Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Listening Now: 90's Throwback Playlist

This past weekend, Nick and I met up with Wes and Danielle  at The Flying Monkey for some drinks. Flying Monkey has a TouchTunes jukebox, and I have the TouchTunes app-- the perfect combo for a 90s throwback night.

The playlist (and we were kinda monopolizing the jukebox here-- sorry) included the following:
1. Kiss - Prince
2. The Sign - Ace of Base
3. Tennessee - Arrested Development
4. Boombastic - Shaggy
5. It's Tricky - Run DMC
6. I Got 5 On It - Luniz
7. Too Close - Next
8. Return of the Mack - Mark Morrisson
9. Pony - Ginuwine
10. This is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
11. Whoomp! (There It Is) - Tag Team
12. Regulate - Warren G
13. Set Adrift on Memory Bliss - P.M. Dawn
14. Push It - Salt-N-Pepa
15. Ditty - Paperboy
16. Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio

Yeah, we were there a while…..

Anyway, if 90's music is your thing, on May 3, 2014, MOCA is hosting a 90/90s Gay Games Dance Party to celebrate the 90 day countdown to the 2014 Gay Games! More information including a link to purchase tickets available here! I will definitely be there with my dancing shoes on!!

What are some of your favorite jukebox tunes? Please share!! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rock the CATWALK (And a Giveaway)

One of the things I love MOST about Cleveland is how easy it is to get involved in the community- from volunteering for various organizations or joining a board, or being a part of a community development group-- the opportunities exist for anyone who wants to give back and get involved. If you don't have the time available to commit to something on a regular schedule, there is always the option to give back merely by attending a FABULOUS, FUN event. Rock the CATWALK is exactly one such event.

Hosted by The Women's Leadership Council of United Way of Greater Cleveland, this event is a fashion show, showcasing next season's hottest fashions from local boutiques and designers. Not only that, but the event also includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and a silent auction with the opportunity to bid on items such as a Vitamix (and we all know how much I LURVE mine), A Gibson guitar, 12x$100 gift cards to Cleveland area restaurants, vacation packages to warmer climes, and the list continues…. And just in case this wasn't enough, it is being held at one of my most FAVORITE spots in Cleveland- the Atrium at Cleveland Museum of Art. If you're interested in being a part of this event, here are the details:

When: Thursday May 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm
Where: Cleveland Museum of Art
How: Tickets available here 

If you would like to take a look at some pictures from last year's event attended by over 450 people, you can do so here.

Now for the REALLY fun part. You could win TWO general admission tickets to the event by tweeting the following:
"I want to win tickets to Rock the CATWALK @UnitedWayCLE via @cleshopaholic http://goo.gl/LBt011 #UnitedForFashion" 

You may tweet once a day for additional entries!

Follow @UnitedWayCLE and leave me a comment saying you did so for one additional entry. Please make sure you leave your contact info (email/twitter handle etc) so I can reach you in the event you are picked as the winner.


Seriously, what could be more fun than giving back with fashion?! Good luck to all who enter!!! Contest ends at midnight March 30th, 2014, with the winner announced March 31st, 2014. 

Disclosure: I am receiving a pair of tickets to attend Rock the CATWALK and blog about the event. I have also received a pair of tickets to giveaway to a reader. As always, all opinions are 100% my own! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring Roasts Cleveland's Winter

This winter has been BRUTAL. I'm hoping this stretch of "warm" (above 30s during the day) means that the big freeze is finally over and that we will smoothly transition into Spring. That said, as you read this, I'm in sunny Riviera Maya, where it is a balmy 85!! But instead of leaving you with nothing to read, today's post comes courtesy of Josh Womack from Laugh Staff. Operating out of Shaker LaunchHouse, Laugh Staff provides an incredible service for anyone in need of a funny speech-- using 12 comedians from across the country (3 in Cleveland), Laugh Staff will help you write the perfect Best Man or Maid of Honor speech that hits just the right mix of hilarity and heartfelt sentiment. Here's some local press about them. 


