Friday, March 27, 2015

Try It: Grilled Cheese Egg in a Hole

I love Egg in a Hole. aka Toad in a Hole. But last week, I took it to a whole new level with Grilled Cheese Egg in a Hole!!

Usually, I like to present these via youtube video, but frankly, the videos with this recipe are pretty awful. So I'm just going to post a link to the recipe instead. It is a ridiculously easy recipe, although I did not know about the mayonnaise trick (use butter instead of mayo on the outside of the sandwich) and makes a fantastic brunch.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

CLE Shops: R/S

A couple of weeks ago, Clair and I stopped in at R/S Cleveland for some retail therapy and to see lovely Jennie! To be honest, it had been a few months since I stopped over, and seeing all the fun and adorable merchandise made me remember how much I LOVE this boutique.

There was so much great stuff on display-- from the adorable puppy centric gifts (for the new fur-parent) or artisan bitters (for the beverage aficionado), and charming hostess gifts (for all the spring parties), R/S has a little something for everyone. And, if you're looking to fill adult easter baskets, this is a perfect local boutique to turn to!

I picked up an adorable tunic/beach cover up and a ridiculously cute tea steeper in the shape of an axe!! I haven't taken any pictures of my purchases yet, although I'm sure they will make an appearance on Instagram (@cleshopaholic) soon enough!

R/S is located on West 25th in Ohio City, just south of Lorain Rd. Check their website for hours of operation! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


As I've documented previously, I suck at juice cleanses. The minute someone says "juice cleanse" all I can think about is high-fat foods like cake. Or pizza. Its my pavlovian response.

That said, I really like juice. And I'm pleasantly surprised and very pleased that we have so many juice options in Cleveland, especially on the West Side. Between Garden of Flavor at the grocery store, Fruit Vibe, daily press, and BEET JAR we really have a wealth of options.

Today however, I want to focus on BEET JAR, that recently celebrated its one year anniversary at its home in Hingetown. I probably visit BEET JAR with the most frequency of any of the other juice bar options I mentioned, simply because its right next door to Harness Cycle and I frequently use their juice as a personal reward for a really good ride. I reward myself a lot.

Unlike most of my regular visits, my most recent visit to BEET JAR was right before lunchtime, and I did something that I've never done before. I FINALLY TRIED THE FAMOUS BRAVOCADO SANDWICH!!! 

If you haven't tried the Bravocado, its toasted bread, with greens, smoked coconut, avocado, red onion, and some other deliciousness that I couldn't identify. I was wary of the smoked coconut-- I think I expected it to be too sweet, but it was a perfect blend of meatiness from coconut, bite and crunch from the onion, smooth velvetyness of avocado, and tanginess from the unidentified ingredient. Seriously amazing and completely crave-worthy. Oh, did I mention it is vegan. Seriously, if I could eat food like this ALL the time, I would go vegan in a heartbeat! I also picked up some seriously delicious juice-- grapefruit, lemon, mint and cayenne. Perfection.

I would not call this an inexpensive lunch-- all in, it was about $20, but I will tell you that I felt incredibly virtuous after for putting all this healthy, nutritious stuff in my body!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Listening Now: Old Thing Back

Its no secret that I love 90s hip hop. A lot. So it should come as no surprise that I love this remix. I have been listening to this song a lot lately-- every time I listen to it, I just can't help but bust a dance move!!

Get your dancing shoes on!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Is My Search For The PERFECT Work Tote Over?

I love bags. Its really not a secret. I love bags the way I love jewelry, which is to say its an obsession. I've been obsessed with finding the perfect work tote for a while--- something that is large enough to carry all my stuff, but stylist enough that I don't feel awkward taking it out to lunches or meetings. I'm happy to say that I believe I have found such a tote, on kickstarter!!

Introducing, the Leoht [lay-oat] tote: not only is a a leather tote, but it has a built in battery to charge your smartphone or tablet, interior lights so you're not digging in the dark cavern of your bag, a hidden alcove to keep your valuables, and that's only a few of its incredible features!

photo credit: Leoht

I had an opportunity to interview Co-founder Carnise and designer Gabrielle to learn a little bit more about them and how they came up with this incredibly product.

Carnise was born and raised in the Midwest. Her background in Graphic Design and Communications led her to Apple, and to freelance work in graphic design. In 2014, Carnise co-founded Leoht, a wearable technology company. They debuted in January at CES and Refinery29, in the company of Ringly, and are currently fundraising via Kickstarter to launch their debut line: The Seed Collection

Gabrielle was born and raised right here in Northeast Ohio-- she grew up in Solon/Chagrin Falls, and graduated from The University of Cincinnati. In her prior career, she was a designer at Coach, and she joined Leoht seven months ago.

