliant .45oz & Gentle Cream Exfoliant .75oz
Juliette Has a Gun - Lady Vengeance parfum .06oz
Prescriptives - Calyx Fragrance spray .5oz
Pevonia Botanica - Age-Defying Marine Collagen Cream .5oz
Beauty Society - Youth Accelerator .25oz
Dr. Brandt - Pores No More anti-aging mattifying lotion .068oz
Bioelements - Quick Refiner .25oz

What's your favorite product available at Sephora?

Comment on this post, on my facebook page, or by emailing me at smittenincle@gmail.com to enter.  A winner will be chosen by random draw on Friday, April 8th.



I'd like to thank the lovely Dina from Dina's Days for inviting me to the premiere of Dressed at the Capitol Theatre last night.  Not only did we see a wonderfully inspiring movie, but we also got to meet the humble designer himself at an after party at Stone Mad. We were joined by the ever fashionable Christina from The Cosmopolitan Clevelander and it was the perfect way to spend a snowy Wednesday night.

image via
I absolutely fell in love with the fashion featured in the movie, which was from Nary Manivong's Spring 2009 presentation.

After years of scraping money together to get his designs seen, Nary has now partnered with Ally Hilfiger, creating NAHM a new collection focusing on chic dresses incorporating menswear detail in a modern twist. Check out their 2011 Fall Collection here. A bit of goth mixed with Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven gives this collection the right amount of edge and femininity.

image via NAHM

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cleveland Independents Winner

{via}

Thanks to everyone who entered my Cleveland Independents giveaway. I loved hearing all your local favorites! It reminded me of a few places that I haven't been to in a while and a few to keep on my short list.
This weeks winner (via random.org) is...


C Vasu


who said...
           How fun!
My favorite places are Le Petit Triangle, Fat Cats and Three Birds. The last time I was at Three Birds, they had the most unbelievable pan-seared scallops with mashed potatoes and a corn truffle sauce. Absolute heaven!



Three faves and a dish recommendation, love it! 
Congrats! Please email your address to smittenincle@gmail .com and I'll get the Deck right in the mail for ya :)

Have a wonderful weekend, and keep a lookout, there's one more giveaway left in the month of gifting...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beach In A Bottle

Morning, my kitties! Today's the last day to enter my Cleveland Independents 'The Deck' giveaway. Just head over to  this post and leave a comment to enter. As always you can Facebook or email me at smittenincle@gmail.com. A winner will be randomly chosen tomorrow morning.

I woke this morning to the sound of my lovely husband scraping ice off his car. Yep the snow is back. It's also spring break time and I know nothing makes Clevelanders heading out to the beach happier than when it's freezing at home. For the rest of us, tuck in to a margarita and have yourself a little DIY beach time :)

I'm not a beach girl. I'm a fair skinned redheaded girl. The type that needs SPF 70 just to run to Target. And that's here in the CLE. I love the idea of the beach. Just, in reality, I'm more of a pool girl. So on a day like today, break out some of these products, close your eyes and have yourself a beach holiday.

At least the sun is out :)

Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains $40
The finest, most luxurious grains of 'sand' you add to your favorite cleanser.
The most softening, decadent, exfoliant - ever.
mark. go with the grain $9
A great alternative to the Bobbi Brown.  Same concept
with finer grains for more sensitive skin.

Bobbi Brown beach Body Lotion $35
mystical with a light citrus, salty, ocean smell

Victoria's Secret Beach Sexy Moisturizer $12
intoxicating, warm, beachy scent. Melts right into skin leaving
you glowing. I buy 2 at a time in case they ever discontinue it
Alba Botanical Kukui Nut Body Oil $10
ultra relaxing and moisturizing when poured into the bath

NARS Monoi Body Glow II $59
decadent, yet lightweight


Bobbi Brown beach Body Oil $30
sultry and sexy
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Skinscent $55
warming yet fresh at the same time

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Timeless Trenches (With A Twist)


iconic Hepburn

Spring has sprung.  As usual that means Mother Nature can't make up her mind.  The forecast calls for 9-12 inches of snow from Fargo to New Jersey, heavy rain in California and a wintry mix of rain turning to snow here in the CLE. People love spring. I wish I got it. Is it the promise of summer to come? Because to me, spring means unpredictability.  So get out your trenches and wellies!


