Friday, November 29, 2013

Win Two Tickets To See Rachael Ray

I'm slipping out of my post-Thanksgiving food coma with a special giveaway - Rachael Ray's book tour comes to Rocky River on December 14th and I have a pair of tickets (and signed copies of her newest book) to give away!!

Her magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, is a must read in my house. From fast weeknight meals, to fun kitchen gadgets to unique and inspiring places to eat across the country - she covers it all with her laid back humor that is simply, Rachael. That ease paired with her down-to-earth personality has made me a fan from the beginning. Sometimes the thought of coming home after a long day and trying to figure out what to have for dinner is the last thing I want to do. Rachael's made the process of planning, shopping for and making an entire week's worth of meals (in one day!) a cinch with her new book.

Week in a Day - Rachael Ray 
Joseph-Beth Booksellers & The Rocky River Public Library present
New York Times Bestselling Author
Rachael Ray
And her new cookbook, Week in a Day
(Doors open at 6:00 p.m.)
Rocky River High School Auditorium
20951 Detroit Road, Rocky River, Ohio 44116
This is a ticketed event with limited seating. {Details}

Cleveland is her last stop on a 12 city book tour and I have 2 tickets to give away. All attendees will receive a signed copy of her new book. {Enter via Rafflecopter}
Giveaway ends midnight 12/5 and the winner contacted Friday 12/6.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

::Disclosure - I received two tickets for myself as well as two to give away in exchange for posting about this event. All musings, as always, are my own::

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Happenings

Need to get into the holiday spirit? Peep these fantastic local events to get you in the mood. Avoid the mass-market craziness by shopping local this year and enjoying everything CLE has to offer.

Friday 11/26
Yellow Friday Takeover - Yellowcake Shop 11am-11pm (Fri & Sat)
Avoid the Black Friday rush by heading over to Yellowcake where Valerie and her team will be serving up sweet surprises. Grab a glass of wine and a Main Street Cupcake and enjoy these special discounts:
Mini Makeovers by Joy Mueller (one of the Hullabaloo make-up team members after 4pm Fri & Sat)
- 30, 20, & 10% off select styles
- 15% off coats 
- 10% off of the exclusive Hullabaloo collection
- Buy 2 Accessories Get One Free (value of free accessory not to exceed $18)
- Spend $250 receive a $25 gift certificate to redeem in the new year. 
- Spend over $100 & your name will be entered into a coat raffle (winner chosen after Dec 25th)
- Flash sale 2pm - 4pm 20% off your entire purchase (not to be combined with any other promotions)

Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe - 11/29-12/24
Knock off some of that Christmas list with a stop at Room Service and shop over 60 local artisans and designers. The party kicks off at 4PM with DJ Pleasurecruise and local crafted beer made just for the event.

Wine & Design Anniversary Party - 12-7p
Cheers! Swing by and toast Greg & Dan as they celebrate 4 years of bringing fantastic wine and memorable home decor to Tremont. Bubbly tastings are $1 and mingling is encouraged.

Saturday 11/30
Start Small Business Saturday with a stop at the MOCA store 11a-5p. Support independent retailers, artists and designers - locally and across the nation. Spend $50 or more in the MOCA store and receive a 20% off coupon for any purchase made in January.

Pop Up Shaker - 10a-5p (continuing Thurs/Sat/Sun through 12/15)
Browse crafts, gifts and goodies as the city transforms into a winter pop up bazaar. DIY craft workshops and food demonstrations are planned throughout the month.

Winterfest 1-7pm
Head down to Public Square for everything from horse-drawn carriage rides (1PM) to local food trucks, Radio Disney and a Holiday Pop Up Shop (2PM) all before the Holiday Lighting Ceremony and fireworks display (6PM). Hang out afterwards to Party with Santa (7PM) with free cookies and cocoa. The party continues at 7:30 with the Fourth Annual Wine & Ale Fest ($60) featuring more than 20 local craft breweries and regional wines paired with tastings from some of downtown's best restaurants.

Saturday 12/7
Ohio City Holiday Festival 11a-4p
I may be biased by calling Ohio City home, but THIS is my favorite holiday festival. Fresh cut trees, GLBC serving up mulled Christmas Ale, Santa, ornament making, carolers, a photobooth AND Room Service teaming up with the Cleveland Bazaar to take over Market Square Park. Perfect Saturday afternoon, right there.

