Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Solving a Mystery

Its been about six weeks since we brought Webster home, and here's what we know about him:
1. He LOVES Clair. She is his favorite
2. He LOVES tennis balls. LOVES LOVE LOVES them
3. He's obsessed with smart toys (the dog toys that are rabbits in a hat, turtles in the mama turtle's shell, etc.)
4. He LOVES doggie daycare at The Mutt Hutt
5. He is SUPER snuggly when he's sleepy

But until last Friday, we had one unsolved mystery: WHAT was he mixed with?! We knew he had a lot of boxer--- he boxes. A lot. And he has a lot of other boxer traits, but his nose isn't all smushy like Clair's. We had a few guesses-- German Shepher, Rottweiler, Mastiff, Lab… but there was only one way to be sure…. a doggie DNA test was necessary. So, I did some research and ordered the most popular doggie DNA test, the Wisdom Panel.

For $84.99, they mail you a DNA kit. You swab the inside of your dog's mouth with two different swabs, and you have to be careful to not touch it to any other surfaces. The package itself has holders to help. You let the swabs dry for a couple of minutes, and in the mean time, register your DNA kit. When you're done, you put the swabs in the pre-paid package, and stick it in the mail. Really easy directions, you really can't mess it up. 

Wisdom Panel will then email you when they receive your package. They tell you the complete test will take 2-3 weeks, but in our case, it took just about one. 

And this past Friday, we finally solved our mystery. Our silly puppy is mostly boxer as we suspected, but the second most identifiable DNA is that of Australian Cattle Dog! Definitely explains why he's so active, and why he loves all those smart toys. 

Now, we just have to figure out how big he he's going to get! 

P.S. I post regular pictures of him and Clair on Instagram, so if you would like to see more, follow me there

Monday, May 11, 2015

CLE Shops: Whiskey Grade

This past Friday, Nick and I attended the opening of Ohio City's newest retail offering, Whiskey Grade.  Located at 2515 Jay Ave (very close to the intersection of Jay and W25th), Whisky Grade is one of the most unique stores I've been to lately! Part biker-store, part vintage treasure hunt, this store has plenty for men and women, whether they're into motorcycles or not.

The store has an incredible industrial feel-- matte black paint, chandeliers of varying styles and sizes, and incredibly interesting design details. From the amazing skylight to the real motorcycles that are hoisted up on some pretty high shelves, to the unusual display of children's toys, to the changing room that's actually an old safe, the interiors are absolutely delightful. Masculine with a kick of feminine sass. 

As I mentioned before, the store's primary focus is people who ride motorcycles, so there's an extensive offering of armored leather jackets that will literally save your life. Also in the life-saving category, an array of very cool helmets. On the fashion side, there's a selection of t-shirts, dress-shirts and denim (jeans and jackets) for men.

But if you were to think that ladies had been neglected at this store, you would be wrong. In addition to some to-die-for leather jackets (I seriously cannot stop thinking about them), there is selection of very well priced and well curated vintage apparel and accessories.

I picked up two dresses (one of which I will wear to Solstice), a clutch, and a beaded jacket for a total of $105 (tax included!). Seriously, you cannot beat the amazing deals, and there are only maybe 1-2 of each item, so its not like you're likely to run into someone wearing the same outfit!

I am so excited about this newest addition to Cleveland's retail scene-- I know I will be visiting them frequently. For more pictures, check out Whiskey Grade on Facebook and definitely stop in the store!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Orange You Pretty!

So, I had a photo shoot with photographer extraordinaire Suzanne Price this past Friday. More details to come soon, but I found myself very drawn to the orange + gold + cream combo for the shoot. You can view a sneak preview from the shoot here!

Orange You Pretty!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

CLE Eats: Mason's Creamery

If I had to eat just one thing for the rest of my life, it would be ice cream. I LUUUURRRVE ice cream, and we are so lucky to have so many amazing, local choices here in Cleveland. One of my favorite ice cream shops is Mason's Creamery, located in Ohio City at 44th and Bridge.

My obsession with Mason's Creamery is so great, that I've actually become friends with the owners Jesse and Helen. I'm particularly obsessed with their vegan churros that they make fresh, and basically to order. Hot churros, cold ice cream… seriously, is there anything better? Actually, there is. They also have a churro ice cream sandwich where you pick the ice cream in the middle. IT IS HEAVEN. TRUST ME ON THIS.

Jesse makes all the ice cream in-house in small batches. The flavors change frequently, and there's always an excellent mix of regular ice-cream and vegan options. Some of my favorite flavors include the mexican chocolate, olive oil (yes. olive oil) and buttered popcorn. The olive oil and buttered popcorn come served with a sprinkle of smoked salt--- absolutely amazing. 

So, if you like cool, creamy, delicious treats, hurry over to Mason's Creamery. Check their website for hours-- they are not open on Sunday until the summer. They can also be found at the Cleveland Flea, although without churros, and with a more limited menu (obviously). 