Kate Moss for Burberry
 The trench coat is a practical and timeless choice. Everyone should have at least one version in their wardrobe. Nothing pulls together a look like a great coat. Here are my faves with a few twists on this classic look.


Lulus.com faux leather $73

Club Monaco $289 image via

Moncler ruffle short trench $750


Derek Lam sleeveless trench $2490


Johnston & Murphy rosette trench $198


Burberry Porsum $2995
 

Karen Millen taffeta trim trench $285

WHBM $178


Coach alexis trench $498

Topshop $180

Monday, March 21, 2011

Eat. Drink. Local. - Giveaway #2


Happy Monday! The month of gifting continues and this week you have the chance to win a Cleveland Independents 2011 Deck. The deck consists of 52 cards representing independent Cleveland restaurants. Each card gives you $10 off a $30 purchase.

sample via
I have a thing about chain restaurants. I grew up in the suburbs and that's practically all I knew. When my husband and I decided to buy a house in Ohio City in the late '90's that all changed.  It would take us longer to drive to the big name chain steakhouse when we were surrounded by the best local restaurants in the city. Over the years it just became habit and now I have a hard time passing them up for an Applebee's, Friday's or Outback. There are so many now that I have never even been to.

We are so fortunate in Cleveland to have a wonderful dining scene. You can get practically any cuisine and what's better than supporting local businesses and farms? The people over at Cleveland Independents know what they're doing and do it well. They consist of over 80 locally owned and operated restaurants and are committed to nurturing and promoting local businesses.
 
Once a quarter they have their ridiculously fantastic gift certificate sale offering $50 gc's for $35 and $25 for $17.50. These can be used for dine-in or take-out. One year they slipped up and told everyone what time the sale would start, effectively jamming up their server and shutting it down. Their CI gift cards are one of my go to gifts. Available at any one of their member restaurants, it presents as a lovely gift with their little black book directory with details and descriptions of all their members. And they don't expire! Their website also has an event calender listing wine tastings, multi-course menus and other special events.

So back to the free stuff! I'm giving away one CI Deck. Included in this year's deck are some of my faves. Flying Fig, Lago, Light Bistro, Luxe and Players. Keep some cards for yourself and give some to friends, they are good throughout 2011.

What's your favorite local spot? Comment on this post, my facebook page or email me at smittenincle@gmail.com. A winner will be announced Friday morning 3/25.

On a side note, I'd like to thank my husband's friend Dave for inviting us to the Lexus event Saturday @ Playhouse Square. Much fun was had, and who doesn't love having 2 dates for the evening?! 

The main lobby of the State Theater was transformed into a nightclub featuring interpretive dancers.  Absolut was debuting their newest addition, Absolut Wild Tea (black tea & elderflower) and serving specialty cocktails, the Brazilian Cosmo and Peach Exotic.

Lexus was unveiling their new CT 200h. A hybrid aimed at a younger clientele starting under $30k. Cocktails and music flowed as DEV and Jay Sean took the stage. Lupe Fiasco was originally scheduled to perform but was unable to attend due to illness. It didn't matter. We partied like a G6 anyway.


Here I am getting in to check it all out. The evening was great and filled with the best people watching. You know how it can be at events like this. You will always have those people who dress up as if they're going to prom. It was all I could do not to snap their picture and produce my own Fashion Police! 

On another side note, (I swear this post is almost DONE!) Lilly Handmade Chocolates is closed til the 25th for renovations.  They are taking over the space next door. I can't imagine the shop any better than it already is so I'm quite excited to check it out.



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Birchbox Winner



Good Morning & Happy St Patrick's Day.  I really enjoyed finding out all your new beauty faves and I can't wait to pick some of them up try them for myself.