So without much further ado, here's Josh-

(Clinking Glass) 
Excuse me, Hi….thank you everyone for being here tonight….WOW, I see a lot of familiar faces in the room: Jeff Tanchak from 19 Action News…. Betsy Kling from WKYC and are extremely old buddy from Fox 8 Dick Goddard….Dick, how you’re still vertical is beyond me….Betsy, you look dashing… and Jeff you look like you just fell out of frat house…honest, fair, everywhere….that’s JT for ya…
My name is Spring and it’s a pleasure to roast, I mean toast, The 2013/2014 Cleveland Winter….you really did a number on us didn’t you! You made pipes burst, cars slide and single handedly destroyed the education of many youths in Cuyahoga County….just when the Cleveland metropolitan school district was already on life support, you had to kick ‘em when they were down….I think when it’s all said and done most Cleveland schools will have had 12 or 13 snow days this year….those are priceless education times that we’ll never get back….oh well, our Cuyahoga County youth will one day find work at Christie’s or the DMV all because you shut everything down…..
It was cold. REALLY cold….my nipples could have cut wood and most days I couldn’t feel my fingers along with my soul….I would warm my car up at 11:00 P.M. just so it could be warmed up by 7:00 A.M. when I left for work…..The plows and salt trucks were around this year oh yeah, but they were around much like 2013 Browns offense: Bursts of greatness here and there most of the time nowhere to be seen….
January and February were rough…like Chris Brown and Rhianna rough….I remember when it was -7 degrees one day in February and ironically I was listening to the Eagles ‘Hell Freezes Over’….when it’s this cold and snowy nobody wants to do ANYTHING. Most days I wanted to crawl in a pothole on West 117th and not come out until St. Patrick’s Day….Martin Luther King Day deserved better too……it’s bad enough that his street here primarily runs through the ghetto. Mr. King deserved to have it at least 45 degrees with patches of sun here and there…..
Cleveland Winter don’t think that your little glimpses of sunlight are fooling us either….Sunlight in Cleveland offers the same optimism as a dead beat dad….sure every now and then you come around for a weekend but we know you’re not permanent….you always run off to someone of some place hotter and then leave us weak, hurt and angry….
I do have to say that even though I have bashing you up here I have to say that as your best man it is my job to offer hope and faith. I am spring and I will be here soon….you will feel me on the Panini’s patio and you will embrace me on Indians Opening Day. Once it gets to 50 degrees you’ll see the soccer moms in Strongsville and Independence desperately trying to sunbathe in the front yard…
Spring is around the corner….Winter, your days are numbered.

Follow @joshuawomack82 on twitter and follow his company @laughstaff too.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Listening Now: My Love

I'm a little late with this, but I want to leave you, my loves, with this- one of my very favorite songs right now…

ENJOY!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Weekly Weigh In and my favorite Oscar Dresses

Ugh. This week's weigh in is disappointing, and I'm blaming it partially on Suzanne and her sugar-filled Oscar's Red Carpet party. I really ate an obscene amount of hot fries, brown butter rice krispie treats and sour patch kids, and consequently, the scale came in at 150.0 lbs this morning. Woof. Although nothing some serious water, green tea, clean eating and a workout can't fix. The lesson here is: an unhealthy night can cause a weight swing of 2-4 lbs, but its nothing to worry about as long as you account for it in the days that follow.

Anyway, the goal of last night's party was to discuss the Red Carpet, and these were my top 2 dresses:


(pics via Just Jared)


I also really loved Kerry Washington's dress, but in retrospect, I do agree with other commenters that the bottom of her dress needed a good steaming.

Any thoughts on Oscar fashions?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jump Back Ball 2014

This past Saturday, Nick and I joined our friends for our 4th Jump Back Ball in a row. If you recall, the tickets for this event sold out astonishingly fast-- in less than two weeks!!! I'm not sure, but if I were to guess, the appeal of the James Bond theme was just too much to resist.

As I've done with most special events lately, I started out my afternoon with an appointment with Carolina at Tease. Carolina totally gets me-- I take her a bunch of seemingly disparate pictures and she always turns them into a style I adore!! This time I gave her the extra challenge of saying I didn't want a whole lot of pins, and she LITERALLY SEWED MY HAIR INTO PLACE. It didn't' move all night, or even the next day (as you will see in the pictures that follow).

To start off the night, Nick and I took a cab (why don't we have uber?!) to Cowell and Hubbard to grab and early dinner.

My handsome date looking very bond-esque. 


The beginning of the end….



After dinner, we convened to Lisa and Kelly's room for some mingling and bubbs….

Sean and Matt looking dapper as always!


Our lovely hostesses both beautiful in gorgeous beaded dresses.