Like me, Carnise believes that "you carry your world in your handbag" and designed this bag to truly be one with your life. I mentioned some of the features already, but you should definitely check out the video that talks about all its features in greater depth. I watched the video and literally could not sign up to fund this fast enough. The early bird backer level gets you your very own tote (height 11.2in x width 16.2in x depth 6.75 in) at $149-- an amazing deal for a leather bag alone! Add in all the extras and its a steal!! Oh, did I mention that the production team is committed to keeping the weight of the empty bag at or below 2 lbs?! The early bird backer is at limited quantities, so sign up as soon as you can. Oh, and did I mention that its a Kickstarter Staff Pick? The project must reach its funding goal of $100,000 by April 11th, and they're over half way there.

I am seriously so excited to receive this bag-- its the perfect balance of form and function. Future iterations include a micro satchel (that I'm VERY interested in), and a hobo/backpack-- I can't wait to what comes next!!

Disclosure: I funded this kickstarter campaign at the early bird backer level. I really really hope this is successfully funded because I REALLY want this bag come fall! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Hardest Goodbye

When I wrote this original post about Otto, I didn't think I would be writing this one so soon. 

Two weeks ago, we received the results from the biopsy: undifferentiated sarcoma. Basically, it meant that the cancer was confirmed. It was a sarcoma, but there was no way to tell if it was the sarcoma of the bone, the membrane surrounding the spinal cord, the tissue surrounding it… not enough information to tell how aggressive it was, how fast it would grow back…. nothing. This past Tuesday, I took Otto for his follow up from surgery at Metropolitan Veterinary, and they were very pleased with his progress. And then things started to go very wrong. 

On Thursday, he seemed to be struggling to stand up unassisted. By Friday morning, his right hind leg was partially paralyzed, and we knew what was coming. Friday evening, Otto's favorite people came over to say their last goodbyes-- we all sat on the floor on blankets, picnic style, surrounding him with love and kisses. Nick, Clair, Otto and I had a slumber party in our living room Friday night-- Nick held him in his arms all night. By Saturday morning, Otto was breathing really hard. By the time our vet Dr. Bob came over to our home around 1:30 pm, Otto's chest was starting to get paralyzed. It was time. Dr. Bob administered a powerful sedative, and Otto fell into a deep sleep-- cuddled in Nick's arms, as I held his paws and kissed his face. A short time later, the barbiturate. At that very moment, the sun came streaming through our windows, and I knew Otto was gone. Our baby boy, who brought us so much joy, had left us with this little last piece of sunshine. 

Otto was such a big part of our lives, both literally and figuratively. There is so much about him that I miss: the way he would push open the door to the bathroom, the way he would lay on the couch and look out the window, the way we never needed a doorbell because he would bark so loud anytime anyone came over, his grunts, his loud snoring, the way his tongue would fall out of his mouth when he slept very deeply, the way he sounded like he was deflating when I hugged him, his goofy smile and butt wiggle every time we came home, his kisses, staring into his big brown soulful eyes, kissing him on the top of his head, and even his stinky farts. 

People have asked how Clair is doing: She was in the living room with us when Otto died, so I think she knows he's gone. Sometimes she seems lonely, but I can't tell if its really how she feels or us projecting our feelings on her. At other times she's perfectly herself-- perky, cheerful, cuddly, wagging her tail. 

I won't speak for Nick's feelings, but as for myself, I would describe myself as emotionally fragile. Its an hour by hour thing. Sometimes, I'm at peace knowing that we gave him an amazing life, and that he had a beautiful, peaceful death and is free from pain. At other times, I burst into tears. I'm acutely aware of his absence, and it feels like I'm being stabbed in the heart. I know this will eventually turn into a dull ache, but in the mean time, its very raw. Grief. Its not a feeling I've really encountered before-- I've been incredibly lucky. I'm trying to take comfort in the fact that I know he loved us, and that he knew just how much we loved him.

People have asked whether we will get another dog-- yes. We are a two-dog family, and we will rescue a male boxer in time. Probably sooner than later. 

But in the mean time, we continue to try and come to terms with his loss. Rest in peace, my sweet baby Otto. We love you forever and will miss you always.

There will be no more posts this week. Please feel free to leave your comments-- I read them all, even if I don't respond this week. Thank you for your compassion and understanding. XO

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Experience It: Classical Revolution

Last month, I had the opportunity to try something new-- I listened to Classical Music at the Happy Dog, courtesy Classical Revolution Cleveland! Classical Revolution Cleveland began in 2009, and is a loosely bound group of classically trained musicians who perform classical music at non-traditional locations (ex. bars) across the city. They have a standing residency at Happy Dog in Detroit-Shoreway-- its the third Tuesday of every month, which happens to fall on St. Patrick's Day in March!

Here are a couple of pictures from February's performance:

The performance usually starts around 8 pm and goes for a couple of hours-- Hot Dogs and tater tots with a side of amazing music-- SIGN ME UP!!