The winner of the Birchbox giveaway is.....CLEgal from Why CLE?  Congrats!!!

Please email your contact info and if you are currently a Birchbox subscriber to smittenincle@gmail.com.  (winner picked via random.org)

Keep an eye out, because the month of gifting isn't over yet! 
Here's a clue to my next giveaway: Eat. Drink. Local.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Looking Forward To...

There's a few more days left to enter my Birchbox giveaway, so get those entries in.  Just go to this post and tell me your fave new beauty product.  I'm really loving all the suggestions coming in.  I'm excited to start trying all your new favorites :)

Do you ever realize when you plan a trip out of town that there is always something fabulous going on at home?  I travel for work and am very fortunate to be able to go practically anywhere on a whim.  (this is not always a good thing!)   So I really appreciate it when I can make it to certain events. 

I was in Naples when The Cosmopolitan Clevelander and Dina's Days went to Bodega for the FGI Spring/Summer Fashion Event.  I was even more jealous when they posted pics of the event.  So when Dina contacted me about this next event I was thrilled to be home. 

Wed 3/30 - CLE Film Festival 'DRESSED' event


If you arrive to the Capitol early, head on over to XYZ.  They will be hosting a complimentary pre-film reception from 5:30-6:45 (you must have a festival pass or ticket to the movie).




This Saturday 3/19 is the Lexus : Dark Ride event at Playhouse Square. 8:30p This is an amazing VIP experience and includes complimentary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres along with a performance by Lupe Fiasco.  Lexus will be showing off their new luxury hybrid, the CT 200h.  You can't buy tickets for this event but you can try to win some from 96.5 KISS FM or Playhouse Square.  Also Cleveland's a Plum and CLE Shopaholic are giving some away.  Thanks to my husband's wonderful friend from Lexus for asking us to accompany him!  (ok, so I begged.)

Mon 3/21
There are 19 seats left for this month's Dinner in the Dark being held at Bistro on Lincoln Park.  Tickets are $81.60 and include and 8 course dinner  from at least 6 different local chefs.  All proceeds go to a local charity and include tax and gratuity.



Thurs 3/24
The boys over at Emerging Chefs are doing it again.  They have redefined the dinner party with such events as Prohibition @ The Speakeasy, Aphrodisiacs @ the Velvet Tango Room and Sacri-licious in a Romanian Orthodox church.  This month They will be at Playhouse Square for ThEATrical featuring Adam Bostwick of Melange.  Tickets are $55-75.




Sat 3/26
I'm beside myself that I have to miss the grand opening of Sweet Moses.  After months of drive-by peeks at their progress, I'll have to wait til the Monday after to check them out.  Housed in the Gordon Square Art District, they are putting their spin on the soda fountain treat shop.  Featuring homemade ice cream and handmade confections with a historical twist.  They put in a 1930's marble bar and the menu board is a slate blackboard from a 1869 schoolhouse.  What I'm most looking forward to checking out is the 1940's Bastian-Blessing soda fountain. 


Sun 3/27
Sunday will mark the first of a new monthly feature.  The C-Town Chow Down featuring the city's finest food trucks.  This will be held at Tremont's Lincoln Park from 11a-3p.  Catch all your favorites (Dim & Den Sum, Cakes Plus, Unami Moto, StrEAT Mobile Bistro and many more) all in one spot!

Can you tell I love food?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Catching Up & Giving Away - Birchbox Giveaway!!

(if you subscribe to this blog via email, feel free to click on the SMITTEN header and view as a webpage)

It's been 10 days since my last post and I'm oh-so-sorry.  Between working, travelling (not for work) and not feeling so good, this little blog got the brush off.  But I'm back and ready to go.  I can't believe it's March already.  I feel like February went so fast.  Therefore, I'll be doing a little catching up from last month.  But keep reading as I'm having my very first reader giveaway :)

February brought my anniversary and Valentine's day.  We celebrated our anniversary at the chef's table at  Dante for the second year in a row.  I cannot overstate how talented Chef Dante Boccuzzi and his staff are. Last year this quickly became one of our favorite go-to spots.  Look for a full review next week.  We headed to Dante on Saturday and I ended up making scallops and filet with manhattan sauce and caramelized onion pappardelle for dinner on Monday (our actual anniversary).

recipes here and here

The following Monday was V-day and we stayed in as well enjoying lobster tails and veal chops.