We headed over to Playhouse Square shortly after 8 pm to join in the festivities. I didn't really do a great job taking pictures (at this point I had consumed a martini, and a couple of glasses of bubbs) but my dress is a fuchsia chiffon J.Crew (other colors available on sale here), and I accessorized with earrings I wore on my wedding day, and this stunning Stella and Dot bracelet.


There was a lot of dancing, and drinking, and at some point I confiscated Donna's Pharrell hat cutout (I apologized on Sunday), but I was having a ridiculously fun time


Above: Allison and Kelly
Below: Allison mid-squeal


And then towards the end of the night, things started to get blurry and Nick and I (and my aching feet) cabbed it back home :)


I wish I could tell you about the bands or the food, but I was honestly having so much fun with friends, that I wasn't really paying attention to details. However, if you are interested in those details, you should read Kimberly's blog post

The next morning, I woke up none-too-worse for wear, and promptly headed to a Jump Back debrief brunch wearing my hair unaltered from the previous night. See, I told you it held up pretty well?!



Overall, another fun Jump Back Ball (possibly my most favorite one so far!) Sean has a fabulous idea for a theme next year, and I really really really hope the committee uses it!!

Disclosure: I was an official blogger for Jump Back Ball and received one free ticket to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Don't Be a Square...

2014 has been an incredibly exciting year for me so far: if you follow me on twitter, then you know that this is my last week doing my day job for a while. Starting Monday, I'm taking a six month sabbatical from my normal work to help run the intern program for my employer. I cannot even describe how  excited I am to have to this opportunity-- its going to be a complete 180 from what I'm doing now, and an incredible way to develop some new skills! 

But if you thought that was the only change I've had this year, then you would be wrong. In early February, I joined the Board of the very newly founded Young Professionals group of The Cleveland Orchestra- The Circle

The premise of The Circle is very simple: For $15/month ($20 for 2 people), your membership includes tickets to 6 concerts a year (one every other month). On the non-concert months, you will have a unique opportunity to network or volunteer and generally get to know other young professionals in the area. While the 6 concerts a year are intriguing and appealing on their own, its the non-concert months that offer a really unique experience.

February was a non-concert month, and our unique experience was a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming presentation of the opera The Cunning Little Vixen. Yeah, you read that right--- THE OPERA IS BEING PRESENTED IN CLEVELAND IN MAY!!! The evening began with a short discussion led my Mark Williams, Director of Artistic Planning at the Orchestra. Mark told the story of how one night at a bar, he and director Yval Sharon  came up with the idea to bring The Cunning Little Vixen to Cleveland. Performed in Czech, The Cunning Little Vixen is a challenging, yet quick (only 90 minutes!) piece, the examines the transience of nature. 



Mark Williams (far right), Yval Sharon (immediately to his left) and the rest of The Cunning Little Vixen conceptual team. 


Then came an interesting piece of news--- this will not be a typical operatic presentation-- this one will be a multimedia presentation featuring live music and singing, video AND animation!! And THEN we got a peek of what that would look like, and I pretty much died and went to heaven.

Here are some screen shots from the presentation. The pictures don't really do it justice, but the best way I can describe it is this: the end result with have live performers of course, but the set itself will be animated and presented across three massive video screens, creating a panoramic video. The animation is a combination of digital animation and hand-drawing, creating a semi-3D experience. Its sorta like 80s Saturday morning cartoons + Pixar + live musical. And yes, there will be subtitles. 



The presentation and sneak peek was then following by drinks + snacks, and an opportunity to actually meet and talk to the director, animators and artists, who are incidentally really young, impossibly cool, interesting people. One of the artist/animators is actually going to have a show on adult swim in the next few months! I also spent some time chatting with some of the young musicians, who are incidentally all also members of The Circle and frequent its events! Who knew the Orchestra was this fun and approachable?!?!

Needless to say, I am SUPER excited to see this presentation live in May--- did I mention that TICKETS ARE INCLUDED WITH THE CIRCLE MEMBERSHIP?!?!?!? Some of the upcoming events include a Fridays@7 concert on March 7th, and a behind-the-scenes tour of Severance Hall on April 8th! Additional details on the upcoming events available here and while there's still work to be done on online membership, you can join (you can do a 6 month trial membership) The Circle by calling 216-231-1111. 

So if you're looking to experience something unique in Cleveland, or are looking to expand your current circle of friends and meet other interesting young professionals with similar interests, I hope you will consider joining The Circle. 

Disclosure: I am a paying member of The Circle. I am also a Board Member for The Circle. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.