Banyan Tree Hot Toddy Party 12-9p
As if the day couldn't get any better...Once you wrap it up at the OHC Festival, head on over to Banyan Tree's fab annual (13 years!!) Hot Toddy Party. Swing by for shopping, appetizers and, of course, hot toddies. (Hot non-alcoholic drinks will also be available.) I always use this opportunity to pick up a little holiday sparkle for myself.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Amped Up Advent

Let you inner child shine through this holiday season while counting down the days to Christmas with one of these fab advent calendars. No matter how hectic your schedule gets you can always end the day with a small treat for yourself. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Smitten with Pittsburgh? Part Two

When Part One of this story left off it was all about the duck. But Pittsburgh had more fun in store for

After walking around the gorgeous Point State Park we paid a quick visit to the historic Fort Pitt Block House. We were just about ready for an afternoon libation when we happened upon Market Square. A refuge smack in the middle of downtown, Market Square mixes the old with the new and is filled with restaurants, public art and boutiques. The space also holds many events throughout the year including a seasonal farmer's market all amid a beautiful skyscraper backdrop. Cocktails were had on the patio at NOLA on the Square and was a perfect mid day retreat.

Market Square / Duquesne Incline by day / The Hickens and the Romes in Point State Park

After wandering the city all morning and afternoon, we headed back to the hotel for some rest before heading out for the evening. Being that we wanted to see the duck in all it's glory at night, we decided on heading up the Duquesne Incline for dinner at Bella Vista. Considering they were set to have the most amazing view, it was a no brainer and we quickly learned that Pittsburgh is quite the stunning lady when the lights go down.

Bella Vista came through with the as-promised gorgeous view and great service. The food was decent, but we all knew (and were more than ok with) the fact that we were paying for that aerial view. Some of us more than others. In the pic below Scott couldn't tear himself away from staring out at the duck to be photographed with Amanda and I and it became the theme of the evening.

{via twitter and Amanda's post}
— smitten in cleveland (@smittenincle) October 13, 2013
OH: I still love you. But there’s also the duck. cc: @Husbanonymous @ADHicken #rubberduckproject #LovePGH

Duquesne Incline by night / Scott paying us no attention whatsoever / Pittsburgh by night
Bella Vista / Jen & Matthew

Sunday morning we all slept in a bit and checked out of our hotel rooms with one thing in mind. Sunday Church. Church Brew Works to be exact. What better place to have Sunday brunch than a brewery inside a church? The food and drink are all worth a trip and it will definitely be on my list when I go back.

Church Brew Works

After brunch, Jen and Matthew bid adieu and Scott, Amanda and I headed over to check out the Carnegie Museum of Art. Originally I wanted to stop by the Andy Warhol museum but when we found out that the 2013 Carnegie International had just returned (it only comes around every 5 years or so) we knew we had to visit. My favorite exhibits included the Bidoun Library, Disarm: Pedro Reyes and Joel Sternfeld. The Carnegie International runs through March.

A glimpse of Disarm by Pedro Reyes / Outdoor installation by Phyllida Barlow
Permanent exhibits of the Carnegie Museum

So am I SMITTEN with Pittsburgh? Yes. Will I be returning? Yes!! (Just maybe not during football season)
:Disclosure - I was invited by Visit Pittsburgh to experience their city. Accommodations as well as spending money were provided and I was asked to share my adventure on social media through the #LovePGH tag. All musings are my own:: 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Compassion From Fashion Giveaway!

It's that time. Get your shopping lists ready and score some fab discounts at Beachwood Place for the 5th Annual Compassion From Fashion event. Cross some of that holiday shopping off your list while sipping cocktails and benefiting some Northeast Ohio charities that can really use your help.

Saturday, November 23 5-9PM
Advance Tickets: $25
Tickets at the door: $30

100% of ticket proceeds benefit The Gathering Place, a community-based cancer support center, and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. You can chose which charity you wish to support when purchasing tickets.

Tickets Include:
Complimentary nibbles from Maggiano's Little Italy
$10 Beachwood Place gift card (first 1000 tickets purchased)
Access to the cash bar cocktail lounge
setting up for last year's runway show 
As always there will be a fantastic live runway show featuring the latest fall/winter styles from the stores at Beachwood Place modeled by local celebrities, cancer survivors from The Gathering Place, children and families from Rainbow Babies and professional models from local agencies.

This year Q104's Allen Fee and Katherine Boyd from Fee's Kompany are back to host the show. Local celebrities will also be a part of the evening and include: Glenn Anderson (Q104) & daughter Madeline, Mitchell Herald and Lee Moffie (Lake Erie Monsters), Maureen Kyle (WKYC), Ryan McClean and Chris Van Vilet (Cosmo's Hottest Bachelor of the Year) and Marcelle Varejao (wife of Anderson Varejao).  

Check here for the most updated list of discounts which include 25% off Coach, 20% off Madewell, 40% off sweaters at Banana Republic, free makeovers and gifts w/ purchase at Dillard's and sips, snacks and 15% off at Kate Spade (just to name a few!)
Many retailers like Athleta, Aldo, Brigade, Michael Kors, Microsoft and more are also having some fantastic raffles. 