After posting about Valentine's dressing, I ended up going with plum and lavender.

coat & dress - LOFT, boots - Nine West, tights- DKNY


Now on to the good stuff.  My first ever reader giveaway!!  If February was the month of love, then March is the month of gifting.  My birthday is at the end of the month and I thought I'd spend the next few weeks giving some gifts of my own.  First up is a 3 month subscription to Birchbox!  You might  remember this from my review a few months ago.  Birchbox is a monthly shipment of the best beauty and skincare products ranging from sample to travel size.  It's a great way to treat yourself or a friend to a little fun and pampering.


You can enter by leaving me a comment of what your favorite new beauty product is.  You can comment on this post below, on facebook or by email at smittenincle@gmail.com
 Every comment will be assigned a number and be chosen at random.  The winner will be announced Thursday 3/17.  Good luck!!

By the way, my fave new product is NARS South Beach, which I got from Birchbox.  (if you already have a Birchbox subscription, the three months can easily be added to your account)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2011 Oscars - Where Even the Hits Are Misses

This was one bizarre awards season.  Starting off low-key with the Critic's Choice, through the Globes, SAGs and culminating with the high fashion couture spectacle that is the Academy Awards.  But this year the fashion seemed to get less interesting as the shows ticked on.  As if everyone used up all their goodies in the first hand and had nothing left to show in the last.  Everything about Sunday night's ceremony was slightly awkward.  From the confused looking celebrities on the red carpet to James Franco looking squinty eyed (and so not into this sort of thing) to Anne Hathaway's gregarious introductions and non-stop giggling running the show practically by herself.  (And I adore her!)  Don't even get me started on the musical numbers.  My dear Gwyneth and I might be breaking up soon!

On the red carpet even my hits were misses.  Everyone who had a great dress had bad makeup, the wrong hair or misplaced accessories.  Hey, at least it was entertaining!

What I loved - no strings attached


Natalie Portman in Rodarte via


Helen Mirren in Vivienne Westwood via


Celine Dion in Girgio Armani Prive via

Anne Hathaway in Valentino via

Camila Alves in Kaufman Franco via



I told you I had issues

Amy Adams in L'Wren Scott via
gorgeous dress, wrong jewelry


Cate Blanchett in Givency via
love the skirt, sleeves and color.  the round chest detail is
screaming for a cameo

Gwyneth Paltrow in Calvin Klein via
in love with this liquid metallic dress.  is that a broach
on your hip?

Halle Berry in Marchesa via
this delightful confection is perfect.  til she moves.
then it looks like she has tulle randomly stapled to the bottom

Hilary Swank in Gucci via
fantastic dress, but everything above the chest puts me to sleep

Jennifer Hudson in Versace via
her misplaced accessory?  the breasts! shoved and taped.

Mila Kunis in Elie Saab via
in one of the best dresses of the night, she looks just a step
above miserable in every photo

Sandra Bullock in Vera Wang via
stunning body and dress but the color washes
her completely out. didn't look like she was
having much fun either.  possibly missing
an accessory

Sharon Stone in Dior via
hot and sexy.  love myself some feathers and big hair.
not loving the 101 Dalmatians feeling

Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein
I'm really enjoying this 70's Farrah moment, I just didn't
find it dressy enough for the Academy Awards

Scarlett Johansson in Dolce and Gabbana via
If she could only enter every room walking backwards,
I'd be fine.  Adore the back.  The front? Not so much.


What were they thinking?

Nicole Kidman in Christian Dior via

Marisa Tomei in vintage Charles James

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