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::

Monday, June 9, 2014

Urban Farmer Makes its Mark on Cleveland

A few weeks ago, Urban Farmer opened its second restaurant in Cleveland. The original, located in Portland, is lauded as one of the best 'modern steakhouses' of the Pacific Northwest and has received quite a bit of good press from USA Today, Travel + Leisure, The Wall Street Journal and more. Set right in the first floor of the brand new Westin Hotel, Urban Farmer Cleveland features a seasonally-driven menu that highlights sustainability and nose-to-tail cuts of naturally raised meat.

I had the fortunate pleasure of being invited by my good friend Charlene to a friends and family preview right before their opening. For the record, Charlene and I have curated quite the friendship over multiple courses and a few bottles of wine at just about every restaurant in town.  aka - my kind of relationship

Urban Farmer Cleveland - interior

The interior evokes a reclaimed rambling farmhouse that has been updated with an eclectic mix of inspired design. Each private event space has it's own personality and I simply cannot wait to plan a gathering here. 

Urban Farmer Cleveland - private event space

Urban Farmer Cleveland - private event space
One glimpse of the Roaming Cheese Cart and we were sold. Your plate is curated tableside and time is spent to ensure you get a well rounded (for your taste) selection. 

I love myself a bar cart, why would a cheese cart be any different?
We tried a few apps, steaks, sides and dessert. Everything was incredible. My personal favorite had to be the chilled shrimp appetizer. Served with celery capellini and chive aioli, the enormous shrimp would be enough for lunch on its own. The sides, served in cast iron serveware, are heavenly, hearty and each is plenty for two to three people. 

clockwise from top left: local greens salad w/ quinoa & honey-lemon vinaigrette / twice-baked fingerling potato tart and green bean casserole w/ artichokes, sunchokes / 8oz. White Oak, Georgia, grass-fed tenderloin / chilled shrimp
Urban Cleveland is a restaurant that takes its food and drink quite seriously. Blackboards outline where things are sourced from and photographs of local farmers adorn the walls. Everyone on staff is extremely knowledgeable and at the ready to answer whatever questions may arise. ("What is the difference between grass-fed and grain finished again?") But they don't take themselves too seriously. There is a whimsical vibe about the place. Everyone is excited about what they're doing and having a great time doing it. 

In addition to steak, they have an assortment of fish, chicken, pork and duck to choose from. They recently introduced brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 8a-3p with a Bloody Mary bar kicking in at 11a. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Holy Grail: Formula X for Sephora

Formula X 

Ladies! How have I not posted about this??? I've been beyond-obsessed since the release that I thought I must have told you guys. Read on for my newest Holy-Grail alert.

Last fall when Sephora traded in their Sephora by OPI polish line for Formula X, I was intrigued. I didn't mind the original line and a few colors had made its way into my rotation. The formula didn't seem to be that different than OPI but I usually found colors that better suited my taste with non-Sephora lines. Then they unleashed Formula X for Sephora. The collection features over 200 colors, effects and finishes.

The System containing nail cleanser, base coat, top coat and a polish color of your choice for $32 or seperately for $10.50-$14 each. The claim? Use 'the system' kit and enjoy shellac-like wear with no UV curing. So, you know, I had to get my mitts on it as soon as it hit shelves. I bought the kit and tried it out. The cleanser, base and top coat didn't leave a lasting impression but the nail color is highly pigmented and delivers superb coverage with two thin coats. I want to say my manicure lasted a good week using the entire system.

Day 9 - Formula X for Sephora
(no filter, just edited for text)

The next time I used my favorite base and top coat and got 11 days of gorgeous, shiny wear before the first chips appeared.
Holy. Grail. Alert.
On average, I will get roughly 9-11 days before any signs of chipping or cracking with just some minor wear at the tips.

If you don't have a favorite base/top coat then the system is great kit to start out with but totally not necessary. I actually got better results with my OPI Matte Nail Envy and Essie's Good to Go.

Formula X for Sephora - Gemini

Formula X for Sephora - A+

Formula X for Sephora - Ignition

Have you tried Formula X? What did you think? 

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