And like the mural on the side of their store, make sure to go over all the time! You will probably see me there!! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Explore CLE: The Vault

This past weekend, Nick and I FINALLY made it to Vault at Metropolitan at the 9. If you know me in real life (and honestly, even if you only know me through social media), then you know that I LUUUUURVE fancy. And Vault is FANCY!

You walk into the lobby of the Metropolitan at the 9, and take a short elevator ride downstairs. And then begin the velvet ropes. There is a dress code -- dress cute, and fancy. You will see a lot of strutting, and you definitely don't want to be left out in the cold. Based in an old bank building, Vault definitely does not shy away from its roots. Past the ropes, you walk in a hallway, and then past the vault (yes, its a real vault) to the bar. You will see signs of the property's former life everywhere-- from the old school till to the private rooms, which are all vaults. Its no wonder that Vault is so popular with celebrities-- lots of places for privacy.

If you're not looking for a private room, or bottle service, the common area is not very large. There's the main bar, and a smallish area by the DJ booth, the area by the vault then the wide hallway where you enter. Certainly not tiny, but not cavernous either.

I'm not sure if the hallway area is always red, but I definitely felt like I was an extra in Blade. The drink prices are shockingly reasonable. 7 drinks (all liquor) ran us under $70 (excluding tip)-- almost unheard of in downtown Cleveland! Overall, we had a fun time, and I will definitely go back!

Coming soon to Metropolitan to the 9 (May 2015): Azure Sun Lounge-- Cleveland's hottest new rooftop bar!!! Hey hey heyyyyyy!

Monday, April 20, 2015

CLE Events: Rooted In Cleveland

My relationship with yoga is a weird one-- I always love it when I practice, but I'm terribly inconsistent.  Over the past few months however, I've tried to incorporate yoga into my routine at least twice a week. And even with this minimal effort, I can feel myself getting stronger. Anyway, as part of my yoga routine, I've attended a few yoga workshops, and the workshop coming up on May 15th may just be my most favorite one yet.

Hosted by Harness, Rooted In CLE combines an hour of Slow Flow Yoga presented by 3Sisters Yoga + Fitness, followed by COCKTAIL HOUR!!! Combined with the amazing views of downtown from the BurkleHagen loft, this promises to be a really fun and mellow Friday night.

Now for the details:
When: Friday, May 15th at 6:00 pm
Where: BurkleHagen Photography at 3500 Payne Ave, Cleveland
What: An hour of Yoga followed by cocktails and finger foods. Water provided by People Water. Cocktails will include wine, beer, and "garden to glass" cocktails in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic forms. Finger foods will tend toward heavier appetizers-- perfect for mingling!
Dress Code: YOGA PANTS!!! Is there such a thing as cocktail yoga pants? Can we make it a thing?
How: Tickets are available here. While normally $50, my dear readers, you can buy the tickets for $40 (a 20% savings) by using the code shopaholic. Note that this is an intimate event-- only 60 spots are available, so get your tickets as soon as possible!

Disclosure: I was provided with one ticket to Rooted In CLE in exchange for helping spread the word about the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for continuing to support vendors like Harness that allow me to create fun content for this blog! XO

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

CLE Shops: The Olive Scene

A few weeks ago, I finally made my way to the Olive Scene on Old Detroit Road in Rocky River. I say "finally" because I first heard of them when my dear friend Lisa gifted me a bottle of their harissa infused olive oil a couple of years ago. So, my tardiness in getting there really has no excuse. Anyway, my trip was a revelation into the amazing world of olive oil and balsamic vinegars--- I really had NO idea there were so many kinds!!!

When you walk in, you will immediately notice the rows of neat steel containers along the walls and down the middle of the store. First up, olive oils originating from a variety of different grapes. Next, infused olive oils, and finally, varieties of balsamic vinegar. 

I went on a major tasting spree (you taste it out of little plastic cups, like a little shot of oil)-- while I didn't really have a preference between the different types of olives, I had a few flavors of the infused oils that I really loved. Most notably, the olive, lemon, kaffir lime, baklouti green chili, and chipotle flavors. The balsamic vinegars were really amazing-- I particularly liked the fig balsamic and strawberry balsamic, which would both be perfect over some vanilla bean ice-cream. 

Prices range from $6 for the 60mL mini bottle, to $29 for the large 750mL bottle. I ended up going home with an assortment of sizes of the baklouti green chili olive oil (great with bread), lemon olive oil (fantastic when used to roast asparagus), garlic olive oil (I use this in pretty much everything and anything) and the serrano honey vinegar (will change popcorn forever). 

If you're local, I highly recommend a visit. In addition to Rocky River, the store has locations in Chagrin Falls and Vermillion. Just be prepared that you will go home with multiple bottles of deliciousness. If you're not local, you can choose to shop online, although you will not have the benefit of trying before you buy. The oils and vinegars themselves make excellent gifts, but the store also offers other italian delights like dried pasta, and gift items like pasta bowls and cheese trays. 

Get out those stretchy pants and your wallet!!!