I'm very happy that I have a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky reader!! (enter via Rafflecopter) Contest ends 11/16/13 at 12:00am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided to tickets to give away as well as 2 for myself which I declined (sadly) due to a scheduling conflict. All musings are my own.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Smitten with Pittsburgh? Part One

For years, I flew in and out of PIT airport. Twice a day, twice a week. I knew the place just as well as Hopkins Int'l. The customs agents were buddies, the Godiva girls knew my favorites and I always stopped by to say hello to Daniel Striped Tiger on the walk back to our gate. All those years flying in and out and I never left the airport. So when Visit Pittsburgh asked if I was interested in a blogger trip to tour their city, I was intrigued. Why have I never thought to visit there? It's an easy two hour drive and it dawned on me that it never even occurred to me. This was my chance. Lucky for me, some of my best friends were going and I was excited to spend some quality time with the Rome's and Hicken's. In Pittsburgh.

We arrived Friday night about 7pm, checked into the Courtyard Marriott Downtown and headed over to a meet and greet reception with the Visit Pittsburgh team. We were enthusiastically welcomed with cocktails, tons of food and our itinerary. Which was that we didn't have an itinerary and could explore the city in any way we chose, guided by social media suggestions on facebook and twitter using the #lovepgh tag. Score! We were then sent out for a little Friday night exploration.

Welcoming gifts from the Courtyard Pittsburgh Downtown (a hand written note will always win me over) and Visit PGH staff / The scene on the street and a Fox Barrel at Sharp Edge 

We decided to stay close to the hotel since the surrounding neighborhood was amazing. Totally walkable with many food, drink and shopping options literally steps from our hotel. We ended up at Sharp Edge Bistro on Penn, a neighborhood bar with a Belgian twist, which boasts an impressive 36 beers on tap and over 200 bottle selections.

We didn't stay out terribly late since Amanda insisted that we have a 7am breakfast at Pamela's. Out of town and up early on a weekend? She was right and it was well worth missing out on an hour or so of beauty sleep to get their insane crepe-like hotcakes in my belly. By the time we were heading out of the vintage pink and teal diner there was already a line getting ready to wrap around the corner.

Pamela's Diner 
From Pamela's we headed to the Strip District, which is an area of restaurants and shops that spills out into the streets on the weekends. Fresh flowers, pastries and vegetable stands conjured up images of the West Side Market if not contained in it's historic home.

Dried mushrooms and balsamics from Pennsylvania Macaroni Co / Fresh pastries streetside

Allegheny Coffee & Tea 

We stopped by the hotel to drop a few parcels off and continued to make our way exploring. Not once did we need the car and even though some places were a few steps off the beaten path, we were excited with the findings along the way. As we made our way to the riverfront we encountered families and people of nearly all ages, walking, biking and running.

Pittsburgh makes the most of their waterfront / Waterfall Walkway / Bridges and leaves abound
But the real reason we're all here (in all honesty) is the duck. It's not every day that you get to snuggle up to a 3 story high rubber duck. In fact, Pittsburgh is the first city stateside to get a visit. The installation arrived in late September and departed October 20th. Word is that the duck is spending the holidays with family and I look forward to seeing where it's next adventure will lead.

Stay tuned for Smitten with Pittsburgh-Part Two later this week...

::Disclosure - I was invited by Visit Pittsburgh to experience their city. Accommodations as well as spending money were provided and I was asked to share my adventure on social media through the #LovePGH tag. All musings are my own:: 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Darby Smart Makes DIY Delightful

I'm not a crafty girl. I have friends that can whip up just about everything from party decor to fab gifts to a new clutch in mere minutes. This is not me. Not only am I not DIY inclined, I simply don't have the patience. Enter Darby Smart. A company out of San Francisco that curates stylish DIY kits for the rest of us. Prices start at $19 and each kit contains everything you need to create something fun.

Through a Klout perk, I received the Soy Candle Designer Starter Set. ($24) The set came with everything you'd need to make 4 scented votive soy candles. I received french vanilla and pumpkin spice scented oil along with red, blue and yellow dye. The instructions take you step by step and there was, realistically, very little chance even I could mess this up. I had two holiday candles that I loved last year and was excited to reuse their holders.

Ta-da! I did it!

Other boxes include coasters, vases, jewelry and more and would make fantastic gifts for the holiday. So if you're looking to create something handmade and heartfelt and don't want it to look like a 4 year old made it*, order yourself a Darby Smart kit.
Darby Smart: Monogram CoastersGold Statement Bracelet
Chic Striped Vase  / Love & Scotch Decanter Set

*no offense to four year olds. They have way more talent than I do.

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